Should it be an Issue”
The Supreme Court will meet tomorrow, Friday, November 30th, 2012, to decide if it will hear cases involving same sex marriage. After the election earlier this month, 9 states have decided to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Seven cases have been presented to the Court, and they will have to decide how many of them are protected by the Constitution or are not.
The theme of the Constitution is equality, and the majority of these cases center on equal protection under the law. Marriage is a civil institution, governed by civil law. There is an issue here for me, and that is state’s rights vs. federal intervention.
Under a Republican administration between 2000 and 2008, the religious right influenced our government to seek a national ban on same sex marriage. Because each state issues its own marriage licenses, and has established regulations by their own legislators, why should the Federal government become involved?
The states have lost many of their individual rights over decades of government allowing federal legislators to pass laws intent on absorbing those rights. The worst of these was the passage of federal income tax. The architects of our Nation’s highest law, the Constitution, established a different idea for securing revenue. Citizens were to pay taxes to the state of their residence. The states were to pay taxes to the federal government for services provided for all of the United States. The system we now have forces individuals to pay tax directly to the federal government, and in turn it returns monies to the individual states based on population count for uses such as schools, hospitals, and roads. This is an important function of the Decennial Census. If taxes were fairly collected by the states, I guarantee the defense budget would be cut, and the billions of dollars in aid we give to dozens of undeserving countries would never have happened. Our tax money would remain where it belongs, right here in the good old U.S.A.
Personally, I have never understood such vehement opposition by certain groups to same sex marriage. Every man and woman has the right to seek the “inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. For any man or woman to judge another man or woman’s lifestyle is un-American. What sort of morality and arrogance do those who are racist, bigoted, and prejudice possess that gives them the right to insist that their lifestyle is the only “right” way to live? When one member of a gay or lesbian couple is critically ill, why should there be a law that forbids a life-partner to be involved in their significant other’s medical treatment? Without an opportunity to legally be married, gays and lesbians do not have the same rights my wife and I possess.
This issue should be decided by the voters of each state, and become that states law. It would be the responsibility of the residents of each state to secure numbers large enough to pass a law in favor of what is the right thing to do.
The Republican Party should spearhead this campaign. They claim that the federal government is too powerful and rights are being taken away from states and individuals. They could, and they should, denounce the extremists within their party and fight for every citizen’s right to live as he or she chooses. But that won’t happen. The Republican Party has lost its courage and resolve to be leaders in areas their predecessors championed.