Same-sex marriage and religious freedom

The Constitution, which sets forth the principle of rule of law, defines what is unconstitutional, and guarantees freedom of speech and other liberties of a Constitutional republic, and also describes the impeachment power. (How many know of the Jewish roots of this document?) Hypocrisy threatens Constitutional government. Could Israel use a constitution like this? More to the point: would a Convention of States save it, or destroy it? (Example: civil asset forfeiture violates the Constitution.) Quick fixes like Regulation Freedom Amendments weaken it. Furthermore: the Constitution provides for removing, and punishing, a judge who commits treason in his rulings. Furthermore, opponents who engage in lawfare against an elected President risk breaking the Constitution.
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In a news conference today, a reporter asked President Obama about whether he supported same-sex marriage. He said that DOMA (the federal Defense of Marriage Act) and similar State laws that protect marriage as between a man and a woman were unconstitutional. And then he said that New York’s law that permits same-sex marriages is constitutional.

With all due respect, Mr. President, you can’t have it both ways! Either individual sovereign states do have the right to pass laws about marriage or they don’t. This is a prime example of twisting constitutionality to support your point of view.

The discussion about whether to recognize same-sex marriages legally often overlooks something. It is reasonable not to discriminate against those who believe differently from you – even about marriage. But “non-discrimination” in marriage crosses lines that it should not cross.

What lines does same-sex marriage cross?

Many who support DOMA laws also believe that same-sex couples have the right to live their lives as they see fit. Also, that employers have the right to extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples if they see fit. And that all couples, including same-sex couples, have the right to grant a legal power to someone to make health decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated. And that same-sex couples have the right to draw up their own wills and leave their assets to whomever they wish.

Supporting DOMA laws does not mean supporting life-style discrimination This is a First Amendment issue. The First Amendment begins:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Under the First Amendment, laws that interfere with one’s free exercise of religion are unconstitutional. That is exactly what New York did by passing a same-sex marriage law. When any government, State or federal, dictates what churches must recognize, it violates our First Amendment rights and our freedom of conscience.

Savvy New Yorkers have sued their State to get it out of the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) Compact. Maybe some New Yorker will sue to test whether this law really is constitutional.

What is really at stake here?

Whether same-sex couples can enjoy civil unions is not in dispute. The real dispute is over the word marriage. Marriage is a religious institution. This is why clergy members may do legally binding marriage ceremonies. Government recognizes that marriage is a religious ceremony that ends with the issuing of a legally binding marriage license. Clergy members may also annul marriages. But they may not issue driver’s licenses, or fishing licenses, or any other type of government license, nor revoke any such license.

The same-sex marriage issue has less to do with discrimination than with free exercise of religion. Shall government infringe upon our First Amendment rights to practice our religion as we see fit without government interference? Same sex couples and their advocates may argue that those opposed to same-sex marriage are imposing their religious beliefs on society. The exact opposite is true. These advocates for same-sex marriage impose their belief system on others. In the process, they violate the First Amendment rights of their opponents.
President Obama may argue that DOMA laws are unconstitutional. But one must ask – as we have asked many times – what Constitution is he talking about?

Featured image: the Constitution of the United States. Photo: National Archives

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RoseAnn Salanitri is a published author and Acquisition Editor for the New Jersey Family Policy Council. She is a community activist who has founded the Sussex County Tea Party in her home state and launched a recall movement against Senator Robert Menendez. RoseAnn is also the founder of Veritas Christian Academy, as well as co-founder of Creation Science Alive, and a national creation science speaker.

59 Responses to Same-sex marriage and religious freedom

  1. Sam Cohen says:

    You really don’t understand your own constitution do you? It’s very, very funny to watch you teabaggers pick and choose the bits of the constitution you want to defend and ignore the rest. Go read it again then delete this article as an embarrassing waste of everybody’s time

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      I will do no such thing. I defy you to find anything in the Constitution that says, or implies, that no State may fail to recognize a union between man and man, man and woman, man and child, or man and beast.

      • Sam Cohen says:

        14th Amendment. Equal protection. You should read it some time.

        • MaxVeritas says:

          Neither women nor homosexuals are promised protection against discrimination under the Constitution, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said in an interview with the publication California Lawyer.
          Scalia’s remarks has spurred criticism from liberals and from some law scholars, though he has expressed this point of view before.
          “You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society,” Scalia said. “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws.”
          Scalia was specifically referencing the 14th Amendment, which states: “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 justice argued that “the Constitution tells the current society that it cannot do [whatever] it wants to do… Now if you give to those many provisions of the Constitution that are necessarily broad–such as due process of law, cruel and unusual punishments, equal protection of the laws–if you give them an evolving meaning so that they have whatever meaning the current society thinks they ought to have, they are no limitation on the current society at all.”

      • John says:

        Just going over this one comment:

        “I will do not such thing.” He’s asked you to read the Constitution.

        “I defy you to find anything in the Constitution that says, or implies, that no State may fail to recognize a union between man and man, man and woman…”

        The 14th Amendment, Section 1.

        “…man and child, or man and beast.”

        Homosexuality is not pedophilia, nor is it bestiality. Pedophilia is FAR more often a heterosexual occurrence according to statistical research into the matter. Homosexuality (typically) occurs between two consenting adults. This is not the same as child rape or [expletive deleted] a dog.

        Fun fact: When Texas put into place their law banning sodomy, they repealed their law banning bestiality. So the anti-homosexuals decided to condemn unions between man and man, while legalizing unions between man and beast. The slippery slope doesn’t exist.

        • Batman says:

          >You cannot seriously suggest that gay people being able to become married infringes on your right to religion

          Why not? Only an idiot would say this and ignore what happened in California in public schools, adoption agencies, churches, and really just turn a blind eye to the suppression of other viewpoints AGAINST homosexuality in the mainstream media.

          >DOMA (and all similar legislation) violates the 14th Amendment

          No it doesn’t. Marriage is not a right, it is a privilege and marriage wasn’t created by the government in the first place. Anyone who says marriage is secular in origin needs to provide evidence in this “belief”. Once again the 14th amendment gave equal rights to black people, not homosexuals. Homosexuality is not genetic, it’s psychological and the proof lies in the many ex-homosexuals that you along with the media choose to ignore.

          • BoB says:

            Gay marriage is legal in canada and it is not a cesspool of corruption. Can’t explain that!

          • aveskde says:

            >>No it doesn’t. Marriage is not a right, it is a privilege and marriage wasn’t created by the government in the first place.

            Marriage is an system enforced by secular government laws. Because the state created these laws, enforces them, and is itself secular (read the first amendment posted on this article) there can be no religious objections to the state marriage laws. Neither can there be religious prohibitions on marriage.

            >>Anyone who says marriage is secular in origin needs to provide evidence in this “belief”.

            Marriage is cultural. Every religion, culture, and civilization has had their own concepts of marriage. A century ago marriage was about property.

            >>Once again the 14th amendment gave equal rights to black people, not homosexuals. Homosexuality is not genetic, it’s psychological and the proof lies in the many ex-homosexuals that you along with the media choose to ignore.

            So you’re telling me that you choose to be attracted to the opposite sex, and at any moment could change your mind so that you are aroused by the same sex, or children, or adolescents, or corpses, or animals. Is that really the argument you wish to make?

            In any case, the 14th amendment covers equal protection under the law:
            “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.”

            In other words, if marriage applies only to heterosexuals, then it provides protections which do not extend to homosexuals and therefore is inherently discriminatory. Our country exists to serve the interests of its citizens, and it is not fair to expect a large segment of the population to pay its taxes and adhere to its standards without equal status.

      • MaxVeritas says:

        The equal protection language of the Constitution guarantees protection to persons regardless of race,religion or national origin. The framers of the Constitution did not have in mind the protection of persons on the basis of so-called sexual orientation or preference. If one’s sexual preferences become a protected class under the equal protection clause, there can be no argument that will be sufficiently compelling to prevent the Supreme Court from expanding that class to include those who wish to marry blood relatives or multiple partners.
        http://www.investors.com/image/toonBW_080510_FULL.gif.cms

    • Batman says:

      You mean like how liberals take the First Amendment to state “separation of church and state” even though it doesn’t say that? Or how about liberals taking bits and parts of the Bible to push their views on other people when it’s convenient to do so? Like using the Bible to justify homosexuality and equate it with an entire race of people. As a black man, I’m sick and tired of you pro-homo liberals, most of whom are white, sit there and take the Bible to say what it doesn’t say. Jesus said it very clearly and you can get online and attack Christians all day but God will have the final word.

      • aveskde says:

        >>You mean like how liberals take the First Amendment to state “separation of church and state” even though it doesn’t say that?

        What part of:
        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        Is unclear to you? Are you selectively blind and unable to read the first sentence? The first sentence clearly states that our government may not entangle itself with the church. That is what separation of church and state means.

    • Batman says:

      I think you’re the one wasting our time when you should be on Huffington Blog Post via pro-gay Google instead of coming on a Conservative outlet to be judgemental towards Christians just because they rightly stand with the Bible when it comes to homosexuality. You’re frankly wasting our time to be blunt.

      I mean you got all the pro-gay media outlets out there but you chose to come over here? You must’ve had nothing else to do with your time.

      • aveskde says:

        >>I think you’re the one wasting our time when you should be on Huffington Blog Post via pro-gay Google instead of coming on a Conservative outlet to be judgemental towards Christians just because they rightly stand with the Bible when it comes to homosexuality.

        I don’t care what your religious beliefs are. You can believe that a space clown told you to kiss frogs on every Tuesday. What matters is that this is a secular nation, which means that NO religion has state authority to impose its values on the whole of society. For the same reason that Muslims may not impose Sharia, or Jains may not impose veganism upon our restaurants, you may not impose your religion upon us.

        It is really that simple. Religion in this nation is a secular institution. It is not a religious one, because the state is secular. If you don’t like it, move to Pakistan, Iran or Saudi Arabia and enjoy your theocracy there.

      • Richard says:

        Hmm…well, for “wasting [their] time,” they sure elicited quite the response from you…

  2. John says:

    You cannot seriously suggest that gay people being able to become married infringes on your right to religion. You’d need to provide some evidence outside of the fact that gay marriage disagrees with your religious beliefs (which is not the same thing as violating your right to pray how you want to). Furthermore, you really ought to try to come up with some tangible reason that gay marriage is bad, since not having that evidence gives credit to the claim that there is no practical benefit to disallowing gay marriage.

    The more important Amendment in this case, the one that the lawyers are going to talk about, is the 14th, not the 1st.

    “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.”

    DOMA (and all similar legislation) violates the 14th Amendment quite clearly as unequal protection and thus is unconstitutional. Gay marriage violates no amendments of any sort, and therefore is at least not unconstitutional.

    You might be able to make the case that individual states should be able to decide for themselves under the 10th Amendment, but you’d still have to prove that these laws themselves weren’t unconstitutional due to the 14th Amendment, and this entire argument would be made less than worthless with the legalization of gay marriage on a federal level.

    “But one must ask – as we have asked many times – what Constitution is he talking about?”

    I wonder the same thing any time you bring up the Constitution. You seem to forget large and important pieces of the document, and apply what you do know about somewhat selectively.

    • Paul Durrant says:

      That’s the standard rightwing tactic: highlight the bits they like “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” and ignore the bits they don’t, like “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” right before the first bit.

      Terry, go and read the 14th amendment as has been suggested.

      • Paul Durrant says:

        And also re-read “WELL-REGULATED”.

      • Donald R Laster Jr says:

        Amendment 2 is a sentence with two subjects and a single predicate. It can be properly written in English as

        A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the
        security of a free State, shall not be infringed.

        the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall
        not be infringed.

        The problem is politicians and anti-gun people ignore the actual English. No gun-control law is constitutional.

        The DOMA and the “homosexuality” issue is not a Rights issue but a behavior issue. No one is born “homosexual”. You have to engage in the behavior. It is not an ethnicity – such as Negro, Caucasian or Oriental; or a gender – male and female. Just like States don’t allow polygamy and child-marriage, States don’t have to sanction same-sex relationships.

        Over the last 40 years people have been distorting the differences between behaviors and non-behaviors in order to avoid the consequences of their behavior. But then most people don’t want to accept the consequences of their behavior especially when having to deal with the consequences of their behavior and how it effects them and others. Just look at Representative Weiner and what he did to avoid accepting responsibility for his actions.

    • Batman says:

      Actually your entire argument falls apart because you make a ridiculous assumption that marriage is a “right” when in fact the 14th Amendment was geared towards granting an entire racial group, namely blacks the same freedoms as all other citizens of the U.S. If we were to hold a vote today on same-sex marriage with strictly black voters, I guarantee you that at least 80-90% of black voters would vote against it because they also view marriage as a privilege rather than a right and are very offended when the majority white pro-homosexuals use their skin color to justifiy an immoral lifestyle.

  3. Will Bach says:

    The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution seems to apply here.

    “The clause is commonly used to require a state to recognize marriages and divorces obtained in other states . . .”

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Full_Faith_and_Credit_Clause

    While DOMA allows the states to ignore this it is commonly accepted that you can only change the Constitution with an amendment and DOMA while it would work as an amendment it is not enough as a law.

    I see the Constitution as the rule book for our government and while both parties have largely ignored it since at least the 30’s it still applies. The Founders wisely made it so we can if needed change the rule book since they were humble enough to know that they couldn’t think of or address everything that could ever come up. The Founders also wisely made it hard to change the rule book but just because it is hard to follow the rules doesn’t mean we should forget about them.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Look more closely at that clause. It says that the standards of proof must be acceptable to the recognizing States. Recall the case of Williams v. North Carolina, in which NC refused to recognize a quickie divorce.

      • Will Bach says:

        The thing is that by that logic Loving v. Virginia was wrong and interracial marriage should be illegal in Virginia since it was not acceptable in Virginia at the time.

        Personally I think the face that the government is taking a side in this is wrong and they should split the religious and legal issue into and make it so that if you want to get married to go to a house of worship that will marry you and it have no more legal importance then being baptized and instead that the government issue civil unions to any two people that want them conferring the current legal benefits of marriage.

  4. Sean B says:

    “‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…’

    Under the First Amendment, laws that interfere with one’s free exercise of religion are unconstitutional. That is exactly what New York did by passing a same-sex marriage law. When any government, State or federal, dictates what churches must recognize, it violates our First Amendment rights and our freedom of conscience.”

    Ironic when you consider that the first part about establishing a religion makes laws against same sex marriage unconstitutional if the religous argument is your only argument against it.

    kind of a damned if you do situation

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Not when you consider that marriage is by definition religious in nature. Furthermore, freedom of religion was never meant to be freedom from religion.

      • Sean B says:

        prehaps, but there is more then one way to get married. Just a few weeks ago my dad married my step-mom in a court house. does this mean they are not husband and wife?

      • BoB says:

        If there is tax and legal advantages to being married then it is no longer a solely religious institution.

        Kind of like how we bastardized Christmas with Santa Claus, and Easter with an Easter Bunny.

      • BSK says:

        The etymology of the word “marriage” is derived from the Latin word for lover. Hard to read that as an inherently religious definition.

  5. Evan says:

    Let me review the logic of this article.

    1. Marriage is a religious institution.

    2. The government should not prohibit the free exercise of religion.

    3. Therefore, if a religious institution wants to marry two members of the same gender, the government should stop them.

    Wha?

  6. Phil says:

    The church isn’t required to recognize anything. You can get married in any church that will have you, or even not in a church at all.

    Our government however, does churches the favor of legally recognizing marriages performed in said churches by ordained ministers/priests/what have you. If the government decides to extend the right of marriage to homosexual couples, it doesn’t infringe upon your freedom of religion, as your churches don’t have to recognize or perform those marriages.

    The church keeps it’s primacy in the spiritual domain, but the state can extend rights guaranteed by the state to whomever they choose.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Perhaps not for long. The goal of same-sex marriage advocates is a law that says that any clergyman who refuses to perform a ceremony for a same-sex couple shall lose his tax-deductible-contribution-recipient status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Or has his license to perform marriages revoked. In fact, the real goal is: no such thing as clergy-performed marriages, and every “marriage” performed by a JP or a judge.

      Already we hear of an Employment Non-Discrimination Act that says that no church shall refuse employment for any position, from the lowliest sexton (“gravedigger”) to the pastor himself, on the basis of sexual orientation or willingness to adhere to the faith.

      • Phil says:

        maybe church’s should be willing to lose their tax exempt status in order to maintain their doctrinal purity.

      • BSK says:

        “The goal of same-sex marriage advocates is a law that says that any clergyman who refuses to perform a ceremony for a same-sex couple shall lose his tax-deductible-contribution-recipient status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.”

        Is this part of the “gay agenda”? How do you know what is in the hearts and minds of same-sex marriage advocates? I can tell you that I’ve been very close to the movement for sometime and have never heard anyway say that their goal was to force or require churches to marry same sex couples. This is fear mongering at its worst.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          How do I know their hearts and minds? For one thing, some of them say it out loud. For another, I know the logical endpoint, and I know that games like these always play themselves out to their logical ends. I know all about incrementalism. Incrementalism is a strategic lie: a statement that “we’ll stop here” from those who do not intend to stop, and wouldn’t know where to stop even if they wanted to.

          That is how I know that they will not stop.

          • BSK says:

            Any citation for what you have supposedly heard? You are arguing slippery slope under a different name. Fail. And even if we were to concede that is the end game (which we won’t), why not simply stop the process when it begins to infringe on the rights of religious groups and individuals. If the end game is wrong but the steps along the way aren’t, then stop as soon as the steps along the way become wrong. I could make the same argument that religious conservatives want gays burned at the stakes and denying same sex marriage is step one in making that happen. I could certainly offer plenty of evidence of this type of rhetoric. As such, we must allow gay marriage to avoid the murder of gays. See how easy that is?

      • aveskde says:

        >>Perhaps not for long. The goal of same-sex marriage advocates is a law that says that any clergyman who refuses to perform a ceremony for a same-sex couple shall lose his tax-deductible-contribution-recipient status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Or has his license to perform marriages revoked. In fact, the real goal is: no such thing as clergy-performed marriages, and every “marriage” performed by a JP or a judge.

        So what you’re saying is, the entire community: gays, lesbians, transsexuals, bisexuals, straights, etc. should be forced to pay extra to compensate for the tax-exempt status of a church which discriminates against them? Is that your argument? The point of having tax-exempt status is that an institution is perceived as a public good and so the community pulls up its slack in taxes so that it may continue to exist. If an institution uses its tax-exempt status to poison society and divide it, then why are we paying for it? Shouldn’t it pay for itself?

        • Dachs_dude says:

          Actually, the point of tax exempt status for religious groups is so the government can’t decide, via taxes, which churches/denominations get to thrive or even exist and which ones have to shutdown due to tax delinquency.

          The governments of Europe used the taxes collected against non-government sanctioned churches to keep them from gaining power, if they were allowed to exist at all.

          Quoting from the LA Time from Sep 23, 2008:

          “In its 1970 opinion in Walz vs. Tax Commission of the City of New York, the high court stated that a tax exemption for churches “creates only a minimal and remote involvement between church and state and far less than taxation of churches. [An exemption] restricts the fiscal relationship between church and state, and tends to complement and reinforce the desired separation insulating each from the other.” The Supreme Court also said that “the power to tax involves the power to destroy.” Taxing churches breaks down the healthy separation of church and state and leads to the destruction of the free exercise of religion.”

  7. Derek says:

    As a Catholic,
    I understand that (as of now) the Catholic church will not recognize my marriage. But that does not mean that my marriage is wrong or that it is somehow infringing upon other’s “rights” to ignore it.

    The church may say that I am not married, but the ring on my finger says otherwise

  8. Kyle says:

    “The goal of same-sex marriage advocates is a law that says that any clergyman who refuses to perform a ceremony for a same-sex couple shall lose his tax-deductible-contribution-recipient status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Or has his license to perform marriages revoked. In fact, the real goal is: no such thing as clergy-performed marriages, and every “marriage” performed by a JP or a judge.”

    What, other than your paranoia, do you base this on?

  9. BoB says:

    So you are against other people being happy?

  10. DinsdaleP says:

    There’s no legitimate basis for the government, whether at the Federal or state level, to deny an entire class of people a right that is granted to others when the only real basis for that denial is religious.

    Marriage may have its origins in religious tradition, but the government sanctions that state and grants specific privileges to people issued a marriage license. It’s already been pointed out by others that a male-female couple can go to their local government office, obtain a marriage license, and have all the privileges of being married without a religious ceremony ever taking place.

    Civil unions and similar provisions may be designed on paper to convey equal status under the law, but in everyday practice it doesn’t, just as “separate but equal” was a legal fiction that never held up in reality either.

    Take religion out of the equation for a minute, and consider two couples heading to the county clerk to be married in a civil ceremony. The male-female couple can obtain a marriage license and be regarded as legally married in all aspects of the law. The same-sex couple is denied that status, and depending on the venue, has limited rights or must navigate a patchwork of exceptions and explanations to be treated with the same consideration as the other couple is by default. That’s not equal protection under the law, and that’s why marriage as a legal status should not be denied to any two adults who meet all the conditions for marriage outside of a gender test.

    In fact, if both of these couples were composed of individuals named “Pat Smith” and “Chris Jones”, you couldn’t tell which was male-female and which was same-sex without seeing them or having them declare their genders. If we are to live up to the principle of equal protection under the law, then the gender of these individuals should be as irrelevant as the color of their skin, and the government status of “married” should be conferred regardless. Religious institutions don’t have to sanction these marriages, but for all other matters under the law, people should simply be considered “married”.

    • BSK says:

      Well, we’d just to have to look in their underpants, wouldn’t we? Simple as pie!

  11. Richard says:

    Wow, the author of this article is grossly misinformed (ignorant?). The government (state or federal) cannot force a church to marry anyone. Much like a couple must – among other things – consist of two baptized Christians to get married in a Catholic Church or attend Temple Preparation Classes to get married in a Moron Temple, religious institutions have the right to implement their membership services and ceremonies as they choose (this is constitutionally guaranteed). What occurred in New York was merely making same-sex marriage a legal OPTION; however, religious institutions in the state are in way obliged to now perform marriages for this population. As an independent, I am amused when members from either political extreme professorially bark a point that is completely misinformed and unfounded as it is only counterproductive to their cause.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      I have heard such platitudinous reassurances before, from liberals. Years later, those same liberals will demand the very thing that they confidently assured the conservative objectors that the Constitution forbids. Recall Barack Obama’s lament that the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, that doesn’t say enough, in his (definitely not) humble opinion, about what the government must do for people. Recall also Time Magazine’s cover showing the Constitution being fed to an office shredder.

      In short, your assurances might be valid this instant. But what about after you or Andrew Sullivan or The Right Reverend Canon V. Eugene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, gets elected President? What then?

      Have you forgotten that the Constitution means exactly what the United States Supreme Court says it means, any time it says it?

      For that reason, your assurances are empty.

      • Kyle says:

        “I have heard such platitudinous reassurances before, from liberals. Years later, those same liberals will demand the very thing that they confidently assured the conservative objectors that the Constitution forbids.”

        Once again what, other than your paranoia, do you base this assumption on?

      • Richard says:

        I have heard the same platitudinous conspiracy theories before, from paranoid extremists (liberal and conservative). For someone so vocal, I find your shallow understanding of the issues shocking.

  12. Right, and the fact that the New York legislation specifically includes a section allowing religious institutions to be free to choose whether or not they will marry any given couple fits with this claim how exactly?

  13. anon says:

    Terry, Terry, Terry. What will we do with you?

    First off, in the beginning of the article the author states Obama declared a Federal Mandate unconstitutional, and a state mandate constitutional. Isn’t one of the big tea party platforms States Rights? Wouldn’t that mean Obama is agreeing with them?

    Second, Marriage is deeply tied to government these days, with marriage status being looked at for benefits, tax incentives, and even some job opportunities or adoption checks. What they want is the same thing that straight people want.

    Third, really? Homosexuality leads to pedophilia and beastiality? You might want to check to see what you’ve been putting in your coffee there, Terry.

    Go back to your echo chamber, Terry. The real world has no place for your stupidity.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Why don’t you go back to your echo chamber? Coming from one whose very e-mail handle says that he (or she) refuses to reveal his (or her) name, yours is certainly a profile in courage. (Not.)

      Tell your fellow travelers at Media Matters for America that you and they don’t impress me any more than you impress Fox News.

  14. Donald R Laster Jr says:

    Until 1964 in Maryland there were no civil marriages. You had to be married by a priest or minister. A Judge or the Clerk of the Court (if authorized) was allowed from 1964 on. This is not an issue about Rights but behavior.

    The objective is not equality by the “Homosexual” (properly referred to as sodomite) community but extra privilege and status above everyone else. Pay attention to their actual rhetoric. They are seeking special status for their behavior.

  15. Russell says:

    Should Atheists be allowed to marry?

  16. John says:

    I find it EXTREMELY amusing how something this basic is so easy to be worked up over.

    I myself, being homophobic, used to feel something like the author, but then I realized, there is only one true solution that would make ANYONE, be they an extreme homophobe (I’m only somewhat so; I’m no Fred Phelps, if thats the idea you got), or somewhat who believes in Total Marriage Equality (no limits on number, relation or gender of partners whatsoever; 58 brothers and cousins could get married with this) happy.

    Yes, there is one solution, and I think it RIDICULOUS that not many people see it.

    _WHY_ _IS_ _THE_ _GOVERNMENT_ _DEFINING_ _MARRIAGE_ _?_

    Yes, that is the question I dare ask. Last time I checked, the govt is there to protect us. Military to defend us. Police force to keep me from being murdered when I go to buy a pack of smokes. Court system. Arguably, a medical system (in theory, I would have all docotrs/medicine/hospital privatized, but I realized that is not neccessarily realistic), or an education system (same).

    You know, things that protect us.

    I don’t recall “having marriage defined for me by the government” to be something I want the government to do.

    I personally, define marriage as “one human man, one human woman no closer in relation to him than first cousin, with her being submissive to him, for one lifetime.”

    A rather old fashioned way to look at things, sure, but that’s the way I feel.

    However, some men want to be involved in a relationship with their father, brother, uncle, nephew and son (all over 18, all consenting, no coercion of any kind, of course). They would consider this incestuous six-way relationship a marriage.

    Who am I to say that they cant have that. I certainly can call them disgusting incest f*****ts, and generally not be polite. But if they want to live together, and call themselves married, then who I am to stop them? It’s their land, they can do what they want.

    The issue is when the government decides to define it for everybody. WHY? Don’t you have more important things to do, like fighting wars and being conspritial, then defining words? Who asked the government to define words? Since when is the government the Oxford English Dictionary?

    As for organizations (I think in particular of churches). They, or rather the members that compose them, would define marriage for themselves as they see fit. Of course they could deny a marriage ceremony to anyone for any reason, it’s their church, their land, they can do what they want. The people whose gender, orientation, relation, or number bother them are free to find a more open church, or just live together and consider themselves married.

    That way, the fundies can maintain their hard line, heteroesxual monogamous nonincestuous, way of thinking, and that’s fine. And when two gays or a father and daughter or two men and three women consider their lives to be marriage, they are happy too.

    Everyone gets what they want.

    As usual, a seeming problem is solved simply by removing the government from the equation.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      The problem that you are overlooking, concerns inheritance, household property, joint tax filing, etc. Of course, this might be another argument (distinctly minor) for abolishing all income taxes: are we going to redefine our filing status to be:

      1. Adult living alone.(replaces “Single”)
      2. Roommates filing jointly (replaces “Married filing jointly”)
      3. Roommates filing separately (replaces “Married filing separately”
      4. Adult with children in the home (replaces “Unmarried head of household”)

      Note that the qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status would go away.

      Because that’s what you’re looking at: that as far as the civil law is concerned, two adults living together are roommates. Period. End of memo. Whether they had agreed to marry or not, wouldn’t matter. And because no such thing as a “bastard” would exist (except as another synonym for “villain”), absolutely no child would have any claim to speak of on the affections, or the legacy, of any adult.

      Even Ayn Rand did not propose anything that drastic.

      • John says:

        You may be able to tell that I something of a lbiertatrian, and as such am opposed to govt involvement in inhertiance, property, and am opposed to tax in general (I will not call for immediate abolition of tax, that is too idealistic even for me).

        And yes, I do take this as a good reason to get rid of income tax, I certainly hate income tax (and inheritance tax, and property tax) more than sales tax. Really, sales tax is my least hated tax, even though it is no different than a mobster demanding you give them 15% of what you paid to the storeowner, for no reason.

        but that’s another story, and certainly I’d like to see income tax abolished and sales tax go higher. If gasoline was $3, even $5 a litre (Im from Canada; that’s $12-$20 a gallon or so), I wouldn’t mind, if I got to keep every penny I earned all year, not just the equivalent of the second half of the year.

        lol.

        If we keep the income tax, what you propose I actually think is great. That way, it is very generic, so any number of adults living at the house, would be considered “roommates” filing together or seperate as they choose. This would be completely seperate from whether or not any of them consider themselves married, as what they privately consider themselves, is of no interest the government in this system.

        I dont udnerstand the qualifying widow(er) thing, not being a tax lawyer (or a lawyer at all, mind you), so I cannot comment on whether or not that would also be an improvement over what we currently have.

        As for the last full paragraph, I agree. Any number of adults living together would be considered roommates by the government, no spouses. This is good, as what the adults consider themselves in their private lifes (married, unmarried, whatever), should be irrelevant to the government. As far as I am concenred, this is a good thing.

        Interesting point on “bastard”, that is a good point. As far as the government would be concerned, “bastard” would be meaningless.

        I don’t see what this has to do with any child speeking on the “affections or legacy of any adult,” I’d be interested to see you expound on that some more. But I can’t see how it’s a problem as of yet.

        As for the comparison to Rand, I am somewhat honored, being something of a fan of hers. Although I don’t agree with everything she ever said, I certainly agree with a lot of her theories.

        Thanks for the response, Terry

  17. Kyle says:

    “Really, sales tax is my least hated tax, even though it is no different than a mobster demanding you give them 15% of what you paid to the storeowner, for no reason.”

    And by ‘no reason’ you of course mean roads, public transit, sports arenas, education, health care, the police, the fire department, ambulances, hospitals, the water supply, electricity…

    Yeah, who needs any of that?

    • John says:

      Again, if I go to buy a pack of smokes, and it costs, say, $10.00. And then a mobster says, “give me $1.50” as I am leaving the store.

      EVEN IF he then uses that $1.50 to go to something to benefit me, or make infrastrucutre, IS THAT RIGHT? I would argue, no. Doing something for someone else’s own good that infringes on their rights without their concent is always wrong, often is not even helpful, and is always annoying. I think of censorship as an example.

      Most of the things you listed I would privatize.

      ANYWAYS, I clarified in my original post that I do acknowledge that some tax is important, and if there is any tax, the most reasonable is sales tax. I am just saying that IDEALLY, there would no tax whatsoever, not even sales tax. If people wanted all those things you list so bad, I am sure they would VOLUNTARILY and CONSENUALLY go ahead and DONATE their money to those causes, lest they be sold to the private sector and the oppurtunity to price gouge present itself. Of course, no one ever thinks of that.

      ANYWAYS, that was really just a side note, I tend to go on tangents, my overall post was NOT about taxation.

  18. Kyle says:

    “Most of the things you listed I would privatize.”

    I don’t think you’ve thought this through.

    “If people wanted all those things you list so bad, I am sure they would VOLUNTARILY and CONSENUALLY go ahead and DONATE their money to those causes”

    Say John, isn’t that your house on fire? No point calling the Fire dept., you haven’t paid them, they’re just going to let it burn to the ground. Hey look, someone’s stealing your car. I’ll call 9-1-1. Oh whoops, you never paid the cops, they don’t care. Well, you’re a bummer, I’m going home. Say…. how do I get home? I haven’t paid for the roads or the sidewalks around your house, I’m not allowed to use them.

    “Of course, no one ever thinks of that.”

    You’re right. Some people just don’t think.

    • John says:

      Okay, I already responded once, but it did not process, so I am going to be brisk this time, sorry about that:

      -It is funny how we are discussing this, I made an offhand comment about tax, and now we have an entire side conversation, when we should be discussing homosexuals and religions.

      -okay, I should have said “some”, not “most.” You did a better job that most people of listing things there is good reason for the government to control.

      -the fire department thing: I concede that is something that although it would ideally be privatized, in our society, seems to need to be government run. There is simply too much room for foul play, i.e., the fire department could arson someone’s house if they don’t pay, or whatever. However, that is no reason there should not be private fire departments AS WELL, that consumers could choose to use INSTEAD.

      -the police thing: That, unlike the fire department, does simply need to be government run out of neccessity. That, I would argue, goes further, and is actually one of the few things that actually SHOULD be run by the government. Of course, private bodyguards are actually a real thing as of right now, so the two-tier system seems to be working for that.

      -the roads/sidewalks thing: This is like the fire departments, they need to be government run out of neccessity. There is again too much room for foul play, or gouging. And the other issue with private roads and sidewalks is this: A racist could easily buy up lots of roads and sidewalks, and not let black people go anywhere. This is a very sad, yet very conceivable and very realistic, thought.

      -I daresay, I think about things differently than you do, but, I daresay, I do think.

      • Kyle says:

        John,

        For the most part you seem to be agreeing with me, which is why I wonder do you have such an anti-tax stance?

        • John says:

          We do seem to agree.

          Why do I have such an anti-tax stance?

          It’s two fold:

          1. I am opposed to the idea in theory. I don’t believe any entity, be it a person, corporation, or the government, has the right to take money from any other entity, without their concent (i.e., donations).

          That is the theory I believe in.

          However, I am enough of a realist to note that the society I generally enjoy living in would not operate well at all, if there was no taxation.

          As such, I understand the need for some tax, preferably in the form of sales tax rather than income tax, or inherintance tax.

          2. The government screws us with their tax policies, however. At least, they do in Canada, and probably down in the States too. Too many things are run by the government, causing taxes to increase. Tax dollars are wasted. Corruption is everywhere. Public employees are overpaid and overcompensated for their work.

          I would ask for total and complete transparency in the government, to see where all the extra money is going. When someone like me, who is not nearly rich, loses nearly half my income to tax, and then has to pay tax on everything I buy, ammounting to thousands of dollars a year, and I am an average person, it doesn’t make sense.

          So I would say we need tax, unfortunately, but it should be minimized. But, IN THEORY AND NOT REALITY, we should not have any kind of tax at all.

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