Monday, June 23, 2008

The ERA and Gay Marriage

I'm rather happy about the fact that people can marry those of the same sex now, mainly because it was such a slap in the face not to be allowed into a hospital room to see a dying loved one, or any other of the numerous indignities that a partner in a same sex relationship needs endure. But, happy as I am, I can't see that spending any extraordinary amount of resources on the fight for same-sex marriage is the best use of those resources. When there are situation like the New Jersey 7.(or 4, depending on where you look)

Clearly one needn't only focus one's resources in one direction, but I can think of innumerable issues that should be dealt with that would have a much farther reaching effect. Like making housing discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. It is illegal in California, but a federal version would be nice. I think there needs to be a renewed push for the ERA. It may not seem to be a gay rights issue, but I think that it would open a lot of legal doors.

Let's take gay marriage for example, on a federal level. In 1996 the Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA) passed. DOMA says that neither the feds nor states can be forced by other states to "treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage." This may be unconstitutional as it stands, but a stronger case could be made were the ERA added to the Constitution. If the ERA were in effect then one could easily argue sex discrimination in the case of marrying someone of the same sex. For example, if there was a woman who wished to marry another woman, the only reason she is not able to marry that woman is because of her sex. If I wanted to marry that same woman I would be allowed to for the simple fact that I am male, and she disallowed simply because she is female.

Theoretically one could extend this to all sorts situations. Take housing discrimination. Were I a lesbian and was denied housing on those grounds then I would be denied because of my sex. A lesbian would be denied not because she she is a person who falls in love with women, but in fact because she is a woman who falls in love with women. Obviously it is her sex and not who she falls in love with that is the problem. Again, I fall in love with women and I am not discriminated against in my choices of housing. The reason I am not is because I am male. Were I female and yet otherwise the same then I would not be allowed to habitate those same places a esbian is denied.

I'll be honest, law is not my strong suit, so there may be a glaring problem with my reasoning, but it seems not to be faulty to me.

2 comments:

公車 said...
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天氣晴朗 said...
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