MARRIAGE EQUALITY

The Supreme Court yesterday spoke to two cases, DOMA and California’s Proposition 8. Regarding DOMA the majority of the court held that the 14th Amendment was applicable in that a class of people in this case homosexuals had the right to equal protection of the law.

This was also an article IV situation in that the ” Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state.” Section II also states that, ” The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.”

Translated this means that if you have a law in a state and this case there are 12 states that currently provide for marriage equality that the other states have to recognize that marriage. Justice Kennedy spoke of how one group of citizens should not be treated different than an other and that they should therefore benefit from the equal protection of the law.

I find it amazing but understandable at how the decision on DOMA has stirred up so many emotions. Most of our lives we have only known of marriage as being between a man and a women. It will take some getting used to.

If one concludes that we all have the right to be happy, how can we find allow ourselves to be so upset at the prospect that those among us who live a different life style should not be happy as well. A successful marriage these days is problematic at best. A couple should have the right to be happy or to be unhappy, that should be their choice.

For many of our citizens their religious teachings have gone against the idea that marriage can be anything other than being between a man and a woman. Let us remember that our laws are not laws that come from the Bible they derive from the consent of the governed and from our Constitution. The origins of our laws do in fact come from English common law and Our President and representatives as well as the court swear an oath on the Bible to uphold the Constitution. Ours is a representative form of government, it is not a theocracy. We are ruled by the laws of men and not what some may view as God’s laws.

I had an interesting conversation with a woman yesterday who really believed that the decision yesterday was wrong. She thought that the statement from the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” meant that our laws come from God. She quoted Romans and swore that as a result of yesterday’s ruling our country was going to hell. Somehow she had gotten the idea that the Declaration was part of the Constitution and that because of the these truths that are mentioned that somehow our country was to be ruled by God’s truths.

Jefferson was speaking to the issue of breaking the bonds between the colonies and England. He based his statement on the Laws of Nature and God’s nature.

As far as I know God is not mentioned once in the Constitution. The founders protected our right to practice religion but they were wise enough to state that Congress was not to establish a religion.

Let us practice the words, Love thy neighbor as thyself and not judge a person’s morality. That is not our job. Let us live and let live and let couples enjoy their lives. Yesterday’s decision was not the end of the world. Let those who love each other do so with our respect and let us end the hate and fear.

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