I think this decision to legalize gay marriage is long overdue. This isnt from a gay perspective, because I’m straight, and on that level I just, honestly, don’t give a rats ass.
However… simply from the perspective of honoring the written Principles of equality and consistency in Our Constitution: This matters.
Yes, I get that there’s lots of F.E.A.R.* around this issue, but the fact is that being gay is a question of biology in that it’s about how a person responds to pheromones of other folks.
*False Evidence Appearing Real
In my case my pheromone receptors tell me unmistakably, and clearly, that men are NOT valid sex partners, and that women ARE. This, like my atheisim, is just something I was born with. It’s not a trait I can change. Nor is it a trait I would change if I could. Ladies are simply as much fun as I can stand.
With all of this, I’ve talked at great length and depth with several gay friends and they report very similar (though opposite) experiences.
See, I believe that Our Constitution when read as a whole, with the Bill of Rights, seems to me to be far more about strictly limiting government and about prohibiting all government intrusion into the private lives of Citizens. Most Con. Law folks talk endlessly about the tug of war between States Rights and Federalisim, yet only rarely talk about the Citizens’ Rights to be bothered as little as possible by government in their pursuit of Life, Love, and Happiness in their lives. (Note carefully here that corporations are not Citizens, even though their members may be).
This seems to be the key difference. When I look at the absolute injunctions through out the Bill if Rights… “Congress (or the States) shall not…” I see a direct defense against government telling Us individual Citizens what We may and may not do, so long as there is no compelling interest. (Which is factually supported and proven necessary for the very survival of Our Society)
In gay marriage we have no such compelling interest. The 38 States which had ALREADY changed their laws to allow gay marriage experienced:
Zero societal upheaval.
Zero cases of straights getting divorced because of it. In Fact, even though several ding dings threatened to do so; those threats turned out to be on the order of Rush Limbaugh and Ted Cruz “threatening” to leave the US if the PPACA passed. (Are you guys STILL here?!)
Zero cases of kids magically turning gay. (Perhaps a few more came out to family, but that’s a different issue)
Zero cases of increased molestation of kids.
Zero cases of straight folks being forced to marry gays.
Zero cases of actual Churches being “forced” to host gay marriage. (Note here that Vegas”Wedding Chapels” are not churches, they are for profit Businesses) In fact I suspect this won’t ever happen because there are too many churches which are already more than willing to do so. However, if it does, I’ll be right there at the side of the churches fighting against it.
In fact… Zero cases of anything other than gays getting married.
So… there’s no compelling State interest in supporting bans on gate marriage, but there is (by the Oath of every Public Official, and Section 3 of the 14th Amendment) a compelling interest in seeing that Our Constitution is enfold to protect Citizens from each other and prevent the tyranny of the majority.
Last but not least, as with almost all law, what matters most here is the actual words of the law, not the several “convenient” interpretations folks often use.
Here’s what the 14th Amendment actually says:
“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.”
The Fact that marriage is (and must be) recognized across State lines, plus the Fact that gays ARE Citizens, and that being married grants specific and special Rights, Privileges, and Immunities at both the State and Federal levels; means that without a compelling State Interest (fact based), such laws are inherently un-Constitutional.
That my fellow Citizens in 38 States recognized that this type of inequality may not, and must not, be allowed to stand under the actual words of Our Constitution fills me with Pride for them. That our Courts finally recognized this Fact (all be it 147 years late) confirms my 1979 decision to take the Oath to protect Our Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.
All in all, it’s about damned time.