Saturday, October 25, 2014


Ready ... Aim ...

A few days ago, over at Ed Brayton's Dispatches From the Culture Wars, I responded to a question:
Legal philosophy question here: did the courts legalize same sex marriage?
... by saying:
Technically, no. The state could, if it wished, do away with all marriage (and all the benefits and responsibilities that presently go along with the status of "marriage"). The courts have been saying you can't create such a status that, with no rational basis, denies a certain segment of the population access to that status in violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment. However, since there is no state that is about to do away with marriage benefits widely enjoyed by much of the populace (i.e political death on toast), the effect is that they have legalized gay marriage.
I may have underestimated the willingness of bigot politicians to shoot themselves and their constituents in the collective foot.

According to Right Wing Watch, one Republican (surprise!) Idaho State Senator, Steve Vick, has said:
"Another potential avenue that I'm exploring is just eliminating marriage licenses in Idaho."

Vick admits eliminating state sanctioning of marriage would be a big step, and he is only beginning to explore that option. Still, he said the response so far is very positive.

"I have discussed it with just a few people," he said. "I don't have a bill drafted or anything. I have discussed it at some of the town halls I've been at. It actually seems to be fairly well-received. In my opinion, if we're not allowed to determine the standards for a marriage license, then maybe we should just not issue them."
So, just in order to punish gay people, this numbnutz would deprive all the straight people of Idaho of the future benefits of marriage, including, but far from limited to, state and Federal tax benefits, the right to visit their spouses and children in hospitals and make medical decisions for them if they are incapable of doing so, automatic inheritance, etc., etc.

Of course, it is stupid on its own terms. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeal also held that Idaho has to recognize out-of-state same sex marriages. Idaho borders on Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Canada (all of which allow same sex marriage), as well as Montana, which, as part of the 9th Circuit, will soon also allow same sex marriage. In short, gays and straights will be able to slip across any border of Idaho and get married and come back to Idaho with full marriage rights. All Vick's proposal would do would be to deprive the state and/or county governments of the income from marriage licenses and destroy the businesses of those in Idaho who perform marriages, cater the receptions, provide the tuxedos, gowns, cakes, photographs, etc.

Some people are just stupid enough to be willing to hurt themselves to spite others.

May I be permitted to question whether you are being provincial in mentioning "Canada", rather than "British Columbia" as coordinated with US states?
My bad. Like most Americans, I don't know all the Provinces but I know all of Canada had legalized SSM, so I didn't distinguish. I'll do better next time.
When Sen. Vick said response to his idea was very positive, he probably meant responses from like-minded wackaloons -- not from insurance companies and other entities that have rules regarding spousal rights. On the other hand, unemployed lawyers may have responded positively.
unemployed lawyers may have responded positively

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