published Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Equal rights for marriage

National sentiment for protecting the rights of gays and lesbians to marry perople of the same sex has moved rapidly in recent years toward support for granting equal rights under the U.S. Constitution for same-sex marriage. And rightly so.

Other civil rights have steadily advanced under the constitutional umbrella over generations. Consider them: Citizenship for slave-era African-Americans who had been in bondage here since birth; civil and voting rights for minorities and women; the right to interracial marriage; freedom from discrimination on the basis of age, gender, religion, disabilities, and sexual orientation; and, most recently, the right of gays to serve openly in the nation's military. Now, Americans increasingly have come to agree that same-sex couples should have the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples are afforded under the law.

Two cases accepted last week for hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court could well bring an affirmative decision in favor of a universal right in the United States for same-sex marriage. There's no guarantee that will happen, of course, but it should as a simple matter of justice. The facts of the cases now to be heard by the high court, and the lower court rulings that put them on course for a Supreme Court hearing, clearly suggest that the change in national attitude toward basic fairness for individuals who ardently wish to marry each other will at last be respected.

One case arises from California, where voters managed to pass a referendum in 2008 that effectively reversed a state Supreme Court ruling which had previously upheld the constitutional right to same-sex marriage. In contests over the referendum, federal court rulings at the district and appeals level upheld the state Supreme Court's ruling on the supremacy of a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The courts' reasoning invoked the 10th Amendment provision that federal rights contained in the U.S. Constitution trumped states' rights to evade the Constitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court has several options on that case, but briefs in the case effectively recite Justice Anthony Kennedy's support for equal rights under the U.S. Constitution in a ruling that overturned a Colorado state constitutional amendment that sought to ban protections for same-sex marriage. If he applies his own former reasoning to the current cases, it's fair to assume that at least a 5-4 majority would rule in favor of a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

The second case involves the Defense of Marriage Act passed by the Congress in 1996. It contests a DOMA provision in Section 3 that defines marriage as a union only between a man and a woman, and directly so with regard to benefits for spouses under more than 1,000 federal laws and programs. The plaintiff in the case is Edith Windsor, who appealed a decision based on the DOMA provision that excluded her as the legal heir of her same-sex partner, Thea Clara Spyer, whom she had wed in Canada in 2007. Under the DOMA law exempting lawfully married same-sex couples, the IRS had denied her spousal rights to the property she inherited under Spyer's will, forcing her to pay about $360,000 that as a spouse she otherwise would not have owed to the Treasury.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in the 2nd Circuit struck down the DOMA law in October for violating Windsor's equal rights under the 14th Amendment, which guarantees both substantive and procedural rights for all citizens.

Given these cases and the high court's willingness to grant a hearing, there's good reason to believe the social barrier against the rights of gays to marry will at last be dissolved. That would not mean that churches couldn't choose to exempt same-sex marriage in their religious practices, but it would bring an end to the lower status and lesser legal rights to marriage that now widely disfavor same-sex marriages under the law. In the interest of equal treatment and equal rights for all Americans under the Constitution, it's time to achieve that milestone.

33
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Ozzy87 said...

Que the ranting, raving, false equivalencies, and sanctimonious head explosions in three... two... one...

December 13, 2012 at 2:21 a.m.
fairmon said...

This article hi-lites the discrimination against singles both straight and gay. Removing the discrimination will remove the issue. Why do the laws favor those married at the expense of those preferring not to be? Why should anyone single have a higher tax rate than those married? Why should a single help those with children help pay to raise them with the dependents tax deduction? Why should a single pay more for health care than a family pays per person? A spouse can draw social security based on the mates income, a single has no such option. The list of discrimination against singles is long. Allowing gays to marry and participate in the discrimination against singles could lead to many that are not gay doing the same to avoid the discrimination. It is not unusual for politicians to fail to address the root cause of an issue and this is an excellent example. Why does any government consider it their role to encourage and support marriage over being single? The divorce rate may go down if the discrimination were removed.

December 13, 2012 at 6:07 a.m.
fairmon said...

What about equal rights for singles or does the author of this article condone the discrimination against singles?

December 13, 2012 at 6:09 a.m.

Ozzy87, we're still waiting for the ones on point. harp3339 is going in an entirely different direction.

December 13, 2012 at 7:27 a.m.
joneses said...

Why is this fabrication called gay marriage even being discussed. It is impossible for a man to be married to a man and a women to be married to a women. It is impossible and something that will never exist. It is impossible.

December 14, 2012 at 8:22 a.m.
conservative said...

The Homosexual movement has now come out (no pun intended) with their own bible, the Queen James bible.

How long will it be before this writer and the other frequent atheists on these pages begin to quote their scripture?

December 14, 2012 at 9:28 a.m.

I dunno, but you sure seem complicit with the King of England rewriting the words of Jesus to suit his needs.

December 14, 2012 at 8 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Joneses the Idiot.

Conservative the Ignorant.

December 15, 2012 at 7:41 a.m.
joneses said...

Does anyone find it interesting the correlation between these gay's wanting to say they are married and the marriage penalty tax being eliminated in the President Bush tax cuts. I will bet if the President Bush tax cuts expire reinstating the marriage penalty all these gays will stop this lie thinking they can be married.

December 15, 2012 at 8:16 a.m.
Easy123 said...

joneses,

And you would be wrong and you'd still be an idiot.

December 15, 2012 at 8:28 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Jesus Christ>>>St. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life..."

All Of The World's Great Religions View Homosexuality. Without Exception, They All Forbid Homosexual Behavior and Consider This Lifestyle Choice An ABERRATION (Disorder In One's Mental State). Also, It Is Indicated Within The World's Great Religions That The Homosexual Lifestyle Is Against The Laws Of Nature. Be Advised That There Are Very Good Reasons For The Nations and Their Respective Religions to View The Homosexual Preference With This Wisdom.

December 15, 2012 at 9:11 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

ROMANS 1:22- "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness,..."

December 15, 2012 at 9:12 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

A Sovereign Nation Has the Right to Reward Individuals Within Unions (Marriages) Who Have the Greatest Expectation to Procreate. [Nations Need Taxpayers]. A Sovereign Nation Has the Right to Deny Reward (Insurance/Tax Write-Offs/Death Benefits to Spouses, etc.)to Individual Unions Which do Not Have the Expectation to Procreate. Also, A Sovereign Nation Has the Right to Discourage Supporting Individuals Who Cost Their Innocent Tax Payers Over $20,000,000,000 [Twenty Billion Dollars] Per Year. The Average Cost to Treat One Case of HIV/AIDS is Over $400,000 [Four Hundred Thousand Dollars Per Lifetime. (Source: Center for Disease Control {CDC} HIV Surveillance Report 2009, Vol 21). So, My Question to You: "Shall We Change The Definition of Husband to Mean Woman, Or, The Definition of Wife to Mean Man? Shall We Do This Even Though These Unions Go Against The Wisdom and Needs of a Sovereign United States of America? This Chosen Lifestyle is Not to be Forced Upon a Sovereign Nation. Ken Orr

December 15, 2012 at 9:13 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Just One Secular Reason From The Center For Disease Control {CDC): That Reason: Health Issues, Including The Cost to Innocent Tax Payer Citizens Who Do Not Choose The Homosexual Lifestyle. Men Having Sex With Men Accounts For Approximately Three-Quaters of HIV/AIDS Diagnoses. The Cases of HIV diagnoses among Men Having Sex With Men is more than 44 times that of Heterosexual men. According to one study published by the CDC in 2010, one in five Men Having Sex With Men in the 21 cities surveyed has HIV and almost half are unaware of their status. The federal budget request for fiscal year 2011 included a total of $20.4 billion for domestic HIV and AIDS, a 4% increase from the fiscal year 2010 funding, which totaled $19.6 billion. Of this, 69 percent is for treatment, 13 percent for cash and housing assistance, and 4 percent for prevention. Lifestyle Choice. I Am Commanded by My Lord, God, and, Saviour, Jesus Christ, to Love Homosexual Individuals With The Love of God...And I Do! (For The Record). Kindest Regards, Ken Orr

December 15, 2012 at 9:32 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Easy123.......1,000 HOMOSEXUALS PER MONTH GETTING HIV/AIDS!

CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL<<<<<<<

www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/HIVAmongYouth/index.html

Nov 27, 2012 – About 12,000 youth in 2010, or about 1,000 per month, were infected with HIV. About 60% of all youth, with HIV do not know they are infected, ...

Yes, Easy123...Just keep on cussing us with Your Childish Name Calling. I know You must be a teenager, or, sub-teen, or, younger. So, I forgive You.

Ken ORR

December 15, 2012 at 9:39 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Ken Orr,

You know nothing, you ignorant bigot.

I will post this video after every one of your posts.

December 15, 2012 at 9:45 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Visit any HOSPICE on any given day. Then, You will understand why I truly do have great compassion for a dying breed. Beyond that, Jesus Christ stated that if the Homosexual does not repent, they will burn eternally in hell fire, and, brimstone. Then, so we can never find them again.......they will be cast into the lake of fire. This is where the smoke of their torment will continue forever. Please pray for their repentance before it is eternally too late.

December 15, 2012 at 10 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Ken Orr,

You have no compassion. You have a deep-seeded hatred for homosexuals that stems from being molested and sexual assaulted as a child.

Hell isn't real because, if it was, it would only be fitting and just that you spent eternity there for your lies and bigotry.

December 15, 2012 at 10:25 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Following the right example of all worthy major newspapers, I am now correcting an error in my earlier report:

www.cdc.gov did state that 1,000 youth per month are contracting The cruel HIV/AIDS Virus. This virus is mutating on a continuous basis and causing all former treatments and possible preventions to become ineffective. One cannot play 'Life-Chess' with Jesus Christ.......and Win! The CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL WEBSITE did not specify that all one-thousand per month are Homosexual, only that the chief cause of infection is through Homosexual sex. Thank You for allowing me to correct my report. I am tediously diligent to be precisely accurate in any reports I offer.

Ken ORR

December 15, 2012 at 1:16 p.m.
conservative said...

The caption reads "equal rights for marriage"

We already have equal rights for marriage!

December 15, 2012 at 2:39 p.m.
Ozzy87 said...

Conservative, I'll break it down in simple terms that you can understand: A) 1 man + 1 woman = LEGAL marriage. B) 1 man + 1 man = BANNED from marriage in 41 states. C) 1 woman + 1 woman = BANNED from marriage in 41 states. The difference between couple A versus couples B and C is discrimination based on one of the couples' gender which is ILLEGAL. In this country it is already legal for two unrelated people ( in some states being related as close as first cousins) of sound mind and legal age (in some states as young as 14 with parent's consent, so I wouldn't use the "pervert" word too loudly, IMHO) to marry. All we want is the laws to be applied equally according to the 14th Amendment, which; according to the Constitution; federal laws supersedes state laws banning marriage equality. So, just to start off, trying to ban us from marriage violates Full Faith And Creditablity Clause, the 1st, 9th, and the 14th Amendments, and federal laws against gender discrimination.

December 15, 2012 at 4:46 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Ozzy87,

The Full Faith And Creditablity Clause, the 1st, 9th, and the 14th Amendments, will be overturned themselves by simple amendment to the United States Constitution. Our hindsight makes it very clear that if we don't want fiscal economic disaster, then, we must neutralize the cause of entitlement rape. Homosexual individuals want a balanced budget...not to go over any 'fiscal cliff' ever, yet, they continue to be the overwhelming cause for the spread of the plague of HIV/AIDS. This infectious disaster will, in itself, dwarf all other health entitlement expenditures. How dare anyone support such carnage to our American Way of Life!

December 15, 2012 at 9:28 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Homosexual lifestyle choices endanger U.S. economy. 'Fiscal Cliff' Looming!

The federal budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2011 includes a total of $20.4 BILLION DOLLARS for domestic HIV and AIDS, a 4% increase from the FY 2010 funding, which totaled $19.6 BILLION DOLLARS. Federal funding for AIDS programs falls into five basic categories: care and treatment, financial and housing assistance, prevention, research, and global spending (most of which goes out through the US PEPFAR program). Of these five budgets, care spending is by far the largest - just over half of the FY 2010 budget was for care and treatment programs. THE MAJORITY of AIDS CARE FUNDING goes out through the federal MEDICARE and MEDICAID PROGRAMS for people who do not have adequate private health insurance. (Innocent American Tax Payers Forced to Pay For Those Who Choose This Lifestyle of Homosexual Behavior). I Do Not Blame Innocent Victims Such As Children and Blood Transfusion Patients. credit: Avert.Org International HIV & AIDS charity.

December 15, 2012 at 9:34 p.m.
Ozzy87 said...

Orr, lesbians have the lowest rates for any STDs. So by your reasoning, lesbians must be the Annoited People.

December 15, 2012 at 10:35 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Maybe Women want to be a part of this:

Women now account for 27% of HIV infections, with 280,000 women living with HIV and AIDS. Black women accounted for 65% of new AIDS cases among women in 2007 and the largest share of new HIV infections (61%).

A Note to lesbians and female PLEASURE-SEXUALS: HIV IS THE Third most-deadly disease for women in the United States, behind only cancer and heart disease. It's also the leading cause of death for African-American women between the ages of 25 and 34. (The American Foundation for AIDS Research.) (You decide how many of these women are lesbians). Even 'one' lesbian death is too many! Women! Your partner may often be around HIV/AIDS infected men. You do not know if she is a PLEASURE-SEXUAL, or, a true Homosexual. If, in a weak moment she has relations with an infected man, then, she will likely infect You also. I do, genuinely care.......kwo

December 15, 2012 at 11:28 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Lesbian Suicide is at least 4 (four) times the rate of heterosexual females. Lesbian 'suicide attempts'=22% (twenty-two) compared to 4% (four) heterosexual.

So, You really think it's alright to be a lesbian? It's not just in the U.S. See below:

Jesus Christ is no respecter of countries/continents. Sin is sin.

Below, see India and Canada as examples:

SONARPUR (South 24-Parganas): Two teenage girls committed suicide in a village in South 24-Parganas, apparently disillusioned about their future as a same-sex couple.

Police found the bodies of 19-year-old Bobby Saha and 17-year-old Puja Mondal after breaking down a door of Bobby's house in the Tripura Sundari area of Boral in the wee hours of Saturday. The post-mortem report says they took poison together and lay down to die, clutching each other's arms.

Orangeville, Ontario Canada Girlfriends Jeanine Blanchette, 21, and Chantal Dube, 17, reportedly made “goodbye” phone calls to two friends, and left goodbye letters behind for family members. Their bodies were uncovered in a wooded clearing, near the building that the two women had met in a group-therapy session. [Both articles have enough information to be Googled]

There are a very high number of such tragedies concurring among the lesbian population. I implore all women to flee from such a preferred/chosen lifestyle. Some have called the homosexual lifestyle a 'Culture of Death'.

December 15, 2012 at 11:34 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

S.P. is a 23-year-old Hispanic woman who tested positive for HIV, the virus associated with AIDS. She applied for Social Security disability benefits when she was unable to work because of weight loss and increasingly painful episodes of pelvic inflammatory disease and nausea.

Despite two hospitalizations for pelvic inflammation, continued symptoms and evidence of a severely weakened immune system, S.P. was denied benefits. According to the standards of the Social Security Administration, she does not have AIDS.[1]

"Women Don't Get AIDS: They Just Die From It" announces a flyer produced by the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). It calls attention to the fact that thousands of women with HIV have died without an AIDS diagnosis. The U. S. Federal Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) definition of AIDS is primarily based on symptoms of AIDS in white gay men; therefore the number of women who have died from AIDS is not accurately represented.

Though the CDC's original surveillance definition has been expanded, it still does not include even one HIV-opportunistic infection related specifically to women. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), chronic vaginal candidiasis, rapidly progressing cervical cancer, and human papillomavirus (HPV) are a few of the possible manifestations specific to women with HIV. [Dr. Nancy Carter: Women and AIDS Project of the New York State Division for Women.]

December 15, 2012 at 11:50 p.m.
Ozzy87 said...

Orr, why do people with your opinions completely contradict yourselves repeatedly? First you demonize gays and lesbians as permiscuous. Then when we want the same civil rights (legal recognition) of being in a monogamous relationship you rant, rave and blow snot everywhere about it. Make up your mind. Which one is it? BTW, the reason the suicide rate is 30% higher for lgbt teens than other teens is because of cretins like you telling them that they're worthless unless they "change" who they are naturally, and that they should try to "cure" themselves. Their blood is on YOUR hands.

December 16, 2012 at 7:59 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Ken Orr, you need to lay off your obsessions with gays and attend to your reading list that YOU requested and I provided.

December 16, 2012 at 8:24 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Orr, your method of dealing with your homosexuality is very strange indeed.. but probably not uncommon.

You indeed, seem to fit textbook descriptions of those who can't cope with their personal experiences, and turn to twisted self abusing methods of denial and over-compensation.

I hope that all children or animals you have access to, are kept safe from any "alone time with uncle Orr".

You sound like you need to be closely supervised when confronted with outlets for your deeply seated sexural frustrations.

December 18, 2012 at 9:33 a.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.