Come on Portman! Do What’s Right Because It Is Right And Not For Selfish Reasons

quote image of Rob Portman's quote on gay marriage

The big news in my area is that Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) has changed his mind and now supports gay marriage. He said he changed because his son came out as gay. Some people I know are jumping for joy over the news but I’m not impressed. Why is it that these conservative types seem to only change their mind when it actually affects their family? Why can’t they do what’s right because it is right and not for selfish reasons.

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Did NY same sex marriage proponents give away the farm with religious exemptions?

The good news is that the New York state legislature finally approved a law that will allow same sex marriage. The bad news is that in order for this great thing to happen, changes in the law will allow religious sects AND the non-church businesses they operate to discriminate against gays without any legal repercussions. In the zeal to get these new rights for the LGBT community, did proponents give away the farm?

From the NY Times:

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So when are we suppose to be protected from the tyranny of the majority?

The California State Supreme Court ruled today that Prop 8, which made gay marriage illegal, was a valid voter directed exception to their state’s equal protection law. It said it wasn’t rulling on whether the change was good for the people of the state but just if all the i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed legally. They said it had. So I guess as long as a majority follow the proper rules and processes they can decide what rights other minority groups have. Why does that seem wrong to me?

The ruling today sets out two items that caught my eye:

The 136-page majority opinion notes at the outset that the court’s role is not to determine whether Proposition 8 “is wise or sound as a matter of policy or whether we, as individuals believe it should be a part of the California Constitution,” but rather “is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values.” 

The opinion further emphasizes that the principal legal issue in this case is entirely distinct from the issue that was presented in the court’s decision last year in In re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal.4th 757. There, the court was called upon to determine “the validity (or invalidity) of a statutory provision limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman under state constitutional provisions that do not expressly permit or prescribe such a limitation.” In the present case, by contrast, the principal issue “concerns the scope of the right of the people, under the provisions of the California Constitution, to change or alter the state Constitution itself through the initiative process so as to incorporate such a limitation as an explicit section of the state Constitution.”

From the Judicial Council

What that means is the court only looked at the technical aspects of the Proposition, was the various rules and processes followed for the initiative.

Then court then rules:

The majority opinion next addresses and rejects the Attorney General’s claim that because article I, section 1 of the California Constitution characterizes certain rights including the right of privacy as “inalienable,” Proposition 8 is invalid because it abrogates such rights without a compelling interest. 

The opinion explains that not only does Proposition 8 not “abrogate” the aspect of the right of privacy discussed in the majority opinion in the Marriage Cases, but that the identification of a right as “inalienable” has never been understood to mean that such right is exempt from any limitation or to preclude the adoption of a constitutional amendment that restricts the scope of such a right. The opinion emphasizes that there is no authority to support the Attorney General’s theory.

So basically in California, if you can get enough people to agree with you, you could stop women from voting, blacks from living anywhere they choose, atheists from holding elected office, or allowing a newspaper to publish what it wants to.

One could say the majority couldn’t do those things and that probably is correct since many of things are protected rights under Federal law, but it highlights what can happen for those actions dimished by majority view that aren’t protected under Federal law like same-sex marriage. How about if there is a state law prohibiting red hair color, left hand users, or limits computer usage?

So why isn’t same-sex marriage protected from the tyranny of the majority? The California court said it is no different than heterosexual marriage only due to Prop 8 you can’t call it marriage.

How stupid is that? The court upholds the law to ban gay relationships from being called marriage yet says they still have the same rights as marriage and the ones that took place before November when the law passed are still valid.

That’s why I prefer the way the US Constitution is amended. The process can be complecated and hard but is less subject to knee-jerk reaction like the zelots who needed to impose their religion on others by not allowing other people to call their committed relationship – marriage.

Sometimes conservatives just don’t get it and it has nothing do with liberal elitism

I read the May 19th Cal Thomas column that appeared in the May 25th Dispatch (“Marriage Massachusetts-style“)

He comments that the so-called moral and cultural boundaries have been removed since the move to consumption and pleasure replaced restraint and acting on behalf of the general welfare after World War II. He thinks that the decision to allow same sex marriage in Massachusetts was just a wave in that movement.

I have not heard a single rational objective reason, from any conservative commentator, why there should not be same sex marriages allowed in this country. Hearing them drone on one would think that if heterosexual marriage was such a load bearing pillar of civilization there would be a good reason to keep gays out of it.

Instead we get the tired slippy slope that if same sex marriage is allowed then polygamy, incest, and statutory rape would be made legal. It is these tasteless conclusions Thomas would like you to draw from giving a group of people the right to marry.

The question has been about rights and who gets to establish those rights. I don’t have to read off the groups of people who have been denied their rights over the history of the country but the argument against giving those rights seem to always include the slippery slope doom and gloom collapse of civilization if those people are granted those rights.

Thomas, like many conservatives, claims that heterosexual marriage is an immutable truth. Immutable means unchangeable. But as marriage is a social construction, that has gone through many changes since it became part of human culture, Thomas’ claim is simply hot air.

The only part of his column that I sort of agree with is his statement:

If conservative religious people wish to exert maximum influence on culture, they will redirect their attention to repairing their own cracked foundation. An improved heterosexual family structure will do more for those families and the greater good than attempts to halt the inevitable.

Hypocrisy never wins an argument and religious conservatives who champion hetero marriage while having issues with divorce are being hypocritical. Several conservative Republicans, like Newt Gingrich, who have argued against gay marriage are on their second or third marriage.

Of course the result of fight on divorce has lead to draconian measures in at least one state where couples wanting to divorce are forced to try and save the marriage.

The political and religious Right are a bunch of hypocrites

In case you lived in a cave the past couple of weeks, some major civil disobedience has been going on in the city of San Francisco.

It seems the Mayor wants to marry gay couples even though there is a state law against marriage of same-sex couples. For the past couple of weeks, the city has been issuing marriage licenses and performing civil ceremonies for all gay couples who want one. Hundreds have lined up at city hall for the chance to thumb their noses at what they believe is an unjust law.

Civil disobedience is a time honored way to bring attention to unjust laws and actions. US history is full of risk takers. And it is a risk because while the attention is generated, the people who openly defy the law do get punished. Sometimes the law is then changed but that happens after many are put in jail and fined.

Hearing the complaints from the political and religious conservatives, one would think the Earth was about to imploded because of the Mayor’s action.

One such shrill outrage comes from the founder of the American Family Association, Donald E. Wildmon, who through his project sent the following e-mail on 2/19:

Anarchy is breaking loose across America

I know. The headline seems extreme. But the question isn’t if it is extreme, but is it true?

In San Francisco, the mayor has disobeyed the law and issued “marriage” licenses to homosexual couples. In Massachusetts, the state Supreme Court has ordered another branch of government “the Legislature” to pass a law making homosexual “marriage” legal.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has said he has no problem with breaking the law and is willing to issue “marriage” licenses to homosexuals. Who will be the next official willing to break the law?

It is time to contact your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators demanding that they act on this issue. Anarchy cannot and must not be allowed.

All have defied laws on the books prohibiting homosexual “marriages.” They have shown a total disregard for the law. They have refused to allow the people (that’s you) a voice or a vote on this issue. They consider themselves above the law.

Within weeks there will be lawsuits across the nation to force individual states (and you) to recognize these illegal “marriages.”

Unfortunately the same AFA group that is outraged that the city of San Francisco is breaking the law, saw nothing wrong when Judge Roy Moore defied a federal court order to remove a 10 Commandments monument he had placed in the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building.

Of course Conservatives also can be hypocrites when it comes to politics.

The Republican party and their apologists drone on about how President Bush’s dubious military service record is not important to his present duties. They say that “the American people” want to move on.

That type of response was missing when the President was Bill Clinton. They harped on how Clinton “dodged the draft” by going to Oxford in the UK. They complained he got special treatment. It is hypocritical of them now to ask people to ignore Bush’s special treatment especially because one of the leading Democratic candidates running for the office has a more distinguished service record. 3 purple hearts always beats flight training in the Champagne unit of the Texas National Guard.

Then there is the whole Iraq mess.

President Bush is ignoring calls to answer for his dubious reasons for invading Iraq. Republicans drone on about how Saddam was removed from power and that is far more important than how we did it.


Well they weren’t so forgiving when President Clinton bombed Sudan and Afghanistan and when the GOP tried to impeach him for lying about adultery.

President Clinton was the most investigated President in recent memory and now when Bush is in trouble for a worse infraction, lying to the public about why we had to invade Iraq in 2003, they want to deflect the needed investigation until after the elections.

How convenient.

Only 9 months left until there is a chance to clean house……