17 Sep A Rational Basis for Marriage
We live in a time that many refer to as an “age of entitlement”. There are books and papers written about parents hassling teachers to give their children higher grades, or bosses talking about parents calling them up to tell them they have to hire their kids. We hear how the rich, the poor, the elderly, the young, and the many specialized groups demand benefits and rights from the government or society as a whole. Everyone feels like they should be rewarded certain things just because they are, and not because they have worked for it. But we forget there is one thing every human being is entitled to. There is one thing every child should have legal claim to and that is their mother and their father. Shouldn’t the laws protect that claim? Marriage laws used to protect children, but that is changing…
A year ago I kept very close track of all of the lawsuits and all of the rulings going on about gay marriage in the United States and even in the world at large. But times have changed, particularly in the United States. Once the Supreme Ruled on DOMA and Proposition 8 lawsuits and rulings from various judges and courts took off. Nearly every one of these rulings declared that laws limiting marriage between a man and a woman were unconstitutional. This has even been true for lawsuits concerning polygamy. Feeling a bit tired of the debate, my careful watch of marriage rulings drifted. So, it came as a happy surprise when I read that a Federal District Judge in Louisiana ruled that laws defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman are constitutional.
Yes, that is correct! In 2014, September even, after multiple rulings in favor of same sex marriage, a judge listened to the rational reasons why a state should support conjugal marriage and ruled in favor of it! District Judge Martin Feldman ruled that Louisiana does not need to recognize gay marriage for their state or for homosexual couples who marry in other states.
- Same-sex marriage was “nonexistent and even inconceivable until very recently,” Feldman said in his 32-page ruling. For that reason, he said, it is not a fundamental right that states must uphold despite constitutional or legislative bans.
- “The court is persuaded that a meaning of what is marriage that has endured in history for thousands of years, and prevails in a majority of states today, is not universally irrational…”
- The Windsor decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, “references an amorphous but alluring ‘evolving understanding of the meaning of equality,'” Feldman said. Nevertheless, he noted, it upheld states’ rights to regulate marriage.
- “This court has arduously studied the volley of nationally orchestrated court rulings” against democratically approved gay marriage bans, he said. “The federal court decisions thus far exemplify a pageant of empathy; decisions impelled by a response of innate pathos.”
- “Louisiana’s laws and Constitution are directly related to achieving marriage’s historically preeminent purpose of linking children to their biological parents…”
- If states can’t do that, Feldman said, they may not be able to prohibit marriage among minors, groups of people or members of the same family. After all, he said, “all such unions would undeniably be equally committed to love and caring for one another.”
The case is being appealed to the 5th Circuit court, one of the most conservative circuit courts in the nation.