Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 16, 2009

     Same-sex marriage is in the news these days.  The New York state Senate recently voted against it, amidst arguments over whether it's a right guaranteed by the Constitution.  Good question.
     The Declaration of Independence, which is not part of the Constitution, says that all "Men (it was men only back then) are created equal and endowed...with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  Does that pursuit cover same sex marriage?  You could argue, but the Declaration is a declaration, not a law.
     The 14th amendment to the Constitution, which of course is law, says, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges of citizens of the United States, nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."  But does any of that cover same-sex marriage?
     Again, you could argue.  But the fact is, the Constitution never mentions marriage at all--any marriage, traditional, same-sex, whatever.  The word does not appear in it.  And you have to wonder whether, two hundred plus years ago, the notion of same-sex marriage ever crossed the minds of the men who wrote the document.
     The Constitution doesn't endorse same-sex marriage nor prohibit it.  I personally would vote to allow it, but pretty clearly, this is an issue headed toward the Supreme Court.  Good luck, justices.  No easy calls here.

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