Pete and Lou got married

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So, today the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that it was against that state's constitution to deny gays the right to married. I personally think this is a good thing, and really pretty obvious. I also hope that it is the beginning of a change that will spread through the country.

I am really annoyed though at the response from religious groups and the right - they just don't make any sense. Claiming that this is going against 3000 years of "Traditional Marriage" is insane. Have these people ever bothered to actually read the bibles that they thump? According to the bible "Traditional Marriage" includes polygamy, bothers and sisters getting married, and women being required to marry a man that rapes them. Marriages were also usually for reasons other than love - usually political, economic, or social.

Let's face it - over the last 3000 years the institution of marriage has changed enormously, and it will continue to change. This is just one more change, and I think, not really all that big. It doesn't, as some have claimed, endanger marriage - I know that my marriage won't be weakened by it one bit. Churchs aren't going to be forced to perform services for anyone they don't want to, and nobody is going to be forced to go to any gay wedding. All this is about is the legal rights of two unrelated people in a commited relationship, and the rights that the state grants them in recognition of that. It doesn't matter if they can't procreate - do we deny equal protection to a couple that can't have, or chooses not to have, children?

The other thing that bugs me is that they keep complaining about the courts "creating new laws" even though over 50% of people don't agree with them. This is, of course, bullcrap. The courts are interpreting an existing law that very specifically says that the state cannot deny equal rights. The founding fathers structured our government specifically so that the courts COULD do this against popular opinion - they are there to protect the minority from the majority.

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2 Comments

Just A Few Thoughts While Passing Through Your Happy Website:

I agree fully that homosexuals deserve the same legal, financial, social, etc. protections that heterosexuals have, including the right to wed, or otherwise enter into a union that would present said protections. I have many homosexual friends; my best friend is a self-stated "bi-curious" male. Nothing would delight me more than to see that homosexuals have the same human (HOMO-sapien) rights as we want ALL people to have, reguardless of Religion, Creed, Gender, or Race. I am also a Libretarian, a "TRUE INDEPENDENT" who abhors both the right and left wing. As I like to say "Clip both wings, we can walk better than we can fly." I like nothing more than to play devil's advocate, but I do it just to further my understanding of how and why people think and feel the way they do about issues.

That said, there are a few notions which enter into play when considering all the various arguments that surround such issues of homosexual rights; I am very interested in reading your thoughts:

RELIGION: Many people bring up the subjective argument that homosexuality goes against Christian morals, even more so, "Biblical" morals -you yourself state and criticize religious groups and the right, asking "Have these people ever bothered to actually read the bibles that they thump?". What about those whom preach Judaic Morals? Moreover, what about people who preach Islamic Morals? We have seen that Islamic institutions teach children as early as second-grade that Judaism and Christianity are the "immoral, secular religions" who allow homosexuality (and other "secular abominations") to take place. In other words, Islam has proven on record to be more militant against homosexuality than the our Jerry Fallwells.
The point that I'm trying to make sense of (and hoping that you would help me make sense of it) is that many people who make the same arguments that you do also feel strongly about understanding and respecting other religions, especially Islam. What with the War on Terror" (or, what the left likes to call the "War on Islam"), there has been an outcry to understand and accept and respect the beliefs of Islamic peoples. Does the acceptance of homosexuality, more-so homosexual marriages, not only adversely affect the Muslim world's view of our nation and culture, but defeat the purpose of learning and accepting their beliefs?

Second Point: FORCING THE ACCEPTANCE. As has been seen and done in the past, almost any private establishment has been brought to court, and told in said court that they cannot "descriminate" (civil suit terminology for "able to pick and choose") who their members are -for example: "Male-Only Membership" private country clubs, though I prepend the quote with "Formerly." Even though reperesentatives from LGBI and other homosexuals' rights organizations state that they are not looking to force homosexual marriages into religious institutions (meaning "Churches", as opposed to "Temples" or the like), is it not bound to happen? Will there not be someone who will take a church (Christian, Catholic) and its congregation to court, and in that court a judge will decide, much like with females becoming members of male-only clubs, that churches ("Christianity, Catholocism") must marry Homosexual couples? While this may be a more subjective point than the first, I must also point out how the two are inter-related: If (I hate playing the "What-if" card, but I must) Christian institutions are forced to accept and marry homosexuals, would Judaism, or even Islam be next? How would the Islamic world then view us? Would it not viewed by them as another secular abomination that would further justify their ongoing Jihad with the United States?

My third point, relatively short (thank God): When it was mandated in Texas that there can be no "anti-sodomy" laws, the interpretation was based on the Constitution making the right to Life, Liberty, and Ther Persuit of Happiness "inalienable." So, what about NAMBLA? No, I'm not making the argument in that it involves anal sex. I'm making the point that, won't NAMBLA utilize the basis of this decision to eventually get their way? Same with homosexual marriages. Not to take anything away from homosexuals' rights, but does not the court's ruling based on the same Constitutional clause and ideals now open the floodgates for NAMBLA and other perverted organizations to getting their rights recognized?

A fourth point, as pertains to the argument about Courts making the laws versus interpreting them: You make a strong argument that the job of the judicial branch, as structured by our fore fathers, was designed to interpret laws in a way it saw fit, even if it is against popular opinion. You state "they are there to protect the minority fromthe majority." My confusion comes more from that direct quote: I know many democrats and liberals who praise courts rulings on matters like this, and defend them with similar statements, about protecting the minority from the majority. But AT THE SAME TIME, they still cry about how president Bush was "selected" not "elected"; President Bush did not have the mojority of the popular vote.
The electoral college was devised originally to even the playing field of voters, as at the time it was implimented the Commonwealth of Virginia held the MAJORITY of the nation's population. Virginia also sat South of the Mson-Dixon line, therefore most of it's citizens were pro-slavery. In an effort to prevent every election from being a landslide for whomever gained Virginia's support, the EC came into play, thus making election outcomes more fair; instead of winning just Virginia, the candidate would have to win several states. In a sense, the EC helped to protect the minority from the majority.
So, shouldn't it be a case of "What's good for the goose is good for the gander"? How can someone make the argument that the Courts are right in protecting the minority from the majority, but the Electoral College is wrong?

A thought to leave you with: Many people preach and practice the separation of church and state, making the argument that we cannot force a set of morals onto society, especially morals that are subjective, such as religious morals, as they so often contradict political beliefs. But if the nations' courts continue making rulings reguardless of popular beliefs or religious beliefs, are they not also guilty of imposing morals? Where do we as a nation stop when it comes to abolishing moral standpoints in society, or should we not stop at all? Should we become like Indonesia and let adults have sex with children. Should we become like Amsterdam and welcome all drug users to use their drugs? Should we just throw out all religious basis (not just Christian, but ALL religions) out of our sociatal and moral judgements?

I eagerly await your response.

Wow. What a comment. This is like the best, most well thought out comment that I have received.

That said...to your points...

Religion: As mentioned in the Mass. decision, doesn't enter into the question. There is no such thing as a universal religion, so the only option that we really have is to ignore them, whether they get mad at us or not. People must be treated equally, regarless of any single religions views. As I have said before - if we don't let gays get married because it will upset Jerry Falwell then the terrorists have won.

Point Two: There is nothing to worry about here. What the courts have decided over and over is that private organizations CAN be exclusive and discriminatroy, within limits. There is still a golf club (Augusta???) that does not allow women to join, and there is not law against it. The courts have only said that THE STATE is not allowed to discriminate. In addtion, the separation of church and stae goes both ways - the state cannot force a religion to do anything that goes against it's beliefs. They can not allow them to do some things (polygamy and smoking pot come to mind) if they are illegal, but they cannot make them do something that goes against their beliefs.

Point three: The courts have repeatedly held that there is a difference between those of majority (over 18) and those who are not. I don't think NAMBLA has much of a chance of ever getting what they want. The fact is that it's okay to have a law that says ALL 17 year olds can't get married, whether gay or straight. It is wrong though to say that a 23 year straight person can get married, but a 23 year old gay person cannot. All underage people are out of bounds, all animals are too, and so are all people related to the Nth degree. That is not discrimination - it's across the board.

Point 4: Actually, you have me in a bad place here. I actually agree that George Bush is legally president, even if I don't like it. The counting laws in Florida were very flawed and needed judicial oversight. If the same thing had happened in, for example, California, which has rules about reading chad, it would never have gone to court. But it did, and I have to live with it. It's not really about the Electoral college (which I think is good) as it is about Florida's incomplete vote reading rules (which I think are bad).

As for the last thought: I think that what we need to become is a combination of two things: What the founding fathers intended (as interperted for modern audiences by our courts) and what a super-majority of our citizens (as stated in the amendment rules of the constituion) think we shoudl be. The courts SHOULD interpret existing law as it's written, and if enough people disagree, we should change the constitution to match that feeling. If sooo many people think that we need to deny gays marriage that it actually merits a change to the constitution and it goes through the entire process, then well, my opinion is so on the outside that it will happen, despite what I think. Otherwise, we have to go with the idea that people are created equal, regardless of what a lot of people (but not enough) think.

I can live with that.

Again...great comment and THANK YOU for leaving it.

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This page contains a single entry by edgore published on November 18, 2003 4:06 PM.

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