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On Same-Sex Marriage Rights


Over fifty years ago, the US Supreme Court took the first practical step towards ending Racial Segregation with the landmark Brown VS. Board of Education – a move that was cemented with Pres. Johnson's Voting Rights Act in 1965, which would once and for all put a nail in the coffin of the ways of the Old South (that was not without consequence – the Democratic Party would lose support in the area for years to come).

Today, we are faced with yet another controversial Civil Rights issue – same sex-marriage. As of this writing, only a handful of U.S. states (Iowa, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut and Massachusetts) have laws that allow the matrimony of individuals of the same gender. California was once part of that group, but a recent voter-backed initiative put the kibosh on that, to the dismay of pro-gay activists around the country – something that creates jurisprudence for similar bans elsewhere.

One misconception that those who oppose same-sex marriage have is that gay couples might have the right to force their local ministers to officiate at their weddings. That is definitely not true (in spite of what the California ads said). Because of Church-State separation, churches that do not support same-sex unions would be able to continue to do so, in the same way that they condemn reproductive rights. The case here is a simple civil marriage recognized by the state, not a religious ceremony – so the “sanctity” of marriage remains unchanged as far as that goes.

Now, many states have what they call “civil unions,” which gives couples some of the protections that conventional couples take for granted. But that fact is that the status does not always give them the right to claim joint taxes or to enjoy shared health benefits. Worse, in many cases they do not get inheritance rights – meaning that if one party happens to pass away, the other person might be thrown out in the cold by the deceased's family.

Since the majority of US states fiercely opposes same-sex marriage rights, I believe it is due time for the Supreme Court to step in to push towards equal rights - maybe if California activists appeal, there will be an opportunity here. After all, this is a nation whose Declaration of Independence states that all were created equal. The existence of a second class citizenship doesn't make any sense – which is, by the way, the reason why “separate but equal” was an absurdity in the first place.


Leslie Swearingen 9 years ago

To some the whole question of homosexuality is weird. It would seem to go against nature and the reason for the evolution of the male and female, which is reproduction. If you don't plan on having a child, sex is clearly not necessary.

Ernest Barteldes 9 years ago

There are many conventional couples who choose not to have children. And there are gay couples who adopt, use surrogate moms or artificial insemination.

But following your line of thought --- does that mean that once a couple decides they've had enough children, they are not supposed to enjoy marital sex for pleasure anymore?

Kathy Theis-Getto 9 years ago

Wow, Irish, surely you didn't intend to say sex is only for reproduction, did you?

RoeDapple 9 years ago

The young bull and the old bull were on the hill overlooking the herd. The young bull said,"Why don't we run down and mate with one of those heifers? " The old bull said," Why don't we walk down and mate with them all?"

The spontenaety of youth, the wisdom of age.........

Hope this doesn't offend Jonathan.......


average 9 years ago

Irish -

Civil marriage has nothing, nothing whatsoever, to do with sexual behavior. I could go down to the courthouse and marry Amy Winehouse or Janet Reno, with no intention of getting horizontal with either of them. The state doesn't ask or test for consummation.

That's why the term is 'same-sex marriage'. Not 'gay marriage'. And why the discrimination in our current marriage laws is not on sexual orientation grounds at all, but on gender discrimination grounds. I'm straight. I think I should have the right to marry a man if I have the right to marry a woman. I think two utterly straight men should have the right to marry each other.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years ago

No one who expresses himself as a homosexual finds expression in life because of a homosexual act.

Everyone finds expression in life as the result of a heterosexual union.

( ... could be a deep lesson, therein.... )

parlet 9 years ago

When a man and a woman marry, it's not termed an "opposite Sex" marriage. Why then "same sex" marriage. Why not just "marriage"? A union is a union is a union.

Ernest Barteldes 9 years ago

I received this comment via email from friends in Venezuela New York:

Maruja writes:

I agree with you 100%. I had a discussion with my mother and her sisters on a sunday lunch gathering, it ended up in shouts - they are all around 80 years old and of course, they don't agree with same sex marriage.They were about to faint with my views and my sons views... well I understand, they are old..

Frank writes:

I am curious as to why you spent five paragraphs on this topic. Obviously, it is important to you. But why? Do you have some gay friends that want to get married and feel their "right" a marriage is not valid?? I see no porblem with the civil unions, and do not see the need for the Supreme Court to get involved in this. I guess, though, if Judge Sotomayer gets in, then perhaps the court will be involved.


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