Opinion

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Two For Thought

Gay Marriage and Equal Protection

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin

Start with first principles: (1) Marriage is a contract between two consenting adults; so, universal contract rights apply; and (2) civil law prohibiting homosexual marriage has nothing to do with protecting the family or procreation/child rearing. We know (2) is true because (a) if heterosexuality is natural, then laws are not needed to protect it; (b) laws making homosexuality non-criminal means it is not harmful to society; (c) people often marry without procreating; (d) the law does not require procreation; and (e) the law permits homosexuals to adopt children.

When government licenses marriage for “state purposes,” it does so under Equal Protection limitations. This means it cannot prevent consenting adults from entering into marriage contracts when there is no compelling state interest. None exists, in part, for reasons stated in the above paragraph.

Too, government has no right to force churches to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies. Many religions see marriage as a religious act. The government cannot force them to contradict this religious tenet. As for tax and insurance benefits homosexuals will enjoy … good. We need fewer taxes, and all people should have good insurance.

One need not agree with homosexual marriage to support Equal Protection any more than one need agree with a person’s speech to support the First Amendment.


 

By Joe Carbonari

Gay marriage is viscerally, almost physically wrong, to some people. It is no wonder that they oppose it. I ask them to consider that what is natural and right, for someone born with the physical wiring for homosexuality rather than heterosexuality, is to form families for nurturing and support, just like everyone else. It’s the best way for them to live, just as for everyone else, children included. They are decent. They can raise them.

When people who have basic differences from us, say skin color or sexual preference, ascribe a general disapproval and distaste to us as a group, it makes life harder. We have laws to constrain these expressions of distaste and disapproval. They are necessary.

It is also necessary to recognize and protect their full rights of citizenship, acceptance and appreciation. They are not evil. Think of infant sons and daughters. They vary, but they did not wire themselves for sex. Have some sympathy if their wiring causes them to be treated in a way that makes them doubt their basic “decency,” their “goodness.” Consider: should they all get a fair chance in life?

Judge them on their merits as they live their lives, just like everyone else. They are like everyone else when they are treated just like everyone else. So let’s just keep our sexual lives to ourselves. Private, by invitation only.

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