Wednesday, February 25, 2004

I just realized how utterly clueless the writers of the FMA were.

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.

Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

That runs headlong into the 14th Amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

So if the FMA says you can't give unmarried couples the 'legal incidents' of marriage, but the 14th Amendment says you can't deny committed, unmarried couples equal protection to married couples under the law, the ultimate result will be to get government out of the marriage business entirely. Marriage would become strictly a ceremonial affair, and governments would start granting 'legal incidents' to civil unions. It's the simplest way to resolve the apparent impasse of those two clauses.

So the ultimate result would be not to protect marriage from anything, but instead to gut it of any legal meaning.

Good job!

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