It would almost be a toss-up as to which group the modern-day Republican Party takes more issue: women or homosexuals. As of now, I have yet to read of proposed legislation from a member of the GOP requiring members of the gay community to have a probe forced upon them, so women may win this round.
That’s not to say it’s been easy. Quite the contrary, the LGBT communities have had several rights withheld through social policy, and in some cases, have lost rights within years of receiving them (I’m looking at you, Prop 8). The most debated of issues has been the right to wed.
In 2004, then-President George Bush called for a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in response to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, who cleared the way for the recognition of same-sex couples. Bush commented, “Their actions have created confusion on an issue that requires clarity.”
President Bush’s marriage amendment never passed and since 2004, we have seen more states legalize same-sex marriage (including my home state of Iowa). We have also seen a surge in anti-gay legislation by the modern-day Republican Party.
Recently, North Carolina Republicans have introduced a measure called Amendment 1. The measure requires a ban on same-sex marriage written into the state constitution, and also prohibits civil unions and domestic partnerships. However, the sponsor of the measure, Republican state Senator Peter Brunstetter, is currently in hot water due to a comment made by his wife. Advocate for all things ‘white’, Jodie Brunstetter was overheard by a poll worker explaining why her husband backed the measure, saying: “The reason my husband wrote Amendment 1 was because the Caucasion race is diminishing and we need to uh, reproduce.” Amendment 1 will be on the ballot next week. Good luck, dickhead.
The National Organization for Marriage unleashed the Death Star of anti-gay marriage pledges, titled the “NOM Marriage Pledge”. This single space declaration of hate includes:
- Supporting a federal amendment to re-define marriage as a union between one man and one woman
- Establish a presidential commission on religious liberty and document reports of Americans who have harassed or threatened those that are defending marriage
- Reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution
Did I mention this was signed by nearly EVERY GOP candidate, including Mitt Romney?
It’s interesting they brought the Founding Fathers into their cesspool. It’s true, there is no specification by the Fathers approving of same-sex marriage in the Constitution, but there is also nothing approving heterosexual marriage either. If anything, the constitution could be used in its current form to DEFEND same-sex marriage as it was in the Loving v. Virginia case.
In 1958, an interracial couple married in Washington D.C., returned back to their home in Virginia where they were arrested (interracial marriage and interracial sex were both illegal in Virginia). The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the convictions, declaring Virginia’s anti-miscegenation (segregation laws that applied towards marriage and relationships) statute violated the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. There is no reason why this can’t apply to same-sex couples today in states like Virginia or North Carolina.
The fact is that we shouldn’t have to resort to this. Same-sex marriage should be legalized. You have to wonder what the modern-day Republican Party is so concerned with? What terror do they think awaits the world after Pandora’s box is opened? Having lived in Iowa, I can tell you first hand. Nothing. Well…I got ahead of myself. Something did happen.
According to The Williams Institute, the legalization of same-sex marriages generated between $12 million and $13 million for the state and local economies of Iowa between April 2009 and April 2010, with an additional $850,000 to $930,000 in tax revenue. As mentioned by the researchers, the Iowa marriage licenses do not specify gender on the applications, which could make the total of funds from the marriage legalization as high as $20 million dollars.
New Jersey was on course to experience its own economical boost after the state legislature passed a same-sex marriage bill. That was until Republican governor Chris Christie vetoed it. The Williams Institute estimated New Jersey would earn an additional $248 million dollars over three years if same-sex marriage were legalized.
I know conservatives are quick to point to the Bible’s definition of marriage as “one woman and one man”, but you really can’t take the word of a book in regards to same-sex marriage when it refers to homosexuality as an “abomination” or believes those that commit homosexual acts should “surely be put to death.” I refer to that as a conflict of interest.
We should not have to be concerned with this hateful view being forced into our legislation, considering the Founding Fathers wrote the separation of church and state into our constitution.
For a little trivia sidebar, the same section of the Bible (Leviticus) that prohibits homosexuality also prohibits eating shellfish, pork, touching the carcass of a pig and tattoos.
I am fully aware that if/when I make the decision to reproduce, my child could very easily be a part of the LGBT community that the modern-day Republican Party works so hard to create legislation against. I would not want my child, regardless of orientation, growing up in a world that has passed laws limiting a select group of people’s access to basic rights everyone else gets to experience. I don’t wish that experience upon anyone.
There is no reason for this issue to continue to come up for debate. It is time a Constitutional amendment was proposed, not to prohibit same-sex marriage, but to accept it.
For me it is not an issue of gay marriage at all…but a more basic issue of civil rights universally and equitably applied for all citizens. As you noted there is nothing in the Constitution that speaks to marriage per se but the Declaration of Independence makes it clear: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I don’t see where that language makes any exceptions for citizens of color or who are gay. The Supreme Court in the ruling that was referenced in your piece stated: “Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival…. ” Surely those sworn to uphold the Constitution should not deny this exact same “basic civil right” to gays and lesbians regardless of their personal feelings or religious beliefs.
As for the Church…shut up or pay taxes. Save your commentary for the pulpit and your faithful and stay out of the legislatures and lobbying venues or loose your status as tax exempt.
I would also advise the state to stay out of religion and to cut ties that allow religious ceremonies to count as civil contracts. All citizens straight or gay should be required to have a civil marriage, performed only by a state entity and bestowing with it only civil benefits. Let sacramental marriage remain the total purview of religious entities and keep the two absolutely separate. I don’t care what the Catholic Church or any other church does with its faithful…that’s their business. I do care when the Catholic Church tries to foist its belief system on our civil government. If you are a member of a religion then marry civilly in a state venue. This, of course, although recognized as legal marriage by the state will not be recognized as a true marriage by your Church so you can then go to church and receive your sacrament to receive that recognition. If you are not a member of a religion then simply marry civilly in a state venue and be recognized by the state. If the Catholic Church or other religions were not so much like the “American Taliban” then they would have not objection to such a system. It does not interfere with their practice of religion and it does not allow bigotry to deny basic civil rights to citizens. Of course, we know that will never happen…