Pulpit Bulls

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Archive for the ‘Gay Marriage’ Category

Bill Clinton on Same Sex Marriage

Posted by Eric on July 14, 2009

Michael Tracy at the Nation reports:

Clinton opposed same-sex marriage during his presidency, and in 1996, he signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal recognition of marriage to one man and one woman. In May of this year, Clinton told a crowd at Toronto’s Convention Centre that his position on same-sex marriage was “evolving.”

Apparently, Clinton’s thinking has now further evolved. Asked if he would commit his support for same-sex marriage, Clinton responded, “I’m basically in support.”

Not really that huge of a surprise. Bill Clinton — like most presidents — is deeply concerned about his legacy and here’s a chance to come down on the right side of history. And, of course, since he is out of office there’s no real opportunity for a political backlash.

With that said, unless Barack Obama’s rather incoherent position on marriage also “evolves”, I think Obama will be the last Democratic president in opposition to gay marriage. When future presidential primary candidates have to face off in debates in front of the Democratic base they are going to be met with boos and jeers from the audience if they recite the “marriage is between a man and a woman” meme.

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Requiem for “I Have a Dream”

Posted by gregoryholmes on May 27, 2009

I realize that most folks are still processing and reacting to the California Supreme Court’s decision, so I thought I would take a moment to reference the landmark decision in Loving v. Virginia, as the decision in the case goes straight to the heart of the argument for gay marriage.  Chief Justice Warren writes for the majority:

“These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888). To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

These convictions must be reversed.”

These words were written at a time when only 30% of the public supported the idea of interracial marriage, and if a referendum such as Prop 8 had been held then interracial marriage would almost certainly have been banned all over again.  Indeed, part of the reason we have a system of judicial checks is to protect minorities from the whims of the 50%+1 majorities.

Dr. King once stated that he dreamed of a day when a man would be judged on the content of his character.  Forty-six years later, we are still dreaming for that day.

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California Court Upholds Prop 8

Posted by Eric on May 26, 2009

Not a huge surprise, but back in my home state the Supreme Court has ruled that Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages, is not a revision of the State Constitution, and therefore legal. Same-sex couples who have already married, however, will not have their marriages nullified.

My suspicion is that ultimately the fight for same-sex marriage may benefit from this ruling. Prop 8 will be overturned in 2010 or 2012 by Californian voters. That is, the most populous state in the union will legalize gay marriage by public fiat, not by a court decision and not by a vote in the legislature. The “judicial activist” attack will have lost all force and the significance of this cannot be overstated. With that said, today’s ruling really does suck for those couples who would like to be married now (and they should certainly have that right), but let’s not forget that this is a temporary set-back. The side of progress will prevail sooner, rather than later.

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