Thursday, July 06, 2006

State Courts Violate Human Dignity

This blog will be biased today. Advocates of gay marriage have lost court battles in two of the largest US states, New York and Georgia. New York's Court of Appeals ruled in a 4-2 decision that the state constitution does not grant a right to gay marriage, but left open the option for a change in the law. Governor Pataki, a Republican, said how satisfied he was at the highest court’s decision to uphold the position that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The New York case combined four different suits brought by more than 40 same-sex couples who had spent two years fighting their case through the New York courts.
Three judges ruled that the state constitution did not require New York to recognize same-sex marriages. A fourth judge concurred, according to the BBC, though she added that it may be time "for the Legislature to address the needs of same-sex couples and their families". This is too little too late in my opinion, similar to treating a child with a black eye for the eleventh time before mentioning such an assault to the authorities.

Georgia's Supreme Court decided its case on narrower grounds than New York's - where the plaintiffs claimed the ban on gay marriage was discriminatory. The Georgia case concerned whether the state ban on gay marriage was imposed properly when it was approved by more than three in four voters state-wide in 2004. A lower court ruled the ballot was improper, but the Supreme Court disagreed, thus reinstating the ban.

The New York decision Thursday said lawmakers have a legitimate interest in protecting children by limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. It also said the law does not deny homosexual couples any "fundamental right" since same-sex marriages are not "deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition. There are many points of repute with this particular statement but two have been chosen here.

What does the Court say to the fundamental rights of dignity and sanctity?
Marriage, period, is, and has been without definition, what is deeply rooted in our nation’s history and tradition. Those who believe in equal rights need to see this issue for this very reason. Marriage is about love and commitment, yes, but by denying people the right to marry, their human dignity is violated.

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