Sat March 30, 2013
Strange Fruit: SCOTUS Takes on Marriage Equality; Filmmaker Byron Hurt on 'Soul Food Junkies'
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two marriage equality cases. The Prop 8 case is a constitutional challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage. The justices seem divided on the issue and there are even hints the case could get thrown out on standing. Tuesday's arguments brought us gems like whether gay marriage is newer than cell phones, whether it's harmful to children, and whether couples older than 55 should be able to marry even if they can't procreate.
The DOMA case, heard on Wednesday, is a challenge to 1996's Defense of Marriage Act, which legally defined marriage as between "one man and one woman as husband and wife." The future of this case also seems uncertain, although many folks think it has a better chance to swing in favor of marriage equality. In Wednesday's session, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg coined the term "skim-milk marriage" to mean a union that is seen as less-than in the eyes of the law.
To give us some background on these cases—and help us understand the legal intricacies of each—we were joined this week by Michael Aldridge, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kentucky.
Also on our minds this week was food justice. Filmmaker Byron Hurt was in Louisville for screenings of his latest work, Soul Food Junkies, which looks at the effects of soul food on health. Hurt grew up eating soul food and formed the emotional connections to it so many of share, but when his father's health started declining he decided to look into why we eat what we do, and why so many of the health problems that disproportionately affect African Americans are preventable.
We spoke to Hurt this week about some of the systemic factors that lead to poor nutrition, from soul food to fast food, and how food justice activists are trying to make healthier food more accessible and affordable in working-class black communities.