T Nation

How to Explain Gay Rights to Dummies



Apparently the senate didn't see this.


Look, this issue regarding gay marriage is extremely simple. First of all, the Supreme Court has already defined gays as a "suspect class", which likens them to racial minorities and women. Basically, if you fit into a "suspect class" you have all the same fundamental rights that anyone else does. Being poor is not a suspect class (Rodriguez vs. San Antonio School District) but being gay is (Johnson vs. Texas).

That being said, this whole issue comes down to one simple question: is the right to marriage a fundamental right? If it is, it cannot be limited to certain people while excluding a suspect class. Virtually the entire history of Supreme Court case precedent from Brown vs Board of Education 1 & 2 establishes this basic fact.

So, IF marriage is determined to be a fundamental right, gays MUST be allowed to marry under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. If marriage is NOT a fundamental right, the states can restrict the right to marry as they see fit and regarding anyone.

However, there must be a RATIONAL BASIS for limiting such a right. This applies to all fundamental rights and the rational basis test has given way to another test called "strict scrutiny", in which the SC applies strict scrutiny on an individual basis to determine if there really is a compelling, rational basis for the limiting of a right.

In my opinion, there is no rational basis for marriage to be strictly between a man and a woman. Even conservative justices backed themselves into a corner regarding application of the Equal Protection Clause in Bush v. Gore. IF marriage is a fundamental right, then morality reasons alone do not suffice and never have since Brown 1 & 2. There is no rational basis in terms of the ability to reproduce because any straight couple who is incapable if having children can marry. An older couple beyond the child-bearing age can marry. A couple capable of having children but with no intention of having them can marry. There is no statute requiring childbirth to be a part of marriage. Furthermore, the whole "sanctity of marriage" argument doesn't hold water either since more than half of all marriages end in divorce. I would have a hard time imagining even Rehnquist (if he were alive) arguing around that one.


I actually agree with you 100% on this.

Let churches do what they want - if they don't want to allow gays to marry in their church, then that's fine, gays can't marry in their church. But given the tax advantages and statutory legal status/advantages that heterosexual couples enjoy, for the gov't to not allow it for homosexual couples is unconstitutional. I honestly cant understand why people don't acknowledge this.

"but MARRIAGE is for a MAN and WOMAN to produce CHILDREN". No, it really isn't. I was married in a civil service and NOWHERE on that license, certificate and/or vows were children mentioned.

"but it's not NATURAL". Actually, it is. Take a look at MANY other species in the animal kingdom and you will see plenty of examples of homosexuality/bisexuality/etc...

"but it's a SIN!". For YOUR religions beliefs it may very well be a sin. But luckily the CONSTITUTION recognizes MY RIGHT to believe in the Great Purple Spaghetti God and MY GOD says it's NOT a sin! And whether or not it's a sin or isn't HAS NO BEARING on the argument given the CLEAR separation of CHURCH and STATE. TWO DIFFERENT THINGS, PEOPLE!

"but it will DESTROY the institution of marriage!". No. It really won't. Heterosexual couples will STILL get married. If anything, no fault divorce, alimony and women bending men over and taking half their shit will destroy the institution of marriage (but we've already talked about that recently)

"but if same sex marriage is allowed, POLYGAMY and BESTIALITY will follow!". No. As long as marriage is defined as TWO CONSENTING ADULTS, we will be fine. And isn't there a CHRISTIAN sect that already preaches and (unofficially) practices polygamy? Watch that glass house...

"but same sex couples will be allowed to... ADOPT! <<>>". Yup. There are plenty of children that are ALREADY being raised by same sex couples, and they are doing JUST FINE. Despite our "T-Nation shenanigans", you can't really "catch the ghey".

Did I miss anything?

In 20 years we will all be looking back on this the same way we look back on inter-racial marriage. Sure there will be some people who are still opposed to it, but the LAW will have caught up with society and civil rights.

When it comes to consenting adults, I think the gov't needs to stay the fuck out of the bedroom.


One other thing: when Brown vs. Board of Education's opinion was delivered, it overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson entirely, which eliminated the entire concept of separate but equal. I'm sure that if the gay marriage issue ever found its way in front of the Court, this would be brought up regarding civil unions vs. marriage. Even if a civil union is entirely equal to marriage in everything but name (which it isn't anyways) it would still be unequal by virtue of being separate. This was the main crux of Earl Warren's opinion, delivered by a unanimous Court.


There's no reason to recognize their relationships. Why ask for unjustifiable discrimination?


Does homosexuality hold the cure for cancer or something? What am I missing? What critical, irreplaceable, function does homosexuality provide to humanity that a pair of drinking buddies doesn't? That a trio of bachelor roommate buddies don't provide? Seriously, you might as well be asking folks like me to get all weepy-eyed that we don't recognize polyamorous, or even non-sexual social partnerships as marriages. Down to 51% of adults being married, and we haven't made a big enough of joke out of marriage already?


Then why do you want the government to recognize their relationship outside of other human relationships (besides the status quo)?


Unless you have at least a basic working knowledge of the history of civil rights Supreme Court case precedent in this country, you are WAY out of your league here, pal.

This issue is strictly about the application of the Constitution as it concerns marriage. It isn't about gays at all. It's about a suspect class as defined by the Supreme Court, regardless of what that suspect class is, and their rights under the Equal Protection Clause. This is a constitutional issue first and foremost; it isn't about what the point of wanting equal protection under the law is or what motivation there may be for wanting the right to marry. This country is virtually defined by the language of the Constitution, and as such it is beyond imperative that the Constitution be applied in the correct manner.


Your other points aside, this particular claim always annoys the shit out of me. It is total and complete bullshit.

Yes, you can find examples of animals who mimic sexual acts or even attempt sexual acts with same sex members of their own specials or even other species. Pheromones, etc. trigger short term momentary impulses that lead to the acting out of sexual behavior. For a moment! The animals do not them go out and pick out a fucking China pattern together. They do not cohabit a nest, cave or din and decide to live out their lives together.

The whole difference between humans and animals is the ability to override impulse. Gay/homosexual marriage and long term cohabitation is not natural in the animal kingdom, much less in the human kingdom.


Of course it's natural. It's been going on amongst humans since the beginning of recorded history. Just because it isn't the norm doesn't make it unnatural. There are all sorts of things that people do and have been doing for centuries that isn't common but that is natural. I suppose it really just comes down to what one's definition of natural is. Birth defects are natural, psychological disorders are natural. In no way am I equating these two examples with homosexuality, by the way. I don't think it's a disorder or a birth defect.

The idea that it needs to be natural to be okay smacks of Jim Crow-era ignorance. It's the exact same argument used to justify banning interracial marriage and the separation of races in general. It's simply a convenient escape hatch for those who don't know where else to go.


Court precedent is a perversion of OUR constitutional republican form of government. In your "progressive" fluctuating kingdom of relativity, once a sitting court mangles the constitution, that deformity stands to future generations as what is itself "constitutional". Anyone who really believes that the intent of our founders was to approve same sex "marriage", the butchery of unborn children or a horrific socially and economically deleterious welfare state, is not only woefully deluded, but also deserves what's coming. Shoot, what's practically here.

Determining original intent is the stated function of the courts. Not playing pied piper by incrementally rewriting our history. Whatever league you're in. Ir isn't the American league.


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Here's one, homosexual relationships don't deserve the privilege of state recognized marriage over other forms of human relationships. The discrimination (yes, discrimination) isn't warranted. Homosexual relationships could vanish tomorrow and the world would pause, then have dinner as usual. Their relationships are no more special than a friendship. To suggest otherwise is bigotry.


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Original intent is one view of the interpretation of the Constitution (known as the Model One approach). The living document view is the other (Model Two approach). The only thing we really know about the original intent of the Founding Fathers is that the Constitution is the final arbiter in these matters, as interpreted by the judicial branch. Beyond that, it's a guessing game. What your argument boils down to is ridiculous.

What this all boils down to is what is and is not an integral, fundamental part of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". The right to privacy is not specifically enumerated to citizens within the Constitution, but I doubt that the authors of the Constitution meant to imply that privacy is not a fundamental right. And the Court has declared that it IS a right (Griswold vs. Connecticut). There is no right to education enumerated within it. There is no definition of what a person is in it. Many would argue, myself included, that the Constitution was purposely in such a vague manner so that the document would have the ability to grow/change with the times. I also highly doubt that the Founding Fathers intended to let individual states determine on their own who gets to be educated and who doesn't and I doubt they wanted to leave it up to the states to determine who is and is not a person. Shit, the word "privacy" is not to be found anywhere in the Constitution. By your line of logic you should have no right to privacy whatsoever. Are you ready for something like that?

The argument that the Court will hear if this sort of case ever finds its way to the Court is whether or not marriage is inherently part of liberty. If it isn't, then not only can gays have marriage taken from them, the states can restrict marriage to whomever they see fit. And taking your stunted view of the Constitution into account would mean that the state doesn't even need a compelling reason or a rational basis to do so.

If a purely Model One approach was taken by the Supreme Court blacks would have virtually no rights at all, women still wouldn't be allowed to vote and the govt, provided they have a rational basis to do so, could enter into your home and your private life whenever and wherever they saw fit.


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Can't find Johnson vs Texas - This is what I can find on homosexual "suspect class" status:

"In Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in its Findings of Fact commented that sexual orientation could be considered a suspect class but, on the facts presented Proposition 8 failed even to satisfy the much more deferential rational basis review. The U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska held the same in Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, but was reversed on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit."

So it's been ruled upon at the US Court of Appeals but has not been to the Supreme Court as far as I can tell. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeal decision should go to the Supreme Court because the original decision was correct.


Section I A. Persuasive Authority Unequivocally Supports the Conclusion That Homosexuals Are Not a Suspect Class.


Nor a "quasi suspect class."


That's what "marriage" is. It's a union between one man and one woman. To attempt to redefine it is an assault upon the institution itself and "straight" people.

What does Brown vs Board of Education have to do with gay "marriage" and homosexual "suspect class" status?

How are gay people being denied "equal protection under the law?" This has NOTHING to do with gay "marriage."

It is...

Or extend that "right" to gays, "differently gendered people," cats/dogs what have you. That's why marriage(and the family unit) must be protected from these attacks.

There is no basis for restriction. There should be NO restrictions on who can marry. Any man of age should be able to marry any woman of age so long as they both consent.

There is no rational basis for it.

Well this is where it starts to sound crazy. You see that's what "marriage" is. A union between a man and a woman. Why can't the "gay rights" lobby just leave it alone? Leave us alone.

None of that relevant. See above.


Restrict it? As in, like, to two individuals?


Thanks, I was scratching my head over this. I kept getting a case about flag burning upon searching for Johnson v. Texas. Nor could I find anything about the Supreme Court having determined that gays were a suspect class...What's up with this?


so "as short as" would be more accurate.