To marry or not that is the state's rights question:
Jeff Jacoby is, as most of you probably know, an arch conservative editorialist for the Globe. Mostly we disagree on just about everything. Occasionally, especially on immigration issues, we agree. He is curiously humane, at least to me, on that issue. I email him when we agree and I email him when I adamantly disagree. Today was a disagreement day as he wrote an anti gay marriage editorial entitled “Who decides what ‘marriage’ means.” (Op Ed May 12, 2009 Boston Globe) I enclose the link of that article below. He maintains a states rights approach to that issue. I fundamentally disagree and wrote to him the following:
No sooner could I not believe there were actually humanitarian issues on which I agreed with you, you sanctimoniously and smugly write about an issue that is sure to incur my wrath: gay marriage. You write about it as if it were simply a martial arts class subject to state consideration. You say a state can choose to classify it any way they want but other states do not have to. So now you equate HUMAN rights with martial arts classification rights.
I am going to OPPOSE vociferously what even some black people, often indoctrinated by the church, say and that is that homosexuals cannot be equated with them. I beg to differ. Homosexuals CAN be equated with them and to the discrimination blacks have felt for centuries. I have had profound experience to know that when a child expresses the fact that he or she KNEW her or his affectional preference at age THREE there is something more to homosexuality than a mere adult choice. As gays have said so often who would CHOOSE it knowing in many cases society will either condemn it, reluctantly acknowledge it or EVEN KILL you because of it. I do not postulate it is a choice I ADAMANTLY KNOW IT IS NOT. It is an ascribed status probably made so by genetic determination. It cannot and SHOULD not be changed.
No one would EVER in our culture prohibit nor would a state be allowed to reject a marriage of two people one male and one female with Downs Syndrome. It is perfectly legal for the state to marry both or for one who has Downs to marry another who does NOT even THOUGH it may be genetically ill advised and disadvantageous to society to allow it. Yet their relationship is deemed worthy of marriage. So is, I might add, an elderly couple who, clearly, will NEVER procreate.
I maintain because homosexuality PROBABLY has a genetic determination -- and EVEN if it did NOT -- it is NOT the state's obligation to define what marriage is or isn't with respect to the sexuality of two people who love each other and deny to them the relationship solidification that marriage can bestow. We are NOT talking about commerce, we are talking about HUMAN BEINGS who usually from day one know EXACTLY to whom they are attracted. What business is it of yours OR the state to tell an adult anyone whom they can love and with whom to spend a life? Answer: IT'S NONE of your business and it's NONE of the state's business either. Neither you nor the amorphous blob of the state has to suffer the consequences of a lonely life.
I have to laugh at so called "conservative" state's rights enthusiasts. They are ALL for states rights EXCEPT when they are not when it comes to the rights THEY like which they want federalized such as business rights, religious rights, anti-gay marriage rights or property rights. Then its perfectly right to them for the federal government to step in to tell everyone else which rights they will protect. It becomes perfectly fine for the court to use federal law to protect rights of those who make money, own a corporation or property but not right of the federal government to tell a state you are abridging the rights that civil law should bestow to all by singling out one group the discrimination against whom is sanctioned by the state.
Finally, after nearly 300 years this country decided that the answer to discrimination against blacks in the voting booth was illegal and for a president to decide it was immoral to ask a black man to risk his life and sometimes die for his country in a segregated armed services. The full integration within our culture INCLUDING laws against black and white marriage was NOT I repeat NOT something that could be up for a vote. If in 1957 or 1962 one put integration or black and white marriage up for a public vote it would have been voted down easily. The court, however, said otherwise and should have. Why? Because society advances, grows and understands more about tolerance and, in the instant case, human sexuality. These are human beings and they have the right to control their personal existence and happiness free of governmental prohibition. The tea baggers should know this as they want government out of everything but, of course, not for gays.
Rights cannot and should not be denied because gay people serve in the military, because gay people pay plenty of taxes, and because we KNOW many have died for our country and conclude that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is an unjust law. More than that, however, is that the state -- ALL states -- have no right to discriminate against homosexuals because it is UNFAIR and INHUMANE for one group to commit this injustice against another and for the state to sanction it!
Your wrong on this issue, Jeff. It may not happen in my lifetime that the FULL FAITH AND CREDIT CLAUSE (Article IV Section 1 of the US Constitution) will apply to gay marriage in every state but someday it may and should. I would LOVE to live to see the slings and arrows you on the rancid right hurl and which hurt, be taken away so that you cannot HURT anyone else any more!