Gay marriage: Not for courts or politicians to decide

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Marriage is too important for the government to decide

WASHINGTON, September, 5 2014 —Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker angered Californian voters in May 2010 by striking down “Proposition 8,” the State Constitutional Amendment that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Today, judges across the United States have invalidated 19 bans against gay marriage while the country awaits a Supreme Court ruling deciding the issue once and for all.

There are legal challenges that resist the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage and the judicial thinking that concludes gay marriage is protected under the U.S. Constitution.  The recent federal court ruling that upheld Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban is the most meaningful example so far.  Although parts of the decision will probably be overturned by the Supreme Court, if the Justices agree the Fourteenth Amendment does force States to provide gay couples with the same legal benefits as straight couples, there is another legal argument to be made against the Constitutional protections being afforded to same-sex marriage.

Whether or not Americans accept homosexual behavior as proper does not give voters and lawmakers the right to encroach upon the personal freedoms of individuals, even through a constitutional amendment. It is the responsibility of the courts to decide whether state and federal constitutional bans on gay marriage violate the constitutional rights of gay couples.

Growing consensus around that conclusion may be correct. Such bans may violate the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Constitutional amendments should be used to expand the freedoms of individuals, never to undermine them.


On the other hand, decisions upholding the right of gay marriage have failed to protect the First Amendment rights of those who view marriage as a religious institution between a man and woman. To balance the rights of both sides, the only recourse is to correct a long-standing overreach of government. That is, government has no right to dictate the terms of marriage.

Government can recognize civil unions and endow them with benefits like tax breaks, but marriage as a religious institution cannot be undermined by the courts or legislators. In other words, the only solution to this contentious debate is for government to start issuing civil unions while leaving marriage as a rite or sacrament of churches.

Should the Supreme Court eventually decide there is a fundamental right to marriage for homosexual couples, there is a lot of baggage that the courts, as well as our legislators, would have to address. Unlike the civil liberties violations faced by minorities and women, discrimination against homosexuality revolves around a group which is defined by its behavior, not externally visible characteristics. Blacks and women face discrimination regardless of what they do; homosexuals face discrimination precisely for what they do, or if they self-identify.

Gays should not be targeted for discrimination, have their rights limited, or be attacked. There is no valid legal argument to limit legal protection on the basis of homosexual behavior. But American law has always encouraged and discouraged some behaviors for the perceived benefit of society.

When it comes to banning personal behaviors like drug abuse, the benefit is clear; the legality of banning prostitution hinges on the harm it causes those drawn into the business. All societies have moral, not necessarily religious, mores that the U.S. legal system is historically bound to respect, so the legal issue of gay marriage is far more complicated than simple ban or legalization of gay marriage.

Prohibitions against bigamy and prostitution serve as prime examples of moral preferences that U.S. law does respect. Taking into account all sorts of depraved sexual behavior, the courts could do significant damage to American society should their rationale for lifting gay marriage hold up in the Supreme Court. It would significantly diminish what harmful behaviors government is allowed to suppress.

The misogynistic oppression created by Islamic hardliners and their demands for Sharia law make clear the hazards of using the legal system to enforce religious preferences. The government ends up neglecting the interests of some citizens, thus creating civil unrest, or legitimizing the use of police powers to disenfranchise others.

Marriage rights are too important, too fundamental to personal religious belief, to be left to America’s politicians and courts.

The practical reason for letting the courts decide the extent of marriage rights is that the legalization of gay marriage is a means of normalizing gay marriage. Government efforts to ban gay marriage are a way to oppress the gay minority.

In reality, both sides are abusing America’s political and legal systems to settle a social issue that these institutions have no business deciding. The Courts cannot force gay marriage onto the American people, nor can they grant homosexual couples the same status that heterosexuals enjoy when they start families. At the same time, legislators cannot use the law to target homosexual relationships in an effort to undermine homosexual behavior while respecting the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Fourteenth Amendment. To do that undermines our most crucial constitutional rights.

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  • Sam_Handwich

    (reposted without the link)

    Your conclusion makes no sense. Why should Mary Cheney, her wife and their two children not be afforded the same legal rights and protections as Rush Limbaugh and his long history of shattered, childless marriages?

    I’d also point out that you confuse Marriage (referred to as a civil right by the US Supreme court in 14 rulings since 1888*) and Matrimony, a religious ritual.

    • to_tell_the_truth

      Matthew doesn’t even believe Mary SHOULD be married.

  • Hugh1

    1. You want the state to discriminate against gay marriage rights because of the the rights of the majority religion that doesn’t approve: “On the other hand, decisions upholding the right of gay marriage have failed to protect the First Amendment rights of those who view marriage as a religious institution between a man and woman.” No. Next.
    2 So being gay is determined by behavior: “Unlike the civil liberties violations faced by minorities and women, discrimination against homosexuality revolves around a group which is defined by its behavior, not externally.” No, gay is defined by a fixed and unchangeable orientation. Next.
    3. Repeat. “legality of banning prostitution hinges on the harm it causes those drawn into the business.” Gay is an orientation, no choice, not drawn into anything, fundamental to ones being. Next.
    4. Let’s clarify. “Taking into account all sorts of depraved sexual behavior …” like sodomy? Would any straight marriage survive? And you want to use the courts to discriminate against me because of your religious freedoms?
    No.

    • DGJC

      Excellent points which eviscerated the author’s opinions most effectively!!

  • Sam_Handwich

    Prohibitions against bigamy and prostitution serve as prime examples of moral preferences that U.S. law does respect. Taking into account all sorts of depraved sexual behavior, the courts could do significant damage to American society should their rationale for lifting gay marriage hold up in the Supreme Court. It would significantly diminish what harmful behaviors government is allowed to suppress.

    Laws banning homosexual sex were struck down in 2003, in the 6-3 ruling in Lawrence vs Texas. As Antonin Scalia noted in his bitter dissent:

    “If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is ‘no legitimate state interest’ for purposes of proscribing that conduct … what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution?'”

  • GulliverUK

    Marriage is a social construct, it existed before Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. The oldest surviving record of marriage is the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi dated 1772 BC, and it had nothing to do with any deity or god at all, god wasn’t mentioned. If you want to revoke the marriages of everyone in the US and replace them all with Civil Unions then you are fantasist and delusional – it isn’t going to happen. Also if you did that you would have to invalidate any legal meaning of marriage, i.e. it would be a religious ceremony with no significance in law. You cannot have two types of legally recognized spousal status – or you have separate but equal again, with Rosa Parks told that she has to travel at the back of the bus. She is told it’s ok because the bus still goes from A to B, she will still get to the destination, but can’t chose where to sit on the bus. That’s discrimination without any logical reasoning.

    The majority in most states, in most religious groups (see the Pew data), approve of same-sex marriage, this is simply the law catching up. I have to also say, as a foreigner, that if it was unconstitutional today, it was unconstitutional when bans were passed – and they never should have been passed – what were you people thinking – what caliber are the lawyers who oversaw this. Perhaps it takes discrimination to fester for a time before people finally get it, just like your past history of slavery and your interracial marriage bans. At least now you are heading in the right direction. Full marriage equality for all. Thank god.

  • Bill

    What an unintelligent piece of work. Embarrassed for the writer.

  • brian

    “Unlike the civil liberties violations
    faced by minorities and women, discrimination against homosexuality
    revolves around a group which is defined by its behavior, not externally
    visible characteristics.”

    Don’t ever call yourself a scientist – this is clearly as far from a logical scientific argument as you can get. Homosexuality revolves around a group defined by their attraction to those of the same sex, a trait just as innate as race or gender, and one which has a clearly determined genetic component. If you really consider your arguments scientifically sound, then you do a disservice to your undergraduate institution. And religions already have “holy matrimony”. Legally recognized marriage is not a religious contract, but a civil one, and our separation of church and state guarantees that.

    • Sam_Handwich

      By his reasoning, prohibiting left-handed people (who exhibit a minority behavioral orientation) from obtaining drivers licenses would be well within a state’s rights.

  • to_tell_the_truth

    RE: “decisions upholding the right of gay marriage have failed to protect the First Amendment rights of those who view marriage as a religious institution between a man and woman”

    Nonsense. Utter, unsubstantiated poppycock.

    Those who DO “view marriage as a religious institution between a man and woman” are perfectly free to so “view” it. They are perfectly free to have a religious ceremony – but that ceremony by itself does not make a couple legally married anywhere in America. If all they have had is the religious rite of holy matrimony performed, then they are not legally married. They must satisfy the 3 State-required elements in order to be legally married. The State cares not a whit if there’s a syllable of ‘god-talk’. Heck, we even let atheists marry!

    Those who so “view” it are simply, observably, demonstrably mistaken. They be “married in the sight of [their] God”, but not in the eyes of the LAW.

  • to_tell_the_truth

    Re: “Whether or not Americans accept homosexual behavior as proper does not give voters and lawmakers the right to encroach upon the personal freedoms of individuals, even through a constitutional amendment. It is the responsibility of the courts to decide whether state and federal constitutional bans on gay marriage violate the constitutional rights of gay couples.”

    And yet the ‘religious right’ think you’re wrong on that.

  • to_tell_the_truth

    RE: “Government can recognize civil unions and endow them with benefits like tax breaks, but marriage as a religious institution cannot be undermined by the courts or legislators. In other words, the only solution to this contentious debate is for government to start issuing civil unions while leaving marriage as a rite or sacrament of churches.”

    Once AGAIN, you are conflating/confusing the religious rite of holy matrimony with legal civil marriage. (These “civil unions” are legal fictions – for myriad reasons – and they are NOT equal to marriage.)

    Did you fail your logic class?

    • Sam_Handwich

      He also conveniently ignores the various religious denominations and clergy across America who happily perform same-sex marriages.

  • to_tell_the_truth

    Re: “Gays should not be targeted for discrimination, have their rights limited, or be attacked.”
    Your entire ‘article’ refutes this statement – vividly.

  • to_tell_the_truth

    Matthew, if the best ‘argument’ you have is to compare loving, committed, consenting, adult, human relationships culminating in marriage to “drug abuse” “polygamy” “depraved behavior” and “prostitution”, you should be well-prepared to be embarrassed for such irrelevancies.
    You’re insisting that SOME citizens rights are ‘behavior’-based, when the rights exist REGARDLESS of behavior.

    • Sam_Handwich

      To be fair, the author doesn’t understand anything about this topic, which is why his word salad wanders in circles.

      The opening sentence is just something he made up: “Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker angered Californian voters in May 2010 by striking down “Proposition 8,”

      Really? Who was angered? Were there huge protests? Riots? Of course not. Even the republican governor came out in support of Judge Walker’s ruling,refusing to appeal it.

      In the next paragraph he states “There are legal challenges that resist the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage and the judicial thinking that concludes gay marriage is protected under the U.S. Constitution.

      His reference is to a stay granted by SCOTUS this week in the VA marriage case. A stay is a routine procedural motion which in no way addresses the merits of a particular ruling, but simple delays its implementation pending appeal.

      Mr Geiger would have been wise to acquaint himself with some of the dozens of state and federal court rulings in favor of marriage equality, which range from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling over a decade ago, to a ruling from a federal judge in Florida just this week.

      • Kosygin

        The writer can’t just say that — Gays give me an “icky feeling” — so he believes that he must engage in verbal and moral gymnastics to justify his feelings.

        • to_tell_the_truth

          Like his ‘pal’ “frank”, apparently.

          • Kosygin

            These people are actually pretty transparent.

    • Kosygin

      Because, to them, they believe that gays must be rehabilitated — from whom, they really never specify.

  • to_tell_the_truth

    Re: “Government efforts to ban gay marriage are a way to oppress the gay minority.”

    Um, more and more, it isn’t the government that’s doing that but religious busybodies … like the ‘author’ of this piece.

  • Pac Bob

    Trying to obtain parental rights, visitation rights, the ability to make emergency medical decisions, immunity from testifying against a spouse and so on with the same ease of acess (in other words, with the same cost in terms of time and money) as opposite sex couples is not the same as trying to normalize “homosexual behavior”. In fact, if any sexual orientation is being promoted as superior rather than equally valid, it’s heterosexuality (given the lack of “straight therapy” practitioners or lack of sex ed for gay people mention or outright condemnation of homosexuality in these classes, depending on the state.)

    • DGJC

      It doesn’t seem that we gays have to do much to convince straight men to have gay sex. Therapy not required, just a few beers will do the trick.

  • Frank

    Homosexuality is a religion. As such, homosexuals can only claim protections based upon religion, not sexual orientation. The term ‘sexual orientation’ is a religious concept in that it suggests that sexual attraction is encoded into DNA at birth. Since this is not possible to prove, then the concept of ‘sexual orientation’ is theoretical. Anything that is theory, requires faith. Anything that requires faith, is a religion. The term ‘sexual orientation’ is theoretical just like the term ‘trinity’ in christianity is a religious term. We do not protect people based upon theoretical titles that are religious in nature. In that case, we could claim discrimination based upon ‘sexual orientation’ or ‘trinitarian orientation’ or ‘messianic orientation’ or whatever religious orientations that could exist.
    So discrimination against gays can only work if you categorize homosexuality as a religion, and make it operate under the same laws as other religions. Preaching religion is not an automatic right. A person cannot walk into a school full of children, and start teaching them judaism or christianity or islam or homosexuality or any other religion without permission from the parents. A jew cannot walk into a church and demand that people renounce jesus. A chistian cannot walk into a mosque and demand that people worship jesus. There are actually a category of businesses that can also have a religious identity if they support religious functions, and be exempt from discrimination based upon religion. For example, a wedding business that supports christian marriage philosophy can refuse to bake a cake for a homosexual couple, or an islamic couple (as islam allows polygamy). Generally, these types of business should at least advertise their religious affiliations so that persons don’t actually walk into their establishment and get surprised if they ask for something that is against the religious identity of the business. Same thing for wedding photographers, etc. Homosexuals have been exploiting loopholes in our legal system for quite some time to actually turn around and use litigation to abuse people into accepting their religious beliefs, and they get away with it because their core strategy is to claim that they are a racial group (by lying and stating they were born gay) rather than a religious group which if they admitted that they are just a religion, they would not be so capable to bully other religious people into accepting their religious views.

    • Malcolm Swall

      Thats new…….totally not creditable, and really not a view of those who actually are gay. Almost as original as Lively’s theory about how nazis were all homosexual, and thats what caused WWII.

      • Frank

        And what part of it is not creditable?
        There is no such thing as homosexuality. It is a theoretical concept. I prefer to use the term heterodeviant because a definition is claimed by the first to claim it. Since heterosexuality is the origin of all sex, every other form of sexual expression is merely deviant from the origin. So there is basically heterosexuality, and then there is everything else.
        Don’t know Lively, but i think you are suggesting that the Nazi’s suffered from heterodeviance. I would concur with that assesment because ultra-violent people are generally heterodysfunctional, or have not developed in their sexuality in a proper way as per the original definition of sex. I am not talking about justified violence, i am talking about genocidal lunacy and unjustified violence.

        • Malcolm Swall

          Woah there partner. Time to adjust that tin foil hat. I think I will go with the consensus of all the actual gays I know, and say, all modern experts in the subject, AMA, APA, etc.

          • Frank

            We all have our ‘experts’
            I prefer to go with Freud, who was the best and greatest psychologist to ever live in terms of sexual theory. The entire APA and all their combined brain power could not even match up to a fraction of what freud was. The APA is itself a pro-gay organization. Fox guarding henhouse, so APA was never credible.

          • Kosygin

            So your whole problem is that you just don’t like gays?

          • Malcolm Swall

            Yeah, still not buying it. Why dont you publish that theory in a peer reviewed journal, then get back to me.

          • Frank

            Because my peers would review it, and accept it as authentic, and the gays would review it, and state it is not authentic, and we would be back to square one, which is that psychology is a form of religion. There is nothing that we think, that is contained in our DNA. Our brains may have certain structures, but thought is fluid. For example, schizophrenics are not crazy, they just communicate using a language structure different than ours. ‘Retarded’ people are not stupid, they just appear diminished because their communication skills are not recognized as being developed, but if we could read their minds, they could be thinking about things so advanced we could not even comprehend it. The mind is capable of anything. For a person to say they cannot control their sexual urges or shape them or mold them, all they are saying is that they are weak minded

          • Malcolm Swall

            So, where is your theory published? It is your theory, right? Or are you quoting someone elses work? How have you tested your hypothesis? What was your testing protocols?

          • Frank

            It is not a theory. It is fact that the human brain is tripolar, just as Freud discovered. The only reason why Freud did not take over the entire field of psychology, was because he did not realize his discovery of ID/EGO/SUPEREGO was actually a discovery of the fact that the human brain has three main logic gates that form its throught structure, and that these logic gates mimic the AND/OR/NOT gates of boolean logic. Christians describe this phenomena as FATHER/SON/GHOST.
            The brain, just like the origin of math, just like the origin of the universe, is tripolar.
            Understanding the structure of the brain automatically precludes that it could be possible to be ‘born gay’ because sex is a language, not a biology. Schizophrenia is a language, not a biology. In terms of biology, there are only three facets of our brain that are actually encoded into our DNA, and that is its tri-polar boolean mathmatical origin. Everything else that comes of it, is a binary expression that Freud also discovered, and expressed as Oepdipus/Electra complex as a foundation of the binary expressions of logic and language, logic being formed by input and language thereby being expressed by output.
            Frued is credited as having made this discovery (although the technology that resulted from his discovery which i am citing is not published publically as the KRONOS project is still classified by DARPA, nor was I the first to figure it out).

          • Malcolm Swall

            Still not buying it. Of the thousands of really bright folks that have looked at this, why are you tge only one with this conclusion? Ultimately, gonna go with scientific consensus, over a one off theory of an arm chair philosopher without evidence or scientific process.

          • Frank

            Still not selling it, but by all means, there is no compulsion in religion. Freedom of religion is the right of all people on this earth. Inalianble under g-d. This liberty and justice for all.

          • to_tell_the_truth

            You wouldn’t recognize either liberty OR justice if they bit you on your fatuous arse.

          • to_tell_the_truth

            Way to NOT make a valid argument. I’m glad that you’re not capable of doing so.

          • to_tell_the_truth

            You’d like folks to believe that equine manure. But no sensible person does.

        • Kosygin

          There is no such thing as God — It is a theoretical concept. Prove the existence of God.

          • Frank

            Exactly my point. I cannot prove the existance of g-d, thus my belief in him is a religion. Gays want special priveledges, because they cannot prove that they are ‘born gay’ but they still want to force us to believe their religion. In america, we have freedom of religion and freedom of association.
            If gays are ‘born gay’ and cannot change, then i am ‘born religious’ and cannot change.
            I cannot be called a bigot for being born to be naturally repulsed by feces, hence why i do not seek to swim in it during sex. Unfortunately, when it comes to gay people, it should not be strange to them that when they announce that they are attracted to feces by announcing the type of sex that they are attracted to, that people do not envision or imagine what it must be like to be a fly on the wall of a gay persons bedroom once you become informed about a persons sexual behaviour. I simply can never understand why people love to announce their personal sexual proclivities which should remain private regardless if you are hetero or homo, and especially if you are into feces or bestiality or anything else that is heterodevient

          • Kosygin

            You’re a disgusting bigot — and guess what, you were not born that way, but you expect special consideration for your blathering ignorance.. How much time do you spend obsessing over gays and there sexual proclivities which you know nothing about — but seem to believe that you are some sort of expert on. So continue to obsess over gays and indulge in your psychobabble.

          • Kosygin

            You cannot prove the existence of God? Yet millions of people want to base there intolerance and nonacceptance of gays on their book of fables and superstitions.As far as homosexuality being a religion — do you always make up things off the top of your head. You’re not by chance related to Newt Gingrich are you?
            And by the way, your obsession over feces is disgusting.

          • to_tell_the_truth

            Seek help, frank.

          • Sam_Handwich

            I have an authentic oil painting of Jesus baying at the moon in the Garden of Gethsemane

        • to_tell_the_truth

          RE: “And what part of it is not creditable?”
          ALL of it. Every syllable.

    • Sam_Handwich

      Behavioral orientation is NOT a religion

      Nuns spent years trying to beat the left-handedness out of students

      Guess what….they’re still left-handed but abandoned the catholic psychosis as soon as they could run fast enough.

      • Frank

        First it was sexual orientation, now behavorial orientation. The term ‘orientation’ is what is bogus, because no orientation is inborn unless found specifically in the DNA record.
        Left handedness is not found in the DNA record. There is no gene that tells you which hand you will start to use. I started out using my left hand, and my father actually corrected me without beating me, and now i am completely right-handed. Maybe beating people is not the best way to teach them to change.

        • Sam_Handwich

          Are you kidding?

          Why on earth would your father attempt to “correct” your handedness?

          • Frank

            In my religion, it is preferable that you engage certain activities with your right hand (such as eating), and engage other activities with your left hand (such as wiping your backside), so as to separate the types of activities you perform with your right and left hands to remain clean. So when i started to develop using my left hand for everything, my father started teaching me to use my right hand, and eventually it became my dominant hand.
            I am sure that many kids who start to develop same sex attraction, can be trained out of it, but it must occur in the youth as soon as these dysfunctions emerge. Better parenting would lead to less sexual confusion. Also, having a balanced home with mother-father dynamic which is properly equalibriumized has much to do with proper sexual development of children. Overbearing mother, absent father, molestation, etc, can all manifest in harmful psychosexual development of a child.

          • to_tell_the_truth

            Gibberish.

    • truelinguist

      Trying to “prove” homosexual orientation is a bit like trying to “prove” deafness: it can be experienced directly, but has to be observed indirectly. One can actually measure pupil dilation and other physical responses (indeed, the Military once planned on ‘exposing’ gay recruits that way), but ultimately, it is experiential.

      That doesn’t make it a religion or a belief, however, anymore than deafness is a religion or a belief.

      Peace.

      • Frank

        you fail to address the main point which is the fact that you are not ‘born’ gay. I have no doubt that homosexuals experience same-sex attraction, i only dispute that they are born with it. The same-sex attraction they experience occurs when their brain achieves a logic-loop that becomes persistant. This can happen with many addictions. But to claim that the human brain cannot overcome that limitation, or break the logic loop, is false.
        If i puncture your ear drums, you can observe punctured eardrums as the cause of a loss of hearing. But to become aroused sexually, your brain has to trigger the arrousal. Homosexuals claim the reverse, that their innate biology triggers their brain to trigger their arrousal, almost as if to claim their thoughts existed as an artifact in the DNA record at birth. Thoughts do not exist in the DNA records, and cannot be found in the DNA record.
        So the concept of being born gay, is where homosexuality starts to diverge into a religion. Once you say you were born gay, you are now practicing a religion rather than a sexual fetish. If you admit you were not born gay, then homosexuality is nothing more than just another sexual fetish. When you examine sexual fetishes, it is generally understood that attraction to feces or animals or other forms of unclean, unsafe attractions are not desirable or healthy.
        So your argument attempting to equate deafness to a claim that a human can be born with a fully formed understanding of a complex language and thought process that can only be learned, such as homosexuality, is not accurate.

        • to_tell_the_truth

          Re: “you fail to address the main point which is the fact that you are not ‘born’ gay”
          If that is your “main point”, it’s no wonder you’re not being taken seriously, frank.

          • truelinguist

            Indeed. With all due respect to Frank, I don’t know what his “main point” is.

            I responded to his claim that since we can’t “prove” there is such a thing as sexual orientation, so it must be a religion, a belief. We can’t “prove” many forms of deafness, but that hardly makes deafness a religion.

            Now, apparently, it’s not a religion but rather a “fetish”. Not sure why being attracted to one sex rather than the other is a fetish– but ONLY a fetish when it happens to be towards others of your own sex! Sort of turns Occam’s razor on its head, you know!

            No offense to Frank, but we don’t know what determines sexual orientation.

            But what’s pretty clear is that everyone ends up with one– being attracted to males, to females or to both.

            And it’s also clear that, regardless of the etiology, some of us realize we are gay, remain gay forever, fall in love and form long term relationships with our partners. That’s the bottom line.

            The question is how a society such as ours, which is premised on the notion that we strive to treat all equally under the law, includes gay people under the umbrella of protections we all deserve.

            Peace.

    • to_tell_the_truth

      What a bunch of hooey, starting with the nonsensical, “Homosexuality is a religion” and the idiotic, “The term ‘sexual orientation’ is a religious concept”.
      You type these foolish, unfounded things and then expect to be believed.
      If that’s the best you’ve got, then you should be well-prepared to lose this and to be roundly, deservedly mocked for such nincompoopery.

      • Kosygin

        Sort of like Newt Gingrinch. (Did I type an extra “N”?)

  • truelinguist

    With respect, and as several others have already pointed out, you make a number of claims that are either wrong or unrelated to the issue of marriage equality for gay couples. Here are a few specifics:

    1. “…decisions upholding the right of gay marriage have failed to protect the First Amendment rights of those who view marriage as a religious institution between a man and woman”

    They are free to view marriage as a religious institution between a man and a woman. I am a person of faith, and my partner and I were married in a religious institution that supports marriage equality (it was the same mainstream Jewish temple where he had became bar mitzvah decades earlier). The law is about civil marriage licenses, which may be conferred with or without religious rites. The law can’t decide that your religious rights trumps ours. Your institution gets to set its ceremonies. So does ours.

    2. “…the only solution to this contentious debate is for government to start issuing civil unions while leaving marriage as a rite or sacrament of churches…”

    That is the case right now, except that what you are calling “civil unions” are actually labelled “civil marriage” by the legal system. Atheists can marry, civilly. People of faith can have a religious wedding if they choose, and the officiant (priest, rabbi, minister, etc.) can then sign a civil marriage license and have it registered as a legal contract.

    3. “…discrimination against homosexuality revolves around a group which is defined by its behavior, not externally visible characteristics.”

    I knew I was gay by the time I was 12. I wrote as much in my journal on my 14th birthday. I was celibate (a “virgin”) and would remain so for another couple of decades. Sexual orientation is a trait, not a behavior.

    I am also a Jew. Due to my name (a common German family name) and my appearance, few people ever suspect I am Jewish. No visible characteristics. But discrimination against Jews is against the law, as it should be. You might also want to see the 1949 movie “Pinky” about a Black woman who “passed” for white. No one should have to “pass” in order to avoid discrimination, even if they can pull it off.

    There’s more, but that’s enough for now.

    Peace.

    • to_tell_the_truth

      Re: 2. “…the only solution to this contentious debate is for government to start issuing civil unions while leaving marriage as a rite or sacrament of churches…”

      That is the case right now, except that what you are calling “civil unions” are actually labelled “civil marriage” by the legal system. Atheists can marry, civilly.”
      I wish more people realized this … ESPECIALLY Mr, Geiger who tries to pass himself off as an expert on this topic and can’t even get THIS part correct!

    • DGJC

      In my opinion we made a mistake in allowing clergy to marry couples. In France and Germany religious weddings are not legal nor do they entitle you to the term marriage (nor are any benefits granted). You must marry at city hall, otherwise it’s not a marriage. Perhaps holy matrimony is more appropriate as a label for superstitious ceremonies before a “god?”
      Congratulations! I’ve been legally married to my same sexual spouse for six years in CA. We opted not to invite any gods. I would have been deeply offended.

      • truelinguist

        I agree. I’ve lived in France, and have been to the weddings (civil, then religious) of several friends over the years. I really like their system (based on the Napoleonic Code), and have always found the civil ceremony to be very powerful (citing the laws and the obligations that come with civil marriage).

        The principle of ” laïcité” (separation of religion and state) protects everyone, regardless of beliefs, and makes an awful lot of sense, maybe especially for people who follow a religious tradition and don’t want the state meddling in it.

        • DGJC

          Thanks! We are in total agreement on that. But, I’m afraid that if we actually did try to remove the right of religious clergy to legally marry couples there would be an uproar about it such as we’ve never heard before from the religious right. It’s a lost cause. Once we opened that door, there’s no going back.
          But, it would also help the economy, because the government would need to hire new justices of the peace to marry all the couples that would have been married in a church/synagogue/mosque.

  • Malcolm Swall

    Equal rights and justice for all. True American values.

  • Malcolm Swall

    Allowing same sex marriage changes marriage exactly as much as allowing women to vote changed voting.

  • Jeff Brown

    remind us again exactly whose First Amendnent rights are being violated by marriage equality … i have not been able to find a single valid example, yet your entire argument hinges on it …

  • Peter

    Unbelievably insipid, this analysis. Just unreal, the sheer stupidity and (seemingly) willful ignorance. I’d elaborate but the author simply doesn’t deserve a time-consuming response.

    • truelinguist

      I always hold out hope that individuals will read and think about how others respond to their arguments. And, you never know: others reading our responses may be open to what I trust are our stronger arguments and evidence.

      Stranger things have happened!

  • Peter

    “Specialties: writing on politics, social issues, legal issues, psychology, family issues; editing; review; scientific review; debate; lobbying; mediation, conflict resolution” – you

    Speciality? Sir, you flatter yourself. This is some of the WORST writing on the subject I’ve ever read. Undeserving of a response beyond this, truly.

    • Parque_Hundido

      It’s really awful. The argument here is confused. Is this some kind of open mic thing?

  • GrahamTheCat

    Virtually every reputable twin study ever performed on the topic of homosexuality indicates a significant congenital source for same-sex attraction. So much for homosexuals only being defined by their behavior, and therefore, so much for the cornerstone of the author’s argument, making the rest tumble like a house of cards.

    Next?

  • Kosygin

    So the writer doesn’t believe that gays should be discriminated against, but seems to have an issue with gay behavior — believing it should be regulated in some way like drug abuse for the benefit of society. Once again we have a sort of back-handed tolerance toward gays in that gays should be allowed to coexist with normal people so long as they behave in an acceptable and proscribed manner.

    • Malcolm Swall

      Actually, the author is arguing for just the right amount of discrimination: some fundamental rights for gays are allowed, up to a point, others reserved for the “normal” ones.

      Total BS.

      Equal rights and justice for all. It really is that simple. Protect the fundamental right to marry who you choose for every citizen. The govt may only limit fundamental rights if it can prove a rational reason related to a legitimate govt concern. Moral (religious) approbation and mere animus is insufficient.

      • Sam_Handwich

        The reasoning is reminiscent of Sandra Day O’Connor’s concurring majority opinion in Lawrence vs Texas, …. that states may limit marriage to opposite sex couples so long as the intent is to “preserve the traditional institution of marriage” and not explicitly to discriminate against gay people.

      • Kosygin

        And it’s completely patronizing — “We have no problem with gays as long as you conduct yourself the way that we want you to. And remember,just because we say that we accept you doesn’t mean that we think you’re as normal as the rest of us.”
        Sort of like wayward children who have to follow “house rules” or face reproach and discipline.

  • Malcolm Swall

    Of course it is for the courts to decide. It is silly to pretend otherwise. It is the judiciary’s constitutional duty to ensure individual rights.

  • to_tell_the_truth

    Anyone who can type “fecal fetuses” in a sentence about this topic needs more psychiatric help than the ‘net can supply.
    DIS-MISSED!

  • to_tell_the_truth

    Putrid trash seems to be about ALL you can type. Shame on you.

  • Parque_Hundido

    There is no first amendment issue at stake here. The columnist is profoundly mistaken. Violating anti-discrimination statutes is not a right and is in no circumstance protected by the first amendment.

    • to_tell_the_truth

      Agreed. The ‘frightwing’ can “believe” whatever they want to. What they cannot do is require other people to believe (nor to abide by) tenets to which they do not subscribe.

  • Pac Bob

    I’m pretty sure it’s the judicial branch’s job to determine which laws are constitutional, and not public opinion alone, without any other branch’s involvement. But hey, my grade school teacher could have been an undercover agent for the gay agenda teaching me falsehoods, like how the government works, since I was just a child.

  • DGJC

    I think a better solution would have been to never have allowed religious clergy to legally marry couples. This is the law in France, Germany and other countries. NO religious ceremonies earn you the right to call your union a marriage in the legal sense, nor are you entitled to governmental benefits. Call it what you like, but it’s not a marriage. How about holy matrimony instead? If we had done the same thing the religious nuts would have never felt entitled to the word marriage as they seem to have co-opted it in the US. If Atheists can marry in our country, then your religious argument against gay marriage invalidates itself. Not to mention the fact that growing numbers of clergy marry same sex couples. But I say let’s strip religions of the right to use the term marriage. Problem solved.

  • truelinguist

    In fairness to Mr. Geiger, I would very much like to read his response to some of our criticisms.

    • truelinguist

      And in the interest of full disclosure, I received my first (actually, my only) speeding ticket in Meadville back when I was around 23. 🙂