Appeals court rules DOMA unconstitutional

Not pictured: any “small-government” conservatives cheering the decision.

“This case is difficult because it couples issues of equal protection and federalism with the need to assess the rationale for a congressional statute passed with minimal hearings and lacking in formal findings,” Judge Michael Boudin wrote in the decision. “In addition, Supreme Court precedent offers some help to each side, but the rationale in several cases is open to interpretation. We have done our best to discern the direction of these precedents, but only the Supreme Court can finally decide this unique case.”

It certainly is difficult, but there is one thing to keep in mind. The call for gay marriage is not asking the country to endorse it, but simply to stop discriminating against it.

There are a number of things which, if you morally disagree with, you can also reasonably demand that no one be allowed to do them. You can’t say “if you don’t like rape, then YOU don’t rape anyone,” substituting rape with murder, burglary and the like. Those are examples where there are victims of others performing said action.

Gay marriage has no such victims. The opposition is purely against the idea of it, because everyone knows damn well that there is no effect on your life from people elsewhere getting married. This is a case of true “religion-only” regulation, like if the government decided meat on a Friday should be illegal or the days of blue laws making it illegal to sell alcohol on a Sunday (my previous home state had that up until fairly recently).

The worst gay marriage opposers can say is that it’s wrong for them to have to pay taxes for things that they disagree with. When it comes to this, there are two critical points to keep in mind:

  1. Everyone’s taxes go to a handful of things they morally oppose, be they wars or Title V education, or federal grants for the arts. But mature adults look at the greater good, not selfishness.
  2. Just because it’s “against your religion” doesn’t suddenly give your opinion a titanium suit of armor from criticism nor does it mean it’s given extra weight. The operative word is “your”. If that’s all you got, then back off.

So we’ll see if it sticks. I don’t expect a federal gay marriage law, but at least we could have no law against it.

2 responses to “Appeals court rules DOMA unconstitutional

  1. “So we’ll see if it sticks. I don’t expect a federal gay marriage law, but at least we could have no law against it.”

    Great line, and honestly I think right now in the US it’s as much as gays might get, unless they’re in one of the states that has Gay Marriage, or might get it.  Really people just need to get over it.  We’ve had gay marriage here in Canada for a few years now and while there’s still some who wish the PM would get rid of it, he won’t (which is smart on his part).  It’s been around too long and would mean a bigger mess than he wants to deal with.

    That said, now the majority of people honestly don’t care.  Still comes up from time to time when a gay couple wants to do something for their wedding and a local shop won’t serve them (real case that happened in my province) but it’s getting rarer.  Even the conservative people have stopped being vocal about it.  Might grumble in private but it’s not public.

    The US needs to get to that point; the point where it just doesn’t matter anymore because more important stuff is going on.

  2. “… because everyone knows damn well that there is no effect on your life from people elsewhere getting married. ”
    Gay marriage does effect me, even though I am not gay.  I see gay couples in caring, loving relationships able to live their lives out of the closet.  I see that marriage can be a good thing for everyone.  It strengthens communities because people in a marriage know how to work with others toward a common goal.  Marriage is a good thing and we should encourage adults over the age of consent who want to marry to marry by removing barriers to marriage.

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