December 21st, 2013

Federal judge bans Utah’s ban on gay marriage

Those of you who read this blog regularly probably know that gay marriage, pro or con, is not my issue. My basic stance is that states should be allowed to decide for themselves, but that states which follow the traditional view of marriage as between a man and woman are being neither unconscionably discriminatory nor arbitrary.

Therefore yesterday when a federal judge struck down the clearly-expressed will of the people of Utah to defend a view of marriage that until a few short years ago was considered neither unconstitutional nor bigoted nor even controversial, I was troubled by the judiciary’s need to impose its own view on the people of the state (and for those who would compare this to courts striking down anti-miscegenation laws, I’ve already pointed out the large differences between the two in this lengthy article).

Part of yesterday’s ruling:

The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason,” wrote U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby in the 53-page decision. “Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”

There are many rational reasons to deny this right, although Judge Shelby may not think they’re rational, nor share them. What’s more (as the Utah Attorney General pointed out), no 10th Circuit court has ever established marriage as a “fundamental right.” The people of Utah certainly don’t think so, nor do the last couple of thousand years of fundamental Judeo-Christian ethics, law, and belief.

But isn’t that what this is all about? The trend—whether it be an act as extra-judicial as A&E’s firing Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson for remarks that reflected centuries of Biblical beliefs about homosexuality, or the very-judicial action of Judge Shelby to overrule a popularly-passed law in Utah that affirmed the traditional view of marriage—is to relabel these ideas as unconscionable and unacceptable bigotry. This trend disturbs me far more than either Robertson’s remarks, Utah’s gay marriage ban, other states’ legalization of gay marriage, or gay marriage itself.

[ADDENDUM: I have to mention this excellent Mark Steyn column on the Robertson flap, which includes the following joke Bob Hope made in 1975: "I’ve just flown in from California, where they’ve made homosexuality legal. I thought I’d get out before they make it compulsory.”

Hmmmm. Do you think that, if the folks in California get wind of that one, they'll petition to rename Bob Hope Airport in Burbank after someone else?]

30 Responses to “Federal judge bans Utah’s ban on gay marriage”

  1. expat Says:

    Radicals and activists never know when to stop. But they have to be stopped, preferably early, or we all end up playing defense. I am sick of bunches of inexperienced kids who read a book once and decided that it had to inform the thoughts and actions of a whole society. I see no difference between the LGBT types, communistist, feminists, environmentalists, animal rights people, and Obama. They all stopped thinking before adulthood and they are all bullies.

  2. southpaw Says:

    Gay marriage rights notwithstanding, I am really puzzled at the relatively sudden preoccupation our society has developed for homosexuality and all the issues, real or perceived. It’s as if it’s a phenomenon that’s just been discovered in the last 15 years, and it is so important, that we as a society need to discuss it constantly, keeping it at the forefront of public attention.
    I never gave the subject much thought before- it is what it is. But now that it’s become a cause-celeb, I find it somewhat irritating and intrusive, and am more inclined to have a negative reaction as opposed to none at all. before so much time was devoted to making sure I understand their feelings are more important than anyone else’s, I didn’t have any negative feelings.
    Where in the past I could not have cared less about their sexual orientation, I find myself less than sympathetic now that the government and corporations have taken up the issue in an extreme way, implying that we were all running around bashing and discriminating against homosexuals.
    It seems to me the over-the-top, hypersensitivity that’s being promoted runs the risk of doing more harm than good for homosexuals that aren’t interested in making political statements. Ironically, they are now more likely to be singled out as “different” or needing special handling based on their sexuality than they were before. But that’s just my opinion.

  3. George Pal Says:

    There is no Gnostic (anti-nature, anti-God) conviction that will not trump tradition, law, the Constitution, common sense, logic, or even what is apparently so. We are deep down a rabbit hole and have no way out. Consider the proposition of 2+2=5 as reliably true and justifiable as 2+2=4. After all, the latter is not a result of rational reason, it just is. It comes not from Plato or Aristotle or Newton, or Einstein, or the guy before Shelby – it just is.

    The worst of it is they’re no longer relying on penumbrae emanating from the Constitution. The last time a society relied on the Godess of reason – well it wasn’t pretty.

    After two thousand years, since the Manicheans at least, the Gnostics appear to be on the verge of having won the world.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Part of yesterday’s ruling:

    The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples individuals who wish to enter into plural marriages for no rational reason,” wrote U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby in the 53-page decision. “Accordingly, the court finds that these laws that limit marriage to solely two partners are unconstitutional.””

  5. Mr. Frank Says:

    Gay people have the same right to marriage as straight people. They can marry a person of the opposite sex. They may not wish to do so, but they have the right.

    It also sounds like polygamy is in our future. What about incest? Are my rights to marry a sibling or a parent being denied? Can I marry my dog if I really want to?

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    Mr. Frank:

    If you really want to, you can marry your dog right now.

  7. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Only one man and one woman may naturally procreate. Once a society abandons that objective basis for whom may marry, the sole remaining semi-objective limitations of who may and may not marry is the age/ability of consent and prohibitions on degree of consanguinity.

    Once the judiciary rules that limiting marriage to one man/one woman is unconstitutionally discriminatory, the utterly arbitrary limitation of solely two partners must also be ruled unconstitutionally discriminatory.

    Plural marriage becomes legally inescapable and the consequences for future generations of children entirely predictable.

    “The grandchild, far from being incidental, is decisive. Civilization persists when there is a widespread sense of an ethical obligation on the part of the present generation for the well-being of the third generation —their own grandchildren.

    A society where this feeling is not widespread may last as a civilization for some time—indeed, for one or two generations it might thrive spectacularly.

    But inevitably, a society acknowledging no transgenerational commitment to the future will decay and decline from within.” —Lee Harris, “The Future of Tradition

    “Destroy the family, [and] you destroy the country.” Vladimir Lenin

    There are three major ideological choices at play in the world; Western conservatives who support classical liberal values, the International Left, composed of a disparate assemblage of groups and Islam.

    The American left is engaged in the sabotage of classical liberal America with the goal of extermination of that option.

    Islam and the Left are totalitarian in nature and domination by either would usher in a new Dark Age.

    “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.” George Orwell

  8. George Pal Says:

    Mr. Frank,

    The future, as it concerns polygamy, is now.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/14/Federal-Judge-Rules-Laws-Against-Polygamy-Unconstitutional

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “What about incest? Are my rights to marry a sibling or a parent being denied?”

    The legal consequence of this judge’s ruling, if upheld is to rule yes, bans against incest are unconstitutionally discriminatory. To prevent inbreeding and genetic disease, there’s always abortion, right?

    Here’s the legal ammunition that will be used when the left pushes for this ‘right’;

    “In Belgium and France, incest is not a crime; incest laws were abolished by Napoleon some 200 years ago in the French government period. Incestuous relations between a parent and minor child are prohibited and punished by law there, but not between adults.

    Portugal, Spain and Italy do not punish consensual adult incest. Romania has considered repealing it’s incest law.

    In Japan, the Civil Code of Japan restricts marriages of its members, but incest is not a crime. Incest law was abolished there in 1881. They also can have children.

    In Israel, incest between adults (of the age of 21 years and above) is not a crime.

    Marriages between cousins account for over 10% of marriages worldwide. They are particularly common in the Middle East, where in some nations they account for over half of all marriages. Cousin marriage has been allowed throughout the Middle East for all recorded history. One study finds quite stable rates among Indian Muslims over the past four decades.

    Cousin marriage is allowed in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the United Kingdom, All of Europe, Russia, All of South America, All of Central America, Australia, All of the countries along the Mediterranean sea of Africa, Thailand and Japan.

    The Hindu Marriage Act makes cousin marriage illegal for Hindus especially in Northern India, with exceptions. In the South Indian province of Karnataka, which contains Bangalore, fully one third of Hindus married to a second cousin or closer.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incest_laws

    The non-religious problem with incest is two-fold; genetic abnormalities that increase with inbreeding and the disruptive psychological effect upon the healthy development of children. Even if the parent-child relations are not abusive, unhealthy psychological and emotional attachment will occur. None of this will matter to the left.

  10. kit Says:

    Gay activists and the left want to use gay marriage or polygamy or whatever else follows as a way to break down the family. The traditional family is the backbone of the American Republic.
    This is a way to destroy us.

  11. Paul in Boston Says:

    Now that Obama is nullifying laws either by executive order or refusing to enforce them, how long before a State Governor tells a Federal Judge to drop dead? Suppose the Governor of Utah told the judge to drop dead and announced that he would arrest and imprison any clerk who issued a license for a gay marriage, what would happen? The clerks wouldn’t give out the licenses for sure. What would the Federal government do?

  12. dicentra Says:

    I am really puzzled at the relatively sudden preoccupation our society has developed for homosexuality and all the issues, real or perceived.

    “This is a way to destroy us.”

    Precisely. The push to legalize SSM is a means, not an end.

    The end being to marginalize and — wherever possible, coerce into submission — all who hold to a rival philosophy to Leftism and Statism.

    “They won’t force you guys to perform SSMs,” we’re assured.

    Can that be guaranteed?

    But even if there’s no de jure coercion to perform such ceremonies, all churches who refuse to honor such unions will (and are being) branded “Hate Organizations,” which means it’s open season on them and their members.

    It may be illegal to fire me or refuse to hire me for being LDS, but that won’t stop the activists from making it extremely difficult to hold that line. The company that acquired us has its HQ in the Bay Area. Mormons and other Christians are now officially “beyond the pale,” and because Being A Bigot is the unforgivable sin anymore, all measures taken against “bigots” will be just and right.

    Here’s the thing: you can accuse someone of bigotry and make it stick, regardless of how that person actually thinks or acts. I could pull seven gay couples out of a burning building and still be a bigot because I don’t think men and women are fungible in marriage.

    There’s no defense against the accusation of bigotry: the “validity” inheres in who is making the accusation and who it’s against. “No, I’m not,” however true the denial, carries no weight in such an atmosphere.

    Just as all white folks “knew” that black men thought about nothing but raping white women all the live-long day—and there wasn’t a way in hell for the men to defend themselves against the accusation—today’s activists “know” that we religious folk are bigots, thereby giving them license for their style of lynching.

    And that “lynching” is the purpose, not the result, of pushing SSM. They found a Rubicon we could not cross, and they’re using it to destroy their enemies.

  13. dicentra Says:

    It also sounds like polygamy is in our future.

    Before Utah could be admitted to the union, its Constitution had to include an express prohibition against polygamy as well as language that prohibits amending the Constitution to remove that prohbition.

    The activists will find a way around that language, as they always do. Law is an impediment only, not a boundary.

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    Paul in Boston:

    What they did to George Wallace in 1963: federal marshals, the deputy A.G., and the threat of the National Guard (which was federalized for the occasion).

    But I don’t think any present-day governor would do what you’re describing.

  15. dicentra Says:

    One more thing:

    You’ll notice that the Left is anxious to restrict us in every aspect of our lives, save one: sex.

    All is permitted in that arena except boundaries, and to suggest that there’s such a thing as sexual dysfunction — in the least degree — will garner you more wrath than just about anything else.

    Part of this is the Brave New World aspect — keep people besotted by their hormones and encourage as much fake intimacy as possible (thus to derail true intimacy between individuals, which is anathema to the State). Promiscuity undermines the nuclear family and religion, which also is anathema to the State.

    Another reason is that our sexuality is the most tender, most sacred part of our selves, so if sex is desacralized by becoming utterly public and therefore vulgar, the individual is also degraded. (Sacredness is tied to privacy, intimacy, enclosure, and non-public space.)

    Worst of all, it’s meant to destroy individuality:

    because the Left expresses itself in terms of “freeing” people’s sexuality, many people miss the fact that it is every bit as sexually controlling in its own way as Islam is. This control comes about because the Left works assiduously to decouple sex from a person’s own sense of bodily privacy and, by extension, self-ownership. If a person has no sense of autonomy, that person is a ready-made cog for the statist machinery.

    For instance, “Revolution der Erziehung” (“The Revolution in Education”), a work published by Rowohlt in 1971, which quickly became a bestseller, addresses sexuality as follows: “The de-eroticization of family life, from the prohibition of sexual activity among children to the taboo of incest, serves as preparation for total assimilation — as preparation for the hostile treatment of sexual pleasure in school and voluntary subjugation to a dehumanizing labor system.”

    It’s tempting to think of sexual mores as an utterly private decision whose consequences do not extend beyond the bedroom, and that bourgeois notions about sexual restraint can safely go the way of the buggy whip, but the sexual revolution was just as much a part of the Statist project of collectivization as Obamacare is.

  16. MissJean Says:

    Dicentra, my local high school has “Brave New World” on its reading list, and it’s amazing to see how the teenagers figure out that the orgies and frivolity of that dystopia have parallels in the real world, and not just the “bread and circuses” of the past.

    As for the re-definition of marriage, the US has nothing on Canada, which just opened the door to brothels and johns to openly ply their trade. It’s a human right, you see.

  17. Sgt. Mom Says:

    What Southpaw said … once upon a time, I wouldn’t have cared particularly about what mature, consenting adults did in privacy, either. No, I absolutely did not care – in the words (approximately) of Mrs. Patrick Campbell, I didn’t care – as long as they weren’t doing it in the road and frightening the horses.

    I was raised as an observant Lutheran – in comparison with many of my peers I count as devout, I guess. Marriage is to me between a man and a woman, although I will allow space to same-sex couples who truly love each other, want to make a home together, and perform all those customary rituals in good faith … I know people like that, I respect them for what they want to accomplish. A civil union works for me – an arrangement which permits the legal benefits accrued to traditional marriage.

    The part which runs off the rails for me is that this kind of tolerance and acceptance of what a relatively tiny percentage of the population fiercely desires – is that tolerance is no longer the minimum acceptable position. No – we are required to express rapturous and public approval, as if we all are a claque of performing seals, clapping away. Or else.

    It’s the bullying to conform, which gets up my nose. Rapturously approve, and make a demonstration of it; otherwise you are the most awful bigot. Never mind that you might have friends, kin, neighbors, co-workers who are gay. You might love them dearly, and wish them the best in the world – but know/believe that … well, whatever. Hiccup in the DNA, misalignment of whatever … a relatively small deviation from the great human chain. 1-2% of all humankind, so is the estimation and one which matches with my own personal observance.

    So, we are turning ourselves inside out over this? 1-2% – just because the love that once wouldn’t speak its name now won’t stop shrieking about it?
    I don’t like being bullied. Probably a lot of fans of the Ducks don’t, either.

  18. waitforit Says:

    YES. YES. YES. SGT. MOM.

    For the 1 to 2 percent we must declare the Bible homophobic. And end it now.

    Unless social science should rescue the Bible and show or suggest that homosexuality is an errant and unfortunate sideshow, a sideshow greatly expanded by tolerance.

    Ohhh.

  19. expat Says:

    There is one other element that bothers me: Heterosexuals can be judged on their behavior. A man can be a bad father. A woman can be a helicopter mom. Adultery is judged as bad. But I don’t hear gays criticizing the bad behaviour of fellow gays. And if a heterosexual says he thinks bath house behaviour is disgusting, he is a homophobe and bigot.
    I remember once meeting a young guy who was visiting my gay neighbor. He tossed around the term fag hag (about someone else) without any consideration of my feelings. Do gays today let such language pass without correcting it?

  20. n.n Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    Exactly. The ruling applies to all unions, irrespective of kind, form, or composition, including corporations. I wonder if the ACLU and similar activists will stand up for everyone’s rights. Shelby and the activists’ selective interest in equal rights is an abomination and by definition it is bigoted (i.e. sanctimonious hypocrisy). However, I appreciate the organization required to narrate two related, reinforcing controversies. I also appreciate the strategic decision to attack Utah with its disfavored Christian sect. I wonder if the Mormons will be martyred for their resistance.

    That said, I tire of this slow progressive pace, which is designed to acclimate people to a progressive morality. I think we should force the issue and push civilization over the edge. We should follow Obama’s plan and accelerate the dysfunctional convergence. Perhaps people will notice there is something wrong and reject the Dodo Dynasty.

  21. n.n Says:

    MissJean:

    Canada has decided to normalize Rent-A-Vagina, Penis, Anus, etc. I wonder if they considered how it affects the standing of each Rental unit in a civilized society. Perhaps it doesn’t matter. With the normalization of abortion, as well as the “diversity” concept, human lives, from conception to death, are merely commodities, interchangeable and disposable.

  22. n.n Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    You get it. With normalization of dysfunctional behaviors, most notably elective abortion, there are no relationships which can be legitimately proscribed. Whatever freaks are produced from a human/human or human/animal union can be legally aborted. Even children are legitimate targets of progressive morality, as the effort to establish their independent rights has demonstrated that they are, in fact, capable of giving consent.

    Besides, whether animal, vegetable, or human, they are all commodities which are interchangeable, disposable, and exploitable, from conception to death. I don’t think the proponents of progressive morality full appreciate the criteria for classifying behaviors for normalization, tolerance, and rejection. I have to wonder what they are taught in their schools. Their demand for sex, money, and ego gratification has clouded their judgment.

  23. J.J. Says:

    Many good comments and well expressed.

    One area that has not been touched on, but with the drive for equal rights in marriage among LGBTs, and polygamists, the next frontier is the National Man Boy Love Association’s (NAMBLA) desire to legitimize their activities. It may seem a bridge too far now, but…….who believed we would be where we are 20 years ago?

    As for the Bob Hope joke, here’s what Steyn had to say about that: “For Hope, this was an oddly profound gag, discerning even at the dawn of the Age of Tolerance that there was something inherently coercive about the enterprise. Soon it would be insufficient merely to be “tolerant” — warily accepting, blithely indifferent, mildly amused, tepidly supportive, according to taste. The forces of “tolerance” would become intolerant of anything less than full-blown celebratory approval.”

    That hits it dead center. We can no longer be anything but puppets who clap enthusiastically whenever and for whatever we’re directed to. This shines the spotlight brightly on the tyranny of the left.

  24. Tesh Says:

    One fellow behind the big push to kill the Utah prohibition was on the radio yesterday dismissing concerns that this ruling will force businesses and churches to cater to homosexual unions. His argument was basically “the law as it now stands won’t force that on businesses or churches… but I think the law should be changed so that it does”.

    They aren’t even hiding it.

  25. dicentra Says:

    [He thinks] the law should be changed so that it does.

    LDS doctrine so stringently excludes SSM that it’s not even funny. It’s more likely that the gubmint will stop counting our temple weddings as legitimate than we’ll bend to their will.

    Polygamy wasn’t an essential practice, so we could give it up without violating our consciences.

    SSM cannot be accommodated within our covenant. We will increasingly be identified as a “Hate Organization,” and all attacks against us will be socially acceptable in the hipper circles. The anti-Mormons in Utah will be more than happy to externalize their contempt for us in as many ways possible.

    Let them do their worst; we’ll do our best. It would be an honor to suffer persecution for standing firm in my faith.

  26. Eric Says:

    The slippery slope is not a logical fallacy when criticizing the Left.

  27. waitforit Says:

    Good article by Robert Oscar Lopez, one who knows:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/why_i_cannot_blame_russia_and_india_for_taking_on_the_gays.html

  28. NeoConScum Says:

    One Man / One Woman marriage is the basic foundational building block of civilization. Period. PERIOD.

    For the vapid twits of Feeeeeelings Fulfillment, be they judges, Homo-Activisits, the Left and the Tolerate Everything(except the Bible and conservatives)Crowd to whimsically toss it out is Dooming.

  29. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Left are enemies of humanity for a reason. And it’s not due to their politics.

  30. Eric Says:

    It’s the Marxist activist method, which is not limited to Marxist theory and ideology. The method can be applied for any social advocacy.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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