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Letter to the editor: Tyranny’s counter

To the editor:

There are three points I want to elaborate on, regarding the recent court ruling on same-sex marriage in Oregon, as well as ideas for those who are discontent with the ruling.

First of all, it has long been established that a state constitution cannot legally contradict the U.S. Constitution. This means that if marriage inequality can be determined to violate the U.S. Constitution, then any state constitutional articles stating otherwise are automatically invalid.

Secondly, the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause is designed specifically to protect against a phenomenon called the “tyranny of the majority.” This occurs when the general populace decides to use politics to deny unpopular factions their equal human rights. The fact is that the United States is not a pure democracy, but rather a constitutional republic — and in this kind of republic a 51 percent majority cannot pass just any law it wants. When the population forgets this principle, you end up with things like Jim Crow, interracial marriage bans, and gay marriage bans.

Third, the First Amendment clearly states that there shall be no laws respecting any establishment of religion, nor any laws designed to repress the free and equal exercise of religion by all groups.

According to this nation’s founding document we are no more a “Christian nation” than we are a Muslim nation or a Buddhist nation or an atheist nation. The law of the land is clear: freedom to worship as one sees fit, and no preferential treatment of one faith over another.

For people who disagree with the three points listed above, my personal suggestion is to advocate amending the U.S. Constitution accordingly.

People could promote one amendment explicitly banning same-sex marriage, and another one to officially declare the United States as a Christian nation. If they think such a cause is worth their time, money and energy, then all the power to them.

But there is one more point to be made: such initiatives would not represent a traditionally “conservative” effort to preserve a status quo or status quo ante. They would instead transform America into something it has never before been.

Eric Gross

The Dalles

Comments

casualobserver 5 months, 1 week ago

You skip an important point: the definition of marriage is one man and one woman (ask the Mormons) to be recognized under the law. Just because a few people want to change the definition shouldn't have much to do with anything. We also want golf to still be called golf. If you invent a new game, no problem- just call it something else.

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wakeupits2014 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Well... there is disc golf, Frisbee golf, miniature golf... all golf, right!? Why can't we call marriage marriage? Gay marriage, straight marriage, whatever the case may be. Just because it isn't who YOU think it should be doesn't mean you are right. My grandma told me once that she would rather see me with a white man who beat me than a black man who loved me. How racist is that comment!? Tricked her.. married a Native American. Middle of the color scale. Love is love, plain and simple. Nobody has a right to chose who we love except us. No court, no church, no family... NO ONE but us. It is our heart after all. People shack up, have 10 kids, let my tax dollars pay for their medical bills, feed them, pay for their housing and that's ok for us good ol' americans but a same sex marriage isn't!? We are one screwed up nation, that's for sure!

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