How to solve gay marriage

Roy-Moore

The chief justice of the State of Alabama, Roy S. Moore, aka Roy the Great and Powerful, has ordered — yes, ordered — the judges in every one of the 67 county probate courts in the Yellowhammer State (yeah, I looked that up) to disobey the order of a Federal District Court judge and refuse to “issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent” with state law.

State law in Alabama, you might have guessed, bans gay couples from getting married. Because Alabama. I’m guessing it also says something about Supreme Court chief justices acceding to the orders of federal judges and the U.S. Supreme Court judges who uphold those orders, but I could be wrong here. Because Alabama. Continue reading

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Well bully for you, Supreme Court!

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We’ve heard a lot about bullying over the past decade or two. And from what I can tell, pretty much everyone who is anyone is against it. We don’t bully nerds. We don’t bully gays. We don’t bully the unpretty, or the unhandsome. We don’t kick sand on the 97-pound weakling. We don’t beat up the fat kid.

Not anymore. We’ve evolved.

Or at least that’s what I thought until Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court, in its inevitable 5-4 decision along its usual 5-4 philosophical lines, declared it was perfectly fine and legal and good and wholesome and downright American to bully – yes, I said bully – people who don’t share your religion.

Well bully for you, Justices Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy.

Boy did you get this one wrong. Continue reading

Must read

George Takei: A defeat for DOMA — and the end of ‘ick’ (Washington Post)

Takei, one of the most delightful people on Facebook, offers his opinion today on the Supreme Court’s ruling. It’s essential reading. One graf really caught my eye.

To help justify the “ick,” many, like that judge in Loving, turn to the Bible, perhaps because science doesn’t lead to the conclusion that homosexuality is unnatural. As one popular saying goes, homosexuality is found in more than 400 species, but homophobia in only one. But references to the Bible or other religious texts are not a solid footing on which to base notions of traditional marriage. Concerns about the separation of church and state aside, traditional marriage has never been what its homophobic proponents believe. As author Ken O’Neill reminds us, the fact that you can’t sell your daughter for three goats and a cow means we’ve already redefined marriage.

Now read the rest.

And now a word from the other side

Supreme Court issues two illegitimate decisions on same-sex marriage (Brian S. Brown, FOXNews.com)

In the interests of fairness and balance, we offer this opinion from the president of the National Organization for Marriage.

I don’t agree with any of it, but it’s a reasonable opinion . . . or it was until I got to this:

First, a homosexual judge in a long-term gay relationship was assigned the case, and refused to disclose his relationship before declaring that marriage is unconstitutional. 

And that is just plain offensive. By Brown’s logic, a homosexual judge is incapable of making a fair and just decision on a case involving homosexuality. Would he say that black judges shouldn’t be assigned to racial cases? That religious judges shouldn’t be assigned to cases involving religion? Wouldn’t the same supposed bias be attributed to a heterosexual judge in this case?

Implying that the judge who ruled on this case was incapable of doing his job responsibly is an affront to the judge, the judiciary, the citizens of California and pretty much every other decent-thinking American.

That comment is a disgrace. Shame on the writer.

Game over

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The old joke used to go, “I have no problem with gay marriage unless they make it mandatory.”

The old joke stands.

I’m straight. Can’t help it, I was born that way. But some people aren’t, and they were born that way, too. And whom they choose to love, and whom they choose to be their sex partners, is none of my damn business. And it most definitely is not my government’s business.

Opponents of gay marriage are adamant that their god intended marriage to be between a man and a woman. But that argument makes marriage a religious ceremony, and that has to be decided within their religion. Those opponents don’t have to morally accept  a marriage between two men or two women. But now they have to accept it legally. It’s the law.

As long as the government chooses to sanction marriage — and as long as it authorizes government employees such as judges and mayors and justices of the peace to engage in the act of marrying people — then it has to be fair. Same-sex couples are entitled to the same civil rights as opposite-sex couples.

Years ago, an editor at my workplace ordered that these unions be referred to as “same-sex marriages,” and not “gay marriages,” because he said it wasn’t about sex, it was about marriage. I disagreed. It was all about sex, I said. Opponents of gay marriage  wouldn’t give a damn if those married gays weren’t having sex.

I doubt you’ll find a single opponent of gay-marriage who is fine with gay sex outside of marriage. It is homosexuality that sets their hair on fire, not the notion of homosexuals getting married.

So today was a good day. The Supreme Court got it right. I would have preferred something more sweeping, something on the lines of Loving v. Virginia, but today’s rulings forbid the United States of America to discriminate against gay couples, and they make it much easier for gays to get married.

Thirteen states allow gay marriages now, and California’s addition to the club means 30 percent of Americans live in those states. And gays who don’t live in one of those states can travel out-of-state, get married, and be entitled to all federal benefits.

A majority of Americans now support gay marriage. Most polls show that young Americans overwhelmingly support gay marriage.

That sound you hear is the sound of dominoes falling. Another pillar of bigotry is crumbling at our feet.

Good.

Get the government out of the marriage business

The Supreme Court is going to rule very soon on the issue of gay marriage, and right now we can be certain of this much:

Roughly half the country is going to be very upset.

And understandably so.

If gay marriage is illegal, then it’s discrimination against gays. And discrimination is wrong. Just. Plain. Wrong.

But if gay marriage is legal, it’s an affront to a lot of people’s religious beliefs. And that’s wrong, too.

I am willing to accept the notion that marriage is a religious vow, and every church, mosque or synagogue has a First Amendment right to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Religious bigotry is none of the state’s business.

But once I accept that notion, I have to ask why the government is officially recognizing a religious rite.

How about we settle this dilemma once and for all by getting the government out of the marriage business?

You got married? Good for you. Have a ball. But your government doesn’t care. None of its business.

You want the legal rights of a couple? Get a civil union certification. And the government will not and cannot discriminate on issuing them. Two adults, legally united. Anyone may apply.

Get the married checkbox off the 1040. Require hospitals to allow visitation privileges only to blood relatives and persons in civil unions. Marriage does not give you the rights of survivorship. That requires a recognized civil union.

And there you have it. If gay marriage violates your religious beliefs . . . Fine. Don’t recognize a gay marriage. But you DO have to recognize a gay couple’s civil union. And their civil union will be the exact same one that straight couples must get in addition to their marriage certificate if they want to have the legal rights of a couple.

Basically, it’s time to end the marriage between church and state.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? Next crisis!