Path Clear for Same-Sex Marriages in Mass.

  1. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040515/D82J2GG00.html



    May 15, 10:25 AM (ET)

    By DENISE LAVOIE

    BOSTON (AP) - With the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to step in and block gay marriages in Massachusetts, same-sex couples planning to marry can be confident that, beginning Monday, they could tie the knot.

    Couples have been "nervous wrecks about whether they could marry starting Monday," said Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus. "Now they can all breathe a sigh of relief."

    Without comment, the justices declined Friday to block municipal clerks from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, clearing the way for the nation's first state-sanctioned same-sex weddings.

    The state's highest court had ruled in November that the state Constitution allowed gay couples to marry, and declared that the process could begin Monday. Gay marriage opponents challenged that ruling in the federal courts and took the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

    Hundreds of gay marriage opponents, rallying Friday in historic Faneuil Hall, booed when they learned of the Supreme Court's decision.

    Speakers railed against what they called "sexual sin" and warned that gay marriage could have negative effects on families.

    "The problem is they're being told that their sin is wonderful and fine," said Sandy Rios, former president of Concerned Women for America, a conservative public policy organization. "May 17, two days from now, will be a day that will change the world."

    Laura Mineau, who sat in the audience listening to Rios, said she was saddened by the court's decision.

    "I know the best, safest place for a child to be raised is in a stable home with one mother and one father," she said.

    On Friday, Missouri lawmakers agreed to let voters decide whether the state constitution should be amended to ban gay marriage. The state, which already has a so-called defense of marriage law, is one of at least six to put a constitutional amendment on the matter on the November ballot.

    In the Massachusetts case, a federal judge ruled Thursday against the plaintiffs, a coalition of state lawmakers and conservative activists. Friday, the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also refused to immediately block gay marriages but agreed to hear the case in June. The Supreme Court issued its decision later Friday.

    The Supreme Court's decision did not address the merits of the claim that the state Supreme Judicial Court overstepped its bounds with its landmark decision.

    Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of the Florida-based Liberty Counsel, one of the conservative legal groups that worked on the challenge, said the plaintiffs looked forward to eventually arguing the case before the appeals court and the Supreme Court.

    Mary Bonauto, the lead attorney for the seven same-sex couples who sued the state for the right to marry, said she was relieved, but not surprised at the decision.

    "Reduced to its essence, this has always been a case where people unhappy with the court ruling were trying to dress it up in a federal constitutional claim that Massachusetts was a tyranny," Bonauto said.

    Staver told justices in a filing that they were not asking the Supreme Court "to take any position on the highly politicized and personally charged issue of same-sex marriage."

    Instead, Staver wrote, they wanted the court to consider whether the Massachusetts judges wrongly redefined marriage. That task should be handled by elected legislators, he said.
    I post this with some reluctancy...... I am personally against same sex marriages.
    This is a push to promote lawlessness. The San Francisco fiasco is the prime example. People with certain agendas are refusing to follow the laws. This is a devastating precedent for our Nation.
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  2. 388 Comments

  3. by   Rustyhammer
    Quote from Jaaaman
    This is a push to promote lawlessness. The San Francisco fiasco is the prime example. People with certain agendas are refusing to follow the laws. This is a devastating precedent for our Nation.
    Of course a lot of people said the same thing when women were granted the right to vote etc...
    I have a couple of good friends who have been together for 28 years now. You talk with them for just a few minutes and you KNOW what a loving couple they are.
    -R
  4. by   donmurray
    Help! Help! The sky is Fall(well)ing! :chuckle
  5. by   NursePru
    I've heard a lot of people pull the whole "Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman" line, but what is really so sacred about it anymore? The divorce rate is somewhere around 60% now. I consider myself pretty old fashioned when it comes to the idea of marriage. Personally, I only want to be married once and I want it to be sacred which is why I'm taking my time and not jumping into it with just anyone. However, a lot of people around my age (I'm 25) have a very cynical and negative view of marriage, even if their parents have had a successful marriage. It's viewed as something you are supposed to do, rather than something you should do when you've found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. It's very sad. So from where I'm standing, if the gay community can take marriage and remind some people in the straight community how special it really is...more power to them. The gay community has gone a long time without being able to marry, so to them it will be sacred. Not to mention the fact that they had to fight for it. Most of the married straight couples I know are fighting to get a divorce.

    I know there are a lot of straight couples who still do consider marriage sacred and are out there making it work, so I'm not trying to insult anyone---but in my community they are few and far between. I also know that divorce sometimes is for the better when a couple has tried everything in their power to make it work. I'm not against divorce either (just hope to never go through one myself)-just saying that the rate in the US is high. For those of us who aren't married knowing those numbers makes it hard for us to want to enter into something so unstable. I wouldn't invest my money into something with a 40% success rate, so why would I want to invest my LIFE into something with the same statistics? I hope the gay community takes it, runs with it, and makes it work because there are a lot of young people out there who doubt that marriage will work for them or their peers.
  6. by   fergus51
    My world hasn't changed a bit. I am not worried about gay marriage. I say live and let live.
  7. by   gwenith
    I was going to post a rebuttal to the first post but I decided I can't - I am too diametrically opposed.

    Let the record stand that I disagree with the OP's opinion of the outcome of gay marriages and leave it at that.
  8. by   kmchugh
    Jaaman

    I know that you personally against this, but as Rusty pointed out, there have been many times in the past when the same arguments were used in denying people their rights. The arguments are old and tired, and it's high time as a people we stop using them. Just a few examples: When women were given the right to vote (thanks to Rusty). When some states tried to outlaw marriage between people of different "races." (As false a construct as I can think of.) Any of the hundreds of times during the civil rights movement for blacks when laws were proposed or passed to prevent unequal treatment. This is just one more example.

    In its simplest terms, the attitude comes down to "if we allow gays to marry, we will as a nation fall out of favor with God, and will be struck down." I have no doubt that if things in Iraq go to hell, Jerry Falwell and his ilk will come on TV and tell us that we lost Iraq as a judgement from God for allowing this blaspheme. Nonsense. The sky isn't falling.

    I have yet to hear a clear, cogent argument against gay marriage that is based on anything other than outright prejudice or fear. The fact is that if gays get married, that will in no way cheapen, degrade or in any other way harm my marriage, or yours for that matter. It is time that our government got out of the business of approving or disapproving who loves who, unless there can be a clear, demonstrable harm to either of the parties involved, or to society as a whole. (This is what would prevent NAMBLA from getting legal approval for their weird ways, as well as what would prevent incestuous relationships. Both are demonstrably harmful.) The same simply cannot be said for gay marriage.

    If you think gay marriage is morally wrong, then certainly you should not marry anyone that is your gender. But if you think that the government should ban gay marriage because Leviticus tells us that it is wrong, how far different would our government be from the Taliban? Or from the fundamentalist Islamic government in Iran? The difference would only be a matter of degree.

    The government should not be in the business of approving or disapproving moral beliefs.

    Kevin McHugh
  9. by   ChrisA
    Anyway, the business-friendly right wing should be happy about this: it's a whole new market to tap into.

    Seriously though, I'm all in favor of it. There are many loving and wonderful gay couples that I know, and many plan to get married when they can, and I'm happy for them.
  10. by   Jaaaman
    The fundamental "right to marry" is a right that rests with individuals, not with couples. Homosexual individuals already have exactly the same "right" to marry as anyone else. Marriage license applications do not inquire as to a person's "sexual orientation."

    Many people who now identify themselves as homosexual have previously been in legal (opposite-sex) marriages. On the other hand, many people who previously had homosexual relationships have now renounced that behavior and married persons of the opposite sex. If we define a "homosexual" as anyone who has ever experienced homosexual attractions, then both of these scenarios represent "homosexual" individuals who have exercised their right to be legally married.

    However, while every individual person is free to get married, no person, whether heterosexual or homosexual, has ever had a legal right to marry simply any willing partner. Every person, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is subject to legal restrictions as to whom they may marry. To be specific, every person, regardless of sexual preference, is legally barred from marrying a child, a close blood relative, a person who is already married, or a person of the same sex. There is no discrimination here, nor does such a policy deny anyone the "equal protection of the laws" (as guaranteed by the Constitution), since these restrictions apply equally to every individual.

    Some people may wish to do away with one or more of these longstanding restrictions upon one's choice of marital partner. However, the fact that a tiny but vocal minority of Americans desire to have someone of the same sex as a partner does not mean that they have a "right" to do so, any more than the desires of other tiny (but less vocal) minorities of Americans give them a "right" to choose a child, their own brother or sister, or a group of two or more as their marital partners.

    When some states tried to outlaw marriage between people of different "races."
    This analogy is not valid at all. Bridging the divide of the sexes by uniting men and women is both a worthy goal and a part of the fundamental purpose of marriage, common to all human civilizations.

    Laws against interracial marriage, on the other hand, served only the purpose of preserving a social system of racial segregation. This was both an unworthy goal and one utterly irrelevant to the fundamental nature of marriage.

    Allowing a black woman to marry a white man does not change the definition of marriage, which requires one man and one woman. Allowing two men or two women to marry would change that fundamental definition. Banning the "marriage" of same-sex couples is therefore essential to preserve the nature and purpose of marriage itself.
  11. by   ChrisA
    Quote from Jaaaman
    This analogy is not valid at all. Bridging the divide of the sexes by uniting men and women is both a worthy goal and a part of the fundamental purpose of marriage, common to all human civilizations.

    Laws against interracial marriage, on the other hand, served only the purpose of preserving a social system of racial segregation. This was both an unworthy goal and one utterly irrelevant to the fundamental nature of marriage.

    Allowing a black woman to marry a white man does not change the definition of marriage, which requires one man and one woman. Allowing two men or two women to marry would change that fundamental definition. Banning the "marriage" of same-sex couples is therefore essential to preserve the nature and purpose of marriage itself.
    Surely this notion of "worthy" and "unworthy" is completely subjective, however, as is this concept of "the nature and purpose of marriage". Marriage, like many legal statuses (for instance the definition of what degree of relation is too close for marriage, or age of consent, or voting age, or minority status for scholarships, et cetera ad infinitum), is an artificial definition. One may define it as only a relationship between an adult male and an adult female for the purposes of procreation. This has certainly been a long standing definition. It's also a definition that is eroding, primarily because the underlying logic is supported by little more than tradition and concensus. The miscegenation laws are a fine example of this: at one point the "nature and purpose of marriage" included a line or two about preserving the purity of the races, at least in the hearts and minds of many.

    Thoughts?
  12. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Not my business or my place to judge. More power to people to achieve the level of love that the poets write about. More power to those that make the lifelong committment (be they straight or gay).
  13. by   Elenaster
    Quote from Jaaaman
    Allowing a black woman to marry a white man does not change the definition of marriage, which requires one man and one woman. Allowing two men or two women to marry would change that fundamental definition. Banning the "marriage" of same-sex couples is therefore essential to preserve the nature and purpose of marriage itself.

    I disagree, and I believe arguments similar to yours were used by people opposed to inter-racial marriage.

    Merriam-Webster's definition:

    Main Entry: mar-riage
    Pronunciation: 'mer-ij, 'ma-rij
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry
    1 a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage> b : the mutual relation of married persons : WEDLOCK c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
    2 : an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
    3 : an intimate or close union <the marriage of painting and poetry -- J. T. Shawcross>

    Sounds all-inclusive to me.

    BTW Jaaaman, there's already an extensive thread on same-sex marriage:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...e-sex+marriage
  14. by   gwenith
    Quote from kmchugh
    Jaaman

    I know that you personally against this, but as Rusty pointed out, there have been many times in the past when the same arguments were used in denying people their rights. The arguments are old and tired, and it's high time as a people we stop using them. Just a few examples: When women were given the right to vote (thanks to Rusty). When some states tried to outlaw marriage between people of different "races." (As false a construct as I can think of.) Any of the hundreds of times during the civil rights movement for blacks when laws were proposed or passed to prevent unequal treatment. This is just one more example.

    In its simplest terms, the attitude comes down to "if we allow gays to marry, we will as a nation fall out of favor with God, and will be struck down." I have no doubt that if things in Iraq go to hell, Jerry Falwell and his ilk will come on TV and tell us that we lost Iraq as a judgement from God for allowing this blaspheme. Nonsense. The sky isn't falling.

    I have yet to hear a clear, cogent argument against gay marriage that is based on anything other than outright prejudice or fear. The fact is that if gays get married, that will in no way cheapen, degrade or in any other way harm my marriage, or yours for that matter. It is time that our government got out of the business of approving or disapproving who loves who, unless there can be a clear, demonstrable harm to either of the parties involved, or to society as a whole. (This is what would prevent NAMBLA from getting legal approval for their weird ways, as well as what would prevent incestuous relationships. Both are demonstrably harmful.) The same simply cannot be said for gay marriage.

    If you think gay marriage is morally wrong, then certainly you should not marry anyone that is your gender. But if you think that the government should ban gay marriage because Leviticus tells us that it is wrong, how far different would our government be from the Taliban? Or from the fundamentalist Islamic government in Iran? The difference would only be a matter of degree.

    The government should not be in the business of approving or disapproving moral beliefs.

    Kevin McHugh
    Kevin - Elegant and eloquent - thank-you :kiss

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