Letter: Supreme Court Rules for Justice for all–Finally.

The recent Supreme Court ruling that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry is an historic victory not only for gay and lesbian Americans but for all Americans who cherish equality, liberty, and justice for all.

Reassuringly, this ruling bears witness that “equal justice under law”—words that are etched into stone on the front of the Supreme Court—has at long last triumphed over discrimination and inequity.

With the landmark ruling, same-sex marriage now becomes legal in all 50 states. My guess is we’ll get used to it in no time.



Michael Ra Bouchard, Ph.D.

Clinical Sexologist

Pahoa , Hawaii


7 replies
  1. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Now is the time for the Human Rights Campaign to refocus its efforts to tackle human rights issues for LGBT people.
    So, in some United States, it is both legal to ‘get’ married and, simultaneously, for LGBT persons to be fired from their job, or be denied a job, and be denied housing, etc.
    Most heartbreaking is the familial and social abuse and rejection of many young LGBT people,
    and the struggles they face just to survive.
    Get married if you want, have a nice wedding,
    but don’t confuse it with Queer liberation.
    Finding safe housing, education and meaningful employment for all the young, are examples for a redirected focus.
    There are WAY more important human rights, in my mind, than
    ‘getting’ married.
    It is no time to be pacified.
    Homophobia can still be lethal.

  2. Dr. Michael
    Dr. Michael says:

    I agree there remain many anti-discrimination law battles to be fought. The next big battle will be to obtain local, state, and federal protections in housing, employment, commerce, and other areas.

    Yet even as we celebrate this momentous win many civil rights advocates have already begun a long-term campaign to create a broad local, state and federal shield. These safeguards would give sexual orientation and gender identity protected status under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and through the passage of new anti-discriminatory laws.

    Just like laws that bar discrimination and inequity based on race, religion, sex and national origin, these protections will be expanded to accommodate gays and transgendered people by amending the Civil Rights Act to specifically include them. It is the right thing to do.

    The rising tide of tolerance is on our side. In the end, protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination will prevail. It is no longer a question of if but only when.

    As Tibetan Buddhists say, “Right always wins, wrong always loses.”

  3. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Why celebrate ‘tolerance’?
    That’s kinda icky.
    Tho I guess there are times I’m grateful that my friends tolerate me.
    Laws against discrimination don’t end sexual violence, racist violence, homophobic violence. War, I mean.
    And hunger, the meanness of our economic system.
    These dynamics are embedded in our families and culture.
    And when the hetero-normative activities like
    military service and marriage, essential to empire, are offered to the LGBT community, it is mistaken for liberation.
    Dick Cheney proposed ‘same-sex marriage’ in the early ’90s.
    … wouldn’t the Buddhists reject that right/wrong dualism?

  4. Dr. Michael
    Dr. Michael says:

    Hi Kelly,
    It appears we are talking about semantics regarding what the word “tolerance” means to each of us.

    In my book, tolerance is a good thing, in fact, it is a very good thing when defined as shown below.


    1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

    2. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one’s own.

    3. interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.

    I hope you will agree that when defined in these ways, tolerance needn’t be viewed as icky at all.

    On the contrary, tolerance is the winning ticket to getting along well with those with whom we disagree or are different without being disagreeable or standoffish.

    As for Dick Cheney, as the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day, bless his replacement heart.
    Apparently having an out of the closet lesbian daughter helped evolve his enlightened viewpoint, to which I say more power to him!

    And as for the Buddhist monks in Tibet whom I’ve quoted praying, “Right always wins, wrong always loses” apparently they have no problem with it.

    Personally, I have taken great solace in that same prayer many times over the past 30 years while fighting for sexual rights and equality and against institutionalized resistance to HIV/AIDS prevention education and sexuality education.

    I suppose Martin Luther King was thinking along similar lines when he faithfully declared, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

    While admittedly glacier-slow, let us give thanks for the forward movement momentum that has been gained socially and legally in recent years, even as we continue to strive to ensure that equality means everyone: No matter their age, sex, race, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry and disability, marital or familial status.

    Not only does such inclusiveness bring out our better angels, it is also a most human and decent thing to do.

  5. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Dr Michael, thanks for defining tolerance.
    I always hear the verb, ‘to tolerate’, as in;
    “I’ll hold my nose and put up with you since I have to”.
    I used to volunteer for the HRC (human rights campaign), traveling to Honolulu on my own dime with the Big Is contingent to confront Gabbard (the Dad) and the conservative-christian-right with their push to prevent same sex marriage.
    (At the time my work with local nonprofits involved incorporating anti-homophobia education into the schools.)
    I slowly began to see HRC as a white, wealthy org. raising tens of millions of dollars a year promoting a conservative-but-gay agenda. The young, poor, and disabled LGBT were left by the wayside.
    HRC provides no deep analysis of our economic system and the harms it does to most people, especially the vulnerable.
    The wealthy professional gay doesn’t have to bother themselves with the nuisance of their poor sisters and brothers. Privilege isn’t equality.
    And I can’t let your quote go by. You say “even as we continue to strive to ensure that equality means everyone: No matter their age, sex, race, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry and disability, marital or familial status.”
    I’ll repeat my contention; marriage confers hundreds of unearned rights and privileges denied the unmarried.
    How can you claim equality?
    Several (gay) friends remind me that I could get married, and receive those goodies.
    That is admitting that these new marriage freedoms reinforce the alleged superiority of the nuclear family.
    Is that a right or a wrong?
    Do you believe the nuclear family to be superior?

    Excuse me, it wasn’t Cheney, it was a Dep. Secretary of Defense under Reagan. It was in the context of a shortfall of soldier enlistments. If poor, young gays and lesbians could be ‘welcomed’ into the killing machine,
    same sex marriage would be offered to the older LGBT wanting to assimilate.

    Finally, there is NO evidence that ‘right will prevail’.
    We witness the 6th great extinction underway, caused by industrial civilization, and we can’t seem to stop this final wrong.

  6. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Dr Michael Ra;
    Truth-out.org posted this book review, and maybe it interests you?
    “Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States”
    “While the Supreme Court has granted marriage equality, the criminal legal system in the US remains incredibly hostile to those who violate perceived norms of sex and gender – especially if they are not white or well-off. This groundbreaking book draws on years of research, activism, and legal advocacy to examine the experience of queer and trans people as criminal defendants, prisoners, and survivors of violent crimes. It’s a vital read in this current historic moment!”
    The authors are
    Joey L Mogul
    Andrea J Ritchie
    Kay Whitlock
    This book departs from the ‘politics of romance’ to the politics of survival.
    Recommended reading.

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