Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WaTimes: "Supreme Court must restore states’ rights in defining marriage"

The Washington Times has devolved into the propaganda organ of the Unification Church, a role that it had shed a few years ago. So now they are telling the high court what it must do — along with the usual factually challenged BS that is slanted to the right.
Marriage was a matter left to the states until the judges went on a tear 15 months ago in response to the Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor that the federal Defense of Marriage Act couldn’t be used to deny federal benefits to a homosexual couple who said their vows in a state that recognizes such unions.

Not exactly. We were challenging state marriage laws in federal courts prior to Windsor. Proposition 8 had already been reversed by the federal district court and that was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  More importantly, on numerous occasions the Supreme Court has ruled that marriage to the person of one's choice is a basic civil right. Windsor fell because the state could not define a beneficial interest in marriage discrimination. Windsor only accelerated the inevitable.
It’s widely expected that the high court will weigh in if only to clean up the mess it made last year … “The significance of state responsibilities for the definition of marriage dates to the nation’s beginning,” Justice Kennedy wrote, and is “central to state domestic relations laws.”
Mess? The mess was made by DOMA which was prejudicial and discriminatory with no offsetting benefit to the state. Here is the real core of what Justice Kennedy wrote in Windsor about the states' regulation of marriage:
In order to assess the validity of that intervention it is necessary to discuss the extent of the state power and authority over marriage as a matter of history and tradition. State laws defining and regulating marriage, of course, must respect the constitutional rights of persons, see, e.g., Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1 (1967) ; but, subject to those guarantees, “regulation of domestic relations” is “an area that has long been regarded as a virtually exclusive province of the States.” Sosna v. Iowa, 419 U. S. 393, 404 (1975).
They always leave out the good parts. They love taking some shots at evil liberals though:
Justice Ginsburg and Justice Elena Kagan have officiated at same-sex nuptials, so their views are well known. But Justices Ginsburg and Kagan stepped over an important line to prejudge the issue. They applied a little not-so-subtle pressure on their colleagues. That’s not what a legal “umpire” — to use Chief Justice John Roberts’ formulation — would do. Justice Ginsburg in particular is not calling balls and strikes, but rooting for her team.
Officiating a same-sex marriage is not the same thing as concluding that the federal government should nullify a group of state laws. No line was crossed. The Unification Church thrives on intellectual dishonesty and it shows.

Entirely missing from this editorial is the most important part of the whole issue. What is the state's legitimate interest in marriage discrimination? States' rights is not a compelling argument without knowing what the benefit to society is by preventing a relatively few gay couples from marrying. Some of those couples are also raising children. Where is the equity? Religious conservatives never answer the real question. Furthermore, the word “Massachusetts” seems to have fallen from their collective vocabulary.

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