Is he gay? Is she gay? We ask it all the time, sometimes as playful speculation, sometimes out of curiosity, sometimes with mean spirit. So to the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court who this week ran a Pass on the same-sex marriage rulings of the 4th, 7th and 10th circuit courts, I have to ask, Are they gay?
This week, and probably permanently, the answer is yes. And so is every American.
Just as our nation embraced equal rights for women and minorities, we all are gay, women and black. Our laws define us, if even by force, and so we move forward, wearing the shoes of the disenfranchised.
To the High Court's historic no-decision, reaction and play action was fast and furious:
Some were celebrating: House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), ran a Challenge on the SCOTUS no-call: "As we celebrate the cascade of decisions in favor of marriage equality, we must renew our determination to sweep discriminatory laws into the dustbin of history.
Some were teaching: By way of the Label and Recast, Walter Dellinger, a solicitor general in the Clinton White House reminded us, "There is something called the 'normative power of the actual.' People get used to an idea over time, and they come to think it's right."
Some were resisting: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), used a Screen and Mirror to foment fury: "The Court is making the preposterous assumption that the people of the United States somehow silently redefined marriage in 1868 when they ratified the 14th Amendment."
Whatever your leanings, this was the week where playmakers put a pin on the Pass, the play that technically does nothing, but through strategic inaction influences change and, we can only hope, the erasure of a long-held inequity.
Graphic courtesy of Playmaker Systems, LLC