Saturday, March 02, 2013

Washington Post: Gay Marriage = Equal Treatment Under the Law

The verdict is out and among all legitimate experts (i) homosexuality is a normal form of sexuality for a portion of the population, (ii) it is not a "choice" and (iii) it is not changeable despite the claims of witch doctor like "ex-gay" ministries.  Some of us a simply drawn romantically and sexually to those of our own gender and trying to deny this reality can and does cause emotional and psychological problems not to mention lead failed marriages between gay and straight spouses.  Yet in the Christofascist briefs filed with the U. S. Supreme Court, the argument is made that there is no discrimination involved in forcing gays to marry straights.  It's the all too typical batshitery of those who ultimately seek to punish gays for their refusal to live their lives according to Christofacists' fear and hate based religious beliefs.  It also underscores the reality that the Christofascists don't give a rat's ass about the straight spouses in these doomed marriages or the children who will grow up in families very likely to fail.  It is, in the last analysis, all about Christofascists forcing their toxic beliefs on gays.  In its main editorial, the Washington Post accepts true reality and opines that gay marriage is all about equal treatment under the law for those who through no fault of their own are born gay.  Here are excerpts:

IN A BRIEF FILED Thursday with the Supreme Court, the Obama administration didn’t quite argue that the Constitution’s equal-protection clause guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. But Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. came awfully close.

Mr. Verrilli’s brief asks the high court to repudiate Proposition 8, a California ballot measure barring same-sex marriage that voters passed in 2008. Since California offers same-sex couples in domestic partnerships all the substantive rights and responsibilities of marriage between a man and a woman, denying the dignity of the term to gay men and lesbians can obviously serve no important governmental purpose, he argues. Prop 8 is therefore particularly offensive to the 14th Amendment. If the court accepts this line of reasoning, seven states with similar legal provisions could also see their bans on same-sex marriage eliminated.
It also dismantles the claims of Prop 8’s backers, who say that marriage is primarily about the capacity to procreate, justifying differential treatment. The brief points out that marriage is about far more; otherwise, states would be allowed to deny marriage rights to sterile or older couples.

These arguments apply to any state that restricts same-sex marriage, not just to those with strong domestic-partnership laws such as California. They are also persuasive. Yet the brief stops just short of calling for a sweeping, 50-state ruling. 

[O]n an issue of basic civil rights, halfway is ultimately legally and morally unsatisfying. Mr. Verrilli deserves credit for couching the administration’s understandable caution in legal principle. Still, it has shortcomings; it could, perversely, encourage other states to avoid offering same-sex couples legal protections short of marriage, in case the federal courts would then force them to take the last step. And if the court agrees that discrimination against gay men and lesbians deserves heightened constitutional scrutiny but stops short of a 50-state ruling, how could it justify any marriage ban?  The answer is that, after more hard work in courtrooms and on Election Days, none can or should exist in a nation that cherishes equal treatment under the law.

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