My wife and I recently returned home from a brief vacation which included visiting our dear friends. Our friends happen to be a married couple of the same sex. Normally; I would not feel compelled to even mention that but considering the crux of this article deals with the gay community; I felt it was pertinent. I consider Tara and Trish to be two of my closest friends. Though I have only known them for about 3 years; they have become very important to me. My wife has known them for much longer and has worked with Trish in the medical field for over 13 years.
On Friday night; we sat around a campfire surrounded by gays from every walk of life. I confess to having laughed harder and longer than I have in years. It’s important to note that I wasn’t laughing at them but with them. While doing this; I couldn’t help but think that these are the very people that some deem to be threats to our way of life. I also thought of Sal Hepatica’s (nobebop) article that focused on the treatment that gays are still subjected to in the military. How ANYONE could consider this group to be a threat to anything is beyond me. The fact of the matter is that they would prefer to be left alone but righteously seek the same rights accorded to all Americans.
Many of the recent debates in the blogsphere have revolved around government intervention in the private sector and the concern over the Obama administration’s attempt at increasing the control it has over individual’s rights. These concerns are definitely without merit and I have chosen to address the control concerning the gay community. I have no intention of taking a partisan stand on this subject since members of both parties are guilty of this. Of course, running point for this asinine opposition to gay rights is the Christian Right. Given the recent revelations of hypocrisy by a couple of their more outspoken leaders; my advice to them is to shut the hell up for a while. I digress.
While researching, I came across a couple of judicial decisions that speak directly to our right to pursue “liberty” in accordance with the 14th Amendment. In Lochner v. New York (1905) it was deemed that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This decision protected all citizens from any intervention by the state. Though the decision focused on employment issues; the content of the decision is precedent setting by its very verbiage.
In Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925), the ruling dealt directly with the Due Process Clause found in the 14th Amendment. “Justice James Clark McReynolds went on to list other rights guaranteed by the Due Process Clause, including ‘the right of the individual…to marry, establish a home and bring up children…and generally to enjoy these privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.” Does anyone else notice the absence of the word heterosexual? However; “happiness by free men” does jump out at me. More on these decisions can be found at: http://pewforum.org/gay-marriage/.
As an aside; one of the people I met was the grandson of the infamous Al Capone, Chris Knight. Chris was kind enough to give me a copy of his book SON OF SCARFACE: A MEMOIR BY THE GRANDSON OF AL CAPONE. It’s a story of Chris’ frustrating search for the true identity of his father and the omnipresent roadblocks he confronts in his quest. You can purchase the book from Amazon and I strongly recommend that you do. I have found it to be fascinating and the reader begins to formulate their own theories as each chapter poses more and more questions.
In closing: I would like to say that our country faces far greater threats than the possibility of people of the same sex marrying. To date: 6 states have legalized gay marriage while 30 states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Disgusting! I’ll leave you all with one question: Does the fact that Sue and Jill from across town wish to be married affect you in any way? If the answer is no, and it certainly should be; I suggest you follow the advice I gave to the Christian Right.