Published: Sunday, June 29 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
Reasonable people certainly can have good-faith disagreements. But the wave of
judicial decisions over the last year suggest that one side's
reasonableness is doing far better than the other's.
From Wikipedia: When courts engage in "rational basis review," only the
most egregious enactments – those not rationally related to a legitimate
government interest – are overturned.The Ninth said it was
animus. The Tenth, more politely, said maybe it wasn't animus but that
there isn't any rational reason for this law. Rational basis is the lowest
level of scrutiny used, it doesn't even need the targets of the law to be
identified as a special class needing protection. We can split
wording hairs all day, but the reality is that the two decisions appear to have
been reached by logic that is close and comparable. As for the poll?
"...only 48 percent in favor of gay marriage..." Really? Almost half is
"only"? Margin of error? Compared to other polls? And, since when are
civil rights put to a vote?
There are significant concerns with courts deciding matters best left to the
representative branches of government. There are no concerns on my part,
however, with courts protecting individual rights when representative branches
of government try to usurp them. Reasonable people can have good faith
disagreements, to be sure. So you're going to have to be reasonable when
same sex marriage prevails.
The conclusion makes no sense to me. If a Court believes the 14th Amendment
applies to same sex marriage, it does not have the option to defer to state
legislatures or state constitutional amendments. Courts don't choose which
cases come before them (except Supreme Courts, which may decline certiorari).
It's the court's job to decide issues, even when the decisions are
hard or controversial. That's part of our democracy, too.
"…same-sex marriage is a complex, sensitive, and difficult subject
about which reasonable people can have good-faith disagreements."The problem, though, is that there is nothing "reasonable" about the
anti-SSM argument. Its basis is a religious belief that SSM is harmful, yet
this claim has been all but given up in the legal realm. Note this op-ed's
silence on the subject. And Judge Kelly, the lone dissenting voice so far, says
only that it's possible for the State to believe that hetero households are
best for children. "Possible to believe" v. "we know this to be
true." That's a pretty weak hook on which to hang your hat. In
contrast, proponents have demonstrated a multitude of evidence that harm arises
from discriminating against gay couples and their families.I do give
SSM opponents the benefit of the doubt that their objections are in good faith.
I believe they mean no harm (even though this IS the effect, and the State
concedes this). But I cannot agree that opponents' claims and concerns are
reasonable. The evidence simply demonstrates otherwise. Faith is the only
thing obscuring this truth.
Nice try Michael, however you are simply wrong. The bigots who opposed
inter-racial marriage and extending civil right protections to minorities in the
50's-60's wanted to believe that they also were "reasonable"
people. However, they were wrong and history proved them to be wrong. The
bigots of today want to hang their hat on their "religious" belief,
however, religion cannot be used as a shield. As an attorney, I am surprised
that you fail to address the fact that the overwhelming number of Constitutional
scholars, even the most conservative, freely admit that opponents of marriage
equality are fighting an uphill battle even under a rational basis analysis.
You might want to pretend that the war is not over (why do you point to an
outlying pool when the vast majority of polling out there say the exact
opposite)...and you may try to convince the few desperately clinging on that the
battle isn't over. But as Scalia said in his vitriolic dissent, the
writing is on the wall.
This column is revealing. After going winless at the federal court
level, Equality opponents now are counting on a divided Supreme Court either
giving them victory, or the basis for undermining the ruling (because it would
be 5-4). Then they go on to undermine federal judges ruling on social issues,
accusing them of not following law. If the Supreme Court rules
against SSM, 5-4, the proclamation would be we need to support court decisions.
Reasonable, indeed.The assertion is made that SSM is not at all like
Loving V Virginia, which overturned bans on interracial marriage. Anyone with a
sense of social dynamics and history knows better. Exposing this lie are the
arguments used in court to oppose SSM. It's the very same arguments,
almost verbatim! If the cases are all decided one way, the Supreme
Court may not even hear the case, as there would be nothing coming up from the
appellate level for them to resolve. If this were to occur, or the Supreme
Court was split 6-3 or 7-2, opponents of Equality would be even more defiant and
Nice job cherry picking poll results. You state that only 48% support gay
marriage. What you conveniently failed to disclose it that poll was people 65
Ericksons - I always appreciate your reasonable and conversational approach to
this topic, even while I disagree.You've argued that those in favor
of equal rights for gay people should gently persuade, rather than punish, those
who oppose them. I agree.However, I unfortunately don't see you
applying this reasoning to your own position. You believe that a majority of
citizens should be able to use legal means, without judicial review, to withhold
rights and benefits from minorities who they disagree with in order to
incentivize them away from choices you regard as sinful. That same-sex
relationships are sinful is your "end in mind," and opponents of SSM
have shown that they will use any argument, even false arguments, and any legal
means to reach that end. The entire basis of opposition to SSM is to try to
maintain a stigma about gay people and make sure their lives are not normalized
or tolerated. You think this will keep young people from "turning" gay.
I think the strategies employed by opponents of gay rights will turn young
people, especially LGBT people and those who know them, away from conservative
religions. I think this is a shame.
Those opposing SSM do so due to religious beliefs regarding homosexual conduct
and/or their personal revulsion toward it. There are no OBJECTIVE reasons to
oppose it. Opponents have tried to justify their position by saying that kids
would fare better in a traditional home. The studies indicate that that
isn't true, but even if it were, we know that denying those kids the legal
rights and protections received from having parents who are legally married
OBJECTIVELY harms them. Whether or not SSM becomes legal, SS couples will
continue to raise children and those children are harmed by SSM bans. No child
is helped, yet plenty are harmed.Opponents try to rationalize their
position by saying that marriage benefits are about procreation, which benefits
society. Yet gay couples, like many traditional ones, use artificial means to
bear children. We also know that many traditional couples (re)marry well beyond
childbearing age. Why should those couples be given marriage's legal
benefits if they aren't fulfilling the rationale (procreation) for granting
them?Good people can disagree, but when they evaluate the above,
they realize that there is no rational objection that justifies denying SSM.
Reasonable discussions mean that we actually listen to each other.
Unfortunately, I don't see that happening very often on these boards. A
reasonable discussion also means that we seek to understand one another, and
that also doesn't occur with much frequency. When we truly
listen to reason, we check out the sources that the other party provides, and we
then search our minds and our hearts to see if the words and ideas that have
been shared make sense. Being reasonable means that we need to take a hard look
at our actions to see if what we say and do actually cause harm to others. If
the answer is yes, then a reasonable person will make those tough decisions to
change--even at the expense of offending others who they see to be authority
"Reasonable people can have good-faith disagreements"---
Good-faith disagreements don't include taking away someone else's
rights.--- “animus” doesn't necessarily mean
hatred. "That’s significant in light of the bullying of
Brendan Eich, former Mozilla CEO, who was pressured to resign for his support of
Proposition 8. "--- LGBT citizens can STILL be fired in Utah,
simply for being gay. Until you address that elephant in the room, Brendan Eich
is meaningless. "Regrettably, Wednesday’s opinion by the
10th Circuit continues to make inaccurate comparisons to interracial
marriage"--- Actually the comparison is 100% accurate.@Jenet and Michael Erickson;"it continues to be an issue best
resolved through deliberative, representative branches of government. "Do your rights get to be deliberated? No? Then neither should those of
The Politico poll was broken down by age, and while it is true that overall
support for marriage equality is 48%, among those under the age of 35 it's
61% -- and that's only going to go up.
And the Missouri Mobs were in the majority, and the KKK and lynch mobs in
the South were in the majority, It doesn't [shouldn't]
matter what whatever cherry-picking poll you site, Constitutional rights
apply to ALL citizens -- if when it's ONE vs. the 349,999,999Amendment 3 was struck down not for banning SSM, but by banning
any and all Constitutional Equal rights being established otherwise in any other
fashion, or by any other name.All-or-Nothing means - All-or-Nothing.
After starting things like Prop 8 and Amendment 3 and losing 20 Federal Court
rulings in a row - Now they want to call it "good-faith disagreement."
Effective discussion requires sincerely seeking understanding and dealing with
the difficult and complex realities.I lost respect and patience for the
opponents of same-sex marriage in Utah, including this paper, this week when
they promoted an event called "From Gay to Straight" with
"ex-gay" activist Janet Boynes. They said it would "cut through the
confusion."The strategy: To minimize the experience of SSA, they
showcased a former drug dealer and bisexual who has become an Evangelical and
calls herself straight because she no longer has relationships with other women.
Based on her experience, they say the "truth" is that SSA is caused by
childhood trauma and anyone can change from gay to straight through faith-based
therapy.Conveniently, this "truth" is perfectly designed to
support their political goals with the least amount of cognitive dissonance.Never mind that their "truth" contradicts science, mental health
understanding, and the experiences of millions of LGBT people. Excuse them for
playing fast and loose with facts and vocabulary. Don't worry that they
proclaim certainty about things that even LDS church leaders have said are
complex and uncertain. Never mind it seems, anyone but themselves and their
Don't know about the poll cited here, but Gallup says 52% of Americans
support SSM as of today. That's a majority. And if you break it down
further, you'll find that only the elderly white population now opposes it
in any numbers.
When you say "supporters of traditional marriage," that's really
code for "opponents of marriage for gay people." Claiming support of
something is totally disingenuous. No one is opposing marriage for
"traditional" couples. Marriage for these couples is not under threat
and doesn't need a clarion call for support. No, you're opposing
something, specifically equal rights for same-sex couples. Cloaking your
opposition in verbiage that "supports" something is essentially
dishonest.By the way, today was the giant NYC gay pride march. More
churches and religious organizations than ever participated. I counted 21
distinct organizations. More and more followers of Christ are following His
message of Equality and Peace. Your church's doctrine of condemnation and
exclusion is your church's and you're welcome to it, but don't
expect others to follow after they've truly understood His message of Love.
The notion that the populace can express its disapproval of a minority, or
animus, or religious objections via a popular vote that is violation of the US
Constitution turns the idea of Constitutional government on its head. The
Judiciary is charged with interpreting law, and its compliance with
Constitutional principles. In this way we are all protected from the tyrannies
of the majority. And this issue dramatically demonstrates the very notion.
The vast majority of judges, both right wing and left, have found the Utah style
prohibition of same sex marriage unConstitutional.That this paper
still holds that the vote of the people of Utah to take away the ability of same
sex couple to have the same rights, responsibilities and privileges as their
heterosexual siblings is unintelligible. It has been demonstrated that same sex
couples are a distinct minority who have been discriminated against for no good
rational reason. The preponderance of evidence offered by those against same
sex marriage was either religious or based on false information. I
wonder just what part of "equal protection under the law" is so hard to
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