Gay Marriage: The Latest Salvo

This is just a district-level opinion, but it’s still a troubling development – it’s both an indication that advocates of gay marriage will not be satisfied with a federalist solution that allows states to decide matter for themselves, and, actually, it’s an argument in favor of a U.S. Constitutional Amendment in this area.

BTW, the reasoning in Romer wasn’t even logical, much less Constitutional…

http://www.nationalreview.com/benchmemos/062916.asp

For the First Time
A federal judge (Joseph Bataillon, a Clinton nominee) has struck down a state ban on same-sex marriage ( http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=1638&u_sid=1409755 ). Nebraska voters amended the state constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The judge, following the reasoning of the Supreme Court’s decision in Romer v. Evans (1996), ruled that the amendment had infringed on the rights to political participation of advocates of same-sex marriage: They can’t get their way just by persuading the legislature, since they would also have to overturn the amendment. The reasoning, like the reasoning in Romer (which prevented localities from passing laws against discrimination against gays), strikes me as awfully shaky.

Here’s what Justice Scalia said in dissent from Romer: “The central thesis of the Court’s reasoning is that any group is denied equal protection when, to obtain advantage (or, presumably, to avoid disadvantage), it must have recourse to a more general and hence more difficult level of political decisionmaking than others. The world has never heard of such a principle, which is why the Court’s opinion is so long on emotive utterance and so short on relevant legal citation. And it seems to me most unlikely that any multilevel democracy can function under such a principle. For whenever a disadvantage is imposed, or conferral of a benefit is prohibited, at one of the higher levels of democratic decisionmaking (i.e., by the state legislature rather than local government, or by the people at large in the state constitution rather than the legislature), the affected group has (under this theory) been denied equal protection. To take the simplest of examples, consider a state law prohibiting the award of municipal contracts to relatives of mayors or city councilmen. Once such a law is passed, the group composed of such relatives must, in order to get the benefit of city contracts, persuade the state legislature ? unlike all other citizens, who need only persuade the municipality. It is ridiculous to consider this a denial of equal protection, which is why the Court’s theory is unheard-of.”

Man, I read that three times and finally got it. I need some more coffee.

Scalia is right, not only is it short on relevant legal citation, it is short on logic.

This will only serve to rally the conservatives out there to pass another defense of marriage law. Maybe, they will keep the issue alive for the '08 election.

The part I don’t understand, logically, is that if the voters amended the constitution - that is changed the constitution. How can that change be ruled unconstitutional.

God I hate NRO. I think a quick reading of the news would reveal there was a little more to the ruling than just romer v. evans.
Also Scalia’s dissent in romer is just stupid, and why didn’t the NRO put up Kennedy’s opinion for romer?

P.S.
My marriage here in Mass. is STILL
not being damaged by gays having equal rights here. Weird, because Pat Robertson swore it would.

Gay marriage doesn’t affect anyone who’s O.K. with their own sexuality. The bans on gay marriage are not much different in my mind than the bans on inter-racial marriages in the fifties. Really, I wish we’d just move on already.

[quote]100meters wrote:
God I hate NRO. I think a quick reading of the news would reveal there was a little more to the ruling than just romer v. evans.
Also Scalia’s dissent in romer is just stupid, and why didn’t the NRO put up Kennedy’s opinion for romer?

P.S.
My marriage here in Mass. is STILL
not being damaged by gays having equal rights here. Weird, because Pat Robertson swore it would.[/quote]

Scalia’s dissent is the only thing that makes sense about Romer.

If one were to take Romer seriously, the distinction between Constitutional law and regular law would be unconstitutional.

Think about it for a second.

[quote]100meters wrote:
God I hate NRO. I think a quick reading of the news would reveal there was a little more to the ruling than just romer v. evans.
Also Scalia’s dissent in romer is just stupid, and why didn’t the NRO put up Kennedy’s opinion for romer?

P.S.
My marriage here in Mass. is STILL
not being damaged by gays having equal rights here. Weird, because Pat Robertson swore it would.[/quote]

Also:

  1. The fact that your marriage is or isn’t damaged is irrelvant to the Constitutional law question at issue, and actually isn’t logically related to the basic argument concerning gay marriage vis a vis heterosexual marriage – it’s more of a going-forward concern in that case.

  2. The opinions of Pat Robertson have absolutely nothing to do with it – last I looked, no one elected or appointed him to any office. You may as well argue what Don Knotts thinks.

[quote]Roark wrote:
Gay marriage doesn’t affect anyone who’s O.K. with their own sexuality. The bans on gay marriage are not much different in my mind than the bans on inter-racial marriages in the fifties. Really, I wish we’d just move on already.[/quote]

Actually they’re quite different, though that doesn’t impact the constitutional question in the least.

http://www.volokh.com/archives/archive_2005_05_08-2005_05_14.shtml#1115938636

[Eugene Volokh, May 12, 2005 at 6:57pm] 2 Trackbacks / Possibly More Trackbacks
Federal Court Strikes Down Ban on Same-Sex Marriage:

The decision, from a federal trial judge in Nebraska, is here ( http://ads.omaha.com/media/maps/pdfs/0512initiative.pdf ). I think it’s quite mistaken, and will be reversed on appeal. A few thoughts:

  1. The judge doesn’t hold that there’s a constitutional right to same-sex marriage as such. Rather, he holds that the recently enacted Nebraska constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage ? “Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska. The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar same-sex relationship shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska.” ? is unconstitutional. (See footnote 1 of the decision.) But as I’ll discuss below, the logic of the opinion suggests otherwise; if the judge is right, then states would indeed be required to recognize same-sex marriage.

  2. First Amendment: The judge reasons that the amendment is unconstitutional because it interferes with people’s First Amendment rights to advocate, and to association in order to advocate, for legislation protecting same-sex relationships: “The knowledge that any such proposed legislation violates the Nebraska Constitution chills or inhibits advocacy of that legislation, as well as impinging on freedom to join together in pursuit of those ends.”

    That, I think, can’t be right. Most state constitutional provisions make it harder for people to enact certain laws ? a state constitutional right to privacy, for instance, makes “chills or inhibits advocacy of [privacy-restricting] legislation” in precisely the same way as the Nebraska same-sex amendment does: People become less willing to advocate the legislation since they know it will be futile, so long as the amendment remains on the book. Likewise, federal laws “chill or inhibit advocacy of [state] legislation” that would be preempted by those laws. State laws “chill or inhibit advocacy of [local] legislation” that would be preempted by those laws. (For instance, state marriage laws, which to my knowledge always set forth rules that apply throughout the state and leave no room for contrary local decisions, equally chill or inhibit advocacy of city- or county-level marriage laws.)

    Of course, none of these laws or constitutional provisions violate the First Amendment; they don’t keep people from expressing their ideas ? they just make it harder for people to turn those ideas into law. That is the very purpose of constitutional constraints on legislation, and the purpose doesn’t violate the First Amendment. But precisely the same is true about the Nebraska same-sex marriage amendment.

  3. Intimate association: The Supreme Court has recognized that people have an unenumerated right to engage in intimate association ? to make friends, to rear children, to live with relatives, and the like. The judge in this case argued that the Nebraska provision interfered with this right:

    [i]The amendment goes far beyond merely defining marriage as between a man and a woman. By its terms, Section 29 mandates that Nebraska will not recognize or give effect to ?the uniting of two persons? in a same-sex relationship ?similar to? marriage. This language, especially given the expansive reading it has been afforded in Nebraska, potentially prohibits or at least inhibits people, regardless of sexual preference, from entering into numerous relationships or living arrangements that could be interpreted as a same-sex relationship ?similar to? marriage.
    
    Many social or associational arrangements run the risk of running afoul of the broad prohibitions of Section 29. Among the threatened relationships would be those of roommates, co-tenants, foster parents, and related people who share living arrangements, expenses, custody of children, or ownership of property.[/i]
    

    I’m not sure that the court is reading the amendment properly: Living together and sharing expenses (or even ownership of property) is not necessarily “the uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar same-sex relationship” ? the only legal relationships there are those of co-owners, which have never been seen as “civil unions,” “domestic partnerships,” or “same-sex relationships.” (The matter might be somewhat different as to shared custody of children.)

    But in any event, the amendment does not prohibit any cohabitation relationships ? at most, it bars the government from giving them legal recognition as a “civil union,” “domestic partnership,” or “same-sex relationship.” The right to intimate association does not include the right to have the government specially subsidize or recognize your intimate association. That’s why, for instance, the law can give married people special benefits that single people lack. Your intimate association rights doubtless give you the constitutional right not to get married, but that doesn’t mean the government has to give you as a single person the same subsidies and special legal privileges that it gives married people. (I will deal with the equality argument below, but for now my point is simply that there’s no violation of intimate association rights here.)

    The amendment might conceivably bar same-sex couples, as couples, from adopting children or having foster children. But the constitutional right to intimate association does not include the right to adopt or to have foster children.

  4. Equal protection: The court holds that the Nebraska amendment violates the Equal Protection Clause, citing Romer v. Evans (1996). Here, it’s argument is at least plausible: Romer struck down a Colorado amendment that prohibited all state and local bans on sexual orientation discrimination. I think Romer is wrong, badly reasoned, and vague in its implications; but, while it’s impossible to tell for sure given Romer’s vagueness, I think that Nebraska amendment is constitutional even under Romer.

    Romer rested in large part on the conclusion that the Colorado amendment’s “sheer breadth is so discontinuous with the reasons offered for it that the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects; it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests.” The Colorado amendment’s defenders urged that the amendment was needed to protect “other citizens’ freedom of association, and in particular the liberties of landlords or employers who have personal or religious objections to homosexuality”; and the Court did not condemn this interest. Rather, it concluded that “The breadth of the Amendment is so far removed from these particular justifications that we find it impossible to credit them,” chiefly because the Colorado courts interpreted the amendment as being extremely broad, covering many situations where no private landlords or employers were involved (for instance, when the government created a nondiscrimination policy governing its own operations).

    Here, the law leaves state and local government free to enact bans on sexual orientation discrimination in lots of contexts. The government only mandates that marriage and similar institutions be reserved for opposite-sex couples; and this mandate is closely tied to the government’s desire to reserve the special benefits of marriage for that sort of relationship ? a union of one man and one woman ? that Nebraskans think is particularly valuable to society, and thus particularly worth fostering.

    The test that Romer set forth was that the law must have a rational relationship to legitimate state interests, not the very demanding “strict scrutiny” test (which requires narrow tailoring to compelling state interests). This “rational basis” test is traditionally pretty deferential to the government; and while in Romer it wasn’t applied with the normal deference, the Court’s stress in Romer was simply that the law was so overinclusive relative to the interest in protecting associational freedom that it was irrationally broad. Here, the law is a much better fit with the government interest. And it seems to me (and, I’d wager, to the Supreme Court) that the government interest in promoting opposite-sex relationships as the best for society is indeed a legitimate interest, even if it’s one that reasonable minds may differ about.

    Nor is right to argue, as the court does, that the law “goes so far beyond defining marriage that the court can only conclude that the intent and purpose of the amendment is based on animus against [the] class [it affects].” First, the law doesn’t go at all far beyond defining marriage; it clearly covers marriage and its modern equivalents and near-equivalents. It makes perfect sense that as new quasi-marriage statuses are set up to avoid the legal restrictions on marriage, voters would cover these quasi-marriages as well as traditional marriages.

    Second, while the law does reflect a sense that same-sex unions are less worthy of public support than opposite-sex unions, the Court has never held that this view is impermissible. Most laws reflect the notion that some conduct is better than other conduct. Unless (and I’ll get to this below) the court really is saying that it’s unconstitutional “animus” to have marriage be opposite-sex-only ? that is to say, unless the court believes that Nebraska has to recognize same-sex marriages ? there’s no unconstitutional animus in Nebraska voters’ insisting that marriage be opposite-sex-only, rather than just leaving the matter to their representatives in the legislature.

    Finally, note that the standard canon of interpreting statutes is that they must be interpreted to avoid constitutional problems, when such an interpretation is consistent with the language. For instance, if the court fears that reading the amendment broadly ? for instance, covering co-tenancy contracts, or co-ownership arrangements, among romantically linked same-sex couples ? would violate the Equal Protection Clause under Romer, then the court should read the amendment (quite plausibly) as not being that broad, and only covering marriages, statutory civil unions, or statutory domestic partnerships, not centuries-old generally applicable rules of contract and property law.

    Judges should not choose the broadest interpretation of a statute and then striking the statute down because the interpretation they themselves chose was unconstitutionally broad. Thus, the judge’s argument that “a domestic limited partnership” ? a business entity ? “composed of same-sex partners as defined in the Partnership Act could run afoul of [the Nebraska amendment] as it is written” is quite wrong. Reading the amendment as covering business partnerships that just happen to have partners of the same sex isn’t even a particularly plausible reading of the amendment; and it certainly isn’t the only or most plausible reading of the amendment. The judge must therefore choose the reading that is constitutionally permissible under Romer, rather than choosing an unnecessarily broad reading that would then lead him to strike the statute down.

  5. Bill of Attainder Clause: The court also reasons that the law is an unconstitutional bill of attainder because it “inflict[s] punishment” on same-sex couples, because it’s “directed at gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people and is intended to prohibit their political ability to effectuate changes opposed by the majority.” That’s quite mistaken, I think, for the reasons I mentioned as to the First Amendment ? all state constitutional provisions, as well as federal laws that preempt state laws and state laws that preempt local laws, block some groups from enacting laws that they like.

    State constitutional bans on polygamy block polygamists from enacting laws that they like. State bans on lotteries block lottery operators from enacting laws that they like. Some state criminal rights provisions block some tough-on-crime folks from enacting laws that they like.

    Moreover, it’s the nature of a democracy that the majority blocks “changes opposed by the majority.” It may not block advocacy for such changes; but it can surely block such changes. And if the majority sufficiently opposes certain changes, it can block them at the state constitutional level rather than just at a state statutory level, or at a state statutory level rather than the local level. The whole point of state constitutions is for the statewide majority to prevent its representatives in the legislature (or voters or legislators in the state’s political subunits) from enacting changes opposed by that statewide majority.

    The prohibition on Bills of Attainder provision has never been read remotely as broadly as the court suggests; nor would it make any sense for it to be read this broadly.

  6. But in any event ? and here I return to what I said in point 1 ? if the court is right about the Romer analysis, then it must be because there is no legitimate government interest in favoring opposite-sex long-term relationships over same-sex ones. Likewise, if the court is right about the intimate association analysis, then it must be because the right to intimate association guarantees same-sex couples the right to equal government benefits with opposite-sex married couples, rather than just a right to live together. And if the court is right about bills of attainder, then its analysis equally applies to state law rules that preempt contrary marriage provisions at the city level. (Imagine Portland or San Francisco trying to set up its own marriage rules, over the objections of the rest of Oregon or California.) And if that’s so, then despite the court’s protestations, its reasoning necessarily means that states are constitutionally required to recognize same-sex marriage (or, under the bill of attainder analysis, at least are required to let any locality recognize same-sex marriage).

So this isn’t just a battle over state constitutional amendments, and what voters can do and what they must leave to the state legislature. The court’s decision, if upheld, would be a Massachusetts Goodridge (or at least its Vermont civil-union cousin, Baker) for the whole nation. I don’t think this is at all required by Romer, Lawrence v. Texas, or any other Supreme Court decision. I’m pretty sure that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will reverse the decision; and if it doesn’t, I’m pretty sure that the U.S. Supreme Court will ? and should.

[quote]Atreides wrote:
Man, I read that three times and finally got it. I need some more coffee.

Scalia is right, not only is it short on relevant legal citation, it is short on logic.

This will only serve to rally the conservatives out there to pass another defense of marriage law. Maybe, they will keep the issue alive for the '08 election.

The part I don’t understand, logically, is that if the voters amended the constitution - that is changed the constitution. How can that change be ruled unconstitutional.[/quote]

THe difference is between state and U.S. Constitutions. THe judge (mistakenly) ruled the amendment to the state constitution violated the Due Process clause of the U.S. Constitution, and (nothing wrong with this implication, assuming there was an actual U.S. Constitutional violation) because of the Supremacy Clause the U.S. Constitution would trump the state constitution.

BB:
This strikes me as a way to sum up your umbrage at the judge activists who are trying to exert their power unfairly over popular opinion… if the Nebraskans want to be homophobic, let them, right?

More judicial activism, huh? Think about this for a second:

What if our judges back in the latter parts of the 1800’s decided to pursue aims that would make the law recognize a woman’s right to vote as just as important as a man’s. Men, angry at how judges were trying to force their liberal views on the populace, turned out in droves to vote a constitutional amendment in their states prohibiting a female’s vote, calling it a “vote protection act”. After all, this had never been done before – it was traditional to have only men vote. Letting all these women vote would damage the fabric of our society, and change the way that our country works. Hell, someday, a woman might try to run for office or something on account of this.

Maybe you’re right, and the country isn’t ready for gay marriage… but it doesn’t mean that gay marriage is wrong or damaging, and it doesn’t mean that the activist judges you are so annoyed with have their hearts in the wrong place.

Here’s a modest proposal – perhaps the Supreme Court should have the good sense to dust off the much-maligned Dred Scott decision.

As the court pointed out long ago, we should not take at face value the statement “that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

As our highest court stated in 1857, all those who live within these United States are not created equal. Our founding fathers were talking about white men, according to the court. And I’m sure if they were alive today, they would explain that they meant straight white men.

In other words, let’s not let all this liberal agenda of assuring equal rights for gays con us into taking the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights too seriously.

[quote]lothario1132 wrote:
BB:
This strikes me as a way to sum up your umbrage at the judge activists who are trying to exert their power unfairly over popular opinion… if the Nebraskans want to be homophobic, let them, right?

Second, while the law does reflect a sense that same-sex unions are less worthy of public support than opposite-sex unions, the Court has never held that this view is impermissible. Most laws reflect the notion that some conduct is better than other conduct. Unless (and I’ll get to this below) the court really is saying that it’s unconstitutional “animus” to have marriage be opposite-sex-only ? that is to say, unless the court believes that Nebraska has to recognize same-sex marriages ? there’s no unconstitutional animus in Nebraska voters’ insisting that marriage be opposite-sex-only, rather than just leaving the matter to their representatives in the legislature.

More judicial activism, huh? Think about this for a second:

What if our judges back in the latter parts of the 1800’s decided to pursue aims that would make the law recognize a woman’s right to vote as just as important as a man’s. Men, angry at how judges were trying to force their liberal views on the populace, turned out in droves to vote a constitutional amendment in their states prohibiting a female’s vote, calling it a “vote protection act”. After all, this had never been done before – it was traditional to have only men vote. Letting all these women vote would damage the fabric of our society, and change the way that our country works. Hell, someday, a woman might try to run for office or something on account of this.

Maybe you’re right, and the country isn’t ready for gay marriage… but it doesn’t mean that gay marriage is wrong or damaging, and it doesn’t mean that the activist judges you are so annoyed with have their hearts in the wrong place.
[/quote]

lothario,

Your precisely correct. My objection to this is that it comes from an unelected judge who is stretching the Constitution to fit his personal moral views. This usurps the legislature’s role, and further embroils the courts in political questions that they have no business deciding.

My objection is entirely apart from any position on the underlying desirability of same-sex marriage. I personally think the best solution would be to let each state legislature decide that question for itself, with proper provisions to make certain that other states were not required to recognize marriage laws that contradicted their own in terms of granting rights they otherwise would not give.

[ADDDENDUM - I responded quickly this morning, but the argument you outlined above, and what is transpiring with the gay marriage issue, is a great argument against judicial activism.

Or you could turn the situation on its head for another argument: What if the prevailing preference in the country was for women voting, and legislatures were passing laws to allow women suffrage, and then courts stepped in to the mix and made up some interpretation of the Constitution as banning women from voting because that reflected the personal moral views of the judges.

Judicial activism is bad because it subverts the democratic process.

On a certain level we have agreed that certain things are so important that they should be above the normal democratic process – and those are enshrined in the Constitution.

The Constitution itself is binding and above normal democratic processes because it was passed with supermajorities in the legislature and among the states – that’s what gives it its power. To allow a judge to read things into it that aren’t there turns the idea of legitimacy of government because of the consent of the governed on its head.]

[quote]futuredave wrote:
Here’s a modest proposal – perhaps the Supreme Court should have the good sense to dust off the much-maligned Dred Scott decision.

As the court pointed out long ago, we should not take at face value the statement “that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

As our highest court stated in 1857, all those who live within these United States are not created equal. Our founding fathers were talking about white men, according to the court. And I’m sure if they were alive today, they would explain that they meant straight white men.

In other words, let’s not let all this liberal agenda of assuring equal rights for gays con us into taking the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights too seriously. [/quote]

Seriously, this isn’t about “equal rights.” This is about the ability of a legislature to create a program that some people do not wish to utilize, without requiring the legislatures to create comparable programs that such people would prefer. Any gay person could marry a person of the opposite sex right now, just like any straight person could. THe fact that this does not fit with their innate sexual attraction or lifestyle choice (whichever you believe – it’s immaterial to this discussion) does not mean they are being prohibited from doing it. They are simply not being extended a “separate but equal” institution more to their liking, and the legislatures are declining to expand the definition of the existing program to fit their desires.

Essentially, there’s not much difference between this and the Child Tax Credit, which does not “discriminate” in a constitutional sense against those who cannot or do not want to have kids.

I wonder if I’m going to get to sit and watch homosexuals, adulterers, pedophiles, etc try to explain the Bible (or their interpretation of it) to God on Judgement day. I certainly hope so.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m perfect, I just know when I sin and I ask for forgiveness.

FatSensei

I hate to barge into the “liberal fest” but couldn’t resist.

Just a few corrections for those who are still blinded by all of the PC language that has been thrown at them since they were old enough to turn on the television all by themselves:

  1. “Equal rights” are already given to Gay men. They are able to marry any female that will say yes. Isn’t that what heterosexuals have? What Gays want are extra rights. Think about it.

  2. There is no correlation what so ever to the racial fight of the 1950’s/60’s and the Gay issue today. When someone comes up with a definitive study which proves conclusively that there is no choice regarding homosexuality, then that fact will change. So far, that is not the case as many Gay men have actually turned back to heterosexual behavior after therapy. Granted, this does not occur all the time. However, how many black people have been made white? (Not saying they want to be white, save your hate mail for another topic). Point being, race is not a choice, homosexuality is in fact a choice even if Gays are indeed “born that way” which as stated has never been proven!

  3. The term homophobic (saw it once again in this thread) is a word promoted by the powerful Gay lobby in order to alienate anyone who would speak out against the act of homosexuality. In fact, there are more people who are basically disgusted with the act. This no more makes them “afraid” of homosexuals than someone who is sickened by …let’s say broccoli. Because someone hates broccoli does that now mean that they are actually afraid of it? Does it mean they secretly want to be broccoli? I once again offer up the term “homorepugnant” as being far more accurate, than “homophobic.”

[quote]ZEB wrote:
2. There is no correlation what so ever to the racial fight of the 1950’s/60’s and the Gay issue today. When someone comes up with a definitive study which proves conclusively that there is no choice regarding homosexuality, then that fact will change.
[/quote]

Z… how old were you when you decided to be straight?

[quote]futuredave wrote:
ZEB wrote:
2. There is no correlation what so ever to the racial fight of the 1950’s/60’s and the Gay issue today. When someone comes up with a definitive study which proves conclusively that there is no choice regarding homosexuality, then that fact will change.

Z… how old were you when you decided to be straight?

[/quote]

So…then the flawed reasoning goes: “It was not a decision so that means you were born that way, and so is the homosexual” Do I have that right my man? Well, you might very well be right! I’m not going to push the possibility of this being more nurture than nature nearly as hard as the liberals have pushed the possibility that it is in fact nature.

However, is it possible that many things can happen in a young child?s life that can steer him (or her) toward homosexuality? If it is nature how do you explain some leaving homosexuality to become heterosexual?

Could it be a combination of both to some degree? Some people are born with a tendency to steal I suppose. Then again those very same genetic traits could be channeled in a different direction, if the individual had a desire to do so.

My point is that none of us really know which it is, or if it is a combination of both. There is not one credible scientific shred of evidence which suggests that a homosexual is “born that way.” Yet, we get this line shoved at us at every opportunity by those screaming for special rights etc. Keep in mind that strong political lobby’s make a lousy substitute for actual proof.

To further suggest that anyone questioning the PC line is hateful or homophobic further preaches the wrong message. Why can’t anything that the far left pushes ever be questioned without them name calling? (Anyone else notice that?) If you don’t swallow their pill, then you are a hate mongering right wing fanatical trouble maker out to crush humanity! I get a kick out of those guys :slight_smile:

Someday I hope it can be proven one way or the other. Until then we need to be gracious to those who are different than we are. There is no reason for discrimination based upon anyone?s chosen lifestyle (unless there are laws being broken).

The following link is an interesting read for those whose minds are still open enough to the possibility that we really don’t know yet if homosexuality is nurture or nature.

http://www.narth.com/docs/pieces.html

ZEB: To set the record straight, the word “homophobe” is popularly known to mean “disgust and intolerance of homosexuality”. Maybe you are right about the label, and it should be changed to “homorepugnant” (here we go again… geez!!) as the “homophobe” label infers a kind of irrational fear like one to spiders or snakes which would lead to running away or shrieking in fright or whatever.

It could be argued, however, that a great deal of “homorepugnant” people have this disgust as a result of their own psychological/sexual hangups and inability to view a homosexual person as real person and more of an irrational symbol of something horrible or terrible. That’s when we transcend simple disgust like taking a number two, wiping, and accidentally getting poo on our hands, and enter the land of psychological self-projection.

In that case, “homophobe” is more appropriate I think.

I seriously doubt that the fine people of Nebraska as a whole have thought about the gay marriage issue in the context of the burden it would place on their state’s infrastructure to handle changing the way they conduct business wrt homosexual couples as married couples. I seriously doubt that the fine people of Nebraska have concluded in the way that you have that in their opinion, it is too much a burden on the traditional values of what marriage is to include a small group homosexuals out of fear that it will demean their own values and the values of their children in an uncontrollable way. No, I think a more likely explanation is that the fine people of Nebraska who voted in their own flavor of the “marriage protection act” are merely incapable of seeing a homosexual couple as something acceptable because they don’t approve of two women or two men being in love with each other. And that’s their own hangup, ZEB. Do you understand?

In a way, this is exactly like the civil rights movement. Blacks were discriminated against because certain white people didn’t approve of them for no other reason that they didn’t approve of the black culture, and they didn’t like the color of their skin because they were different and that made them a lower class of person. Now I’m not saying that there’s different water fountains for gays and that needs to change or anything, but you have to admit that there is a very strong possibility that this is less about nurture vs. nature and more about the people who hold power in this country and their own personal distaste for a minority culture and lifestyle.

To sum up: I feel that the problem here is that a majority of these folks who voted for the marriage protection acts hold their views of gay marriage because they feel gayness itself is wrong. And that is just like not letting women vote, that is just like discrimination against blacks and other minorities, that is just like laws against prohormones… it is the view of those who hold power and their irrational distaste, and not something that is wrong with the minority in question.

Now after saying all that, I have to admit that the judges who are trying to get these laws stricken down need to be careful with that gavel that they wield. I will say again that this country may not be ready for gay marriage. As much as I bemoan the fact that so many people are intolerant of my friends, I also recognize that we all need to get along with each other, and throwing metaphorical rocks at each other is not going to help.

I guess we will find out later in history if these activist judges are being visionary or just liberal quacks. :slight_smile:

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Or you could turn the situation on its head for another argument: What if the prevailing preference in the country was for women voting, and legislatures were passing laws to allow women suffrage, and then courts stepped in to the mix and made up some interpretation of the Constitution as banning women from voting because that reflected the personal moral views of the judges.

Judicial activism is bad because it subverts the democratic process.
[/quote]

What a great point. And you know I think it’s funny: “All men are created equal” sounds very much like we SHOULD leave the women out, doesn’t it?

Sorry ladies… I’m just kidding, okay? :slight_smile:

[quote]ZEB wrote:
Point being, race is not a choice, homosexuality is in fact a choice even if Gays are indeed “born that way” which as stated has never been proven!

[/quote]

It has also never been proven that they are not born that way. That has nothing to do with a “liberal fest” and everything to do with a fact of life that has been around since the beginning of time. Homosexuality isn’t new. Gays didn’t pop out of nowhere over the last few hundred years. I personally don’t “religiously” agree with it but I also understand that it isn’t my place to degrade someone for simply being gay. Since science does not prove or disprove biological homosexuality, creating laws that ban the rights of them getting together just like heterosexuals do is based on, what? Religion? Bias? I have heard that many in the Ku Klux Klan believe they are actually following the word of God. Does that make their actions and beliefs right? Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t put homosexuality on the same plane as far as dealing with the aspects of human rights that the Civil Rights movement had to endure. However, if bias is your only true reason for being against it, how true is it?