Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Leave gay marriage to the states and out of national politics

    Why must we have all this talk of gay marriage and whether or not Barrack Obama supports it? The issue of who marries whom has always been a matter of state regulation and it should remain so. As the president of a federal republic, Obama's views are of no consequence.
    In Mississippi it's against the law for first cousins to marry, no matter how much they may be in love. Call it hate, call it bigotry or just call it the law. But in Texas, first cousins are welcome to marry. Does this make Texans more or less enlightened? I don't know.
    In Arkansas it's against the law for a man to marry his adopted daughter's adopted daughter. In Kentucky, go right ahead (U.S. v. Dedman). I don't know which state is right and I don't care. It's their business and not a matter of national concern.
    There has been in the last 20 years an absolute sea change in public opinion about gays. Comedians used to make "gay" jokes routinely. Now they are rare. In 1988 interview, former president Jimmy Carter said the elder George Bush gave "a kind of effeminate impression." I disagree, but can you imagine someone saying this today?
    In 1973, when the Supreme Court issued the Roe v. Wade abortion decision, abortion had in 10 years gone from being illegal in every state to legal in about 15 states, which is remarkable. I think it's fair to say had the Supreme Court not interfered it would have expanded to many more states. But by forcing this on people the Court created a conflict that can never be resolved.
    I'm personally opposed to gay marriage. It doesn't mean I hate gays and it doesn't mean I'm opposed forever. It means I want time to think and time to observe. I think there are a lot of other people who feel exactly the same way.
    There are those who want to interject this issue into the presidential campaign. It's a terrible mistake that will create nothing but backlash. The trend has been towards more tolerance and a more open society, but people need to be allowed to find their own way on this, or as a nation we're going to be looking at a repeat of Roe v. Wade that will benefit no one.
    There will soon be some more states which allow for gay marriage, and I think that's fine. But it is a state issue, not a national one, and has no place in national politics. In national politics, we need to avoid this issue like the plague.


Ignatius said...

So, since historically the states have recognized and given credit to a marriage formed in another state, are you for that, too? Since you want the Feds out of this, does that mean you will support repeal of DOMA? Are you distinguishing between marriage and civil unions?

Anonymous said...

I'm more interested in divorce. Most people don't even bother to get married anymore. They accumulate assets, have children, etc. We should leave the law out of the marriage business and let the churches handle that. The state should be involved only in the dissolution of what I now call "joint ventures," no matter who the people engaged in the joint venture happen to be.

Col. Reb Sez said...

I think the Ninth Circuit, which always gets it wrong, really screwed things up by saying a state that recognizes civil unions must allow gay marriage. It essentially puts states in an all or nothing position, and I think most will choose nothing.

The reason states are putting a gay marriage ban in their constitutions is to get around the full faith and credit requirement. Prior to the San Francisco circuit clerk illegally issuing marriage licenses about 10 or so years ago gay marriage just was not on the radar, and people are saying, "hold on a minute."

I don't know the provisions of DOMA, but I am inclined to say that it is an issue the federal government doesn't need to be involved in, except for problems of federal benefits. But just based on personal philosophy I would say I'm inclined to support repeal.

In my opinion two people don't need the permission of the state to form a civil union. Using legal doctrines that have been around since Blackstone, they can use the laws of contract, trust, limited powers of attorney and wills to achieve everything a civil union or marriage does. All a civil union does is provide a state-sanctioned shortcut.

Perhaps there is some money to be made in creating a civil union kit, kind of like a write your own will kit.