Tag Archives: equal protection

Feds have no say in marriage? Um, yes, they do!

The issue of marriage came up as a side issue in an editorial published by a Texas newspaper. I feel the need to set the record straight about what rights the federal government has in determining marriage.

The Amarillo Globe-News said this, among other things, in discussing states’ rights on sports betting and a recent Supreme Court ruling on that subject: The federal government has no right to define marriage in any way, shape or form. Yet the U.S. Supreme Court sees fit to define marriage for the entire nation. Again – no state’s rights here.

The AGN is seeking to ascertain where states’ rights are relevant and where federal authority supersedes them.

Read the editorial here.

Back to the point: The Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the U.S. Constitution — the document that governs the entire nation — has a clause that requires all citizens to have “equal protection under the law.” That was the basis of its ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 our states.

This isn’t a deeply held secret ruling concocted in some star chamber by a majority of the Supreme Court justices. The law is clear. Marriage becomes a federal issue if someone chooses to seek a legal remedy that they believe violates one of the key provisions of the Constitution.

Equal protection is such a key provision. Thus, when a segment of our population is denied the right to marry whoever they love, then the federal judiciary has an obligation to set the record straight.

States have no right, therefore, under the federal Constitution, to deny any American their guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Are we clear now? Good!

Texas Senate deciding whether to defy U.S. Supreme Court

I cannot believe the Texas Senate is considering a bill such as the one it is considering.

Senators are debating whether to allow county clerks to deny gay couples a marriage license.

Let’s see. How is this supposed to work?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago in a landmark decision that gay marriage is protected under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. It ruled that every state in the country should allow same-sex couples to marry, which requires them to obtain the legal documentation necessary to become married — just as straight couples are required to do.

The highest court in the nation — to which Texas belongs — ruled that gay marriage is legal.

County clerks, thus, are required to obey the oath they take to honor the laws of the land. Isn’t that right? A handful of county clerks quit their posts rather than perform the duties required of them as a result of the court ruling. Those who remain, though, must fulfill the oath they take — regardless, it seems to me, of their own religious conviction.

Amarillo straddles a border separating Randall and Potter counties. Renee Calhoun and Julie Smith, who serve as county clerks in Randall and Potter counties, respectively, both declared they would issue licenses to gay couples who requested them.

Given the political nature of this discussion, I feel compelled to note that both Calhoun and Smith are Republicans. A healthy majority of Republicans are inclined to oppose gay marriage as a matter of principle, relying on their belief in biblical assertions that marriage should be performed only between one man and one woman.

To my way of thinking, there shouldn’t even be a bill considered in the Texas Legislature that would give county clerks an “out” if they chose to deny gay couples a license to marry.

The Supreme Court of the United States, acting as the final arbiter on these constitutional matters, has decided the issue once and for all. Gay marriage is legal and county clerks ought to be required to do the job to which they swore an oath to perform faithfully.

I must stipulate that they swear their allegiance to the Constitution, as secular a governing document as any ever enacted.

KKK spews same old hate message

Hold on a second! I thought I read a time or two that the Ku Klux Klan was seeking to remake its image, that it was going to a sort of “kinder, gentler” hate group.

I must have dreamt it. The KKK is reverting to form.

A Mississippi Klan chapter has issued what it said is a “call to arms” to protest a decision to allow same-sex marriages to occur next door in Alabama.

http://www.salon.com/2015/02/14/kkk_issues_call_to_arms_over_alabama_same_sex_marriage_ruling_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

Where I come from, a “call to arms” means what it says: that you are going to take up arms and fight someone — in this case, presumably the federal government. Also, where I come from, that sounds like sedition, which means to plot against the government, to mount an armed rebellion. And isn’t that an act of treason, punishable by, um, death?

A Ku Klux Klan grand dragon/serpent — a guy named Brent Waller — said this on a website post: “We as White Christians intend to see that no outside agitators bully or intimidate the White Christian majority in the State of Alabama. We salute those like the chief justice (Roy Moore) for standing against the Immoral, Ungodly and activist Federal Judges.”

How will they do that? Are they going to shoot someone?

Holy hate speech, Batman!

This nimrod needs to know that the federal judges who are ruling against statewide bans on same-sex marriage are acting totally within the law. The Constitution gives them authority to interpret the nation’s government framework, which they’re doing by declaring the 14th Amendment to the Constitution protects all Americans’ right to “equal protection” under the law. I will restate right here that all Americans means everyone, no matter their sexual orientation.

History has demonstrated time and again — for more than a century — that the Klan doesn’t believe in the Constitution.

 

 

Ready or not, Texas, same-sex marriage on its way

Get ready, Texas.

We’re about to be told that same-sex marriage is OK after all in the Lone Star State.

That vote we had to amend the Texas Constitution to say “not just ‘no,’ but ‘hell no!’ to same-sex marriage”? It’s going to be ruled in violation of the other Constitution, the federal document that governs all Americans. You see, it has an amendment that guarantees “equal protection under the laws” for all U.S. citizens. It doesn’t say just for those who want to marry those of the opposite sex; it means all, period.

http://www.texastribune.org/2015/02/12/light-alabama-plaintiffs-tx-ask-relief/

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against an effort to overturn a lower-court ruling involving this issue in Alabama. That has court-watchers believing that other states whose same-sex marriage laws are in limbo at the moment now will be informed that, yes, they also must allow same-sex couples to get married.

One of the U.S. Supreme Court justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has said publicly that all Americans had better get used to the idea of same-sex marriage becoming legal in this country.

I remain somewhat conflicted on this issue. I dislike using the term “marriage” to define same-sex relationships. Being an old-fashioned kind of fellow, I remain a bit reluctant to climb on board fully. That all said, I do understand what the federal Constitution’s 14th Amendment says about equal protection.

Therefore, I believe it should be legalized purely on the grounds that the Founders understood that all citizens need certain guarantees written into the nation’s governing framework.

Texas remains one of 50 states, all of which are subject to federal law. Thus, we’d better prepare ourselves for the inevitable change in the way we view marriage.