States should decide for themselves

Robert Mullen, Reporter

By Robert Mullen



With the U.S. Supreme Court still deliberating on the issue of same-sex marriage legality, a very polarizing issue, I thought I’d weigh in on it.

Firstly, I am not against gay marriage. I’m also not for it. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never voted for or against a measure dealing with the issue. This has little to do with any personal moral qualms, though I consider myself both a Christian and a conservative. I just don’t think of it as a sin, and were it, I don’t think I’m the best person to judge since I haven’t heard of God smiting anybody over this issue recently.

Even with a relatively neutral stance on the issue, I am upset with this, mostly because I see this as a sort of illegal blackmail and arm-twisting.

Personally I do not consider marriage a civil right. I haven’t seen anything in the constitution that enables the federal government to force a state to recognize a union between two non-related people in any form. Currently this means that marriage is a privilege that a state can allow, not one that it has to permit.

This extends, in my mind at least, even to more “traditional” marriages. If California were to pass a measure to ban regular marriage, I’d certainly be upset. I guarantee I’d be out there marching and protesting, and voting in the next state election to overturn it, or I’d move (my lethargy in any pursuit taking more than a week is legendary).  But the federal government shouldn’t be allowed to step in to overturn it.

The federal government already protects gay individuals from the same forms of prejudice and ensures they have the same rights as everyone else. Legally they are protected from forms of discrimination, and have the same rights as all other American citizens.

Of course morally it’s a bigger problem. Why shouldn’t gay couples be allowed to marry? There aren’t really many good reasons as to why, since we live in a country founded upon the theory of law and equality. But overstepping the right of a state that is not violating the constitution, is in violation of the tenth amendment, and is therefore the same problem perceived by many same-sex marriage proponents, a violation of constitutional rights.

Some may counter that appealing to the highest judicial office of the United States is simply following in the footsteps of the past civil rights movements. But this seems a rather egotistical, ignorant, and disrespectful notion. Blacks had to endure over a century of blatant racism, discrimination, and hardship before the law at large accepted them as human beings. Women endured abuses even before their basic right to vote was recognized. The gay community does not, nor has, shared in abuses that can be fairly compared.

If your state does not recognize gay marriage, then move to one of the states that do, or continue to live there and campaign for it until it does so. To circumvent such procedure, for such a relatively trivial issue, is rather silly.

I see a future where gay marriage is wildly accepted in many states, and I think that before too long a majority of states will recognize that it is as legally viable as “traditional” marriage. I don’t think that America will become a hive of scum and villainy, nor do I believe God will strike us down with terrible vengeance when this happens. But as a firm believer in secular law, I still hope that the Supreme Court upholds the rights of states to decide on this issue.