Monday, August 16, 2010

Gay Marriage and the 14th Amendment

A recent discussion over at Man of the West’s blog brought up the topic of the 14th Amendment and gay marriage. For years I have believed that the courts will eventually rule that the 14th Amendment does in fact show that homosexuals have the right to marry other homosexuals—i.e. people of the same gender—in the eyes of the Constitution.

First off, here is the part of the 14th Amendment in question –

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.
This section, otherwise known as the Equal Protection Clause, guarantees all citizens will have “equal protection of the laws.” By making the argument that same-sex couple have the same protection under the law because they can marry someone of the opposite sex is nonsensical argument that doesn’t hold water. That is like saying blacks have the same rights under the law to marry, as long as they marry other black people. This type of argument and mentality designates homosexuals as second class citizens, not worthy of the same rights and protections under the law that are afforded their straight counterparts.

There are those who will argue that this is a religious freedom issue. I don’t buy that either. Any church can deny performing a marriage to any couple for any reason. For example, the Roman Catholic Church will not marry or at least will not recognize any marriage that includes someone who isn’t a Catholic. They are free to do so. If a church doesn’t want to perform a marriage ceremony for a gay couple, then that is fine and dandy, the couple can go and find another church that will perform their marriage. The point is that the GOVERNMENT cannot deny the same-sex couple a marriage license. That is the entire point! This has nothing at all to do with religious freedom and everything to do with equal protection of the law.

Now people will make the argument that this will turn into a loss of religious freedoms (parents not being notified about schools teaching homosexuality, adoption agencies not being permitted to disregard homosexual couples in favor of straight ones, and so on). To me these are completely different issues and bogus arguements.
  1. Anytime sex is an issue in school (at the very least for 8th graders and below), parents should be notified. That is only logical and has nothing at all to do with gay marriage. That having been said, people shouldn’t seen lessons on tolerance as an attack on their religious freedom. Teaching kids to be good to people no matter what should be embraced by everyone and it makes me wonder what kind of sentiments those who attack this kind of teaching may harbor.
  2. Same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt. End of story. This again has nothing to do with religious freedom. If some adoption agency had a policy that they would deny adoptions to any black, white, Asian, Arab couple, then they would be seen as the bigots that they are, yet for some reason it is okay to do this same exact thing to same-sex couples. That is discrimination plain and simple and the fact is that religious freedom does not protect discrimination, no matter how people want to spin it.

At the end of the day, the world will not come to a screeching immoral halt if gays are afforded the same marriage rights that straights enjoy. In fact it will keep on spinning and spinning and spinning for many years to come. Has our society lost step with many basic morals, values, and virtues? Absolutely, but that has nothing at all to do with allowing same-sex couples to marry. Straight people have been screwing this world up for centuries, so to blame all the unethical ills on the pink team is just ingenious and intellectually dishonest.


Clem said...

I must say that I enjoyed the lesson in Christian love that MOTW gave over on his blog.

Oilfieldguy said...

I got married once, to someone of the opposite sex, and the church had nothing to do with it. I got married at the courthouse, by a Justice Of Peace, or Piece. And when I got divorced the only involvement of the church was my taking the Lords name in vain when I lost all of my stuff.

It was a great trade though, she got everything and I got away from her. The point is the church was not involved at all, and now many wail about "activist judges legislating from the bench thwarting the will of the people."

They do not understand that the mob may not vote to deprive a minority of their rights. The judge is the David against the Goliath.