Wednesday, September 3, 2014


For the many, the word freedom has just as many meanings. In general, I think we can agree that freedom means not being held back or oppressed by some outer force.

With this in mind, I have a very difficult time understanding the oppression of a certain type of people. There is no more racial segregation, or slavery, or woman's oppression. The main oppression is currently that of the LGBT community. Such a statistically small group of humans that has this country in an uproar.

The arguments against gay marriage are not varied much and usually have a religious tone. Sanctity of marriage, sin of homosexuality, family values, etc. That's fine, I understand your concerns about someone else's basic human civil rights tarnishing your upstanding views of this church right.

That's just it, though. The institution of marriage is at base a CIVIL contract. Even when you marry in the CHURCH, you still have to sign a CIVIL contract to make everything legal. The LGBT community is fighting for their right to the CIVIL contract, not the CHURCH covenant. Therefore, if any legislation denies a group of people a CIVIL right, that legislation is unconstitutional, in my opinion.

A New Orleans U.S. District judge just upheld a law banning same-sex marriage in Louisiana. I was ready to read the opinion with bias against the judge. However, having just now read the ruling, I actually understand why he ruled to uphold the ban.

Here are a few key points that stand out to me:

1. Protected Class - Members of the LGBT community are not legally considered a protected class (yet). Therefore, any legislation banning them from civil rights is actually constitutional.

2. Fundamental Right - This was an interesting bit for me. We so quickly throw out the term "fundamental right", however the right has to be "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition" to be considered fundamental. In this manner, same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right, it's a fairly new concept that is not as deeply rooted in our history.

3. Can of worms - If the courts are to allow same-sex marriage, where does that stop? The judge gives the examples of aunts and nieces, brother and brother, minors, polygamy, a transgender spouse. While some of these are a bit silly sounding, there will be need to be precedents set to limit this equally loving relationships. The court is not able to focus on same-sex marriage without considering any potential future repercussions. The plaintiffs were unable to say why these "unusual" unions "would result in 'significant societal harms'" yet same-sex wouldn't.

Throughout the opinion, Judge Feldman seems to side with the defendants, who seemed more prepared, than with the plaintiffs, though he is sympathetic to their pleas. This makes it seem as if the judge is biased against same-sex marriage, but I believe that in his writings he shows that he is trying to be unbiased. He acknowledges the different viewpoints and shows which arguments helped and hindered each side. He supported his opinion with legislature and other Courts' opinions. In the end, he seems to fervently hope that this issue is resolved "democratically" but says that he cannot rule to release the ban because same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right of a class that is not protected when there is the historic and traditional legislation in place for the greater good of the people. He ends by saying that if plaintiffs can establish a "genuine dispute regarding a First Amendment violation on this record" this outcome would have been different.

I support equality among humans. I know the granting the civil right of same-sex unions is a huge scary big deal for the States and Country and its people. There will come a time when all people will be treated equal. If you are active in supporting the cause, don't despair. It may take a generation for positive legislative change, but it will happen.

Opponents will continue making it a religious issue. Like Former Louisiana legislator Tony Perkins: "This decision is a victory for the rule law, and for religious liberty and free speech which are undermined anywhere marriage is redefined." ( This is not a religious fight, it's a civil fight. I'm not sure how allowing two persons of the same sex a right to a civil union will do anything to undermine your religious liberty... Someone please explain that to me.

So, I ask that you take a moment and read the opinion. I hope you find that he wasn't putting down same-sex marriage any further than it is but rather that he was unable, given the material provided, to find enough reasonable cause to overrule current legislation.