Apparently all the awesome things happen when I’m away from my computer for a few days. So, awesome things recap:
First, DOMA and Prop 8 were both repealed on Wednesday. Making up for their really stupid decision on Tuesday, the Supreme Court made two excellent decisions in both cases. But what do these rulings actually mean?
I should preface this by saying that I am not a legal scholar. I will refer you to Anne over at JT’s blog for the details. Basically, the repeal of Prop 8 means that same-sex marriage is now legal in California. Thousands of couples from across the state have been converging on San Francisco to get married. It’s truly heartwarming.
The DOMA case is a bit trickier. The repeal of DOMA means that the federal government must recognize legal same-sex marriages. Same-sex couples are now entitled to all the federal benefits that opposite-sex couples currently receive. However, same-sex marriage is still illegal in a lot of places, and same-sex couples in those states are unaffected by DOMA’s repeal. In short, we still have a lot of work to do.
The other awesome news this week was Wendy Davis filibustering a Texas anti-abortion bill for eleven straight hours. The bill would have banned all abortions after twenty weeks and shut down nearly all the abortion clinics in the state. However, the bill didn’t pass due to the actions of State Senator Wendy Davis, who filibustered the bill for eleven hours.
For people used to filibusters in the US Senate, an eleven hour filibuster may not seem like a big deal. But in Texas, it requires that you talk without stopping, sitting down, eating, drinking, or using the bathroom for eleven hours. Wendy Davis deserves a fucking award.
But she didn’t do it alone. Republicans used a procedural trick to cut her filibuster short an hour and a half before the deadline, so fellow Democrats did everything they could think of to delay the bill even more. Then, with fifteen minutes until midnight, this happened:
What you hear in the first fifteen seconds of that video is Senator Leticia Van de Putte asking, “Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry: At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?” Directly following that question were the cheers of the dozens of onlookers in the gallery. They started cheering, and they didn’t stop for fifteen minutes. They cheered until they drowned out the entire Senate chamber. They made their voices heard, and they won.
There are a few other aspects to the story, like how Governor Rick Perry is an asshole, or how Texas Republicans are dishonest sacks of shit, but I’d prefer not to focus on those. Instead, I’ll point you to the Amazon page selling the brand of sneakers Wendy Davis wore during her filibuster. Read the reviews, and be happy.