Tag: law

Pennsylvania Law as a Model for Dealing with Same-Sex Marriage

 

love-park-philadelphia-600x400This is a little on the end of “cart before the horse,” but it’s definitely a predictable direction that legislative action can take in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when it comes to dealing with the recent SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage. Of course, since the ruling, there has been a flurry of commentaries and stories about potential lawsuits against churches that refuse to sanctify these unions. That problem may not play the same in Pennsylvania as it will in most other states.

The commonwealth already has two forms of marriage licenses available in many counties, because our law permits self-uniting marriage licenses. Enjoy the irony if you like, but that is because of a religious belief – Pennsylvania is the Quaker state, and Quakers do not believe that a human being can stand between God and couple when they enter in a covenant of marriage. Their beliefs only permit people to witness that covenant, so we have marriage licenses that only require signatures of two witnesses. Until 2007, it was possible for a county to refuse to issue those licenses without verifying the religious beliefs of the couple, but now they cannot do that. Anyone can opt for the self-uniting license, if they are willing to pay a little more for it.

Because the difference in price isn’t significant (it’s just $10 more in the City of Philadelphia, for example), same-sex couples in Pennsylvania that might want to sue a church over refusing to sanctify a marriage will be a little difficult. If our legislature would happen to change how people get marriage licenses in the first place, those lawsuits would be impossible to start in the first place.

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My fellow traditionalists, you don’t get it.  SCOTUS did not disregard the obvious authority of states to define marriage requirements. From the progressive perspective, the definition of marriage remains unchanged. From that perspective, what changed is that a wrongfully excluded class of people has been granted access to that which the states continue to define. Preview […]

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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:

What Do You Owe The Law?

 

shutterstock_254582680In some ways, I’m one of the nuttier libertarians on Ricochet, always willing to put in a good word for David Friedman and his anarcho-capitalist theories. But I’m also a law-and-order gal: when people come together, it’s easy for me to see that they benefit from agreeing to some rules to guide their conduct (one of the reasons I sympathize with anarcho-capitalists: they, too, believe that rulemaking is such a ubiquitous feature of human behavior that there is a market for law). Moreover, I’m a lawyer’s kid, which means I grew up thinking of due process as a moral good.

For many reasons, I attempt to cooperate with the law. When our home was burgled, though nothing expensive was stolen, I took extensive notes, with accurate hand-drawn pictures of stolen items, and spent several days’ worth of time trying to expedite police action on my case. Not because I thought I’d ever get my stuff back, but in hopes that, if I cooperated with the police quickly, the burglar might actually be caught, and other residents spared the pain we had just been through. Despite my efforts, it took half a year for the police to follow up. The police refused to accept my notes and drawings at the time the case was fresh, and, months later, when a police detective finally took interest, my family had bigger problems to deal with, and we no longer could spare time to help. The material I prepared for the police still sits, collecting dust, on a shelf, a casualty of bad timing.

Even the bohemian crowd I ran with in college made efforts to help the police when we could. We were, for the most part, science and engineering students – the squarest kind of bohemian. When a pervert was roaming the village, half-climbing through women’s windows at night in order to cop a feel, we offered our ground-floor apartment in a rickety, easy-to-break-into house to the police for a stake-out. In retrospect, perhaps this wasn’t a practical offer, but who am I to judge? All I know is we tried to assist them, but were told nonetheless that the police would take no action: it seemed that this fellow (and he was a fellow – I remember his knuckly, hairy hands hovering over me) would have to completely enter someone’s abode and do something even worse before the police would care. Or whatever “We can’t act until he escalates” means.

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Related to the Snowden dilemma, there is the question of news media profiting off illegally obtained information. Perhaps Snowden’s case is a poor example. So here’s another:  Michelle Duggar said her family trusted the police department [which illegally leaked juvenile records]: “Our children poured out their hearts. They shared everything. And then to have their […]

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I didn’t know what FIFA meant when I first read about the indictments, I will say to those of us who are soccer uninitiates that FIFA is the organization behind the quadrennial World Cup.   The FIFA indictments announced yesterday are disquieting to me.  All of the defendants are foreign nationals.  The jurisdictional ties to […]

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David Deeble directed me to this story at the Washington Post, which in turn cites Ben Swann’s website. Basically, an 11-year-old student remarked on his mother’s use of cannabis oil during an anti-marijuana presentation at school, after which the boy was seized by CPS and the mother’s home was forcibly searched for illegal drugs.  There […]

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With a hat tip to Chicks On the Right, this little piggy went to mosque:  In the wake of the brutal murder of British soldier Lee Rigby by two radical Muslims, four British men from Blackpool formulated a plan to exact revenge by tossing the head of a pig into the parking lot of a local mosque. […]

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This is a kind of quatrain & a kind of poem Kipling seems to have enjoyed writing. Here’s John Derbyshire reading it, which should be enough to charm you. I’m not sure he invented it, but I find it hard to believe anyone did it better. See The Conundrum of The Workshops, New lamps for […]

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The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born. The journal’s editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, […]

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