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Gay Marriage Is Constitutional
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Gay Marriage Is Constitutional
[807 words]
E Rocco Caldwell

[April 2005]
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Gay Marriage Is Constitutional
E Rocco Caldwell

Recent events in the world have shed new light on the issue of human rights. Canada and the United Kingdom have taken the forefront in passing laws to identify same sex unions and give them the full rights extended marriage. In the United States the U.S. Supreme Court decriminalized same-sex intercourse causing fears in America that similar laws passed in Canada and Great Britain are on the way. At the core of this issue is how does one define human rights? Is the definition of human rights exclusive to that of minorities and women or is it as defined by the Constitution in a broader inclusiveness? There are many who define human rights as an issue of color or gender. In reading an article explaining Human Rights over the past two hundreds, an author wrote that in the pursuit of human rights the government should never encourage harmful behavior. Citizens should not be encouraged to engage in activities that will harm themselves or other people, such as drinking and driving, using drugs, or homosexuality because (here lies the bigotry) this lifestyle is known to shorten life spans and result in disease. This of course is untrue. It wasn't until 1967 that in a Supreme Court decision Mixed Race marriages were allowed throughout the United States prior to this ruling it was commonly believed that a mixed marriage was harmful behavior. Human Rights is an individual issue not a moral issue. The basic human rights of an individual fall within the constitution of these United States and are inalienable. These rights transcend religion, democracy, race, sex and even public opinion and if we, the American people, allow these rights to be taken from just an infinitesimal percentage of the population it will have grave affect on all of us in the future.

"Because marriage is a basic human right and an individual personal choice, the State should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry and share fully an equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitment of civil marriage." The Marriage Resolution, by the Marriage Project of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

Is this correct? A person's choice as to who he/she wishes to marry is a basic human right just as much so as if that person is not of the same color?
As Unionists we must be able to look beyond our biases in order to see what is clearly delineated in the Constitution. There is a distinct separation between church and state. Jesus was approached by the religious leaders of the time and asked if Jews should pay Roman taxes. This was a heated debate at the times because rebellion was in the air and a great dislike for the Romans existed in much of the Jewish populace. Jesus asked whose likeness adorned the coin. When the religious rulers answered Caesar's Jesus simply answered, "Render to Caesar what is due Caesar's but render to God what is due God's!" Here rests the separation between church and state.
I must stand up for the Constitution of the United States even in spite of my religious beliefs if I honor and respect the document. The issue of gay rights in America is one of heat debate. There really should be no debate. The constitution ensures the rights of all Americans. In the past, unionists were reviled as were blacks, Asians, Native-Americans even the Irish. These hatreds in time were proven to be crests of evil and bigotry. They harmed America. Will the same happen in respects to our gay brothers and sisters? I can't answer that but I know that we, as a people if we deny these basic human rights to gays, will be judged harshly by generations to come as we judged harshly the generations that held to segregation, denied equal rights for women. America is a transitional country as is our political process so public opinion can not override the Constitution. Recently, religious groups have been lobbying to have a constitutional amendment passed that would ban gay marriage. This of course would radically modify the existing Constitution. Think about the potential devastation an amendment like this would carry? It would only take the majority of Americans to decide that another constitutional amendment be passed banning interracial marriages and the list go on. If the constitution can be modified no amendment existing is safe! Many of you say that will never happen. Remember this nation's Christianity didn't prevent wrongs in the past!
So to answer the pending question, what is the definition of human rights? I will give you a clinic definition. It is ensuring freedom for all persons from arbitrary interference or restriction by governments. Governments are always dictated by public opinion and so human rights also ensure freedom from arbitrary public opinion rather religious or popular based.




"Intelligent, well-argued and, although not American, I agree with every word. " -- Peter Rivendell.
"Thanks, Peter, I think?" -- e. rocco caldwell.
"I just meant that as a non-American, I find the whole obssession with the Constitution bewildering. And that`s not meant to be a criticism, it`s just a very American thing." -- Peter Rivendell.
"I understand. But for us Americans the Constitution is the essence of our government. But I too at times find it perplexing myself" -- e. rocco caldwell.
"Once again, kooks like yourself continue to exploit the individual rights syndrome and forever focus on your own self-serving interpretation of our constitution. In no society or culture, should the rights of an individual supercede the need to preserve the collective rights and traditions of a society. For thousands of years, marriage ceremonies have been performed between a man and a woman. Whether these marriages were religious or civil, involved monogamy or poligamy, or were between races, they have always respected the heterosexual nature of marriage with the emphasis on procreation as one of marriage's primary purposes. Now, in the 21st century, we are suddenly filled with wisdom and see the need to expand upon the definition of marriage. Individual rights? How about marriage between a man and his cat or dog? A woman and her German Shepard? To you and liberal Supreme Court Justices, reading the constitution is like reading the Bible. You think the constitution is filled with parables, giving you a multitude of interpretation leeway to find something in it that justifies anyone's warped behavior. How come people like you don't interpret the "right to bear arms" to mean each of us has a right to own a gun to protect our lives and property? That seems pretty clear to many, but you probably find a different meaning in that, don't you? " -- Richard.
"you are so wrong! It wasn't until the 1970s that individual states recognized marriage between different races! It was considered a criminal offense for a black man to marry a white woman! The constititution superceded this racist view! I don't believe in Gay marriage but it is constititional period! When are people going to realize this! You can argue all you want and the bottom line is that gay marriage can not be excluded nor can there be a amendment added to prevent it! You can use whatever illogical argument you want "A dog and a woman" This shows your lack of rationalizing the facts! The word consenting adults is key here! You other statement about guns shows you lack any true discipline in rational argumentation. This isn't about the rights to bear arms but about someone for whatever reason decides to create a amendment to take away your right to bear arms. It is in the core of the constitution to protect the rights of all Americans and Gay Americans are Americans! " -- e. rocco caldwell.
"You die hard liberals never give up. I quote from Merriam-Webster's dictionary: Marriage: "The mutual relationship of husband and wife; The institution whereby MEN and WOMEN are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family." That's good enough for me and millions of other citizens who can read the constitution and the dictionary as well. " -- Richard.
"I think you make a fairly good point. It should be up to an individual to decide, not a corrupt rule that wont make any sense to the future generations. " -- Buxton.
"Thank you, Buxton. We will be judged by generations to come not only with this issue but in what we are doing in Iraq and other places in the world. " -- e. rocco caldwell.
"You essay is well written, however I see major flaws in the reasoning. There are two basic arguments here and you seemed to lump it together as if it was one issue. Gay Civil Unions and Gay Marriage. The 14th Amendment states that 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. nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. I would have to agree that gays deserve the same rights that heterosexuals enjoy. I do not see anything in the Constitution that makes denying gays spousal benefits Constitutional. When it comes to marriage it is a totally different argument. The Constitution provides equal protection, equal protection means that everyone will be treated fairly under the law, it does not mean that a group of people have a Constitutional right to change the meaning of a word or tradition. The other thing is what you stated below: Think about the potential devastation an amendment like this would carry? It would only take the majority of Americans to decide that another constitutional amendment be passed banning interracial marriages and the list go on. If the constitution can be modified no amendment existing is safe! Many of you say that will never happen. Remember this nation's Christianity didn't prevent wrongs in the past! The way this sounds is that if an amendment is passed to ban Gay Marriage, then suddenly the entire Constitution is now under some precedent where it can be now modified. This would not be something new. The amendments have never been safe, to make them safe you would have to go back and change our whole form of government. If the Constitution was not able to be modified there would still be slaves. " -- BH.
"Bh, you're wrong! The constitution never supported slavery...in fact, it was the constitution that questioned the entire issue of slavery! Christianity didn't do anything because many of the slave holders were Christians. It's true that the Civil War was more economic issue than a slave issue but the constitution was the rallying cry for those against slavery. The 13th amendment only verified what was the intend of the constitution. It wasn't modified. Now your other point is wrong too... the defintion of marriage has no affect on what the constitution is suppose to provide for every person! In fact, the constitution is about individual rights in the face of majority or democracy! I pointed ti interracial marriage because the Christian belief at the time was that it was wrong...The constitution ensured interracial marriage and forced individual states to comply! Anytime we threaten one individual's right we do so to all our rights! " -- e. rocco caldwell.
"There was no ammendment that granted the right to own slaves. However the 10th Ammendment grants the power to the states on anything not prohibited by the Constitution. Since there was not an amendment banning slavery it was a state issue. You can say it did not support it, or you can say it did. Niether would be correct or incorrect statements. What was the intent of the original founders? If you asked the Southern founders and the Northern founders this question you would have gotten different answers. The South would have never joined the United States with an ammendment abolishing slavery. The bottom line is that it allowed it. When Lincoln emanicpated the slaves he could only free those in territory held by the Confederacy because they were enemy contraband,he didn't need the Constitution any more than he would have needed it to sieze weopons and ammunition, he could do nothing for the slaves in the border states because there was nothing in the Constitution that would have allowed it. The other point you make is that an individual has the right to marriage despite the fact that the definition and long time tradition of marriage is and has been for centuries between a man and a woman. If some scientific breakthrough made it possible for men to bare children, the equal protection under the law in the Constitution would demand that they get the same maternity benifits that women get under the law. They would not have a Constitutional right to have their birthing be termed vaginal birth by the State. Gays have the right to the same benifits as heterosexuals, they have the right to call themselves married all they want, they do not have a Constitutional right to force the State to redefine words for them. Show me anywhere in the Constitution where it states that any individual can force the State to redefine a word and reconize it as such? This is a state issue, until an ammendment is passed that forces the states to reconize gay marriage it is a state issue and is completely Constitutional for States to ban it. Banning Civil Unions is another issue. Your title for this essay should have been, Gay Marriage Should Be Constitutional, not Gay Marriage Is Constitutional. " -- BH.
"BH, I will agree with the twisted way you presented your argument. It's a matter of sematics. The entire point of the essay is that in the essence of indiviudal rights it's constitutional. My point is that any majority that tries to determine the rights of any individual is wrong! The constitutional enusres the rights of any individual as long as it doesn't violate the rights of another! You point out things never the intent of this piece. This was a piece of Human Rights and individual rights both a part of the law. I wanted to say no matter how one feels morally the constitution promises to defense of the rights of the person in spite of the majority. Passing any ammendment to take away the rights of the individual is unconstitutional" -- e. rocco caldwell.
"If you think it is proper for same sex marriage you have to ignore the bible, so therefore you are an athiest. This nation was founded on bibical principals and same sex marriage is out of bounds, and forbidden in the bibical text, no matter what translation you take it from." -- Brian O Neil.
"I agree that bibically same-sex marriage is wrong but this piece is about the constititutionality of same-sex marriage. If I'm wrong look at what is occuring in the country as we write...cities are confronting the law based on the constitution. So, Brian, I wonder if you even read this piece and not just the remarks. I pointed out there are two issues here...religious and civil! " -- e. rocco caldwell.
"Very well put piece, Rocco. Gay marriage is not wrong or immoral and I will not allow anyone to ever tell me different. We are human, we have rights and shame on Bush and the religious Right for trying to take that away from us. " -- Skyler Drevan.
"There is no culture or society in the history of the world which has defined marriage as being anything other than a union between a man and a woman or man and women. E.Rocco, you know damn well that the framers of the constituion never even considered the possibility of same sex marriage because the concept was against the laws of God, and totally unnatural then , as it is today. So get over it, it's never going to happen and we won't need a constitutional amendment to prevent it. And by the way, Rocco you are really an asshole. If you're going to write, learn how to spell. " -- Father of Anonymous.
"Califorina got it right....." -- suuny state .


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© 2003 E Rocco Caldwell
November 2003

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