The USA Today published an article yesterday by Charlotte Allen (the goon who wrote this article in 2009 and was subsequently ridiculed by none other than Mr. PZ Myers here and here), who argues that “same-sex marriage isn’t a question for courts” and that we should “leave gay marriage to voters and state legislatures.”
I’m not going to dedicate much time to a long-winded response (most of her points have already taken a thorough beating in the comments), but I did want to point out a couple of flaws in her argument.
I’ve had this debate before with friends: Should the issue of marriage equality be relegated to the states, or do we need a national decision? The answer seems pretty obvious to me. If you leave the decision up to the states, you’re going to end up with some states that vote to legalize gay marriage, and some that choose to outlaw it. The problem there? Gay people live in all states. Yes, even the deepest red states are home to gay people. Gasp.
As much as some people would like to pretend that gay people will just get up and move to places that allow same-sex marriage, we all know that this is not possible for many. Gay people have jobs, families and other commitments that keep them stationary just like heterosexual people.
Allen argues that federal legislation on the issue is “[forcing] gay marriage down people’s throats.” If the absurdity of her stance wasn’t already apparent, this little statement should solidify her position on the side of idiocy. In what way is allowing all people the right to marry whomever they want shoving an issue down anyone’s throat? I don’t hear gay people complaining that federal recognition of straight marriage is somehow forcing it down their throats.
If the argument is that allowing gay marriage somehow destroys the sanctity of marriage – too bad. Sanctity is defined as “the state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly,” which means that defending something on the grounds of its sanctity won’t stand up to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Marriage is something that affords certain benefits to those able to obtain it, and it must be recognized for all people in consenting, adult relationships. Your support for “traditional marriage” is antiquated and bigoted, Mrs. Allen. We must fight to gain equality for all Americans, so that they may pursue happiness in their own ways.