Friday, January 20, 2006

The Other Side Still Stumped: Haskins Answers Objections

We received a polite objection from Steve to the series by John Haskins on the illegality and unconstitutionality of "gay marriage". [For Haskins' complete series, see Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI.] Here is Steve's objection, followed by Haskins' response below.

[Steve:] Let me preface this by saying I am no lawyer, I'm a biologist, so legally my opinion is second hand and observational only, as I suspect is your own.

I understand by the latest post on your MassResistanceBlog that you think just because the General Court of the Massachusetts legislature and the Governor never enacted specific statutes to enact same sex marriage, that these marriages have no legal status. I disagree. The SJC decided it was unconstitutional and therefore illegal for the Commonwealth to deny same sex marriages.

This invalidated all mention of the sex of any two marriage participants in the existing statutes of the state. In May last year, the Commonwealth has changed its marriage certificates for ALL marriages. So whether a man and a woman marry, or two men marry, or two women marry, they all get the same form to recognize their Civil Marriage. It would be nice if the Commonwealth rewrote its marriage statues to clearly legalize same sex marriage, but it is not strictly necessary.

My comment on your legal and moral philosophy: If the Judicial Courts had only acted as you say they should have, never having struck down unconstitutional laws, our state and our nation would be a far more unfair place than it is now. We would have states where interracial marriage is illegal, where segregation existed in schools and businesses, where people owned slaves. No doubt people would defend these evils as being allowed by law, and supported by Christian religion in the Bible. Even though the Supreme court has struck down racist laws, there are still Christian Identity adherents that cite Biblical passages to support their bigotries.

I think that since homosexuality is not unique to humans, and can be the basis for loving relationships between people (and even rearing children successfully), it would be unfair to deny the legal and contractual benefits of Civil Marriage to same sex couples (and their children, if any). So I applaud the courts for Lawrence v. Texas and Goodridge v. Massachusetts. These decisions stand up for my inalienable and self-evident rights to love the man I love, and perhaps to someday to marry him.

Our society should strive for fairness, don't you think? I know you disagree with me about what is fair, but your opinions on same sex marriage are no longer the majority in our state. Your approach seems to lack true compassion.

[Haskins:] Unfortunately for the court, the state Constitution denies judges any voice at all in marriage policy. Their rulings are illegal.

It also denies them the right to nullify laws that they claim are unconstitutional.

It also says that all laws remain in effect until the legislature revokes them.

It also says the people are bound only by laws passed by the legislature -- that is why we are not bound by legal opinions of a court.

As the court admitted, heterosexual marriage was clearly the intent of the legislature. The intent behind a law is binding -- on the governor and the towns and the clerks and the courts.

The new marriage certificates that you mention are in violation of the law, and thus void when presented to two persons of the same gender. The Governor violated the Constitution and his oath of office by obeying illegal orders from judges who are forbidden by the Constitution from ordering him to act in any way.

He also is forbidden to ignore laws passed by the legislature. You may prefer a dictatorship when you get what you want from the dictator, but don't call it "constitutional democracy."

As for your other points, Steve, I've had close friends who were homosexuals, bisexuals, or had been, or were heading in that direction. I have never judged them worse than I as a human being. By and large they have admitted the element of choice in their sexuality and have admitted unhappiness following from choosing homosexuality. So my opposition to homosexuality is in large part based on the compassion that you claim I do not have. I do not want you or anyone else to destroy yourself while pursuing pleasure.

Further, courts did not end slavery, they enforced it. As for slavery endorsed on the Old Testament, it was in no way similar to what was practiced in other contexts. Slaves of the Israelites were prisoners of war who had mostly sacrificed their own children to idols, raped boys, and in numerous ways were deserving of capital punishment. So in being spared -- both as prisoners of war and as practitioners of infanticide, human sacrifice, torture, child rape and murder, and given a chance to live a new life after crimes against humanity -- they were getting a good deal. Moreover, their Israelite masters were forbidden, on penalty of death, to buy and sell slaves.

I regard it as one of the most selfish things an adult can do to subject children to what you would call a "gay family." You are a liar if you claim to have researched what we know objectively about children and their need for both a father and a mother in one home, if you also pretend that homosexuals can offer that. Children are hard-wired to need one father and one mother. Stop passing off love of yourself as love for children. This only highlights the incredible selfishness into which homosexual behavior spirals downward.

I go from that hard criticism to a constructive, and I hope, encouraging suggestion: You can escape from homosexuality and you will be happier over the long run if you choose to do so. Don't fall for the lies about your lack of choice. I've known people who have chosen to do so. Look around you. Look at the homosexuals who are over 40. Over 50. Over 60. Think about what you see. And also think about how few of them there are.

Steve, if my opinion is not the majority, then why fear a vote? My opinion is the majority by a wide margin. In fact, many homosexuals know that what I am saying is true -- that homosexual marriage remains illegal. Most homosexuals have no desire to marry. Many homosexual activists openly seek the destruction of marriage and write about this goal as a way of liberating society. Homosexual relationships almost never last long enough to make "marriage" an honest option. University researchers can't even find enough lasting homosexual relationships to study. The tiny number that last five years are virtually all "open relationships." Wow. That's just what children need -- two fathers who are not even going to stick together for five years.