Tag Archives: Florida

Gay marriage on its way … to Texas?

Do you ever feel as though you’re swimming against a tide that keeps getting stronger while it sucks the energy out of your efforts to fight it?

That’s how I’m feeling with this gay marriage issue.

I’m still grappling with the notion that it’s all right for people of the same sex to marry each other. I’m a traditionalist and my own values make it hard for me to embrace the idea of same-sex marriage as being the same as the marriage I have enjoyed for the past 43-plus years.

OK, I’ve laid down that marker.

I also understand what the law says, what’s in the U.S. Constitution and how all Americans are guaranteed equal protection under the law. Thus, it appears that states’ bans on gay marriage appear doomed.

That notion I will accept.

Florida has just begun allowing same-sex couples to marry. Federal judges — those damn “unelected judges,” in the eyes of conservatives — keep overturning state bans on same-sex marriage. A federal judge in Texas has ruled that our state’s ban — written into the Texas Constitution — violates the federal Constitution’s equal protection clause stated in the 14th Amendment. It grants full rights of citizenship to anyone born in the United States with zero regard to that people’s sexual orientation.

All of this makes perfect sense to me. If the states are governed by a federal framework — the Constitution — then the states are obligated to obey the rules set down within that framework.

Does any of this mean that all Americans must embrace the idea of same-sex partners getting married? Honestly, no.

All it means to me is that the law is the law and that states cannot impose their own laws that supersede the Constitution of the United States of America.

That includes bans on same-sex marriage.

I can feel that tide of political and cultural change getting stronger all the time.


Men's basketball champ will be …

OK, sports fans, here is my call for the much-anticipated NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The Final Four has been set. I have had next to zero interest in this March Madness malarkey. I say “next to zero” only because one team from my home state of Oregon was in the tournament at the beginning.

The Oregon Ducks beat BYU in the first round, then lost to Wisconsin in the second round. Wisconsin? Oh, yeah, the Badgers are one of the Final Four teams.

Back to that in a moment.

The other three are Connecticut, Florida and Kentucky.

I do not follow college basketball the way I follow college football. Don’t misunderstand, I’m no expert on either sport. I played a little high school freshman football a hundred or so years ago, but I cannot pretend to know much about the nuances of the game.

But I do follow the Ducks, the Oregon State Beavers and on rare occasions I like to watch the University of Washington Huskies.

Who’ll win the NCAA men’s basketball championship?

My unscientific, unknowing and uneducated pick will be Wisconsin.

Why? Because I want the Ducks of the University of Oregon to have some meager bragging right to having lost their tournament bid to the eventual national champions.

I have an extended family connection to Wisconsin as well. My wife’s Aunt Margaret lives in Kenosha, as does my wife’s cousin Tom; another of my wife’s cousins, Joanne, lives in Milwaukee.

OK, there you have it.

I will retain my virtual non-interest in the tournament, except for “rooting” — if you want to call it that — for the Oregon Ducks to look back and say, “Hey, we lost to the best team in the country.”