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Archive for Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Right to marry?

July 24, 2012

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To the editor:

I’ve noticed several letters talking about “the right to marry.” I thought that I would do a little research on the subject. I don’t find such a right, either in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or any of the writings of the early founders. It seems to me it is a made-up phrase. There does not seem to be a “right” to marry.

Comments

Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

Larry, Larry, Larry, Larry. You're giving the rest of us a bad name with all this, how shall I put it, dumbness... You researching skills are lacking, to say the least. It's basic stuff, fella. Let me guess, you're 70 years old...am I right?

Here's what two minutes on Google revealed:

In the language of the U.S. Declaration of Independence all [human beings] are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these [being]:" Life - (right to life); Liberty (freedom, free will, personal liberty); the pursuit of Happiness (personal fulfillment, professional accomplishment, basic comforts, human pleasures, luxuries, vices, marriage).

And I'll do you one further by pointing to Loving v. Virginia (1967), a civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, the "Racial Integrity Act of 1924", unconstitutional, thereby overturning Pace v. Alabama (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States. In its decision, the court wrote: “Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival...."

I hope I've helped clear things up for you, Larry.

Speaking of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... Let's turn our attention to a more important, and relevant, issue. We need donations to get the truth out and end a little piece of tyranny perpetrated by the state. Open your minds and open your wallets. Go give these people your money.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/scorgie/the-culture-high

Namaste.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

Go read the Declaration of Independence. You'll find some gibberish about "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these [being]:" Life - (right to life); Liberty (freedom, free will, personal liberty); the pursuit of Happiness (personal fulfillment, professional accomplishment, basic comforts, human pleasures, luxuries, vices, marriage).

Better yet, go read the Supreme Court's ruling on Loving v. Virginia (1967) whereby the United States Supreme Court wrote: “Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival...."

[Insert derogatory comment here]

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

"Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man"" Blah, blah, blah...

That's not what the Supreme Court says, and the Supreme Court's opinion matters...not yours. For realsies.

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jaywalker 2 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, Mr. Miller, but in no thesaurus is "marriage" listed as a synonym for "happiness."

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

Lest we forget.

14th Amendment--All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. 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.

Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy.

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jaywalker 2 years, 3 months ago

Quoting the 14th was pointless. And in no fashion or form is a 'state of mind' protected in the Constitution.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

What does liberty mean to you? The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views? The power or scope to act as one pleases? Immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority? The ideological and political philosophy that identifies the condition to which an individual has the right to behave according to one's own personal responsibility and free will? Shore leave granted to a sailor?

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

Life? As in the unborn? Can't have it both ways, Larry.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

Blah, blah, blah... Save it for another day.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

You do realize the Declaration of Independence is not a legal document, right? Point out one ruling by the SCOTUS based on the DOI.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes. You do realize the LTE specifically mentions the DOI, right? Regardless, as the founding document and statement of intent, the DOI is the cornerstone to our country's high ideal of freedom. It has been considered by the Supreme Court when rendering decisions concerning law.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't care about the LTE. They are a bigot.

Which supreme court decision is based on the DOI? I can name one or two based on The Constitution, which is the root law of America.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

You asked my about the DOI, as if I'm stupid. I justified to you the reason for my use of the DOI in my comment--the LTE specifically mentions it. As for the DOI being the basis for SC decisions, I didn't say anything of the sort. I simply stated that the DOI has been considered by the SC numerous times when rendering its decision.

http://candst.tripod.com/doisussc.htm

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

They can consider what they want. They are required to rule based on law. That's how America works.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

In my view, a right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children is among the "unalienable Rights" with which the Declaration of Independence proclaims "all Men ... are endowed by their Creator." And in my view that right is also among the "othe[r] [rights] retained by the people" which the Ninth Amendment says the Constitution's enumeration of rights "shall not be construed to deny or disparage." The Declaration of Independence, however, is not a legal prescription conferring powers upon the courts; and the Constitution's refusal to "deny or disparage" other rights is far removed from affirming any one of them, and even farther removed from authorizing judges to identify what they might be, and to enforce the judges' list against laws duly enacted by the people. Consequently, while I would think it entirely compatible with the commitment to representative democracy set forth in the founding documents to argue, in legislative chambers or in electoral campaigns, that the state has no power to interfere with parents' authority over the rearing of their children, I do not believe that the power which the Constitution confers upon me as a judge entitles me to deny legal effect to laws that (in my view) infringe upon what is (in my view) that unenumerated right. --Justice Scalia, dissenting.

JENIFER TROXEL, et vir, PETITIONERS v. TOMMIE GRANVILLE [June 5, 2000]

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

Thank you for the mind-bending cerebrating, captain.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

If you look at Loving vs. Virginia, you'll find language regarding the pursuit of happiness and marriage - certainly suggests they consider the DOI when ruling on issues.

As they should, since it lays out the fundamental rights the founders believed in, and wanted to protect.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

I think it's a fourteenth amendment issue. I'm not sure why they bothered with the DOI. If a state has recognizes marriage, everyone must be treated equally under the law and every couple that meets the criteria specified under the statute has the right to marry.

Now you might say "well gays aren't being protected", but they have the EXACT same protections as everyone else - to marry a person of the opposite sex. Gay marriage will never be settled by the constitution until the SCOTUS rules that states cannot define marriage, and that will never happen. The matter will be settled in time by the states, as it is state and not federal business.

At best, all the protection you can ask for is for the SCOTUS to enforce the "full faith and credit" clause of The Constitution proper, and even that only gets you halfway there. Sure, The SCOTUS can make Kansas recognize a gay marriage from Massachusetts, but they can't force Kansas to allow gay people to marry.

There's a reason homosexual advocates aren't pushing the Full Faith clause. See if you can guess what that reason is. I'll just tell you. That clause will undermine the homosexual cause because it gives reasonable accommodation. With reasonable accommodation, it will be decades before all the states redefine marriage, and that is not in favor of gay marriage as it should be.

Jafs, you are better than you are posting. Get on the ball and think this stuff thru and quit posting garbage I would expect out of beatrice and bozo.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

So, because you think one thing, and I think differently, I'm "posting garbage"?

Even though the SC found the 14th amendment prohibited anti inter-racial marriage.

I completely disagree with your analysis, of course - I find that the ability to marry somebody you love is obviously covered under the "pursuit of happiness" clause, as is mentioned in Loving vs. Virginia - look it up.

The idea that the DOI is irrelevant is absurd on the face of it, since it lays out the fundamental "inalienable rights" that the founders wanted to protect.

From my perspective, the SC should in fact rule that state laws defining marriage so as to exclude gay, lesbian, etc. marriages are unconstitutional, since they violate the right to pursue happiness, and marriage was found to be a "fundamental right" by the SC already.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

""posting garbage""

Hysterical garbage. You are better than that.

"under the "pursuit of happiness" clause"

There is no "pursuit of happiness" clause in our constitution. The DOI is not law. It's a declaration of war.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I've just read the Full Faith and Credit clause in it's entirety several times - I see no mention of "reasonable accommodation".

I'm not at all sure why it's not being used more by proponents of gay marriage.

A combination of it and the 14th amendment should suffice, even if one wants to disregard the DOI and our fundamental "inalienable rights".

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ebyrdstarr 2 years, 3 months ago

This is a really obscure area of the law that even most lawyers don't know. I looked into it for exactly this topic. Within full faith and credit doctrine is the idea that states don't have to give force and effect to other states' rulings and policies if they run counter to the state's own policies. This was never challenged in the inter-racial marriage context. Unless SCOTUS reconsiders FF&C, though, states that have anti-gay marriage laws on the books feel secure that they can't be forced to recognize marriages from other states.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I've read it numerous times and don't find that idea in there at all.

In fact, it says quite clearly that "the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states", which is echoed in the 14th amendment as well.

Where is the notion that states don't have to give force to other states' legal proceedings if they are counter to that state's policies?

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ebyrdstarr 2 years, 3 months ago

In case law. Not in the clause itself, of course. A search of this on findlaw or google scholar should get you started, but I'll try to get back later with a case cite or two. But if the Supreme Court hadn't interpreted the clause this way, we would already have gay marriages recognized in every state.

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ebyrdstarr 2 years, 3 months ago

The 1939 case of Pacific Employers Insurance v. Industrial Accident, for starters. "[T]here are some limitations upon the extent to which a state may be required by the full faith and credit clause to enforce even the judgment of another state in contravention of its own statutes or policy."

The public policy exception, as it is known, has been mentioned in FF&C cases as recently as 2003, at least.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks.

Doesn't it seem that those two ideas are in conflict? One is that all citizens of the US are entitled to their "privileges", and that states must recognize the judgments of other states, and the other is that states are entitled to decide which judgments they in fact recognize.

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ebyrdstarr 2 years, 3 months ago

Oy, don't even get me started on how the court decimated the privileges and immunities clause...

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

"I see no mention of "reasonable accommodation""

Just because it isn't there, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The Constitution plainly leaves most laws to states, marriage being one of them. Nothing in the constitution guarantees anything except equal protection of marriage under state law. As long as everyone is treated the same, there is no case. In Kansas I can only marry a woman and a gay man can only marry a woman. That is equality. You might not like that equality, but you have to start introducing emotions to make any argument. Law should always be devoid of emotion.

Like it or not, the issue can only be settled by the legislators an governors rewriting the laws. As long as the general public feels gay people are being reasonably accommodated, they aren't going to push for a better law. I don't see how you don't understand that.

"I'm not at all sure why it's not being used more by proponents of gay marriage."

Because they want state law rewritten, not a band-aid to cover up the shortcomings of current statutes. The band-aid will do nothing but increase the time they have to wait before achieving true equality.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

"Just because it isn't there, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist" - wow, that's exactly what it means.

You commented that "reasonable accommodation" was a part of the full faith and credit clause, and it simply isn't any such part of that.

Again, I'll refer you to Loving vs. Virginia, in which the argument was made and dismissed by the SC regarding inter-racial marriage.

The issue can also be settled by the US SC, as I feel it should be, since marriage is a fundamental right, and obviously part of the pursuit of happiness, so states have no right to deny that to gay, lesbian, etc. people.

Your comment about the general public feeling that gay folks are being "reasonably accommodated" shows exactly why these sorts of things shouldn't be left to the general public. When fundamental rights are involved, neither the general public nor the majority should get to decide when those are protected.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

If you read the 14th amendment, you'll also find the following - "no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States".

It's not just about equal treatment within a state.

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kuhusker 2 years, 3 months ago

The Supreme Court case of Loving v Virginia (1967) established that there is a Constitutional right to marriage (even though the Constitution itself doesn't mention the word "marriage")

This is similar to how the Constitution has been held to contain a right to something called "privacy" even though that word as well doesn't appear in the document.

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, we heard. It is found in the "penumbra". That's a wagon load of horse hockey too.

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

More bad legislation from the bench.

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littlexav 2 years, 3 months ago

You realize that's not actually a thing, right? Courts can only interpret laws. They can't add laws to the statute books. Look it up, I swear it's true.

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ebyrdstarr 2 years, 3 months ago

Actually, the Constitution was originally written without the Bill of Rights. One of the objections against including a BoR was that people would then view that list as exhaustive and consider things not mentioned there as not rights at all, or things that the government was free to restrict, regulate, etc. I guess those who objected to having a BoR were right to worry about that...

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George_Braziller 2 years, 3 months ago

I'd say that the 20 year relationship I've had with my partner is "important." If your wife is in the emergency room and unconscious you can talk to the doctors without question.

I on the other hand am just a "visitor" and have to sit in the waiting room until family members arrive.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

In some states, it's illegal for anybody other than a family member to get such power, so even if one designates a partner that way, the hospitals can simply ignore it.

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parrothead8 2 years, 3 months ago

None of those things are nearly as important to me as the relationships I have with my loved ones. The fact that we afford legal rights and protections to some but not to others, and that we use gender as the sole defining characteristic of who gets those rights and protections, is wrong.

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asixbury 2 years, 3 months ago

Jesus would not approve of extending discrimination on your fellow man based on something like this. He would want you to show them love and the same respect, despite their sexuality. Not that it matters what god wants. This is the government, ruled by secular law.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

How would you know?

He didn't claim to be God, but the Son of Man. And, in fact, in the Sermon on the Mount, he described all of us as "children of God" - do this, and this, and this so that you can become perfect like your father in heaven.

In the OT, particularly Leviticus, there is a long list of activities that are unclean, and prohibited - I take it you follow all of those restrictions?

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh no! Not the OT! Mistakes were made...another more believable version had to be created.

Typical Bible-thumpers, pick and choose scripture like it's a buffet of rules. Why don't they abide by them all or none at all, because Jesus said if you break one you've broken them all.

Bwaaaahahaha! These things crack me up.

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asixbury 2 years, 3 months ago

My religion, or lack thereof, matters not. I assure you I know what the Bible says; I have read and studied it.

Are you trying to say Jesus didn't preach about loving one another? Did he not dine with the prostitutes, thieves, and the lowliest of society?

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Since several people have mentioned the SC decision Loving vs. Virginia, in which marriage was held to be a fundamental right, one would think that people would understand this by now.

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optimist 2 years, 3 months ago

The Supreme Court has overstepped more than once in history. The Supreme Court is not the source of our rights and therefore just because they write an opinion declaring something a right doesn't make it so. Just refer to the recent decision granting the Government rights over your economic activity, the 10th amendment (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.)be damned...

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, one can certainly disagree with SC decisions, especially ones that split 5-4, indicating serious disagreement on the Court itself.

But, it is in fact the body charged with determining constitutionality of various laws.

So, when the court rules that laws against inter-racial marriage are unconstitutional, and that marriage is a fundamental right, that means that's been determined.

One could, I suppose, try to bring other cases to the court and see if they'll change their view - personally, I'd like to see the DOMA, and other anti gay marriage laws reviewed by them.

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Topple 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm with ya. The fact that the next justice on SCOTUS to get replaced could be a vote that upheld ACA by a new justice that would have struck ACA down. Just concerning to know that what is upheld today, if voted on a year from today could have been struck down.

While I'm opposed to ACA, it's nice to see that not all judges just vote their party line and actually look at law to determine rulings. It's no coincidence to me that most justices rule in favor of their party.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Also, the fact that marriage isn't specifically mentioned in the constitution doesn't mean it's not a right.

There's language in there about how the enumeration of certain rights doesn't mean we don't have more rights than are enumerated.

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tbaker 2 years, 3 months ago

“Also, the fact that marriage isn't specifically mentioned in the constitution doesn't mean it's not a right.”

Actually Jafs, it does mean this. Things in the constitution being “enumerated” mean that if the “right” in question is not specifically mentioned (enumerated) in the text, then it isn’t there. Nothing is “inferred” in the constitution. It is a power specifically delegated to the federal government, or it isn’t.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

That's completely incorrect.

The 9th amendment reads "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people".

That clearly means they intended for people to have more rights than specified.

It does make it more complex, and difficult, of course.

Where in the Constitution is the state or federal government specifically given the power to deny folks the right to marry?

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Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

Jafs - you're right. The founders hesitated to put any rights in writing for fear that it would be interpreted as the only rights. Only some of our rights are spelled out in the Constitution and our rights come being human not the Constitution.

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ebyrdstarr 2 years, 3 months ago

Just in case anyone missed fred's reply below, the Bill of Rights was never intended to be viewed as an exhaustive list of rights. That was, in fact, one of the principle objections to including a BoR, that people who mistakenly view that list as exclusive and think anything not explicitly mentioned wasn't a right.

So your claim that nothing is "inferred' in the Constitution is actually contrary to the ideas of those who wrote the document.

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ST3V3N 2 years, 3 months ago

Yeah but if those guys didn't say it's our right then who are us guys to say it's our right?

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

See my above post to tbaker.

We are "the people", by whom, for and about the constitution was written.

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tbaker 2 years, 3 months ago

The argument to make (citing the constitution anyway) is to point to the pre-amble: “…and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves…”

“Liberty” in the American sense is centered on the idea that consenting adults should be free to do whatever they want so long as they do not infringe upon the rights and liberties of another person. The primary purpose of the federal government was to protect individual’s “liberty.” The US was built on the construct (very radical idea at the time) that the individual human being was “sovereign” not a single man (king, etc) and that God had ordained each individual person (not just the King) with inalienable rights – including the right to “liberty.”

In my view, it is therefore un-American to put forth the idea that free people, consenting adults, should not be allowed to join together in a legally recognized union. The homosexual community simply needs to stop insisting on the use of the word marriage. The heterosexual people have already laid claim to the use of that word already. The “Gay Marriage” debate is really about the use of the word, not that the actual right to marry. Since it wasn’t specified (enumerated) in the constitution, the entire matter is something for the states to decide.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Maybe.

I'm partial to the "pursuit of happiness" argument myself.

First, folks who are opposed to gay marriage are generally also opposed to civil unions that would grant gays and lesbians the same legal rights as marriages, so it's not just about a word.

Second, since the Loving vs. Virginia decision, marriage is a fundamental right, and thus states have no right to decide the matter, in my opinion.

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tbaker 2 years, 3 months ago

Marriage between a man and a woman was precedent set by Love v. VA

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't believe that was specified in the ruling - do you know either way?

I'll do a quick internet search.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Nothing in the decision specifies opposite gender marriage.

But, there is specific language that supports my feeling about pursuit of happiness, something like "It's long been recognized that the right to marry is part of the orderly pursuit of happiness".

If that's the case, then there's no good argument/justification for denying gay and lesbian folks the right to marry, as it's part of the "inalienable" rights our country was founded on.

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tbaker 2 years, 3 months ago

I have no problem with gay marriage. I just think they are foolish for making a big deal out of the word "marriage." It hurts thier cause.

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ebyrdstarr 2 years, 3 months ago

It doesn't hurt the cause. It is essential to the cause. And, really, if we're just arguing over a word, a silly word, then the side of marriage equality has already won. If it just comes down to the rights and recognition associated with the marital contract and if we agree that those rights and recognitions should apply to same-sex couples, then what on earth is gained by prohibiting use of the word marriage? Nothing. But something is lost to same-sex couples by refusing to use the word. Refusing to use the word renders same-sex couples as different, separate, and by implication less worthy. Per Brown v. Board of Education, separate is inherently unequal. So, yeah, the word is pretty important to the cause.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Again, those who oppose gay marriage almost certainly also oppose civil unions, if those grant gay/lesbian couples the same legal rights/privileges as marriages

I tend to agree that the concrete benefits are more important than the words used, and some gay/lesbian folks agree, but others feel "separate but equal" isn't equal.

Seems to me that it certainly could be, even though in Brown, it was found not to be.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

Is it physically painful to be that dumb?

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

A right is something that cannot be given or taken away. When the Constitution says "endowed" it means it is provided freely or naturally. It occurs by just being alive. If I have to go to the Court House and obtain a license to marry, this is something the state can take away. Not a right.

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voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

You need to have a birth certificate, too. So does that mean that the state can prevent you from being born?

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jonas_opines 2 years, 3 months ago

"A right is something that cannot be given or taken away. When the Constitution says "endowed" it means it is provided freely or naturally."

The problem is: there's no such thing as a right endowed freely or naturally. That's just something to say to distract from the fact that all rights are provided through human social structure.

Sure sounds pretty, though, doesn't it?

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tbaker 2 years, 3 months ago

The "rights" in the constitution are inalienable, aka, you have them at birth by virtue of being a human being. The founders say they came from God. The federal government's #1 purpose therefore was to protect and guarantee them for all Americans. Chief among them was the right to "liberty" the singular expression of that being private property. The best example of that is the money you work for and earn. Since local, state, and federal government now take nearly half of everything produced in this country - and thats before you calculate the effect of regulations - you can see why people who have a fondness for our constitution can get a bit testy when politicians claim government doesn't take enough. Pretty indeed.

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mom_of_three 2 years, 3 months ago

So why does a man and a woman have the legal ability to get married, but same sex couples do not? If marriage isn't a right, then why do we not all have the same opportunities?

And why can't loving v Virginia be used to help gay couples wed?
If the supreme court declared marriage is a right, then how can we deny a certain population of our citizens the right to be married based on their sexual orientation?

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Topple 2 years, 3 months ago

It's my understanding that it has been upheld as legal in courts but has always been struck down in the popular votes by state.

Apparently most people don't approve of same-sex marriage.

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Topple 2 years, 3 months ago

If you don't vote, then your opinion doesn't count.

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Topple 2 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately, polling isn't voting.

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verity 2 years, 3 months ago

Which is why people need to pay attention and vote!!!

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tbaker 2 years, 3 months ago

Because States (IAW the 10th amendment) need to sort it out for themselves. This isn't a federal matter. Some states have same-sex marriage. People always have the option to move. There is no constitutional right to convenience. I don't like the KS income tax. I can move to South Dakota if I feel that strongly about it. If someone wants a same-sex marriage, you can have one after a couple hour drive from KC. Iowa law allows it.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Not since Loving vs. Virginia.

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asixbury 2 years, 3 months ago

Same thing posted as before. Too bad god's word matters not when it comes to secular laws.

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Topple 2 years, 3 months ago

To become law, it first has to be voted on, which is where it typically fails.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

The question is whether laws that define marriage so as to exclude same gender couples are constitutional, in my mind.

Without those laws, same gender couples could in fact get married.

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JayCat_67 2 years, 3 months ago

Seriously, you need to get that right pinky checked out, or your {posts} will ?start? to look [like] /this/.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 3 months ago

Hows come the "Left" wants to take away my 2nd amendment "Right"?

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Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh, please.... Find something a bit more substantial to base your fear upon.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 3 months ago

Hi Kathy. I really have no fear of the second amendment being taken away. In fact I think the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute should award a sales commission to Obama, and Bill Clinton too. They have both been in office during the highest sales records in firearms history. At least it would make more sense than a Nobel Peace Prize.

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Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

Then don't say it Roe. I am sorry you can't see the real reason behind the increased sales and it certainly isn't the left as you call some folks. Too many people are misinformed about so many things because they don't think for themselves, i.e., Obama is a Muslim.......perpetuating the lies are wrong, especially by those that have been taught to respect weapons and their use and those who have been taught to care for others.

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voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

Not very many people, left or right, want to take away your Second Amendment right to bear arms. They just want you to exercise it responsibly ("well-regulated").

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RoeDapple 2 years, 3 months ago

Enforcing existing laws would be well regulated. Adding more laws that chisel away the rights of those who didn't do it, . . . not so much.

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beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

I know! Immediately after the shooting in Colorado, Obama came out and said, once again, that he wants all people to be disarmed and that the 2nd needs to be abolished.

And Rush Limbaugh continued on his quest to out "good" Mother Theresa.

See RoeD, we can all make stuff up.

The court has ruled, so it doesn't matter if someone wants to take away your 2nd amendment rights or not. You get to keep your guns ... and Americans will continue to to be shot in random places like in schools and malls and theaters by madmen with easy access to an arsenal ... all in the name of "protection."

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RoeDapple 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh, I never said they would or that they ever will, or that Obama will either.

Who's Rush Limbaugh?

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Armored_One 2 years, 3 months ago

Ya know, if I had 10 cents for every quotation mark or apostrophe used on here, I could probably retire... LOL

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paulveer 2 years, 3 months ago

You could retire on FHNC alone!

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Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

I am a registered democrat who was raised in a household that owned and respected guns. This says a lot about how stupid and destructive this has all become.

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paulveer 2 years, 3 months ago

Good for you Larry. I sure hope you didn't vote along party lines in 2010. Those swept into office in KS are ruining it in many ways, including suppressing gay marriage and abortion access.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

So?

They're abridging what's already been found to be a "fundamental right" by the US SC.

When it comes to fundamental rights, majority rule shouldn't take precedence over those.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

Wouldn't a simple fix be to recognize civil unions between gays, which would give them the same benefits as marriage? Just don't call it marriage and everyone can get along. What's wrong with this?

And another thing, why do you care?!? Another case of people who won't mind their own business. Destroying the sanctity of marriage? The divorce rate is 50%. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm/

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

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MarcoPogo 2 years, 3 months ago

"man and woman......marriage; man and man...... bearriage; woman and woman..... lezerriage.... Sadly, there "is" a complex set of 'intellectuals', with nuanced 'critical thinking', feeling all narcissistic over the definition of words that like to change them."

Ironic Post of the Day!!!

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

That's an appealing fix to me as well, and probably some gay and lesbian couples.

Unfortunately, those that are opposed to gay marriage are almost certainly also opposed to civil unions, if those unions come with the same legal rights and privileges as marriages.

Also, some gay and lesbian folks don't like the idea of "separate but equal".

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paulveer 2 years, 3 months ago

Nice comments, Larry, but suggesting different language for different groups still institutionalizes intolerance, and furthers the notion that certain marriages are in fact not real marriages, therefore should be called something different. That's what's wrong with this.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

Agreed. Therefore, the government should only recognize civil unions/partnerships, which grant everyone the same benefits (tax, insurance, etc.). And if the religious folks want to go one step further, and call it marriage, they can go to the church for that. What do you think?

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Works for me.

But, I bet those who oppose gay marriage would also oppose this idea.

They really don't like the idea of equal legal treatment for gay and lesbian couples.

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ebyrdstarr 2 years, 3 months ago

I can't live with that. Because that gives credence to the idea that religion, specifically Christianity, has some greater claim to the word marriage than any other sphere of life does. I don't think that's valid. Frankly, if the religious folk can't recognize a difference between the ceremonies they perform in their churches and the civil institution, that's their problem that I don't feel like kowtowing to.

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windjammer 2 years, 3 months ago

It seems as though C_L this letter made your day. Thanks for all the information.

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parrothead8 2 years, 3 months ago

If it's no big deal to give everyone the same benefits, then why is it such a big deal to call it the same thing for everyone?

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 3 months ago

"picking and choosing scripture like it's a buffet of rules." That's exactly what every Christian does! Few people truly follow all of the bible--Fred Phelps for instance. Please prove me wrong. By the way, if you haven't figured it out yet, I don't believe in fairy tales. I've chosen the truth, the none-at-all route.

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deec 2 years, 3 months ago

If the constitution has nothing to do with marriage, then we should abolish the concept of the civil contract of marriage and void all existing contracts. Remove all the perks, like survivor benefits and tax deductions. That should save the government a bundle.

Either everyone has rights, or no one has.

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booyalab 2 years, 3 months ago

No one has the "right" to get married. Marriage would be more accurately described as a restriction on rights. It developed because society has a stake in the union of two people who can reproduce.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

People that live in states that recognize marriage have the absolute right to marry if they meet the criteria under the state statute.

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skootermonkey 2 years, 3 months ago

14th Amendment's Equal Protection clause. By denying homosexuals the right to marry, you are, in theory, violating equal protection.

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tbaker 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm assuming since you didn't cite the SCOTUS court precedent that establishes your assertion as a point of legal fact, you are voicing your personal opinion.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, Loving vs. Virginia found that to be the case.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

Is there some law that forbids a gay man from marrying a woman?

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

That argument was presented, and dismissed by the SC in Loving vs. Virginia, which was about inter-racial marriage.

The state argued that everybody was free to marry within their own race, and thus anti interracial marriage laws didn't violate the 14th amendment.

The SC found that argument unconvincing, as do I.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

"The state argued that everybody was free to marry within their own race"

No they didn't. If they had, the Mormons would have moved there and married their daughters.

Also, even though I don't acknowledge the concept of race, what you call "race" is not synonymous with "gender". Genetically one doesn't exist while the other exists in DNA markers even if the markers get a little confused now and then.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Ok - with a few exceptions, of course.

The point remains the same - the SC considered, and dismissed the argument that because both black and white people were free to marry within their race, the 14th amendment didn't apply.

As you, and others are currently arguing that gay and lesbian folks can marry somebody of the opposite gender, so it doesn't apply.

If it applies now, then it would apply to race as well, and vice versa - since the SC found it unconvincing with race, it should find it unconvincing with gender.

Have you even looked up the case, since I've referred you to it numerous times by now?

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Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

I hope you realize I'm playing devils advocate here. I believe any group of consenting adults should be able to marry and that marriage should be recognized by the state. My beliefs well encompass your cause here.

That said, race is non-existant. Gender does exist. It's obvious you can't write law based on a false premise like race, but you can on a well-documented premise like gender. What you are doing is saying that because unicorns can marry, then so should horses be able to marry.

This, I think is the hinge of the SCOTUS decision. You will notice this opinion of the court deals only with "race", and doesn't at all address other restrictions the state puts on marriage.

"To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State."

Now, if the gay community doesn't agree with me (and I don't expect them to), why hasn't there been a Loving vs Virginia regarding gay marriage ruled on by the SCOTUS. You keep talking about your one-line precedent (right to marry), yet that "precedent" hasn't been used effectively. It can't be that the gay community isn't passionate enough to push a case to the SCOTUS, and I don't believe the SCOTUS would rule against it's own precedent. So why are we arguing? Shouldn't this law be long-settled if the precedent was set 40 years ago?

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jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

That's a good question.

So far, I believe that no cases regarding these statutes has made it to the SC - I'll be interested to see if/when it does.

Of course, that particular case was about inter-racial marriage, but the principle is the same, it seems to me. "The freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of the same gender resides with the individual,..."

The very same arguments were made about inter-racial marriage as gay marriage - everybody can marry somebody of their own race (opposite gender), society has an interest in preventing "race mixing", etc.

And, yes, I know you're generally in favor of freedom for all consenting adults.

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SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

There are moral rights and there are legal rights, as the Founders recognized. Ideally, the latter codifies the former, but, when they conflict, moral rights trump law. You have inherent and inalienable moral rights because you are a rational being (or, if you prefer, because you were endowed with them by your creator).

Believe me, you want it this way - you do not want your fundamental moral rights subject to the whim of the majority. So, if marriage is a fundamental moral right, then even a consitutional amendment purporting to deny marriage would be invalid. In short, while the Constitution is the highest legal authority, it is not the highest authority.

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Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

You are free to follow your moral code instead of law until they put you in handcuffs.

I suppose you can sit in prison and still not recognize the constitution as the highest authority, but you'd just be another martyr. I wish I had a dime for every martyr that made no difference. I'll give back a dollar for every one that did and still have lots of money.

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

I am not sure why opponents of gay marriage think that the word "marriage" is so special as to mean just one thing. We already have many terms for different types of marriage so the term can't be exclusive to just 1 man + 1 woman. Even the 1 man + 1 woman marriage can be modified to mean something different that the standard word. That is why covenant marriages exist. It distinguishes that type of marriage from other types of marriage.

There are marriages that allow the partners to have other partners. Those are called open marriages. There are marriages that allow one partner to have multiple partners. Those are either polygamous or polyandrous marriages depending on which partner gets the extra partners.

And we have gay marriage which consists of same sex partners.

If the term "marriage" had only one fixed definition we would not have so many descriptive terms to identify what kind of marriage people are engaged in.

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asixbury 2 years, 3 months ago

That was the old testament, which with the supposed coming of Jesus trumps the old with the new. Also, who cares what your god says about this. America is not a theocracy! No one is saying you have to have a gay marriage if you don't approve of it. Your religious beliefs cannot trump someone else's rights.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

I've been over this with God (God being me, of course), and it is just a matter of time before homosexuals are afforded the right to marry in all states. Until then, everyone can just argue about the declaration of independence as if it law.

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jonas_opines 2 years, 3 months ago

"He condemns homosexuality and removed two communities off the face of the earth for their participation in 'same-sex' relationships."

Yeah, that god was a great guy, totally worth following and obeying.

It's a good thing I don't believe that is real. He committed a lot of genocide.

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ivalueamerica 2 years, 3 months ago

LTE's like this are really ignorant.

If the OP does not understand that our forefather knew they could not foresee every circumstance so created a government with checks and balances an and authority to apply the Constitution, including the Supreme Court, they are missing some education.

If they think because a word does not exist in the Constitution that the Constitution does not possibly cover it, they have failed US Citizenship 101.

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Armored_One 2 years, 3 months ago

So why are Christians using the Old Testament to validate their argument, since the Old Testament is actually meant for the Jews, not Christians, which are supposed to go more with the New Testament?

Just kind of curious is all...

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I've wondered that for a long time now.

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ivalueamerica 2 years, 2 months ago

personally, I do not think all conservatives are stupid, but from your comment, I can say that I think you are.

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