Wednesday, June 26, 2013

One Victory Down...

Approximately 45 minutes ago, I believe, the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage - that is, whether or not my partner and I, and other lesbians and gay people, are full human beings deserving of the same rights as straight people.  I don't know what the ruling was, because I'm too scared to find out.  This has a huge impact on my life.  If it's bad news, I don't want to be crying alone... so I'm waiting for my partner to come home, so we can either celebrate or cry together.  In the meantime, I need to avoid the Internet, so I don't unintentionally hear the news via someone's reaction on Facebook, or worse.  This is huge news, about my RIGHTS AS A HUMAN BEING, and I can't bear the thought of first finding out about it via a random headline on the Yahoo! mail page, sandwiched in between articles about a funny event at a football game and the best way to grill vegetables.

Dare I hope be optimistic that the Supreme Court will do the right thing this time?  After all, they shockingly (to me) did the right thing earlier this month, when they ruled that 

Corporations cannot patent genes!

Breast Cancer Action (BCAction) was a plaintiff in the Supreme Court case against Myriad Genetics, a company that had (wrongfully, the ACLU argued on behalf of BCAction) patented the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.   When Myriad Genetics held a patent on the genes, it meant that they were the ONLY company legally allowed to test women's BRCA genes to see if they had mutations that put them at risk for breast cancer, and Myriad could sue any other company that dared to try doing that test or doing research with the BRCA genes.  This, of course, meant that Myriad also got to set the price as high as they wanted, which precluded many women from being able to get the test.

But BCAction and others fought long and hard against this injustice, and WON!!!  Read all about it here, at BCAction's website.

I'm thrilled that the Supreme Court had the common sense to rule that corporations cannot own a part of the human body.  It's as silly as claiming to own a sunbeam.  Two of my doctors have suggested, since my breast cancer diagnosis, that I consider having my BRCA genes tested for mutations - because if I test positive, I have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer and might want to have my ovaries removed in a prophylactic surgery.  I had decided that I would not even consider the idea until/unless Myriad's patent was overturned, just on principle, to protest the wrongness of a corporation "owning" a part of my body.  Now that Myriad's patent has been deemed illegal, I will consider the possibility of genetic testing.

Supreme Court, thank you for ruling that my genes belong to me.  Now, please also rule in favor of my right to love and marry the woman that I choose to.  DO THE RIGHT THING!


My partner came home from work.  She, too, had avoided the news all day.  So I braced myself, and we sat down on the couch together and pulled up the NY Times website.  When I saw the headline, I burst into HAPPY tears!


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