Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Frank Turek vs. the 14th Amendment

Frank Turek
Anti-gay polemicist Frank Turek doesn't approve of gay people. He once wrote that same-sex marriage is “stealing rights from God.” The demise of Justice Scalia provides an opportunity for Mr. Turek to display his wit. Writing about Scalia's originalism in a post titled “Scalia Defended Democracy, Liberals Subvert It:”
A hundred years ago, no judges thought that the Fourteenth Amendment granted women the right to vote. A Constitutional amendment had to be passed to recognize the right. Yet, today five justices think that the Fourteenth Amendment somehow grants a woman the right to marry another woman. (Newsflash: if the equal protection clause didn't guarantee a woman the right to vote when it was passed, it certainly doesn't guarantee her right to marry another woman today!)
Turek doesn't quite have things right. It goes back to 1875 and the Supreme Court Case is Minor v. Happersett. In order to deny women the right to vote the Court found a preclusion (as was their desire) in the Privileges or Immunities Clause of, wait for it … the Fourteenth Amendment. That was 141 years ago.

So, Mr. Turek, just as women's inequality was the law of the land so is the right of gay couples to marry. As you correctly point out changing that will require a constitutional amendment. Got 38 states in mind?

Turek goes on to write:
If you're for so-called same-sex marriage (really genderless marriage), you might like the result of that decision. But you should be very afraid of the process by which that result was achieved. For if justices can evolve the Constitution according to their own whims, one day they might declare that your rights have "evolved" in a direction you don't like.
It isn't “so-called” anything. It is marriage. “Genderless marriage” was first introduced by National Organization for Marriage. It was part of the losing argument. As for the Court reversing the right, I'll take my chances. And you know why? Aside from the legal issues, it is really quite simple. After about a dozen years of marriage equality, no one can say that they were injured, in any way, by some couple's same-sex marriage.

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