Comment re Gay Marriage posted on Slate

I posted the following response to one of the comments on the Slate magazine site about the California Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. The Slate commentary is at:

Comment by user “Hman”: “The problem with this decision is that it descriminates against all of the major religions in CA as well as the world that hold the belief that ‘Holy Matrimony’ is between a man and a woman.”

No, it doesn’t. The court specifically held that, as a result of this decision, “… no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs. (Cal. Const., art. I, sec. 4).” See page 117 of the pdf version of the opinion at:

So, the court decision has no effect whatsoever on the practices, much less the beliefs, of any religious person.

Comment by user “Hman”: “It also flies in the face of the majority of Californians who stated in their approval of the ballot initiative that marriage was between a man and a woman forcing a constitutional amendment within the state.”

Fortunately, we have long since passed the point at which the individual liberties of some people can be denied simply because a majority of people think it is okay to do so. We fought the bloodiest war in the history of this country in large part to affirm the proposition that individual rights are not dependent on the consent of other people, not even if they constitute a majority.

Remember these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

From the Wikipedia article at:

I see nothing there which justifies a majority of people of any state (or, for that matter, all of the states) in denying to a minority group of people a right which the majority enjoys. Nor is there anything in the Constitutions of the United States or the State of California which would support denying people the right to join in a same sex marriage if they choose to do so.

5 thoughts on “Comment re Gay Marriage posted on Slate

  1. Great post. Too many people suffer from the misconception that their personal beliefs and opinions should be the law of the land.

  2. Thanks, Java. Unfortunately, your observation is all too true.

    A wise man once said:

    “Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

    Anyone care to take a shot at who said it?

  3. I can say without a doubt that the quote you referenced is by one of my all time favorite writers – Robert Heinlein.

    “It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.”

    -Lazarus Long, “Time Enough for Love”

  4. Bingo! Lazarus Long is one of the most memorable characters ever in science fiction. His creator, Robert Heinlein, is generally considered one of the “Big Three” SF authors (along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke) and was also one of my favorite writers when I was growing up.

    Heinlein often used Long as a vehicle for expressing his own philosophical and political viewpoints. The one you quoted continues to ring true these days, 35 years after it was first published.

    Thanks again, Java, for joining in the conversation.

  5. Pingback: There is no Gay Marriage “Slippery Slope” | Free Legal Advice Isn't Worth What You Pay For It …

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