The Gay Agenda and Vote

I know that somewhere along the line, someone is going to flame me for a post I write, and hopefully, they’ll read the post in its entirety before uncorking the gas can & lighting the match.  And if any post is going to do that, this will be the one.

Anytime someone starts talking or writing about rights for homosexuals, especially gay marriage, the emotions start rising, and the words start flying before any rationality kicks in.  So let’s make a few things clear.

I have a cousin who is a lesbian, and has been living with her life-partner for over 20 years.  I know of married couples that don’t make it that long, nor have the dedication or commitment of staying together for better or worse.  I have worked with homosexuals, and haven’t felt threatened (although sometimes I have been uncomfortable).  With that being said…

The majority of religions in the world condemn homosexuality, citing it as unnatural and not part of the procreation of the human race.  If we look at the Old Testament, God nuked a city or two for the practice.  Islamic-controlled nations stone or otherwise execute homosexuals (pay attention, you Liberals!).  The modern Christian movement that I was raised in states “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” although there are other Christian churches that seem to confuse & mix the two.

Let’s also note that governments also have made laws banning homosexual relations and acts for moral and health reasons.  And those laws are still on the books in many areas of this country, although they are rarely enforced – non-discrimination laws have mostly overridden these laws & ordinances.

Homosexual couples are fighting for their rights, specifically, for an equal legal standing as a married couple.  They are fighting for this standing using the legal system, and vocally opposing any religious organizations (or others) that voice their objections.  They are also using the educational system to promote their points of view on the acceptability of the homosexual lifestyle – I seem to remember a few years back about a grade-school reader that has the premise that a child has two daddies living in the same house without a mommy present.

Now I’m not going to sit here and pronounce that I have all the solutions – there is no solution that will make everyone happy or comfortable.  Religion is theology and beliefs, and those will not be changed, whether it is Christian, Islam, or the Church of Bob.  Straight couples or singles, like me, will also feel uncomfortable or object to homosexual teachings in the schools, or the promotion of an alternative lifestyle to their children.  The homosexual agenda, in my opinion, is really one to garner acceptance of their lifestyle from a legal, religious, and moral standpoints.

Starting with religion and morality, fat chance.  If the religion prohibits the homosexual act, then unless a religious movement is started that redefines homosexuality as not a sin and not a moral conflict with beliefs, then the religious angle is out.  That now leaves the legal angle.

Laws are fickle things, created and passed by politicians with agendas.  The agenda used to be for the simple reason for improving greater good of the country, and that also included morality (remember Prohibition?).  Now, it’s for garnering votes for the election, and morality (or any semblance thereof) is out the window.

And this is why I object to the recent announcement of President Obama’s support of gay marriage.  This is nothing more than politics, a political expediency designed to 1) appeal to a specific Liberal voting base, 2) fulfill a 3-year old campaign promise to support gay marriage to the states, and 3) to distract the voters from his abysmal record in office.  President Obama is making the rounds in full campaign mode, making speeches and appearing on talk shows, promoting his “new” position.

Why the homosexual community doesn’t see that they are being used by the politicians is beyond me except that they will take whatever support they can get.  The means justifies the ends in this case – President Obama gets support from another group, and that group gets what they want (kind of…).

Whether or not President Obama announced his support of gay marriage, I see where the legality of a homosexual marriage will eventually be approved as a “legal union,” probably within the next five to ten years.  The laws are going to be changed on the local and state level, probably not on the Federal level (unless Congress makes that their business too).  And I see where churches will be created or change their theology to accommodate homosexual marriages.  This will happen without the campaign grandstanding of President Obama.

No, I do not like the thought of homosexuality being front and center in not only a Presidential campaign, but in our society as well.  Do I hate homosexuals?  No, I do not – how can I when I have a cousin that is a lesbian?  But that does not mean that I have to have the homosexual agenda thrust in my face every day.  And that, my readers, is what I find most offensive.

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About Tom Roland

EE for 25 Years, Two Patents - now a certified PMP. Married twice, burned once. One son with Asperger's Syndrome. Two cats. Conservative leaning to the Right. NRA Life Member.
This entry was posted in Election 2012, Politics, Religion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to The Gay Agenda and Vote

  1. Tom, very eloquently and well put. It is too bad that the politicians can’t read this one.

  2. Damn straight (no pun intended), brother! Well said, and once again, spot on!

  3. here is no solution that will make everyone happy or comfortable

    But the laws are going to be changed so that the minority can be “in the faces” of the majority — to the point of disgust.

    I do wonder if there isn’t going to be a backlash, at some point, from the marginalized majority.

  4. pete says:

    “I know that somewhere along the line, someone is going to flame me for a post I write”

    Are you sure the word FLAME is appropriate for this piece?

    Just kidding – excellent post!

  5. Tom says:

    Robert – The politicians of both parties are welcome to read this post. However, they already know it’s true.

    Braden – Of course you planned the pun! Just remember – He who lives by the pun shall be skewered by the pun!

    AOW – But we are already living in a society where the rights of the minority seemingly outweigh the majority! The backlash is beginning starting with the TEA Party influencing the politicians, but we don’t know if it’s going to be enough.

    pete – Yes, because I have been taken to task several times on posts in the past, and have been toasted to a very nice golden-brown.

    My thanks to everyone for visiting and making comments.

  6. Tom,
    Today, I attended the commencement ceremonies at my alma mater. I hadn’t really been on that campus for 40 years. Mind you, the school is not a hotbed of Leftism.

    Well, it wasn’t when I was there.

    Things have changed.

    One of the student speaker’s key points was how supportive the university now is of the LGBTQ “community.” Apparently, the university has quite a program in that regard.

    I have to say that attending that ceremony today was disheartening. So many things are happening under the umbrella of “diversity” that I can’t keep up with all the information now!

    • Tom says:

      It is interesting that higher education is more interested in diversity than education. No wonder college graduates have a hard time in finding employment.

  7. sobpol says:

    Your ‘gays are front and center in our society or even in this election campaign’ is acroamaticly hidden in your post to me. Religious groups have evolved their opinion on many controversial issues; it is their right to adapt and yours not to participate in their reinterpretation

    Anything a politician says and does is weighed politically; affiliation not exempted

  8. Chris says:

    Stumbled upon this blog, though as a liberal I’m not sure how WordPress decided to recommend it to me! But since I’m here, I wanted to comment. I am a straight, married (for 20 years) mom, so let’s clear that up for starters. I have no personal horse in this race, not even a gay relative like you have yourself. I just feel that this is one of those things that really shouldn’t be so divisive at this point in time. I accept that from a religious standpoint, many people will never accept gay people or their behavior as “moral”. I happen to respect whatever faith or beliefs people may have, and nobody has to accept homosexuality on a moral level in their own mind or heart. But I don’t think that’s the goal here. After all, there are still people in this country that don’t accept non-white races as being equal, or women being equal. But the law says that they are, and this sort of change is what the fight is about.

    It’s just a legal and social equality that is being sought, and I can fully understand that. Right now, all American heterosexual adults have the right to be legally married to any one consenting adult they choose. If we deny that same right to other Americans, based solely on their sexual orientation and nothing else, that is a form of discrimination. I shouldn’t imagine that Americans who value liberty and the concept of “all men are created equal” would object to this type of discrimination being corrected. Any one of us would fight with everything we had to prevent having that same freedom taken from us, if it was being denied only because heterosexuality was the minority and not the majority. Is it so hard to understand why they fight so hard to win that freedom and be on equal footing with us in the eyes of the law?

    As for “the homosexual agenda” being in anybody’s face every day, it seems unfair to ask an entire group of people to pretend they don’t exist, so that we don’t have to be icked out by it. They have been watching straight folks holding hands and acting affectionate with one another for decades and have had to remain marginalized because of it. I don’t think we straight people are in any position to decide that they have less of a right to be public about their relationships than we do. They are not second class citizens and should not be asked to accept being treated as such.

    Again, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs or opinions about homosexuality. But as Americans, the laws are not based on any one particular religious belief system. So religious standards should not enter into it. It’s a simple matter of deciding whether we’re OK with the sort of “separate but equal” treatment that we used to try to offer to the black community (which the Supreme Court decided was not in keeping with the Constitution), or do we simply recognize that all men are actually created equal, even if they creep some of us out?

    I don’t know if my opinion is worth much on a blog like this, but I do try to interact with many different types of bloggers, not just those who believe what I believe. I also don’t expect to change your mind. I do hope what I’ve written seems reasonable though, and even if you don’t agree with it, maybe you can see that there are some arguments for gay equality which aren’t about some militaristic “agenda”. They’re just things that seem fairly simple and logical to me as an American who values liberty and equality.

    • Tom says:

      Chris – First of all, thank you for visiting and leaving such a well-written comment. It’s not often I get a self-professed Liberal taking the time to write intelligently about their opinion. And yes, your opinion is worth a lot to the discussions, and you are most welcome to visit and comment.

      Putting aside the homosexual marriage question for the moment, people of any race, religion, and sexual orientation have the legal rights to be treated fairly and equally – that fact is not in dispute and is part of being a citizen of this country. It should also be pointed out that laws currently exist in this country that prevent discrimination based upon sexual orientation. However, as you and I have both stated, the belief systems of the people of this country vary. Additionally, it has been stated on this blog and others, morality and belief systems cannot be legislated.

      This is the crux of “second class status” for any group. Legally, they are equal from a discrimination standpoint. From a belief system standpoint, there is inequality & discrimination, and sometimes the creep factor slips in as well.

      You are incorrect in one aspect of your comment – this country’s laws are based along a Judea-Christian belief system even though a state-sponsored or mandated religion is not part of this country’s laws. This is the basis of the current marriage laws which are now being challenged again.

      The reason I say again is that at one time, interracial marriage was illegal – now it is legal. Again, I see that homosexual marriage will eventually become legal. My big question is where will it stop? Should polygamy also become legal? What about marital relations between adults and prepubescent teens or children? Marriage between humans and animals? Yes, I’m probably being a little silly, but there are groups that are advocating exactly the types of sexual and marital relations that are listed.

      One of the reasons for writing the post was to point out that the issue of homosexual marriage is becoming a campaign issue up to the national level including the Presidency. This is today’s politics, agendas designed to garner votes from groups no matter what the candidates personal beliefs may be, in my opinion, borders on fraud – it’s all about the candidate getting elected.

      Again, thank you for the the excellent comment.

      • Chris says:

        Tom,
        Thank you for allowing my comment and responding to it as you did. I appreciate you doing so despite the fact that I have a different point of view on this issue. I hope you won’t mind a follow-up comment to reply to what you wrote to me.

        As far as the current status of homosexuals in America is concerned, I would take issue with your contention that, “Legally, they are equal from a discrimination standpoint.” Maybe in some areas of life that is true, but not in all areas. They are legally protected from discrimination in the workplace, for example, and hiring or firing decisions may not be made based on their sexuality alone. A gay American could even run for the presidency and be elected with no legal problems. But imagine that a gay American did manage that feat. He or she would hold the highest office in the land, but would not be allowed to enter into a legal marriage. That scenario illustrates the absurd legal and social disparity that exists between straight and gay citizens. While some things have been addressed, there are still certain basic rights and protections that are only granted to heterosexuals, and as long as we exclude those same rights and protections from other citizens only because they are gay, we are discriminating against them legally on the basis of sexual orientation.

        Because we do not allow gay marriage, we are also denying the legal status that would be necessary for a same-sex couple to do many of the same things a straight couple would do, such as estate planning, end-of-life care arrangements, and obtaining family insurance coverage. In most places, if one partner in a same-sex relationship becomes seriously ill, the other partner has no family rights with regard to hospital visitation or communicating with doctors about treatments. If their partner should die, they may not have the legal right to be involved with their funeral or memorial arrangements, or in some cases, to even attend these ceremonies without the consent of the family. Again, these are basic things that straight Americans take for granted, and things we feel entitled to. We would never give those freedoms up simply on the basis of our sexual orientation, our race, our religion, or any other factor. Yet we expect gay Americans to live without them. There is no justification for denying them these simple rights based only on their sexual orientation.

        When I speak about “second class citizenship”, these are the types of things I mean. It’s true that morality cannot be legislated, as you pointed out. If those of a particular religious persuasion feel that they cannot personally recognize gay couples as being “married”, that’s an opinion they are fully entitled to have. But legislatively there must be equal treatment for all – and every American, regardless of their personal perspective, is obligated to uphold those provisions for equal treatment under the law. To deny legal recognition of these partnerships, and to refuse the same protections and freedoms that heterosexual couples already have, is like asking gay Americans to go sit in the back of the bus.

        Additionally, there is the fact that many states are trying to make any type of same-sex civil union illegal, as has just happened with the passage of Amendment One in North Carolina. And there are some who would advocate a federal-level ban or Constitutional amendment to permanently deny the right to marry to anyone except heterosexual couples. As long as this is the case, there is no way to argue that there is true legal equality afforded to homosexuals in this country. And this is not likely to be a problem that can be solved on a state level. I personally believe that, eventually, this will have to be a situation where the Supreme Court is involved, just as they were for other civil rights issues. Otherwise, what we end up with is a patchwork of differing legal provisions from state to state, and that would be unmanageable in any realistic way. If a couple is legally married in Vermont, how can we say their marriage is now null and void if they relocate to New Jersey? Rights are not granted on a geographical basis, nor should they be. That would fly in the face of our Declaration of Independence, which acknowledges the “unalienable rights” of all men and calls on governments to secure these rights, not to deny or restrict them.

        I would also take issue with the “slippery slope” argument that legalizing gay marriage would then open the door to polygamy, pedophilia, or bestiality being legalized. As I said in my original comment, the current situation here in the US is that every heterosexual adult has the right to legal marriage with one other consenting adult. Legalizing gay marriage would simply extend this exact same right, which already exists, to same-sex couples as well. It would not involve the creation of a whole new law (or set of laws) that are not already on the books. It would merely be a broader application of what we already have. It is not even remotely equivalent to anyone wanting to marry 10 people, or a goat, or a child, and it could not be used to argue for the legalization of any of these things.

        I would tend to agree with you that the gay marriage issue has been used to score political points on both sides of the spectrum. I happen to believe that President Obama already felt comfortable with gay marriage on a personal level, as he was willing to withdraw legal defense of DOMA some time ago. The timing of his announcement struck me as politically calculating, to a degree. But then again, he ran the risk of doing himself just as much harm as good by making that announcement now, and not punting on it until after the election. Joe Biden’s interview may have forced his hand a bit, but I don’t think anyone on the right or the left really believed that he’d never personally endorse gay marriage. Everything he did legislatively indicated support of gay rights since his election, so this statement was pretty consistent with his political stance so far.

        I do apologize for the length of my reply. I just realized how much I’ve gone on! But I appreciate having someone who disagrees with my views at least being willing to engage in a reasonable and respectful discussion, so thanks again for that opportunity.

  9. Tom says:

    Chris – It is refreshing to have a “reasonable and respectful discussion” on a subject where the opinions differ on a subject. Too bad our elected leaders do not seem to have the same mindset…

    We do agree that same-sex relationships operate on a different legal platform than heterosexual relationships, marriage being one of the differences. Some of the differences can be addressed legally through power of attorney documents and wills. Insurance companies are insuring domestic partners of employees (hetero- and homosexual couples) in several of the companies that I have worked for. However, there is not much that can be done if the family of the partner objects to the relationship (which also happens with heterosexual relationships). This last would not change with a legalization of homosexual marriage.

    I do not agree that the state of marriage should be defined on the federal level as this is beyond the scope of the Federal Government as defined by the Constitution. As such, the State and Local should govern those laws. If someone wants to sponsor a Constitutional Amendment, then there is a legal process for that to happen (or not happen) which would include ratification by those same States, and for any law to be challenged for its Constitutionality at the Supreme Court.

    I realize that the examples of polygamy and the like were extreme examples, but knowing some of the people demanding rights for anything and everything for their corner of the universe, I wouldn’t put it past them.

    Politicians do not announce their support for anything unless it is politically advantageous for them to do so. This is true for whatever political party the candidate belongs to. I too found the timing of President Obama’s announcement politically calculated, which is one of the reasons for the post.

    Again, thank you for your comments.

    • Chris says:

      Thank you too, Tom. I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a little while here, so I am sorry it took so long for me to respond. But I appreciate your consideration and your replies very much.

  10. The Griper says:

    Ahhh hope you don’t mind my joining this discussion, Tom and Chris.

    First of all, no one does what he “wants” unless there is no law governing that action. Once a law has been determined in regards to an action everyone acts in obedience to that law or in disobedience to it. That law can be either defined as a moral law or a legal law. And one description of a “good” law has always been when 80% of the people voluntarily and consensually obey that law. that is true in regards to all behavior in any society, especially that behavior which is considered as being of public interest as marriage is.

    as for the second class citizenship argument, that is also a fallacy. it isn’t the laws on marriage that prevent equal treatment under the law. it is the law in regards to the entitlement that needs to be changed so as to be inclusive of the homosexual. a good example of this are the adoption laws which have been changed so as to allow homosexuals to adopt children. it did not require a change in the laws on marriage. the same can be done in regards to every other law that discriiminates against the homosexual.

    another thing to consider is the fact that second class citizenship or equality deals with a person “state of being” not behavior and in speaking of sexual orientation we are speaking about behavior not state of being.

    • Chris says:

      I think your first and second points tie together somewhat. The idea that marriage is regulated at all speaks to the role it plays in our society. But its personal significance to homosexuals is equal to its personal significance to heterosexuals. Even if homosexuals are a minority, that should not negate the need to legally protect for them the same opportunity to experience marriage as a straight couple would have. And as I had stated in a previous comment, many states are pushing for a ban on same-sex unions of any kind, and this immediately negates any other entitlements that you might mention relating to the gay marriage issue. Why would it be acceptable to say to a gay couple that adoption is OK, but not a legally-recognized relationship? This is a rather backwards approach. The legal right to marry should be the first thing granted, and the entitlements that relate to a legal marriage should follow from there.

      Regarding the “state of being” idea, most in the scientific community would argue that homosexuality is in fact a “state of being” with identifiable genetic factors. Even if you disagree, that doesn’t mean that homosexuality should be excluded when considering legal protections. As an example, religion is not a state of being either. It is an individual’s choice to follow a particular faith, yet we have many federal-level legal protections regarding discrimination on the basis of faith. If we accept protection for those who engage in a behavioral practice such as worship, we can’t deny it for gay people.

  11. The Griper says:

    Chris,
    your last premise is your best argument but it is still fallacious in fact. Religious behavior is a specific behavior explicitly protected by the federal Constitution thus explicitly forbidding the federal government from regulating it. Marriage as a behavior is regulated by the States and the people per the Tenth Amendment. this is historically backed up by the fact that Utah was required to ban polygamous marriages prior to their allowed entry into the Union. it was not the federal government that banned it.

    and that has personal significance to a minority of people also. in fact it has such personal significance that many are still practicing it in violation of the laws against it. and the persons in that relationship has no greater protection of the law than the persons of a homosexual relationship has but each individual of that polygamous relationship enjoys the same protection of the law as each individual of that homosexual relationship.

    the Scientific community may present that argument as you state but they would also have to admit that as of now there is no genenic evidence to support that claim thus the claim is a belief not a scientific fact. they would also have to admit that the belief is founded by a no longer acceptable method of determining nature vs cultural. they would also have to admit that they themselves did not believe it to be a state of being at one time and treated it as a psychological disorder.

    • Chris says:

      The assertion that marriage is only regulated at a state level is incorrect. The Equal Protection Clause that appears in the 14th Amendment has been cited as a Constitutional prohibition against state regulation of interracial marriage. The Supreme Court’s interpretation of this amendment could also be applied to gay marriage at some point in the future, and I would not be surprised to see that argument being considered within the next 5 years or so. The current case in California, regarding Proposition 8, has already been discussed and appealed in this context, and the findings thus far have held that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. This will likely be the case that ends up before the Supreme Court, and then there may be some decision which overrules any state restrictions on gay marriage, as has already happened with interracial marriage.

      Science has already definitively determined that there are significant genetic patterns shared among homosexuals. They have not identified a specific “gay gene”, so to speak, but all evidence currently points in the direction of some genetic continuity among those with that specific sexual orientation. Research into this area is still relatively young so there is much left to be discovered. But just as homosexuality was once believed to be a psychological disorder, the earth was once believed to be flat, and to be the center of our universe. As time passes and science advances, we figure things out. I think further studies of homosexuality will determine an identifiable genetic cause at some point, and based on what has already been determined via various studies, right now there is more evidence of that being the case than not.

  12. The Griper says:

    Chris,
    that equal protection clause used in the case of interracial marriage was based upon a known and accepted inheritable state of being(the color of one’s skin) not behavior. and that is scientific genetic fact.

    and declaring a State law as unconstitutional is not a recognition of the federal government’s right to regulate marriage. it is a declaration that the State went beyond its limited constitutional authority in regards to its right to regulate marriage, nothing more.

    and yes, the earth was believed to be flat but that was based upon religious belief not scientific studies.

    and no, all scientific studies do not currently point in the direction of some genetic continuity among those witth that specific sexual orientation. studies with identical twins are pointing it into another direction. and any evidence stilll accepted is based on that outdated method of determination of the state of being for humans.

    and you are right, as time passes and science advances we do figure things out. but the fact you think that further studies will show a genetic link only proves that it is a belief not a scientific fact as of now. further studies could also end up proving the opposite too.

    so, you are trying to compare apples with oranges and that doesn’t work.

  13. Tom says:

    Griper and Chris – Thank you both for a spirited and civil discussion! This is one of the reasons that this blog was started.

    We keep throwing legalities around about what branch of government regulates what defines marriage. If we really stop and think about it, marriage was originally defined by social norms. Homosexuality was deemed aberrant behavior since it contributed nothing to the propagation of the species.

    If we want to go down the path of what is acceptable behavior from a legal standpoint, then there are laws against public intoxication, theft, rioting, murder, and other behaviors which are choices voluntarily made by the individual. Yes, these behaviors are crimes against others since they violate the rights or damage property of other individuals. But I’m not going to sit here and foster a debate about whether homosexuality is a behavior brought on by genetics, a voluntary behavior, or a result of the environment that the individual was brought up in – you two are doing just fine with that. Besides, I distrust the “scientists” that study behavior – they have agendas, and people with agendas tend to go where they will get funding.

    So what is left is bringing the topic before the citizenry since the politicians also have agendas. In 32 states, the issue of legalizing gay marriage was put before the voters, and in each instance it was defeated. Yes, homosexual behavior may be tolerated at this time, but the populace at large is not ready for a formal acceptance.

    Now I know that advocates of homosexual marriage cry “foul” and cite violations of rights just as Chris has in her comments above. But what really is a right? Wikipedia has a rather comprehensive definition, but the bottom line is this statement:

    Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.

    And there is the crux of the matter – “fundamental normative rules.” Since homosexuality has been defined for centuries as aberrant behavior, then the idea that a same-sex marriage is to exist flies in the face of social convention. Yes, the relationships are tolerated, and discrimination is forbidden, but don’t expect the definition of what is a marriage to include same-sex couples to be accepted by the general population (at least anytime soon).

  14. Chris says:

    Tom – I wouldn’t say that the Wikipedia definition of a right is the one adhered to by the legislative or judicial bodies in our country. Nor would I say that a popular vote, among those who are “not ready for a formal acceptance” of gay marriage, should be the factor that determines who gets treated equally and who doesn’t. This is, at its core, a matter of Constitutional law, since that is truly what all Americans, regardless of their religious or political preferences, must abide by. Despite everything else that has been posted so far, I believe that, ultimately, what we are looking at is an argument before the Supreme Court, regarding the issue of whether the 14th Amendment will be interpreted to apply to gay marriage. As I mentioned, the case most likely to reach the high court for such consideration is California’s Proposition 8, and in the appeals process so far, the 14th Amendment has been cited as the reason why Prop 8 is unconstitutional. So at some point the Supreme Court will probably be asked to decide whether they agree with that or not.

    As for the likelihood of the Supreme Court interpreting the 14th Amendment to apply this issue, that remains to be seen. But based on how it has been applied in the past, I would expect they’d have a hard time rejecting the arguments that have been presented in the previous appeals up to this point.

    From Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary ( http://www.nolo.com/dictionary/equal-protection-term.html ):
    Equal protection is defined as “The right, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to be treated the same, legally, as others in the same situation. If a law discriminates between one group of people and another, the government must have a rational basis for doing so. A law that discriminates on the basis of a suspect classification — that is, it makes a distinction based on race, gender, or another trait that has historically resulted in discriminatory treatment — is constitutional only if there is a very compelling reason for the distinction.”

    So far, the states’ attempts to prohibit gay marriage are based on a defense of popular opinion (vote) or of tradition. In the eyes of the Supreme Court, these would not be considered rational or compelling legal reasons for the state to deny a homosexual from marrying another homosexual, when a heterosexual is free to marry another heterosexual. “Social conventions” do not carry enough weight to be the main factor in what rights we should or should not have. Let’s all be honest here. If interracial marriage, desegregation or voting rights for African-Americans were determined strictly by a public vote, they may not have happened. Even today, it’s entirely possible (if not probable) that there would be states where they were all rejected by majority vote. This is why the popular vote needs to be superseded by the high court sometimes. Their job is defending Constitutional protections, and those protections do not originate from how popular or commonplace something is. They originate from the American principle of “all men are created equal”, and they are clearly enshrined in the 14th Amendment: “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.”

    And from a discussion of equal protection on the Loyola Law School website, it is explained that the Court generally hears arguments if the state action involved interferes with a right that is considered “fundamental”. Marriage has already been determined as a “fundamental” right by the Court in multiple cases, so that criteria would be automatically satisfied in this situation. The Loyola site has some great course materials which show, in flowchart format, how the Court would decide whether a case was worthy of being heard (this chart can be found at http://classes.lls.edu/archive/manheimk/114d3/charts/fr2.gif ). Because state prohibitions on gay marriage place an “undue burden” on homosexuals, and promote “unequal allocation” of a right that has been identified by the Court as “fundamental”, the case would probably be heard.

    As for what the outcome might be, the explanation on the website regarding equal protection cases is fairly straightforward:
    “The Supreme Court is looking for a Compelling State Interest and the Necessary Means to accomplish the goal that the State set. The fit between the Interest that the State has and the Means that the State uses to fulfill the Interest must be very tight in order to survive this scrutiny. Usually, the standard is so high that few legislation survive the scrutiny.” The case they cite as an example of this scrutiny is Loving v. Virginia, the case in which it was determined that state prohibitions on interracial marriage were unconstitutional.

    I would also note that the classification of a minority is not based solely on genetic determination. There are other factors to consider as well. To decide whether a group of people should be considered a “suspect class” that is being denied equal Constitutional liberties, one thing the Court does is to ask if the group in question has suffered a “history of purposeful discrimination (tending toward stereotype and stigma)”. I think it’s clear that homosexual Americans would qualify as a “suspect class” using this criteria.

    I think, given all of this context, that we’re rapidly moving past the point where individual states trying to decide this issue via public vote will be supported by the Constitution. Again, nobody needs to accept that gay marriage is “right” from their own individual moral perspective. But the fact that it should be a protected right is not something the states should decide, and in all likelihood, the Supreme Court will in fact interpret and apply the Constitution to make that determination.

  15. Tom says:

    Chris, while I applaud your passion in addressing this issue, I do have to disagree with you on the assertion that a behavior is a reason to be classified as a minority class. Homosexuality is an abnormal behavior contrary to what many of the activists and scientists may say. Otherwise, every behavior known to man would qualify as a reason for declaring one group or another legal minority status.

    The rights of the individual are protected from discrimination from race, sex, religion, and yes, sexual orientation. As stated before in the post and in the comments above, homosexuals can take legal steps to protect themselves and their partners to the point of having a marriage relationship without having the actual title of marriage. Already, many insurance companies are allowing domestic partners coverage, and this is only one example of the falling barriers to the homosexual relationships becoming mainstream.

    Will that final marriage barrier fall? Yes, it will eventually from a legal standpoint. That is reality no matter what you or I want. From the various belief systems around the world, there will be varying states of acceptance. That is the human condition which is far from the utopia that many long for.

    Again, thank you for your time and effort on this subject.

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