The Confederate flag has finally been recognized for the truth of its symbolism: hate, white supremacy and slavery. Unfortunately, it required the murder of nine innocent people in South Carolina to restart the discussion to begin removing this disgusting symbol from official state sanction. It is long past due that the Confederate flag, and all of the other monuments to an embarrassing and despicable past, are relegated to museums and history books.

Those that say it represents Southern pride and heritage either do not know why the Southern states seceded from the United States or else they believe in slavery and white supremacy. People that say the Civil War was about “states’ rights” and had nothing to do with slavery are under the delusion of revisionist history. Look up the statements of secession of the Southern states and one will see that slavery and white supremacy were the major reasons for secession.

The Supreme Court also upheld a challenge to anti-discrimination language in the Fair Housing Act regarding disparate impact. If the Texas challenge had prevailed, minorities not deemed suitable by others would continue to be discriminated against without any consequence for such actions.

Another result from last week was the Supreme Court again upholding the Affordable Care Act as law of the land. The case, resting on four words from a document over 900 pages long, was flimsy. While I am pleased with the outcome, I should state that I prefer a single-payer system.

And finally, the Supreme Court stated that the right to marry is a fundamental right granted by the U.S. Constitution and that same-sex couples cannot be denied the right to marry.

Based on polls, a majority of Americans approve of same-sex marriage, including a majority of those that are religious. It is only the extreme right-wing fundamentalist types that object and continue to spout that their religious views should be imposed on everyone because those views take precedence over the Constitution.

No one is forcing churches to marry same-sex couples. No one is forcing you to change your mind about same-sex marriage. No one is forcing you to be friends with LGBT people. In short, no one is being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

A business open to the public does not count, despite “deeply held religious beliefs” by the owners. A business, unlike a church, must adhere to public accommodation and nondiscrimination laws. If you want to discriminate, do not open a business that serves the public.

Yes, the week that brought these events was a good one.

Michael Polito