In Junior High School I learned that Brown v. Board of Education ruled Plessy v. Ferguson to be unconstitutional. In fact this is one of the few civics lessons I can actually recall with any clarity.

This being said, I look upon recent events in New Jersey with a mixed sense of happiness and grief. While I think it's great that homosexuals have been granted the rights they deserve as US citizens, why is it that these rights have to be "separate but equal." Homosexuals deserve not only the rights of marriage, they deserve to be "married" if they so choose. I for one don't see why they would want to associate themselves with an institution so poisoned by Christianity...but as I may one day have to sacrifice my personal thoughts on the matter for someone that I love, I think every citizen deserves that same right. So, good on the lawmakers of New Jersey...no need for negative reinforcement here...but next time let's remember the lesson we all learned in school, and the decision our highest court has already made.


Anonymous Loren said...

Bah! Darrell! Negative reinforcement is the taking away of something bad; it is used to increase a behavior. I think you mean (positive) punishment.
/end psychology lecture

Anyway, hope Japan is great; DC sends its love.

Blogger darrell said...

Hahaha...I'll be the first to admit I don't know a damn thing about psychology. Nice to hear from you Loren. Hopefully I'll be able to visit DC sometime soon. I do miss it, no matter how much fun I'm having here.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmh, the problem is a bit bigger than that. Lets just say, if each Article and Amendment of the US Constitution were an issue in a comic book series, my review...

"Well-meaning, well-concieved, but *bad* continuity issues"

I won't say too much, because I have a tendency to do that. So I'll simplify it, some.

Separation of church and state. In the constitution, right?

No deprivation of fundamental rights without due process. Also in the constitution.

Marriage, fundamental right? All courts have ruled, yes.

Marriage, religious institution? For argument's sake, lets just say "Yes." (There are arguments for why it isn't necessarily, but largely peripheral, since most people would consider that it is.)

Does the state have the right to regulate marriage? Yes. In fact, the US Supreme Court has ruled that its a right that solely belongs to the state (outside of anything that violates the US Constitution.)

What is regulating marriage? Well...saying, for instance, that a girl no younger than TWELVE and a boy no younger than FOURTEEN can get married (Maryland) would be regulating marriage.

So, on that backdrop, you have these general issues:

I. Gender discrimination: Are you discriminating against males/females in holding they cannot marry within their own respective sex? (Maryland lower court says yes, pretty big rarity, as a lot of other states have said no, however...Maryland Court of Appeals...we'll find out *very* soon...)

I. Equal Protection (Plessy): Has there been class discrimination? And to what extent? I'm not gonna lie to you, Darrell. This concept takes half a year to understand (haha.) But the bottom line is, statutes applying state discrimination against gays and lesbians are afforded the lowest level of judicial scrutiny. That's the hurdle. In an Equal Protection claim, the "separate but equal" argument only comes into play when dealing with a court-enumerated "suspect classification," e.g. race, religion, ethnicity. Sexual orientation is not a suspect classification, and no court in the union has held it to be such. Why? Well...I personally disagree with it, of course. Its probably long held animus -- but no judge would say that out loud.

The only reason any of this stuff *still* matters is because, while the US Supreme Court has held the denial of homosexuals' rights to marry not a classification warranting higher judicial scrutiny under the *US* Constitution, its ultimately up to the states, and their *own individual constitutions* to decide. (Coterminous but independent, bla bla bla.) As such, and soon, Deane v. Conaway, Maryland case, will decide the same question in Maryland. I wrote an amici brief for it over the past semester. All of the important stuff for it is here:


- Jaegan

Blogger darrell said...

Damn dude, thanks for all the info. I'm glad when people who actually know what they're talking about take the time to explain things in an organized manner.


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