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According to section 1 of the 14th amendment in the Constitution shouldn't same sex marriage be legalized?

Unfortunately, most people address the question on the basis of their own views of homosexuality. If you have some objection to homosexuality, then you're against same-sex marriage. Otherwise, you're likely to favor allowing it.

However, in a free society governed by a constitution, the answer is already right in front of us.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits "any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States" and guarantees "the equal protection of the laws."

It is clear that a direct reading of those clauses, as well as the precedents set under them

(see Loving v. Virginia, 1967; Turner v. Safley, 1987; Lawrence v. Texas, 2003; among others),

require legal recognition of same-sex marriage. If states are going to maintain the legal institution of marriage, and ascribe certain rights, privileges and protections to it, then marriage must be open to all adult citizens, not just those whose marital arrangements fit a narrow and exclusionary definition.

Simply put, if Man A wants to marry a woman, and Man B wants to marry a man, there is no constitutional basis for declaring that Man A should be afforded this legal privilege while Man B should not. Applying different standards to the two men flies in the face of the 14th Amendment, and the very definition of equal citizenship in a free society.

In other words, I would say this to opponents of gay marriage. If you love the Constitution, you have only two choices: legal marriage for all, or legal marriage for none.

Anything else is....well......un-American.

Am I right or wrong in what I'm asking and saying?

8 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    No doubt about it

    If a state will issue the required marriage license to two heterosexual 18 year old kids who are homeless, HS dropouts , substance abusers , w/a history of violence and have enough personal issues to occupy a season's worth of Dr Phil's shows then the state HAS to issue the required marriage license to two 38 year old gay physicians that don't have 1/4 of the issues that those kids do

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  • 9 years ago

    Lets assume we stick just to marriage to limit the level of debate and the scope of comparisons.

    Under that assumption if equality is the issue what about marriages between say a brother and a sister. That isn't legally anywhere. Not only for moral reasons but to do so would produce children with serious genetic defects. Why aren't they given equality and the right to marriage? If that's the interpretation can you deny them that right? Maybe it's her lesbian sister she wants to marry - no children no harm right?

    Your assumption would carry very dangerous consequences just in the realm of marriage. Both morally and risky behavior such a ruling would also open the door for multiple citizen marriages or polygamy. Why can't a citizen have multiple marriages? That's equality right? If all parties knowingly consent can you deny the "couples" marriage rights?

    It's not that your interpretation is necessarily incorrect only that the application of such a interpretation is incorrect. The law was meant to provide equal citizenship and rights to freed slaves - that was the purpose of the 14th Amendment primarily.

    Modern application of the outdated amendment provides for many domestic problems that ONLY the United States has as a modern nation. Imagine using old common law in England for a basis of law for modern Britain - there are simply certain rulings that make no sense in a modern society and cannot be applied reasonably. Another example is some versions of Sharia law - it's like using the Old Testament in the Bible to create your laws - sounds like a good idea right?

    Marriage is a right granted by the State which you live in and as such the State can perscribe the allowable requirements so long as those requirements do not violate a individuals protected status (example: race, income, etc.). Currently in the United States there is no explicit protection for sexual preference. Thus a state can prohibit same sex marriage.

    If the US Congress were to simply add sexual preference to the protected list then a state couldn't discriminate based on sexual preference. But that hasn't happened has it. Even the courts could rule that same sex couples have protected status thus ending prohibition of same sex marriage - but that hasn't happened either.

    I'm pretty confident that in the next 10 to 20 years same sex marriage will be nationally recognized given our society becomes more tolerant over time (example: multiracial couples). As we progress we will probably have a shift in political opinion to allow these same sex couples to get married.

    For a campaign against un-American American activities lets make a list: taxes, standing military, Social Welfare (social security/medicare/medicaid/food stamps/welfare), Obama's healthcare law, wars in Iraq/Afghanistan/Vietnam/North Korea/Seriba/Libya, the UN, a nearly 3 trillion annual US budget, selective service, Postal Service (socialist), the US Highway system, Department of Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA, US Port Authority, US Dept. of Agriculture, the list goes on forever. And I'm sure you see the trend.

    Our nation has gone from having less than 1% of the US population working for the government to having over 20% work for the government. That is socialism not capitalism. And borders on communism given our current situation. We must save our society from falling apart since our elders are handing us a 13+ trillion USD debt with programs set up running larger deficits over time.

    Our generation must save the nation since our parents generation's leaders failed to do so. The cost of us NOT finding a solution may very well be the financial security of our own children. If those over 35 won't say out loud what must be done then we need to say even louder what they will not.

    In my opinion that will include same sex marriage to allow for real equality for all Americans in that marriage arena. But the financial arena has been robbed by our forefathers literally.

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  • 9 years ago

    Well, using the logic of section 1 of the 14th Amendment.

    There should be no gun laws, no seat belt laws, no laws against drugs, prostitution or almost everything like that since those laws "abridge the privileges or immunities of Citizens of the United States".

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  • LOL
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    It's a bit of a stretch to cite "equal protection" considering the all male draft, the double standards for race and gender, and the advantages wealthy people have, but if gays want to turn their relationships into binding legal contracts and help out America's impoverished divorce lawyers it's OK with me.

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  • 9 years ago

    Since marriage has been defined as a union between a man and a woman, there is no basis in the law for two of the same sex to be married.

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  • 9 years ago

    It is really sick for gays to compare their status to that of freed slaves. The 14th amendment recognized blacks as citizens, but it is probably ripe for repeal. We are not citizens of a state, we are sovereign individuals. Do what you want, but don't tell me what I have to think about it.

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  • Ron R
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    even darwin thought you were crazy....

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  • 9 years ago

    there is the constitution and then there is their constitution.

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