Redefining redefining marriage

Let’s get real simple here.

The crux of the issue is whether, if indeed marriage is a right under the Constitution, there is also a right to change the meaning of the word “marriage” from what it always meant to what we just plain want it to mean.

In other words, the “marriage” that is a “right” under the Constitution was marriage: : Matrimony binding a man and woman in a unique way consistent with social norms regarding family life.

It is true that there was a time that it was against the law for blacks to marry whites in certain states. : (And vice-versa, of course!) : But these statutes never claimed that such a marriage was axiomatically impossible. : It made them against the law and, legally speaking,: void ab initio — of no legal effect from the time they were effectuated.

But no one said they were not marriages. : They were merely unlawful marriages.

Thank God for us all, those disgusting laws are all gone now. : But the analogy from the miscegenation statutes to the contemporary situation, in which states have undertaken to prohibit the extension of the meaning of marriage to include something that was never included in that word, is deeply flawed.

Again: : Miscegenation statutes outlawed and invalidated marriages which no one ever claimed could not, strictly speaking, take place. : Proposition 8 and its equivalents in other states seek to assert the right of the state, in recognizing marriage, to limit its recognition of marriage to what it has been until just now someone starting saying, “Let’s say it is something else.”

The vast majority of discussion on this topic ignores this point, because it would require the advocates of same-sex marriage to explain how it is they can rely on supposed constitutional rights not found in the constitution and based on opinions written when the word “marriage” meant marriage.

And no, you cannot merely take a massive policy change such as that and drop it into old opinions regarding the right of marriage, and then “apply” them as if you had not changed their meaning materially. : The change in the definition is the question, not the premise.

And: those: who, in their intellectual dishonesty, insist on bulldozing past that point and calling everyone who makes it a “bigot” or a “hater” have no one but themselves to blame for the rancor directed at them and the institutions that join in the charade.

Cross-posted on: Dean’s World. : Follow Ron Coleman as he alienates more and more of his friends via @roncoleman on Twitter or on his relatively inoffensive law blog, LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION:®.


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