Tuesday, May 21, 2013

One of these things is not like the other...

Remember that song on Sesame Street?
"One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others. By the time I finish my song?"


Looking through the mountains of speculation on the pending gay marriage cases, that song seems particularly relevant. Much has been made of certain cautionary statements by Justice Ginsburg which inferred that the continuing cultural battle over abortion may have been fueled by judicial overreach that ended progress at the local level that might have been more enduring.

According to Ginsburg, Roe went "too far, too fast" and some take this as a hint that the court might take a more piecemeal approach to the gay marriage cases, favoring limited decisions over the broad ruling some are rooting for. I certainly hope that is not true, because the analogy just doesn't hold.

I'm decidedly pro-choice. But if asked to argue the other side, I could make a compelling case. It's not as if abortion opponents are completely lacking some science and rational on their side. Life does begin at conception, the question is are the rights of that life equal to those of the mother over the matter of her own body? When do the full rights of a human being kick in? I'm comfortable with first trimester abortions, but increasingly less comfortable as time goes on. The fact is that with abortion there are many gray areas and those combine with religious doctrine and conservative culture to create enduring conflict.

There are no comparable substantive matters in opposition to gay marriage. Opponents have been forced to rely on religious doctrine or the obscure notion of tradition to justify the obvious discrimination. In states that have passed gay marriage, either by court ruling, legislative process, or public referendum the results have been positive. Why? Because it really doesn't affect you unless you're gay and want to get married, and then it's a positive thing.

The correct analogy for gay marriage isn't to abortion. It's to interracial marriage and the historic and aptly titled Loving v. Virgina ruling.

When love walks in the room, everybody stand up. Go wide SCOTUS, go wide!  

11 comments:

Shoot The Lawyers said...

Dead wrong on this one. Proponents of gay marriage miss the point entirely.
1. The government has absolutely no business issuing marriage licenses to anyone. It is the equivalent of requiring a license to believe in God or that the earth is flat. If people want to get married, they should be able to simply declare themselves man and whatever.
2. The only reason there is a marriage license requirement is because years ago men and women were unequal. Men had a huge financial advantage and the license was a legal mechanism for the wife to have leverage over him in the event he decided to grab his money and hit the road. Remember dowery and all that nonsense?
3. The proper solution here is for the government to abolish marriage licenses completely and the tax benefits that go with it. You want to be married? Go to the church of your choice and get married or just declare yourself married. Sort of like making your First Communion or Bar Mitzvah. None of the government's damn business.

Godwhacker said...

For years I was a libertarian and I used to hear those lines a lot STL. "Just get government out of marriage and blah blah blah."

It's a fine idea, save for the fact that it's not going to happen.

Meanwhile, in the reality based universe, I'd like my equality now please.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is "obscure" about the tradition of marriage?

Godwhacker said...

@2:28
Did you watch the video? It makes the case quite clear.

Anonymous said...

Once you could get a sexy and obedient wife for 4 or 5 goats. Bring back the good old days!

GB said...

I like the civil discourse on this emotional issue.

Fiber lawyer. A new super-hero said...

A diet high in fiber makes all the difference. Its really a life changer. Try it. Too many judges and lawyer are starting off their day with a frown on their face.

Godwhacker said...

@7:53

Constipation is a big problem!

South Florida Lawyers said...

So true about fiber.

Anonymous said...

Granola is wonderful. Almonds mid day. Ruffage. A martini. Maybe an enema. Oh dear, I've said too much.

GB

Godwhacker said...

I swear by enemas, but something tells me there are a lot of normal old boring old toilet goers around.