Gay Marriage: The Roe v. Wade of the 21st Century, Coming Right Up
Bill Quick

Second Appeals Court Strike Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban – NBC News.com

Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Monday — the second appellate court to rule on the marriage issue.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, Virginia, said the state’s laws “impermissibly infringe on its citizens’ fundamental right to marry.”

The three-judge panel voted 2-1 to strike down the ban.

“We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security.

“The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance,” the court said.

In June, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals based in Denver voted 2-1 to invalidate Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. Last week, Utah officials said they planned to appeal that ruling to the US Supreme Court.

The Tenth Circuit court also last week reached a similar conclusion regarding Oklahoma’s ban on marriage for gay couples.

I can’t imagine that John Roberts – self-appointed guardian of the Supreme Court’s “reputation” (whether his efforts violate the Constitution or not) is looking eagerly forward to this sack of burning dog crap arriving on his desk.

I expect he’ll duck and dodge as hard as he can, hoping that a majority, hopefully all, of the circuits will end up ruling one way, but I doubt that’s happening, and at some point SCOTUS is going to have to take this up.

Even though it’s likely to be the Roe v. Wade of the 21st century.

My prediction?  It’s likely all over but the shouting.  But – oh, my – the shouting

Addendum:  given the minuscule impact of gay marriage on straight marriage, especially as compared to no-fault divorce, unmarried motherhood, the welfare state, and feminism, I’ll echo Glenn Reynolds and say that I’ll believe supporters of straight marriage are really serious when they start acting like they are serious, and start attacking the real assaults on heterosexual marriage.  Absent that, all that’s left is mostly anti-gay bigotry.

Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

Comments

Gay Marriage: The Roe v. Wade of the 21st Century, Coming Right Up — 39 Comments

    • Ohhh-h-h, realll-l-lyyy?… Speaks right in that perty li’l, pinkish, shell-like ear of yours, hey?

      So – what’s he – ‘scuse me, “He” – whisper intimately to ya ’bout abortion – an’ that-there horrifyin’ birth control – ‘an dee-vorce – an’ chilluns outta wed-lock, an’ suchlike Eeevilll thangs!?!?

      (…troll, troll, troll your boat, gently down the stream…)

      • Ya wanna know a biblical quote which bugs the crap out of almost everyone? “By the sweat of his brow shall he earn his bread.”

        You wanna eat? Get off your ass and work. No welfare. No food stamps. No social security disability for the unfortunates who are “unable to work”. And no food kitchens, which annoys a lot of the christer types.

  1. @SWteveF — so you would seriously deny Social Security Disability for persons who are actually, in fact unable to work due to a chronic and incurable medical condition which cannot be alleviated?

    No soup kitchens for those who are homeless? Do you think that all persons who are homeless deserve to be homeless, or became homeless as a direct result of their behavior? Incidentally, these soup kitchens are privately organized and have no impact on you whatsoever.

    No food stamps? These literally save lives. Should children be left to die on the side of the road because their parents literally CANNOT feed them?

    I think you should rethink your ideas. The world you propose living in is neither libertarian nor decent. It is simply cruel and ugly.

    PHILIP CHANDLER

  2. @Alfred Centauri — How do you propose creating a system to grant medical care to persons who are actually and legally incapable of working? What do you propose to replace Medicaid and Medicare? Healthcare is not something which privately financed charities would be very good at administering, due simply to the complexity and myriad ways in which the truly sick and desperate need help. How would privately run institutions possibly coordinate the healthcare of patients who requires MRIs, CT scans, sophisticated diagnostic imaging tools such as endoscopies, colonoscopies, cancer screening, not to mention major procedures such as mastectomies, colon resectioning, otolaryngological procedures, etc.?

    I grant the following: private charities have done wonders for many, many people. The American Cancer Society has raised untold millions. The American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) has raised millions of dollars, and much privately funded research has been done. But the drug companies have to charge steep prices in order to recoup their investments, and somebody has to pay these costs. All of the states have AIDS Drug Assistance Plans (ADAPs), with New York’s being one of the most generous, despite budget cuts. These are funded by the taxpayers of the respective states. How do you propose getting these drugs into the bodies of the indigent, when the money spent by private individuals is spent mainly on the development of new drugs, not helping individuals in need to obtain these drugs?

    The problems associated with helping the truly needy are not as simple as you propose. In fact, they are very complex and difficult from a sheer logistical point of view.

    I am not a fan of tax collectors. But I do recognize that there are some things which cannot be managed effectively by private organizations, and which are best managed by government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, which actually save lives, as opposed to garnering money for research and development purposes.

    That is the gist of my argument. I am sorry if you believe that “it has no purchase here,” but I respectfully disagree with you.

    PHILIP CHANDLER

    • Philip, on my view, and assuming a genuine free-market, privately organized and voluntarily funded entities would not only be good at but would, in fact, be far better at meeting the health care needs of those genuinely unable to provide for themselves. There are many related reasons and factors for this but they are beyond the scope of this reply.

      How do we get there from here? I don’t pretend to be wise enough to answer that.

  3. Philip, your argument still has no purchase, because it is not really an argument. It is a statement of faith that the state is and always will be the best mechanism for providing the aid you have decided is necessary to those you have decided are worthy of it by virtue of what you have decided is their need.

  4. I’m sorry you feel that way. In the interests of full disclosure — I receive SSDI benefits, following a long and successful career in the private sector, working as a senior systems analyst and Assistant Vice President for a major investment banking firm. I have a congenital condition which is very serious, which crippled me and made it impossible for me to find work. I was granted a “fully favorable” disposition by the US Administrative Law Judge who heard both my evidence and the expertise of a medical professional, and I receive SSDI and Medicare. I have to undergo multiple tests every few months to ensure that my condition has not progressed to the point of my needing major and brutal corrective surgery. Every day, I thank the lawmakers who put the SSDI program and Medicare in place, because without these programs, I probably wouldn’t be here to post comments on this thread.

    I cannot envision how we could possibly change from the present system to one which would utilize the good will of private charities to coordinate benefits, multiple doctor visits in multiple specialties, regular testing, and continuity of care. If you can lay out a roadmap which would explicate this, I am certainly willing to change my mind.

    PHILIP CHANDLER

    • I receive SSDI benefits, following a long and successful career in the private sector, working as a senior systems analyst and Assistant Vice President for a major investment banking firm. I have a congenital condition which is very serious, which crippled me and made it impossible for me to find work.

      Um.

      You had a long and successful career, while suffering a congenital condition, and you did not put aside some useful part of your income into investments (given that you worked for an investment bank) which would provide for you when your condition worsened? Instead, you decided to depend upon the forced largesse of others?

      It’s getting really hard to have much sympathy for you.

      • I put a great deal of money aside in the form of a 401 (k) plan, and IRA, and personal savings. The Great Recession coupled with the collapse of Lehman Brothers devastated the field in which I worked, throwing hundreds of thousands of people out of work. Out of sheer desperation, I drew down my funds. All of that money disappeared into medical insurance premiums, paying the bills for basic living expenses, and paying medical bills which my insurance did not cover.

        Don’t be so priggish as to assume that this could never happen to you. I discovered the hard way that it can happen to ANYBODY, regardless of how prudent one is and regardless of how determined one is to save for their retirement.

        PHILIP CHANDLER

  5. Shame on me? The laws in question were written by lawmakers who were elected to office by the electorate (both state and federal) in a democratic society predicated on capitalism as its economic model. Remember please that I paid into the SSA trust fund, and I paid into that fund in spades (by July, I no longer paid payroll tax because I had topped out the income subject to that tax). Should I consider myself “forced” to pay into the system which saved my life? Is that really the level of naivete to which this debate has shrunk?

    At no time did I consider myself “forced” to pay into the social safety net which helps those less fortunate than myself. I did so because I am a part of this society, and this society has determined that some degree of protection should be afforded those who are incapacitated.

    What would you have me do?

    Die?

    • …At no time did I consider myself “forced” to pay into the social safety net which helps those less fortunate than myself…

      Your perception (or rather, lack thereof) regarding the “forced” aspect of the taxation – the involuntary extraction of “tax revenue” by Government requirement which funded the medical “charities” from which you now receive benefits – does nothing to alter the truth of that forcing, and your refusal to accept the reality of the involuntary nature of that “contribution” and its net-detrimental effects on the society as a whole is both a blot on your alleged intellect and a very large part of the attitudes that have created – and now perpetuate – the huge-and-ever-growing problem of taxpayer-funded, government-mandated “charities”.

      …I did so because I am a part of this society, and this society has determined that some degree of protection should be afforded those who are incapacitated.

      Absolutely untrue – no matter how you may attempt to justify your “contribution”, to yourself or to others, after the fact, you paid because you had no choice – unless, of course, you had somehow evaded or successfully resisted said payment, in which case you would have been exposed to being charged with tax evasion, tried, convicted and fined and/or jailed – and then would still have to pay “your fair share”, plus, of course, interest and penalties.

      You paid because you had to – and “this society” has not been permitted to openly, freely decide whether or not that “degree of protection” should be afforded under a government mandate, as opposed to private, voluntarily-funded means, ever.

      Or are you going to try to convince anyone that the politically-decided, taxpayer-paid-for-by-Gubment-mandate SSDI “add-on” (it piggybacks on the “regular” SS system, which itself is – and always has been – another taxpayer-funded “involuntary charity” that forcibly extracts the “revenue” that funds it) and the Medicare and Medicaid “complex” are actually, somehow, creatures of free-will choices by those who pay for them?

      If that’s your intent – best of luck…

      What would you have me do?

      Die?

      No, not necessarily, not right now, anyway – even though that’s what we all have waiting for us, eventually…

      What would be good, though, would be if you’d reach down between your thighs and extract your cranial appendage from your own rectal orifice, clean the “progressive-minded” crap out of your eyes and ears and brain, and take a good, close look at reality – then, maybe, thank the people who actually pay (entirely too much – it’s run by Gubment, pissing away Other People’s Money in boat-loads is what they do) for those “public charity” medical bennies that are helping keep you alive.

      Not that much of anyone around here really expects you to do any of that.

  6. Y’know, I’m not even going to respond to this thread (beyond saying that I’m not going to respond). There’s no pleasure in making someone look like a mooching moron when he does such a splendid job of making himself look like a mooching moron.

  7. To the above — you fail utterly to address the fact that we live in a democracy in which the will of the people is invested in our representatives (both state and federal) who pass the laws under which we live. They decided to create the Social Security system — and you are perfectly free to undo that system by voting for lawmakers who would do away with that system and put into place some form of charitable transfer of help to those who truly need it. So instead of fulminating on this message thread, field your own candidates for lawmaking positions and demonstrate, through the force of your ideas, that your model is superior to the model which is currently in place.

    @J.S. Bridges — I knew that the time would come when somebody on this thread would abandon all pretense of reasoned debate and instead resort to crude and childish references to my anatomy. By doing this, you have ceded the debate, and done yourself a gross disservice.

    As for my “hav[ing] no choice” with regards to paying Social Security payroll tax — this is absolutely true. Of course I had no choice — our democracy gave us the existing system. It did not come about as the result of a curse cast upon us by an evil entity from another dimension — it came about as the result of lawmaking by our elected representatives. If you don’t like the current system, CHANGE IT! But you know in your hearts that this will never happen, because the majority of the people of this nation do not want it to happen.

    Perhaps the day will one day arise when you do garner sufficient support to change the existing system. But I very much doubt that I will be alive to see that day.

    @SteveF — I worked and paid into the system for more than 25 years before becoming permanently and totally disabled. If you consider my availing myself of the SSDI program as “mooching,” then I can only state that you have a bizarre sense of social justice.

    PHILIP CHANDLER

    • If you don’t like the current system, CHANGE IT! But you know in your hearts that this will never happen, because the majority of the people of this nation do not want it to happen.

      Oh, the welfare state (and SSDI, SSI, and all the rest are just parts of that welfare state) will change, whether you, or the dictatorship of the majority wants it to or not.

      When it goes bankrupt, as it inevitably will, one way or another. There’s a limit to just how much even you good-hearted bandits can steal from the producers. In other words, what can’t go on, won’t.

    • I knew that the time would come when somebody on this thread would abandon all pretense of reasoned debate and instead resort to crude and childish references to my anatomy. By doing this, you have ceded the debate, and done yourself a gross disservice.

      Ahhh-h-h, yes – the old “you’re just too rude, crude and nasty for actual “debate”, you ol’ meany, you, so I’m gonna just ignore your whole reasoned argumentation, an’ childishly claim that you lose, ’cause I don’t like what you said, an’ so there!!” rejoinder – that always works so well (NOT!!), ‘specially when you’re already way behind on “points”, and fading fast…

      Referring to “reasoned debate” – I made several quite pertinent and clear-cut points, none of which did you even come close to refuting – in point of fact, you carefully ignored all but one of them, and sluffed-off an admission of the central one – the involuntary nature of the “contribution” you were required to make to the Gubment-owned-and-operated “charities” you worship, wish to have honored and clearly reveal yourself as being entitled to, no matter what the cost and no matter who pays – as being “democratically decided upon”, which, by any clear reading of facts, is quite demonstrably untrue. To wit: “Politically established” is NOT the same thing – even in a “democratically-based Republic”, which is what we in the U.S. of A. live in, and have since very early days – as “democratically established”, not even close!

      Try again, pookie – yer still way, way behind, by any measure – and getting “behinder” all the time, based on what we see in the later comments.

      Bill’s really got your game sorted out:

      Philip never asks himself whether this is moral, he merely waves the flag of the dictatorship of the majority and announced that this is how it is, so shut up.

      Leaving aside that such myopia exacerbates the untenability of the entire system, it is based, at its heart, on the deep conviction that might makes right.

      The Framers tried to design the Constitution to cut off such a dictatorship, but in the end, they failed – in large part because of the entitlement mentality Philip so proudly – and blindly – represents.

      That’s what it’s really all about, right, Phil, ol’ bean? Since you paid in all that time, all those 25 years (involuntarily, but hey, that’s o.k.,’cause you liked that idea, all along – heck, you’d’a paid in even more if they’d’a let ya, right?) – but you never apparently stashed away anything like enough bucks to pay for your own disability, or put any serious money into your own disability insurance plan – you’re entitled to those “Gubment-paid” medical bennies, right?

      Not really important who actually pays for ‘em, hey?…

      Oh, and – I submit to you that:

      “…reach down between your thighs and extract your cranial appendage from your own rectal orifice, clean the “progressive-minded” crap out of your eyes and ears and brain, and take a good, close look at reality…”

      – is, objectively, neither “crude” nor even particularly “childish” – merely a bit of useful advice, which, in your case, is richly deserved.

      Admittedly, I have rather less tolerance than many folks ’round here (but more than some – SteveF’s opted to stay out of this one, for instance) for engaging “progressives” in debate while wholly refraining from the occasional delivery of rather pointed advice. That, however, does not mean I will concede (or have conceded) any part of the debate. You don’t get off that easy, sonny.

      The only “gross disservice” hereabouts, so far, has been yours, with regards to actual facts over your own version of “reality”, and statements based on such facts as opposed to your expressions of emotion-based beliefs.

      Answer the argumentation – or don’t; your choice, really, unlike the “contributions” that all current working-stiffs are required to make to fund your current medical benefits – but kindly don’t try to slide off by playing the “you’re jus’ nasty, so nyahh!” card. That’s both childish AND crude.

      So…what’s the plan when this happens:

      …the disability trust fund, which is in much worse shape, will run dry in 2016.

      – are we supposed to just watch while the Congressvarmints play another round or two of Ponzi…so you and the other SSDI recipients can keep on keepin’ on?

      How long before it ALL comes crashing down? Do we just wait for that? Or…what?

    • @Alfred Centauri – Yes, I believe it. If you are going to give me the usual spiel about unelected bureaucrats in government agencies making decisions which adversely impact your life, please consider how those agencies came into being. They were created by Congress and are answerable to Congress for their actions, and most of them are required by statute to provide a public comment period before adopting a new regulation which could impact the lives of people under their aegis.

      So, in response to your question, the ultimate answer is — Yes, I believe it.

      PHILIP CHANDLER

      • Philip, you might consider looking up public choice theory if you’re open to challenging your own beliefs. This isn’t the usual spiel and it isn’t easily dismissed except by those that chose to believe in unicorn dust and such.

        Public choice theory is often used to explain how political decision-making results in outcomes that conflict with the preferences of the general public. For example, many advocacy group and pork barrel projects are not the desire of the overall democracy. However, it makes sense for politicians to support these projects. It may make them feel powerful and important. It can also benefit them financially by opening the door to future wealth as lobbyists. The project may be of interest to the politician’s local constituency, increasing district votes or campaign contributions. The politician pays little or no cost to gain these benefits, as he is spending public money. Special-interest lobbyists are also behaving rationally. They can gain government favors worth millions or billions for relatively small investments. They face a risk of losing out to their competitors if they don’t seek these favors. The taxpayer is also behaving rationally. The cost of defeating any one government give-away is very high, while the benefits to the individual taxpayer are very small. Each citizen pays only a few pennies or a few dollars for any given government favor, while the costs of ending that favor would be many times higher. Everyone involved has rational incentives to do exactly what they’re doing, even though the desire of the general constituency is opposite. Costs are diffused, while benefits are concentrated. The voices of vocal minorities with much to gain are heard over those of indifferent majorities with little to individually lose.

        This isn’t a fringe theory within economics:

        Several notable public choice scholars have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, including James M. Buchanan (1986), George Stigler (1982), Gary Becker (1992), Vernon Smith (2002) and Elinor Ostrom (2009). In addition, Vernon Smith and Elinor Ostrom were former Presidents of the Public Choice Society.

    • Yes, there are some things which democracy in this country cannot do. It cannot violate the constitutional rights of its citizens; the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause has incorporated almost all of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights against the states, and the Equal Protection Clause mandates that similarly situated persons must be treated alike. This nation’s democracy cannot turn me into a slave (the Thirteenth Amendment ensures that), nor can it deny me fundamental rights as recognized by the US Supreme Court.

      So you could not march me and all of the inhabitants of NYC off to the coal mines.

      PHILIP CHANDLER

        • Well at least he finally realizes there is a Constitution that limits what government and democracy can do. It’s a step in the right direction. I will bet he has no clue how the Welfare Tax Leviathan is totally unconstitutional and has been since at least the 30’s.

      • Bollocks (to use a mostly-appropriate [in this case] Britishism) –

        In the name of “higher priorities” – “the National interest(s)” – “wartime necessities/expediencies” – “the War/Conflict/Battle Against Terrorism/(Some)Drugs/WhateverWeReallyNEEDToDo”, various entities of Gubment regularly, often repeatedly (and sometimes quite persistently) “…violate(s) the constitutional rights of its citizens…”

        Go and Google Manzanar, for instance.

        Then, maybe check up on “powers” available to Gubment under The (So-called) Patriot Act, for another.

        Maybe some EPA enforcement actions would be more to your taste.

        All that would really be required legally, in the short term, would be a guy like Eric Holder – only, a strict Right-Winger, maybe – in charge of the (In)Justice Department, and a mostly-compliant Congress willing to cater to same, and…hey, presto! – Alll-l you NYC peoples, get on those trains ‘n buses n’ trucks…all together, now! “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go…”

        Wouldn’t call it “slavery”, of course – such a mean, loaded word!

        Call it – “public labor service”, maybe…

        The Department of Gubment Semantics can work all that out, no problem-o.

        • I totally agree with those people on this thread who believe that the “war on drugs” is a massive policy failure, unfolding like a train wreck in slow motion. The state of New York has become absolutely paranoid about LEGAL PRESCRIPTION drugs such as Percocet, Dilaudid, and the benzodiazepines — every time a doctor writes out a script for a controlled substance, his computer interfaces with a state computer system named ISTOP/PMP, which checks to see whether the patient has received a similar prescription from the same or from a different physician during the course of the past 30 days (or longer if a prescription is issued for more than a 30 day supply of a controlled substance).

          This is, in my opinion, gross overkill and a blatant violation of doctor / patient confidentiality (not to mention the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution). Although I have never red-flagged on this system, I could be red-flagged if my general practitioner prescribes a controlled substance and if one of my specialists prescribes a similar, or identical controlled substance and I fill both prescriptions in good faith, in the belief that both are required. This overkill has made it impossible for doctors to send all prescriptions to pharmacies using an entirely electronic system, because all controlled substance prescriptions have to be written out on paper scripts and given to the patient — they cannot be transmitted electronically. I do not know what the state of New York was thinking when it implemented this monstrosity.

          Furthermore, some Schedule III drugs (which can generally be refilled five times) are not refillable under New York state law (despite the fact that refills can be obtained in most other states).

          As for illegal drugs — heroin is now making a huge comeback in the state of New York due to the fact that it is cheaper than prescription painkillers, and much, much easier to buy (on the street).

          When will legislators realize that this is an exercise in futility and simply decriminalize the possession and sale of drugs which are currently illegal? Do they really believe that a surge of people seeking illegal drugs would result should such decriminalization take place?

          Perhaps I find common ground with other users of this thread as pertains to this issue.

          As for gay marriage — in the interests of full disclosure, I am gay and have been following the decisions by both the US District Courts and the two US Courts of Appeals which have ruled in favor of striking down state bans against gay marriage (the Fourth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals have done so). Briefs have been submitted and dates have been set for hearings before the US Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits. It is entirely possible that all of these circuits could rule in favor of gay marriage (although the Fifth Circuit is packed with extremely conservative judges).

          I do not know what will happen if all of the circuits rule in favor of gay marriage. The Eighth Circuit ruled against gay marriage in Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, 455 F.3d 859 (2006), but that was a long time ago (eight years ago, pre- United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. 12 (2013)), and it is entirely possible that plaintiffs will attempt to relitigate this case under the different theory which was virtually spelled out by Justice Kennedy in Windsor.

          Should the Eighth Circuit bite, I cannot predict what will happen.

          If all of the circuits vote in favor of gay marriage, the US Supreme Court may refuse to entertain any appeals.

          That will spare Chief Justice Roberts an extremely difficult task.

          PHILIP CHANDLER

  8. Philip is not being challenged on the deep, dark heart of his argument which, essentially, says that a dictatorship of the majority can turn the minority into its slaves…because DEMOCRACY.

    When Social Security started, something like 45 full time workers contributed to it for every recipient. Now the ration is something like 2.9. It is projected to drop to 2 makers per one taker by 2020.

    Philip never asks himself whether this is moral, he merely waves the flag of the dictatorship of the majority and announced that this is how it is, so shut up.

    Leaving aside that such myopia exacerbates the untenability of the entire system, it is based, at its heart, on the deep conviction that might makes right.

    The Framers tried to design the Constitution to cut off such a dictatorship, but in the end, they failed – in large part because of the entitlement mentality Philip so proudly – and blindly – represents.

    Entitlement mentality: I want it, and because I don’t have it and you do, you MUST give it to me – at the point of a gun, if necessary.

    Such is the real amoral majority in these degraded times.

Leave a Reply