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By Glenn Lambdin
Regarding Same Sex Marriage...
Recently, while walking out of my favorite discount department store, I was approached by an enthusiastic young woman who asked me to sign her petition supporting some new legislation recognizing same sex marriages. Typically, my standard response to accosting signature gatherers is a self-amusing lie that rolls off my tongue with the greatest of ease, “Sorry, I can’t. I am a convicted felon.”
I find the concept of same sex marriage to be a fascinating exercise in democracy and one that I am sure my generation will witness morph through an interesting evolution in American jurisprudence.
I believe it is paramount that all governmental legislation and legal authority originate from the practical application of logic and reason. Baseline principles like public need, public health and safety, and constitutional rights are minimal non-negotiable starting points that must be considered when crafting laws that guide our society. My favorite principle has always been, “equality for all people, all the time, without exception; regardless of race, gender, color of skin, religious belief, or financial or social status.” This is the basis of our Constitution and one principle that I have sworn an oath to defend. I take it very seriously.
Since the Establishment Clause of our Constitution mandates the separation of church and state, when
considering same sex marriages, it seems reasonable and logical that legislatures first define what marriage is, apart from any religious dogma. And, also define what marriage isn’t.
Legally, couples are not required to be married to make babies, nor are they required to make babies if they are married. Marriage is not a requirement in order to have sex, to live together, to purchase property, or to adopt or raise children. And, in each of these scenarios, abilities are not gender specific or a necessary requirement since both males and females are equally qualified to perform any of these duties. Once married, there are no laws that require a couple to do anything specific except file taxes differently than single people. So in a governmental sense, marriage is nothing more than some sanctioned non-specific partnership agreement between two individuals. It’s a contract with no real requirements, except tax requirements. From a governmental perspective, marriage becomes little more than a recorded business partnership.
In 2002, after being married for 25 years, my wife and I decided to call it quits and part friends. We divorced. It was merely the simple dissolution of a legal contract and the distribution of our assets, not much different than the dissolution of any business partnership. There was no church approval, ceremony, or required permission. We didn’t have to plea or explain our case. We just filed the paperwork, paid the money, and waited. I get this, she gets that; processed by the court, and its over. Again, not much different than the dissolution of any business partnership. The government’s role was basically to see the fair and equitable distribution of our assets. It was business! Non-gender specific business.
So the question really becomes, “Can the specific performance of a marriage contract be performed equally as well between couples of the same sex as with opposite-sex couples?” Since a marriage contract has no real specific requirements of performance in the first place, than the answer is definitively yes. Therefore, in the absence of any legitimate public need or public health and safety issues that would require opposite sex only marriages, it becomes painfully obvious that the denial of same sex marriage is intentionally targeted discrimination.
I believe in equality for all Americans, all the time, without exception.
I signed the petition.
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