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Good News for Gene Schaerr

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3 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    Traditional marriage? Do they have coverture in Utah? NY was the last state as far as I know w/o no fault divorce. Take that, Utah! Also, a quick look tells me:

    “You cannot marry your first cousin [etc.] However, first cousins can marry if both are over 65, or, if both parties are over 55, if the court finds that they are unable to reproduce.”

    In Utah. But, my Bible has multiple cases of cousins marrying. It’s all very traditional. Color me confused.

    I have this idea the OP is being a bit sarcastic. Might just be me though.

  2. mls says:

    Your mockery aside, it would make more sense to declare traditional marriage unconstitutional than to declare a constitutional right to same sex marriage. Assuming that participants in officially recognized marriages enjoy significant legal privileges (a questionable assumption, but one that everyone seems to share), the constitutional question ought to be whether there is a legitimate justification for giving benefits to one group of people (the married) and not to another (the unmarried). If no such justification exists for traditional marriage alone, it is hard to believe that it exists for traditional marriage plus same sex marriage.

    Of course, justifications are offered as to why the government has an interest in fostering this new category of “marriage.” But these are silly, make-weight reasons (eg, the government wants to encourage “companionship”) that no one really believes. The logical conclusion would be that the government has no interest in whether anyone is married, and must treat everyone the same regardless of marital status. This might make for less appealing slogans than “marriage equality,” but it would be more intellectually honest.

    • Joe says:

      This sort of libertarian blithe comment is akin to answering legalization of marijuana arguments with the statement that drugs should be legalized across the board since there is no sound grounds for any ban.

      Assuming that participants in officially recognized marriages enjoy significant legal privileges (a questionable assumption, but one that everyone seems to share)

      They “seem to share” it because marriage brings with a range of legal privileges that in various cases are quite important. It shouldn’t be a monopoly to them all — e.g., contraceptives can be used by the unmarried too. But, that’s doesn’t rob the significant legal privileges that are rather apparent.

      the constitutional question ought to be whether there is a legitimate justification for giving benefits to one group of people (the married) and not to another (the unmarried). If no such justification exists for traditional marriage alone, it is hard to believe that it exists for traditional marriage plus same sex marriage.

      Is this the logic people had when Loving v. VA came up? The racial discrimination thing (“traditional” as it was) was really just an aside like the sex and sexual orientation discrimination thing now.

      Of course, justifications are offered as to why the government has an interest in fostering this new category of “marriage.” But these are silly, make-weight reasons (eg, the government wants to encourage “companionship”) that no one really believes.

      Turner v. Safley lists a range of reasons explaining why marriage is important. They apply both to same sex marriages and different sex marriages. One reason people have gotten married for quite some time is a special type of companionship, including senior citizens. This includes an ability to provide help and assistance when one or the other gets sick. This is far from “silly” or “makeweight.” People actually do “believe” them. I know such people myself who did this recently or decades ago. The reasons are not “new” and same sex marriage is but another form of marriage.

      The logical conclusion would be that the government has no interest in whether anyone is married, and must treat everyone the same regardless of marital status. This might make for less appealing slogans than “marriage equality,” but it would be more intellectually honest.

      The government has a real interest in people getting married — it is a special union that provides stability and other benefits for the couple and the community. If we want to examine alternatives to marriage, fine, but like in Loving v. Virginia, there is a special wrong in discriminating by personal characteristic in this country. It is quite “intellectually honest” to focus on that be it stopping blacks from marrying whites, Jews from marrying Catholics or women from marrying women.

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