Appeals Court: DOMA Unconstitutional (Next Up, SCOTUS?)

Three judges–two Republican appointees and one Democrat appointee–have issued a narrowly defined ruling, saying that the Defense Of Marriage Act unconstitutionally deprives gay men and lesbians of the rights afforded to heterosexuals. It does not address the legality of same sex marriage at a national level, but it is a start.

In celebration, a verse I wrote for New Hampshire, the first day its Civil Union law came into effect. Since that verse, NH has legalized same sex marriage; with any luck, the Supremes will put the cherry on top with federal recognition as well…

(yes, you’ve seen it before. Hush–I’m busy, and it’s one of my favorites.)

I had insufficient warning
When I stumbled out this morning
Past a half a dozen candidates, each stumping for my vote;
When I looked, the morning paper
Had a headline of some caper
Or the record-breaking snowfall—really, nothing there of note.

So I grabbed my trusty shovel
To plow out my “home sweet hovel”
When I noticed something different—something didn’t quite feel right.
There was snow, and politicians,
But some change in the conditions
Made me wonder if my marriage had the sanctity it might.

So I checked the sanctitometer
And struggled not to vomit—her
“Conventional morality in danger” light was on!
Now a grim new dawn was breaking
And I couldn’t stop my shaking
‘Cos the morally upstanding world I trusted now was gone!

I considered seeking shelter
As I watched the helter-skelter
Of the politicians canvassing the noble Granite State;
I heard one of them disparage
Civil Unions, or Gay Marriage
As the reason for the panic—then I thought, more clearly, “wait!”

All this rattling of sabers
Is about my friends and neighbors;
These are people whom I know, and who have lived here all along
If these folks are who they’re blaming
It’s just pre-election gaming
And between the politicians and my friends, I know who’s wrong.

If our morals are declining
As the candidates keep whining
I propose a different theory to explain why this is so:
An invasive mass of liars
With their speeches, signs, and flyers,
Slinging mud and kissing babies in a dog-and-pony show.

Soon the voting will be over
And the state, from Keene to Dover,
And from Lancaster to Nashua, will heave a weary sigh;
With the moral issue buried
Now my neighbors can get married
And the Granite State will mean it when it says “Live Free or Die!”


  1. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    Yay for the move toward equal rights! Baby steps, but still progress, right?

  2. The Lorax says

    I’m sure the times never changed fast enough for any other group in history seeking equality. It is only with historical hindsight that we can read a book about their struggles and put it down after 2 hours. In reality, their every waking moment was, like as not, consumed by fear, doubt, and anxiety. Every action was judged, “Will this stir the pot too much? Will it push us past the tipping point?”. And this lingered for years.

    Right now, we are in the middle of that. It’s not changing fast enough, it never does… but it is changing, steadily, stubbornly. It may sound cliche, but the tortoise will beat the hare.

  3. says

    Forgive me if I post my most recent poem here:

    Wrong (again)

    “There’s nothing wrong with slavery!” you cried with all your might.
    “It’s sanctioned in the Bible!” (And by God, you know, you’re right.)
    ’Twas tradition that the upper class owned property like slaves.
    You treat your blacks quite well, you claimed (as long as they behaved).
    But giving slaves their freedom? To treat them just like white?
    You cried that it’s not natural! It’s unheard-of! It’s not right!

    You explained the color of their skin was proof of lower race.
    You held no malice towards them, they just had to know their place.
    Slavery was tradition. The way it’d always been.
    ’Twas written in the Bible, so to change it was a sin!
    You thought the color of your skin made you superior,
    But the rest of us all saw you as the racist that you were.

    With women, you were adamant: they shouldn’t work or vote!
    “Women must submit to men!” was a favorite Bible quote.
    ’Twas tradition they made babies, that they cooked and kept the home;
    A woman’s place was certainly not equal to your own!
    Men always ran the household: in their homes, they were the king.
    It’d been this way for all these years, why change a single thing?

    You explained how fragile women were, not logical or smart.
    You held no malice towards them, they just had to know their part.
    To rule was tradition. The way it’d always been.
    ’Twas written in the Bible, so to change it was a sin!
    You thought God made it obvious that they’re inferior,
    But the rest of us all saw you as the sexist that you were.

    And now we come to marriage ’tween two people who are gay.
    Stop right there! Just let me guess at what you’re gonna say!
    You’ll talk about tradition ’tween a man and woman pair;
    You’ll quote your Bible verses (homophobic and unfair).
    You’ll say it isn’t natural. That being gay’s a sin.
    (You can no more choose your gayness than the color of your skin.)
    Armed with hateful Bible quotes, you feel so justified;
    (Cuz you’ve never known the Bible to have been on the wrong side!)

    You’ll explain you really love gays. You really really do!
    You hold no malice towards them, they should just be straight, like you.
    Marriage is tradition. The way it’s always been.
    It’s written in the Bible, so to change it is a sin!
    You think that you’re so righteous, such a moral superstar,
    But the rest of us all see you as the bigot that you are.

    You make the same old arguments! Forgive me if I’m shrill:
    ‘Twas discrimination earlier! You’re discriminating still!
    You like to fight ’gainst civil rights, but every time you’re wrong.
    In time the country grows ashamed of the side you’re always on.
    Here’s why you’ll lose this battle (like the other fights you fought):
    It’s pure discrimination!

    You can marry.

    They cannot.


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