This post mainly concerns this article written by Tia Heires on Gay marriage.
Tia wrote a post about gay marriage and, in an attempt at conversation, I have to agree that gay marriage should be legal but for different reasons. First, she talks about the constitution, specifically this quote: “The Citizens of each state shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several states.” It’s better known as the Privileges and Immunities clause, something I wouldn’t have known without having taken AP Government this year and reading the Constitution for myself (in a handy notebook form). However, my knowledge on the clause fails me beyond the name and after doing some research, I have to disagree with her interpretation. I found a quote that I think explains exactly how this clause has been interpreted by the judicial system. It is Justice Washington commenting during the Slaughterhouse Cases. He says,
“Its sole purpose was to declare to the several States, that whatever those rights, as you grant or establish them to your own citizens, or as you limit or qualify, or impose restrictions on their exercise, the same, neither more nor less, shall be the measure of the rights of citizens of other States within your jurisdiction.”
In plain English it basically says that states must provide consistency in their laws. A resident of the state has the same rights within that state as someone who is not a resident. So I disagree with Tia’s assumption that the law means that a law passed in one state to allow gay marriage means that all states have gay marriage. It reminds me of the Dred Scott case, where it was decided that a slave is property, therefore even if they went to a free state they were still a slave. That meant that the laws passed in the south trumped the laws abolishing slavery in the north. Essentially it defeats the concept of state’s rights.
For me, it is the simple fact that marriage is legal that makes me believe gay marriage should also be legal. It is discrimination to say what genders may and may not marry. Furthermore, it violates the separation of church and state. Who says that gay marriage is wrong? Religious people. I may be Little Miss Christianity but I can’t abide to my own religion’s doctrine. Who are we to say what is wrong and what is right? The government is supposed to provide equality for all without having a bias towards one religion or another. Clearly, our government isn’t seeing things right if they believe that they can continue to use such obvious bias towards religion. Marriage is a union between two people-any two people, whether they be gay or straight.
I have to agree with Tia that this is a human rights issue. If one group has the ability to marry, why not all? It is simple discrimination. Until people realize this and look past their own religious beliefs, we won’t be able to have change. I am happy that my state allowed gay marriage even if the majority of Iowans disagreed with it. The right to marriage is a right possessed by all straight couples but the right is not extended to gay ones. Their right to happiness, as well as the separation of church and state, is being violated.
There are some that would approach this subject with a Darwinian tone. Since gay couples cannot have children, they are viewed as useless in the evolutionary world. Therefore, the extension of marriage to gays would not have a positive impact on the U.S. In fact, keeping marriage between man and woman would better profit the U.S. Keeping the discrimination that leads some gay men to enter in loveless but fruitful marriages increases the number of people that will someday pay taxes, contribute to society and serve in our military. Objectively, it could be in the nation’s interests to keep the ban in place. However, morally I find this to be reprehensible. My idealism won’t allow me to think of such a brutal path and yet it is a path that I would accept. If the courts ruled that it was in the nation’s best interest to keep gay marriage illegal because it did not help contribute to the nation, I would agree. Don’t get me wrong though; I’m still very proud of the fact that my judges, Iowa’s judges, allowed gay marriage in Iowa, despite the fact that most of their constituents disagreed, myself excluded.