Posts Tagged 'civil right'

Gay Marriage is Not a Civil Right

maine.marriage

Gay marriage is not a civil right

by Marc R. Mutty
Lewiston Sun Journal

Advocates of legalizing same sex-marriage in Maine usually argue it is a “civil rights” issue, because they know that no one wants to be thought of as opposing the rights of others.

It is obvious that neither the United States nor our state constitutions say anything about an individual’s right to their own definition of marriage. Their texts just can’t be stretched that far.

The fact is, however, no one has any “right” to marry. Repeatedly asserting there is does not create one. Societies have always regulated who could marry. Brothers and sisters cannot legally marry, for example, nor can anyone marry someone underage or marry multiple people.

The courts have indeed recognized that there are rights that are protected, even if they are not specifically mentioned in the constitution. But the reason is that these important rights are rooted in the history and tradition of our nation; it would be unthinkable not to protect them.

By contrast, claiming there is a “right” to same-sex marriage is entirely novel. As New York’s highest court noted in upholding that state’s traditional definition of marriage, the idea of same-sex marriage was utterly alien until a very, very short time ago. No one can reasonably argue the framers of our constitution intended it would ever be understood to require the recognition of homosexual marriage.

Those arguing for same-sex marriage often also try to compare it to laws banning inter-racial marriage. There is no comparison. The court decisions overturning these odious laws made clear that the institution of marriage shouldn’t be hijacked to advance other objectives, in this case the rightly discredited idea that one race was superior to others. Marriage was only one tool.

Marriage clearly has nothing to do with race. It is mostly about children and the social benefits that flow from encouraging men and women to take on the critical roles of mother and father that children need to thrive. Certainly, we should treat all people with dignity and respect, but we must not sacrifice the critical social institution of marriage to do this.

Read the entire article.

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September 2017
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