Friday, November 14, 2014

SCOTUS and Gay Marriage

Well for better or worse I leave for Shanghai & Chongqing tomorrow, so I will leave you with one of our favorite topics to discuss.  It has been a hot topic at MinnPost again due to the rural folks kicking DFL politicians out of their districts and with the potential SCOTUS case.

MinnPost How GOP Conquered Rural MN
MinnPost Same Sex Marriage will likely become a Supreme Court case

My simple views and questions are:
  • Rural citizens voted for the amendment to ban same sex marriage.  Soon after, their elected DFL representatives ignored their clear voice and voted for a bill to make it legal.  Of course they were not going to get re-elected and they shouldn't be.  They are elected to represent their district.
  • There is at this time no way to tell if a person is gay or straight, except to ask them. Whereas sex, race, disabilities, age and the other typically protected/constitutional status markers can be determined through records, observation, testing, etc.
  • Since there is no way to tell (yet), there can be no real classification of an LGBT person.  Pragmatically, there are people who live the LGBT lifestyle. I do believe that in time research will identify the factors, however at this time they have not.
  • Now religion is a very specific lifestyle / belief system that does have constitutional protection.  That was a very sensitive topic when the country was formed.
  • It seems to me that the same sex marriage proponents are arguing that all adults have the constitutional right to get legally married, and that it is illegal to keep any adults from getting married just because they live a different lifestyle or have different beliefs.
  • In summary, if adults want to get married the government must sanction those wishes.  Even if the majority of people in their state disagree with that lifestyle or belief system.
Center for Public Justice: Same Sex "Marriage" is not a Civil Right
Gay Marriage ProCon
Slate Same Sex Marriage is a Constitutional Right, Not a Democratic Issue
PEW Forum Constitutional Dimensions
WP Inverted Equal Protections
Gay Marriage Bans in 4 States Upheld

Personally, I think it should be left to the States and their citizens/governments to resolve this issue.  Definitely not to the Federal courts.  Thoughts?  And be polite...

9 comments:

John said...

One thing to add. If science progresses and can determine who is homosexual and who is heterosexual. Then I think the courts should become involved because then it would be clearly a physiological state of being and not a behavior/belief system.

Hopefully this happens sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

Issues that matter are two edged swords. When you take a position on them you win some voters, and you lose some voters. You just hope the former outnumbers the latter, but if one is given to principle even that isn't the foremost consideration.

Gay marriage, I think, was an issue for many voters, in 2014. I would say it gained us and lost us some voters. My guess is that it was a negative factor in races where some DFL incumbents. While that is disappointing, I don't think gay marriage was the only, or even the determining factor in those races. And in any event, gay marriage was something we had to do out of principle. The purpose of politics after all, isn't to win elections, it's to govern effectively and well. There just isn't any point in working hard to elect Democratic politicians if, once in office, they govern like Republicans, a lesson that President Obama has become familiar with, on occasion.

--Hiram

John said...

If governing like Democrats involves voting the exact opposite of what the majority of the citizens in your district recently clearly told you, and you are okay losing the next election. That sounds fine to me.

It sounds a bit like a way to win the battle and lose the war. I for one am happy they did pass same sex marriage, since I am indifferent to the issue and the parties are balanced again in MN. Thank heavens for gridlock.

Laurie said...

I think the biggest factor that help the GOP take control of the house was low turnout. The people who were upset and talked about the gay marriage vote as their reason to vote against their dem rep were very likely to vote GOP anyway.

I think the senate office building vote hurt the dems more than the gay marriage vote. My mother always votes for the dems and she complained about the senate building many times.

Anonymous said...

f governing like Democrats involves voting the exact opposite of what the majority of the citizens in your district recently clearly told you, and you are okay losing the next election.

It's an old argument. Should elected representative act according to the dictates of voters or their own judgment or consciences. As it happens, in the case of gay marriage, the vast majority of DFL legislators were doing what their constituents wanted them to do. And I can think of more than a few Republicans legislators whose position against gay marriage wasn't popular with their constituents.

--Hiram

John said...

Laurie,
Do you think your mom voted for or against the no same sex marriage amendment? That would indicate if it was an issue that was important to her.

Hiram,
How politicians vote is their choice, I am just saying that there can be consequences of biting the hand that fed you. Especially if they clearly say that they want it permanently banned, and then you vote immediately after that to legalize it.

Laurie said...

my mother does not object to gay marriage, so I believe that made her a "no" vote on the amendment.

I think it is very surprising how rapidly gay marriage is becoming legal in so many states. I think the supreme court decision will result in increasing the numbers of states where it is legal (but I am not a very detail oriented person when it comes to legal decisions, so my opinion is really based on nothing.)

Anonymous said...


How politicians vote is their choice, I am just saying that there can be consequences of biting the hand that fed you.

For lots of politicians, not supporting gay marriage would have taken a very big bite in such a hand. Voting for gay marriage was a very easy vote for the vast majority of DFL legislators. And voting against gay marriage was a very tough vote for some Republicans.

It certainly wasn't the DFL that wanted to take the matter out of the hands of the voters which is what happens when you enact a constitutional amendment on the subject.

==Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

Hope you're not too busy to enjoy those two fascinating cities. If you get a chance, take the cruise between the two.