June 28, 2013

Bill Nemitz: Supreme Court rules for ending the pain

By Bill Nemitz bnemitz@pressherald.com

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Tune in to NewsRadio 560 WGAN at 8:08 a.m. today to hear columnist Bill Nemitz talk about this column and other issues.

It was about human dignity.

It was about the quintessentially American notion of fairness.

It was about equality. Or more specifically, as Kennedy so succinctly observed, the inescapable fact that “DOMA writes inequality into the entire United States Code.”

Kennedy went on to note, “The history of DOMA’s enactment and its own text demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, a dignity conferred by the States in exercise of their sovereign power, was more than just an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence.”

In other words, the federal law, by its very existence, sought not to protect, but to punish.

Meg, who spent a typically hectic Wednesday caring for a steady stream of hospital patients, hadn’t had a lot of time to read about the court’s ruling, let alone reflect on it.

But as she made her way home with her older brother yakking her ear off, the impact of what had just happened began to sink in:

Without a doubt, to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered remains a daunting challenge in too many states, too many communities, too many families.

Yet our highest court, as only it can do, has unequivocally and forever changed the course of this nation: No, you need not embrace your gay and lesbian brothers and sisters if your conscience or religious faith still won’t let you. But accept them you must.

“Everybody’s been hurt,” Meg said, reflecting as much on the country’s experience as her own. “At one point or another, everyone’s been hurt. And I hope this helps diminish all that hurt. It has to just stop!”

It already has for Meg, who came to realize that she could have it all – Linda, two perfect daughters who adore her as much as she does them, an extended family that could no sooner reject one of its own than hold one of our frequent reunions on the moon.

I suspect my dear parents, God rest their souls, knew that all along. No matter what happened, Meg would always be loved.

And tempting as it may be to wonder how Mom and Dad might feel about the U.S. Supreme Court right about now, I’ll defer to my little sister on what this week’s commotion, when it’s all said and done, truly means.

“Love always wins,” Meg said. “It always does.”

Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at:


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