The Gross National Debt

Monday, June 23, 2014

Some questions for same gender marriage Part 1

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This blog goes through six parts. One per day, if I can remember to post each day.

To start, let's run this train back to 1883.

In Pace v. Alabama, SCOTUS ruled that Alabama's anti-miscegenation statute was legal. They were not actually married, but having sex. Extra marital sex was also frowned on at the time, much moreso than today. Adultery was also illegal. At the Jail Museum, we have records of people being criminally charged with adultery and given various sentences.

Later cases upheld this even in the face of the "Cruel and unusual punishment" challenges. In other words, having established that interracial relations was wrong, the court further ruled that since both sides were given the same treatment under the law (HAH! That is bullshit and we all know it), there was no problem.

Now if Mr. Peabody will set the Wayback Machine to 1967... in a somewhat ironically named case, Loving v. Virginia, SCOTUS tossed Pace v. Alabama to the curb. At issue here is race. Writing for the court and the unanimous decision, Justice CJ Warren wrote, "The clear and central purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to eliminate all official state sources of invidious racial discrimination in the States."

There's a whole 'nother blog in that phrase "eliminate all official state sources."

In the Loving case, Justice Warren wrote, "Over the years, this Court has consistently repudiated '[d]istinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry' as being "odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality.'" Indeed, the court had shifted on the topic of race.

Race is a matter of genetics and ancestry. A person cannot choose their ancestors.

In short, no matter your ancestry, the law has to treat you the same as everyone else. What is legal for one is legal for another.

Ancestry is one thing. Sexual orientation is another. For this series, same gender marriage means two or more women, two or more men or any combination as long as at least two are of the same gender and swap bodily fluids. Nitpickers of my definition are invited to slap themselves smart and go away.

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