new site graphic2

The Deeper Meaning of the Supreme Court's Landmark Ruling

The Homosexual Experience in America

by HEATHER GRAY

On Friday, June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling made the wise decision to make gay marriage legal throughout the country… finally! In his majority opinion statement Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said “that marriage is a “keystone of our social order,” … adding that the plaintiffs in the case were seeking “equal dignity in the eyes of the law” (Liptak). The ruling addressed what has been a long and grueling fight for justice with prevailing discriminatory views that have adversely affected millions in America. It has significantly affirmed the humanity and legal rights of the gay community. In this article I will refer to sexuality in America overall and the older gay male community.

The gay struggle for rights has been one of addressing the time-honored tradition in America of “blaming the victim”. The group doing the blaming has largely been heterosexuals and many Christians who have chosen to adhere to their on-going discrimination against homosexuals. Although, we are now witnessing some changes in both groups – thankfully. The Supreme Court decision, in fact, has finally addressed this problematic heterosexual and Christian bias.

In the early 1980s I was engaged in research at Emory University’s Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Just up the street from Emory on Clifton Road was the headquarters of the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC). Before the 9/11 fiasco, it was easy to walk in and spend time with friends or colleagues at the CDC without constraint, but 9/11 changed all that. Security is now excessively rigid.

But, back to the 1980s.

My friend Dr. William Darrow – otherwise known as “Bill” of course – worked in the Sexually Transmitted Disease section at the CDC. I would often talk with him after work hours to explore what was happening in the world of STD’s. Bill is a sociologist and “yes” he is the great nephew of the renowned attorney, Clarence Darrow, of the 1925 “Scope’s Monkey Trial”.

One night when I was with Bill at the CDC, he took a long break to talk with a 70 year old California male. The fellow had called to ask questions about the herpes he had contracted after having sex. As there was no cure for herpes, Bill told me he couldn’t decide whether to tell the fellow he was sorry or to congratulate him. I think he did neither. Nevertheless, that night we also talked about my Masters degree in sociology.

As I was seeking a topic for my Master’s thesis, Bill said, “Heather, why not use this data I have here in my office? It is a national survey of 4,212 older gay males (over 50) and the largest sample ever assembled of this group. It hasn’t been...

CounterPunch’s Top Stories
ROBERT HUNZIKER
Fukushima’s still radiating, self-perpetuating, immeasurable, and limitless, like a horrible incorrigible Doctor Who monster encounter in deep space. Fukushima...
JOSHUA FRANK
‘Tis the season once again. You should know it well by now: a “progressive” Democrat running in the primaries...
DOUGLAS VALENTINE
Lia Tarachansky’s heart-wrenching documentary, On the Side of the Road, reveals the Big Lie at the heart of...
MICHAEL SCHWALBE
Twenty-eight years ago Russell Jacoby argued in The Last Intellectuals that the post-WWII expansion of higher education in...
HENRY A. GIROUX
In spite of their differing perceptions of the architecture of the totalitarian superstate and how it exercised power...
MIKE WHITNEY
“Washington is not looking for peace or war. They’re looking for domination. If they can achieve domination peacefully...
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Washington’s attack on world soccer is following the script of Washington’s attack on the Russian-hosted Sochi Olympics.  The...
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The lies about Russia and Russia’s president have grown so thick, threatening the world with devastating war, that...
PAUL STREET
Priceless Beneath progressive pretentions, Barack Obama the national political phenomenon has never been anything other than a tool of...
Visit our archives for even more interesting articles from past CounterPunch authors.