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, May 21, 2015

Thoughts on the Obergefell case

One thing that needs to be noted about Obergefell v. Hodges is that the specific case of Obergefell has been consolidated with three other cases. And this may lead to a finding that legalizes gay marriage nationwide, using Loving v. Virginia as a precedent.

The specific case of Obergefell only involves recognition of out-of-state marriages in other states; this issue is really a no-brainer, because states have always recognized out-of-state marriages as valid, essentially a consequence of Article IV of the Constitution. Hoswever, whether a state can restrict marriages performed within its borders to opposite-sex couples involves a different issue. States have generally had the powers to define who can marry (minimum age and degree-of-relationship limits being common), but the precedent of Loving v. Virginia allows the Court to invalidate such restrictions if they are discriminatory. In that case, it was racial discrimination; here it is sexual discrimination. (As Chief Justice Roberts asked in the course of his questioning, “[I]f Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue can marry him and Tom can’t. And the difference is based upon their different sex. Why isn’t that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?”) If it is looked at in this way, the precedent of Loving v. Virginia will guide the Court to legalize gay marriage nationwide.

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