WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court is taking a potentially historic look at same-sex marriage by agreeing to hear two cases that challenge governments’ different treatment of gay Americans.
The focus in one case is California’s constitutional amendment that forbids same-sex marriage. The other case deals with a federal law that denies to those who can marry legally the right to obtain federal benefits that are available to heterosexual married couples.
Supreme Court cases often take twists and turns that limit the scope of the eventual decision. But the justices’ action on Friday gives them the chance to say whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals.
The court is embarked on what could be its most significant term involving civil rights in decades. In the area of racial discrimination, the justices already have agreed to decide cases on affirmative action in admission to college and a key part of the Voting Rights Act. The gay marriage cases probably will be argued in March and decisions in all the court’s cases are likely by the end of June.
At long last … The rainbow officially reaches the White House
“The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, but It Bends Toward Justice” Martin Luther King Jr.
Further: by Arthur Howe
“Dr. King once said that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. It bends towards justice, but here is the thing: it does not bend on its own. It bends because each of us in our own ways put our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice….”
TWO SPIRITS, the documentary directed by Lydia Nibley and produced by Say Yes Quickly Productions, will have its world premiere on Saturday, November 21 at the Starz Denver Film Festival.
Two Spirits and the Fred Martinez Project have received the Monette-Horwitz Distinguished Achievement Award for outstanding activism, research, and scholarship to combat homophobia. And the U.S. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in Washington has joined more than fifty national organizations as an outreach partner.
The documentary film interweaves the tragic story of a mothers loss of her son with a revealing look at the largely unknown history of a time when the world wasn’t simply divided into male and female and many Native American cultures held places of honor for people of integrated genders.
Fred Martinez was nádleehí, a male-bodied person with a feminine essence, a special gift according to his ancient Navajo culture. He was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at sixteen by a young man who bragged to friends that he had bug-smashed a fag. TWO SPIRITS explores the life and death of a boy who was also a girl and the essentially spiritual nature of gender and sexuality. The film makes the case that in the twenty-first century we need to return to traditional values.
Activists of the transsexual, gay and lesbian community participate in a protest demanding for the right to choose a name according to their gender along a street in San Salvador on November 15, 2010. The slogans on the T-shirts read, “I choose to be called… Lucero/Pamela”. (Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images)