Gay Rights Debate Reaches the Supreme Court
by Jeremy Griffith
Have you noticed a strange symbol showing up on the Internet, especially Facebook? There is a red block with two pink horizontal and parallel bars showing up on FB to replace people’s profile pics. This symbol is an alteration of the more commonly seen emblem of the Human Rights Commission, an organization that supports gay rights, (normally seen as two gold parallel horizontal bars on a purple field). There is an article today in HuffPo that explains this very thing.
The reason for the promotion of this symbol is to show support for gay marriage nationwide as the controversial Proposition 8 is being discussed in the Nation’s Supreme Court. This California Law is the legally binding law, approved of by the voting public of California defining marriage as the relationship between one man and one woman, effectively banning the relationship of any other type.
Now, let’s get this straight, I am not in favor of gay marriage of any type, as I am a Christian and I believe in what the Bible has to say on this issue. I will never be in favor of gay rights per say. Whenever homosexuality or any sexual perversion is mentioned in the Bible, bad things happen, (regardless of straight or gay). But from a purely intellectual standpoint, I understand and respect what the gay lobby is trying to do.
Currently, no one is being treated substantially different under the current law of California. Gay people have the same rights as straight couples; they have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. Of course, that’s not what they want. What they want is special treatment to marry someone of the same sex, which is a special status not currently allowed.
Now from a strictly libertarian viewpoint, I don’t really care if gay people are allowed to get married or not. I don’t approve of that type of relationship, but who am I to judge my neighbor, as long as he is not picking my pocket or breaking my leg. I understand that the gay couple wants the same benefits from the government that I would get as a straight person, which include but are not limited to: a) passing on of employment benefits to a domestic partner, b) the privilege to adopt a child, c) the right to visit a sick domestic partner in the hospital without interference from other blood relatives.
These are admirable goals, which I think can be achieved outside of declaring sanction of gay marriage. Why shouldn’t gay couples have these benefits along with any straight couple? Clearly the states can enact specific laws regarding these very complex social issues.
Here is the slippery slop now. I work at the Mayo Clinic. Under current policy the Clinic accepts living wills or powers of attorney for patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and it tries to honor those. However, the Clinic will usurp that power of attorney or living will if a blood relative of the patient objects, negating the will of the patient. This is unacceptable whether we’re talking about straight or gay patients, this should not be. If I have gone through the effort to make my will known, why should anyone else, relative or not, be able to simply usurp my will while I lay helpless my deathbed? If you’re gay or straight, it doesn’t matter. Everyone should have their close friends by their side when dealing with a life-threatening or terminal disease. The right of the suffering patients should be considered above that of any other, period!
Obviously we should strengthen the force of powers of attorney and medical directives.
As for the adoption issue, I am fully in favor of letting gay couples adopt so long as social services is being involved. There is no evidence that I have seen that shows that a gay couple is any more or less prone to abuse a child than a straight family. I would rather see a child get a good home than remain wards of the state. Social service involvements can oversee parents, regardless of sexuality, to determine that the child is indeed being received by a safe and stable home.
Then there is the issue of employee and social services benefits. I am all in favor of employers extending benefits to same sex couples, but here again there is a slippery slope. Should the employer have to extend benefits to Muslim or Mormon families where there are multiple wives, multiplying the cost to the employer per the number of beneficiaries? Isn’t that discrimination? Is it fair to the employer?
I think that if we are going to recognize one type of relationship, then we are excluding the others. If we open up the definition of marriage, then we open a barrel of monkeys that will be hard to close. I believe that the employers should extend benefits to one spouse only, to the exclusion of relationships of multiple beneficiaries. But here is where the state can enact laws, with the consent of their citizens, to determine the details.
I have no objection to the individual states enacting laws that make sense to their voters. What I do object to is robed elites at the appellate and Supreme Court levels usurping the will of the voter. Let the people decide what’s best for them and let the courts mind their own business.
The only reason for the court involvement is that this loud and vocal minority cannot be satisfied and must usurp the will of the majority by going over their heads to the appellate and supreme courts. In my view, these courts have no authority to usurp these laws; their only jurisdiction is to determine whether the laws enacted are constitutional. I’ve read the constitution; I don’t think there is any reference there to marriage, gay or otherwise. The only logical decision the courts can do is kick back these lawsuits and let the legislatures do their jobs. But they won’t because there is a certain power and prestige that comes with the judge’s robe and they like to use it to their benefit. The minority concerns like the gay lobby make use of this fact. As long as judges are allowed to legislate from the bench, the will of the majority will be meaningless.
And why should the state be involved in endorsing marriage in the first place? Have we had enough of the nanny state as it is? Why should I as a single person be punished for remaining single while married people get tax breaks (or penalties in some states)? Isn’t this the federal government picking winners and losers? I have an idea, let’s treat everyone the same, with a flat income tax, starting at incomes of $20k or more that taxes everyone at the same rate. Wouldn’t that be fair? No winners or losers, everyone treated the same. Perhaps that’s an issue for another column.
All in all I believe this is a 10th Amendment issue. States have the right, with the consent of their citizens, to determine what laws to enact in their state, and as long as those laws don’t break the constitutional standard, they should remain issues of the state. Where the constitution is silent on an issue, so too should be the court.
I recognize there will be debate even among conservatives and libertarians in regard to this issue. I welcome polite interface with people of differing opinions. My friends at GOProud for instance might have a different take. I respect their opinion. It annoys me that my friend Jimmy LaSilvia and his organization were barred from attending CPAC. As a conservative, I think there is room for debate on these very controversial issues. What there isn’t room for in the Republican and Conservative circles is hatred and name calling. That is reserved for the lockstep Liberals and Progressives. It suits their narrow-mindedness and low tolerance.