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Religion
See other Religion Articles

Title: Gay Marriage Supreme Court Ruling -- Rand Paul
Source: [None]
URL Source: [None]
Published: Jun 29, 2015
Author: Rand Paul
Post Date: 2015-06-29 08:12:00 by tpaine
Keywords: None
Views: 1537
Comments: 26

http://time.com

Gay Marriage Supreme Court Ruling

Rand Paul

While I disagree with Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage, I believe that all Americans have the right to contract.

The Constitution is silent on the question of marriage because marriage has always been a local issue. Our founding fathers went to the local courthouse to be married, not to Washington, D.C.

I’ve often said I don’t want my guns or my marriage registered in Washington.

Those who disagree with the recent Supreme Court ruling argue that the court should not overturn the will of legislative majorities. Those who favor the Supreme Court ruling argue that the 14th Amendment protects rights from legislative majorities.

Do consenting adults have a right to contract with other consenting adults? Supporters of the Supreme Court’s decision argue yes but they argue no when it comes to economic liberties, like contracts regarding wages.

It seems some rights are more equal than others.

Marriage, though a contract, is also more than just a simple contract.

I acknowledge the right to contract in all economic and personal spheres, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a danger that a government that involves itself in every nook and cranny of our lives won’t now enforce definitions that conflict with sincerely felt religious convictions of others.

Some have argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling will now involve the police power of the state in churches, church schools, church hospitals.

This may well become the next step, and I for one will stand ready to resist any intrusion of government into the religious sphere.

Justice Clarence Thomas is correct in his dissent when he says: “In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement.”

The government should not prevent people from making contracts but that does not mean that the government must confer a special imprimatur upon a new definition of marriage.

Perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not governmental recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party.

Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do — taxed it, regulated it, and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right.

So now, states such as Alabama are beginning to understand this as they begin to get out of the marriage licensing business altogether. Will others follow?

Thomas goes on to say:

To the extent that the Framers would have recognized a natural right to marriage that fell within the broader definition of liberty, it would not have included a right to governmental recognition and benefits. Instead, it would have included a right to engage in the very same activities that petitioners have been left free to engage in — making vows, holding religious ceremonies celebrating those vows, raising children, and otherwise enjoying the society of one’s spouse — without governmental interference.

The 14th Amendment does not command the government endorsement that is conveyed by the word “marriage.” State legislatures are entitled to express their preference for traditional marriage, so long as the equal rights of same-sex couples are protected.

So the questions now before us are: What are those rights? What does government convey along with marriage, and should it do so? Should the government care, or allocate any benefits based on marital status?

And can the government do its main job in the aftermath of this ruling — the protection of liberty, particularly religious liberty and free speech?

We shall see. I will fight to ensure it does both, along with taking part in a discussion on the role of government in our lives.

Perhaps it is time to be more careful what we ask government to do, and where we allow it to become part of our lives.

The Constitution was written by wise men who were raised up by God for that very purpose. There is a reason ours was the first where rights came from our creator and therefore could not be taken away by government. Government was instituted to protect them.

We have gotten away from that idea. Too far away. We must turn back. To protect our rights we must understand who granted them and who can help us restore them.

George Harris, center left, 82, and Jack Evans, center right, 85, kiss after being married by Judge Garcia in Dallas on Friday, June 26, 2015. Miesha Stinson, left, and Tiarra Harris, of Ypsilanti, Mich., embrace after exchanging vows in Ann Arbor, Mich., on June 26, 2015. Jaque Roberts, left, and her partner of 31 years, Carmelita Cabello, right, arrive to apply for their marriage license at the Travis County building in Austin on June 26, 2015,. Ethan Fletcher, left, and Andrew Hickam fill out their marriage paperwork at Hamilton County Probate Court in Cincinnati on June 26, 2015. The Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage makes it clearer than ever that the government shouldn't be subsidizing religion and non-profits

Two weeks ago, with a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on the way, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which ensures that religious institutions won’t lose their tax exemptions if they don’t support same-sex marriage. Liberals tend to think Sen. Lee’s fears are unwarranted, and they can even point to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s case, which promises “that religious organizations and persons [will be] given proper protection.”

But I don’t think Sen. Lee is crazy. In the 1983 Bob Jones University case, the court ruled that a school could lose tax-exempt status if its policies violated “fundamental national public policy.” So far, the Bob Jones reasoning hasn’t been extended to other kinds of discrimination, but someday it could be. I’m a gay- rights supporter who was elated by Friday’s Supreme Court decision — but I honor Sen. Lee’s fears.

I don’t, however, like his solution. And he’s not going to like mine. Rather than try to rescue tax-exempt status for organizations that dissent from settled public policy on matters of race or sexuality, we need to take a more radical step. It’s time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses.

The federal revenue acts of 1909, 1913, and 1917 exempted nonprofits from the corporate excise and income taxes at the same time that they allowed people to deduct charitable contributions from their incomes. In other words, they gave tax- free status to the income of, and to the income donated to, nonprofits. Since then, state and local laws nearly everywhere have exempted nonprofits from all, or most, property tax and state income tax. This system of tax exemptions and deductions took shape partly during World War I, when it was feared that the new income tax, with top rates as high as 77%, might choke off charitable giving. But whatever its intentions, today it’s a mess, for several reasons.

First, the religious exemption has forced the IRS to decide what’s a religion, and thus has entangled church and state in the worst way. Since the world’s great religion scholars can’t agree on what a religion is, it’s absurd to ask a bunch of accountants, no matter how well-meaning. You can read part of the IRS’s guidelines for what’s a bona fide religion here; suffice it to say that it has an easier time saying what’s not a religion. The site gives the example of the rejection of an application from an “outgrowth of a supper club … whose primary activities were holding meetings before supper, sponsoring the supper club, and publishing a newsletter” but which professed a religious doctrine of “ethical egoism.”

On the other hand, the IRS famously caved and awarded the Church of Scientology tax-exempt status. Never mind that the Scientology is secretive, or that it charges for its courses; or that its leader, David Miscavige, lives like a pasha. Indeed, many clergy have mid-six-figure salaries — many university presidents, seven-figure salaries — and the IRS doesn’t trouble their tax-exempt status. And many churches and synagogues sit on exceedingly valuable tracts of land (walk up and down Fifth Avenue to see what I mean). The property taxes they aren’t paying have to be drawn from business owners and private citizens — in a real sense, you and I are subsidizing Mormon temples, Muslims mosques, Methodist churches.

We’re also subsidizing wealthy organizations sitting in the middle of poor towns. Yale University has an endowment of about $25 billion, yet it pays very little to the city of New Haven, which I (as a resident) can assure you needs the money. At the prep school I attended (current endowment: $175 million), faculty houses, owned by the school, were tax-exempt, on the theory that teachers sometimes had students over for dinner, where they talked about history or literature or swim practice.

Meanwhile, although nonprofits can’t endorse political candidates, they can be quite partisan and still thrive on the public dole, in the form of tax exemptions and deductions. Conservatives are footing the bill for taxes that Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit, doesn’t pay — while liberals are making up revenue lost from the National Rifle Association. I could go on. In short, the exemption-and- deduction regime has grown into a pointless, incoherent agglomeration of nonsensical loopholes, which can allow rich organizations to horde plentiful assets in the midst of poverty.

Defenders of tax exemptions and deductions argues that if we got rid of them charitable giving would drop. It surely would, although how much, we can’t say. But of course government revenue would go up, and that money could be used to, say, house the homeless and feed the hungry. We’d have fewer church soup kitchens — but countries that truly care about poverty don’t rely on churches to run soup kitchens.

Exemption advocates also point out that churches would be squeezed out of high- property-value areas. But if it’s important to the people of Fifth Avenue to have a synagogue like Emanu-El or an Episcopal church like St. Thomas in their midst, they should pay full freight for it. They can afford to, more than millions of poorer New Yorkers whose tax bills the synagogue and church exemptions are currently inflating.

So yes, the logic of gay-marriage rights could lead to a reexamination of conservative churches’ tax exemptions (although, as long as the IRS is afraid of challenging Scientology’s exemption, everyone else is probably safe). But when that day comes, it will be long overdue. I can see keeping some exemptions; hospitals, in particular, are an indispensable, and noncontroversial, public good. And localities could always carve out sensible property-tax exceptions for nonprofits their communities need. But it’s time for most nonprofits, like those of us who faithfully cut checks to them, to pay their fair share.

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#1. To: tpaine (#0)

The last half of this article was not written by Rand Paul.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-29   8:32:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: tpaine (#0)

The government should not prevent people from making contracts but that does not mean that the government must confer a special imprimatur upon a new definition of marriage.

Wuss statement.

A K A Stone  posted on  2015-06-29   8:36:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: A K A Stone (#2)

Wuss statement.

In context: ---

--- "The government should not prevent people from making contracts but that does not mean that the government must confer a special imprimatur upon a new definition of marriage.

Perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not governmental recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party.

Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do — taxed it, regulated it, and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right.

So now, states such as Alabama are beginning to understand this as they begin to get out of the marriage licensing business altogether. Will others follow? --- "

tpaine  posted on  2015-06-29   8:49:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: tpaine (#3)

The main reason the Court made its ruling was because of government benefits (over a thousand total) and a lot of rights under state laws that are assigned to spouse.

You have to hit the marriage goodies to reduce the appeal of marriage to gays.

However, you would likely institute a set of benefits to attach to children directly, regardless of parental marital status. That would work as well for gays as straights generally.

Rand's idea sounds good at first but you have to consider the effect on family courts and family law in the fifty states. Also probate, medical guardianship, etc.

In short, not easy to do.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-29   9:15:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: TooConservative (#4)

"You have to hit the marriage goodies to reduce the appeal of marriage to gays."

Appeal? Don't tell me you've bought into that garbage.

Committing to one person is the antithesis of the gay lifestyle choice where a different sex partner every week is the norm. This is borne out by the fact that, since 2004 when gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts, only 2% of gays nationwide got married. I'm guessing only half of them still are.

I suppose you also think that overturning "don't ask, don't tell" meant that a vast majority of gays really wanted to enlist. Or that gays really, really wanted to join the Boy Scouts.

Gays are fighting these issues because it brings their lifestyle choice that much closer to general acceptance. THAT'S the goal.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-29   9:47:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: TooConservative (#4)

"Rand's idea sounds good at first but you have to consider the effect on family courts and family law in the fifty states."

Exactly. A marriage "contract" involves more than an agreement between two people. It's a social contract that we all respect and accept.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-29   9:50:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: misterwhite, Liberator (#5)

Committing to one person is the antithesis of the gay lifestyle choice where a different sex partner every week is the norm. This is borne out by the fact that, since 2004 when gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts, only 2% of gays nationwide got married. I'm guessing only half of them still are.

Well, the stats are a little shaky.

Let's dismiss the 2%-3% of the LGBT that are bisexual. You can't really do much with them. So we can adopt the claim that exclusively homosexual Americans are 2% of the population (for the sake of argument).

350M Americans × .02 exclusive homosexuals = 7 million exclusively homosexual citizens.

As of last week, there were still under 400,000 married couples who were married in the 36 states that have legalized sodomy marriage (mostly imposed by federal courts). That is less than 800,000 married homosexuals. (No reliable figures on how many of those couples have already divorced.)

Since gays tend to live in big Blue population centers or to migrate there from more rural areas, only a small percentage of gays wanting to marry would be affected by the sodomy marriage decision. Only a few large Southern states with large populations have enough people for it to affect more than a few thousand people. In low population rural states, you'll only see a few thousand such marriages in the next year or so and that will be to aid in adoption or government benefits for a spouse.

Keep in mind, Teh Gays have been free to marry in Canada or Blue states with marriage laws for a decade or so. And, if they did, the Court's decision will legitimate their marriages wherever they live. And, if they did, they may be able to sue for the denial of their marriage rights going back many years. This would apply mostly to couple who traveled to another state to legally marry. I expect a rash of such lawsuits.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are more polygamous families with children in America than there are homo couples with children (keeping in mind Kennedy's For The Children majority opinion).

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-29   10:29:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: TooConservative (#7)

Pew (2013) put the number at 71,000 marriages. That was the figure I used.

Census survey (2013) cited by CNN says 251,000 couples. According to Gallup polling, the 2015 number is 390,000 couples.

I don't know why they don't simply count marriage licenses.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-29   13:15:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: misterwhite (#8)

Census survey (2013) cited by CNN says 251,000 couples. According to Gallup polling, the 2015 number is 390,000 couples.

You notice they somehow always forget to include the number of gay divorces.

Convenient.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-29   13:36:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: TooConservative (#9)

"always forget to include the number of gay divorces."

How can they forget The Gay Divorcee. Ginger Rogers. Fred Astaire.

Oh, wait. You said Gay Divorces, not Gay Divorcee. Never mind.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-29   13:55:41 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: misterwhite (#10) (Edited)

I always thought the gay divorcee was Fred Astaire. No straight man likes dancing quite that much. Except maybe Gene Kelly who married multiple times.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-29   14:07:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: TooConservative (#11)

"I always thought the gay divorcee was Fred Astaire."

When they said he was "light in the loafers" I always thought they were talking about his dancing technique.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-29   16:23:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: tpaine (#0)

Our founding fathers went to the local courthouse to be married,

No they didn't. They went to church to get married, or they just publicly declared they were married in front of witnesses.

Marriage is none of the stinking government's business.

Justin Amash (R-MI) had the true libertarian response to the Supreme Court Ruling:

Throughout history, different cultures have defined marriage according to their own customs and practices. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics, and atheists do not share identical views on marriage. In fact, significant differences regarding marriage exist even within Christianity.

What makes marriage traditional is not its adherence to a universal definition but rather that it is defined by personal faith, not by government. For thousands of years, marriage flourished without a universal definition and without government intervention. Then came licensing of marriage. In recent decades, we've seen state legislatures and ballot initiatives define marriage, putting government improperly at the helm of this sacred institution.

Those who care about liberty should not be satisfied with the current situation. Government intervention in marriage presents new threats to religious freedom and provides no advantages, for gay or straight couples, over unlicensed (i.e., traditional) marriage. But we shouldn't blame the Supreme Court for where things stand.

To the extent that Americans across the political spectrum view government marriage as authoritative and unlicensed marriage as quaint, our laws must treat marriage—and the corresponding legal benefits that attach—as they would any other government institution. So, while today's Supreme Court opinion rests upon the false premise that government licensure is necessary to validate the intimate relationships of consenting adults, I applaud the important principle enshrined in this opinion: that government may not violate the equal rights of individuals in any area in which it asserts authority.

cranko  posted on  2015-06-29   16:56:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: tpaine (#0)

#11. To: redleghunter, Liberator (#2)

AFA strongly urges your church and other Christian ministries to consider three recommendations immediately: • Adopt a clear statement of faith regarding human sexuality and marriage. • Clarify that weddings in your church are Christian worship services. • Adopt a policy that clearly restricts the use of ministry facilities to the ministry’s religious purposes. Some basic common sense stuff that will keep Christians from getting sued IMO.

So then they'll go after the church's tax exempt status.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

CZ82 posted on 2015-06-27 10:36:08 ET Reply Trace Private Reply

I don’t, however, like his solution. And he’s not going to like mine. Rather than try to rescue tax-exempt status for organizations that dissent from settled public policy on matters of race or sexuality, we need to take a more radical step. It’s time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses.

Imagine that taking away their tax exempt status to get them in line with the Leftard/fag agenda!!!!

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

CZ82  posted on  2015-06-29   17:24:51 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: cranko (#13)

"Marriage is none of the stinking government's business."

But the welfare of single mothers and their spawn is?

You propose we stop the government from encouraging two-parent families while at the same time maintaining support for single women and their bastard children? With MY money?

Where in the f**k are your priorities?

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-30   10:53:18 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: TooConservative (#9)

"You notice they somehow always forget to include the number of gay divorces."

If Gallup actually conducted a poll in 2015, that poll would reflect the current number of gay marriages.

I don't trust Gallup's number in that I believe it's in the respondent's best interest to lie about it.

It should be easy enough to count the number of marriage licenses issued to gays. Divorces are also public record.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-30   11:06:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: misterwhite (#15) (Edited)

But the welfare of single mothers and their spawn is?

You propose we stop the government from encouraging two-parent families while at the same time maintaining support for single women and their bastard children? With MY money?

You are a very confused person.

First, where have I ever said we should maintain welfare for single mothers? Where??? Nowhere. Welfare for single mothers has been a major cause of the dissolution of marriage. I think we should go cold turkey and cut off the vast majority of government transfer payments between people.

Second, you can't seem to get it through your thick head that people still got married before there were marriage licenses. Equating marriage with a government license is a relatively new phenomenon.

Third, the thing that most disturbs me about you "conservatives" is that you don't seem to comprehend that everything the politicians and bureaucrats gets their sticky fingers on, turns to crap. This includes marriage. Last week's Supreme Court decision demonstrates that once again.

Conservatives have never been and to win at the leftist's big government game. You've never been able to use big government to promote "conservative" ends. So, it's time to change the game as an overwhelming majority in the Alabama Senate is trying to do:

Alabama Senate Passes Bill to Effectively Nullify All Sides on Marriage

This week, the Alabama state Senate passed a bill that would end the practice of licensing marriages in the state, effectively nullifying both major sides of the contentious national debate over government-sanctioned marriage.

Introduced by Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Bay Minette), Senate Bill 377 (SB377) would end state issued marriage licenses, while providing marriage contracts as an alternative. It passed through the Alabama state Senate by a 22- 3 margin on May 19.

“When you invite the state into those matters of personal or religious import, it creates difficulties,” Sen. Albritton said about his bill in April. “Go back long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. Early twentieth century, if you go back and look and try to find marriage licenses for your grandparents or great grandparents, you won’t find it. What you will find instead is where people have come in and recorded when a marriage has occurred.”

The bill would replace all references to marriages “licenses” in state law with “contracts.” The legislation would not invalidate any marriage licenses issued prior to the bill being passed.

cranko  posted on  2015-06-30   11:49:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: TooConservative (#1)

???I’m a gay- rights supporter who was elated by Friday’s Supreme Court decision — but I honor Sen. Lee’s fears.

The last half of this article was not written by Rand Paul.

Was wondering about that.

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. (Psalm 62:1-2)

redleghunter  posted on  2015-06-30   12:05:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: tpaine, TooConservative, GarySpFc, liberator, BobCeleste, CZ82 (#3)

In context: ---

--- "The government should not prevent people from making contracts but that does not mean that the government must confer a special imprimatur upon a new definition of marriage.

Perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not governmental recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party.

Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do — taxed it, regulated it, and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right.

So now, states such as Alabama are beginning to understand this as they begin to get out of the marriage licensing business altogether. Will others follow? --- "

One could take his words above to include getting government out of adoptive services (orphanages) as well. That used to be a charity run by churches in our history.

But the states and fed.gov has a strangle hold on children.

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. (Psalm 62:1-2)

redleghunter  posted on  2015-06-30   12:33:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: cranko (#17)

"I think we should go cold turkey and cut off the vast majority of government transfer payments between people."

Fine. Let's do that first, then we'll talk about stopping the government from rewarding traditional marriage.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-30   13:37:47 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: misterwhite (#20)

hen we'll talk about stopping the government from rewarding traditional marriage.

The government doesn't reward "traditional marriage". It penalizes it.

- The tax code contains various marriage penalties

- The welfare system rewards single mothers, not married ones

- Last week the government declared that gay marriage is legally no different than your traditional marriage.

You are living in a fantasy world.

cranko  posted on  2015-06-30   14:18:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: cranko (#21)

"The government doesn't reward "traditional marriage". It penalizes it."

Uh-huh. That's why homosexuals wanted gay marriage -- they wanted to be penalized, too.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-30   14:37:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: misterwhite (#16)

It should be easy enough to count the number of marriage licenses issued to gays. Divorces are also public record.

I think they don't want to report the true number.

I think it is likely in the range of 150K-200K.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-30   17:44:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: redleghunter (#18)

Was wondering about that.

It's because he's using the crappy Silk browser on his mediocre Amazon tablet.

He's bollixed a number of articles he's posted with it.

Tooconservative  posted on  2015-06-30   18:20:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: misterwhite (#22)

Uh-huh. That's why homosexuals wanted gay marriage -- they wanted to be penalized, too.

No, they wanted to stop being treated like second class citizens.

cranko  posted on  2015-06-30   19:19:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: cranko (#25)

"No, they wanted to stop being treated like second class citizens."

Then they should stop acting like second class citizens. Actually, a second class citizen would be a step up from the way they act -- strutting and rutting as though Armageddon was predicted for next week.

Only about 2% of homosexuals have chosen to get married in the last 11 years. Even those who are "married" don't believe in sexual monogamy. What's the point?

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-30   19:31:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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