The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

102° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

MAILBAG

It was never California judge Vaughn Walker’s job to uphold the precise will of the majority of the people. That’s what elections are for. The job of the courts is to uphold the Constitution, regardless of whether the necessary decisions fall in line with the will of the majority. It is up to the judges to determine, without bias from the rest of the population, what constitutes equality under the law, or equal protection. It seems more than obvious to me that to exclude gays from the institution of marriage is a clear violation of any notion of “”equality,”” and I have yet to see anyone dispute that on a rational level. Therefore, it is not “”activism”” on the part of judges to declare that gay and straight couples should be treated equally under the law; rather, it is an example of judges performing their rightful duty.

While it’s true that the Constitution doesn’t define “”marriage,”” the federal government has complicated the issue by taking a vested interest in married couples for the purposes of tax law and Social Security (among the 1,138 legal benefits, protections and responsibilities that are automatically bestowed on couples once they marry). Therefore, this is not an issue that can be left up to the states to decide individually, since it wouldn’t do for a gay couple that is legally married in Iowa, for instance, to become automatically un-married once they decide to move somewhere else.

Religious beliefs are irrelevant to this debate, because (1) the United States is not theocracy, and (2) churches will continue to be free to conduct or deny ceremonies to whomever they want. Procreation and parenting are irrelevant, since (1) couples do not have to marry to have children, and (2) the ability or even desire to have children is not a prerequisite for getting a marriage license.

This is simply a matter of equal treatment under the law.

The quest for marriage equality by gay couples has absolutely nothing to do with straight (i.e. heterosexual) couples. Nothing is changing for them. Nothing is happening to “”traditional marriage.”” Most people are straight, and they will continue to date, get engaged, marry and build lives and families together as they always have. None of that will change by allowing gay couples to do the same. This is really not any sort of a “”sea change”” for marriage, since the only difference between gay and straight couples is the gender of the two persons in the relationship.

 

— Chuck Anziulewicz

More to Discover
Activate Search