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Posted on Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Gay marriage in America: A measurement of citizenship

By Robert Faber

052012_gaycouple.jpg

The right of gay citizens to marry the person they love is precisely the kind of rights promised by our Constitution.

Ejwhite | Dreamstime.com

Editor's note: Robert Faber writes occasional columns for AnnArbor.com about aging, politics and other issues.

I didn’t know him, but I do remember the talk surrounding him, the ridicule enveloping him. He was in my high school during my years there in the early 1940s and I remember that the talk was antagonistic and hinted at violence, although I was unable to confirm the fact of it. We didn’t use the term at that time, but he was gay.

A few years later, a friend was serving in the army in Europe. He and some fellow soldiers were having an off-duty night in the bar when several of them went to the men’s room where they were approached by a stranger — and they beat him mercilessly. My friend was appalled, but felt unable to intervene. This victim, too, was gay.

Ours is a nation that has long been an international symbol of freedom and equality, but homosexuality was and remains a continuing target of derision and threat. The physical abuse that marked such antagonism was widespread and generally disapproved, but rarely condemned. Now, much of the violence of that antagonism has dissipated, but too much of the discrimination remains.

Of all the many legislative abuses to our national renown, among the most offensive is the audacity of our federal government to determine who and how we may love.

As a nation of 313 million citizens with roots in all the many customs and religions and traditions of the entire world, it is hardly surprising that issues arise that attract some segments of our society while repelling others with equal passion. Fortunately, most of the overt antagonism and occasional violence that haunted many of our people those decades ago has dimmed or disappeared. But much of the bias and discrimination remains.

One of today’s more vitriolic social disputes centers on the matter of same-sex marriage, with each side, of course, claiming the higher moral ground. The basis for the opposition to the right of gays and lesbians to marry seems to be centered either on a personal distaste for the concept, or on the conviction that it is against the teachings of the Bible.

Matters of personal taste, of course, defy reasoned analysis or objectivity, but objections to legalizing homosexual marriage, based solely on biblical interpretation, are more open to objective evaluation. Many organized religions agree with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, for example, that “marriage is a ... lifelong union (emphasis added) between one man and one woman," or with the Evangelical Lutheran Church which defines marriage as “a lifelong covenant of faithfulness between a man and a woman.”

The conflict between the morality and reality of these positions, however, is evident in the fact that very nearly 50 percent of traditional marriages escape that “lifelong union” by divorce, a percentage probably surpassed by the number of extramarital relationships tainting the legally and religiously blessed marriages.

But another and very serious set of conditions is being buried by such faith-based considerations. Overlooked or ignored are those principles that have built and guided our nation since its founding. In its search for “a more perfect Union,” for example, and its commitment to “promote the general Welfare” and its pledge to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” our Founders and their Constitution designed a template for the goals and aspirations of our people — and set its standards very high.

The dreams and ambitions of that document extend well beyond the rules and regulations controlling our performance, being much more an exultation of principles than simply a formulation and listing of the laws of the land.

Currently and completely contrary to those principles is the legislative intervention in the lives of citizens for actions that have no impact on anyone beside themselves. Of all the many legislative abuses to our national renown, among the most offensive is the audacity of our federal government to determine who and how we may love.

Maintaining the principles established by our nation’s moral leadership follows no clear and precise route, but its goals of a continuing life of liberty and productive fellowship are worthy objectives for us all. The rules of religion are valued guides for those who adhere to the particular principles of each sect, but have little application for citizens following a different path.

Our nation, our democratic principles, are largely focused on the security and rights and freedoms of our citizenry — the individual members of our nation — as long as none of those rights interfere with those of their fellows. The intervention of rules and regulations formulated by private groups to guide the performance of an unaffiliated citizenry, however honorable, is in sharp contradiction to the principles that have built and guided our nation since its founding.

The right of gay citizens to marry the person they love is precisely the kind of rights promised by our Constitution and assumed by our citizenship and should become a basic part of our national character.


Bob Faber has been a resident of Ann Arbor since 1954. He and his wife, Eunice, owned a fabric store and later a travel agency. He served a couple of terms on the Ann Arbor City Council. He may be reached at rgfaber@comcast.net.

Comments

Jon McLean

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

This is very well-reasoned, but I take issue with one statement: Legalizing same-sex marriage would have impact beyond the two people involved--positive impact. I can think of at least three examples. First, monogamy is known to reduce the spread of STDs. Aside from reducing the personal anguish of STDs, this would also reduce public health costs. Second, a stable, legally-sanctioned relationship would have huge impacts on any children in the family. For an extreme example, death of one parent would not put the children into foster care, again avoiding personal anguish and public expense. And finally, the community to which the couple belongs gets to share the joy of their wedding and the marriage which continues long after. Where's the downside? Can anyone present a logically compelling argument against same-sex marriage? I haven't heard any, and don't expect to.

JS

Mon, May 28, 2012 : 1:07 a.m.

In terms of all these homophobic comments... The one who smelt it dealt it.

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

gay or straight, love is great!!!! Gay Or Straight, Love Is Great!!!! GAY OR STRAIGHT,LOVE IS GREAT!!!! 'nuff said. have a nice day. sign me, straight but not narrow.

carrier

Sun, May 27, 2012 : 11:08 p.m.

I think you are great, too, Madeleine. And love is great, but sex not always so. I would think twice once I learned that homosexual sex can reduce a man's life expectancy by half.

alex

Sat, May 26, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

YOU ARE GREAT (annarbor.com says that i can't type in all caps so i have to add this non-capped part to merit a response)

carrier

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

Good question, Peter, though I wished you had asked how it affects relationships or the eases the transmission of HIV; that would have been easier to answer. The following borrowed quote is part of my answer. "if two men or two women can marry, then why not more than two? If marriage is just an expression of temporary, private emotional states, and not a social institution with real meaning connected to biological realities, why stop with same-sex couples? There are already more than two hundred sites on the Internet advocating "polyamorism"-sexual relations between whole groups of men, or groups of men and women, or groups of women.72 And if groups can marry, then why not humans and animals? Why not a nerd and his computer? Brother and sister? Mother and son? A boy and his dog? Once you go beyond the demonstrable needs of human relationship, and beyond the limits that protect the welfare of spouses, children, and society, then there is literally no limit to the possible combinations. Nor the possible damage to the common good." When marriage loses its meaning to a society, the reinforcements and support necessary for its health are lost, which makes it more difficult to live. Like what happened with the advent of "no fault divorce." One result was the skyrocketing of divorce. If marriage, which has been the foundation of most cultures forever, loses its meaning, the commitment necessary to maintain it weakens. My marriage does better when I am around couples who believe in its value.

carrier

Sun, May 27, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

If you said something that I disagreed with, Peter, I wouldn't call you names. I would point out where I think you are wrong. That is how discussions proceed and how we learn from each other. I will gladly hear what you think I said that was incorrect or that was homophobic.

carrier

Sun, May 27, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

Alex, I know straight people can get HIV, but the percentages compared to gays is much, much less. Right?

alex

Sat, May 26, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

you understand straight people can contract HIV too??

Peter

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

That is complete clap-trap rationalization of homophobia that has no basis in reality.

carrier

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

Mr. Faber says the following: "Currently and completely contrary to those principles is the legislative intervention in the lives of citizens for actions that have no impact on anyone beside themselves. Of all the many legislative abuses to our national renown, among the most offensive is the audacity of our federal government to determine who and how we may love." They said the same thing about Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky. There were two other people obviously impacted by the relationship - Hillary and Chelsea. Not to mention Congress dealing with it, impeachment proceedings, and the whole country talking about it. Nothing we do affects only us. Same with homosexuality. It affects marriages, it affects relationships, it eases the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, just to give a few examples.

Peter

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

How, precisely, does allowing gay marriage affect anybody else's marriage?

carrier

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

Here is part of an article by Dale O'Leary that helps explain one side of the argument. Lengthy, but worth it. References wouldn't fit within the 2000 character limit. "Encouraging adolescent males to engage in sex with other men is a prescription for disaster. Sexually transmitted diseases are rampant in the gay community. Since 1981, 300,000 MSM have died of AIDS, and 6,000 are expected to die this year and every year for the foreseeable future. According to the CDC, in 2008, 17,940 MSM were diagnosed with HIV infections, an increase of 17% from 2005. MSM accounted for 53% of all new infections. MSM are 44 to 86 times more likely to be diagnosed HIV positive than men who don't.[5] In addition 65 percent of all new cases of syphilis were found in MSM, although MSM make up less than 2% of the population. MSM are more likely to contract cancer, particularly Human Papillomavirus caused anal and oral cancer; more likely to contract antibiotic resistant gonorrhea[6], and a host of other exotic sexually transmitted diseases. . The younger a man is when he begins to have sex with men the greater the risk he will become infected.[8] And disease is not the only risk, boys who enter the gay scene are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, particularly crystal meth,[9] more likely to engage in prostitution or be victims of domestic violence. The geeky, awkward adolescent, who thinks that coming out as gay will provide instant acceptance, will quickly discover that among gay men physical beauty is highly prized. In the sex crazed world of circuit parties and anonymous hook ups that characterizes gay life, the unattractive — even the just average — face repeated rejection." Unfortunately, the life of homosexuals are anything but gay. We all need to educate ourselves about homosexuality so we don't make decisions based solely on emotion and "compassion."

Peter

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

That sure is some homophobic pseudoscience right there, carrier.

Rob Henderson

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 11:09 a.m.

So wouldn't allowing them to marry be the best way to encourage monogamous behavior and cut down on the disease risks?

AnnArBo

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

Its interesting to me all this talk about marriage becoming somehow a consitutional right. If "marriage" becomes loosely defined simply as people who love each other and becomes a "constitutional right", then I should be able to marry mulitiple wives, my cousin, my sister, my mother and on and on if the only defining principle is loving each other. How can you defend gays marrying without defending poligamy etc.? If this becomes someones "civil right", then could a pastor, rabi or cleric be charged with violating someones civil rights and charged with a hate crime for failing to marry any loving "couple" regardless of their religious beliefs? "Marriage" has always been "defined" as a man and woman for the purpose of starting a traditinal family, there are civil unions etc. that protect individual rights based on personal sexual preference without redefining "marriage".

SEC Fan

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

@AnnArBo, There are very few "rights" specifically defined in the U.S. Constitution. E.g., marriage (of any type) is not specifically defined as a constitutional right. The "right" that is defined by the constitution is the right for all "persons" to be treated equally by the law. That's the constitutional argument that is being made. Not that any specific group has a "right" to be married, but that if marriage is defined by a state law (or state constitutional amendment), then it must treat all "persons" equally.

alex

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

because no harm is done when gay people get married... if you were to marry say your sister and decided to have children there is a very high risk of them being born with birth defects. To be honest I'm ok with polygamy too, you should be able to love whoever you want however you want. When people think of polygamy they think of the colonies that have caused trouble who were marrying off 12 year olds, now that is something i disagree with.

alex

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 11:42 a.m.

here's a few bible verses for those using "the bible says it's wrong" argument... Round haircuts. See you in Hell, Beatles... and/or kids with bowl cuts, surfer cuts or (my favorite) butt cuts. Leviticus 19:27 reads "You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard." (don't get a haircut!!) Leviticus 11:8, which is discussing pigs, reads "You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you." (bet a lot of you enjoy bacon and football!!) Leviticus 19:28 reads, "You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord. (don't get a tattoo!!) Leviticus 19:19 reads, "You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together." (surely you own a polyester shirt) Mark 10:8, you "are no longer two, but one flesh." And, Mark 10:9 reads, "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (don't get a divorce!) Timothy 2:9 "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments. (better throw out that gold watch!) Leviticus 11:10 reads, "But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you." And shellfish is right in that wheelhouse. (no lobster for you!) there you go, i bet you violate one of those verses on a daily basis.

alex

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 7:14 a.m.

to everyone using the "WELL THE BIBLE SAYS IT'S WRONG" argument, here's a few of my favorite bible verses!! Leviticus 19:27 reads You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads (AKA no haircuts, surely you get them a lot?) Leviticus 11:8, which is discussing pigs, reads "You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you." (no football or bacon... be you enjoy those?) Genesis 38:9-10: "Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother's wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; so He took his life also." (ever done that?) No tattoos. Leviticus 19:28 reads, "You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord." (any tattoos?) Leviticus 19:19 reads, "You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together." (surely you own some polyester fabrics) Mark 10:8, you "are no longer two, but one flesh." And, Mark 10:9 reads, "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (make sure you never get divorced) "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments." (better throw out that gold watch!) Leviticus 11:10 reads, "But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you." And shellfish is right in that wheelhouse. (make sure you don't eat lobster!) There ya go, good job picking and choosing what you think is "the correct way to live" from th

alex

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 9:33 a.m.

thank you madeleine, i myself am an atheist but if there is a god i'm sure he would prefer kind atheists over hateful christians. According to the bible we ARE all sinners and like you said it's just sad that a particular group is picked on. If you say you live by the bible then live by every word, don't just pick and choose like certain individuals tend to do!

Madeleine Borthwick

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

Hey Alex, I completely agree with you. another tidbit that comes to mind....the bible also says that "ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God." so. this means(to me anyway)that we're ALL of us sinners so why target the LGBT community? by the way, I love bacon, I also have tattoos, I also have a modest collection of REALLY GOOD JEWELRY, I also was divorced from my children's father back in 1990. see you in hell, Madeleine

alex

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 7:02 a.m.

I'll never understand people who base their opinions on gay marriage over "the sanctity of marriage" and how it's ok for someone like Britney Spears to be married for 24 hours (and certainly not because she was in love) but it's not ok for 2 guys to get married who actually DO feel true love towards each other. Dang America.

The Black Stallion3

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

@enso..........I am having a very hard time buying into the "enlightened ones" It was the enlightened ones that destroyed the Roman Empire.

SEC Fan

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

Actually, it was the Germans :-) and the corrupt members of the Senate that were more interested in promoting their own agendas while running up huge deficits...sound familiar? true declining morals/values played a role, but that was a great deal more than just sex...let's not forget the most popular form of entertainment popular in the day: gladiators (aka, Ultimate fighting, WWF).

Rob Henderson

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

Given that same-sex marriage was never legal in the Roman Empire, you might want to be more specific in your blame.

Jake C

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 2:17 a.m.

Very good argument, it surely was gay marriage that destroyed the roman empire, not the fact that they became an imperialist empire that over expanded its reach, or thousands of other contributing factors. Not a great grasp of history...

The Black Stallion3

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:12 a.m.

This is exactly the kind of foolishness that will destroy America and to think you so called highly intelligent people are supporting this type of foolishness proves that you are not exactly as smart as you think. I am not concerned about my beliefs but I sure am worried about yours.

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 10 p.m.

hey stallion, my beliefs are precisely none of your business so why are you worried???

SEC Fan

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 3 p.m.

I think it's the mentality that makes Snooki a star that is more likely to destroy this country. people today know more about reality tv, WWF/Ultimate fighters and who jennifer anniston is dating than they do about what our government is doing.

alex

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 10:05 a.m.

it's bigots that are "destroying america" this was a country that was built on freedom. If you want to live in a theocracy move to Iran.

alex

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 9:40 a.m.

and thank you Enso, most people against gay marriage have not read the bible or have only read what verses they are told to look at in church. As an atheist I read the bible for the specific purpose to throw out verses just like the ones i posted. If you say you live by the bible it is very unfair to pick and choose what you think is right or wrong. The funniest verse to me is the one which states it is not right to get a haircut, while most "conservative christians" would label you as a "liberal hippie" if you had long flowing locks. Christians, by all means go ahead and believe in your fairytales but please do not judge who i am or what i do.

Enso

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

@alex, Great post. It's funny how the least Christian among us know more about their holy book than they do.

Enso

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

Foolishness is putting an eagle in your profile picture, denying rights to fellow Americans, and then claiming you are patriotic.

alex

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 7:31 a.m.

here's a few bible verses for those using "the bible says it's wrong" argument... Round haircuts. See you in Hell, Beatles... and/or kids with bowl cuts, surfer cuts or (my favorite) butt cuts. Leviticus 19:27 reads "You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard." (don't get a haircut!!) Leviticus 11:8, which is discussing pigs, reads "You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you." (bet a lot of you enjoy bacon and football!!) Leviticus 19:28 reads, "You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord. (don't get a tattoo!!) Leviticus 19:19 reads, "You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together." (surely you own a polyester shirt) Mark 10:8, you "are no longer two, but one flesh." And, Mark 10:9 reads, "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (don't get a divorce!) Timothy 2:9 "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments. (better throw out that gold watch!) Leviticus 11:10 reads, "But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you." And shellfish is right in that wheelhouse. (no lobster for you!) there you go, i bet you violate one of those verses on a daily basis.

Bertha Venation

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

Great piece, Bob. As a gay Viet Nam era vet myself, it never ceases to amaze me when I hear the ignorant people say it's a choice. REALLY? Why would I choose a lifestyle full of discrimination? If I chose this life, I'd hate to see the one I passed up. However, I will try to make the best of the cards I was dealt. Also, When suggested to go to church and pray for change, I suggest they go to church and pray for change in their eye color or blood type. Same thing. (There... THAT should make for some comments!)

rainy

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

Sorry - I meant to say "interracial marriage", not slavery.

rainy

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

@Enso - You're argument is illogical. Saying that all people who don't want gay marriage are the same people who want slavery makes no sense, and it just isn't true. Please don't make this conversation about name calling. It is a difference of opinion, and that needs to be respected.

Enso

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

Differences of opinion DON'T need to be respected. Hate-filled speech deserves no one's respect. And when people come out and claim they are entitled to hate and deny rights to others based on some book written thousands of years ago, or because I have to respect their free speech, they are dead wrong.

Middle America

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 11:12 a.m.

Bigots should not be respected.

Enso

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

The people arguing against gay marriage are of the same ilk that didn't want black people to be able to marry white people. Interracial marriage was also frowned upon by the bible (that terrible work of fiction). Interracial marriage was going to destroy society. Interracial marriage was going to ruin traditional marriage (whatever that is). Now the enlightened ones among us (and even some of those not so enlightened) think these argument are ludicrous. And rightfully so. Those of you against gay marriage are on the same side of history as those against interracial marriage. The silver lining: younger generations are going to look upon your bigoted arguments as how not to think.

The Black Stallion3

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:33 a.m.

I am having a very hard time buying into the "enlightened ones" It was the enlightened ones that destroyed the Roman Empire.

rainy

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

@ mix - ummm.... you totally missed the point. No one is debating whether or not the earth is round. It is a metaphor for the idea that you, yourself, brought up. A "flat earth idea" is an idea that isn't true, but someone wants to believe it so much that they insist it is true. Commenters say that those who oppose gay marriage are like people who still think the earth is flat, while I opine that it could be just the opposite - those who want gay marriage as part of the national constitution (of which it is currently not, contrary to some comments) are assuming that it is best and right for the country, akin to telling everyone that the earth is flat. As much as you are opposed to what I am saying, there are people who are equally opposed to what you are saying. You said it yourself: "judicial translation" meaning someone's interpretation of what the laws mean. It is an interpretation, and it can mean different things to different people. It sounds like you really want to be right. All I'm saying is that everyone thinks they are right, and the truth won't be realized for a very long time. To say that this is how things should be for everyone is assuming a lot. PS I'm glad you have a globe in your living room to remind you of what truth is.

SEC Fan

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

I don't know of anyone who wants gay marriage to be part of the U.S. constitution? I actually argue the complete opposite...I don't want any type of marriage defined by the constitution (national or state)! There are very few "rights" specifically defined in the U.S. Constitution. E.g., marriage (of any type) is not specifically defined as a constitutional right (U.S. Constitution). The "right" that is defined by the constitution is the right for all "persons" to be treated equally by the law. That's the constitutional argument that is being made. Not that any specific group has a "right" to be married, but that if marriage is defined by a state law (or state constitutional amendment), then it must treat all "persons" equally.

The Black Stallion3

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:36 a.m.

Very good comment rainy !!!!

Ed Caldwell

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

30 states disagree with you on this point and growing. Hence, now the fight goes to the federal level.

alex

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 7:16 a.m.

about 30 states allow you to marry your cousin too. (not sure which side of the argument you're on about gay marriage but you should probably know this fact too...)

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

Two things say, rainy; 1 The 14th Amendment to the Constitution 2) Scientific proof that the earth is not flat. It's not some silly idea. THe earth is somewhat round and moves around the sun. That's why my "idea" is not only the literal and accepted judicial translation of that amendment but I have a globe in my living room which proves the earth is round.

SEC Fan

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

...Every state dictates who can and cannot marry (whether they have a Constitutional amendment or not). Typical requirements include: cannot be currently married, of a certain age, etc. So where is the line drawn regarding Equal Protection? Again, the clause states "Any person". So why can't 12 year olds get married? why can't I have two spouses? If any one person can be married, "equal" protection should afford that "right" to "any" person within that state; if taken literally. That's why the court decision - when it comes - will be very specific... A good example is the current Michigan amendment. It states: "To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose." Yet, you must be 18 (16 with parental consent) to get married in Michigan. So why isn't it unconstitutional to prevent a 15 year old from getting married? Equal protection? Since when did children lose the right to equal protection? My point is that we create laws that technically go against the equal protection clause all the time and no one makes a fuss over it. This issue is a belief / morals issue (or how some people define morals). This is an issue because some people are religiously against or just plain bigoted against gay marriage. There is no reasoning, no data, no anything that will change that person's mind. Over time, though, these mindsets will become fewer and we can focus on challenging other aspects of the law. So please, Supreme Court, take this one up (California Prop 8, etc.), set a precedent, and depending upon the court's decision, let people in all the states with amendments start challenging them. Again, I am for allowing gay marriages. Sometime in the future - as someone else here posted - it will be allowed and many of these comments wi

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

So, when a person objects on moral grounds to somone's objections saying homosexuality is wrong, he has no objective moral basis by which he can make such an assertion. At best, all he is doing is giving his opinion and it would be arrogant to think that his opinion is the standard or morality for everyone else. Therefore, a person expressing their opinion does not make them a bigot. I know plenty of non-religious people that take extreme issue with the usage of the 14th Amendment in the Prop 8 overturn. The precedent it set is "no precedent" at all.

SEC Fan

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

I'm betting this article will storm to the top of the "most commented on" list! first and foremost, my personal opinion: - I have no issue with gay marriage; I support it. - Marriage is a state "issue" (i.e., to be defined by states - while conforming to Federal laws/Constitution) - I am against any amendment that defines (prohibits) any marriage. Who can and cannot marry should not be a specific constitutional "law". That being said, the issue of laws or state constitutions that define (or ban) marriages must be addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The sooner, the better. Why? The ramifications of the ruling can be quite large: The (U.S.) constitution was not designed to specifically include/exclude every possible "right"...our Founding Fathers knew that would be a losing proposition. Complimenting this philosophy are the Supreme Court rulings, which tend to be very specific (not always, but usually). Which is why we tend to see the same "issue" come up before the court time and time again (police searches and seizures for example). This leaves many things up to States to define; marriage being one of them. The U.S. Constitution (and subsequent amendments) are the overriding guide to these State laws. Now come the arguments. Supporters of constitutionally defining (banning) marriage generally refer to my comments above as their rationale (i.e., there is no constitutional "right" to marriage). The Opposition typically refer to the Equal Protection clause (1st section) of the 14th Amendment which prevents any state from denying "ANY person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws". Personally, I agree more with the Equal Protection argument. That will be the basis of any court decision and that is where the can of worms will be opened. What do I mean?

Frankyhollywood68

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

you can intellectualize it and use all kinds of clever big words. This is about sex and sex alone. and people are FAR too uptight to accept that most people gay, and some straight are having it. they just can't get over it. p.s. Violence is wrong, but the gentleman who approached the guys in the bathroom, should have at least been arrested!

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:39 p.m.

Why don't gay groups want to debate on morality? They might claim the moral right to have sex with anyone they want, or have the "right" to marry a person of the same sex, but on what are their morals and rights based? If they reply that society and personal preferences determine morality, there are problems that arise. First, what would they do if society said that homosexuality is morally wrong and homosexuals should be isolated from everyone else? Logically, it would mean that homosexuals would have to agree with such isolation. Second, if a society determines what is right morally, then why did the homosexuals work against society to get the moral standards changed to agree with their moral preferences? Third, if a society determines what is right and wrong, then can they legitimately complain against the Nazi Society that murdered Jews in World War II? If morality is based on personal preferences, then what do you do when the preferences of one person contradict the preferences of another in moral issues? If morality is based on personal preferences and one person's opinion contradicts another, who's morality is right? Do you see the issue with claiming the equal protection clause now?

Middle America

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

No, not at all. Also, "redwingshero", this isn't about "morality" and anyone's idea of what it is or is not. This is about ensuring the rights of your fellow Americans.

GerryD

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

The underlying problem is using these subjective, biblical "morals" to control what rights and privileges that populations can have. Consider: * Slavery. Considered "moral" at the time justified with biblical references * Women Denied the right to Vote. Considered "moral" at the time and justified with biblical references * Inter-racial marriage Illegal. Considered "moral" at the time and justified with biblical references See a trend here? Call one or all of them "flawed" morals, but how many times does a sub-population have to be denied equal treatment based on someones subjective "morals" (especially biblically referenced morality) before we stop legislating by it? Three strikes and your out (there are many more than three examples, but it's a good stopping point). Conversally, when has denying equal treatment to some population based on "moral" beliefs worked in this country? Your morals are your own personal concern. Keep them to yourself and stop using them as any sort of justification to deny someone else equal rights (especially when such denial does no specific, demonstrated harm to you personally).

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

GerryD- I said that the morality reasoning for previous generations believing that interracial marragie was flawed. Their basis was scripture taken completely out of context, when it truly does not forbid interreacial marriage. That's what I meant by that.

GerryD

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

I don't think interracial marriage was wrong (not did I ever suggest that). I said, at one time, the majority considered it immoral and hence the prohibition codified in law. It was only people who didn't like it and felt it was "immoral", against their beliefs or made them unhappy that caused it to hang around so long. You say that morality was flawed form the beginning. How do you know the morality against gay marriage isn't similarly flawed? What piece of logic or wisdom allows the previously accepted "morality" against interracial marriage to be considered "flawed" in retrospect and not gay marriage?

beeswing

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

Ummm...no.

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

@GerryD-please give me the reasoning why interracial marraige was wrong in the first place.

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

@GerryD-the morality that was used to prevent whites/blacks form getting married was flawed from the beginning. Those views were based on scriptures completely taken out of context. I will spare you the issues of that and the theocratic/levitical laws that need not apply for some people, etc. If you want to put gay marriage (and the reasons some people are against it) on the same platform as the flawed reasons/morality that interracial marriage/womens rights were wrong please do so. I am waiting. Strange, no one seems to be refutting the literature I referenced about. That must have been a bullseye.

GerryD

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 4:27 p.m.

"morality" used to say that blacks and whites can't marry. That "morality" said women cant vote. Who's "morality" should control how other people should live? Do you think that we should always stick the the prevailing "morality" (assuming such a thing even exists)? I seriously ask you to re-frame your question in terms of the above two previous "immoral" cases (and yes, they are very, very relevant to this point). If you believe that interracial marriage is OK and that women should be able to vote, then you have completely subverted your argument. And if you don't, you've missed the points this country was founded on.

bobslowson

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

No...

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.

If logic and reasoning is gone in society, we might as well all be swinging from trees throwing our feces at each other.

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

No.

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:38 p.m.

"The Overhauling of Straight America, "Marshall K. Kirk and Erastes Pill, 1987. Read that and I beg you to convince me that there is no "gay agenda" Shame on the editors for not posting that comment. There was nothing offensive and only direct qutoes from that literature in it. Homosexuality and homosexual marriage is a moral issue. Groups try to sway it into the political and social forums because they have no leg to stand on for moral grounds. Especially when referencing only the "unconstitutionality" of gay marriage bans. Morality: "descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or, some other group, such as a religion, or accepted by an individual for her own behavior or normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons." (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) "of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes." (Dictionary.com) Both of these definitions deal with right "conduct"; that is, with a person's behavior. Marriage commitment and sexual conduct are both laced with moral issues such as: What ought marriage be defined as? How should a marriage be dissolved? What ought to be the age restrictions on marriage? Should we be free to have sex with anyone we want to? Should sex be restricted to marriage partners only? Who decides what is right and wrong inside of marriage? These issues are, by nature, moral, and the claim that homosexuality is not a moral issue is simply false.

JS

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

Am I the only one who finds the "don't let gay people marry" argument to be totally pathetic? An example: http://thesatiricalchristian.blogspot.com/2011/02/archbishop-upholds-marriage.html I have several gay friends and they are just as intelligent, nice, respectful, positive, hardworking, spiritual, and good as any Christian I've ever met, in most cases much more so. Please tell me what it is that gets under your skin so much about gay people? And don't give me that "I have no problem with gays" argument because you are arguing that they should not be allowed to do something that you ARE allowed to do. Generally speaking, Christianity has done WAAAAY more harm to humanity over the course of our history than homosexuality. Separation of church and state? Laughable. Now go take the money spent on that brand new Infinity SUV and that Rolex, and spend it on those who are less fortunate instead of whining about gay marriage. And btw, if you haven't seen this you might wanna check it out.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSQQK2Vuf9Q

alex

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 7:18 a.m.

thank you! One of my best friends who happens to be gay is also the most religious person i know!

Bertha Venation

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

Thank you, JS... FINALLY, someone with some common sense!

David Briegel

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

American Exceptionalism, denying rights to some for over 200 years!

Basic Bob

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:36 a.m.

Progressivism - securing cash and valuable prizes for the leisure class.

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

and others a couple hundred more

Michael K.

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

As always, this illogical and invalid "slippery slope" argument is raised again and again. Folks - this is a logical fallacy. We make fine legal and moral distinctions **all of the time** The argument is equivalent to: "If we allow people to eat carrots, we have to allow them to eat people." "If we allow married adults to have sex with each other, that means we have to allow them to have sex with children." It is an emotional appeal that says, basically: "Things can't change, because the scares me."

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

ronald, I don't really know how to break this to you, but you and the others (Stallion, Sally, et al) are part of a rapidly shrinking group in this country. A majority of Americans now favor marriage equality (see link below). This trend will continue. Marriage equality will be achieved in the United States in your lifetime. Cheers! http://www.pollingreport.com/civil.htm

The Black Stallion3

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

You are wrong and you need to realize that you will inevitably pay for it.

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

So a group of people representing an estimated 5%-8% of the population is the overwhelming majority now? Men will go to great lengths to justify their actions/behaviors. And that goes for all behaviors and all people.

Michigan Man

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

II - Throw me proudly into the camp with Stallion and Sally. I am honored to serve as a foot soldier in their crowd!

grimmk

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Thank you.

ronald

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

This has nothing to do with civil rights. You can do what ever it is you want to do together. You just don't get 100% of the benifits of being married. People vote different in the ballot box than they do in public.Even liberal California is against it.

Mark in NYC

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

Why dont we just strip all benefits from married couples across the board. Have no legally recognized marriages, and only allow marriage to be a church sanctioned union carrying no weight in the secular world.

alex

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 7:20 a.m.

so it's ok for straight people to get married (some do it JUST for the benefits, same with getting a green card) but gay people don't deserve benefits just because it's 2 men or 2 women getting married?? Please explain your logic.

Robert Granville

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

I hope our country becomes everything the conservatives fear, if only so I could sit back and enjoy watching them squirm. I want to see gay men holding hands in megachurches, marijuana dispensaries next to pharmacies, gun dealerships run by the government and hybrid engines in all American muscle cars by law. What would they say then? Are there enough bunkers underground to hide them all from what's coming?

ronald

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Show me in the constitution where gays are allowed to marry. Next I'll be able to marry my dog or cat.I'm sorry but when Mother nature gets on board with gay marriage,I'll support it!

Rob Henderson

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 5:59 p.m.

I'm not sure who you mean by "Mother Nature", but there are plenty of animal species who exhibit homosexual behavior, so it sounds like "nature" doesn't have a problem with it, and if you're referring to a divine figure, I'm quite happy to let the same sex couples get married and take their chances with her wrath.

J-smith

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

Facts can be stubborn things: Homosexuality is quite common in the animal kingdom, especially among herding animals. Many animals solve conflicts by practicing same gender sex. The most well-known homosexual animal is the dwarf chimpanzee, one of humanity's closes relatives. The entire species is bisexual. Animals that live a completely homosexual life can also be found. This occurs especially among birds that will pair with one partner for life, which is the case with geese and ducks. Four to five percent of the couples are homosexual. Single females will lay eggs in a homosexual pair's nest. It has been observced that the homosexual couple are often better at raising the young than heterosexual couples. http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/10/23/20718.aspx

The Black Stallion3

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:07 a.m.

You are right ronald...Mother nature will have no part of this nonsense.

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

Jut like virgin birth, Mother Nature is a myth.

Robert Granville

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

There is nothing you could've said that would make you seem less rational than that. I wonder if below average men said this when women were allowed to vote. "Why don't we just lets dogs and cats vote too!"

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

When the United States was founded, slavery was legal, women and minorities could not vote. Is this the kind of society that a few people want us to return to?

sh1

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 11:49 p.m.

And slavery, as well as less-than-full standing of women and minorities, are all supported in that bible that some here claim to get their morals from.

Think!

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

This is a civil rights issue. This issue has no business being placed on ballots at the state level. Equal protections and rights for gay people need to be mandated nationally. Backward, hateful, anti-equality citizens unfortunately need to be led kicking and screaming into a future of equality for all in this country. Pick up a history book if you want to see how your fellow citizens handled equality for blacks and women. Look around you today and note how far we have not come.

Basic Bob

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

Yes, enough of this hate! States should refuse to recognize marriage entirely. The IRS and all public institutions should eliminate marital status because it is inherently unequal. That would be fair and equal. The only status that should be recognized by government should be age and citizenship/residency.

Silly Sally

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Can two brothers "marry"? A brother and a sister? So, does the "Equal Protection" clause allow men to enter a women's lockerroom or restroom? Highschools would never be the same. Can a girl "marry" her father? Oh, this is so silly

Middle America

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 11:16 a.m.

"Silly Sally" is really concerned with bathrooms.

bedrog

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

( very) silly; "repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is the sign of......." . oh well you know .

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

And has nothing to do with the issue at hand

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

Mr Stallion gets his guidance from the Bible. I applaud his beliefs, but I disagree with them and in this case, so does the US Constitution which by my last look applied equally to every citizen and not just Christians, Muslims, Jews, white men, women, gays or straights. And this was written more than 200 years ago, at a time it seems that many so called Constitutionalists wish to take us back to, before women and minorities had the right to vote. Yes, times have changed and for the most part, with exceptions such as this, apply equally to all citizens. A far as Muslims go, it's a proper name and should be capitalized, like Christianity and Jesus.

oldguy

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

Well said Mr Faber !! The opposition to gays getting married is religious based and our Constitution saying that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, trumps any bible. Been married 52+ yrs and in all that time the fact that people were living together outside of marriage, married people were having affairs, and gay people were living together has had ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT ON OUR MARRIAGE. Religion needs to enter the 21st century. And to the Catholic church please note that homosexuality is more normal than celibacy.

Mark in NYC

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.

Well said OldGuy, but not all religions discriminate. Here in NYC, Gays are being married in the churches of Unitarians, Episcopalians, Metropolitan community churches, some Jewish temples, etc., etc.. Congratulations on your 52+ years!!

Silly Sally

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Does the "Equal Protection" clause allow men to enter a women's restroom?

bedrog

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

silly: this comment doesnt get any more sensible with reptition ( see mine above to it).

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

What a silly question. That's why we have more than one restroom in most locations. I've witnessed many women using the mens room when theirs was occupied, so yes, I guess it does apply.

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Wow, great point! So let's repeal the 14th Amendment so this equality thing doesn't get too out of hand! ("cats and dogs, living together...")

The Black Stallion3

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

This will be a very difficult question for the ones who say" live and let live as long as it doesn't affect me"

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

My point i that many people say they respect and uphold the US Constitution when indeed they pick and choose the parts the like and disregard the rest. Not unlike religion and the Bible. Nowhere in the US Constitution does it give equal validity to differing opinions. An opinion based on facts ,such as the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment, is just that an opinion based on the written words in the US Constitution.. To say that all opinions are equal and have the same standing, when one is based on fact the other based on personal biases, emotion and religious belief, flies in the face of the Constitution.

Plubius

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

This entirely misses the point. From the government's perspective, marriage is a contract between two consenting adults. Since ALL laws allow ALL consenting adults to enter into ANY type of contract, why is this one type of contract being treated differently?

MIKE

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:39 p.m.

Good point. Why should a contract be limited to two people? And why is it that corporations are not permitted to marry? And contracts are usually not for life. Why shouldn't we be allowed to enter into a 1 year marriage contract?

recycler

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

The "basis for the opposition to the right of gays and lesbians to marry" is equal rights not special rights for all citizens. If you want to redefine marriage to two adults, than you need to include all citizens, not just gays and lesbians. i.e. mother-daughter, sister-sister, father-son, cousin-cousin, brother-brother. I have female cousins who have lived together all their lives. They too would like to federal benefit from being able to marry. I wanted domestic partner benefits for my son, who lived at home, when he turned 26, but was denied. I was single at the time. Equal rights NOT "SPECIAL RIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" for a particular sexual orientation, a particular race, a particular religion, etc. etc. etc. etc..............

MIKE

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Mix, that's not true at all. I'm heterosexual, and I can't marry whoever I choose. Are my 14th amendment rights being violated?

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

Heterosexual couples have special rights to marry whoever they choose because the same rights are not extended to all, therefore they are special.

Robert Granville

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

If two consenting adults want to marry, they should be able to do so. Nothing else matters... not even their familial relationship. Seems strange to me but it's absolutely none of my business.

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

Thank you. We should rename the article title "The new standard of no standards". Your argument is sound-if equal protection is truly equal, as long as you are consenting adults, regardless of who or how many, they should have the "same protection".

J-smith

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

How many marriages have been "saved" by not allowing gay people to enter into a legal contract with each other? Has the divorce rate in states with these marriage bans gone down? How does allowing two consenting adults to enter into a civil contract do any harm to someone else? Does it make people proud to be like the Taliban and Irans Mullahs?

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Who has a problem with the Equal Protection clause of the US Constitution?

Top Cat

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

The only problem, Dearest mixmaster, is that had you read it, understood why it was adopted in 1868 and how it had been interpreted since then, you would know it has nothing to do with this topic.

bedrog

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

silly: a man entering a ladies room, or vice versa, can cause real embarrassment /stress ( and also possibly be a prelude to sexual assault). gay marriage is none of these and is both 'victimless" and helpful to society in encouraging stable relationships, as opposed to promiscuity ( either hetero or same sex) with all the STD dangers inherent therein.

Silly Sally

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

Does the "Equal Protection" clause allow men to enter a women's restroom?

ChelseaBob

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Interesting article in the National Review. It seems that where gay marriage is legalized, it is rarely used. Makes me wonder why so much energy is being expended. I'm not sure why the government is involved in this at all. If two people want to make a contract, and make certain promises and assign certain rights to each other, they should be able to do so. This domestic contract is what many marriages are. Some people, myself included see the term "Marriage" as a religious term. In that regards, religious institutions should be free to decide which "Marriages" they will bless. Once again, I don't understand why government is involved. Time to return to the "Land of the Free". That will solve most of this nations problems.

Mark in NYC

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

I was recently married in Manhattan, NY. When I went to get my marriage license, about 70% of those there waiting in line were Gay couples. Seemed like a well exercised right to me.

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

Bob, We don't weight our constitutional rights by the number of times they are exercised. I'm guessing most of us have never had to invoke our 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination, but that doesn't mean it is irrelevant or unnecessary.

bobslowson

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

Right on Mr. Faber! Always enjoy your pieces but this one especially...

Silly Sally

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

This poorly written piece mixes apple and oranges. It begins with anecdotal examples of violence against homosexuals, which is very wrong and those guilty of it should be punished. But this anecdotal violence then does not mean that society must then redefine marriage, which has served it well for thousands of years. There is no "right of gay citizens to marry" enshrined in the US Constitution, nor should there be. It is not "audacity of our federal government to determine who (sic) we may love" but it is society who determines what a marriage is, its definition, and society defined that as between one man and one woman. Others can still love one another, they are free under our Constitution to do so. Do not redefine the definition of marriage; it is between one man and one woman.

a2migrl

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:39 p.m.

@Ivor you stated "What do you mean "socially frowned upon"? A majority of Americans now support marriage equality". If this were truely the case then why have the majority of the states that have put gay marriage up for a vote shot it down and decided that marriage is between a man and a woman? It seems the 'people' don't want this right now. That's not to say in the future they will not feel differently.

MIKE

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

"about" polygamy

MIKE

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

Ivor So I assume you may want to lead the fight to make it legal in all 50? And what a polygamy? And bigamy? Parent/child marriages? And whoever heard of a right being restricted by age? Should children be allowed to marry? What if I want to marry someone, but they don't want to marry me? Should my rights take a backseat to theirs?

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

Redwingshero, BTW: first cousin marriage is currently permitted in 20 states. Who knew?

Michigan Man

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

SS - Your thinking and logic are sound, correct and right on target. Continue to stand tall for your convictions. Millions of fine Americans are with you! I grew up in Ann Arbor - graduated from HS in the 60's. I was frequently bullied by the gay male crowd in town at the time to join them but I was just not interested. Violence, bullying and oppression works in all directions. Finally, I would anticipate my post here will be deleted by the language police.

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

Ivor-bigamy or poligamy for example. That's still socially frowned upon. What about marriage to 1st cousins? What about marraige to your own adult child? You can't claim 14th Amendment and not expect every fringe group not to come out of the woodwork and jump on your bandwagon. By citing the 14th Amendment, you set no standard as your standard. Do gays support polygamists? Serious question.

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Redwingshero, What do you mean "socially frowned upon"? A majority of Americans now support marriage equality. http://www.pollingreport.com/civil.htm

The Black Stallion3

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

Good post Sally......This country does not have to do just as Europe does.....we are becoming followers and not leaders.

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

@Ivor- Is there anything the 14th Amendment won't protect, even if socially frowned upon? It's a pandora's box if you don't give a standard for what marraige should be and only cite the 14th Amendment to protect "individual's liberty and pusuit of happiness".

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Equal protection under the law does exist in the US Constitution and it applies in this case. What's good for one is good for all regardless of the "common" understanding of marriage or how long is has been in existence.

seldon

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

In 10 years, what you just posted will sound as antiquated and unbelievable as any of the following now sound to you: Do not redefine the definition of voting; it is for men only. Do not redefine the definition of marriage; it is between a man and a woman of the same race. Do not redefine the definition of marriage; if a man forces sex upon his wife against her will, it is not rape, because they are married and she is obligated to have sex with him. Do not redefine the definition of slavery; white people can own black people, because society approves of that. Do not redefine how we handle public spaces; they should be segregated between the races. As ridiculous as those statements sound to you, that's precisely how your statement will sound to most people under the age of 40 today. You're on the losing side of history.

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

Sally, Marriage is constantly being redefined. Interracial marriage was illegal in many states well into the 20th century and was considered "immoral" by large segments of (white) southern society. Today, of course, those laws have been struck down as unconstitutional.

Top Cat

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

"The right of gay citizens to marry the person they love is precisely the kind of rights promised by our Constitution"...I'm not sure which Constitution Mr. Faber is reading but it is not the U.S. Constitution. No such "right" exists. The issue of the definition of marriage is clearly left to the States. Even our Constitutional Scholar of a President states as much.

bobslowson

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

"Two men or two women aren't similarly situated to one man and one woman. The hetrosexuals are complementary, the others aren't." that's just hogwash!

Michigan Reader

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:13 a.m.

@Ivor Ivorsen--The 14th Amendment specifies that the laws apply equally to "similarly situated persons." Two men or two women aren't similarly situated to one man and one woman. The hetrosexuals are complementary, the others aren't.

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Cat, It is called the 14th Amendment. Please explain precisely why it does to apply to gay and lesbian citizens. "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

Equal protection under the law does exist in the US Constitution.

pocofrosty

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

As a father of a gay son who is about to be married in Boston, I applaud the wisdom and appropriate timing of this peice. Well Dond.

Reader40

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

This is a well thought out, well reasoned discussion on the incredible trauma inflicted on those who are "different" from the cultural norm just because of their differences and the violation of our own Constitutional principles. Mr. Faber is also very astutely aware of the contradictions inherent in that position. Unfortunately, it is often the most senseless of positions that are held with the greatest intensity, since they are not based on thought but rather on emotional responses having nothing to do with reason or rationale. Thank you, Mr. Faber

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

Well stated. As we saw in the California Prop 8 legal battle, there is no coherent legal or constitutional basis for denying marriage equality to gay and lesbian couples.

Michigan Reader

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

@Ivor Ivorsen--I may be wrong on this, I'm not a lawyer, but the equal protection amendment specifies equal protection of the laws for "similarly situated people." So, two men or two women aren't similarly situated to one man and one woman . The hetrosexuals are complementary, the others aren't.

Jake C

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

Er, that should have read "be quite", not bequeath. That said, I don't have a major problem with people who want to engage in polygamous relationships - it really doesn't affect my life one way or the other. The problem with it comes when trying to apply standard marriage benefits to multiple spouses - do 3 wives all get equal marriage rights, or does the first wife get to overrule the other wives? It's up to polygamy-promoting groups to lobby for that one. Things are much simpler with just 2 people in a marriage, and whether it's same sex or opposite sex shouldn't make a difference.

Jake C

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 12:54 a.m.

Redwingshero "they do not give a standard for marriage". It should bequeath obvious what gay-rights groups expect as a standard for marriage: exactly the same as the standard for heterosexual couples, just for homosexual couples as well. None of this silly business about polygamy, pedophilia, or man-on-dog nonsense.

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

Ivor, please tell me why the 14th Amendment does not apply to bigamists or polygamists? If you seriously believe the equal protection clause, you should be 'for' polygamists being protected. If not, that sounds un-American. The burden lies with gay groups fighting marriage bans, as they do not give a standard for marriage, but only cite the equal protection clause. By that logic/reasoning, anything goes, and gay groups should support anyones rights, regardless if they are socially acceptable or not.

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

Sally, I think you are missing the point. The constitutional burden rests solely upon opponents of marriage equality. Please explain why the 14th Amendment does not apply to gays and lesbians. ( "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.")

redwingshero

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

Ivor-while Prop 8 was overturned, the group that argued the case gave no standard for what marriage should be defined as, only claiming that it violated the 14th Amendment (in a somewhat of a loose interpretation). The judges agreed and overturned the ban. So while the 14th Amendment can overturn state bans on personal freedom as we saw in California (which could be a pandora's box), gay groups have still yet to give a "standard" for what marraige should be. By citing the 14th Amendment and the judges abiding by it, it opens the doors for other things.

Silly Sally

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

Except that there is no Constitutional basis at all. Just a small detail

smokeblwr

Wed, May 23, 2012 : noon

I think we should only give marriage credits to couples who have kids. Adopted or biological.

alex

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 9:45 a.m.

and in regards to your comment based on your icon.... "you must be new here"

alex

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 7:13 a.m.

i'm in love and don't ever want kids... i shouldn't be allowed to marry? you're ridiculous.

The Black Stallion3

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

Just because Obama and the NAACP say this is a good thing does not mean I have to agree.........And I do Not Agree. I will not contribute one more penny to either one of them.

Middle America

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

"I will not contribute one more penny to either one of them." As if you had contributed to either?

Enso

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

You're on the wrong side of history, Stallion...

rainy

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

@ mixmaster - who's to say that your opinion isn't "the world is flat" kind of idea? Just because "everybody" thinks gay marriage should be law doesn't mean that that is the way we should go. Nations have been proven wrong before - great nations that never thought they were susceptible to being wrong and dying out are now long gone and just a page in a history book, if that. Gay marriage at some point, will probably become law. I am sure it will lead to a lot of other laws that aren't even on the forefront of our minds right now. Is it the right thing to do? Hundreds of years from now, only history will confirm or deny what we debate today. All I can say is that history repeats itself and nations have never prospered for long once they have adopted these kinds of laws, for whatever reason. Those are just the facts. Pride cometh before the fall . . .

bedrog

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

did you ever contribute to either one?? c'mon!!

Michigan Man

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

BS3 - Good for you! Stand tall with your convictions. My values thinking still believes that the critical edge for raising young healthy people is being raised in a stable family (Christian/faith based family) defined by one man and one woman, most often a biological father and mother. This is, of course, not always possible due to countless factors. On the whole though the family model I suggested is by far the one that gives our young people the winning advantage as they travel through life.

Ivor Ivorsen

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

Stallion, The Bible? Great source for a definition of "traditional" marriage--look no further than Jacob, Rachel, and Leah's relationship (Genesis 29)

The Black Stallion3

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Thank you rainy....too many people trying to skew the constitution to benefit them. I would rather get my advice from the Bible. I know a lot of the posters here think that is wrong but they are also the ones standing up for the muslims to protect the Koran. America is slowly dissolving from these type of people trying to change the beliefs it was founded on.

rainy

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

@ Seldon - As Reader 40 stated, "Unfortunately, it is often the most senseless of positions that are held with the greatest intensity, since they are not based on thought but rather on emotional responses having nothing to do with reason or rationale." It all depends on how you look at it, doesn't it. It's funny how people tend to be able to define what is reasonable, rational, what is emotional, and what is senseless for all without taking into account another's opinion. To say that Black Stallion3 is against the Constitution because he doesn't agree with someone else's opinion is incredibly ignorant, unreasonable, and irrational. It goes both ways.

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Not all opinions are created equal. Some people may hold the opinion that the earth is flat, but that does not mean that their belief is equal to or as valid as the common knowledge that the earth is not flat He has the right to his opinion but that does not mean that Mr Stallion's opinion is equal in standing to the time tested language of the US Constitution, which is the law btw. The Constitution may allow for differing opinions, but that does not mean that all opinions have equal validity.

seldon

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

"The Black Stallion3" has a right to his opinion. I have a right to say his opinion appalls me. This is what free speech is about. Welcome to America: you're going to hear people say things you don't agree with.

bobslowson

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

Here come the homophobes...

rainy

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

@mix - You are skewing the Constitution to fit your beliefs and telling Black Stallion3 that because his interpretation doesn't agree with yours, that he is wrong. He has the right to his opinion, even if it doesn't match yours. The Constitution allows for that.

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:16 p.m.

I gave $50 to the Obama election campaign and will give again this year. I have never given money to the NAACP. You? You may disagree, but other opinions are just as valid. You're also on the short end of this issue. Most people believe in live and let live with few if any concerns about this issue. It's a private matter between adults and actually no business of the government or any attempt to change the US constitution to prevent marriage between adults.

The Black Stallion3

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

Mix......who have you contributed to lately and how much? I am entitled to my opinion and I do not agree with you.

mixmaster

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

Do you subscribe to the tenets of the US Constitution? There is such a thing as the equal protection clause that applies to everyone in cases like this. If you disagree with that, then you are against the Constitution. And when was the last time you contributed to the NAACP or Obama? How much?

bedrog

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

A very good opinion piece. While I'm hardly a fan of those supposed 'personal liberties" that often carry a heavy price tag for the wider society ( e.g. inciteful hate speech; unregulated firearms ownership etc) , gay marriage isn't one of them and legalizing it is a no- brainer.

Harry

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

If gay marriage is allowed it should be expanded to ANY adults show be able to marry and to as many partners at they want. In the article he mentions religion and its prejudices. So what it wrong with having 3 wives or marrying a relative. You are not hurting anyone. People are so hypocritical.