Comments from Larry Woodard, Oct. 18th, 2012 9:10 am
Just read your blog post on same-sex marriage. Loved it!
It’s similar in some ways to my own. I’ve yet to meet someone who views the issue the same way I do, but, I’ll admit, my thoughts on the subject are rather nuanced. Here are my thoughts on the subject, tell me what you think. You’re a very open-minded person and I think you enjoy a good intellectual exchange. I hope I don’t offend, but, I’d value your opinion.
I too am against same-sex marriage, but for a different reason! The main argument against same-sex marriage by those that oppose the idea, is that marriage is a “sacred” institution. All of the bills introduced in the various legislatures around the country use the same basic language about “protecting the sanctity of marriage” I think, however, they are missing the point of that argument. I happen to agree with them on that point. Marriage is a sacred institution, and as such, the government is barred from establishing any law promoting or infringing on religious rights or institutions. I believe the federal government (via the 1st Amendment) and all state governments (via 14th & 1st Amendments) should be expressively forbidden from issuing a “marriage certificate” to ANY two individuals. In short, it is simply unconstitutional.
That said, there is a compelling state interest (i.e. estate planning, medical decision-making, etc.) in some sort of civil unions or civil contracts. To deny a segment of society the right to participate in any part of our legal system based solely on race, gender, creed, national origin or sexual orientation is simply a civil rights violation. End of story!
To me, this is the only LEGALLY consistent argument that can be made on the subject. If marriage is sacred”, the government can’t touch it. If it’s not, then no one can be excluded. I’m not sure why I’ve never heard anyone else make that argument. I can only ague that there is some reason why. I always allow for the possibility that I might be wrong, especially when I’m the only one saying something.
What do you think?
Comments from Larry Woodard, October, 18th, 2012 4:13 p.m.
Turns out that my argument is not completely different.
I haven’t read the decision of the court, but it still appears that they are only arguing the point based on the equal protection clause, not the striking directly at the heart of the matter, which is the foundation for the DOMA law is based on religious/moral concept. Once that argument is removed, and it should be, it is simply an equal protection clause issue. This will get to the Supreme Court, probably in the next term or two. Maybe someone will figure that out before they get there!
By the way, with regard to your assertion that majority rule should always apply in a democracy, please consider the words of my all time favorite Americans, political genius and President, Thomas Jefferson, during his inaugural address in 1801:
“Though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable;…the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”
At certain times in our Nation’s history, the majority considered slavery a “righteous institution” and women were considered to not be intelligent enough to vote. I believe that as an American, if you feel the majority is wrong, it your civic duty to make it known. As the Irish statesman, Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,”