Tag Archives: interracial marriage

It’s all about ‘equal protection’

Let’s set the record straight on a key constitutional point: the nation’s founders didn’t get it entirely correct when they drafted the U.S. Constitution in the late 18th century; it has needed amendments designed to provide for a “more perfect Union.”

The 14th Amendment, enacted in 1868, states, “nor shall any State … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”Ā The Equal Protection Clause contained in the first part of that amendment, therefore, means that no one shall be denied the right to marry the person they love. Period. Full stop.

That also means the U.S. Senate acted correctly this week when it cast a bipartisan vote to codify that same-sex and interracial marriage shall be part of the federal statutes.

The Supreme Court agreed with the Equal Protection Clause when it endorsed same-sex marriage in 2015. That protection, though, is in jeopardy, given the court’s recent ruling to strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion. Conservative justices have hinted they might be inclined to strike down the Equal Protection Clause, too, the benchmark for the ruling that allowed same-sex and interracial marriage.

That cannot be allowed to happen.

It’s also instructive that two of the “no” votes in the Senate came from Texas’s two Republican senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, both of whom profess to be legal scholars. They, instead, are revealing their partisan stripes, appealing to the wild-eyed base within the GOP’s lunatic voters.

I could have predicted that Ted Cruz would have voted that way. Cornyn’s “no” vote is deeply disappointing. At least, though, they’re both on the record saying that they are unwilling to offer protection to all Americans, giving them the constitutional right to marry the person they love.

Next comes the House of Representatives. May that body show the wisdom demonstrated by most of their Senate colleagues and then send this legislation to President Biden’s desk for his signature that makes it the law of this great land.


Back to the beginning on marriage?

Wow. I didn’t ever think we would reach this point after the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that men could marry men and women would marry women.

We’re now watching the U.S. House of Representatives enacting legislation that makes same-sex marriage — and same-sex intimacy — legal all over again. A bipartisan bill seeks to head off a possible future Supreme Court ruling that could make gay marriage illegal in this country.

What in the world are we doing to ourselves?

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, recently said the SCOTUS ruling legalizing gay marriage was wrong. Cruz is wrong. Not the court, which ruled that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees all Americans the right to due process and equal protection under the law.

But wait a second! The nation’s highest court struck down the law legalizing abortion and is sending signals it could do the same thing to gay marriage and perhaps even interracial marriage.

Yikes, man!

The House vote doesn’t codify what shouldn’t even be on the table. The Senate has to approve it but needs 60 votes to make it law. A 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans, though, signals that the Senate might not have the votes to do the right thing.

That would be to enact a federal law that strengthens the high court’s decision legalizing gay marriage.

I am shaking my noggin utter disgust.


U.S. Constitution alive and well

There are those who say the U.S. Constitution is carved in stone.

Others say it is a living document.

I will side with the living document folks.

Consider this, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision that legalizes gay marriage across the nation.

The Constitution, when it was written, granted full citizenship rights to just a portion of the population.

* Men were allowed to vote. Not women.

* Black people were the property of white people; they were considered to be three-fifths of a human being.

Eventually, the Constitution underwent change.

The 19th Amendment gave women got the right to vote. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery.Ā The 24th Amendment barred poll taxes as a requirement to vote in federal elections.

The courts stepped in on a number of fronts. The Supreme Court tossed out a state law that prohibited interracial marriage; it tossed out “separate but equal” provisions in public education, resulting in integration of our public schools; it ruled that women have a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

Now it has ruled that same-sex couples are as entitled to marry as heterosexual couples.

The Constitution has evolved over time.

I believe the evolution will continue with this latest ruling.


Simple questions need simple answers

Greg Abbott apparently fielded a question that didn’t require a lot of verbal nimbleness.

However, the Republican nominee for Texas governor tried to get cute with his response and in the process had some folks scratching their heads over what he really meant.


The question came from the San Antonio Express-News editorial board, according to Dallas Morning News blogger Jim Mitchell: Would the state attorney general have defended a state ban against interracial marriage?

Abbott has said that as AG, it is his duty to defend state laws, such as the law that bans same-sex marriage. So the Express-News sought to broaden the context just a little by posing a hypothetical question about interracial marriage.

Abbott fluffed the answer, according to Mitchell. Here’s how Mitchell reported it: “Rather than say ‘no I would not defend a ban on interracial marriage,’Ā  he slipped into an accurate, but weak response: ‘And all I can do is deal with the issues that are before meā€¦ the job of attorney general is to represent and defend in court the laws of theirĀ client, which isĀ  the state Legislature, unless and until, a court strikes it down.’ā€

The result, said Mitchell, was to create questions about whether Abbott somehow believes such a ban is worth defending, that he’s might actual favor such a prohibition.

Abbott’s arguments against same-sex marriage also pose some problems for the GOP nominee. He said something recently about marriage needing to produce children. Obviously, two people of the same gender cannot do such a thing. Here’s Mitchell’s take: “Iā€™ve taken Abbott to task for his defense of the same-sex ban and the prime reasonĀ cited in court filingsĀ —Ā the supposed state interest inĀ procreation. Regardless of his personal thoughts, the procreationĀ argument is just amazingly weak.”

Come on, Mr. Attorney General. When you get asked a straightforward question, respond with a straightforward answer.

Keep it simple.