Do we got marriage equality links? Hell yes!

  • Notes from the Front Lines (no permalinks; scroll to March 28) includes this quote in a good post about “separate but equal”:

    Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson answered the question 55 years ago: “The framers of the Constitution knew, and we should not forget today, that there is no more effective practical guaranty against arbitrary and unreasonable government than to require that the principles of law which officials would impose upon a minority be imposed generally. Conversely, nothing opens the door to arbitrary action so effectively as to allow those officials to pick and choose only a few to whom they will apply legislation and thus to escape the political retribution that might be visited upon them if larger numbers were affected.” (Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. New York).
  • A really excellent response to Shelby Steele by Andrew Sullivan. The entire piece covers a lot of ground, but here’s a small sample:
    Is the lesbian relationship with genetically related children so different from a family with adopted kids that it demands a separate institution? Or is it so different than the remainder of these relationships that it cannot be included among them? I would argue not. In fact, I would argue that the differences between gays and straights are far more innocuous than Steele seems to believe. The love that once dared not speak its name is still love. The pain of separation between two men in love is the same as that between a parted heterosexual couple. I can understand the central relationships in Romeo and Juliet or Much Ado About Nothing because I am human–not gay or straight. I can relate to the ups and downs of my straight peers in their couplings because I know what love is. Yes, there are differences between relationships. The span between a lesbian couple and a gay male couple is as profound as the difference between men and women. But the marriage movement is dedicated to affirming what we have in common, not what keeps us apart. It is about the virtues and emotions that marriage includes, not the people it excludes.
  • Eve at Marriage Debate asks: Should we leave it to the states?

    As a matter of short-term strategy, it might be for the best if marriage equality is left to states to decide for a while. After a few years of same-sex marriage in places like Oregon and Massachusetts fails to cause the sky to fall (or straight marriages to break up, or a surge in single-mother families, etc etc), the case for marriage equality will be that much stronger.

    I also have faith in the reflexive fairness of most Americans. Give the marriage equality movement several years of showing that marriage equality is about real human families loving each other, and many Americans now in the anti-equality majority will overcome their fears. The idea of equal treatment under the law has a basic appeal to fairness which I think will win out over the horror stories of the fearmongers.

    However, as a matter of principle, the 14th amendment should protect all Americans, not just heterosexual Americans. Same-sex couples therefore should have equal marriage rights in every one of the fifty states. In the long run, if the states won’t recognize equality on their own, I hope the Supreme Court forces them to.

  • Also on MarriageDebate, this post by “stay-at-home knitter” Lucia Liljegren needs to be quoted in full:
    Let us say we buy the idea that that all parents ought to be married. That does not imply that all married people ought to have children, nor does it imply that marriage is defined by children or even “about” children.

    It seems to me that the law has LONG recognized that marriage is not “about” child bearing. We can, one would think, get some idea what it is “about” by examining grounds for dissolution of marriage. After all, that gives us an idea of the elements legislators consider essential to a real marriage.

    Despite the many, many possible grounds for divorce dreamt up by the various 50 states, infertility, or unwillingness or a partner to have children is NOT grounds for divorce in even one state.

    Legislators always recognized that, fundamentally, marriage is about something… else!

  • Gabriel Rosenberg responds to Ben Bateman with great thoroughness.
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3 Responses to Do we got marriage equality links? Hell yes!

  1. 1
    ms. jared says:

    an interesting article in THE NATION this week:

    Gay Marriage: Sidestep on Freedom’s Path – By Alexander Cockburn

    “Assimilation is not liberation, and the invocation of “equality” as the great attainment of these gay marriages should be challenged. Peter Tatchell, the British gay leader, put it well a couple of years ago: “Equality is a good start, but it is not sufficient. Equality for queers inevitably means equal rights on straight terms, since they are the ones who dominate and determine the existing legal framework. We conform–albeit equally–with their screwed-up system. That is not liberation. It is capitulation.”

    xoxo, jared

  2. 2
    Isaac says:

    I have mixed reactions to the Gay Marriage issue. A lot of it has to do with… well… hasn’t the institution of Marriage traditionally been a bastion of Conservative values and therefore shouldn’t progressives be seeking ways to do away with state sanctioned marriages period?

    Also, it’s pretty clear that the proponents of state sponsored homophobia have gotten wise in Massachusettes. They’re banning people from other states from coming to MA to get gay married. Which seems a brilliant way of keeping the gay marriage issue out of the Supreme Court.


    Anyway, as long as marriages are around, however, I think the Constitution is pretty clear on this issue:

    Section 1. 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.
    – The Unites States Constitution, Amendment XIV

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    – The Unites States Constitution, Amendment IX

    On the role of the government in determining what expressions or philosophies are damaging enough to be regulated or proscribed. To me, this goes to most cases where proponents of government regulation argue that God says something is bad:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . . or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”
    – The Unites States Constitution, Amendment I

    On the role of religion-based arguments that underpin proposed government action:
    “[O]ur civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence . . . is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; . . . that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, . . .
    We the General Assembly of Virginia do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever . . . but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, “A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom”

    That’s it for now.

  3. 3
    Nick Kiddle says:

    I don’t know whether I’m reading that Tatchell quote correctly, but he seems to be saying gays are fundamentally not like straights in some way. Odd that a “gay leader” should put forward the same argument we hear ad nauseam from the anti-SSM faction.