Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cautious Optimism - Marriage Equality: A Fundmental Right

As I write this, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is about to hear arguments on whether or not states have the ability to define marriage in such a way as to deny same sex couples the fundamental right of marriage.  SCOTUS will also hear arguments as whether or not states have the ability to deny recognition of same sex marriages performed in states where it is legal.

Trying to read the tea leaves, especially before oral arguments, is a fool's errand, but I have a feeling that in a 5 to 4 decision to come out this June, SCOTUS will finally bring marriage equality to all 50 states and the various territories/protectorates.  I think Justice Kennedy will write the majority opinion reaffirming the decision in Loving v Virginia which held that marriage is a "fundamental right" and that government has no business discriminating against same sex couples.

I am cautiously optimistic that marriage equality will become the law of the land.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Troubling News

As many of you know, I was excited about the prospect of having bariatric surgery to help with my morbid obesity.  I found out today, via the mail, that due to my psychological issues (of which there are many), they will not perform the surgery.  It has hit me really hard as I saw the surgery as my last real chance to be physically healthy again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bariatric Surgery: The Big and Very Personal News

For the last 27 years I have been struggling with my weight.  I went from a skinny teenager to an overweight adult almost overnight.  And while I have done diets and diet pills, I have continued to add weight.  In fact, in the last 14 years, I gained over 100 pounds to top out at 400 pounds.  That amount of weight is killing me.

Though I am down to 366, thanks to getting more exercise thanks to my new dog and waterpills, I have not been able to lose any more weight.  So, this past Tuesday, January 27th, I had a lengthy consult with a bariatric surgeon.  If all goes well and I jump through enough hoops for Medicaid, I will have a bariatric procedure known as "Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass" come September.

This is a drastic step, but it is a necessary one.  I thank you all in advance for your support.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Decision is Finally Coming: Marriage Equality to be Argued at SCOTUS

As reported by many news organizations, at least four Justices of the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) have agreed to hear four cases coming out of the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in regards to marriage equality.  After the October 6th, 2014 decision by SCOTUS to deny "cert" to challenges to rulings coming from the 4th, 7th and 10th US Circuit Courts of appeals and the despicable ruling by the 6th Circuit, this day could not come soon enough.

The two questions before SCOTUS will be whether or not same sex marriage bans in 31 states and their denial of recognition of same sex marriages performed in other states violates the 14th Amendment.  Numerous federal courts, including four appellate courts, along with several state courts have ruled that yes, these bans violate the 14th Amendment.  The 6th Circuit is the only appellate court to have ruled otherwise, going so far as to claim that the federal courts have no business overturning "voter approved" bans on marriage equality.

I am, of course, biased and believe that these bans do violate the 14th Amendment as well as the 9th Amendment.  Hell, SCOTUS has already ruled that marriage is a "fundamental right" in Loving v. Virginia (which also, by the way made marriage a "federal issue").

My hope is that the votes are there for marriage equality to become the law of the land in all 50 states and the various territories come June of this year.  My fingers are crossed.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Marriage Equallity Gets Great Field Position On A Punt From SCOTUS

Sometimes, when the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decides it really doesn't want to deal with an issue just yet, it will do what we like to call a "punt".  That is, without comment they decide to let various appellate court decisions stand.  Today, October 6th, 2014, SCOTUS did just that in regards to various marriage equality cases attempting to be reviewed by SCOTUS.

Just as we saw in several NFL games this past weekend, a punt can be a wonderful thing, for either team.  In the case of marriage equality, it is now legal for same-sex couples to get married in 24 states and the District of Columbia and in a very short time, it will be legal in 30 and Washington D.C.  That is incredible field position for advocates of marriage equality, such as myself.  In essence, to further push the football analogy, with the punt from SCOTUS, anti-marriage equality forces are stuck on their own 10 yard line with two minutes left on the clock, only one time out left , down by nine points and their quarterback is playing injured.

But, as we also saw this past weekend, the fortunes of any team can be turned around in the last two minutes.  So we need to watchful of the decision soon to come out of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which could be the first appellate decision against marriage equality.  If that is the case, SCOTUS will most likely need to take up the issue of marriage equality for a full hearing.  I just hope it doesn't come down to the that.