STATESIDE STORIES: Two Flags

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By Mary Foran 

Gay Marriage Wins in the Supreme Court
Gay Pride demonstrators around the country celebrated the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 States. The decision, 5-4, means that bans on gay marriage will be overturned in the next 3 weeks.
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Many Christian Bible-based groups objected to the new ruling, citing Biblical teachings against sodomy as the reason for their disapproval of same-sex relations.
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The Court’s decision was based on the  phrase “equal protection under the law” which they deemed as meaning that gays could not be discriminated against in the age-old institution of marriage. Objectors claimed that the institution of marriage should only be between a man and a woman. not people of the same sex.
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TWO FLAGS gay demonstration Washington DC 2013 vua Creative Commons

Gay demonstration in Washington DC

The decision rocked the world in which many countries still see gay marriage as against the law. But pro-gay marriage forces suggested that the US decision could change attitudes around the world in a way that would be positive for their long struggle with the world’s laws.

Homophobes were shocked at the historic decision and suggested it meant chaos in the American family. But polls have shown that the American public has softened its stance on the matter and would consider the change as the law of the land.
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Marriage, as an ancient rite, has its pros and cons. Women have always been considered the junior partner in a marriage situation, having to bow to the whims of husbands who may or may not cherish them.
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So one wonders, why this yen to marry among same-sex partners? Well, perhaps the benefits of marriage outweigh the difficulties, and gays want the same chance at failure as anyone else.
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To the new same-sex couples then, I wish them luck on the rocky road to long-term relationships and “equal protection under the law.”
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Images
Featured image: Ted Eylan,  Flickr/creative Commons
Gay demonstration 2013 via Creative Commons
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TWO FLAGS confederate by eyeliam-flickr creative commons

Gov. Nikki Haley: “Take down this flag”

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Confederate  Flag Removal
AP writes that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley(R) has finally called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State Capitol. This reaction comes in the wake of the vicious attack by a young 21 year old white man who allegedly shot nine black members of a Church in Charleston. The young white man used the flag as inspiration for his mind-set of white supremacy.
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Haley said that “150 years after the end of the Civil War, the time has come” for such a move. The remarks were met with rousing applause from both Democrat and Republican lawmakers. “That flag,” she added,”while an integral part of the past, does not represent the future of our great state.”
TWO FLAGS Emanuel_African_Methodist_Episcopal_(AME)_Church_Corrected

Crime scene

State House Speaker Jay Lucas was quoted as saying that last week’s “terrorizing act of violence shook the very core of every South Carolinian.” He added, “Moving South Carolina forward from the terrible tragedy requires a swift resolution of the issue.”
A growing number of religious and political leaders said they would push for the flag’s removal. According to the White House, President Barack Obama respects the state of South Carolina’s authority to decide the issue, but believes that the flag belongs in a museum.
Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr.(D) has said,”The flag got appropriated by hate groups.” He concluded,”We can’t put it in a public place where it can give oxygen to hate-filled people.”
For the nine dead after the Charleston Church shooting, discussion of the fate of the Confederate flag comes a bit too late.
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Images
Confederate flag on top of the South Carolina State House by Eyeliam, Flickr/Creative Commons
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church by Cal Sr (https://www.flickr.com/people/13147394@N05), CC By 2.0