That’s Soooo Gay…Anyone remember that Wanda Sykes commercial? If not then here you go…
It just seemed like a fitting start to this post on Gay Rights which is inspired by Mike Huckabee’s interview on CNN.
As usual, the press continues its anti Republican/Conservative slant of what was said. The Yahoo title today stated “Huckabee compares being gay to drinking, swearing” along with CNN. This is not entirely accurate. What he said is he has friends who drink alcohol and swear, both of which he has religious issues with. But he accepts them as friends even though he disagrees with their choices. This is hardly the same thing. His point was that we can accept those who we disagree with which is a vital and very valid point. But that is not really relevant to his run as President, other that distracting voters. The more important question to ask is…
Do you believe that a Ban on Gay Marriage is Constitutional?
Most Republican’s will say yes it is or will skirt the issue as a “States” issue while Democrats will typically say “No” but usually not with the correct reasoning. And while yes, marriage is a state issue, it is also not Constitutional. They are both right, sort of…
Lets be clear, Marriage is a State level law. The Constitution has no authority for marriage directly, not that has ever stopped the federal government before. So that is the point a lot of Republicans have loved to hide behind to avoid alienating the core party without totally shooting themselves in the foot outside of the party.
Democrats are right, it is Unconstitutional to ban Gay Marriage. Not something I say very often but they mostly take this stance to be a contradiction to the Republican and attract the alienated voters. I have yet to see a Democrat that has understood how it is Unconstitutional, although I am sure I could find a few if I looked. The party, in general, seems to think the Federal Government has control of marriage and marriage laws.
So how can they both be right and wrong?
Well that may not be as clear. First the States create legislation that defines what a marriage is. There is actually no Federal law that defines this. It is all provided through the state. But the Federal government does recognize these state marriages for tax purposes, and other legislation. And that is where the line gets a bit blurred.
So why can’t a state ban gay marriage then?
There is one reason, the 14th Amendment! Section one is pretty clear when it states:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.“
“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States“… Maybe that doesn’t entirely seem clear either. What does “abridge” mean? Well, according to Merriam-Webster, it is defined as:
abridge (verb \ə-ˈbrij\)
: to shorten (a book, a play, etc.) by leaving out some parts
: to lessen the strength or effect of (something, such as a right)
So by restricting marriage to the traditional heterosexual couple, wouldn’t that be “lessening the strength or effect of” the “privileges and immunities” of our citizens, specifically our gay ones? It sure appears that way to me. This would make all State laws defining marriage as “Man and Woman” Unconstitutional even though the federal government has no authority or power on marriage.
Hopefully that clears it up some…