Gay marriage & the court: Right to be let alone
Americans who value individual liberty, limited government and the right to contract freely must hope that the U.S. Supreme Court, which has agreed to take up two gay-marriage cases, will rule that they can marry whomever they please.
Presenting the better opportunity for — but no guarantee of — such a sweeping ruling is an appeal of lower courts' rulings that California's voter-approved Proposition 8 gay-marriage ban is unconstitutional. The other case, involving a widow whose $363,000 federal estate-tax bill would have been $0 had she married a man, not a woman, concerns the federal Defense of Marriage Act denying legally married gay couples benefits that straight spouses get.
Banning gay marriage — which polls suggest most Americans support and which is legal or soon will be in nine states — violates the Constitution's equal-protection and due-process clauses as egregiously as did slavery or interracial-marriage bans. So does penalizing gay spouses.
And with UCLA's Williams Institute saying just 4 percent of Americans, not Alfred Kinsey's 10 percent, are gay, claims about gay marriage — a minor societal factor overall — harming heterosexual marriage ring hollow.
Government impermissibly interferes in private lives by telling Americans whom they can marry. The high court must weigh in on the side of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — not to mention the right to be let alone — by making marriage an institution in which all can participate fully.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.N. Watch: Climate games
- Benchmarking questions: Fueling perversion
- Sunday pops
- The Box
- Jesse White’s chutzpah
- Piercing the media’s shield: Muzzles & slopes
- Saturday essay: The thumb itches
- Shenango shakedown: Public money at risk
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Snow shovelers needed: A call for volunteers