Wednesday, September 17, 2014

No 'Christian charity' for gay couple?

Recently in Arizona, there was a bittersweet victory for a gay couple:

In a ruling that calls into question Arizona's gay marriage ban, a judge handed a victory Friday to a gay man who lost his spouse to cancer last month and was denied death benefits because the state prohibits same-sex unions.

U.S. District Judge John Sedwick allowed Fred McQuire to be listed on his spouse's death certificate, marking another development in the national debate over gay marriage as state and federal judges across the country have struck down bans in more than a dozen states at a rapid rate since a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year.

 . . . A death certificate listing McQuire as the surviving spouse of George Martinez was issued late Friday afternoon at a state records office in Tucson, one of McQuire's lawyers said.
McQuire and Martinez were partners of 45 years who got married in California this summer, fulfilling one of their final wishes as they both dealt with serious health issues. Martinez, a Vietnam War veteran, was in the throes of pancreatic cancer blamed on exposure to Agent Orange when they got married, calling it "demeaning and unfair" to have to go to another state to exchange their vows.

 . . .  Before the ruling, McQuire, 69, wiped away tears as he talked outside court about the disappointment of being told by government officials that he wasn't considered Martinez's lawful husband. He said he was expecting that kind of reaction, but it still hurt deeply. "It doesn't make it easier," McQuire said.

"George would have loved to have been here today," McQuire said outside court, still wearing a gold and diamond wedding ring on his left hand. McQuire issued a written statement after the ruling was handed down. "No one else should have to deal with the pain and humiliation of not being able to take care of something as simple and sensitive as a death certificate for their spouse," he said.

It's a story which should tug at your heart no matter how you feel about marriage equality. This is not about redefining anything, but rather a couple looking for simple dignity.

Of course some folks are making themselves immune to feeling even a small bit of kindness in regards to this situation and instead are pushing conspiracy theories. From One News Now:

Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana contends "these liberal judges know exactly what they were doing." 
 "They are activists," he alleges. "But rather than fully force same-sex marriage upon a state, they are chipping away at this through a public policy matter, knowing that this weakens marriage laws and [that] future judges can totally overturn the law by pointing back at these decisions."

 Clark adds that the decisions undermine state laws which are decided by state lawmakers and the people. "Death certificate policies, other licenses, marriage licenses have always been the purview of state legislatures and state policy matters," he notes. "Judges are not policy writers; they're deciders of the law concerning the Constitution. But many of these activist judges want to write public policy and what marriage policy is and force that upon a state." 

Now usually this is where I would come in with a unifying statement ripping apart Clark for his lack of Christian charity  as well as pointing out how his zeal to demonize the concept of marriage equality overrides any sympathy for the gay couple involved in the situation.

But I don't think that would be necessary.  Why bother pointing out the existence of a jackass when he easily gives himself away by braying.

1 comment:

Brian Gerhardt said...

Ignorant Jackass indeed. I think the fight for our side would be harder if these bigots ever take a basic introductory civics course on how the government works.