Saturday, April 13, 2013

The 14th Amendment And "Marriage Equality"

I just read a blog post entitled "why are Christians opposed to marriage equality?"  The post explains that "marriage equality" is simply a word game meant to make opposition more difficult. But the author's reasoning from the perspective of history, as well as the current popularity of cohabitation, in his response to a commenter who disagreed with his post is most interesting.  The exchange: 

Commenter:  Alternatively, the phrase ‘marriage equality’ is intended to convey the principle that its advocates actually see as the issue. It relates directly to the argument that failure to recognize gay marriage constitutes a substantive violation of the 14th Amendment equal protection clause. You will dismiss this of course, but it is hardly the deceitful re-branding of the issue which you pretend it to be.

Response:  Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments. Both are greatly appreciated.
Firstly, you say “alternatively, the phrase “marriage equality” is intended to convey the principle that it’s advocates actually see as the issue.” Tell me then, Daniel, “what was intended to be conveyed as the principle by advocates when they used terminology (phraseology) as gay marriage / same-sex marriage / homosexual (gay) union?” The concept of “Equal Protection of Law” of the 14th Amendment has been with us since the period of Abraham Lincoln. Yet only now are these advocated of same sex marriages challenging traditional marriage with Constitutional Law and “Equal Protection.”
For many years there was what was referred to as the “Common Law.” In Ohio the Common law encompassed “equality of marriage.” It was referred to as “Common Law Marriage” and until (I believe) October 10th, 1991 the Common Law Marriage Laws remained in full-force. specifically the Common Law Marriage gave equal rights to cohabitating persons who would claim to be married. Though they’d not undergone any ceremony or received license certifying their union. I do not believe, at this writing, the Ohio Common Marriage Laws specifically stated that it be between a man and a woman. At the time of such writing legislators would have no need to be gender specific as to who qualified as a married couple. yet, I find no record of any gay couple taking advantage of such legislation, nor if questioned as to the legitimacy of their union, giving rise to the Common Law itself as it’s protector. The fact is clear, gays have always, in one manner or another, been allowed to become married.
Homosexuality pre-dates the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and yet no gay advocate utilized this possible free pass founded in Ohio. If indeed it existed to the extent of permissibility of homosexuals and homosexuality, whether knowingly or not, we cannot be certain as it was never challenged. and Perhaps other states as well held similar laws upon their books.. I believe that this new challenge to traditional marriage and the notion of gays being both a minority and disenfranchised is yet another attempt to demoralize America and break down Christian values held in our nation for nearly 400 years.
“Cohabitating heterosexuals” aren’t seeking special treatment, nor benefit, under the law yet they reside together as man and wife. If their living in a happy, sinful life-style is good enough for them why then shouldn't it be for gays? I would venture to say that at this time in our lives there are more people cohabitating than are married. Gays posit themselves as a minority and a disenfranchised people in need of “Equal Protection under the Law.” Your counter-part, the cohabitating heterosexual, does not see it that way. When counting, worldwide, the number of gays cohabitating and cohabitating heterosexuals, it is we, the traditional married couple, who are a minority and soon to become disenfranchised. And therefore in need of “Equal Protection of the law” in order to preserve our traditional way of life..”
The phrase “marriage equality” is intended to convey the principle that it’s advocates actually see as the issue.” I stand on my principle that God ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman and too; homosexuality is an unnatural act and an abomination before God Almighty.


Susannah said...

Yep. It's so 'demoralizing' to me that we're even having this discussion in our country. EVERY adult person has the "right to marry" anybody they choose. Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman. There's no stopping anyone from that.

Stan said...

"Words mean something," they tell me, but if they are to be honest, they need to follow it with "and, of course, any given word means exactly what I mean it to mean at the time I mean it to mean what I mean. Got it?"

Like when Humpty Dumpty was talking to Alice in Through the Looking Glass:

"'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'"

"Marriage" means something -- always has. Denying that it is a fundamental change (which, by the way, the courts recognize clearly) doesn't make it not so.

John B ( said...

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that the 14th amendment would apply.

What seems to be the case is that same sex marriage advocates are claiming they dont have equal rights as it pertains to marriage. But marriage laws are not geared toward desires but toward gender pairing.

So it's not really a matter of equal rights they have the complaint with, rather it's that they have equal restrictions.

In states which dont recognize same sex marriage, they dont allow any same sex coupling. It's not as though heterosexual men can get married to one other but not gay men. If that were the case then the argument of the 14th is valid. But if the laws restrict everyone regardless of any social status, then there's no discrimination.

Dan said...

Susannah, I didn't even realize that you were blogging again.


From an emotional perspective, I can easily feel their complaint. But from a cognitive perspective, I must twist logic into something illogical, and I still can't get it. Stan said that it was like Circles suing because they don't have corners.

In Phoenix our council and mayor just past one of those silly bathroom bills.

It was in the news here in Phoenix also that a pregnant "man" was trying to get a divorce from his wife, and he couldn't because the judge wouldn't recognize the marriage. So we have a pregnant man "married" to, I presume, a lesbian, and doesn't want to be, and the newsworthiness of the story is based on the fact that a judge won't give them a divorce because they are not legally married. Logic would dictate that if you're not really married why would you need a divorce, but the "husband" is worried about what the child will think if a divorce is not granted.

How does a thinking person digest such a thing? While I know queer things like this go on, what I found most disheartening was that the media unblushingly reported this as if it was not strange at all, all the while referring to a pregnant man as if, yea, sure, that's normal, happens all the time.

It is going to get much much weirder I presume.

Susannah said...

Hi Dan~
I'm not really blogging again; trying to decide what I'll do w/ it...Nonetheless, just wanted to say hi to old friends!