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The 'Yeah. Duh. Of course' phase of this fight

by Jeremy Hooper

A U.S. District judge ruled today that Kim Davis, the clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky, who went viral when she was filmed denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples, must issue such licenses or ultimately face some pretty steep consequences:

Judge Orders Kentucky Clerk to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses [AP via ABC News]

Davis' lawyers vow to appeal. Because of course they are. It's likely a fruitless exercise based on the lower court's findings.

At one time this would have been the kind of story that make me raise a hearty, "hell yeah." But now? Now it's something different. Now I can't muster much more than a "Yeah. Duh. Of course."

In another story in the cycle today, whipsmart legal eagle and DOMA hero Roberta Kaplan and her team are vowing to bring down Mississippi's heinous ban on adoption by same-sex couples:

Mississippi Ban on Adoptions by Same-Sex Couples Is Challenged [NYT]

This is the only ban on its kind remaining, and even the former governor who signed it says he regrets doing so. Most anyone who knows anything about gays and the law and the trajectory of such things believes that the ban is as good as gone.

And again, at one time I would have been like, "in your face, opposition!" But now? Now, when considering the prospect of this, the last of these bans to fall, I'm more like, "Yup. Duh. Of course; crossing another off the list."

It's not that I don't care anymore. Indeed, I care about all of these injustices and their righting. I always will. It's just that I, like everyone else paying attention, know that all such injustices are on the way to correction, and soon. And when it comes to something like a clerk issuing licenses, those of us who have already won this fight have little to gain from the sustained wins. I mean, don't get me wrong—it's fun and right and worthy of note. But it's also now the norm. An unchangeable norm here in the U.S.

Once again, I must give the caveat that there are some fights remaining, some fights to come, and perhaps even some small pieces of ground that we will lose. I also must note that the international stage is still a hefty slog. I should proceed to say that anti-LGBT mindsets and biases, as systemic and ingrained as they are, will likely linger in real, hurtful, and even damaging ways for years and years to come. This is all true. Vigilance is pertinent.

Even so, the ground has shifted too much and too fundamentally for the major injustices to linger in law or within our politics. Protections will only increase. The last vestiges of discriminatory laws will fall away. Defiant types with the anti-equality movement will eventually realize that their movement has sold them a bill of goods. At this point, all of our victories are now more like overdue compliance with the notion that we are equal citizens whose rights and protections and benefits don't come with special exceptions, asterisks, or carve outs. There are few chances for those who just now getting with the program to write their own profiles in courage or tout their laudable changes of heart. At this point, you support basic fairness because "Yeah. Duh. Of course."

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