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Thursday, October 5, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part XIII

In Iowa it was found to be wrong, un-just, and I will say Un-American, to deny women and men the freedom to marry, to deny girls and boys the freedom to hope that they could be married, because to deny people these freedoms perpetuates a classist society and the struggle against classism, the struggle for civil rights, for equality and equal protection under the law speaks to the heart of the American experience.

As I have stated earlier, this is our best tradition.

In 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court, in a 6 – 3 decision, with an opinion written by Justice Kennedy, held the same things, that “the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person.”[1]

To be remain true to this decision and forge ahead with a new American tradition we must stay engage. The struggle for freedom must continue; in the streets, through the press, by influencing law-makers, and finally, if those efforts fail, we are must continue to defend these rights in court.

We must remain diligent, because those who are opposed to these freedoms are, are they are possessed with a religious zeal to see their fellow Americans disenfranchised, cut off, ostracized at every level of our society.

In 2009, when the Iowa Supreme Court made this decision they recognized that tide was turning away from gay people. State legislatures across the country had moved to write laws that discriminated against gay people.

The Iowa Supreme Court said that “it cannot allow discrimination to become acceptable as tradition;” that “some underlying reason other than the preservation of tradition must be identified,”[2] if we are going to limit a minority segment of the population from having access to the same rights and privileges as the majority.

After rejecting the arguments from tradition, the Iowa Supreme went on to look into the other issues that were raised by the State of Iowa in defending its statute: issues such as whether it is best, or optimal to raise children in dual gender households; whether marriage is meant to serve the function of procreation.

The Iowa Supreme Court found the arguments in support of those ideas to be unconvincing. There is no data supporting the notion that opposite-sex couples raise children better than same-sex couples. Furthermore, opposite-sex couples are not required to procreate as a condition of their marriage.

The United States Supreme Court agreed.

To promote classism by denying rights to a whole segment of citizens is wrong.



[1] SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, Syllabus, OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL., CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT, No. 14–556. Argued April 28, 2015—Decided June 26, 2015*
[2] (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/us/20090403iowa-text.pdf)