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.

Friday, June 01, 2012

One more nail in the coffin of DOMA

A three-judge panel of the First Circuit Court has ruled the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” unconstitutional. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this will be the end of it; one of the few things I strongly dislike about the current Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is that it has taken up the cause of the homophobic bigots of this country, and has retained legal counsel that will probably appeal this verdict, even though the Obama administration will not. But given that this ruling was unanimous, it gives hope that the Supreme Court will let this decision stand.

I really cannot see any justification for DOMA. Marriage law has historically been a matter for the states, and the only case where the Supreme Court has invalidated a State law has been to keep a State from restricting marriage. (See Loving v. Virginia.)

So far, this is only one more nail in the coffin of DOMA, but there is only one more step available. If it is appealed to the Supreme Court, we will have to await a final decision.

One thing I find somewhat ironical is the stand of a lot of “conservative” columnists, who might in other cases cheer a Court's setting aside of a Federal law attempting to interfere with State prerogatives, but who take the other side here — even taking Pres. Obama to task for refusing to defend DOMA! But Pres. Obama is sworn to uphold the Constitution, and if he believes DOMA to be unconstitutional, he is doing exactly the right thing! (Suppose a “conservative” was in the White House, and a law under attack on constitutional grounds was one that conservatives thought to be unconstitutional. Should the President defend that kind of law too?)

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