But he did more than that. In eloquent phrases, and with precise, relentless logic, he advanced the cause of queer people–finding that the facts set before him lead inescapably to one fundamental conclusion: same-gender sexual attraction is constitutionally protected. That is farther than any court in the land has gone. It is revolutionary.
Of course, ultimately, the Supreme Court–maybe even an federal Appeals Court–may not agree, but the legal landscape has been forever changed. This opinion matters.
One of the reasons it matters is that future litigants can point to discrimination against LGBT folks as sex discimination–not just a violation of the right of privacy (which is the basis of Lawrence v. Kansas, the anti-sodomy law case, and other decisions in our favor).
Yes, it is time to celebrate. A federal court has declared what we have known all along, that what God creates in and through the love and commitment of LGBT people is as favored as what other people create. And more–that we are inherently, consitutionally good, the same way all other people are good.
Thank you, Judge Walker, the plaintiffs who brought the suit, and the lawyers for equality in this case, Ted Olsen and David Boies–and all those in California who have persevered for 40 years (beginning with MCC’s Troy Perry in 1970) for marriage equality.
And thank you, God, for helping us keep hope alive.
Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline is President of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, an interfaith organization of gay and straight clergy and lay people working for equality for LGBT Virginians. Read more of his thoughts on faith and spirituality on his personal blog.