Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA

    When will America, as a whole, accept gay marriage? Should it be by federal or state?

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Link the Writer, May 21, 2014.

    Whee, my first post in the Debate Room! :D

    ~*~
    *ahem*

    So, with Pennsylvania on its way to becoming the 19th state to accept gay marriage, according to Yahoo News (http://news.yahoo.com/pennsylvania-gay-marriage-ban-overturned-judge-183943622.html), it got me to thinking. When will America, as a whole, legalize gay marriage? It seems to be a state-by-state process, but I'm thinking, "Why doesn't the government itself just step in and make an amendment (an equality of marriage amendment?) that legalizes gay marriage throughout the entire country?" I would like for that to happen not only because it'll speed up the process and grant the same right all over the country all at once, but it'll be something that America, as a nation, could be proud of. I mean, we did that when eradicating slavery and giving voting rights to women, I think we could do that again with granting legal rights for gay couples.

    So, what do you think? Should it be done via federal law, or state-by-state? If it's going to be done state-by-state, then how long do you reckon it'll take for it to be legal all over the country?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
    Fullmetal Xeno likes this.
  2. Garball
    Offline

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Location:
    S'port, LA
    Seeing as how one of the duties of the federal government is to regulate interstate laws, I think it should be involved in creating the nationwide right. What happens if a gay married couple move to a non-gay marriage state? Are they not recognized as married? That affects tax laws on some level I'm sure.
     
  3. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Which is why I think they should get involved. If it were a state-by-state thing, there's going to be problems, as you've listed out. A married gay couple in one state would be seen as just two guys/women in another state. This would have implications with tax laws and insurances and...a whole bunch of other issues.

    If it were done on a national level, so that every state is included all at once, it would make things go a lot faster, and avert potential problems regarding law and taxes.

    Plus, on a more social level, think of the couples that would have to move from their home state to a state that does allow gay marriage just so they can be legally considered married. Or what if they couldn't afford the money to move to another state, and are basically trapped in the state that refuses to recognize their union?
     
  4. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    It could take decades before there's a federal law. There's a lot of resistance to gay marriage from religious groups and politicians that's influencing government policies. If states are allowed to choose, then it may take even longer; I just don't see the Bible Belt states embracing gay marriage anytime soon.
     
  5. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I'm afraid not either. Apparently some of them, such as Alabama, refused to even accept interracial marriage before they were basically forced to by the Supreme Court of the United States. :/
     
  6. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    It's amazing that despite the invasion of the TEA Party, all the money backing religious conservatives and right wing majority faction on the SCOTUS, that we still managed to get a gay marriage and decriminalizing marijuana cascade going and a semblance of national health insurance with the Affordable Care Act.

    Gives one reason to hope, it does.
     
  7. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,915
    Likes Received:
    10,108
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I think it will happen faster than you think. The State "Constitutional" bans are toppling like poorly stacked Jenga and there are only five states currently that don't have cases before their courts: Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Even here in Puerto Rico, we have a case currently in court.


    http://www.marriageequality.org/lawsuits

    Federal judges are uninterested in upholding these bans because they simply are
    unconstitutional. There will come a threshold point when there are more citizens living where it's legal than where it's not, and that time is not far off at all. If there were ever to be a federal mandate, I don't think it would come until that point. At that point it won't matter if the Bible Belt "wants" it or not. Think about it realistically: There are areas of the South, that were they given the choice today, right now, would return to Jim Crow were it up to a vote. It's a very ugly truth, but it's a truth.
     
  8. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,685
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    As recent efforts to "prevent voter fraud" :wtf: all too clearly show.
     
    minstrel and GingerCoffee like this.
  9. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Ah, OK. I see. So if a state tries to uphold a law that the Federal government doesn't like, the Federal government will step in and say, "Um, no, we're not doing that." Considering there are more and more states that are accepting legalizing gay marriage, eventually, all the states that don't would likely feel pressured to do it anyway because they really don't want to be that state that doesn't support gay marriage. That, and people from within that state would ask their politicians why they're not doing anything about it.
     
  10. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,915
    Likes Received:
    10,108
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Well, it's important to note where the law comes from and what part of the federal government is acting. The SCOTUS struck down Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional and DOMA as a whole came from the federal legislative branch of the government. These state bans are also from their respective local legislative branches and being struck down by the judicial branch for not conforming with constitutionality.
     
  11. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    The reason why I think it'll take longer is because religion has had a huge influence on the way our society thinks about marriage. As an atheist, marriage is simply a way for my wife and I to get benefits. If those benefits didn't exist, I probably wouldn't even bother getting married. Do I really need a piece of paper to prove that I love my wife? For religious folks, however, marriage is something more: Christians see marriage as something ordained by God, the prophets of Islam advocated marriage, etc. Of course, this brings up the issue of sexuality vs. religion (I know gay people who are believers and go to church every week), which further complicates the issue.

    Anyway, I do hope I'm wrong about it taking a few decades; I guess I'm a pessimist when it comes to America's future.
     
  12. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,997
    Likes Received:
    5,506
    I suspect that gay marriage will become universally legal as a result of court action, rather than any act of Congress. I don't think that it will take decades.
     
    Wreybies likes this.
  13. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,915
    Likes Received:
    10,108
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Agreed, and this is why I don't worry overmuch about the religious opposition at this point, especially with new happenings like the state of Maine actively taking action against NOM. You don't actually have to wait for The People to have a change of heart. It just takes a federal judge to declare unconstitutionality of a law.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I agree. I think it's important to point out that despite the fact the SCOTUS ruled abortions legal decades ago, we are currently going backwards with states effectively eliminating access, one after another. And despite the civil rights gains from decades ago we have "The New Jim Crow" and all number of voter suppression moves that are suppressing minority votes all over again.

    I believe we will see civil rights for homosexuals in all states in the near future, but I expect the backlash will still be putting brakes on progress years into the future.

    Not that stifled progress is a reason to lose hope. I don't think this cat is ever going back in the bag and those other efforts to stall progressive successes will also eventually lose.

    Reality has a liberal bias, thank goodness. :)
     
    Ben414 and thirdwind like this.
  15. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    Groups/people can always appeal against a judge's decision. Unless the US Supreme Court or federal government steps in, it's the state's right and responsibility to set the conditions of what they consider to be a valid marriage. This brings up the issue of whether or not the federal government should regulate marriage in the first place. Keep in mind that if the federal government has the power to legalize gay marriage, they also have the power to ban it. Then there's the question of just how much power the federal government should have over our daily lives. So I remain pessimistic.

    Also, just as an FYI, the Founding Fathers didn't want the federal government to get involved in social matters. They believed that defining marriage should be left to the states or to communities, churches, and the individual person. In fact, one of the reasons the American Revolution succeeded and the French Revolution did not is because the French became too involved in social matters, such as trying to tackle poverty. The Founding Fathers just decided to leave such issues to the individual states.
     
    Killian Jones likes this.
  16. Ben414
    Offline

    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    785
    I disagree that if the federal government has the power to legalize gay marriage, they also gain the power to ban it. The issue at hand, according to the Supreme Court, is equal protection under the law. It isn't marriage per se that they are regulating, it's the fact that the government is treating different classes of people (homosexual couples versus heterosexual couples) differently under marriage laws. The Court can ban this unequal treatment under the Equal protection Clauses of the 5th or 14th Amendments, but they cannot ban gay marriage under the same amendments.

    The country has changed so dramatically since the founding era that their context-specific views don't always hold over to our new context. They did put in place a weaker federal government, and I think we all know how that worked out -- civil war. Because the prior system failed to prevent war, the 14th Amendment was passed allowing the Bill of Rights to apply to the state governments. From this, the federal government claimed more power over matters that had been previously delegated to the states.

    From a legal perspective, the founders purposely left the Constitution vague to allow for each generation to alter it to fit their specific needs. Hell, Thomas Jefferson even wanted each new generation of Americans to create their own constitution!

    I don't have an easy answer as to where the line between federal and state rights should be, but to me the gay marriage issue specifically is fairly cut and dry. States are purposely discriminating against homosexual couples without any good reasons. The Court has ruled that promoting its own morality is a legitimate state interest, but I don't think that reason is enough when the law purposely violates one of the most basic liberties that everyone should have.
     
  17. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    :confused:

    The French revolution failed? What history books is that outcome in? Was the guillotine backlash the best thing that could have happened? Of course not. The US Civil War wasn't anything to brag about either. In fact, speaking of the government getting involved in social issues, name a greater government social issue involvement than emancipation/abolition.

    There are many examples of countries that have significant government involvement in social issues which are very successful and some that don't which are utter economic and quality of life failures. I'm pretty sure government involvement in social issues is not the single variable upon which success of a government or a revolution depends.
     
    Ben414 likes this.
  18. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    Yes, it failed. Several times, in fact. The whole thing lasted about ten years (with various power changes during this time), and in the end all that happened was that an emperor ran the country instead of a king. That's not success.

    As for the American Revolution, the US got its freedom. That's a success in my book.

    Slavery wasn't the only reason for the Civil War. Other issues included states' rights and the issue of succession. In fact, slavery wasn't even the main reason for the war.

    Of course not. But I'd argue that it's a significant reason.

    Yes, and I've always thought it a good idea to replace our current Constitution with a new one. But until that happens, we're stuck with the Constitution as it is.
     
  19. Ben414
    Offline

    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    785
    Agreed. However, the Equal Protection Clauses of the 5th and 14th Amendments of our current Constitution already allow the Court to decide whether the gay marriage ban violates equal protection. There is already plenty of legal precedent to show that the Court has the jurisdiction to decide this issue under the Equal protection Clauses if they so wish.

    One can easily make a normative argument that the Court should not be deciding this issue, but it's a much harder argument to make legally considering the extensive legal precedent.

    EDIT: Maybe I am misinterpreting your argument. I'm saying that, legally, the Court has the capability to decide whether these state bans violate the Equal Protection Clauses. It would still be perfectly legal to not consider these bans under equal protection claims or decide that the bans do not violate the Equal Protection Clauses.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  20. stevesh
    Offline

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    Something my friend @thirdwind and I can disagree vehemently about, but I won't hijack the thread.

    Seems to me we have to decide first exactly what marriage is. It's either a religious ceremony or a secular legal arrangement. It can't be neither, and despite how hard many try to claim otherwise, it can't be both.

    If it's a religious thing, then it seems to me that the First Amendment would prohibit exclusions. If it's secular, then the Fourteenth Amendment would apply. Either way, there's no rational argument against allowing gay people to marry. Personally, I can't think of a reason why I should care who (or even how many people) you marry.

    I do think that it should be left to the states, though. There's a movement to enact federal law to force states to recognize each others' concealed weapons permits, with which I disagree, even though it might make it a little easier for me to travel around the country. Part of the whole idea of the United States is that each state will be a crucible for new ideas that may be adopted by other states if they seem to work.
     
  21. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,685
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I won't get into the French vs American Revolution kerfuffle, other than to point out that there were huge differences between the two to begin with (e.g. a colony breaking away from a mother country compared to a revolt from within a home country, a revolution that sought to unite the classes compared to one that was, in many ways, class warfare) that go a long way toward explaining the differences between the two results. However, to say that the French Revolution "failed" is inaccurate - the goal of the revolution was to take power away from the monarchy, and it did so. That French society did not immediately embark on a democratic course could be the subject of an entire college major.

    As for @stevesh's question above, I would argue that marriage itself is neither the religious ceremony nor the secular legal arrangement, because both have evolved as a way for the community to recognize what already exists, a lifelong commitment between two people. @GingerCoffee's comment that reality has a liberal bias reflects that attitudes in our society - as well as many others - have been growing increasingly tolerant on many issues over the past century. As that happens, it is only reasonable that the community also grows more tolerant in the relationships it is willing to recognize as marriages.

    Given that each state must recognize the laws of every other state, it really only took one state to legalize same-sex marriage for the matter to become inevitable.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  22. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    @thirdwind - Firstly, the French Revolution was being fought for completely different reasons to achieve completely different goals. I say the French Revolution actually succeeded. Granted it was bloody and chaotic, but that's what happens in a revolution. I imagine Jefferson would've applauded them for all that, as he was the guy who coined the whole 'refresh the tree of liberty from time to time' phrase. Secondly, yes, the Civil War was very much about slavery from the South's point of view. Why do you think the South left the Union to form the Confederacy? It wasn't just state's rights, it was also because they believed that Lincoln and his party posed such a high threat to their way of life (ie, holding slaves.)

    Back To Topic- @stevesh- You have a very good point. Either way, there's no real logical argument against gay marriage, and if one state legalized it, it's only a matter of time before the others start joining in.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  23. stevesh
    Offline

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    I don't think that's technically true, since gay marriage is legal in more than one state, and isn't universally recognized. My state of Michigan is, sadly, one of the holdouts, but a judge's ruling striking down the anti-gay marriage referendum is currently being appealed by our nitwit Attorney General.
     
  24. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,685
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Article IV, Section One:
    This^ is why your nitwit attorney general will lose. Under the Constitution, each state has the right to decide which marriages it will perform and which it won't (subject to other constitutional protections), but it has no choice but to recognize a marriage legally performed in another state.
     
  25. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,997
    Likes Received:
    5,506
    The same arguments could be used about slavery, women having the vote, interracial marriage, and so on. I'm not willing to give the states the right to vote to enslave me or take away my vote., and I'm not willing to give them the right to refuse to let certain people marry.

    And marriage is not a social matter. It determines inheritance, benefits and a thousand other things in law.

    And, no, the federal government doesn't have the right to ban it, not without throwing out the Constitution. The courts are just being slow to realize that the Constitution is inconsistent with a ban on gay marriage, just as they were slow to realize that it was inconsistent with a ban on interracial marriage.
     
    Simpson17866 and GingerCoffee like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page