Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Questions and Answers

Sully and others are confused by Obama's stance on gay marriage. On one hand he opposes it (but contends they should have civil unions) but on the other hand he defends California's ruling for gay marriage. Sanchez has a solution that makes perfect sense to me:

"As a very loose analogy, you can consider the position I think a fair number of people take on something like flag burning: They don’t like it, and they might be perfectly happy to have statutes banning it. However, given that the Supreme Court has determined that flag burning is a form of expression protected by the First Amendment, amending the Constitution to create exceptions in the First Amendment seems like a bad idea to them. Now, this isn’t quite my own position, since I think flag burning, like any number of other forms of offensive expression, ought to be protected. That said, if the Supreme Court had decided, on fairly narrow grounds, that flag burning fell into some recognized category of non-protected speech, I don’t know that I’d consider this an intolerable and crippling blow to our expressive rights, even though I’d disagree with the outcome. I would find it far more disturbing if we set a precedent that when the Court rules to protect speech that enough Americans find outrageous, we’ll have a big partisan push to change the Constitution. The underlying idea here is that, important as the case by case determination of the scope of certain fundamental rights is, what’s even more important is the structural principle that these determinations should not be a popularity contest, and ought to be isolated from cyclical politics to a great extent.


"I think that’s probably the reasoning that best accounts for the language Obama used, though I can think of a slightly different route to a similar conclusion. That is, you might think we shouldn’t grant marriage rights to gay couples where they don’t exist, but oppose taking those rights away in places where they’ve already been granted, and especially where gay couples have already begun to marry."

I mentioned before that Obama seems to have a nuanced and subtle view of legal issues, and this seems to fall in line with that. Ultimately though it seems that he has enough respect for the law as to honor it even when it doesn't coincide with his POV. That's enough reason for me to vote for him.

2 comments:

Kiko Jones said...

"...you might think we shouldn’t grant marriage rights to gay couples where they don’t exist, but oppose taking those rights away in places where they’ve already been granted, and especially where gay couples have already begun to marry."

Um, yeah, what he said.

Teethwriter said...

:)

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