The Declaration was drafted and signed to announce our Declaration Of Independence from Great Britain, by saying, “ The United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.” The colon...
The document proposed that since the French Revolution was all about finding equality for all people, women should be equal to men and therefore, should have the same rights as men did....
Our rich history of individual liberty and freedoms goes back more than 200 years; and along with the personal rights of the Declaration we should have freedom from government interference.
While gays can now claim some constitutional protection--their new right to privacy under the Lawrence decision--the federal government and the states can override those rights if they have a good enough reason, a "legitimate state interest." Thus, national security could trump privacy in the military and preserve the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays.
Some 37 states--and the federal government--have adopted "Defense of Marriage Acts," which define marriage as applying only to a man and a woman, and--significantly--bar recognition of same-sex marriage from other states.
What we've found is that people get to know us as people with families and kids, that I coach soccer and take pictures, and Maureen is the best dessert maker in town, and, oh yes, Maureen and Cindy are a gay couple."
At their home in the liberal Boston enclave of Jamaica Plain, Julie and Hillary Goodridge (who adopted the common last name from Hillary's grandmother because it sounded "positive") have found acceptance--except for the time a bunch of high-school kids urinated on their car and yelled "Dyke!" Last week Julie sat down with their daughter, Annie, to explain the Lawrence decision.
(Kennedy, David Souter and John Paul Stevens all subscribed to a right of privacy for gays; Justice Sandra Day O'Connor stuck to the narrower ground that it was unfair to punish gays but not heterosexuals for sodomy.) Polls showed that the justices have public opinion behind them: some six out of 10 Americans believe that homosexual sex between consenting adults should be legal.
The battle--over gay marriage, gay adoption, gays in the military and gays in the workplace--will be fought out court to court, state to state for years to come.
Resistance to gay adoption has waned as studies show that children raised by gays look a lot like those raised by straights--and are no more or less likely to be gay.
But last week Hillary and Julie--and every gay person who wants to be married or adopt a child or hold a job or receive a government benefit or simply enjoy the right to be respected--received a tremendous boost from the highest court in the land.
"It could end up as a wedge issue for Republicans," said Scott Ketter, an analyst at the Pew Research Center, which released a survey yesterday showing that 59% of Americans oppose gay marriage, while 32% favor it.
President Bush was quick to blast the Massachusetts ruling as violating the "important principle" that "marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman." He pledged to "do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage." And while he stopped short of backing a constitutional amendment, pro-Republican religious groups said they would ramp up a grass-roots effort for that cause, with the Christian Coalition decrying the "reprehensible" decision of "left-wing judges."
While all the major Democratic presidential candidates have said they are opposed to gay marriage, they all favor more rights for gay partners.
By not showing independence in the title, Congress wants the British Crown, but mostly King George, to know what he has taken away from other people that have the same rights as he does.
Widowed sisters living together and looking after each other, or an unmarried adult son taking care of his elderly father, may have the need for domestic partner benefits such as hospital visitation privileges and insurance rights.
A constitutionally sound domestic partnership law would not discriminate against such people by excluding them from eligibility simply because their relationships are not sexual -- just as a nondiscriminatory and inclusive law would not undermine marriage by treating unmarried sexual partners as if they were married.
citation number: 2
Social conservatives have argued that denying homosexuals license to marry does not violate their civil rights because they could choose to avoid discrimination: That is, they could choose to be gay, or they could choose to get married.