Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gay Rights, States Rights

The Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is in trouble. A federal judge ruled last week that Massachusetts law trump federal law in this case
“This court has determined that it is clearly within the authority of the commonwealth to recognize same-sex marriages among its residents, and to afford those individuals in same-sex marriages any benefits, rights and privileges to which they are entitled by virtue of their marital status,” Judge Tauro wrote in the case brought by Ms. Coakley. “The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state.” (NY Times)
I agree. The US Constitution is silent concerning marriage. It has always been a state issue. Besides being a victory for gay rights, it is also a victory for states rights.

Religious conservatives are not happy
Chris Gacek, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, a leading conservative group, said he was disappointed by the decision.

“The idea that a court can say that this definition of marriage that’s been around forever is irrational is mind-boggling,” Mr. Gacek said. “It’s a bad decision.”
I agree with Gacek, but he is on very thin constitutional ice. 

In a related article, The Times goes a gathering opinions from Tea Party Americans. They come away disappointed. Everyone they talked to said hooray for states rights while expressing no support for gay marriage. Nuance from neanderthals... Who’d a thunk it?

Here are the issues going forward:
Now that the right of a state to set it’s own marriage laws has been reaffirmed, will a good conservative state like Utah be allowed to ban gay marriage? No way. A very good case can be made that this is a civil rights issue.

Even if a state were to fend off such lawsuits, Article 4 Section 1 of the US Constitution would force one state to accept another state’s marriage license.

Could the government eventually compel a church to perform gay marriages? Could a church be prosecuted via US Code or face a discrimination lawsuit for refusing?

A Semantic Criticism 
Many believe the term “marriage” should be reserved for traditional man-woman relationships, since that is the historical meaning of the word. I would like to see the states get out of “marriage” altogether and instead focus on administering civil partnerships and sorting out the rights therein.  Leave marriage to churches and synagogues.

Elton John agrees:

“What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage… I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership… You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.” -- Elton John  (Big Hollywood)


Ray said...

Good piece here SF....

My hardliner take is civil unions are and should be the only alternative to the 'gay couple', and that's that. I'm sick of this intrusion into America's homes which includes 'full steam network TV indoctrination' of children, pretending as if 'every other home on main street USA' has homosexuals in it. LIES.

Next thing they'll remake Andy Griffith and Barney will be gay. That's where we're at.Rewriting history as progressives do to forge their fake future.

When the rubber hits the road we're talking about 2% of the population.Next one will be NAMBLA looking for child unions and child marriage returning us to the early mountain inbred days.Decadence 101.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

The question also pertains to the "benifits' or lack therof (higher taxes) in defintion of marrigae or if a civil union gets the same treatment.

This further goes to the question of "special rights" which takes away from the notion of 'All created equal'.

These laws had better be thought thru, all the way thru before being enacted.

WomanHonorThyself said...

the libtards wont rest until they destroy any semblance of morality............but hey its almost Friday!!:)

TKZ said...

WOW!! I 100% agree with Elton John on this one. (I never thought I would say that! LOL)

Mr Beardsley said...

So if conservative folks, living in conservative states, don't believe or want to extend the same benefits to homosexual couples, they can just bend over and take it up the keister? And if they choose to work on the state or federal level, it is of no use because either way they are screwed? Well yay for the power of state rights. Obviously this is a great win for a great system!

I'm curious why homosexual couples need civil partnerships? They obviously will not be happy until they are 100% the same as heterosexual couples. Marriage has benefits to encourage people to start and maintain families. Families are a good thing for society and should be encouraged. Why should couples that don't lead to families be encouraged?

Can you remove all moral and religious principals from a country that was founded on, and grew up using those principals, and still expect a positive result?

Sure let's make marriage a superficial and semantic title. I mean what can go wrong?

Belief in God and our rights being given to us by God is just a relic for religious people, we should totally just make that a semantic argument. What downsides are there of not rooting society and government in moral and religious principles?

Finntann said...

SF: My first thought reading this was "Woo Hoo for states rights", I was happy to see you came to the same conclusion by paragraph 3.

TKZ...never thought I would say that either.

Mr. Beardsley the constitutional concept is freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, something lost on most liberals. Enacting religious principals into law is fine, so long as they are your religious principals. But what happens if you are not in the majority, be it Christian or otherwise? That is the reason for the separation of church and state and the guarantee of religious freedom.

Shall we enact laws limiting portion size in restaurants based on biblical interpretations of gluttony? How about laws regarding leisure time based on religious principals regarding sloth? Who gets to make the interpretation? Protestants? Baptists? Catholics? Fundamentalists?

Do we go back to adultery being a state crime? There would undoubtedly be an awful lot of scarlet letters running around today. Enacting those principals agreed to by the majority would in essence be tyranny of the majority, one reason we have constitutional protections and something our founders warned of and why you have inalienable rights.

Enacting religious principal into law is a dangerous path, our founders, having experienced religious discrimination went to great lengths to avoid any type of theocracy. I too believe that marriage is predominately a religious institution that has been adopted by the state. Imposing specific theological beliefs onto that institution violates our basic principals. The core issue is not homosexual marriage, but the advantages granted in heterosexual marriage giving one part of the population benefits that another does not receive. Civil unions are a logicial compromise to eliminate the unfair advantage, giving 2% (or less) of the population equal treatment, the alternative is rescinding the benefit from the other 98%.

Which alternative do you prefer? Or would you prefer to continue the status quo and not give a legal and tax advantage to a segment of the population based upon your religious beliefs? The question is which is the greater sin? Tolerating behaviour that you believe to be wrong or imposing your beliefs upon others?

Most Rev. Gregori said...

I am with Chicago Ray.

If states rights trump federal law in this matter, then the government cannot have it both ways. Same sex marriage CANNOT be made a civil right since there is nothing in the Constitution granting homos the right to sodomize each other, or whatever it is they do. So no state should be forced to accept a gay marriage performed in another state as valid and legal in their state.

Also, if the federal government were to tell me that I HAVE to perform same sex marriages or unions, I would not do it no matter what.

Leticia said...

This is almost impossible to type out but I must agree with the Elton John *gag*

The Left and the homosexuals are just determined to destroy the sanctity of marriage and any thing else that resembles wholesome morality. That is their agenda. They will push and keep pushing till the conservatives will finally rise up and fight back.

Otherwise, we will be forced to accept their twisted definition of marriage.

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