10 October 2008

Connecticut's Unholy Union

In 2004, eight homosexual couples were denied marriage licenses, and they then filed a lawsuit claiming that their equal protection and due process rights were violated. Today, in a 4-3 ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court agreed with that argument and has forced all of Connecticut to join California and Massachusetts as one of the states that permits same-sex marriage.

"Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice," Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote in the majority opinion that overturned a lower court finding.

"To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others," Palmer wrote.
I say horse-hooey!

Let's think about this for a moment. Palmer says that "...gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice." If the desired partner is otherwise qualified, then that would indicate that there are other qualifications than simply the need for the people joining in marriage to be of the opposite sex. So what are those other qualifications?

There is the consanguinity or incest qualification (CGS § 46b-21). That's the one that says that people wanting to get married may not marry their mother/father, grandmother/grandfather, daughter/son, granddaughter/grandson, sister/brother, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, stepmother/stepfather, or stepdaughter/stepson. While I think the principle of preventing problems caused by genetic disorders than can arise when procreation occurs between two closely related individuals is still considered sound, will this need to apply to homosexual unions? After all, a homosexual union cannot bear children, so I'm sure that Justice Palmer would have to concede that the genetic disorders from procreation wouldn't apply to homosexual couples; and that would most certainly lead him to find that closely related people of the same sex are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex relative of their choice. Heterosexuals would still be on the hook for most of that as well, but stepparents and stepchildren will probably need to be no longer restricted for anyone. Those aren't blood relations, and as the homosexual lobby loves to point out, you can't help who you love.

Then there is the bigamy qualification (CGS § 53a-190). That's the one that says that a person who wants to get married can't marry someone else while they are still legally married. That's all fine and good until Tom wants to marry Sally, while still married to Ann, and both Ann and Sally are fine with the arrangement. The bigamy qualification is what keeps polygamy (the Tom, Sally, and Ann marriage) from occurring. If bigamy is permitted when all parties agree, then polygamy becomes fully legal. Again, as the homosexual argument goes, you can't help who you love, and in this case some people may have more love to give. Who is the state to interfere with that love and tell them no?

Sure, there are other qualifications, but those two give a couple of basic examples of requirements that most states have for marriage.

If sexual preference is enough to change the standing law in order to be in accordance with equal protection principles, then how could the state not also find religious beliefs to be enough to invoke the same? After all, the freedom to exercise one's religion is protected in the constitution, whereas sexual preference is never mentioned once. And, to be honest, cultural mores would seem to be more established than just one's sexual preference, so the law may need to embrace all cultural customs regarding marriage in order to be in accordance with equal protection principles.

I understand that some may scoff at this slippery slope argument, but the arguments above really are not all that much different than what the homosexuals have been arguing in order to get their special privilege exemption for marriage. Make no doubt about it; gay marriage is nothing more than a special group exemption to the existing laws.

See, what it comes down to is that they can all get married as it is right now. A person from a culture that says that she may marry a relative can still get married if she would like; she just needs to follow the law and not marry those from a group of a few specific family members. A person who follows a religion that permits polygamy can marry as many women as he likes; he just needs to follow the law and not be married to more than one woman at the same time.

And a person who has a sexual preference towards those of the same sex can marry as well; it's just that the homosexual will also need to follow the law like everybody else and marry someone of the opposite sex.


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