People move for all sorts of reasons. Jobs take people to cities and states they would never have imagined living otherwise. Sometimes people want or need to be closer to their families. Sometimes people just find a place to be beautiful. Regardless, one of the things we hold dear is the idea that we will be treated equally regardless of where we move in the United States. Of course, it doesn’t work that way for gay couples in far too many places, which is why, in the wake of the SCOTUS decision invalidating DOMA, lawsuits are cropping up all over the place to address the inequality faced by gay couples in states that don’t recognize their marriages.
David Fowler of the Family Action Council of Tennessee is just outraged that four gay Tennessee couples, all of whom lived and married elsewhere, and who lost benefits and security when they became Tennesseans, are currently having the audacity to sue the state of Tennessee, so that their marriages may once again be treated equally:
“Essentially we have people who, deciding where they want to live and all the other factors that go into that, decided to move to a state they know does not recognize the marriage they entered into in California and New York,” he tells OneNewsNow. “And they’re essentially asking the court to impose upon the people of Tennessee their definition of marriage.”
David is not bright. We in Tennessee know this. He is the living embodiment of Voltaire’s prayer about making one’s enemies ridiculous. David presumably knows that one of the couples is military, and if he has any experience with the military, he should know that you don’t tend to just get up one day and say, “hey, let’s move to a new place!” Very often, military families move because the military informs them that they are moving. Indeed, the article does allude to that specific couple, who, I always have to disclose fully, are some of my best friends:
Those couples, which are being represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, moved to Tennessee following their “marriages” in California and New York. Among the couples are two female college teachers and a full-time Army reservist and his “husband.” All four couples moved to Tennessee within the last three years.
Scare quotes, as always, provided by the “journalists” at the American Family Association.
Here’s more spittle from Fowler:
“It’s [also] an issue of federalism and it’s an issue of the people being able to control their own marital and domestic policy, which the Supreme Court this summer acknowledged was inherently and historically a matter left up to the states,” he argues. “California and New York are free to have the definition of marriage they want, but the people of Tennessee should have the definition of marriage they want.”
Yes, but the Federal government also confers many, many benefits on legal marriages, many of which are implemented by the states, regardless of where couples live. Moreover, the military provides equal rights to married gay and lesbian couples, which creates a strange situation for that one couple, in that, when they are on base, their marriage is recognized, but the second they step off and go home, it’s not anymore. And even moreover, we have a longstanding thing called Full Faith and Credit, which has long applied to marriage, which says that states recognize each other’s contracts.
This is not complicated stuff.
Fowler also points out that homosexual men and women have an option of moving to a state that does recognize same-gender marriage.
Yes, of course, they do, if it’s feasible, but it’s simply not feasible for millions of Americans to just pick up and move away. I would suggest that David Fowler should know this, but again, he’s not bright.
I’ll let the outrage of Jeremy Hooper, who grew up in Tennessee, and who is married and raising a child, be the last word on this:
Yeah! Just go where you’re wanted, you gays! And take your skills, money, and societal contributions with you!
So gross. I tell you, it’s uniquely disquieting to feel like the state of your birth not only doesn’t want you, your husband, and your daughter to come back, plant roots, and pay taxes, but rather is actively telling you to stay away. For LGBT people, that’s kind of where we are right now. In so many of our states, we have self-appointed spokespeople like Fowler telling the growing number of same-sex couples that we are simply unwanted and that we should state in states that are properly blue enough to support our unions. These David Fowler types are truly telling us that America, the supposed land of opportunity, is, for LGBT people, only a limited patchwork of potential.
So gross, indeed.