published Friday, July 5th, 2013

Hart: Live free or bi: DOMA ruling is a good thing

by Ron Hart

With the Supreme Court effectively ruling in favor of gay marriage, options have narrowed for its opponents. We libertarians praise the ruling, as does your nephew who TiVos "Glee," can never quite throw a spiral, and refers to "Top Gun" as "that volleyball movie."

Overturning the Defense of Marriage Act comes after last year's decision ending the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The Supremes thought that if gays could endure brutal military combat, they might now be able to handle marriage.

Four Justices voted "no" and five Justices voted "fabulous." The ruling came when Justices Kennedy and Breyer worked out their differences after a weekend of antiquing in Vermont. I hear that the oral arguments from the case will be nominated for a Tony.

With his tie-breaking vote, Justice Kennedy single-handedly overturned the gay marriage ban. Don't say anything, though; he doesn't plan to tell his parents until Christmas. Justice Antonin Scalia was clear: He does not like gay sex. Perhaps he is just doing it wrong.

This decision was ultimately about increasing individual freedom, though it overruled the popular vote of a state.

Conservative activists in California appealed the ruling Sunday to the uber-liberal Ninth Circus Court of Appeals in San Francisco; they might as well put it to a vote at a Cher concert.

As far as conservatives are concerned, turning the matter back to the states might bode well for future rulings. I do not see how conservatives can rightfully vote to end the provisions of the Voting Rights Act that are so intrusive for Southern states, yet vote to increase federal authority over marriage under DOMA. Justices who voted to dismantle the silly enforcement mechanism of the Voting Rights Act said in their briefs that times had changed since the 1960s. They have also changed for gay marriage. Thirty percent of Americans approved a decade ago; more than 50 percent do now.

Always the optimist, might I point out to social conservatives the potential positives of gay marriage? They will adopt the children pro-lifers create; they will buy houses and gentrify neighborhoods; they will be monogamous (less AIDS) and perhaps attend church; and they will be concerned about education, crime, taxes, and even the role of government spending in their lives.

For the religious right to cast the first stone at gays is hypocritical. The GOP seems impervious to how harsh and judgmental it appears on this and on other issues where it seeks to codify personal Biblical beliefs into law. Spending political capital worrying about what consenting gay couples do makes conservatives look petty and small. Let it go.

Our biggest problem in the United States is not a couple of retired music teachers with a joint checking account and hospital visitation rights. Our problems are the growth of government and lost freedoms.

Liberals cast a wide net in their never-ending quest to be liked. They are for everything. This is one of the things they support that does not cost money and increases, not decreases, freedom. It should be one of the issues on which the GOP should meet them in the middle.

The right of gays to marry clearly falls in the category of increased freedom and choice, and I have long been for it. If that were the litmus test for governmental decisions, we would be better off.

Fundamentally this issue, like most, comes down to freedom. We have the right do what we determine is best for ourselves as long as we do not hurt other people. Nothing in consensual gay marriage hurts anyone else. Systematically and frantically fighting it hurts a minority class of people.

Thirteen states currently recognize gay marriage, with many others bi-curious about adopting it. Even Iowa adopted gay marriage, probably just to give folks there something to do. My guess is that ethanol subsidies were involved. Gay marriage is obviously a non-event in the Hawkeye State.

Government powers should be limited and specific. Marriage, which is essentially derived from and conducted as a religious act, should be kept in that arena. The farther government is from marriage or any other human interaction, the better. Divorcing marriage from government is a good idea.

So gays can now be in the military and get married, which shows that no one is happy until he or she can be yelled at.

Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, author and TV/radio commentator. Contact him at or visit

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daytonsdarwin said...

Ron Hart wrote; "The GOP seems impervious to how harsh and judgmental it appears on this and on other issues where it seeks to codify personal Biblical beliefs into law."

Until the Tea Party and Republican Party get rid of the Huckabees, Hagees, Gary Norths and Christian Reconstructionist uber-fundamentalists, they'll be no more national victories for the Grand Old Prejudicial Party.

Keep the Bible where it belongs; in Church, Sunday School, private homes, and under the bottles of Jack Daniels where it makes a dandy coaster with that fake leather binding.

July 5, 2013 at 11:42 a.m.
SisterSledge said...

Well written column by my favorite writer. Very funny.

July 9, 2013 at 8:17 p.m.
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