Gay Marriage=Equality: Chuck Bennett, Sam Champion, David Boies,Theodore Olson Each Understand Why


Today three stories popped out at me on separate news sites.  But when they are all put together they underscore one large truth.  It is time for gay marriage in America to be legal.  There is no more reason to deny this constitutional right to a segment of this nation than it would be to deny it to your brother, uncle, co-worker, or neighbor.

First comes the article from Frank Bruni in The New York Times.

If you live for 80 years, Chuck Bennett told me, you see things you never imagined. Crazy, fantastical stuff.       

A man on the moon. “Amazing,” he said.       

The Soviet Union’s disintegration. “Also amazing.”       

And on Nov. 6, if the polls are right and his hope is fulfilled, the people of Maine may pass a referendum for same-sex marriage, which no state has adopted by popular vote before. 

“That’s equally amazing to me,” he said. Ten minutes later, he circled back to say it again. “I would like to reiterate how amazing it is.”       

Bennett was born in 1932 and grew up in Brooklyn without anything but slurs and clinical terms to describe his attraction to other men. In the late 1950s, he was forced out of the Navy for being gay.       

He never found a long-term romantic partner, thwarted in part by a disapproving society with no obvious role models for him, and he bought his dream house on the ocean here 15 years ago with two close friends, because he didn’t want to grow old alone and didn’t expect to meet anyone special, not so late in the game.       

“You know that old saying, Born 50 years too soon?” he asked me. “I think I do feel something of that.”

On the legal front of this issue comes an interview with two of the main players who will carry the game to the Supreme Court, and make a strong effort at winning gay marriage for Americans.  David Boies, and Theodore Olson have the weight of so many on their shoulders, and I have long had faith they will prevail.  I also have faith there will be one conservative on the court who will return to a classical understanding of being a conservative jurist, and rule for gay marriage using the Constitution as his guide.

“We believe the Supreme Court will get it right. David and I are writing no justice of this court off,” Olson continued. “We have a little joke—David will ensure that we get the ones that votes his way on Bush vs. Gore, and I’ll get the side of the court that I got, so it will be unanimous.”

As for how to convince Justice Scalia and other conservatives to support the issue of marriage equality, Boies noted that Justice Scalia has said that his job was not to impose his own personal views, but to enforce the constitutional guarantees that we have. “I think it’s easy to recognize the constitutional guarantee of the right to marry.  What we now have to do is recognize that there’s no basis to discriminate based on sexual orientation,” said Boies. “That is an argument that isn’t Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. It is an argument that appeals to everybody who shares the basic principle that all American do of equality under the law, justice for everybody.”

Finally this morning I read one of those feel-good stories about love found, and the start of a new life together.  The weather anchor on Good Morning America is to wed his boyfriend.

“GMA” weather anchor Sam Champion thanked everyone for the well wishes on his engagement to boyfriend Rubem Robierb.

“I am engaged,” Champion said today on “Good Morning America.” “The amazing response from folks all over the country was just incredible for us. I thank you.”

Champion and Robierb announced Friday that they are engaged to be married. The couple met through mutual friends a few years ago in Miami, where Robierb lives. Born in Brazil, Robierb is a fine-arts photographer who shows his work in Miami, Atlanta, Santa Monica and New York.

“I have met the most wonderful, giving, loving, caring person. I am so, so lucky to have someone like this in my life,” Champion said.

The two plan to wed later this year.

Ben Affleck, who appeared on “GMA” today talking about his new movie “Argo,” said he was “inspired” by Champion’s engagement news.

“I want to congratulate Sam,” Affleck said.  ”It’s to our shame that you can’t get married in every state in the union, but one day I hope you will be able to. It’s very exciting. I was very inspired…a moving, love story.”

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