The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The 9th Circuit Court's ruling on gay marriage

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an opinion (Perry v. Brown) on California's Prop. 8 anti-gay-marriage vote. In keeping with a Supreme Court doctrine that judicial rulings should be as narrow as possible, covering only what is absolutely necessary, the ruling didn't try to establish a Constitutional right to marriage — which supporters of gay marriage would have liked to see — but merely stated that Prop. 8 was invalid simply because it took away rights that had already been possessed by gay people (as a result of a California court decision). And they referred to another decision, Romer v. Evans, by the Supreme Court, that prevented Coloradans from voiding already-passed anti-discrimination laws affecting gay people. And therefore it applied to California, but no other state.

The Religious Right will, of course, appeal, but even assuming they lose and the 9th Circuit Court's decision stands, nobody outside California can gain much from it. But it is an incremental win for equality. And that's a plus.

One thing is clear: By citing Romer v. Evans, the Court has made a clear appeal for the support of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He is often the deciding Justice in 5-4 decisions, and he wrote the opinion in Romer v. Evans.

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