Monday, July 20, 2009

boies, olsen, and gay marriage

david boies pens an excellent opinion piece for this morning's wall street journal, laying out some of the reasons he and ted olson are working to overturn california's proposition 8, and includes this seemingly simple point having to do with homosexuality, marriage, and religion:
There are those who sincerely believe that homosexuality is inconsistent with their religion -- and the First Amendment guarantees their freedom of belief. However, the same First Amendment, as well as the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses, preclude the enshrinement of their religious-based disapproval in state law.
why is that so difficult for some people to grasp?


  1. Thanks for staying on top of this issue. I would not have noticed it otherwise. An excellent and literate argument, as important for its content as for its medium (WSJ).

  2. Cogent and compelling piece. Equal rights and due process are what it's all about.

    Check out to get involved in WI.

  3. Originally, I was against gay marriage. However, based on what Boies & Olsen are doing, I have come around. BUT, I still don't think gays should be able to get married with religious ceremonies of that religion is opposed to it. In other words, if the Catholic Church is against it & will not perform any, then none should be allowed recognized in the Catholic Church. Elighten me, are gays wanting to be able to marry in a particluar church if that church is opposed to it, or just civil marriages?

  4. toc:

    i don't think gays should be able to get married in churches that are against it either.

    i'm not catholic, so i don't know the answer to this. but how does the catholic church feel about athiests who are married? or jews? or muslims?

    i can't speak for "gays" as a whole. but i can tell you that, in my opinion, the gay marriage fight is about civil rights, not religious ones.

  5. The issue at hand is the legal contract of marriage and the rights one is afforded as a result of that little piece of paper after it's filed at the courthouse. No church would or should be compelled to marry anyone (and I can't imagine a couple wanting to get married in a church that doesn't embrace and support their union anyway?!). Each church would decide on its own which ceremonies it would perform, just as churches do now.

  6. Thanks, Tony -

    Atheists, jews & muslims can't get married in the Catholic Church. I was talking with respect to marriages in a particluar religion, be it Catholic, or whatever. I agree & I do believe it is about civil rights, as well, but religions should also be able to ban those types of marriages inside their own religion, wether they be muslim or jewish, or catholic, etc. Now, whether those religions should accept gay marriage, that's another question. I favor woman & married priests, but look how much that is resisted....

  7. TOC raises a point which I think it would benefit the proponents of same sex marriage to loudly and repeatedly address. The movement to date has not demanded the participation of religious organizations. If the movement can assure those faithful that oppose this measure that their religious institutions will not be pressed into service to accomodate these rights, the movement is likely to have far fewer opponents.

    Having said that, there is ample evidence that the movement has tried to make it clear that it does not demand church recognition of these marriages. Just pointing out that this seems to be the last bastion of opposition.

  8. The real fear, I think, is that if gay marriage is legal, and it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of marital status, and that status affords certain rights such as insurance benefits, you run the risk of the churches being sued to provide such benefits to partners they believe have no right to them. Alternately they coudl decide not to offer any benefits (causing employment to plummet for them) or not hire anyone who's gay (which is discrimination).

    It's a no win situation for them.


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