Saturday, April 30, 2011

Homosexuals must be equals too.

The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was passed in 1996 and signed by President Bill Clinton as Republicans in the house held a gun to his head while preparing reforms in welfare and the eventual shutdown of the federal government. It defined marriage as recognized by the federal government between one man and one women (Wow. I thought the goal of Republicans was to lower the scope of the federal government, not expand it.), and that no state was required to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in other state. This only strengthened the resolve of Bowers v. Hardwick, which effectively killed any chance of the Supreme Court giving rights to the LGBT Community in the 1990's (Note- the Court reversed itself in 2003 with Lawrence v. Texas). In the majority opinion given Justice White, he attempted to justify the denial of rights to homosexuals by saying that  
It is obvious to us that neither of these formulations would extend a fundamental right to homosexuals...proscriptions against that...have ancient roots....
In Blackmun's dissenting opinion, which was joined by Marshall, Brennan, and Stevens, he scolded the other justices for relying on tradition to deny homosexual their rights. He stated that 
...before Georgia can prosecute its citizens for making choices about the most intimate aspects of their lives, it must do more than assert that the choice they have made is an "abominable crime not fit to be named among Christians"...And so we protect the decision whether to marry precisely because marriage "is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects...The Court claims that its decision today merely refuses to recognize a fundamental right to engage in homosexual sodomy; what the Court really has refused to recognize is the fundamental interest all individuals have in controlling the nature of their intimate associations with others...The assertion that "traditional Judeo-Christian values proscribe" the conduct involved, Brief for Petitioner 20, cannot provide an adequate justification for § 16-6-2. That certain, but by no means all, religious groups condemn the behavior at issue gives the State no license to impose their judgments on the entire citizenry. The legitimacy of secular legislation depends instead on whether the State can advance some justification for its law beyond its conformity to religious doctrine... petitioner's invocation of Leviticus, Romans, St. Thomas Aquinas, and sodomy's heretical status during the Middle Ages undermines his suggestion that § 16-6-2 represents a legitimate use of secular coercive power. A State can no more punish private behavior because of religious intolerance than it can punish such behavior because of racial animus. "The Constitution cannot control such prejudices, but neither can it tolerate them. Private biases may be outside the reach of the law, but the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect." No matter how uncomfortable a certain group may make the majority of this Court, we have held that "[m]ere public intolerance or animosity cannot constitutionally justify the deprivation of a person's physical liberty." 
I could go on and on from Blackmun's dissent, but this section from his dissent demonstrates that anyone who argues that Homosexuality isn't allowed because of religion, or because it has never been allowed, this smashes those arguments. Also, if anybody brings up the claim of religion, or that homosexuals are representatives from the devil, I quote Pope John Paul II, who stated that homosexuals possess the same inherent dignity and rights as everybody else. Some may ask why I use a dissent, since that is not a majority opinion, so it carries less weight. A dissent is used to bring up debate by offering a differing view on the subject, and to hope that it inspires other courts later in the future to "correct the mistakes and nearsightedness of prior courts." 


Now, I use my own words. Why do we deny the right to people love the person they choose? Why do we deny people to live life the way they want to, to love whom they want, be it a man or a women? If they love each other, be both men or women, gay or lesbian, transgender or bisexual, let them love each other. That, besides taking one's life, is one of the worst decisions or crime we can do- denying the people the right to love the person and live with the person they want to. Homosexuals are people. They are or neighbors, friends, family, classmates, workmates, everything. We must treat them every person person, as Pope John Paul II stated with dignity and respect, as every other person expects and should be treated, regardless of their sexual preferences.  


Today, DOMA is being challenged by courts around the nation, and in most cases, the courts have struck down the law, saying it infringes on the rights of homosexuals. The Department of Justice has given up trying to defend the law (which it should have done a couple years ago) yet the Republicans in the House of Representatives want to continue to defend the law at taxpayer's expense. If the Republicans feel the need to defend this law, by all means let them do it. However, to do so at taxpayer expense, one at a high cost since they probably will hire an expensive, high-powered private firm that will charge a high rate is wrong, at a time when Republicans are butchering the budget while refusing to raise taxes on the high earners give us something to think about- Are they more concerned with defending inequality and injustice, or are they really concerned on the budget? If they are concerned about the budget, then Republicans should hire a law firm whose fees will not be astronomically expensive or just stop defending the law, and thus, end a great injustice and inequality.