Saturday, April 4, 2009

Marriage: A Union Between a Woman and a Man

The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday ruled in a unanimous decision that the Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution. This would not have come as a surprise to me if it were California we were talking about, as California is a very liberal state, but Iowa? Come on! The GOP needs to take a strong stance on the position that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The Iowa Supreme Court and other courts across the country have used the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to find statutes that limit civil unions to male/female couples unconstitutional. Republican leaders must argue that this is a flawed assessment of the statute. Laws that outlaw homosexual couples from entering a civil union do not deny any individual the right to marry. If Steve wants to marry Mark, the state can deny him, but he can always go marry Jane. He is not being denied the right to marry; he is being denied the right to marry Steve just as the state may deny the marriage between brothers and sisters, and marriage to more than one spouse, a.k.a polygamy. The GOP needs to stand up for initiatives like the Proposition 8 bill that made gay marriage illegal in California. The issue of gay marriage will not go away any time soon, and the GOP cannot hide from it anymore. During the 2008 campaign McCain did not take a strong position on gay marriage but President Obama did, stating in a response to the Human Rights Campaign Presidential Questionnaire: "I do not support gay marriage. Marriage has religious and social connotations, and I consider marriage to be between a man and a woman." It’s time for Republicans to hold President Obama accountable for that statement and push for a Constitutional ban on gay marriage. Now, I’m not so na├»ve as to believe that a Constitutional ban on marriage is going to happen anytime soon, it didn’t happen with a Republican in office, but the fact that Obama will not act on the issue despite the pressure will give Republicans an issue to get voters passionate about in 2012. Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 and President Clinton signed it into law. DOMA defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman for purposes of federal law. In addition, although it leaves each state free to define marriage however it likes, DOMA also affirms that no state is required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of Article IV of the U.S. Constitution. The United States has recognized that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but the states still have discretion on the matter. A Constitutional ban, although a drastic move, would eliminate the ability of a state to allow gay marriage. A Constitutional ban might be drastic, but it might be the only way to preserve the “sanctity” of marriage and the religious and social connotations that goes with it.

10 comments:

  1. Maybe it's time for the government to get out of the marriage business entirely...

    Question to consider:

    What, exactly, is the State's interest, purpose and right to licensing marriage, and/or granting special rights to those who are married?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always felt "leaving it up to the states" to be a bit of a cop-out of the federal government. That seems to happen over heated social issues (abortion, capitol punishment, etc). The truth is, I think this battle will be going on for a long time. Banned and appealed by states, and upheld and disputed by judges.

    Kind-of a bizarre political issue. And one that keeps dropping lower on the agenda as the economy goes to hell. No-one will stand-up for gay marriage right now. It's a political suicide issue. I didn't realize this till the Bush/Kerry elections.

    ReplyDelete
  3. >>I always felt "leaving it up to the states" to be a bit of a cop-out of the federal government.>>

    You should try reading the Constitution and the attendant amendments. The functions and powers of the federal government were intended by the founding fathers to be very limited. States Rights were paramount until the Civil War. Lincoln was the first president to assert the pre-eminence of the federal government over the states. States rights have continued to deteriorate since then as the Feds continually grab more and more power.

    It's a great deal easier to be supreme ruler when you have all the power concentrated in one office that it would be if power was shared equally by 50 different seats of power...consider that!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Even though you illustrated that the 14th Amendment does not apply to homosexual marriage, the 10th amendment can be used to legalize gay marriage, since it states that their are more individual rights for citizens of this country. However, this amendment is very vague. Republicans need to prepare themselves for this argument of the 10th amendment on gay marriage.

    I also like to say that it drives me crazy when a politician states that they against homosexual marriage but their a supporter of civil union. It is basically the same thing. Two people of the same gender being together. You’re either for homosexuals being together or your not. Do not be hypocritical and state that you’re for homosexuals being together, but you’re against putting it on paper for the court.

    ReplyDelete
  5. >>It is basically the same thing.>>

    Not true. Marriage is a social and religious contract. "Civil union" is a private contract. The problem is that activist homosexuals have goals other than just a recognition of their private contract. There are widespread and long term goals that would result in loss of freedom of religion and freedom of speech that are involved.
    I'm not saying that this is the intent of individual homosexuals who want legal recognition of their relationship, but it _is_ the intent of those activist homosexuals who insist on equating Marriage with Civil Unions.

    They are _not_ the same thing.

    The primary purpose of marriage is the procreation of children (in the sense of bringing children into the world and raising them to adulthood). The primary purpose of the civil union is individual fulfillment.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ok so your saying that marriage should be between a man a women. Well hetrosexual relationships spend alot more time getting divorce then do getting to know each other and carrying a healthy realtionships. If you want to go into religion, religion does not support divorce, or is it okay to get divorce and remarry just like many republicans have done. Its wrong to be gay according to them, but its okay to to have had a handful of wives or husbands is this not being hypocritical. If you look at the stats on divorce it is way high.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Religion establishes an ideal - generally one that is unattainable for the majority, since few people are "ideal". Imposing that ideal on everyone establishes a taliban like society.

    The law, on the other hand, establishes the minimum behavior acceptable within a society. "Step across this line, and you get punished in some way". The only "give" in the law is to continually lower the minimum behavior permitted.

    The law permits divorce, and considers it preferable for couples to marry and divorce at will rather than cohabitating with no legal bond. When considering the possibility of homosexuality "marriage", maybe the first step is to consider why the law has any function here. Perhaps marriage should be strictly a religious covenant.

    Your objection seems to be that because people are not ideal - that is, they divorce and remarry - therefore homosexual marriage should be ok. That seems a bizarre conclusion. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak.

    We both agree that marriage falls within the bounds of religious regulation. The question is why does marriage fall within the scope of legal determination? What interest does the State have in regulating marriage? What is its justification for requiring a license at all?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm sorry, it is the 9th amendment that guarantees more individual rights in this country.

    ReplyDelete
  9. While I can't go into specifics of which Amendment grants precisely what....

    Many of the hot button issues federally, are things relegated to the States. The only thing within the Federal requirements is equal representation under the law (each state honouring the contracts struck in other states, e.g. marriage). IMO, the Federal government needs to remove the marriage issue from Soc. Sec. benefits and tax benefits. Once that is done, the contracts can go back to the states completely.

    But honestly, and yes I'm a conservative (just not a religious conservative), a contract is a contract regardless the gender of the two+ people involved.

    ReplyDelete
  10. why in the world is it an issue?!?!
    ohmagawd! how does anyone's marriage affect any one else?

    if the church says 'no, homo.' then said homosexual should be allowed to find a church less intolerant to bless the marriage. bfd. what do you care? really? this "sanctity of marriage" rubbish is ridiculous. it comes down to homophobia, pure and simple.

    i don't agree with a lot of what's said here, but i do agree that it is a religious matter and should stay that way.

    i don't understand how republicans can claim to be "small government" and "stay out of the personal affairs of people" and still give gays a hard time for wanting to marry, and be up in the uterus of some gal they aren't even sleeping with. this is blatant hypocracy. it's a shame that so many in the party can't see that.

    ReplyDelete