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    My Take On NY Gay Marriage Bill

    My Take On NY Gay Marriage Bill

    If you believe that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” then you have to agree that states control their own legal definitions of marriage, and that such definitions are subject to the state political and judicial processes. 

    That political process in NY State was ugly at times, but it resulted in passage of a definition of marriage which, while contrary to the historical and religious definitions, likely is acceptable to the majority of people in NY State.  The religious protections built into the law held much sway, including the fact that the law by its terms may not be severed (meaning that if the religious protections are stricken by a court the entire bill must be stricken). 

    The political process is not over, and I would expect those opposed to the law to exercise whatever state legal and state political powers they have.  That is their right just as it is the right of those supporting the bill to seek to preserve it, and I reject the analogy to racism which permeated the argument and which was used as a political lever. 

    My hunch is that the new law will have much more long lasting acceptance because the political process was allowed to work, as opposed to states such as California where gay marriage was imposed by judicial fiat based on strained legal reasoning against the popular will.

    I also would suggest that the rise of the Tea Party movement contributed to the process which resulted in passage of the bill, because the Tea Party movement introduced a degree of libertarianism into the conservative movement, such that social issues have taken a back seat to economic issues.

    The real challenge will come when those who relied on states’ rights to pass gay marriage in New York State seek to override states’ rights elsewhere.

    Here is my take in fewer than 140 characters:


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    Excellent post professor. I am a staunch const. conservative, but pretty centerist when it comes to social issues. I support civil unions, if NY and MA wants to have gay marriage, as a state, and goes thruough their state legislature, then I’m fine with it.
    And in states like MT and SD, WV, gay marriage will never be passed, and as a staunch supporter of the 10th amend., I expect the federal govt to respect the state’s rights and not have it shoved down their throats.

    If a constitutional amend. is to be passed at the federal level, then fine, but then it requires states to ratify it, which means the states have to approve it.

    What I don’t want is the fed shoving it down american’s throats. This is how abortion should have been handled, and I’m pro-choice, but don’t support federal monies going to it. It should have been done as an amend., with respect for state’s rights.

      Fuzzy in reply to alex. | June 25, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      Ah, but that’s the professor’s final point. The very vehicle for passing this legislation (states rights) will be over-ruled, steam-rolled, and trashed should states use the same process to legislate against gay marriage (or to simply not pass such a law). The gay crusade won’t accept states rights . . . unless they go in their favor.

        alex in reply to Fuzzy. | June 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm

        “The gay crusade won’t accept states rights . . . unless they go in their favor.”

        Maybe in the past, the thing is now though, there has been a bit of an awakening in this country. Honestly, I never used to pay attention to the Consitution, 10th amendent or anything.

        And I imagine if an average like me is paying attendtion, so are millions others.

        and gay crusade can whine all they want when SD, ND, WV bans gay marriage, they can’t force any state to accept gay marriage unless it goes through at a federal level, and how are they going to enforce??? I’d like to see how the heck they force states like UT to force them to accept gay marraige. Not going to happen.
        (Just like Obamacare, they can’t force people to buy anything, and IRS is supposed to arrest people who dont? the local authorities are usually the one who do this, when a state says hell no, and will protect its citizens from the federal govt, the authority comes from the state itself)

        This actually is a step back for the whole gay marriage issue, because now you’ll have states ban gay marriage, they will legislate it, opposite of what NY did.

    A Mindful Webworker | June 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    My 2¢ for the day on “gay marriage,” worth every devalued penny.

    Some time back, I heard Eddie Huff on KFAQ, Tulsa, talking about a Black friend of his who said, even if the Republicans were a bunch of racists, he’d vote for them because they’re better on defending America. Something like that. I’m often the same way with my Christian Republican spiritual and political kin. I stand nearly indistinguishably with them when contrasted with the Obamanation, but not so close comparing with each other.

    It’s not easy to think it all through because of how one set of bad laws compounds another. Implementing true liberty gets complicated by socialist systems which even good right-wing folk support. What really makes it a problem to happily issue a work visa to anyone coming over the border is not the liberty to travel but laws like minimum wage and welfare. Prayer in public school is a bogus issue because the church-state conflict does not exist without public school in the first place. (Am I getting too Milton Friedman for you yet?)

    So the problem here is the state permission or disallowance of the personal contracts which entail the legal issues of “marriage.” The state cannot actually define “marriage” for me or my beliefs! It can enforce legal sanctions against homosexuals entering into civil unions, and worse force folks, landlords, say, to take in a gay couple even over the building owner’s moral or religious objections. (Better watch out. I’m about to sound like Rand Paul.)

    I’ll spare this site my longer arguments and, with uncharacteristic chutzpah, just link to where I, with uncharacteristic temerity, challenged Ann Coulter’s June 15 column on gay marriage (and, minorly, drug legalization).

    Back upthread, david7134 asked, (much as Coulter complained), “shouldn’t we quit being concerned over minor social issues and start working to preserve our country, wealth, economy and the light bulb?” (Liked the “light” ending on that one, Dave!) As if any issue of human right was minor! While I think david7134 needs to think it through a bit better (the left and right are much further apart than he thinks — see my first paragraph), he seems on the right track in recognizing the liberty of individuals to contract in a free society.

    Why shouldn’t gays get to experience the joys of divorce court?

    1. Way I see it. The Bill passed….thanks to two Republicans who were the deciding votes. This helps NYC gay republicans in their voter outreach effort to gay (indie and some democrat) voters.

    2. I don’t know who ‘Cass Sunstein’ is…until today when Jacobson mentioned it in passing in a reply to a comment. And what I’ve just learned about this particularly Obama-appointee is more alarming than all of BO’s other mischief-makers.

    Most gays I know (high income earners, the entrepreneurs and businness owners) will switch sides once they realized the Party that purports to be their champion on this single ‘right’ is also working to destroy their individual and property rights through Marxists like Cass Sunstein.

    Social-cons (and gays) need to calibrate and focus their political anger at the real danger at hand. The common destruction of our constitutional and economic freedom.

    Chicklet | June 26, 2011 at 3:36 am

    Look, this is just another way for the alphabet networks and lefty news reporters to attempt to equate conservatives as space aliens or worse.
    We saw bible-clutching Ruben Diaz quoting hateful bisops, democrats all, spewing nothing but bile. The senator was clearly not fulfilling his oath to represent the liberal bronx distruct that sent him to albany.
    The 4 Republicans acted like representatives, voting the wishes of their constituents. Good job!

    What did we learn. On both sides religion can lead a liberal and a republican off message. There are plenty of republicans and conservatives who know the multitute of benefits to society when kids are raised by 2 parents of any sex. The poverty stricken (though generally supported by us) single mother household is so needy (of another parent) that this family is always broke, sends their kids to the most expensive lousy school there is. Conservatives and republicans can be BOTH fiscal conservatives and Ok with gay marriage, which helps children and keeps family units intact.

    Married couples get to keep the other spouses social security, inherit their pension without gift tax, get to deduct the whole $500,000 on the house they sell, etc.

    hetero marriages fail at a 50% rate and often in the poor community the man leaves, doesn’t rase the kid but gets all the perks of marriage separation- his own place, his own money, etc. The republicans who supported this used their conscience and let the will of the voters trump religious fears.It was a good day in NY, politics for once worked as designed.

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