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Gay marriage debate centers on history vs. change

 
 
Debra Law
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Mar, 2006 04:40 pm
Thomas:

There is no dispute that this country has a LONG HISTORY of prejudice and bias that resulted in the unequal treatment of many classes of persons.

When Mr. and Mrs. Loving were convicted of the crime of entering into an interracial marriage and were forced to leave Virginia or face incarceration, the trial judge stated the following:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)
http://laws.findlaw.com/us/388/1.html

The judge stated that prejudicial and discriminatory garbage (and justified it in God's name) at a point in time nearly a hundred years after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The fact that our courts failed to effectuate the explicit language of the Fourteenth Amendment for a LONG TIME doesn't negate the Fourteenth Amendment or render it meaningless. Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment unambiguously states the following:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."


As a nation, we have a reprehensible history of depriving persons of their rights guaranteed by the Constitution. We have a reprehensible history of depriving persons of equal protection of the laws. That history is dripping with the discrimination, prejudice, animus, and oppression of disfavored classes of persons. Despite the existence of explicit constitutional protection, members of disfavored classes of persons have often been afraid to step forward to assert their rights to be treated as equal members of society.

Rosa Parks wasn't the first black person to be arrested for refusing to give her seat on the bus to a white person. Others before her tried to stand up for their rights, but were met with resistance:

The Montgomery Bus Boycott officially started on December 1, 1955. That was the day when the blacks of Montgomery, Alabama, decided that they would boycott the city buses until they could sit anywhere they wanted, instead of being relegated to the back when a white boarded. It was not, however, the day that the movement to desegregate the buses started. . . . Perhaps the movement started on the day in the early 1950s when a black pastor named Vernon Johns tried to get other blacks to leave a bus in protest after he was forced to give up his seat to a white man, only to have them tell him, "You ought to knowed better."

http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/civilrights-55-65/montbus.html

After the bus boycott began, the blacks in the community were retaliated against with arrests, threats, beatings, and bombings.

When the city defended segregation by saying that integration would lead to violence, Judge Rives asked, "Is it fair to command one man to surrender his constitutional rights, if they are his constitutional rights, in order to prevent another man from committing a crime?"

Thomas, you believe that oppressed classes of persons ought to bide their time and wait to become equal members of society until such time as their majoritarian oppressors agree not to oppress them anymore. Perhaps, under your view, the blacks in the south would have eventually effectuated "social change" without the assistance of our courts to enforce the Constitution. But, what good is our beloved Constitution if it is just a god-damned piece of paper that holds empty promises? While some people might be complacent to wear the chains of oppression, others are not. The brave ones pave the way for others to follow.

What makes this country great is the fact that oppressed persons don't have to stand with their hats in their hands and plead like beggars to be treated with dignity and equality. They have the freedom and the right to petition the courts and to invoke the Fourteenth Amendment to put an end to state oppressions. Our 138 years of history since the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment have demonstrated to the people that fighting for their civil rights and for equality within society isn't a futile act anymore. We no longer sit complacently at the proverbial back of the bus and proclaim to those who do fight for their rights, "You ought to knowed better."

Those who came before the homosexuals as a class of persons paved the way and developed our jurisprudence under the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Homosexuals are persons protected by the Constitution from state deprivations of their life, liberty, and property interests. Homosexuals are persons entitled to equal protection under the law. The Fourteenth Amendment is not a meaningless provision in a meaningless document.

With respect to this country's deplorable treatment of women (in their role as de facto slaves as the property of their husbands) throughout our history, the Supreme Court noted the following when it invalidated a state-imposed spousal notification law:

There was a time, not so long ago, when a different understanding of the family and of the Constitution prevailed. In Bradwell v. State, 16 Wall. 130 (1873), three Members of this [505 U.S. 833, 897] Court reaffirmed the common law principle that a woman had no legal existence separate from her husband, who was regarded as her head and representative in the social state; and, notwithstanding some recent modifications of this civil status, many of the special rules of law flowing from and dependent upon this cardinal principle still exist in full force in most States. Id., at 141 (Bradley, J., joined by Swayne and Field, JJ., concurring in judgment). Only one generation has passed since this Court observed that "woman is still regarded as the center of home and family life," with attendant "special responsibilities" that precluded full and independent legal status under the Constitution. Hoyt v. Florida, 368 U.S. 57, 62 (1961). These views, of course, are no longer consistent with our understanding of the family, the individual, or the Constitution. . . .

. . . Section 3209 embodies a view of marriage consonant with the common law status of married women, but repugnant to our present understanding of marriage and of the nature of the rights secured by the Constitution. Women do not lose their constitutionally protected liberty when they marry. The Constitution protects all individuals, male or female, married or unmarried, from the abuse of governmental power, even where that power is employed for the supposed benefit of a member of the individual's family. These considerations confirm our conclusion that 3209 is invalid.


http://laws.findlaw.com/us/505/833.html

The Constitution protects all individuals (homosexuals included) from the abuse of government power. The fact that it has taken 138 years of feet-dragging history after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to enforce constitutional limitations on state governmental powers does not require the courts to abstain from enforcing the Constitution and ridding this country of the evils the Constitution sought to prohibit.

Those persons who are morally against same-sex marriages, like the persons before them who were morally against racially-mixed marriages, have no right to demand action by the State which results in the denial of equal protection of the laws to other individuals. The state's power to create and enforce marital rights must be exercized within the boundaries defined by the Fourteenth Amendment.

See, e.g. SHELLEY V. KRAEMER , 334 U.S. 1 (1948) (The Constitution confers upon no individual the right to demand action by the State which results in the denial of equal protection of the laws to other individuals. And it would appear beyond question that the power of the State to create and enforce property interests must be exercised within the boundaries defined by the Fourteenth Amendment); LOVING v. VIRGINIA, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) (While the state court is no doubt correct in asserting that marriage is a social relation subject to the State's police power, Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888), the State does not contend in its argument before this Court that its powers to regulate marriage are unlimited notwithstanding the commands of the Fourteenth Amendment).


"The fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice." Lawrence v. Texas

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=02-102

It has always been said that we are a nation of laws, not of men. Our nation was founded on the concept of individual freedom and justice for all. We have a long history and tradition of oppressed groups coming forward to protest the infliction of state oppressions and to find redress of their grievances in our courts. Despite the fact that our courts have not effectively honored its duty in the past and allowed oppressions to take root, our constitutional values have eventually prevailed to unroot and prohibit those oppressions. We the people do not stand quietly and allow our rights to be subjected to the prejudicial or discriminatory whims of the electorate. Liberty depends on unfettered access to impartial courts to vindicate individual rights. Hamilton voiced this underlying principle of our constitutional republic during the ratification debates:

. . . For I agree, that "there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.''

. . . The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited Constitution. By a limited Constitution, I understand one which contains certain specified exceptions to the legislative authority; such, for instance, as that it shall pass no bills of attainder, no ex-post-facto laws, and the like. Limitations of this kind can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing.


http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/federal/fed78.htm

Liberty, justice, and equal protection under the law are basic concepts that are not subject to the whims of majoritarian politics and elections. Rights protected by the Constitution against governmental usurpations must be vindicated by our courts. Thomas, your desire to leave the determination of the individual rights of disfavored minorities in the hands of majoritarian politics flies in the face of the constitutional values upon which this country was founded.

If the moral majority of persons in this country may deprive homosexuals of their fundamental rights and equality within society based solely on their prejudices and moral disapproval, and if homosexuals cannot seek redress in our courts of law, then this ain't America.
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Mar, 2006 07:01 pm
Debra KICKED ASS!

<not in relation to a person, but the facts>

I wanted to stand up and cheer.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 09:41 am
Debra and Lash
Debra: APPLAUSE!

Lash, let's all stand up and cheer! Cool

BBB
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 10:12 am
Wooo-hooo!
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2006 07:30 pm
Debra_Law,

Well said, Canada is ahead of the US in this regard, but it's past is no less checkered.
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Eryemil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Apr, 2006 06:20 pm
Lovely read that made Debra, thanks a lot. I am eager to see what other have to say in regard to your post.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2006 07:42 am
Awesome post, Debra!
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BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 May, 2006 02:24 am
I stand dazed at the brilliance of Debra LAW. I am sure she could even take on Anton Scalia and Judge Scalia would emerge defeated.

But I was troubled by Debra LAW's use of the Fourteenth Amendment. I recall that Judge Richard A. Posner, in his classic study, "Overcoming Law" opined that:

"Because government programs dealing with aliens, children born out of wedlock, members of racial minorities,indigent criminal defendants, veterans and women are all challenged and litigated under one tiny clause of the Constitution- the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment--it is natural to think that one person should be able to evaluate all those programs, together with laws and practices affecting fetuses, homosexuals and others show rights or claims to have rights are litigated under the adjacent due process clause; natural but wrong. The programs are heterogenous and their social consequences complex.

Constitutional lawyers know little about their proper subject matter--a complex of political, social and economic phenomena. They know only cases. An exclusive diet of Supreme Court opinions is a recipe for intellectual malnutrition."
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BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 May, 2006 02:32 am
A question for Debra LAW-

When will the Supreme Court strike down all of the sections of the State Constitutions which define Marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

What will be its rationale?

Will the equal protection clause extend to others, such as those who wish to practice beastiality, incest, polygamy, polyandry, necrophilia and pederasty? If not, why not-- in each case?

I know that your brilliance will allow you to dispose of these questions in a couple of paragraphs.

Thanking you in advance, Debra LAW!!!
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 May, 2006 09:46 am
I myself am interested to hear Debra's no-doubt informative response to BernardR.

However, may I point out that homosexuality is not equivalent to bestiality, polyandry, polygamy, incest, necrophilia and/or pedersaty?
0 Replies
 
BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 May, 2006 12:08 pm
You may be right, Wolf O'Donnell. On the other hand, you may not be.

Debra LAW insists that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the Rights of all citizens and that they have Equal Protection under the law--All of them.

What about the rights of those who would engage in Beastiality, Incest, Pedophilia, Polygamy or Polyandry.

Or does the government have a "compelling interest" in proscribing those activities?

We shall see whether the Supreme Court voids the Rights of the citizens of the various states to enact legislation which upholds the definition of Marriage. Those citizens are also protected by the Equal Rights Clause.

I await any review by the Supreme Court with interest. In the meantime, I am waiting for the master lawyer--Debra LAW to rebut the comments of Judge Posner which I posted above. Posner has a great deal to say on this matter-in his groundbreaking book- "Sex and Reason"--Why Judge Posner is nearly as skilled in the law and its interpretation as Debra LAW.

Nearly, but not quite.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 May, 2006 12:56 pm
Wolf_ODonnell wrote:
I myself am interested to hear Debra's no-doubt informative response to BernardR.

BernardR is nothing but the reincarnation of Italomassogatto, he of the genus trollus persistans. He doesn't deserve acknowledgment, let alone a response.
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BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 May, 2006 01:06 pm
I am stuck to the quick. I will immediately abdicate. I know when I am defeated. Not only have I been destroyed by the massive intellect of Joe from Chicago, according to the photos on this site, he is so much better looking than I am.
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BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 May, 2006 01:10 pm
I am not persuaded that the Equal Rights Clause does not cover the rights of those who would wish to love their animals. A recent play--Who is Sylvia? or "The Goat" by the superb playwright Albee, revealed the hate and intolerance of those who would bar human/animal contact.

What about Equal Protection of the Laws for those who sincerly and deeply love their animals? Are those people not also citizens?

We shall see whether the Supreme Court voids the Rights of the citizens of the various states to enact legislation which upholds the definition of Marriage. Those citizens are also protected by the Equal Rights Clause.

I await any review by the Supreme Court with interest. In the meantime, I am waiting for the master lawyer--Debra LAW to rebut the comments of Judge Posner which I posted above. Posner has a great deal to say on this matter-in his groundbreaking book- "Sex and Reason"--Why Judge Posner is nearly as skilled in the law and its interpretation as Debra LAW.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 05:22 am
So, you're comparing my sexuality with one where someone forces sex on to someone whom isn't willing?

Bestiality and pederasty are both non-consentual, and often upsetting to the receiver of said sexual advances. They are not equal to homosexuality. Poly-whatever is not necessarily equal.

Though people may love their animals, their animals may not love them back in the same manner. Therefore bestiality is rape and the nonsense you trot out in its pseudo-defence shows that you surely are "trolling".
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BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 04:33 pm
Mr. O'Donnell: Did you see the outstanding play---"Who is Sylvia" or "The Goat" by one of the most brilliant US Playwrights, Ed Albee. He did not, in any way, depict the Goat as unwilling.

Do you have hard evidence to show that in human-beast interaction the beast is unwilling? How do you know that? Do you have a link? Are you going to tell me that all people who engage in Sex with their pets report the willingness or unwillingness of those pets to engage in carnal intercourse.

Can you give evidence that all homosexual interaction is consensual? Is not some of it forced? Is not some of it a product of mental bullying?

Please, Mr. O' Donnell- you are a scientist, I believe. Give some evidence before you make such broad statements about "unwilling" participants.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 06:22 am
BernardR wrote:
Mr. O'Donnell: Did you see the outstanding play---"Who is Sylvia" or "The Goat" by one of the most brilliant US Playwrights, Ed Albee. He did not, in any way, depict the Goat as unwilling.


Yeah, the thing about plays are that they're fiction.

Quote:
Do you have hard evidence to show that in human-beast interaction the beast is unwilling?


Do you have any evidence to suggest they are willing?

Your entire point here is speculative drivel. You give no evidence yourself, yet you expect me to do so? Are you seriously comparing homosexuals to people who practice bestiality and pederasty?

If so, I take offence, sir.
0 Replies
 
BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 02:58 am
No, Mr. O'Donnell, I am not comparing those who practice Pederasty, Bestiality, Incest, Necrophilia, Polygamy or Polyandry to Homosexuality.

They are different sexual practices. What I am saying, however, that under the Equal Protection of the Law, based on the Fourteenth Amendment, so brilliantly laid out by Debra LAW, the Rights of people who wish to indulge in the sexual practices above, must be protected unless there is a "compelling" reason.

I am sure that you are aware, Mr. O'Donnell, that the Ancient Greeks( one of the world's finest civilizations and the well spring for so many of our Democratic virtues) practiced homosexuality as well as pederasty.

It has been pointed out that it is clearly an old fashioned idea, based on outdated religious superstition, that young boys cannot choose their sexual outlets. After all, boys were married as young as twelve less than six decades ago. What about the rights of Men and Boys who sincerely want to love each other?

In this age of birth control, why is brother/sister love proscribed?

There are many reasons why we should examine the old and outdated sexual puritanism much more closely. There is nothing wrong with sincere love!!!!
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 May, 2006 02:37 am
joefromchicago wrote:
He doesn't deserve acknowledgment, let alone a response.


Why?
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BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 May, 2006 02:42 am
Mr.Miller. It is my opinion that Joe from Chicago,a highly trained lawyer who is very intelligent, feels that he cannot adequately respond to some of my posts. Some of my posts annoy him. I am aware of his massive intellect and am certain that, with a few well chosen paragraphs, culled from his long and fruitful study in the most arcane reaches of the law, he would demolish me and my arguments.

But, he chooses not to do so. I can only breath a sigh of relief because making arguments to match someone as brilliant as Joe from Chicago is most difficult.
0 Replies
 
 

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