The Constitution, Gay Rights, and Fox Fucking News

It is astounding how obtuse and rigid the people at Fox News are, although I would go so far as to extend this assault on all far right-wing conservatives. Their constant attack upon Obama and his liberal ilk is always something to do with ‘flip-flopping’ and the Constitution which, according to them, is a document which sits apart from time and its vicissitudes. Though this attitude is hardly surprising when we consider the hysterical misoneism of the Republicans and their initiates.

They use the following quote by senator Ted Cruz of Texas in their article to justify their contempt for a supposed Constitutional amendment or re-interpretation for gay marriage. This is all in their hysterical response to Obama’s ever progressing views on the matter…

It is beyond dispute that when the 14th Amendment was adopted 146 years ago, as a necessary post-Civil War era reform, it was not imagined to also mandate same-sex marriage…. [It is a] preposterous assumption that the People of the United States somehow silently redefined marriage in 1868 when they ratified the 14th Amendment.

Nothing in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the 14th Amendment or any other Constitutional provision authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the Nation. It is for the elected representatives of the People to make the laws of marriage, acting on the basis of their own Constitutional authority, and protecting it, if necessary, from usurpation by the courts.

Well, actually, none of this has to do with marriage by itself, but rather the battery of state and federal benefits that come accoutered with it. So if marriage was just a lousy piece of paper signed by a religious figure and amounted to nothing more than a symbol of two people’s love in the eyes of God then Ted Cruz would be correct, but since it is actually more a federal and thus secular document and status than a religious one, the 14th amendment perforce entitles the entirety of the U.S. population to its concomitant benefits so long as they are of age, including entirely non-religious people.

Secondly, concerning that next paragraph, it is not at all accurate that human rights should be left to voters to decide. It is not for voters to decide whether or not black people can vote in the United States. It is not for voters to decide whether or not women have the right to political office, and it is certainly not for voters to decide, in any enlightened country, whether two men or two women have the same rights to each other as a heterosexual partnership.

And back to what the people of 146 years ago could or could not fucking imagine, I hardly think we should hold our society and its advancement hostage to what our scientifically and socially ignorant predecessors thought, especially since they apparently found the issue of slavery a difficult matter to resolve.

All this, however, is beside my coming point about their attack on Obama’s evolving views. That you can attack Obama for evolving at a convenient time is without a doubt, but attacking him for evolving at all on the matter is bosh – but of course, in the world of gay-atheist Muslim terrorism that Fox News viewers and reporters live in, it is all the same. Obama is responding, and naturally so, to not only the will of the people as is clear in polls, but the ever inclusive view of human rights.

I mean…the historic definition of ‘all men are created equal’ did not extend to women or most of the world. It was narrowly defined as heterosexual men from Western Europe and even then, the Italians, Irish, and Scottish were often regarded as mongrels and God help you if you were Jewish.

So to be honest, I am exhausted with constitutional semantics and the remarkably obtuse concept that the Constitution of the United States is a somehow infallible, change-resistant document whose perfection outlasts the ages. It was written by imperfect men who were the products of the very bigoted and elitist societies of their times – so we need to stop talking about them as though they had in mind all the contingencies of the many possible futures while founding our government, and this goes too for all men involved in changes thereafter.

Two more points. The Treaty of Tripoli makes it very clear that the United States was not founded on any religion or with the support of any religion in mind. So, constitutionally speaking, if the Federal government defends marriage between men and women on the basis of religious understandings then it is OBVIOUSLY violating the separation of church and state.

But equally interesting is our founding father’s stance on change, Thomas Jefferson, when he said:

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

Thomas Jefferson speech 1.1

This, by the way, is on the wall of his fucking memorial in D.C. Take a picture.

See the point about barbarous ancestors? Could he be referring to people of the past who, in the light of new knowledge and information, are found by posterity to be under a misapprehension of the truth? Maybe about say…human rights? Hmmm…

The point is, it doesn’t fucking matter what the Constitution says if the Constitution is WRONG! There are many enlightened values within the Constitution, like separation of church and state as well as the 14th Amendment, but this does not mean it has been inoculated against criticism or alteration. It is clearly a violation of fundamental human rights in a secular society like America to prevent two legal and sane adults of any kind to share a life together. If the Federal government, a secular institution, recognizes heterosexual pairings, then perforce it must recognize homosexual partnerships.

There exists no good reason to distinguish between them. History and religion are not valid arguments as human rights have no inherent grounding in either and are often violated in the context of both.

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