First, a little background and shameless promotion: From July 2011, I drag out two of my op/eds: “A Conservative Argues The Case For Gay Marriage” and “…And The Argument Continues”.
I was one of the first Conservatives to come out in support of gay marriage, due primarily to the fact that I strongly believe all American Citizens deserve equal rights and protections under constitutional law. And equal means equal. Not additional, not exclusive, not special…equal.
As I argued before: Our rights as Americans are spelled out in two founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution. The Declaration of Independence plainly states that “all men are created equal” and that we were “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The Constitution of the United States of America goes on in depth to explain and affirm these rights. It also limits government’s power to meddle in our daily lives.
Over the 54 years of my lifetime, moves have been afoot from both left and right to abridge certain of these rights. The left wants to take my guns, the right wants to make marriage an exclusive club.
Both are clear violations of the Constitution, both are violations of my rights and yours.
As I told you in “…And The Argument Continues,” when I put on the uniform of this country, I swore an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”
That document that I swore to support and defend is under attack and even though I’m no longer in uniform, I still feel bound by that oath to defend it. As I said before, I will be damned if I stand silently by while any of these rights are denied or taken away from anybody.
That’s why you’re reading this.
That’s why I am angered beyond all reason by this government. Each and every member of which swore the very same oath I did, to “support and defend the Constitution…”
Certain of them seem to be backing away from that oath, and that is intolerable.
Before the Supreme Court now are parties from left and right, one seeking constitutional authority to deny a group or class of citizens one of the most basic rights of that citizenship. The other, trying to affirm that right.
Conservatives seek to define marriage not as a human right, but as a heterosexual privilege. They want a constitutional amendment restricting marriage to one man and one woman.
Time for a little intellectual honesty from yours truly: I once agreed with that idea.
Y’see, I’m not gay. Don’t care for the lifestyle, find it repulsive. Goes against my upbringing. Goes against my personal belief in God. Goes against nature. But then, so does abortion which I continue to oppose.
Sorry, but there it is.
So what happened to change my mind?
Life. The sometimes painful lessons learned from it. The people I’ve dealt with. Study, research, and more than a little soul-searching. And one question that has bugged me for years: Just who the hell am I to judge any person’s lifestyle and just what damn business is it of mine?
Okay, make that two questions: What damn business is it of government’s?
Answer to both: None. Zip, Zero, Nada.
As America awaits the High Court’s decision (and they seem to be in no hurry) let me add a bit to my previous arguments. A qualifier of sorts, if you will: A society will accept only that which it is collectively prepared to accept.
Even then, their will be opposition…witness Roe vs Wade, decided in 1973 and still contested some 40 years later.
The fact that this is before the Supreme Court means that our society is seeking a Constitutional answer, and it is the Supreme Court, not Congress, not the President, not the electorate that decides questions of constitutionality. And Supreme court decisions carry the weight of law.
This is, in fact a Constitutional issue, a question of a person’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The three basic human rights. It is a question of whether government has the power and authority to limit a person’s or group or class of people’s basic rights, even if a majority of the electorate wishes it.
Now pay strict attention here: we do not live or govern by majority rule. We live and
govern by Constitutional rule.
Even though, for example, a majority of voters may be in favor of banning handguns, the Constitution clearly states “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”. Therefor, Constitutional Law overrules the majority.
In the case of abortion, the court decided government had no constitutional authority to ban the practice, and though I remain philosphically opposed, I must accept it as settled law. Particularly in light of the fact that nobody from my side of the argument has brought a compelling enough argument over the past 40 years to overturn it. Even with a Conservative majority on the court.
Majority rule is only possible when and where the Constitution says it is.
With elected representatives left and right violating their oath to support and defend the Constitution, it is up to the Supreme Court to do so.
Let’s pray they do.