Third Party & Independents Archives

Equal Protection?

It’s becoming more frustrating to be an American every day, especially one that still believes in equal rights for individuals. Now we learn that South Africa is more enlightened than the United States of America by moving towards ensuring that homosexual citizens who love each other will be granted the same legal rights as heterosexual citizens enjoy.

South Africa, a country with a much more recent history of racial strife and class warfare than the United States, has somehow lifted itself out of that thinking long enough to understand that allowing any two people who love each other to share the same legal classification no matter their gender is the right thing to do.

"When we attained our democracy, we sought to distinguish ourselves from an unjust painful past, by declaring that never again shall it be that any South African will be discriminated against on the basis of colour, creed, culture and sex," Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told parliament.

This is a sentiment that I would love to see adopted here in the United States, it sounds somehow familiar but not very representative of our current political landscape.

The United States of America, with its own history of racial strife and class warfare, has instead been extremely divided on the issue. I believe that there are three distinct reasons why it is so hard for some people to allow, what for many people makes complete sense, from occurring.

Reason #1 : The basic reason, there are some people who are just opposed to things that are different or that they don't understand. Some people find the thought of two people of the same sex 'loving' each other disgusting. Because of this base inability to understand something they don't understand they are willing to deny those people their rights to equal protection under the law.

Reason #2 : Religious. For some reason, which as a former preacher I can't understand, there are those that think the bible says that two people who are of the same sex can't love each other. It is 'against god's will'. Yet, there are only two passages in the bible that even come close to saying this, one is a part of Leviticus that also mentions such things as

Leviticus 19:19: "do not plant your field with two kinds of seed, do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material."

Leviticus 19:27: "do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard"

Leviticus 25:44: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves"

Leviticus 11:10: "But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water you are to detest"

Leviticus 20:27: "a man or woman who is a medium or spiritualist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them"

I think we can all agree that these tenets are no longer put into practice for most Christians.

The other passage is an often misinterpreted passage from Paul, a man who never met Jesus and is responsible for much of what modern Christians term as canon. Jesus himself is never credited with anything related to homosexuality. He did, however, state very clearly that divorces should no longer be allowed. Again, I don't see many problems for continuing to allow divorces for most Christians against the will of Jesus.

Of course, this is all besides the point because while it may be against a person's religion to perform a specific behavior, what kind of arrogance does it take to think that your personal religious beliefs should be made law and all citizens of a country should be forced to follow those tenets?

Reason #3 : Power. Because of the previous two reasons the idea of homosexual marriage becomes a great wedge issue for both sides. While a real compromise could be achieved, as I have blogged about before, neither side wants that to occur because that issue would no longer exist as a means for them to pit voters against each other. So by no means will the two existing parties ever work towards any kind of compromise on this issue (and many others). It’s an either or situation for them, if they win on their terms then they can use the issue as an example of why to KEEP voting for them, if they lose on their terms they can use the issue as an example of why to START voting for them. Compromise is not an option.

So while we allow our two-party system, neither of which represents the interests of most Americans, to drag our country into a stagnant morass of ineptitude, countries that we should either be leading or inspiring are passing us by until we become inconsequential in the view of most humans on the planet.

All because we want to tell two people that they can't legally love each other?

Posted by Rhinehold at November 15, 2006 11:38 PM
Comments
Comment #195324

Welcome to multipolar/global world.

These days, every countries could lead or inspiring the others on some specific topics. I don’t see why US *should* be the country doing it the most.

Afterall, 300 millions of american brains doesn’t give you any decisive advantage over the rest of the world brains at work…
And having more money or weapons doesn’t make any difference on the long term here.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at November 16, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #195327

YAY! Good to see someone facing this issue head-on here. Of course, all those groups like the FRC and Focus on the Family are decrying this move as immoral and, get this, saying that it will increase the problems South Africa has with AIDS. Say WHAT!? Let me make sure I’m crystalline on this issue. AIDS is a disease that is passed along by promiscuity. If two people have it, and they only have sex with each other, no one else will catch it from them. So you pass a law saying that these two people can legally bind themselves into a monogamous relationship, and this makes the problem of AIDS worse……how exactly? Oh yeah, that’s right, because there are all these gay people who are waiting for government acknowledgement of their rights BEFORE they start having their orgies of unprotected sex! Silly me, I forgot about them. Idiots.

Posted by: leatherankh at November 16, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #195406
Rhinehold wrote: While a real compromise could be achieved, as I have blogged about before, neither side wants that to occur because that issue would no longer exist as a means for them to pit voters against each other. So by no means will the two existing parties ever work towards any kind of compromise on this issue (and many others).

Precisely.
Likewise with a vast number of things (e.g. illegal immigration, campaign finance reform, tax reform, war in Iraq, election reform, national debt, etc., etc., etc.), growing in number and severity.

That’s what politicians do.
They divide the voters so that a majority can NEVER exist to hold the politicians accountable.
They fuel the blinding, distracting, circular partisan warfare to pit voters against each other, keep them divided, and unable to ever form a majority to vote them out.

Well, don’t expect OUR government to do anything about this, or the long, long list of problems facing the nation. They don’t solve problems. They create problems and then use them to manipulate others. They only do the bare minimum, if anything.

But, we keep re-electing, rewarding, and empowering them to use and abuse us.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 16, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #195419

Rhinehold,

excellent post. As a former minister, I’m sure you are familiar with the late Reverend William Sloane Coffin’s thoughts on gays. Your article is very reminiscent of his sermons. I completely agree with your position. I hope, one day, we can as a country put aside some of these arcane notions and focus on the fact if two consenting adults love and want to commit their lives to each other, they should be allowed to do so regardless of sexual orientation.

Posted by: Dennis at November 16, 2006 7:01 PM
Comment #195532

Poignantly said, Rhinehold.

I was struck by the idea of how strict interpretation of the Bible leads to complete subversion of the Constitution.

Somewhere, a lesson lays in there.

Posted by: gergle at November 17, 2006 10:45 PM
Comment #195576

Rhinehold,

You ask the question why should someone’s personal religious beliefs dictate policy in the US. I would ask you why you feel that your personal beliefs about homosexuality should overturn the will of the majority. State after state has moved to ban same sex marriage primarily because certain elements of the homosexual rights agenda tried to impose their beliefs on the rest of America through the court system.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 18, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #195586

1LT B,

The country has a driving philosophy of individual liberty and equal protection of it’s citizens under the law. By telling two people that they can’t have the same legal protection as two other people ONLY because of their gender you are violating the constitution. I think you will find that the Supreme Court will be overturning all of these hate-based laws that are going up violating those principles.

As for why I feel that ‘my’ personal beliefs about homosexuality should overturn the will of the majority? Three responses to that.

1) It is not the will of the majority to deny two people who love each other to enjoy the same legal rights as anyone else. They may not want that legal protection to be called ‘marriage’ but that isn’t the same thing and those who want to push their religious views will not differentiate that.

2) I don’t care of 99% of the people in the US want a law in place, if that law violates a) the constitution or b) the guaranteed rights by the constitution to provide equal protection under the law, that law should be struck down as unconstitution and not be allowed. That is the ONLY reason for rights, to protect the minority in the country, not the majority.

3) I have not stated my beliefs on homosexuality, I am not a homosexual nor do I think I’ll be ‘switching’ soon. However, I don’t have the arrogance to think that my views on an act or belief should be instilled by law onto anyone else.

The right to live free and be able to do as you wish in this country as long as you are not harming anyone else is the main philosophy that this country was founded upon and what has been torn down year after year as people try to push their own personal agendas upon everyone else. This is just another example of this.

Are you saying you don’t support the notion of equal protection under the law? If you do, then you should be either fighting to remove all legal rights garnered by a marriage or fighting to ensure that everyone is entitled to those legal rights by entering into a committed relationship with another. I am not saying you have to call that legal protection ‘marriage’ if that offense you for some stupid reason (and it is stupid IMO) but you can’t logically argue against ensuring that someone isn’t given the same legal protection as someone else simply because of their gender or sexual orientation. Try doing that, without emotion or religious dogma, and let’s see how far you get.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #195617

Rhinehold:

I am single. Since I am not dating, currently that makes me either autosexual or non-sexual, I guess. I think I should also have equal rights don’t you? Why should I be forced to enter into a committed relationship to have those rights confered on me?

What rights, exactly are we refering to?

Posted by: gergle at November 18, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #195636

Rhinehold,

I wasn’t arguing against homosexual marriage, but the tactics used in trying to attain it. I am personally against homosexual marriage, though its not very high on any concern list of mine, for religious reasons. Since you ask me to give reasons against homosexual marriage that do not revolve around religion or emotion, I guess I’ll try.

Number 1, it goes against literally thousands of years of tradition and ideas of how to have a well ordered society within Western Culture. Even societies that permitted homosexuality, such as the Greeks and Romans, would never have dreamed of extending marriage to homosexual unions.

Number 2, it goes against centuries of US law and more centuries of the English common law upon which the Constitution is based. I’m from Pennsylvania, and anti-sodomy laws preceded both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and date back to the colonial charter. If it was the belief of the Founders that a prohibition of gay marriage violated equal protection, why were those laws not struck down centuries ago?

Number 3, the state has an interest in marriage, that interest being the procreation and raising of children. Since homosexual unions cannot produce children without some form of intervention, be it a sperm bank, surrogate mother, etc, homosexaul unions do not rise to level of compelling state interest. If the people of a state choose to give these relations that status, through referendum, than so be it, but it is not the place of the courts to do so.

Number 4, prohibitions of homosexual marriage are not equivilent to the type of discrimination that African-Americans faced, for example. I am straight, but looking at me, you have no way of knowing it. A bit different from a black person standing next to me, in that case, there is an obvious difference that only a blind person will not immediately notice.

Number 5 is an expansion of Number 4. Whether or not homosexual attraction is by nature or by choice, engaging in homosexual acts, except in case of rape, is a choice. Based on this, should drug abuse be protected equally as it is a choice? Unless you’re a lunatic washed-up pop star, you can’t change whether or not you were born black or white, homosexuality is at some level, a choice.

Number 6, the acceptance of homosexual relationships establishes a negative precedent legally. The Supreme Court has already stated that the state has no interest in preventing sodomy. What happens when some yokel gets caught having sex with a goat and then cites the case as precedent to say that the state has no interest in preventing bestiality so long as he doesn’t hurt the goat. Will we need to have sex ed expanded to include non-abusive forms of human/animal sex? What about when a polygamist gets caught and cites this case? Will we be allowing harems?

Number 7, what about people like gergle? Is it fair to him/her (sorry gergle, don’t know) to not get a tax write off for choosing not to marry? What about me? I have a girlfriend, should I get a tax write-off for her?

You are quite cavalier in saying that the difference between marriage and/or civil unions means nothing. You casually dismiss thousands of years of human society and history as pointless. I think the onus is on homosexuals to prove some objective good, not just banter about how unfair life is. Arguments about gay marriage are not discriminatory on the basis of gender, the revolve around choice and belief. Homosexual marriage goes beyond tolerance and attempts to force the majority to endorse a practice many find abhorrent. I don’t believe that gays should face discrimination on the job etc, but asking me to endorse something I don’t believe in without even giving me any input, such as in a referendum, is callous and reflects the same arrogance you accuse me of.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 19, 2006 2:48 AM
Comment #195644

Rhinehold,

I had another thought on this issue. Its completely possible, if not likely, that homosexuality has a genetic component or some other biological root. For example, I’ve read that hormone imbalances in the mother’s womb may be a contributing factor in homosexuality amongst men. My question is this; if homosexuality can be predicted genetically, would you oppose abortion for sexual orientation reasons? We can test for a variety of genetic illnesses in the womb, it would follow that if homosexuality is genetic that a test can be done for it as well. After all, nothing in the law prevents a woman from terminating a pregnancy based on sex selection (which is somewhat ironic considering that over 90% of abortions for sex selection results in the death of an unborn girl), so are homosexuals entitled to higher protection in the womb than girls?

Posted by: 1LT B at November 19, 2006 3:33 AM
Comment #195651

ILT B,

A factoid from my childhood may support this idea. I knew at about 6 or 7 that my next door neighbor, who was the same age as me, was different from me. He talked about wanting to see naked boys as well as girls. I told him that was being queer. He denied it, of course. Our naivity about what those words meant was enormous, but telling. We were best friends until about the age of 12 when he moved more than 5 miles away.

30 years later, after we lost contact at the age of 19,(He joined the Coast Guard and I moved to Texas) he called one day, after finding my name in an internet search, and talked about his life and the “problems” with his marriage. He announced he was bisexual. He told me one of his sisters was living with a life partner, as well

He never appeared gay, to others like my older sister, but I knew, and had in fact told her when I was about 17. She did not believe me then. I called her after my conversation with him and she recalled my telling her, and related a story about his sister not liking “girl toys”

Of the four children in that family, two were gay and two were straight.

I’ve never felt threatened by gay people, and I understand their status as pariahs in America for years, and even today. This convinced me their IS something congenital and possibly genetic going on.

Posted by: gergle at November 19, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #195664

gergle,

I’ve heard interesting anecdotal evidence such as what you discuss from other people as well. I tend to agree that there is a genetic component, but I think that genetics is overrated. Genetics can show a predisposition to certain traits, but it is not fate. For example, not every person who has a predisposition for alcoholism becomes an alcoholic. It seems to me that genetics is often the new external factor that can supplement society or whatever other excuse liberals want to use to forego the idea of personal responsibility.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 19, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #195816

Rhinehold,

You should also add a #4 to your list: Americans are woefully uneducated in American civics. Reading some of the comments on this blog and others, one thing becomes VERY clear. A large # of people are completely ignorant about how our system of governance is suppose to work. Some actually believe that in this country majority always rules. If that were actually true then there would be absolutly no need for a Constitution. We would simply vote on every issue of the day and the majority would decide all issues and policy. There would be no need for a judicial branch. Simply vote, majority rule. No need for a legislative branch, just put all laws and policy to a vote. The only branch that would survive is the executive branch to carry out the will of the majority rule.

As much as it pains social conservatives, the American system was never set up that way, and for good reason. Our founders believed in equality and personal liberty. While the country at the time was nowhere near ready for full equality, the founders were brave enough to put the neccessary components in place to start the progress to that end.

Over our short history we have done exactly that, expanding equality to groups of people who had been oppressed for centuries. Equality and personal liberty should never be subjected to a vote. Will marriage equality be the issue that ends this country’s tradition of doing the right thing when it comes to equality?

No matter how many bigoted laws and amendments the majority lashes out, the fact remains that homosexuals will not simply react to oppression by going back into the closet. The harder people are pushed, the harder they push back.

Posted by: JayJay at November 20, 2006 1:40 AM
Comment #195817
You ask the question why should someone’s personal religious beliefs dictate policy in the US. I would ask you why you feel that your personal beliefs about homosexuality should overturn the will of the majority.

1LT B,

Because we live in America under a Constitution that protects life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ALL it’s citizens. What does the “will of the majority” have to do with ANY of that?

State after state has moved to ban same sex marriage primarily because certain elements of the homosexual rights agenda tried to impose their beliefs on the rest of America through the court system.

Huh? How does pushing for marriage and family equality impose beliefs on the rest of America? I read this somewhere and I thought it was very wise:

“If you are against abortion, then don’t have one. If you are against same-sex marriage then don’t marry someone of the same gender. If you are against stem cell research then don’t ask for the cure, and leave the rest of us the hell alone!”

Posted by: JayJay at November 20, 2006 1:55 AM
Comment #195825

JayJay,

If I believe something to be immoral and don’t want to see it endorsed, is it not my right to express this opinion? As much as it pains social engineers, the majority does a have a right to express its views. Homosexuality is not something that Western Culture has approved of for about 1700 years. Just because some people don’t like it does not give them the right to change things without any input from the majority. As I said earlier, anti-sodomy laws in some states pre-dated the Constitution. I would hazard that the Founders knew this when the wrote the Costitution and these laws remained. The Constitution, at the Federal level and at the state level, is a flexible document. If the majority says they do not want to see homosexual marriage imposed upon them by an unaccountable court system, it is their right to change the constitution of thier state, as has happened several times. If the same state wants to change this, they can through the same referendum process. You ask about how the acceptance of homosexual marriage imposes beliefs on the rest of America. It does so by attempting to use the court system to allow this without taking it to the people. I don’t believe that the Federal government has any right to dictate to the states how marriage is handled, and if a state doesn’t want homosexual marriage, it is that state’s right to ban it.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 20, 2006 3:28 AM
Comment #195826

If a nation like South Africa can acknowledge the differences between heterosexuals and homosexual and allow them the opportunity to have the same rights as any straight couple than maybe America should rethink the idea of not allowing gays to get married. Allowing them the rights to marriage affects no one and if a gay couple loves each other enough to get married and face the discrimination that comes from it then let it be.As the era progresses people are more comfortable with the fact that they may be gay its not fully accepted in society today but it is acknowledged a hundred years ago a man could never be gay and if he was he would have to hide it deep inside himself but times have changed. All couples should be granted equal rights the right to be seen as partner in life and death maybe not by the church but at least by the state.

Posted by: Angiet at November 20, 2006 3:29 AM
Comment #195828

Angiet,

Times have changed, but that does not grant automatic lisence for any form of behavior. Without some form of legal endorsement, either through the court systems, legislative action, or a referendum, blanket approval to something cannot be granted. Again, if the residents of a state do not want to see homosexual marriage then it is within the power of a state to ban it. In the case of many states, it is recognized that the courts have no hesitation to completely disregard the will of the majority, hence the constitutional amendments.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 20, 2006 4:55 AM
Comment #195829
Number 1, it goes against literally thousands of years of tradition and ideas of how to have a well ordered society within Western Culture.

So does women’s rights and abolishing slavery, but we are still a better country for bucking those traditions and ideas.

Even societies that permitted homosexuality, such as the Greeks and Romans, would never have dreamed of extending marriage to homosexual unions.

There are ancient texts that tell a different story, the idea that same-sex marriage was not only accepted but was performed with the blessings of the Christian church. In fact ceremonial texts have been found that were dedicated to same-sex unions. Most of them mention Serge and Bacchus, two Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church saints who were believed to have been wed.

Number 2, If it was the belief of the Founders that a prohibition of gay marriage violated equal protection, why were those laws not struck down centuries ago?

Things take time, especially when you are fighting against such powerful foes as bigotry, hate, and oppression. The authors of the Constitution were wise enough to know that they did not live in static times. They wrote the Constitution with an eye to the future. Thomas Jefferson often wrote about how times would and should change. The founders were a small group of men who had very specific ideas about equality and liberty. That does not mean that the country as a whole was ready for their progressive ideas at the time. We have progressed towards a much more equal society today, guided by the principles set forth by the Constitution.

Number 3, the state has an interest in marriage, that interest being the procreation and raising of children.

If that is true then why do we allow seniors who are beyond child bearing years to wed? Do we place restrictions on couples who do not want children to wed? Do we test couples for fertility as a condition to obtaining a marriage license? If the only purpose of marriage is the procreation and raising of children, then shouldn’t we take the children of single parents away and put them in the state’s idea of the ideal “box”?

Since homosexual unions cannot produce children without some form of intervention, be it a sperm bank, surrogate mother, etc, homosexaul unions do not rise to level of compelling state interest.

This statement is very offensive. Unwanted children are not in the state’s interest? Sounds pretty cold to me. Regardless of how gays and lesbians build their families, whether it is through adoption of unwanted children or through science, why do you believe that these families are less significant than those raised in the “box”? Funny thing is, is that most children of same-sex couples would never make such an insensitive comment. Research has shown that the only significant difference found between children raised in opposite sex and those raised in same-sex families is that the children of the same-sex couples are much more tolerant and accepting of other people’s differences. Sounds like something in the state’s interest to me.

Number 4, prohibitions of homosexual marriage are not equivilent to the type of discrimination that African-Americans faced, for example. I am straight, but looking at me, you have no way of knowing it. A bit different from a black person standing next to me, in that case, there is an obvious difference that only a blind person will not immediately notice.

In some ways it is far worse. Do you believe that the closet is a good place? Nobody asks any “group” to be somebody they are not to the degree that society expects that from homosexuals. Maybe because it is a trait easily hidden by some. What do you think that years of living a lie does to a person? Do you think that self hate leads to positive results? Do you think that it is fair to the wife and children of a gay man who thought he could live the “straight lifestyle,” only to find out later that he could no longer live the lie (or worse, is outed)? Do you think that when Ted Haggard was outed that the family all held hands and sang kumbaya? (Ok, maybe they did, but that is beside the point.)

    “It’s a lot easier being black than gay. At least if you’re black you don’t have to tell your parents.” ~Judy Carter
Number 5 is an expansion of Number 4. Whether or not homosexual attraction is by nature or by choice, engaging in homosexual acts, except in case of rape, is a choice.

By that reasoning heterosexuality is a choice. Homosexuality is not about sex, it is about who we are as individual people. You may believe your statement because you have never been faced with the choice of living an open and honest life and living a self destructive lie.

    “It seems to me that the real clue to your sex-orientation lies in your romantic feelings rather than in your sexual feelings. If you are really gay, you are able to fall in love with a man, not just enjoy having sex with him.” ~Christopher Isherwood
Number 6

Number 6 is not even worthy of a response. Trying to tie Homosexuality with bestiality is a tactic, not an argument. Nobody should have to justify their life based on the actions of other seperate totally unrelated people. That is like saying we are going to ban Buddhism because a Catholic priest might molest an alterboy. Two totally different things going on there.

Number 7, what about people like gergle? Is it fair to him/her (sorry gergle, don’t know) to not get a tax write off for choosing not to marry? What about me? I have a girlfriend, should I get a tax write-off for her?

Is it fair that gays and lesbians have to pay taxes to support an institution they are involuntarily excluded from? Don’t talk to me about fairness.

You casually dismiss thousands of years of human society and history as pointless.

I never casually dismiss hatred. Women, and slaves didn’t casually dismiss thousands of years of human society and historical bigotry and oppression, they bravely fought against it. The fight lives on.

Homosexual marriage goes beyond tolerance and attempts to force the majority to endorse a practice many find abhorrent.

Give me a break. Nobody is even asking you to endorse anything, much less forcing it. I find the practice of fundamentalist Christianity totally abhorrent and I certainly do not feel that I am endorsing it just because I do not fight against their right to religious freedom.

I don’t believe that gays should face discrimination on the job etc, but asking me to endorse something I don’t believe in without even giving me any input, such as in a referendum, is callous and reflects the same arrogance you accuse me of.

Basic human rights, like equality, should never be up for a referendum. There is nothing arrogant about upholding the Constitution over mob rule.

Posted by: JayJay at November 20, 2006 4:59 AM
Comment #195832
If I believe something to be immoral and don’t want to see it endorsed, is it not my right to express this opinion? As much as it pains social engineers, the majority does a have a right to express its views.

Sure you have the right to express your views, but why to you think you have the right to oppress others based on those views. I don’t recall reading that in the Constitution.

Just because some people don’t like it does not give them the right to change things without any input from the majority.

By that standard, we would still have legal segregation and women would still be in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant.

As I said earlier, anti-sodomy laws in some states pre-dated the Constitution. I would hazard that the Founders knew this when the wrote the Costitution and these laws remained.

So? Slavery pre-dated the Constitution and was legal throughout most of the country. So friggin what? Just because a wrong has been perpetrated for many, many years doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make it right. BTW, exactly how big do you think the gay rights movement was in Thomas Jefferson’s day? What, with just coming off a revolutionary war and a vast new world to be discovered, I have a feeling the issue took back seat, if it was an issue at all, not.

The Constitution, at the Federal level and at the state level, is a flexible document.

The state level? OK. The Federal Level, difficult to change by design.

If the majority says they do not want to see homosexual marriage imposed upon them by an unaccountable court system, it is their right to change the constitution of thier state, as has happened several times. If the same state wants to change this, they can through the same referendum process.

Except that the Federal Constitution takes precedance over state Constitutions. Whether those state Constitutional amendments would stand under the Federal Constitution is questionable at best, hence the race to try to pervert it with discrimination. None of the state amendments have come before the SCOTUS, but I believe on just one section of the U.S. Constitution they would be struck down.

Article. IV., Section. 2,

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

Not to mention that the 14th amendment explicitly extends those protections against the states themselves:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
You ask about how the acceptance of homosexual marriage imposes beliefs on the rest of America. It does so by attempting to use the court system to allow this without taking it to the people.

Not all issues are under the jurisdiction of the people, hence the U.S. Constitution. Sure you can try to change it, but that is no easy task. When the protections of the U.S. Constitution are violated then that is exactly what the court system is there for.

I don’t believe that the Federal government has any right to dictate to the states how marriage is handled, and if a state doesn’t want homosexual marriage, it is that state’s right to ban it.

They may not have the right to dictate how marriage is handled in and of itself, BUT THEY DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO DICTATE THAT MARRIAGE BE APPLIED UNIFORMLY AND EQUALLY AMOUNG ALL CITIZENS OF THAT STATE. If a state wants to abolish marriage altogether, I guess that is their right as long as they abolish marriage for all of their citizens equally.

Posted by: JayJay at November 20, 2006 5:41 AM
Comment #195834

JayJay,
First, I’ve got to call shenanigans on the Serge and Bacchus thing. Serge and Bacchus were Greek/Roman deities. Christianity has NEVER considered homosexual acts to be anything but gravely sinful. Only fringe denominations today say anything different. Furthermore, while Thomas Jefferson did write that beliefs can change, do you think he would like the idea of a small minority imposing its views on the majority through the Courts? Jefferson and the rest of the Founders envisioned the courts as the weakest branch of government. Nowhere does the Constitution say that homosexuality is protected, but state laws have said that it is not
We allow seniors to wed because marriage is an institution between a man and a woman. The huge bulk of marriages are between people of childbearing age, a few seniors is incidental. There were no laws requiring that the children of single parents be taken for several reasons. One is that the forbidden ideas of shame and self-restraint kept this to a low number, another is that when this did occur, marriage usually followed, and another was that widows/widowers with children often remarried.
I don’t recall saying that children born to or adopted by homosexuals are unwanted. The simple fact of the matter is that without adoption or science, a homosexual union cannot produce children, nor did I say that homosexuals are bad parents. The interests of these children is precisely what should bar homosexual marriage. It seems profoundly disordered to me to allow homosexual couples, who have no natural ability to have children nor any reasonable expectation of children if left to their own devices, to have the same priority on a list as heterosexual couples who do.
I will grant that the closet is not good. However, not permitting gay marriage in not way compels homosexuals to remain closeted. Also, you’re confusing my point from number 5. It is highly likely that feeling homosexual attraction is a result of genetics, as is feeling a heterosexual attraction. However, acting on those feelings, irrespective of whether one is gay or straight, is a choice. The fact that pop culture views all things relatively rather than absolutely changes nothing.
The fact that you don’t like the logic of relativism and where it leads doesn’t excuse you from comment on point 6, and your example of Buddhism vis a vis a Catholic priest is in error as well. I was not saying that homosexuality leads to bestiality etc, nor did I link the two. What I said is that if the state has no interest nor say in what sexual activities people engage in, which is what the Supreme Court has said, will lead to this same reasoning being applied to ANY sexual acts. As I said, and by way of example, if I am caught having sex with a goat in a state that bans bestiality, why should I not cite the striking down of anti-sodomy laws as precedent for the striking down of anti-bestiality laws as a violation of my rights? Unless you can give a reasoned answer to this beyond calling it below you, than the point remains. If the state cannot regulate sodomy, than it has no right to legislate bestiality, polygamy or polyandry, possibly not even incest beyond questions of age of consent providing that consent is actually there. Put another way, if a court ruled that laws against bestiality were a violation of privacy rights and homosexuality was still banned, do you not think that homosexuals could cite that case as precedent to allow for homosexuality to be given a legal ok?
If you don’t think that the acceptance of homosexual marriage is an imposition on me, fair enough, but I say that it is. It de facto forces homosexuality to be taught as normal within the public school system and directly impacts my children. It states that our culture views sex as fun and nothing else. It directly challenges my beliefs and the beliefs of millions of other Americans in the same public arena that the liberals are trying to run us out of. You say that being closeted is bad, what the hell do you think the PC bullshit of today does to people who disagree with it?
You are also in error to say that by the standard of majority rule we would still have legal segregation and no rights for women. The fact is that people who opposed this enough to do something about it were in the minority. If this were not the case, than the Constitution would’ve been amended. Once again, tying slavery to homosexuality proceeds from a false assumption. By your logic, blacks are really chameleons who just choose to be black. Since you refer to the Supreme Court, can you please cite the case that strikes down state amendments against homosexual unions? Since this has not happened, your arguments are the ones that are legally in error, not mine. Further, the ultimate authority of government is derived from the consent of the governed. It seems pretty plain to me that the huge majority of the governed is not in favor of homosexual unions and that your arguments violate a fundamental that has a higher authority than even the Constitution.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 20, 2006 7:30 AM
Comment #195835

Sorry about the mess of my last post, for some reason it gets jacked up when I cut and paste from Word.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 20, 2006 7:32 AM
Comment #195903
First, I’ve got to call shenanigans on the Serge and Bacchus thing. Serge and Bacchus were Greek/Roman deities.

What are you talking about? Serge & Bacchus were Roman soldiers who became Christian saints, and lovers, who were tortured to death in Syria on Oct. 7th, 303 AD, because they refused to attend sacrifices in honor of Jupiter. How do you torture to death a deity? (although with the diplorable history of Christianity, so called “Christians” may have done exactly that. BTW, Has anyone seen him lately?)

Christianity has NEVER considered homosexual acts to be anything but gravely sinful. Only fringe denominations today say anything different.

And you have done how much research on this subject? Apperantly not much. Did Jesus ever say that Homosexuality was a “grave” sin himself? No, NEVER. Is Jesus not a Christian, the Christian? Seems like he would have mentioned something if it were so important. The Greeks and Romans were prolific historians and we have many many documents that survive from the time period. In fact there are many ancient manuscripts found throught European libraries that indicate that in early Christianity there was an open and accepting attitude towards homosexuality. Just because you don’t like the answer doesn’t make it “fringe.” Christianity was once a fringe group, but today millions believe it to be the truth. But as long as you are going to pick and choose the history you like and dismiss everything else as “fringe,” then there really is no point in continuing this discussion.

Furthermore, while Thomas Jefferson did write that beliefs can change, do you think he would like the idea of a small minority imposing its views on the majority through the Courts?

Imposed by the courts? No. Upheld by the U.S. Constitution through the courts, yes. BTW, we are not talking about “views” here, we are talking about people’s lives. The fact that I am gay is not my “view” it is my reality. It is actually the other side that is imposing it’s “view” on others. This in not about some trivial “view,” this about human rights and equality. I have very, VERY, little doubt that if a gay movement on the scale of the one today, had been going in Thomas Jefferson’s time, it would have taken very, VERY, little to convince the founders that equality was the right thing to do.

Jefferson and the rest of the Founders envisioned the courts as the weakest branch of government. Nowhere does the Constitution say that homosexuality is protected, but state laws have said that it is not

I was always taught that the founders envisioned equal branches of government. The Constitution doesn’t say that a lot of things are specifically protected. The founders purposely wrote a document that went into detail about how the government should be structured and function, and was extremely vague when it came to the protections of the people’s rights. Why would they be so detailed about the structures and limits of the government, but so vague on spelling out individual rights? Because that vagueness allows the greatest number of individual rights and liberties to be protected from violation. The founders were anything but close minded men who wanted to limit potential of people. In fact they explicitly state that just because a right is not enumerated in the Constitution, that does not mean that the people do not retain that right.


The huge bulk of marriages are between people of childbearing age, a few seniors is incidental.

And marriage equality is going to change that how? The huge bulk of marriages will still be between heterosexuals of childbearing age. The only difference is that it will expand stability to more families, and create new loving homes, who will provide good homes to heterosexual society’s throw away children.

The interests of these children is precisely what should bar homosexual marriage. It seems profoundly disordered to me to allow homosexual couples, who have no natural ability to have children nor any reasonable expectation of children if left to their own devices, to have the same priority on a list as heterosexual couples who do.

Give me a break. The interests of children raised in same sex households are not enhanced by the stability that a legally binding family would bring? The simple fact of the matter is that no matter how these families are formed, whether through adoption or science, they ARE being formed. This is not something that may happen in the future, this happening today! You are incredibly insensitive to claim that such families are not as important or are somehow less of a priorty simply because they do not fit your close minded definition of a family. These are your fellow human beings we are talking about and they deserve as much respect and recongnition as any other family unit. Lets not forget that these families also pay taxes, to say that these people do not deserve the same protections and priveleges as other families is taxation without representation. If you think that these families are of such low priority then maybe they should be tax exempt.

It is highly likely that feeling homosexual attraction is a result of genetics, as is feeling a heterosexual attraction. However, acting on those feelings, irrespective of whether one is gay or straight, is a choice.

What’s your point? So, whether you live your life open and true or as a lie it is a choice. So what? Who are you to say that acting on homosexual feelings is any more or less wrong or right than acting on heterosexual ones. It is exactly superiority complexes like that, that lead to intolerance and hatred.

The fact that pop culture views all things relatively rather than absolutely changes nothing.

These are people’s lives we are talking about and their right to live their lives freely and as equally as any other life. Trying to trivialize that by calling it “pop culture” does not change that fact. The fact that countries around the world, including South Africa can recognize that but Americans would rather try to affix trivial labels to it is truly sad for us as a nation.

You are getting your laws and why the state has or does not have an interest in an action confused. The states interest in bestiality is one of express consent. A man may be able to consent to having sex with an animal, but the animal is not able to give legally binding expressed consent, hence the precedence is not sodomy laws at all. The precedences are actually rape (lack of legal consent), and animal cruelty laws. The state does have an interest in whom may enter into a legally binding contract or to give express consent, neither of which an animal has any legal authority to do. Sodomy laws are not of interest to the state because the legal ability of each person to give consent is protected under the law.

Now you may have a valid argument with polygamy and polyandry, certainly more than with bestiality. As long as all parties involved are able to give legal consent then the states interest should be limited. The only thing I will say bout polygamy compared to same-sex marriage is that gay and lesbian couples are seeking equality with heterosexual marriage. Polygamy would actually seek rights above and beyond the rights that anyone else currently holds. For me the issue of gay marriage has always been about equality. IMO, polygamy goes beyond mere equality and seeks rights and privileges not already afforded to any other group. The Constitution’s requirement is that the rights and privileges that already legally enjoyed by some citizens must be extended to all citizen. The Constitution does not make it mandatory to extend rights not already retained by the people. That is important and where I would say that the courts would be overstepping their bounds and entering “activist judge” territory. Marriage is already retained by some people and therefore must be applied with equality. Polygamy is not a right retained by any other citizen.

Put another way, if a court ruled that laws against bestiality were a violation of privacy rights and homosexuality was still banned, do you not think that homosexuals could cite that case as precedent to allow for homosexuality to be given a legal ok?

No, I would protest such a ruling and continue fighting for marriage based on equality. While I advocate our individual right to privacy, I would not support a ruling that was the missing the legal consent requirement. This would be akin to the court ruling that rape were legal because it occured in private, regardless if one of the parties did not give consent. Animals cannot give legal consent because such consent would be subjective, not legally absolute.

It de facto forces homosexuality to be taught as normal within the public school system and directly impacts my children.

First of all, homosexuality is normal. Second, I don’t recall ever being taught that any type of sexuality was neccessarily right or wrong by the public schools, nor do I think it should be. Public schools should stay neutral on cultural issues, just as they must remain neutral on religious ones. There is no law that states that you may not teach your own child intolerance, hate, racism, sexism, bigotry, etc. Unfortunatly, if those are the values you want to instill in your children then that is your choice. I prefer a society that is tolerant, accepting, loving, equal, etc., and I should be able to teach those values to my own children if I so choose. I do not support a public education system that gets involved in such issues. They need to stick to math, english, science, civics, history, etc. and leave religion and other controversial issues to the parents.

It states that our culture views sex as fun and nothing else.

No it does not!!!! It states that our culture is compasionate, loving, and accepting of people’s differences and embraces equality. If you think that it somehow states that this is all about sex, then that is a value that you instilled in them yourself and you have nobody to blame for that but yourself.

It directly challenges my beliefs and the beliefs of millions of other Americans in the same public arena that the liberals are trying to run us out of. You say that being closeted is bad, what the hell do you think the PC bullshit of today does to people who disagree with it?

There is nothing in law that guarantees that your beliefs cannot be challenged. Nor is anyone saying that you are not entitled to your beliefs. You act like you have a right to say anything you want in a public arena WITHOUT being challenged. Do you think you are an Emporer or something? My beliefs are challenged all the time. I don’t go around crying that my beliefs have been challenged. I try to use reason and thoughtful arguments to present my case and hope that that is enough to change some people’s beliefs. Sometimes I am successful, but many people are just beyond reach. That doesn’t mean that I am just going to give up. The gay rights movement around the world has made tremedous strides in the last decade by using reason to challenge and change old beliefs. Yes, they have also used the court system to challenge the question of equality, well within their rights to do so. Sometimes those battles have been successful and sometimes they have been total failures. The important thing is that people are talking about it, and the only way to win hearts and minds is if we actually talk and reason with each other. If your beliefs are worthy to stand up to challenge then they will stand on their own and prevail in the end, if not then the challenger will prevail. Such is life.


You are also in error to say that by the standard of majority rule we would still have legal segregation and no rights for women. The fact is that people who opposed this enough to do something about it were in the minority.

Do you just pull this stuff out of the air without thinking them through? If the courts have to get involved then more than likely the majority are opposed to the issue. If it is true that the majority favored integration, then why did it take the actions of the court to effect change? If the majority were in favor, then it would not take the power of court to enfore the will of the majority. In both cases the courts were pivital in futhering each cause. Over time the majority may have been in favor, but it was not without the intervention of the courts.

If this were not the case, than the Constitution would’ve been amended.

A shrinking majority opposes marriage equality. If what you say is true then why has it been impossible to pass a Constitutional amendment even out of a Neocon Congress?

Once again, tying slavery to homosexuality proceeds from a false assumption. By your logic, blacks are really chameleons who just choose to be black.

Blacks didn’t choose to be black anymore than I choose to be homosexual. Saying that homosexuals have a choice to be homosexual is like saying that blacks have a choice to put on white makeup. You may cover up what is presented on the outside, but you are still the same on the inside regardless. I refuse to pretend to be something I am not just to please the bigoted sensibilities of society.

Since you refer to the Supreme Court, can you please cite the case that strikes down state amendments against homosexual unions?

No, because as I stated it hasn’t happened yet.

Since this has not happened, your arguments are the ones that are legally in error, not mine.

I am not legally in error. My arguments were my opinion of how the SCOTUS should find based on my reading of the Constitution. NONE of these state amendments has made it’s way to the SCOTUS. When and if one of these cases are brought before the SCOTUS I may be proven to be in error in my opinion then. But as of right now I have only expressed an opinion, not an actual ruling. We won’t know who is actually in error until/if the SCOTUS makes a ruling on one of the state amendments. Of course if your side turns out to be in error, then I am sure it will only be because of those “damn liberal activist judges.”

Further, the ultimate authority of government is derived from the consent of the governed. It seems pretty plain to me that the huge majority of the governed is not in favor of homosexual unions and that your arguments violate a fundamental that has a higher authority than even the Constitution.

Correct, as long as it is within the framework of the present Constitution. The majority of people are unhappy about a law then they have the authority to take the steps outlined in the Constitution to amend it. If the majority want the Constitutional protections of equality under the law changed, then they must Amend it. So far that has been a failure. The Constitution was intentionally made difficult to amend. Such built in difficults ensure that the true will of the people to Amend is observed. It amazes me that you think that mob rule was meant to be a higher authority than the Constitution, when our founders clearly built in so many protections to prevent it, unless it was the clear and absolute will of the majority.

Posted by: JayJay at November 20, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #195937

JayJay, well defended, my friend, well defended. I wish you luck in getting the rights you deserve.

Posted by: ray at November 20, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #195985

JayJay,

So, you truly believe that homosexuality is condoned in Christianity? That being the case, please cite on verse from the Bible that condones homosexuality or, failing that, one finding of a Church council not made in the last 5 years that says the same. Christianity is and always has been opposed to homosexuality as being immoral. Any debate on the subject tended to be around just how immoral it was compared to other sexual acts, such as fornication and masturbation. By your logic, I should take the word of a few people who say they were gay and have since “recovered” over all of the medical and anecdotal evidence that says this isn’t possible. One other thing. Nice try on the divorce thing, but I’m Catholic. That might work on Protestants, Evangelicals, and Fundamentalists, it doesn’t work on me.

If you read the Federalist papers and other writings of the Founding Fathers, you will know that the branches of government were not intended to be equal. The Legislative branch was intended to be strongest and it is the only branch that can overturn all checks against it, albiet not easily so. The court was intended to be the weakest branch with the Executive in between.

You ask if I feel that it is wrong to act on homosexual feelings. I say yes, it is wrong and immoral. No more so than sex outside of marriage among heterosexuals, but immoral nonetheless. According to my Church, any sexual activity outside of marriage is immoral. If a person is unable to love a person of the opposite sex in the context of marriage, he or she should remain chaste, just as should a heterosexual person who isn’t married. Not necissarily easy or practical, but fair and consistent.

I’m glad to see you addressed the issue of the implications of the Supreme Court striking down anti-sodomy laws. This one is more a matter of interpretation than anything else. From my reading of the decision, the case was decided on privacy grounds. So long as there is consent, the state has no business in legislating sexual preference or action. To my belief, animals have no rights under the Constitution, so consent or lack thereof from an animal in the case of bestiality is irrelevent. You make a point regarding polygamy/polyandry, but again, privacy concerns come into play. If any form of marriage between two people is recognized, then why not marriage between multiple people? What business does the state have in that?

I would differ with you in your argument that homosexuality is normal. Even those who say that homosexuality is ok don’t argue that it is above perhaps 10% of the population. Last I heard, normal is what most people do, and no argument in favor of homosexuality says that it comes near to approaching the numbers of heterosexuals. That aside, I would agree with you about the role of sex and religion in the public schools, but you and I both know that what you want, which is what I want, isn’t the case. Schools are teaching children about sex at younger and younger ages and in more and more graphic fashions. If homosexual marriage is accepted, than homsexuality will become part of sex ed ciriculum.

Further, I never said my beliefs are beyond challenge. On the other hand, neither are yours. You obviously feel that marriage should be extended to homosexuals and I do not. Yet when I talk about why, more often than not, and not by you, I get called a bigot or a homophobe, or any other name that occurs to the peon to whom I’m speaking. Beyond this, traditional moral views about sex can’t be taught in public schools for religious concerns, but homosexuality can be taught as normal or just another lifestyle choice. Liberalism seeks to closet religion in the same manner as you accuse religion of closeting homosexuals. No Christian viewpoint is allowed in the public schools, yet homsexuality, fornication, masturbation and any other form of deviant sexual behavior is presented as just a normal thing.

No, I did not pull the idea that people who opposed the civil rights movement were in the minority. By the same token, the people who supported the Civil Rights movement were not the majority either, otherwise court action wouldn’t have been needed as you point out. In the Southern states, supporters of the Civil Rights movement were definitely the minority, but not so for the rest of the nation. I think that most people were relatively apathetic about this in the rest of the States outside of the South, which explains why the laws were not changed through legislative action.

On the subject of a Contitutional Amendment at the Federal level, I would be agaisnt it. I don’t favor homosexual marriage, but this isn’t a Federal matter. By the same token, I don’t like abortion, but I wouldn’t favor a Constitutional Amendment to ban abortion either for the same reason. Were the Supreme Court to rule that not granting homosexuals violates the 14th Amendment, I would argue that the best recourse would be an Amendment that rescinds the SCOTUS decision and specifically refers the matter to the States for referendum without saying that homosexual marriage is either banned or ok. I would favor the same thing with abortion.

You are right that the Constitution was crafted to defeat mob rule. However, what if an Amendment were passed that specifically banned homosexual marriage? Would that represent the clear and absolute will of the majority to you? I think part of the apathy towards the civil rights movement that I described earlier came about because the nation was de facto segeregated and many whites outside of the South figured this wouldn’t effect them. Something like homosexual marriage will. The sad part is that the very drive by homosexuals for equality could very well doom their own efforts by generating a backlash sufficient for an amendment to take place.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 21, 2006 5:58 AM
Comment #196031
Last I heard, normal is what most people do

masturbation and any other form of deviant sexual behavior

So, which is it? Is deviancy determined by how common the behavior is, or is it not? If homosexuality is deviant because it’s uncommon, then how is masturbation deviant? It’s hard to think of a human behavior that’s more common than masturbation, so it should be considered “normal” by your definition.

Right?

Posted by: LawnBoy at November 21, 2006 12:00 PM
Comment #196071

LawnBoy,

Way to nitpick. Masturbation in the context of what I was discussing was the detailed and graphic depiction of sex acts being taught to children at a younger and younger age in sex ed classes around the nation. How about instead of playing games with semantics on the level of asking for a definition of “is” and “alone” you post something serious and quit wasting time, effort, and memory space?

Posted by: 1LT B at November 21, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #196077

Marriage… the word it self is a Judeo-Christian RITUAL performed under the authority of ones God.

I don’t think there should be any tax write offs for marriage nor should the government acknowledge one as married.

I am entirely FOR seperation of church and state.

Civil-unions… now that is a different subject. By definition that would be a legal acknowledgement of two individuals commitment to be a single entity in their place in society.

So I say scratch MARRIAGE out of all laws, make it soley responsible odf church. Let them dispute it off our tax dollars. Scratch in Civil-unions and erase the possibility of married filing seperate unless actually legally seperated.

Then we have a non-religous tax write off.

Because when you get down to it, if you take organized religion out of marriage all it is…

is another tax deduction.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at November 21, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #196087
Marriage… the word it self is a Judeo-Christian RITUAL performed under the authority of ones God.

How do you defend this notion when Hindu marriage and its rituals predates Christianity and and interaction with Judaism by centuries? When the Romans had the concept and rituals of Marriage before they interacted with the Jews?

The Bible didn’t invent marriage - it just described how it was practiced by a particular group long ago, long after the notion was invented.

Posted by: LawnBoy at November 21, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #196089
Way to nitpick.

I’m sorry that you object to your words being put next to each other. Would you prefer that I invent words for you that you didn’t even say at all? That is, after all, how some on WB prefer to debate.

How about instead of playing games with semantics on the level of asking for a definition of “is” and “alone” you post something serious and quit wasting time, effort, and memory space?

And how about instead of whining and dodging the question, you actually try to answer it?

Your claim is that homosexuality is not normal because it isn’t common. You also claim that masturbation is deviant, even though it is extremely common. How do you square those claims? Doesn’t it show that part of your argument against accepting homosexuality is fallacious?

Posted by: LawnBoy at November 21, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #196094

1LT B,

Also, what should we do about those left-handed people? After all, only about 8-15% of the population are left-handed, so it can’t be considered normal.

Obviously, they are abnormal, right? I mean, normal human behavior isn’t defined by what is inborn - the important thing is what is most common.

Right?

Posted by: LawnBoy at November 21, 2006 6:11 PM
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