Supreme Court decisions (United States v. Windsor): In light of my recent post about Loving Day, it is preposterous that we are still debating the right of two consenting, non-blood related, adults to marry. This decision, allowing same sex couples who are legally married access to federal benefits, is a giant step forward. But the Court declined deciding the constitutionality of those unions. So for those couples who live in states where same sex marriage is illegal, I guess you're shit out of luck.
Texas House decision: The same men who scream, stomp their feet and proclaim the government must get involved in women's reproductive health issues and make abortions "a thing of the past," are the same men who carry laminated, pocket-sized copies of the Second Amendment.
Trayvon Martin decision (Florida v. George Zimmerman): And we're three for three... I have no words for this verdict. I'm a former criminal defense attorney, so I have strong, not positive, feelings about prosecutors. And those views did not change as I watched the prosecutor deliver an underwhelming closing argument to cap off a weak case. An underlying chant of "reasonable doubt" was the backdrop of most of their theories. Still, a battle raged inside of me.
A young black man was dead. And then his killer was acquitted.
While my heart was heavy and full of anger at the decision, I was not surprised. I believe Trayvon was racially profiled; that Zimmerman saw him, didn't recognize him and thought he was a delinquent. It was inconceivable to Zimmerman that Trayvon could be a resident, or guest, in the gated community. A split second assumption he wouldn't have made if Trayvon was white. But I also believe once he confronted Trayvon and the situation exploded (after all, a young man, who was doing no wrong, was suddenly accosted and questioned by a stranger who wasn't a police officer) Zimmerman feared for his life. And THAT split second decision, not the one before it, is the one that legally matters.
Blame the blanket simplification of the Castle doctrine, the law that told Zimmerman, in his capacity as a resident and neighborhood watch officer, if he believed his life was in danger, he had the right to use deadly force in defense, even if he could have retreated. It's the same law many site if they shoot someone who breaks into their home. Blame the lingering stench of our nation's history, still afraid to have a meaningful dialogue about race and politics. But don't blame the jury. The verdict, itself, is not an indictment of the jury system. I think the women on that jury followed the law, as it was given to them. Requiring them to render a verdict based on what they believe versus what was proven, would make them no better than the Emmett Till or Rodney King juries.
Cory Monteith: Young star of Glee, dead at 31. Like texting/drinking and driving and senseless violence, the celebrity lifestyle is a killer of our young. Seriously, this is a problem.
Tracey Livesay's debut novel, The Billionaire's Socialite Bride, will be published by Entangled Publishing in January 2014. She blogs here on the third Monday of every month. If you like the flavor she's bringing, you can check out her blog, Mimosas at Midnight or Like her Facebook page.
True Love... in black & white.