by John Reimann
My wife and I were married by a gay friend. Her partner was from another country as is my wife. But in the case of our friend, her partner had come here a long time earlier, when it was far easier to enter the country (plus she was from Canada). At the time of our marriage, it struck me that under different circumstances, the person marrying us would not be able to live with her loved one. How cruel!
So I completely support yesterday’s Supreme Court decision throwing out the “Defense of Marriage Act” and California’s Proposition 8. But we have to look beyond this one decision.
Just a few days earlier (June 23), the Wall St. Journal ran an article headlined “Supreme Court Comes to Defense of Business”. They explained that “the Roberts Court has long been viewed as friendly to business”, but this session of the court set precedents in regard to the right to file class action lawsuits. Previously, they made it nearly impossible for employees to band together to file class action lawsuits in the case of discrimination (the Walmart case). Now, they went even further.
They wrote: ‘”This term was a near bloodbath for class-action plaintiffs’ lawyers,” said Deepak Gupta of Gupta Beck PLLC, who specializes in Supreme Court litigation for plaintiffs. “The court is so hostile to class-actions that any victory for plaintiffs, no matter how straightforward, is a surprise.”‘
Then there was the voting rights act, which the Supreme Court gutted. This comes at a time when voter suppression is gaining new popularity throughout the nation. All that has happened is that denial of the right to vote is being carried out a little more subtly than was done at the time the Voting Rights Act was passed.
And as far as the right to same-sex marriage, what does it really mean? Emotionally, all it means is the validation of a relationship by a state that is becoming increasingly repressive and brutal. Some are celebrating it because it supposedly means that same sex partners can get spousal benefits, but again according to the Wall St. Journal, almost two-thirds of the Fortune 500 corporations already offer domestic partner health benefits. And in any case, this comes at a time when employers across the country are reducing benefits or eliminating them entirely.
Karl Marx wrote that law is the recognition of accomplished fact. That’s what this Supreme Court ruling amounts to - a recognition of what is already 90% an accomplished fact. It changes very, very little, except for in the eyes of those who crave recognition by official society - which is rotten to the core.
Two days before the Supreme Court announced its ruling, President Obama gave a major speech on the environment. In it, he called for some sort of caps on greenhouse gas releases from power plants. However, as pointed out here, his overall policy as announced in this speech will amount to devastation of the environment. It was a bait-and-switch operation. Now, we have the supreme court doing the same - recognizing relationships that are now commonly recognized by the majority of people in the US as well as by Corporate America in order to cover up their overall pro-business bias.
The liberals are all celebrating. They have fallen for the bait-and-switch one more time.