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Friday, November 7, 2014

Ohio Tells Same-Sex Couples, "Don't Look for Justice in Buckeye Courts."

The same-sex marriage issue now heads to the U.S. Supreme Court for a climactic ruling following the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding marriage bans in Ohio and three other states.

“From the founding of the Republic to 2003, every state defined marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, meaning that the Fourteenth Amendment permits, though it does not require, states to define marriage in that way,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a former Ohio solicitor general, wrote in the majority decision.

(Alan Johnson. "With Ohio’s Same-sex Marriage Ban Upheld, Supreme Court Likely Final Arbiter."
The Columbus Dispatch.

According to Sutton ...

“When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers. Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way."

Sutton’s comments echoed what he said when the cases were argued three months ago.

“Changing hearts and minds is much more effective through democracy than the courts. ... It is not 100 percent obvious to me this is the best route for the gay community.” 


Please reread this ruling, and this time, ask yourself:

"Then, what is the role of the American court system if it is not to uphold social justice?"

States Rights and Personal Harm

The reasoning given by Sutton reeks of upholding delay and indifference even when gross injustice is recognized. In short, it condones the continuation of wrongdoing and burdens the victims through antiquated, stubborn, short-sided opinion.

Judge Martha Craig “Cissy” Daughtrey issued a blistering dissent in which she accused her fellow judges of viewing the parties to the case as “mere abstractions ... and not real persons suffering actual harm.”

Daughtrey compared same-sex bans to old laws in the South, since overturned, that prohibited interracial marriage. Daughtrey also said, in response to the idea that the law should changed at the ballot box and not in the courts, that the fight for women’s suffrage took 78 years. “You want to do this state by state, and it doesn’t always work,” she said.

Same-sex couples raise their families the same way as an opposite-sex couples. They both pay their taxes, and they both give back to our community. Extending the opportunity to be married to same-sex couples is inevitable. But even now, federal judges are required to protect the constitutional rights of the minority.

After all, civil rights are the rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship. If civil rights are rights that are gained by membership in a society (citizenship), then marriage is one of these rights. Marriage is not a natural right because it is not something into which humans are born.  Marriage is a right that one gets from society, thus a civil right.

Why would courts rule in opposition?  

The argument that same-sex marriage isn't "fundamental" to the "existence" and "survival" of humanity if it is completely delinked from procreation or has nothing to do with reproductive potential is not valid since opposite-sex couples often marry and never intend to have children.
Besides, people do not  need the government's encouragement to have sex or "propagate the species."

The Real Rub For the Haters

Linking marriage with sexual practices is the real rub for opposition to same-sex marriage. Many Christian denominations and other conservative thinkers see any same-sex union as sinful and wicked, no matter the act shared between the same-sex couple. They often base their views on Holy Scripture and refuse any compromise when defining the word marriage. They believe gays and lesbians are not natural and thus unholy.

I question who is to say that marriage has to be consummated by sexual actions. Wouldn't an elderly couple that fell in love be free to marry and not necessarily be expected to have sex within the length of their union? I contend it is no one's business what sexual practices are linked to a couple's marriage -- be the couple opposite sex union or the same sex union. Marriage does not mean "sex" at all.

In addition, straights who believe homosexuals are committing abominations might do well to get their own sinful natures in line with sexual norms, marriage commitments, and respect for proper sexual conduct. With straight singles bedding down in every conceivable manner and combination without any restraint or fear of spiritual reprisal, the government essentially turns a blind eye to a lot of disgusting opposite sex behavior. In fact, the media encourages it and forces it upon children with regularity.

Then, of course, many folks say gays cannot provide a good environment for children in a same-sex union. These people believe same-sex partners can not provide and maintain stable relationships within which children may flourish. They like to preach about the possibility of great psychological harm to children raised in such marriages.

Yet, think of all the psychological problems so many children experience in opposite-sex marriages. 
In such marriages half of all American children witness the breakup of their parents' marriage. Of these, close to half will also see the breakup of a parent's second marriage. Forty percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers. Following divorce, children are fifty percent more likely to develop health problems than two parent families.

(Larry Bilotta. "18 Shocking Children and Divorce Statistics."

One of the biggest challenges facing same-sex parented families is that they must live in a culture that supports heterosexist and homophobic attitudes and beliefs, which can affect these families in a variety of ways.

Most research studies show that children with two moms or two dads fare just as well as children with heterosexual parents. In fact, one comprehensive study of children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers concluded that children raised by same-sex parents did not differ from other children in terms of emotional functioning, sexual orientation, stigmatization, gender role behavior, behavioral adjustment, gender identity, learning and grade point averages.

Where research differences have been found, they have sometimes favored same-sex parents. For example, adolescents with same-sex parents reported feeling more connected at school. Another study reported that children in gay and lesbian households are more likely to talk about emotionally difficult topics, and they are often more resilient, compassionate and tolerant.

(Deanna Linville, PhD, and Maya O’Neil, MS. "Same Sex Parents and Their Children." American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.)

Having sex, raising children ... getting married -- these are civil rights that must be afforded to all legal, consenting adults in America. Courts systems must protect individuals from governmental intrusions into basic liberties. A court that waits on people to become "heroes of their own stories" and ignores their responsibility to rule justly is a pathetic, political court. Democracy has a very spotted history of providing all people the same guaranteed freedoms. This court in Ohio can't even cloak their wrong in making such ludicrous findings.

From "Same Love" 

by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

"If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
"Man, that's gay" gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we're saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don't have acceptance for 'em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It's the same hate that's caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It's human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren't anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that's not important
No freedom till we're equal, damn right I support it

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