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February 08, 2004

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Andrew Hagen

I'm not a lawyer. Don't take this as legal advice.

That's wrong.

This argument of yours is outrageous, insolent, vain, and conclusory.

Let's start with the federal government. The federal government does not regulate marriage. The reason is that the Constitution gives the federal government only limited, specific powers. The power to regulate morality is not given to the federal government.

The federal DOMA legislation of 1996 is thus controversial. One may wonder where Congress got the power to regulate that area.

The states, however, enjoy inherent, or plenary powers. Among these inherent powers is the police power. The police power, according to Black's Law Dictionary (7th ed) is "the inherent and plenary power of a sovereign to make all laws necessary and proper to preserve the public security, order, health, morality, and justice.... It is a fundamental power essential to government, and it cannot be surrendered by the legislature or irrevocably transferred away from government."

This basic list, including morality, has been recognized for hundreds of years in the United States of America.

Now, return to the Goodridge decision. The SJC talks about the police power. Note that the SJC also lists the various forms the police power takes.

This is extremely important. Note also: nowhere on that list in Goodrdige is the word "morality." They excised the word from the list.

The SJC made no argument or comment as to why they left morality off the list. They totally ignored the issue.

The power to regulate morality is essential to government. It is why government can outlaw such practices as bestiality, incest, polygamy, cannibalism, cruelty to animals, public nudity, and so on.

The SJC then interepted some part of the Massachusetts state constitution as requiring equal treatment for normal and gay couples who sought marriage licenses.

Instead of then weighing the interests of equality and morality--as would have been proper--the SJC simply found in favor of gay-marriage.

They totally ignored morality.

If the state has no power to regulate morality, why indeed should not a grandfather and granddaughter, or a brother and sister, have a right to marry? The state may cite health. The child of an incestuous union may have onerous birth defects. Fine. Suppose the male of the incestuous couple has undergone a vasectomy, or the female had her ovaries removed?

What then other than morality could justify holding their "marriage" void?

Nothing.

What about two brothers who wished to marry? After gay-marriage, the only thing stopping them would be the incest prohibition. But if the state cannot regulate morality, the state hardly has any interest in not recognizing their perverted "marriage."

The same argument applies to polygamy. Nothing could justify banning it except for morality.

In centuries to come, no one will remember Goodridge as the "gay-marriage" decision. They will remember it, if they do at all, as the decision that ended morality. Let us hope it does not herald an age of wickedness and iniquity, but is only an aberration.

Who cares whether a few people feel a little bit better about themselves? It would be easier to give them all chocolate bars for if Goodridge survives it will subvert the public morality.

Don't you care about that? Do you want anarchy?

I'm not a lawyer. Don't take this as legal advice.

I view the choice of partner as an integral part of the right to marry, but in the case of polygamy the state is not denying an individual this choice. Rather it requires that the individual choose.

How can you maintain that stance while at the same time maintaining that gay orientation is not a choice? Both involve the same thing: partner preference, ie, choice.

Galois

I'm not a lawyer. Don't take this as legal advice.

OK. I won't.

That's wrong.

So you are a lawyer and I should take this as legal advice?

This argument of yours is outrageous, insolent, vain, and conclusory.

Which argument?

Let's start with the federal government. The federal government does not regulate marriage. The reason is that the Constitution gives the federal government only limited, specific powers. The power to regulate morality is not given to the federal government.

I agree.

The federal DOMA legislation of 1996 is thus controversial. One may wonder where Congress got the power to regulate that area.

And here I thought it was from their power to regulate Full Faith & Credit and their power to clarify the meaning of legislation they pass.

: nowhere on that list in Goodrdige is the word "morality."

Actually the decision they referred to morals quite often. The state never asserted they were banning same-sex marriage based on morals, though. The court noted that some amici asserted this, but "Massachusetts has a strong affirmative policy of preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation"

In centuries to come, no one will remember Goodridge as the "gay-marriage" decision. They will remember it, if they do at all, as the decision that ended morality.

As I noted before the stated never asserted a morality interest.

Don't you care about that? Do you want anarchy?

Yes. No.

How can you maintain that stance while at the same time maintaining that gay orientation is not a choice? Both involve the same thing: partner preference, ie, choice.

That's what I said! The state is interfering with the choice of partner in same-sex marriage. In the polygamy case, though, one cana still choose one's partner. One must choose, though.


Pietro Armando

Why should one have to choose? If one's sexual orientation is determined at birth, and one is bisexual, should they therefore have the right to choose a spouse of either (or would that be each) sex?

Does the state have to legally recognize any human relationship?

Galois

Why should one have to choose?

We have to make choices throughout life, and the federal government and federal constitution often require such choices. To give just one of thousands of examples you can't be both US President and a US Senator. You must choose. There is nothing unusual or unjust in requiring a choice be made. If you want to know why in this particular case there are rationales for limiting that choice to an individual spouse, see part 2 of the post.

If one's sexual orientation is determined at birth, and one is bisexual, should they therefore have the right to choose a spouse of either (or would that be each) sex?

Yes, regardless of one's sexual orientation one should be able to choose a spouse of either sex. To allow someone to have two spouses, though, is unnecessary and problematic.

Does the state have to legally recognize any human relationship?

No.

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