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SCOTUS Scratching to Find Way Forward on Same-sex Marriage

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  • Ron Hart
    Ronald Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, award-wining author and TV/radio commentator.
By Ron Hart, Op-Ed Contributor
April 2, 2013|12:45 pm

Homosexuality and gay marriage are two of the most unnecessarily divisive social issues facing this nation.

Licking their wounds from the last election, Republicans look to return to their roots of minimal government intrusion and freedom. Backing off their Bible-based dogma on same-sex marriage might be a start. Many on the right fringe of the Party would have objections to Labradoodles being bred.

No social issues have changed as much in recent years as support for same-sex marriage. In a recent CBS News poll, 53 percent of us now approve. Notable for the Republicans, 56 percent of independents and 75 percent of those under 30 years of age are in favor of gay marriage. The GOP should remember the report that called for being more inclusive and less judgmental. Now might be a good time to thump those Bibles a little more quietly.

The GOP needs gays in its "big tent," and who better to decorate it?

This is in line with a trend by states passing laws recognizing gay marriage, demonstrating an evolving social consensus. Historic laws have been passed by legislatures to accomplish the goal of mandating that homophobia be less obvious. Nine states currently allow gay marriage, and many others are increasing bi-curious on similar legislation.

One issue the court needs to clarify stems from the California Ninth Circus Court of Appeals overruling the voters' wishes on gay marriage. It was legal, then illegal, then legal again. Gays in San Francisco have not been this confused since junior high school.

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The Supreme Court enjoyed oral arguments on the California same-sex marriage law last week. They might narrowly let the law stand to please the right and turn the whole case into a musical to please the gays.

The federal case stems from the Rosa Parks of lesbians, Edith Windsor. She paid $363,000 in death taxes because the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage in her state. The GOP ought to side with her on the estate tax issue alone. Windsor and her partner had a 40-year relationship and married when it was legalized in Canada. They were married for 20 months; that is more than fifty Kardashian marriages. If we should outlaw anything, it should be celebrity marriages.

How can those on the right reconcile their concerns about government intrusions into our lives, about fairness and freedom, while being rabidly judgmental toward a select group of people? The GOP has to be intellectually honest and let the logic of its message flow. This is an opportunity. Should the feds be in the marriage business anyway?

If people are morally against gay sex, how better to bring it to a screeching halt than to let gays marry? It is not my role to point out who is or is not gay; I will just let the guy wearing the skinny jeans speak for himself. Live and let live. We have much bigger issues.

Even our beloved leader, Obama, said he "evolved" on gay marriage -- right before a Hollywood fundraiser. We will learn more about what informed Obama's thinking when his ninth autobiography, "Profiles in Courage from Polling Data," comes out. It's telling that Obama changed his opinion on gay marriage years after Dick Cheney did. Cheney probably felt marriage is a form of waterboarding torture, and he totally supports that.

Ironically, the last Democrat to come around on gay marriage was "don't ask, don't tell" himself, Bill "DOMA" Clinton. Slick Willie changed his stance just last week and said he regrets not evolving sooner. There might have been undue influence on his reversal; I hear gay activists sent a couple of lipstick-lesbians over to sway Clinton.

I respect others' deeply held religious opinions on this contentious subject. Intact marriages that raise stable children are the bedrock construct of a civil society. But please view this in the broader context of equality, freedom, reason, and less government involvement. A couple of gym teachers with a joint checking account don't hurt anyone. Let it go. Treat others as you would like to be treated in the same situation.

Equality was the goal of our Founders, and we are almost there. I have long maintained that our Founders would have been for gay rights. Let's not forget they wore silk pedal-pusher pants, frilly shirts and wigs.

Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator. Email Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com
 

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