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08/31/2009

'It's not a civil right' says he who wants to rob us of right to civilly marry

by Jeremy Hooper

Last week we showed you the Op-Ed wherein Rev. Bob Emrich likened marriage equality to a razed forest. Now Emrich's partner in foisting discrimination of Maine, Marc Mutty, has penned his own piece for the Lewiston Sun-Journal. Mutty's argument: That our side's cvil rights arguments are nothing more than strategy. Here's a taste:

Advocates of legalizing same sex-marriage in Maine usually argue it is a "civil rights" issue, because they know that no one wants to be thought of as opposing the rights of others.

It is obvious that neither the United States nor our state constitutions say anything about an individual's right to their own definition of marriage. Their texts just can't be stretched that far.

The fact is, however, no one has any "right" to marry. Repeatedly asserting there is does not create one. Societies have always regulated who could marry. Brothers and sisters cannot legally marry, for example, nor can anyone marry someone underage or marry multiple people.
...
The civil rights argument is nothing more than a slogan without substance. It is, in fact, deeply disrespectful of those who have been denied their true civil rights, like the right to vote or to practice their religious faith. Now that it looks like the people's veto will be on the November ballot, the Stand For Marriage Maine Coalition will be working hard to educate Mainers on what the real issues are relating to whether we legalize homosexual marriage.

MORE: Gay marriage is not a civil right [L S-J]

Oh, Mr. Mutty. You don't seem to realize the clear difference between our sides. On your team, things like slogans and strategies are needed, because you all must dream up ways that you can Mutty muddy the truth in order to deny CIVIL fairness to loving, tax-paying, marriage-qualified citizens. We get it. It's like when we were little and would work our best actuality-bastardizing lines to keep our parents from seeing a less-than-stellar report card. When you're an obstacle between someone else's desire and deservedness, you have to find some way, any way to stall the progress.

But on our side, we don't need slogans. We only need our loving hearts, our fair minds, and our rational brains. When those parts come together and lead our eyes to look outward at the civil realm in which we live, and then inward at the beautiful people who we are and always have been, from our mouth comes only truth. We don't have to fake it until we make it, Mr. Mutty. We only have to expose your side's fakery until the world finally catches on!

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Your thoughts

"It is in fact, deeply disrespectful of those who have been denied their true civil rights like the right to vote or to practice their religious faith."

Okay, this is so hypocritical in the extreme, where do I begin?
First of all, voting and one's religious faith are ENTIRELY personal choices that our country doesn't enforce one against the other.

I suppose he's never learned of gay people being denied even being free, such as being institutionalized or jailed simply for being gay?

What about the right to be educated? How many young gays and lesbians are so tortured in school and have so little support in their own homes and churches, education is seriously compromised?

How about the right to free association? Gays and lesbians simply visiting each other privately was subject to raids by the police, beatings and arrest.

How about the right to life itself? How many gays and lesbians, even those too young to vote, have been brutally murdered with the tortuous violence akin to a lynching?

How about the right to serve in the military?
The right to marry, the right to have a family, the right to pursue happiness? How many of these have been denied, or put asunder, by those who believe that gay people have no right to have any of it, regardless of exemplary lives within such structures?

How about the right to justice? How many gay people have been as abused by law enforcement officers, judges, attorneys, juries and investigators when a crime has been committed against them?

Being gay and being black might not be the same things. But neither is being a Jew or being a woman.
But it's clear, there is MORE than enough in common, when it comes to denial of CIVIL RIGHTS.

And, as a black woman, who has family members with a proud record in civil rights activism...sees the parallels clearly and without question.
This IS a civil rights issues, because there are so many civil wrongs committed against the gay community.

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Aug 31, 2009 3:52:09 PM

You have to ask yourself if there is any evidence in the writing of this wingnutty to suggest that he has ever read the constitution. The constitution, as it was originally ratified, specifically enumerated the then agreed upon "ranking" of racial and sexual equality. It took specific amendments to the constitution to undo those egregious flaws. And, now, the necessity to specifically alter state constitutions the opposite way to specifically deny rights to us, is all the evidence necessary to prove that MarcNutty is just a lying liar.

But it is very true that nothing in the US Constitution gives him the right to deny to us marriage equality. When he wrote his words, I doubt that he saw the obvious irony in his statements. Or maybe he did, and just realized that the "choir" never would.

But, to be clear, the courts have repeatedly ruled that marriage is a right. And also, that the terms "all persons" and "citizens" apply to ALL of us.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Aug 31, 2009 3:53:40 PM

"The fact is, however, no one has any "right" to marry."

If that is the case why don't we just abolish all things currently connected with "marriage" for EVERYONE.

By the way, that would include straight people, too.


Posted by: Bob Miller | Aug 31, 2009 5:22:08 PM

U.S. Supreme Court, 1967 in Loving V Virginia:

"The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival."

1948, California Supreme Court:

"The right to marry is as fundamental as the right to send one's child to a particular school or the right to have offspring."

Marriage is not only a civil right, it is a fundamental right, according to our courts. It even doesn't have to say it in the Constitution explicitly:

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Just because it's not written, doesn't mean it doesn't exist, in other words.

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but maybe some curious visitor will learn something.


Posted by: DannyI | Aug 31, 2009 7:25:56 PM

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