published Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Love trumps bigotry: Supreme Court says gays' 'I do' just like all others

Gay-rights supporters celebrate after the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in West Hollywood, Calif., Wednesday.
Gay-rights supporters celebrate after the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in West Hollywood, Calif., Wednesday.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Who can marry whom is not the government’s business. In fact, it’s no one’s business other than the two people who are marrying.

No matter what color the members of a couple may be, no matter how tall or short they are, no matter what nationality they are, what religion, or what sex they are — a couple’s decision to marry is strictly their own.

Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court has said governments must accept this fact.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a 1996 law denying federal benefits to legally married, same-sex couples. On the same day, the court ruled on a separate California case and cleared the way for California to legalize same-sex marriage.

In effect, the rulings expand gay rights. The decisions mean real things to real people, and they come out of real questions of fairness.

The first ruling struck down the federal law known as DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.

Those benefits include Social Security for surviving spouses, joint tax filings, official contact when a military spouse is killed in the line of duty, green-card status and family health insurance.

The second decision dismissed California’s Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage, meaning gay marriage can resume there. Though narrowly focused on California, the ruling sets the stage for other states to know that banning gay marriage will mean fruitless and expensive court battles that will waste taxpayer money.

At this time, only 12 states have made same-sex marriage legal, and at least 82,500 gay couples have married since Massachusetts became the first state to accept gay marriage in 2004.

In striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote: “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”

He continued: “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

Put another way, the law was meant only to demean gay couples.

In the court’s 5-4 decision, dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia called the rule “jaw-dropping.”

“In the majority’s telling, this story is black-and-white: Hate your neighbor or come along with us,” Justice Scalia wrote in his dissent. “The truth is more complicated.”

Yes, bigotry usually is complicated.

But Wednesday’s sea-change rulings also reflect the shift in public opinion about gay rights. A decade ago in 2003, only 31 percent of the public said they approved of gay marriage. This year, 55 percent gave gay marriage a nod.

Of course, there still will be culture wars, and there are a slew of state and federal rules to sort out. For instance, IRS and the Social Security Administration look to the state where a gay couple lives, not where they married, to determine benefit rights. That may spell red-tape confusion and delay in the 38 states where gay marriage has not been legalized. That geography would include all southern states.

Nonetheless, these rulings are landmark decisions.

Love has triumphed over bigotry. No one should care who marries whom — only that they love and honor each other.

Any other judgments are not ours to make.

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Facts said...

Disagreeing with homosexuality, abortion, obeying the law (legal immigration), etc. turns into bigotry to intimidate Christians and those of us who make an attempt to live the teachings of our faith.
It's actually your confession against Christ. No need to argue and I won't.

June 27, 2013 at 8:34 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

As the bigots turn

June 27, 2013 at 9:59 a.m.
conservative said...

"Any other judgments are not ours to make"

Correct, they are not ours to make. That said, God who judges all has set forth his condemnation and judgment on the sin of homosexuality.

Homosexuality is condemned by God in clear and easily understood language:

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22

If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.Leviticus 20:13

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor HOMOSEXUALS, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 1Corinthians 6:9-10

ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NOT ONE CHANCE THAT A HOMOSEXUAL WILL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD!!!

June 27, 2013 at 1:36 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Pam, Congratulations! That you have the tiny minds of JonRoss, Facts, Conservative, and the other old white ignorant bigots messing their Depends proves you're on the right course for promoting equality before the law.

Please Pam, a few more editorials like this and perhaps cardiac arrest will send them to meet their sweet, loving, compassionate saviors, Joe McCarthy, Joseph Goebbels, and Orville Farbus.

June 28, 2013 at 2:18 p.m.
fairmon said...

The article states....Those benefits include Social Security for surviving spouses, joint tax filings, official contact when a military spouse is killed in the line of duty, green-card status and family health insurance.

This is a few but not all where singles are discriminated against. Why does the pseudo intellectual writer of this article not address the maltreatment of those preferring to be single and the favoritism politicians show those married for no legitimate reason. Would this same journalist be among those outraged if two straight singes continued their single life style but obtained a marriage license with a sound prenuptial agreement to protect both parties?

It is irritating to hear those married expressing outrage about gays being able to marry while like the greedy hypocrites they are remaining mute about the discrimination against singles that are helping feed and educate their rug rats, helping pay for their health care and various other higher cost to singles. Why would everyone not support abolishing all tax exceptions and each pay the rate set for their income level?

June 28, 2013 at 9:23 p.m.
fairmon said...

daytonsdarwin said... Pam, Congratulations! That you have the tiny minds of JonRoss, Facts, Conservative, and the other old white ignorant bigots messing their Depends proves you're on the right course for promoting equality before the law.

Promoting equality before the law would certainly be appropriate if indeed the legislatures didn't see fit to favor marriage over preferring to not marry. What justification is there for the government to incentivize marriage? Don't thump your bible at me, the government is not to be religion driven or impose a religion on the people.

June 28, 2013 at 9:37 p.m.

“Privatizing Marriage Will Expand the Role of the State” by Jennifer Roback Morse , April 3rd, 2012 http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/04/5073/

Libertarians are being taken in by rhetoric that sounds libertarian but, in fact, will lead to a dramatic shift in the balance of power between the state and civil society, indeed between the state and the natural order itself.

”Privatizing Marriage Is Unjust to Children” by Jennifer Roback Morse, April 4th, 2012

Children are entitled to a relationship with both of their parents. They are entitled to know who they are and where they came from. Therefore children have a legitimate interest in the stability of their parents’ union, since that is ordinarily how kids have relationships with both parents. If Mom and Dad are quarreling, or if they live on opposite sides of the country, the child’s connection with one or both of them is seriously impaired.

But children cannot defend their rights themselves. Nor is it adequate to intervene after the fact, after harm already has been done. Children’s relational and identity rights must be protected proactively.

Marriage is society’s institutional structure for protecting these legitimate rights and interests of children.

This is not only a humane answer, it is also the proper libertarian answer, indeed the only possible truly libertarian answer. For only this answer allows the possibility of a society in which every individual person is recognized as valuable, as bearing intrinsic human dignity, of holding rights against other people and against the state …

This is why I do not believe it is possible or desirable to “get the state out of the marriage business.” The primary business of the state should be providing justice. Children are the most vulnerable parties in any society. But children are particularly vulnerable in a society like ours that values autonomy and independence so highly. Children cannot be autonomous and independent. Adult society owes children an obligation in justice to provide institutional structures that protect their most basic interests. This is why it would be unjust to children for the government to attempt to “get out of the marriage business.” Providing justice to the vulnerable is precisely the business of the government. If it doesn’t perform that function, it has failed.

See also:

“The Same-Sex “Marriage” Proposal is Unjust Discrimination” by Patrick Lee

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/01/4597/

June 29, 2013 at 12:58 a.m.
fairmon said...

WWWTW..

Neither of these works reflect the opinion of the vast majority of libertarians who advocate no or very limited but fair intrusion of government in peoples lives. True libertarians would not support or advocate discriminating against those not married whether heterosexual or homosexual. There is no justification for governments incentivizing or rewarding marriage.

June 29, 2013 at 3:40 a.m.

fairmon said... Neither of these works reflect the opinion of the vast majority of libertarians who advocate no or very limited but fair intrusion of government in peoples lives.

That is precisely her point. Most libertarians have been taken in by the simplistic “no harm principle” such that they ignore the economic implications and the inevitability of greater state intrusion into private matters that results from it redefining social institutions like marriage and marginalizing near-universal assumptions about them. Healthy birth rates and stable families are essential for the continuation and expansion of free markets.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/25/birthrate-japan-trends-industry-opinions-contributors-steven-malanga.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/opinion/sunday/douthat-the-birthrate-and-americas-future.html?_r=0

We do not enter or (usually) leave the world as independent, autonomous contract-makers. Children are entitled to the care of a mother and a father. Convicted criminals and recipients of government assistance are far more common among those parented in non-traditional arrangements (alternatives to married biological parents), including those of same-sex couples. Apparently, the “no harm principle” doesn’t apply to children, whose familial circumstances have unavoidable negative consequences for societies – in the immediate, as well as the long-term future.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610

What if my lifestyle choice is to father dozens of children, abandon them, and never acknowledge my role in bringing their upbringing? You have often advocated (unenforceable) measures of the state interfering with my lifestyle choices through sterilization. How dare someone impose his values on such a person’s lifestyle choices?

June 29, 2013 at 11:36 a.m.
fairmon said...

How dare someone impose his values on such a person’s lifestyle choices?

Only when I am asked to pay for the indiscretion then I want to have some say about the play. If the consequences to me is the cost of your broad breeding life style then I should be able to determine your consequences in a way I avoid the fall out from your choices.

June 29, 2013 at 6:28 p.m.
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