We landed at Baltimore, sat on the tarmac for a little bit, said ‘I do.'
March 23, 2015 7:09 AM   Subscribe

Buzzfeed profiles Jim Obergefell, the widower whose case will be heard, among others, at the Supreme Court in next month. posted by roomthreeseventeen (26 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
He really sounds like a decent person and I hope he prevails. In contrast to the plaintiffs in the other big case in front of the Supreme Court this year.
posted by TedW at 7:24 AM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Mod note: A few comments removed, maybe let's try not to kick this off in a needlessly uncharitable way.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:49 AM on March 23, 2015

(maybe a mod could replace?)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:56 AM on March 23, 2015

Mod note: Done!
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:58 AM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just heartbreaking. All he wants is acknowledgement of the commitment they made together, and that is too much to ask. I hope he prevails in his case.
posted by xingcat at 8:31 AM on March 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

The facts are kind of like a law-school exam fact-pattern. Jim and John flew from State A into State B's jurisdiction and briefly touched down to take advantage of State B's favorable legal regime, They then returned to State A. Must State A recognize State B's law?
posted by resurrexit at 8:48 AM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Well, yes. Full faith and credit and whatnot.

Oh and you know, basic human rights and equality.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:54 AM on March 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

feckless fecal fear mongering: "Well, yes. Full faith and credit and whatnot."

Not necessarily! If you go to State B specifically to circumvent State A's laws, you are not necessarily entitled to "full faith and credit," particularly when it comes to marriage, as the most common reason for going to second state to get married was to circumvent your home state's required test for syphilis (presumably so your innocent and virginal spouse wouldn't find out you had syphilis and had infected him/her until too late). Other marriage-rule-circumventions that may or may not be entitled to recognition in your home state are consanguinity rules, where you want to marry too close a cousin/uncle/aunt, or an adopted child. Or to adopt your spouse as a child to dodge inheritance issues. And, prior to Loving v. Virginia, dodging miscegnation statutes.

That's why it actually MATTERS whether we have nationwide recognition of and constitutional protection for same-sex marriage, and that we need to Loving v. Virginia this; and why gay couples in Montana or whatever can't just all get married on vacation in Boston and come home and have everything be okay.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:02 AM on March 23, 2015 [24 favorites]

Mighty dusty room here. It seems unfathomable to me that the Supreme Court could rule against this but so hard to guess what they'll do. The human cost is huge if they do the wrong thing.
posted by leslies at 9:21 AM on March 23, 2015

I want to think that love beats hate. I want to be in that world.
posted by maxsparber at 9:41 AM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

In some ways I'm going to be sorry to see all this nonsense overturned. It's such a bright-line obvious thing that should be undone, this marriage discrimination, that you can easily point anyone at it and say "why shouldn't we do this?" It's almost unbelievable that there's people willing to have their names associated with this fight to keep a name off a death certificate, it's so pointless of a battle with no clear harm or costs to society. You have a very clear picture of people who are harmed on the side calling for equality but the other side has a much more nebulous concept of... word purity? I don't even know what to call the striving there. You don't even have to get into wrangling over this false assertion of what Marriage Historically Means - there's a very easy "yeah, so what" embraced by the younger generation and people who have come to know their gay friends and family.

Once that's put behind us - and thank grodd I don't believe in jinxes because it's hard for me not to read the tea leaves such that the Supremes are going to call this my way - we get into much more difficult, ambiguous territory. So much of the nation is willing to assert that everything is cool and sexism and racism is over because of legal protections there and presidential candidates and winners. Hey, Ellen has a tv show and can be married - clearly it's all cool for the gays now, rite?

Sometimes I'm scared of being on the other side of this.
posted by phearlez at 9:45 AM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Okay, you know how lately we've had such shit news on all the other human-equality fronts (racial, gender, etc.), while at almost exactly the same time we've been having such amazingly good news from this particular front as it seems like states have been falling all over each other to legalize same-sex marriage in their own state and then the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case?

I've been telling myself that that's because whatever incorporeal mystic Force For The Good that's out there decided that it was going to spend a year or so on that one issue, really giving it a real narrow-spectrum focus, so it could settle just that one issue once and for all - and then when it was done it was gonna go back to everything else again. So a little of whatever mystic mojo that has fueled this will, when it wins, spread back out over us all - maybe a few GamerGaters will be brought to pay restitution, Darren Wilson will lose a civil case to the Browns, and a few other causes will start to make advances forward again.

I live in hope.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:15 AM on March 23, 2015 [4 favorites]

> Sometimes I'm scared of being on the other side of this.

Oh, don't worry - we still have quite a long way to go! Here's a whole thing about which states still lack housing and employment non-discrimination laws and adoption non-discrimination laws, and don't forget the states that currently have or are in the process of passing laws that would allow people to deny service to lgbtq people because they say their religious beliefs tell them to!
posted by rtha at 11:01 AM on March 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

I've never been a big fan of the "advantages" that married people have over single or in-a-relationship-not-legally-acknowledged people, even though I spent over a decade married and found nearly as many negatives as positives. So seeing "gay marriage" as the main beneficiary of the LGBTQ rights movement, I still feel tempted to go all Admiral Akbar and yell out "IT'S A TRAP! They're trying to push you into a version of Traditional Monogomy!" That's why it's so important to note rtha's "long way to go" on the issues that really involve allowing you to live the way you WANT to live, not the way your parents lived.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:23 AM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

that's as may be, oneswellfoop, but it strikes me that there are rather a few people for whom "living as a married couple" is legitimately the way they do want to live, and they just want the rest of the world to accept that that's how they seem themselves, thanks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:38 AM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

The religiously-motivated animus is because if we show even one thread of a theocratic system is harmful nonsense, the whole edifice comes into question. Fear of change (conservatism) is also a piece, but I no longer believe it's the main problem.

SSM is as secular as civil equality for all. They may think so, but this is not for religions to decide *anymore* in the US.

I say this as a very religiously active person who is questioning and unravelling my own cultural system from within, not knowing what will survive (in my own and my immediate community's) practice. At least the system I'm in demands justice *in this world*. If that's all that makes it, that's enough. Dayenu.
posted by Dreidl at 11:41 AM on March 23, 2015

Proud to share Ohio with this guy, and here's a . for his husband.
posted by TreeRooster at 11:47 AM on March 23, 2015

I still feel tempted to go all Admiral Akbar and yell out "IT'S A TRAP! They're trying to push you into a version of Traditional Monogomy!"

Some of us like Traditional Monogamy. Some of us don't. Getting married has nothing to do with sexual exclusivity (e.g. I have two pairs of friends who are not only happily married, they cheerfully jump into bed together or singly with whoever takes their fancy).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:18 PM on March 23, 2015

I think implicit in the “full faith and credit” comment is the concept that a state has to go out of its way to circumvent what is rendered as SOP by law.
And thus is the hypocrisy obvious.
I mean it should go without saying that the bulk of the crowd opposed to gay marriage (apart from having vast reserves of apparently free time … seriously – I mean I get big hunks of time off and way, way, down my list well past “idle time in sandbox video games” and “loiter” is “potentially meddle in people’s lives by asserting my own morality” and that’s because “seriously hassle people legally (far worse than mere meddling) by asserting my own morality” is on the opposition list headed “seriously hassle people seriously hassling people legally by asserting their own morality”) is plugged into the “states rights” and “small government” fashions (and I say fashion because it wasn’t so long ago historically that conservatives were anti-war by principle and liberals were hawks).

So the assertion of privilege there – wanting certain state autonomy and demanding the fed and other states recognize a given right while wanting other states and the fed not to have the right to extend the same to other states on another different, but completely technically similar to systemic operation, right – is as obvious as the position is hypocritical.

To echo Eyebrow’s comment, (of course) it matters, but at this point it’s not establishing the point so much as doing the (legal) clean up.

Which is typically the hardest, dirtiest part of any job.

And to clarify, I don't mean that it's all over .... well, yeah, I do. But that it's all over because in any fight between someone powerful who happens to have extra time on their hands and someone who really, really cares, the less committed always lose. Sooner or later, always.

And, I mean, look at the fight they want to pick. Mess with someone's love of their life? Trojan war? Romeo and Juliet? Ines de Castro and King Pedro? Antony and Cleopatra?
People will go to war, almost any lengths, for someone they love.

That die is cast. It's just unfortunate some people intend to go out of their way to hurt people like this and make the inevitable as painful as possible.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:58 PM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, don't worry - we still have quite a long way to go!

Exactly. I just wonder to what extent people will give themselves a little head-nod and think "well, that's done with, then" and not see/work those issues because of a Big Win.

Doesn't mean I'm not going to take it, and I have spoken before about what I think is the corrosive effect of cynicism in recognizing progress/wins. So I am looking forward to celebrating and then having to buy some more groddamned waffle irons off registries. But watching all the people on about how racism is over had made me more sensitive to concern that less visible suffering is easy for people to look past.
posted by phearlez at 1:07 PM on March 23, 2015

I just wonder to what extent people will give themselves a little head-nod and think "well, that's done with, then" and not see/work those issues because of a Big Win.

To a great extent. We've had marriage recognized here for over a decade. Canadian Blood Services still discriminates against MSM, as do fertility clinics. Kids are still harassed in school; homophobia's still around. Gaybashings happen. (Someone with more expertise can speak to the difficulties confronting queer women). Trans people have major issues coming from the usual asshats about washroom and changeroom usage (to say nothing of how patchwork the provincial governments are regarding what procedures are covered by provincial healthcare plans).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:16 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

jcreigh: "This does nothing to undercut your argument, but gay marriage is legal in Montana since late last year."

MY BAD, great state of Montana! I apologize for maligning you!

(Obviously, I picked a state at random whose marriage policies I didn't know. I probably could have spent the fifteen seconds to google it. Lazy!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:39 PM on March 23, 2015

Rub glitter on your face and say five Hail Judys.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:25 PM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

My prediction: Ginsburg, Breyer, Kennedy, Kagan, and Sotomayor in favor, Kennedy writes the opinion.
posted by bile and syntax at 4:34 PM on March 23, 2015

That love occurs within our species, is the only thig that gives me hope for us. Best to these men who dared to love, did love, and to the one living who still loves, and has hope for closure.
posted by Oyéah at 8:16 PM on March 23, 2015

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