Monday, August 14, 2006

Gay Marriage and the Constitution

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Thomas Sowell at Townhall has a new article arguing that government has a right to regulate marriage:
The "equal protection of the laws" provided by the Constitution of the United States applies to people, not actions. Laws exist precisely in order to discriminate between different kinds of actions.
Exactly. But he draws the wrong conclusions. He feels that marriage can be regulated as a behavior, "
Because the state asserts an interest in the outcomes of certain unions, separate from and independent of the interests of the parties themselves."

Many of his arguments are traditionalist red herrings. Most married couples no longer have a stay at home wife who sacrifices for the marriage. And there is no logical difference between a man dumping his male partner of ten years or his female partner of ten years. In either case, there should be compensation -- visitation of children, dividing the shared possessions, and so on.

The government has every right to determine what protections and penalties will exist for those who are married, but when it begins to say who can get married and who cannot, it is violating the "equal protections" provided by the Constitution. In these cases, it is not limiting a behavior, but limiting the rights of some people to engage in an otherwise legal behavior.

More importantly, and having nothing to do with Sowell's article, any and all bans on gay marriage violate the "separation clause" of the Consitution. All bans on gay marriage are founded on religious objections, not on any form of rational or provable reasons that gay people should not be married. There are none. This is a clear violation of the Constitutional separation of church and state.

I continue to be surprised that no one has challenged these dumbass laws within this context.

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