Tag: Gay Marriage

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The victory in the Supreme Court by the forces of Gaydom could very well be their undoing as far as promoting gay “marriage”. The preferred way to enact sweeping change is to be slow and deliberate, and go state by state, building support for legislation that backs your cause. When this method isn’t followed, you […]

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The Libertarian Podcast: The Supreme Court and Gay Marriage


Still hungry for more razor-sharp constitutional analysis after yesterday’s Law TalkYou’re in luck. We’ve got a double-shot this week, as Professor Epstein also weighs in on the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in the new episode of The Libertarian. And the conversation here is a little different — for instance, Richard discusses whether Chief Justice Roberts has any discernible judicial philosophy and whether Rand Paul’s suggestion that we get government out of marriage altogether is practical. It’s all available by listening in below or by subscribing to The Libertarian via iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

The Hidden Message of Same-Sex Marriage


shutterstock_219219871The four dissenters in Obergefell v. Hodges lucidly expressed the profound offense against constitutional law and representative democracy the ruling represents. In short, five lawyers, accountable to no one, chose to legislate on a profoundly consequential matter that the people were just beginning to address through democratic means. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote: “Who do we think we are?” If justices cannot resist the urge to legislate, let’s drop the pretense that constitutional law is guided by neutral principles and at least give the people the option to vote justices in (and out).

That the court has struck a blow for gay rights is true enough (and treating homosexuals with respect is long overdue). Unfortunately, the claim that this ruling also strengthens marriage is almost certainly false. To understand why is also to answer the question so often pressed as a taunt by gay marriage supporters: How can extending marriage to gays possibly affect your marriage? The answer lies in the hidden message.

The road to gay marriage began with feminism. Feminists argued that there were no important differences between the sexes. Thus, mothering and fathering were interchangeable. The word ‘parent’ became a verb. If mothers and fathers bring nothing unique or complementary to their roles, then it logically follows that two mothers or two fathers should be just as good. Talk of three or more parents misses the mark. The relevant number is one. If fathers are no different from mothers, then single women needn’t pause before embarking on “parenthood” solo – and they aren’t.

Obergefell’s Threat to Religious Liberty


As a libertarian, I support same-sex marriage. As a libertarian, I also fear the totalitarian overtones sounding from the next round of gay rights initiatives. The nature of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on same-sex marriage in Obergeffel v. Hodges has only compounded the danger. As I note in my newest column for Defining Ideas from the Hoover Institution:

…[I]n the wake of Obergefell, we have to ask what the next step in the struggle over same-sex marriage will be. By insisting that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right, Kennedy has consciously introduced an equivalence between race and sexual orientation. How far is he prepared to go? In the 1983 case of Bob Jones University v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld an IRS decision to deny tax-exempt status to schools engaging in racial discrimination. The Court acknowledged that it could not outlaw the Church’s practices, which were protected as a free exercise of religion. But the differential tax treatment was fine because “the Government has a fundamental, overriding interest in eradicating racial discrimination in education.”

Scalia’s Dissent in Lawrence vs Texas


Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Lawrence v. Texas was prescient in its analysis of where we were headed in a post-Lawrence world. Likewise, the reaction to last Friday’s Obergefell decision has included warnings from both the dissenters and numerous commentators that the fallout from the case could mean serious legal challenges to religious institutions and/or the necessary discovery of a constitutional right to polygamy or prostitution.

Naturally, progressives scoff (at least on the record) at such suggestions, even as we begin to see a few commentaries pop-up that make those very arguments.

To most on the Left, these are the desperate ramblings of scare-mongers who are trying to cling to the most absurd arguments still available to them in this rapidly changing world. “Pay these claims no mind,” they say. “This is just slippery-slope nonsense.” They usually then tack on a strawman about how conservatives think people will start marrying their dogs or some such thing.

The Marriage Immigrants


shutterstock_784954512When immigrants move to a country of their own free will, they have an obligation to adapt to their adopted country’s values. This doesn’t mean abandoning their old culture entirely or pretending that the new one is beyond reproach, but at the very least it means giving up aspects of it that are incompatible with their new one. After all, if you think your adopted culture is worth immigrating to, you should want to try to keep and cherish it basically as you found it.

As of this Friday, gay people across the nation are now immigrants to marriage culture. Some of them have been here for a while — I personally know gay couples who’ve been legally married five times longer than I — while most are freshly off the ship. Like all voluntary immigrant populations, they have a positive duty: to assimilate to the culture they chose to adopt and to do so with enthusiasm.

That probably means not only being as married as your straight peers, but more so. In practical terms, that means being more monogamous than straight couples, less prone to divorce, and even more interested in your children’s (should you have any) welfare. And if you’re so inclined, think what a powerful message it would be for marriage if you said that sex only belongs within marriage, even for you.

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Now, with the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage, it is clear to me that it’s not enough for one to sit on the sideline and quietly try ignore it all and live your life. One must actively and enthusiastically exhibit exuberance over gay marriage now being legal across 50 states. Facebook has now encouraged and facilitated […]

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The Court’s Assault on Democracy and States’ Rights


One of the ironies of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is that it is being touted as a victory for civil rights. Surely it’s an unusual civil rights victory that disenfranchises the people of all 50 states on a critical issue. After a mere decade of political debate on the topic of same-sex marriage, the voters have been told that our opinions are no longer needed. Justice Kennedy will tell us what we think.

The violence to democracy is bad enough, but it is greatly compounded by the damage to American federalism. The federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate marriage, nor does it have a roving license to promote “dignity” or “autonomy” or any of the other vacuous phrases contained in Kennedy’s majority opinion. If the Constitution granted anything like that kind of authority to the central government, the document would never have been ratified. In Federalist No. 45, James Madison assured readers that, under the proposed Constitution, the states would remain sovereign over “all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people” (emphasis added).

The Wrong Side of Morality


Many of my friends are very happy about Friday’s US Supreme Court decision. While I have mixed feelings, I realize that many of them are driven by great love and respect for other people, their dignity, their equality, and their love. And perhaps they’re right to celebrate the Supreme Court’s expansion of the definition of marriage.

A small minority of them, however, undermine their claim to be driven by love and respect when they lash out in hatred, anger, and derisive mockery at Supreme Court justices, or at others who do not share their views. If you write or like a post that calls Justice Thomas a highly unpleasant expletive, for example, the emotion driving you does not seem to be love, and the values guiding you do not seem to be respect or tolerance.

Why We Lost; What We Lost


ConstitutionYesterday’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges represents the culmination of a perfectly executed public relations campaign.

In a purely pragmatic sense, it’s difficult not to be impressed by what this activist-driven effort accomplished—I mean in real terms, not the unserious victory slogans of the campaign itself.

In no particular order, it:

Marriage 2.0


“YouTube and Google are proud to celebrate marriage equality” proclaimed the mighty Google search page yesterday. At the rate things are going, June 26 will wind up being a national holiday in the future.

Yesterday’s decision didn’t just extend the legal rights and privileges of marriage to same-sex partners; civil unions began that process a while ago. Yesterday redefined state-sanctioned marriage itself. It’s more than marriage “equality.” This is marriage expansion.

SCOTUS and the Age of the Imperial Judiciary


In the Philadelphia Inquirer, my hometown paper, I critique the Supreme Court’s decisions on gay marriage and Obamacare. As a policy matter, I supported gay marriage, but the Constitution reserves the question for the voters of each state, not the judicial process. The weakness of the Court’s reasoning — is it Due Process? Is it Equal Protection? — suggests the decision’s political nature. Many may celebrate the result, but they should not welcome the steady erosion of democratic self-government.

Indeed, the political nature of Obergefell becomes readily apparent in the contradictory, vague logic of the majority opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy. The holding fits within none of the established precedents governing the due-process and equal-protection clauses. Kennedy says marriage is a fundamental right, but he admits that American society had long understood that right to be only between a man and a woman. He suggests that the right to equality may require gay marriage, but gays do not receive the heightened constitutional protection reserved for racial and religious minorities. Kennedy could have recognized that gays should receive the same protections against discrimination as gender, but he could not because recognizing sexual orientation as a protected class might open up a Pandora’s box of new constitutional claims by every self-defined group.

Mr. Justice Scalia Dissents


scaliaMr. Justice Scalia, dissenting:

If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,” I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.

A Bishop Gets it Right


From the statement by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.

The Court is indeed wrong again.

What Happened to Holy Ireland?


Ireland Holds Referendum On Same Sex Marriage LawThe New York Times and other organs of the mainstream media have offered only the most superficial and boringly predictable coverage of the referendum in which the Irish approved a constitutional amendment permitting gay marriage—according to the Times, the vote resulted from the march of enlightenment, the continuing dawning of modern consciousness, blah, blah, blah. So I’ve been looking around for commentary that truly attempted to explain how it happened.

How, that is, the nation that just a decade-and-a-half ago remained, with little Malta, one of the most Catholic nations in Europe; how the nation in which essentially the entire population turned out to greet the pontiff when John Paul II visited, how the nation that used to pride itself, that used to define itself, as faithful to the teachings of the Church even as Europe grew increasingly secular–how this nation could have changed so much, so quickly, as to reject the Church’s position on marriage by a margin of more than 3 to 2.

What have I found? “The Joyful Death of Catholic Ireland.” Although a long piece, it neatly sums up its entire argument in the concluding paragraph:

Is the Flat-tax Going to Become a Key Issue for Social Conservatives?


tax exempt statusOn NRO, David French reports that one of the attorneys arguing in favor of gay marriage in the Supreme Court admitted that tax exempt status for institutions that oppose gay marriage “is going to be an issue.” The institution under discussion was colleges — Bob Jones University in particular — but surely this would also become an issue for hospitals and other institutions and charities run by religious orders and eventually even churches, temples and mosques (well, maybe never mosques).

My question is whether we who harbor the definition as marriage as being only between a man and woman (like those who, you know, take Jesus as His word) will soon be considered Constitutional heretics. And if that happens, would we be better off doing away with all of the lawsuits in our future about whether a charity is worthy of tax exempt status by doing away with all such exemptions now? Should we focus on a flat tax which would allow more people to keep more money and be able to than give even more generously to the religious institutions they value?

And as a bonus, no more tax exemption for The Clinton Foundation.

Jim, David, and the Supreme Court


I have this uncle, let’s call him Jim. He and David lived together for decades. They shared expenses, kept each other company, and generally looked out for each other. They were, in many ways, like an old married couple. But when David died, Jim had no right to receive spousal survivor benefits because he was never married to David. Why did they never marry? Because they were gay? No: because they were brothers.

Why shouldn’t Jim and David have married? They were consenting adults. They had a long-term committed relationship. Granted, there was no physical union, but so what? The idea that a marriage must be consummated by a sexual act is surely a relic of a bygone era.

Member Post


So called Gay Marriage is over, my side lost, just a matter of time until the Supremes hand it down. I’d love to be wrong, but don’t think I am. I’ve been seeing way too many transgender and the like stories on Yahoo/Drudge in the last year, so that is in the process of becoming […]

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