Friday, July 07, 2006

Pure Ignorance

If there was one state in the nation that I believed had let the philosophical and constitutional essence of equality perculate throughout it, my bet would have been New York.

Not so.

Today New York became the next state to eviscerate the Bill of Rights, ruling an individual does not have the right to marry another consenting adult of the same sex. The ruling is tinged throughout with lazy moralizing about what's best for children even though children cannot be a product of gay unions obviously. Some conservatives may say that's just it, the only point to marriage is to produce children. So why not create a ban on marriage if the couple involved matter-of-factly states their union is not a means to a laborous end? Doesn't this fit into the following excerpt of the majority decision of the court written by Judge Robert S. Smith.
First, the Legislature could rationally decide that for the welfare of children, it is more important to promote stability, and to avoid instability, in opposite-sex than in same-sex relationships. Heterosexual intercourse has a natural tendency to lead to the birth of children; homosexual intercourse does not. Despite the advances of science, it remains true that the vast majority of children are born as a result of a sexual relationship between a man and a woman, and the Legislature could find that this will continue to be true. The Legislature could also find that such relationships are all too often casual or temporary. It could find that an important function of marriage is to create more stability and permanence in the relationships that cause children to be born. It thus could choose to offer an inducement - in the form of marriage and its attendant benefits - to opposite-sex couples who make a solemn, long-term commitment to each other.

The Legislature could find that this rationale for marriage does not apply with comparable force to same-sex couples. …el4 There is a second reason: The Legislature could rationally believe that it is better, other things being equal, for children to grow up with both a mother and a father. Intuition and experience suggest that a child benefits from having before his or her eyes, every day, living models of what both a man and a woman are like. It is obvious that there are exceptions to this general rule - some children who never know their fathers, or their mothers, do far better than some who grow up with parents of both sexes - but the Legislature could find that the general rule will usually hold. …

In sum, there are rational grounds on which the Legislature could choose to restrict marriage to couples of opposite sex. Plaintiffs have not persuaded us that this long accepted restriction is a wholly irrational one, based solely on ignorance and prejudice against homosexuals.
I'm a straight man that someday would like to get married but does that mean I've entered into an immoral arrangement if my wife and I choose not to have children? Are we just selfish ass blue-state careerists if we decide against children?

Also, is it the court's responsibility to ensure family stability? Doesn't this fall under the liberty of the individuals concerned? Also Roberts ruling is a non sequitur. There can be no offspring from a homosexual union, so how does a gay union compromise the traditional family unit anymore than my decision not to marry and stay a bachelor for the rest of my life.

In this country we are creating a second-class citizenry of a very slim minority of the population for no other reason than religious bigotry, scientific misunderstanding that labels homosexuality a mental illness rather than biologically determined, and a pervasive homophobia whereby men are afraid secretly that they just may enjoy a gay romp if no one would find out.

Religion is winning the battle against secularism and it's making for a more intolerant population that will listen to irrational rants from clerics with a single source rather than dispassionate reasoning and analysis from scientists and the emotional pain felt by those gays and lesbians that only wish to live a normal life with a partner of their choosing with the same rights as straight people.

Let me end with the dissenting position written by Chief Judge Judith S.Kaye who understands rights do not come from tradition but by reason laced with enlightened self-interest.
The court concludes, however, that same-sex marriage is not deeply rooted in tradition, and thus cannot implicate any fundamental liberty. But fundamental rights, once recognized, cannot be denied to particular groups on the ground that these groups have historically been denied those rights. …

Simply put, fundamental rights are fundamental rights. They are not defined in terms of who is entitled to exercise them. …el4 The claim that marriage has always had a single and unalterable meaning is a plain distortion of history. In truth, the common understanding of "marriage" has changed dramatically over the centuries. …

The long duration of a constitutional wrong cannot justify its perpetuation, no matter how strongly tradition or public sentiment might support it. …

Defendants primarily assert an interest in encouraging procreation within marriage. But while encouraging opposite-sex couples to marry before they have children is certainly a legitimate interest of the state, the exclusion of gay men and lesbians from marriage in no way furthers this interest. There are enough marriage licenses to go around for everyone.
I have a new heroine to watch now.