Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Blowback: Nothing defensible about DOMA

Maya Rupert responds to our editorial, "Defense of Marriage Act: Attack the law, not the lawyer." She is the federal policy director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Click here for more information on Blowback, our forum for readers to respond, at length, to Times articles.

DOMA In its April 21 editorial, The Times argues in favor of Paul Clement's decision to defend Section 3 of the  Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, which discriminates against legally married same-sex couples by prohibiting the federal government from recognizing their marriages for any purpose. In the editorial, The Times  takes the curious step of extending the familiar maxim that "every person deserves a lawyer" to the more expansive "every position deserves a lawyer." The first is a fundamental right upon which we base our criminal justice system. The other is a fiction that mistakenly seeks to insulate a shortsighted law firm from criticism for its decision to defend a discriminatory law. 

As the editorial correctly points out, there is an honorable tradition of lawyers defending unpopular and controversial clients. Civil liberties organizations, for example, have repeatedly, and admirably, defended plaintiffs whose views they abhor (such as members of the Ku Klux Klan), in order to protect cherished principles like freedom of speech and assembly. In this case, there is no greater good, no cherished larger issue at stake; the only issue contested  is discrimination. There is no venerable tradition of lawyers defending laws that single out certain groups for discrimination.

DOMA forces the federal government to discriminate against same-sex married couples and to treat their families as unworthy of protection or respect. A law that serves only to designate some families as second-class citizens has no principled defense. Defending DOMA simply prolongs the harm to same-sex couples and their children. There is no countervailing good.  

A private lawyer is under no obligation -- from a state bar, pursuant to ethical rules, or out of respect for the adversarial process -- to defend an indefensible law. Those who choose to defend such a law do so at the peril of their reputations as fair-minded and just advocates. Clement has made a decision not just to stand on the wrong side of history but to lead the charge on that side and, sadly, to bring his law firm, King & Spalding, along with him. He is free to do so, but we should not pretend that decision represents a magnanimous fidelity to the adversarial process or to justice.

Throughout history, discriminatory laws have weakened our country's commitment to equality and fairness. Those laws have generally remained in effect until judges, lawyers and the public took a stand against them. And those powerful statements -- that people will no longer use their power or profession to foster discrimination and harm -- forced those viewpoints into the far fringes where they belong. There are moments in history where people are called upon to make such statements. This is one of those moments. King & Spalding had an opportunity to use its considerable power to further justice, not perpetuate discrimination. In declining to do so, it acted in a way that is indefensible.

--Maya Rupert

RELATED: 

Adoption made hard for gay couple

Respecting all marriages

Out front on gay rights

Same-sex weddings, now

In the Netherlands, gay marriage's anniversary

Blowback archive

Photo: Same-sex couple Nowlin Haltom, left, and Michael McKeon hold a sign calling for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act outside the county clerk's office in Los Angeles in February. Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images

 

Comments () | Archives (164)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Mark L Holland

Randy

Even if your God was real (Not Likely) your God gave mankind the gift of free will, and Christians do not have the authority to deny that free will to others.

Linguist

Randy E KIng wrote, "...My life is not controlled by what my reproductive organs rub up against."

With respect, neither is mine.

Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't you arguing that same-sex couples shouldn't be afforded the protections that opposite-sex couples are precisely BECAUSE you want laws based on what reproductive organs rub up against?

I mean no disrespect -really- but MY life isn't controlled by sex. I am in a very longterm, stable, committed relationship. As I wrote yesterday, making chicken soup for the person you love when he is sick isn't about "rubbing organs up against [each other].

Neither is buying a house together, sharing the mortgage and other bills, making medical, financial and life choices together.

I'd ask that we maintain a level of honesty in this discussion: I understand that you don't believe that the relationships of same-sex couples are the same or as important as your opposite-sex relationship is.

But there is simply no justification to distort the reality of good, decent and moral people's lives and committed relationships and reduce them to sex parts or sex acts.

Peace,
Linguist

Bob

To morenvi: they were married in Canada. How does that make them legally married?
The most disgusting thing about this is that Obama was for DOMA. And he was opposed to eliminating the abhorrent "death tax". So rather than doing something about a Republican adgenda item of estate taxes he changes his mind on DOMA!

Mark L Holland

Randy

There is nothing that supports or validates the bible as being anything other then a book of fiction. Quoting verses does nothing to validate the bigoted view of homosexuality. The words of a non existent god, have no power or authority.

CJ

It is unfortunate that so many Americans didn't learn from our days when we discriminated so openly against blacks. We created law upon law to disallow blacks the same rights as whites. Now, we are doing it with the gays vs straights. I just don't see how some people can continue to ignore the reality of how DOMA and other anti-gay laws are discriminatory AND unconstitutional.

The US Constitution, the law that is superior to DOMA, declares that minorities shall have equal protections. There is something called the Equal Protection Clause. Maybe some people should read it & maybe some people should re-read how many excuses were given when whites made so many laws against blacks years ago.

Thomas Alex

"Marriage - prior to 1997

The joining of opposites; as in (1) man and (1) woman
"

Actually the definition of marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. "The joining of opposites; as in (1) man and (1) woman" would be the extensional definition, which includes Gay marriage, Interracial marriage, Incestuous marriage, etc etc. The extensional definition of marriage is up to the culture and the society in which is lives. Multiple wives use to be legal in many southern states. Many countries still perform incestuous marriages, as well as multiple wives. So your claim before prior to "1997, was between opposites; as in (1) man and (1) woman is false and a lie.

Thomas Alex

"In addition to 11 District court rulings that each verified that procreation is a rational basis to limit the protections of marriage to (1) man and (1) women."

Again Randy. Then why not ban infertile couples and the elderly from marriage? Hasn't 18 Court rulings ruled the Marriage is the most fundamental right? The right to choose to marry.

Thomas Alex

Here's a federal court ruling for you.

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in
singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.
Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than
enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that oppositesex
couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California
has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and
because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its
constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis,
the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."

Thomas Alex

REMEDIES
Plaintiffs have demonstrated by overwhelming evidence
that Proposition 8 violates their due process and equal protection
rights and that they will continue to suffer these constitutional
violations until state officials cease enforcement of Proposition
8. California is able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex
couples, as it has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to samesex
couples and has not suffered any demonstrated harm as a result,
see FF 64-66; moreover, California officials have chosen not to
defend Proposition 8 in these proceedings.
Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the
Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of
judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the
official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and
directing the official defendants that all persons under their
control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8.
The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment without bond in favor of
plaintiffs and plaintiff-intervenors and against defendants and
defendant-intervenors pursuant to FRCP 58.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
VAUGHN R WALKER
United States District Chief Judge

Thomas Alex

So Randy, what about all the court rulings following up to Loving vs Virginia that said banning Interracial marriage did not violate their 14th Amendment rights?

Randy E King

Still not a single factual response; why am I not surprised? You folks entrust entirely to much faith in your religion of ignorance.

This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.

Benjamin Franklin

There happens to be no constitutional right to same-sex marriage; your 1997 redefining of the word marriage does not apply to prior rulings, which are anchored firmly on the definition of the words at the time of said ruling.

Must you folks pervert the world around you just to lend the appearance of acceptability to your depravity?

Marcos

Whenever someone mentions Leviticus I feel the best response is to re-post this letter to Dr. Laura regarding what Leviticus says about homosexuality:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.

Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

Homer Simpson-Caldwell

Please don't cherry pick your precious bible to justify bigotry and hatred against one group. It's all or nothing OK?

Thomas Alex

"Still not a single factual response; why am I not surprised? You folks entrust entirely to much faith in your religion of ignorance."

Well Randy, if you don't ask a question, you don't deserve a response!

Thomas Alex

"There happens to be no constitutional right to same-sex marriage; your 1997 redefining of the word marriage does not apply to prior rulings, which are anchored firmly on the definition of the words at the time of said ruling."

Ever hear of the 14th Amendment? Guess not.

Thomas Alex

Marriage is a Right, and the 14th Amendment says ALL rights must be Equally available. Are you so uneducated that you can't read the 14th Amendment?

Thomas Alex

"Must you folks pervert the world around you just to lend the appearance of acceptability to your depravity?"

Again, Randy. Your ignorance is a depravity. Are you denying the fact that you are Heterosexual? Heterosexuality and Homosexuality are both a Sexual Orientation, and both are 100% NATURAL. If you were as smart as you try to act, you would know that the WORLD does not work both ways, either BOTH Heterosexuals and Homosexuals chose, or no one chose.

Randy, are you saying you have never masturbated or engaged in oral sex? Both are a perverted act in the eyes of god.

Linguist

"Must you folks pervert the world around you just to lend the appearance of acceptability to your depravity?"

With respect, I don't think insulting the people you are engaging in discourse with is either necessary or particularly helpful.

I am more than willing to have a civil discussion with you. We can discuss our respective value systems, morality, what marriage is or should be about.

We can even discuss definitions-- having taught linguistics for many years, it's a topic near and dear to me.

But respectfully, telling someone who has been in a committed relationship for decades that he is "depraved" doesn't hack it. That's ad hominem, and a dialogue stopper.

Care to have a discussion? Or is this really just a way to beat up on people you don't understand?

Randy E King

When SCOTUS declared marriage to be a right the definition of the word marriage at the time of said ruling was exclusively "The joining of opposites."

Your 1997 expanded definition of the word "marriage" is not applicable to a 1967 ruling on marriage; it is a violation of intent. You cannot come in after the fact and redefine words then demand that the newly expanded definition of said word be applied to rulings handed down prior to...

The 14th amendment does not convey special rights based on the redefining of words; even the 14th amendment is anchored in the definition of the words used at the time of the adoption of said amendment.

The list of words you have perverted to lend the appearance of acceptability to your depravity continues to grows; by now you must have realized that you will have to redefine every word in the English language just to lend the appearance of acceptability to your activity, but these revision will not be applicable to rulings that where handed down prior to.

Perversion activists and their supporters hold their collective ignorance in high regards.

Randy E King

Pervert: An unusual or uncommon sexual act performed repeatedly (1400)

Performing a unusual sexual act a few times is not a perversion; adopting a unusual sexual act as a lifestyle is. I prefer to use well establish words as descriptive as opposed to referencing words recently revised in order to lend an appearance of acceptability to what has historically been viewed as a immoral act.

Every word matters and not just the words that appear to give your arguments merit when taken out of context.


Thomas Alex

"When SCOTUS declared marriage to be a right the definition of the word marriage at the time of said ruling was exclusively "The joining of opposites.""

FALSE. No where in the ruling do they state "The joining of opposites."

Nice try though.

Thomas Alex

"The 14th amendment does not convey special rights based on the redefining of words; even the 14th amendment is anchored in the definition of the words used at the time of the adoption of said amendment."

Randy you are so ignorant its hard to read what you type. "14th amendment is anchored in the definition of the words used at the time of the adoption of said amendment." And what is the definition of the word "Equal"?

Thomas Alex

"Performing a unusual sexual act a few times is not a perversion; adopting a unusual sexual act as a lifestyle is. I prefer to use well establish words as descriptive as opposed to referencing words recently revised in order to lend an appearance of acceptability to what has historically been viewed as a immoral act."

Homosexuality is not an unusual sexual act or a lifestyle. This is PROVING FACT, that you refuse to listen to. So YOU are the one the is wrong. "historically been viewed as a immoral act."" Again Randy, where? Show us some facts?

Thomas Alex

What is sexual orientation?

Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex. However, sexual orientation is usually discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to members of the other sex), gay/lesbian (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to members of one's own sex), and bisexual (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to both men and women). This range of behaviors and attractions has been described in various cultures and nations throughout the world. Many cultures use identity labels to describe people who express these attractions. In the United States the most frequent labels are lesbians (women attracted to women), gay men (men attracted to men), and bisexual people (men or women attracted to both sexes). However, some people may use different labels or none at all.

Sexual orientation is distinct from other components of sex and gender, including biological sex (the anatomical, physiological, and genetic characteristics associated with being male or female), gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female),* and social gender role (the cultural norms that define feminine and masculine behavior).

Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as if it were solely a characteristic of an individual, like biological sex, gender identity, or age. This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is defined in terms of relationships with others. People express their sexual orientation through behaviors with others, including such simple actions as holding hands or kissing. Thus, sexual orientation is closely tied to the intimate personal relationships that meet deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy. In addition to sexual behaviors, these bonds include nonsexual physical affection between partners, shared goals and values, mutual support, and ongoing commitment. Therefore, sexual orientation is not merely a personal characteristic within an individual. Rather, one's sexual orientation defines the group of people in which one is likely to find the satisfying and fulfilling romantic relationships that are an essential component of personal identity for many people.

Thomas Alex

What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?

There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

Randy E King

The 14th amendment expressly states that you cannot be denied equal treatment “without due process of law.”

Translation: equal rights can be denied under due process of law

You are guaranteed equal access; not equal treatment.

Thomas Alex

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

"nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Equal protection of the laws, doesn't get any clearer than that.

Thomas Alex

"The 14th amendment expressly states that you cannot be denied equal treatment “without due process of law.”

Translation: equal rights can be denied under due process of law

You are guaranteed equal access; not equal treatment."

And per the due process of the law, banning Gay marriage has been found unconstitutional. Thanks for helping the playing.

Thomas Alex

"nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

And denying Interracial couples was found unconstitutional as has denying Gay Marriage.

Randy E King

Asking a same-sex enthusiast if they recall making a choice is just like asking an illegal immigrant if they made a choice; the answer will always be no because there happens to be no benefit to the individual to say yes.

You have absolutley no imperical science to substantiate your rediculous assertions, only the stated opinion of people who have something to gain - like some corrupt appointed pervert attorney from California.

Thomas Alex

"Asking a same-sex enthusiast if they recall making a choice is just like asking an illegal immigrant if they made a choice; the answer will always be no because there happens to be no benefit to the individual to say yes.

You have absolutley no imperical science to substantiate your rediculous assertions, only the stated opinion of people who have something to gain - like some corrupt appointed pervert attorney from California."

You are on the wrong side of history my friend. You can spur your hate and ignorance all you want, but you will be left behind. "Asking a same-sex enthusiast if they recall making a choice," answer me this, do you recall making a choice?

Thomas Alex

"You have absolutley no imperical science to substantiate your rediculous assertions, only the stated opinion of people who have something to gain - like some corrupt appointed pervert attorney from California."

Randy, STOP talking and read the FACTS! Oh wait, were you talking about the FACT there is no proof of god?

Thomas Alex

You call the appointed attorney hired by Bush, a pervert?

Thomas Alex

"illegal immigrant if they made a choice"

Um if they snuck into this country illegally, of course it was a choice. You are so ignorant.

Randy E King

11 higher courts; in addition to the the Supreme Court of the United States, have ruled that limited marriage to (1) man and (1) woman is not unconstitutional, that procreation is a rational basis.

Them there are the facts

You have one lower court pervert jurist rule that there is no difference in marriage between same-sex and opposite sex couples; that a child does not need a mother and a father and you have the nerve to declare victory. Only in the world of same-sex enthusiasts is a tainted 1-12 disadvantage considered a repudiation to 250 years of historical fact.

Thomas Alex

"11 higher courts; in addition to the the Supreme Court of the United States, have ruled that limited marriage to (1) man and (1) woman is not unconstitutional, that procreation is a rational basis.

Again, Randy. Then ban infertile couples and elderly from marriage.

Excuse me Randy, "the Supreme Court of the United States, have ruled that limited marriage to (1) man and (1) woman is not unconstitutional, " The SCOUTS has not gotten a case on Gay marriage. You are making stuff up now. The Supreme Court of the United States has never ruled on limiting marriage to (1) man and (1) woman!

Thomas Alex

When Perry vs Schwarzenegger reaches the United States Supreme Court, it will be the first case for Gay marriage to ever reach it. And they will rule that banning Gay marriage is unconstitutional like they did 44 years ago on bans on Interracial marriage. But ignorant American's like Randy, will continue to sputter their hate and ignorance. In 2 to 3 years, Gay marriage will be legal nation wide, and all this will be another chapter in the history books.

Thomas Alex

"You have one lower court pervert jurist rule that there is no difference in marriage between same-sex and opposite sex couples; that a child does not need a mother and a father and you have the nerve to declare victory."

A child dose not need a mother and a father, that has already been proving. Children grow up just as good in Gay families as they do in Straight families. I bet you were also the ones that said children deserve a white father and a white mother huh?

Thomas Alex

"You have one lower court pervert jurist rule that there is no difference in marriage between same-sex and opposite sex couples; that a child does not need a mother and a father and you have the nerve to declare victory."

A child dose not need a mother and a father, that has already been proving. Children grow up just as good in Gay families as they do in Straight families. I bet you were also the ones that said children deserve a white father and a white mother huh?

Thomas Alex

You do know that Homosexuality has been documented in over 1400 species in nature right? Sure sounds natural to me.

JeffreyRO5

Can someone please explain to me how giving straight married couples federal benefits and protections, but not giving gay married couples those same federal benefits and protections, serves some public interest? Whether you like gay people or not, or want them to be married or not, it seems like the federal government is acting like a spoiled brat, ready to take his marbles home because something is occurring that he doesn't like.

If a state says you're a married couple, why does the federal government get to have an opinion on the matter? Can the federal government decide to not give marriage rights and benefits to black couples or mixed-race couples? What about infertile or elderly couples? Then why single out gay married couples?

Linguist

"Asking a same-sex enthusiast if they recall making a choice is just like asking an illegal immigrant if they made a choice; the answer will always be no because there happens to be no benefit to the individual to say yes."

Actually, I don't think it much matters.

But I will say this: when I hear or read someone assert that I "chose" to be gay, I have this jaw-dropping reaction, as if I had just been told I had "chosen" to have brown eyes or "chosen" to be allergic to shrimp.

It's that odd a statement. So regardless of whether other people believe you, you'd have quite a task to explain to me how it is that you know I "chose" to be gay when it runs so entirely counter to my own personal experience.

After all, I was "there" the entire time, and spent several decades of my life trying to make sense of why I was gay and what to do about (including a long period when I was determined to "choose" to be heterosexual). ;-)

Peace.

Thomas Alex

Whether Straights or Gays chose to be the way they are is besides the point. The courts have ALREADY ruled the choice to marry or not marry is one of the most fundamental rights Americans have. Choosing to be different does not constitute a denial of Equal rights under the US Constitution.

semyon_suslov

14th Amendment - U.S. Constitution

"Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

In saying that same-sex couples should have the same rights and privileges as heterosexual ones, proponents of same-sex marriage (SSM), cite the 14th Amendment as justification. I agree that the 14th Amendment is applicable to this argument but not as justification for SSM. Rather, the 14th Amendment is a powerful argument against bestowing homosexual couples such rights and privileges.

The reason has to do with the phrases, "...without due process of law..." and the “…equal protection of the laws.” The whole purpose of law is to govern human behavior for the benefit of the individual and society. Thus, law prohibits, limits, or encourages different behaviors, based on their merits or lack of them. Merits, in turn, are based on objective facts – not feelings without facts. For example, facts prove that some behaviors furnish positive benefits to individuals and society, and should, therefore, be encouraged with financial and legal benefits. Examples in this first category would include going to college, starting a business, buying a home, giving to charities, and entering into heterosexual marriage. Other behaviors have the potential for harm but banning them would cause an undue burden on personal liberty. So, we limit these behaviors to consenting adults. Examples in this second category would be smoking, drinking, gambling, and human sexual relations outside marriage. Finally, some behaviors are so egregious that we prohibit them. Examples in this third category would be the taking of life or property.

So law isn't based solely on what people want. It's also based on the people or their representatives objectively reviewing facts to indicate why a law is justified or not. This is the “...due process of law…” mentioned in the 14th Amendment. In accordance with this process and the facts (science) show that homosexual behavior (not the urge for this behavior, which is the driving force for the behavior) falls within the second category of human behavior.(1) It does so because homosexual behavior is associated with serious bodily damage, disease, instability of commitment, and infidelity.

For these reasons, passing Referendum 71 is wrong, because it mischaracterizes same-sex behavior. The referendum does so by erroneously placing same-sex behavior in the first behavioral category – one that’s beneficial to the individual and society and, therefore, one that’s deserving of encouragement through the rights and privileges mentioned above. Clearly, in accordance with the facts, society shouldn’t encourage same-sex behavior, especially since its origin is at least partially external (like ones peer group, family, and society) and only partially biologic or genetic. Consequently, a society that promotes same-sex behavior through SSM will encourage those who wouldn’t otherwise engage in homosexual behavior to do so.

For every other external factor, like this one, we’ve recognized their ability to influence problematic behaviors and have, therefore, taken measures to limit them. For instance with smoking, which is subject to peer and societal influences, we’ve stopped advertising that might encourage it. Yet for another unhealthy behavior – same-sex behavior - which is also subject to peer and societal influences, some want to do the exact opposite and encourage it with SSM or other forms of gov't recognition and incentives. This view is not only contradictory but it’s also blatantly hypocritical and without merit of any kind.

Indeed, with respect to SSM, the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment is clear. We cannot say that one unhealthy behavior (smoking) deserves no encouragement, while another unhealthy behavior (same-sex behavior) does. Hence, for this reason and all the others mentioned above, an intellectually-honest and clear-thinking person has only one decision to make. That decision is to vote no on any law permitting gov't recognition of SSM or some lesser form of same-sex relationships.

(1) - http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HTB4W4CSYDBWN6R2D5ESTASCUQ/blog/articles/270046?listPage=index.

Linguist

"For God’s sake; these perverts are demanding state sponsored access to other peoples children."

I see you are interested neither in truth nor in debate.

Sad, really. Life is too short to waste on empty schoolyard fighting.

Take care.

Mike Cullinan

"Applying the 14th Amendment makes Gay marriage a legal right."

"If marriage is a right, it has to be applied Equally per the 14th Amendment. You can't have it both ways, either the US Constitution applies to ALL Americans or it applies to none."

"And they will rule that banning Gay marriage is unconstitutional like they did 44 years ago on bans on Interracial marriage. But ignorant American's like Randy, will continue to sputter their hate and ignorance. In 2 to 3 years, Gay marriage will be legal nation wide, and all this will be another chapter in the history books."

(Sigh) So much ill-informed opinion out there, so little space and time.

The courts have already ruled, and quite extensively so, that gay marriage is a novelty, not a right.

"In the nearly one hundred and fifty years since the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted, to our knowledge no Justice of the Supreme Court has suggested that a state statute or constitutional provision codifying the traditional definition of marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause or any other provision of the United States Constitution."

" Indeed, in Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810, 93 S.Ct. 37, 34 L.Ed.2d 65 (1972), when faced with a Fourteenth Amendment challenge to a decision by the Supreme Court of Minnesota denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple, the United States Supreme Court dismissed "for want of a substantial federal question." 871*871 (Emphasis added.) There is good reason for this restraint. As Judge Posner has observed:"
Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning

" . . .we are not persuaded that plaintiffs have established beyond a reasonable doubt that it is irrational for the Legislature to preserve the historic legal and cultural understanding of marriage (seeHernandez v Robles, supra at 105). "
Samuels v. State Health Dept.


"The right to marry is unquestionably a fundamental right (Loving, 388 US at 12; Zablocki v Redhail, 434 US 374, 384 [1978]; Cooper, 49 NY2d at 79). The right to marry someone of the same sex, however, is not "deeply rooted"; it has not even been asserted until relatively recent times. The issue then becomes whether the right to marry must be defined to include a right to same-sex marriage."
Hernandez v Robles

"For the foregoing reasons, we hold that the fundamental right to marry protected by our federal and state constitutions does not encompass the right to marry a same-sex partner. "
Standhardt v. Superior Court

"Baker is of paramount importance because a state court judgment prohibiting two people of the same sex from marrying each other was appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court on various constitutional grounds, including due process and equal protection. The High Court dismissed the appeal for want of a substantial federal question. Such a dismissal is an important adjudication on the merits. The effect of such a dismissal is explained by the Supreme Court in another case, Hicks v. Miranda, 422 U.S. 332, 344, 95 S.Ct. 2281, 2289, 45 L.Ed.2d 223 (1975), and the explanation given there makes it clear that such a dismissal is a holding that the constitutional challenge was considered by the Supreme Court and rejected as insubstantial. The Court goes on to say in Hicks v. Miranda that lower courts are bound by such a holding of insubstantiality."
Adams v. Howerton

(Notice that a claim that denial of SSM is a violation of equal protection was rejected by the Supreme Court, and that this is binding on lower courts)

"Thus, the Supreme Court, five years after it decidedLoving, determined that that case did not support an argument by same-sex couples that precluding them from marrying violated the Fourteenth Amendment. In light of this precedent, the Plaintiffs have not made a Fourteenth Amendment argument in this case. "
Morrison v Sadler

There's more cases than that. A few have gone the other way, but by far the majority have ruled that one cannot assert a brand new "right."

As the justices noted, a right has to be rooted in the tradition and history of this country. One cannot suddenly pull a "right" out of thin air one day and insist that it has always been contained in the Constitution, although hidden and unknown.

JerryR

I'm fairly certain that the argument is not that the DOMA is uncontitutional because it denies gay people the right to marry.

The argument is that DOMA dicriminates against gay people who are ALREADY legally married by there state. States issue marriage licenses, not the Fed,..the Fed defers to the state's decision for all other cases of marriage except for this. It is purposely singled out.

Randy E King

"I'm fairly certain that the argument is not that the DOMA is unconstitutional because it denies gay people the right to marry."

This whole argument is grounded squarely in Rational Basis v. Heightened Scrutiny. Same sex enthusiasts are demanding that all cases concerning same-sex practitioners be judged under higher scrutiny; thus placing sexual activity on the same footing as Race, Religion, and Gender.

There are four hurdles one must clear before they are awarded heightened scrutiny; same-sex enthusiasts have managed to clear one, but the other three would require their activity being declared innate - born that way

The second our representatives band as one to declare same-sex activity as innate the 1st Amendment will fall; those representatives that have made such ridiculous assertions to date have all but announced that they are traitors to our nation - are you listening Mr. Obama?

Beegbolt

It is HIGHLY unintelligable to think that being homosexual is only an "activity". Does that go for all heterosexuals that have sex with the opposite gender? You just "choose" to make love to the opposite sex? Such irrational thinking. An orientation is part of who we are. We all desire to fall in love, find a lifetime companion, etc... We are not a "behavior". Think a little more "outside the box".

Randy E King

"It is HIGHLY unintelligable to think that being homosexual is only an "activity"."

Please provide a single piece of empirical scientific evidence in support of your clams; I have looked, but have not located any. Our entire civilization is dependant upon opposite-sex relations and the children these relationships create; the only thing a same sex relationship has ever created is a nasty stain.

LandStander

I thought this was awesome, and everyone seemed happy to ignore its implications. So here is a re-post!

Whenever someone mentions Leviticus I feel the best response is to re-post this letter to Dr. Laura regarding what Leviticus says about homosexuality:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.

Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

Homer Simpson-Caldwell

Please don't cherry pick your precious bible to justify bigotry and hatred against one group. It's all or nothing OK?

 
« | 1 2 3 4 | »

Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video


Categories


Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »

Archives
 


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



In Case You Missed It...