We are All Now Safer in our Freedom

On the morning of June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a basic right, across the United States. The ruling in the case known by the name Obergefell v. Hodges was 5 to 4, showing a tightly split Court, but effectively invalidating all bans on same-sex marriage, whether brought into effect by legislation, referendum, executive order or lower court rulings. 

Here’s why this is good for people of all political and religious persuasions: 

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Fear of Difference is Opposition to Democracy

The United States of America is a nation of immigrants. It is a nation that has wrestled with vicious undercurrents of racism and xenophobia, and has emerged ever more democratic, generally trending toward a more perfect union representing the foundational ideals that were, in the 18th century, so far out of reach, but so necessary as core aspirations. And over time, it is a nation that has become richer, stronger and more democratic, by getting closer to those foundational ideals.

In advocating for the most effective way to form a new democratic nation in Argentina, Juan Bautista Alberdi wrote that Argentina should follow the example of the United States and encourage major waves of immigration, because the resulting society, with a large population, with diverse backgrounds and a commitment to building something new, will make for a more sustainable and democratic republic.

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Wisconsin Centrists Should Propose Bipartisan Bill

The state of Wisconsin has become “ground zero” —in the words of the protest movement there— in the struggle to defend over a century of progress in workers’ rights. On Saturday, over 60,000 people were estimated to have rallied at the state capitol, and Sunday’s crowds were said to be the biggest to date. More protests are called for this week, and Gov. Walker’s opponents are now organizing a recall campaign against legislators who support his proposed legislation.

The labor unions who have offered major concessions in order to reach a negotiated compromise on the proposed reforms are standing astride the broad political center. They are showing that citizenship is rooted in the willingness to listen to one’s opponents and to find shared solutions. The governor’s refusal to do the same shows his aim to rule by executive fiat. He is setting himself up as a notorious adversary of the democratic process.

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