This is the third in a five-part debate series on same-sex marriage between James W. Doig and Robert P. George. It originally appeared on The Witherspoon Institute's Public Discourse. You can read Part One here and Part Two here.
Thanks for your thoughtful response to my initial comments. In your opening paragraphs, you ask that I provide a general account of what marriage is. To me, it is a continuing relationship between two individuals who commit their lives (including their sexual lives), their futures, and their fortunes to each other. The two individuals may be of opposite sexes or the same sex. If they have children-natural or adopted-that commitment extends to the children as well.
Some observers may want to extend the term marriage to other patterns of human relationships; I would not. However, I believe, as I understand you do, that some legal protections (filing joint income-tax returns, etc.) might be extended to individuals in some non-marital but stable relationships. more >>
Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed said Tuesday that North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's decision to not defend the state's voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman violates his fiduciary responsibilities to the state's residents.
Cooper held a news conference Monday to announce that following the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, he would no longer defend against lawsuits seeking to overturn North Carolina's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage that was approved by a majority of voters in 2012.
"North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's announcement that he no longer feels bound by the oath of his office to defend his state's marriage statute violates his solemn obligation to protect and defend the constitution and the laws of the state," Reed said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. more >>
This is the first in a five-part debate series on same-sex marriage between James W. Doig and Robert P. George. It originally appeared on The Witherspoon Institute's Public Discourse. You can read Part One here.
Thanks for agreeing to this exchange about the nature and meaning of marriage. My experience with exercises like this one, conducted in a spirit of friendship and goodwill, is that they lead to deeper understanding, even if the interlocutors do not achieve agreement. more >>
Virginia's amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman was struck down Monday after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond ruled 2-1 that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry that trumps state marriage laws.
A USA Today report said Monday that this is the second state ban on gay marriage to be struck down this summer. The ruling supports a district judge's decision handed down on the matter in February.
"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable," noted the majority. "However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws." more >>
This is the first in a five-part debate series on same-sex marriage between James W. Doig and Robert P. George. It originally appeared on The Witherspoon Institute's Public Discourse.
In thinking about the issue, "How should marriage be defined?" I want to begin with two Vermonters, Ann and Ellen, who have been together as a couple for more than thirty years. They have three children-Bert, who has graduated from college and is now married (to Maria) and working in a small business in Vermont, and Alison and Beth, who are in high school, both doing well in their academic work and excelling in soccer. One of the three is adopted, and Ann is the birth mother of the other two. more >>
A Miami-Dade County judge Friday overturned Florida's ban on same-sex marriage in a decision that applies only to that county. While this is the second county that struck down the state's ban this month, marriage licenses will not be issued so that the rulings can be appealed.
Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel agreed with last week's ruling by Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia, saying the 2008 constitutional amendment approved by the state's voters violates the right to equal protection under the law guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, according to The Associated Press.
"Preventing couples from marrying solely on the basis of their sexual orientation serves no governmental interest," Zabel wrote in her 36-page ruling. "It serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society." more >>