Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Supreme Court on Sex, Obscenity, and Marriage (Part V)

People are obviously missing the point on the importance or significance of marriage in Windsor and Obergefell. The only reason these cases are important is not out of love, but for economic concerns. Liberals argue that the Court ruled in favor of love. That is not true. First, the Court cannot rule using emotion over law. Secondly, in Windsor she faced much higher estate tax rates after her partner died. Windsor did not fight the issue of same sex marriage when her partner was alive. It is important to note that married couples do have several federal tax advantages over single persons. And in the private sector some companies may provide lower benefit costs for partners and spouses. Therefore, the question that needs to be addressed is why marriage is a basis for any economic advantages over single persons. One purpose is to promote families. Families are important to the economic survival of the country. For instance, more tax payers are needed to pay for the future unfunded liabilities generated by the government entitlement system. Of course, this reason does not necessarily include the usefulness of gay marriages unless they adopt children.

Marriage used to be a purely religious function. However, today, the number of civil marriages are increasing (gay marriage is one reason). Today, about two-thirds of all marriages are religious in nature. However, the definition of a religious marriage and civil marriage are vastly different. Religious marriages tend to have the traditional definition for marriage (between one man and one women) and civil marriages omit the gender requirement from the definition or marriage. More importantly, statistics show that religious marriages have a much higher chance of success (close to 40% better). For these reasons, Obergefell and Windsor, may lead to a complete separation between civil and religious marriages. For instance, churches do not have to file a civil wedding paperwork with the state – they generally do it out of courtesy. Furthermore, just as the Catholic Church can deny a heterosexual marriage for compatibility issues they can deny a homosexual marriage (hence deny does not mean discrimination). If marriage was truly a religious function (as was intended by traditional American customs) then it would be easy to rule upon Windsor and Obergefell. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment provided for the separation of church and state. This philosophy was upheld in Reynolds v. United States in 1879 and Everson v. Board of Education in 1947. Hence, DOMA would be unconstitutional on the grounds the law violates separation of church and state (Establishment Clause). Besides, the federal government would have no reason to pass DOMA in the first place if all marriages were religious. And Obergefell would be denied the right to gay marriage for the same reason as the DOMA case.

The question that needs to be resolved are the unfair and unequal treatment of citizens in the federal tax scheme. If taxes were fair to all; if all corporate benefits allowed spouses, friends, and partners to be added at cost; and marriage was only recognized by the church and not the state or federal governments then Obergefell and Windsor would have no meaning (marriage does not provide any advantage). In Windsor, the question of marriage was not the issue since Windsor was single because her partner died when she filed suit. Therefore, the question before the Court was not the “unfairness” of marriage, but the “unfairness” of the federal government’s tax code. If single people can be treated differently than married people under the federal tax code and it is not seen to violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, then it is hard to reason how gay marriage and traditional marriage are seen to be equal under the equal protection clause. This is especially true for traditional marriages held within churches. After all, without traditional marriage the human race would cease to exist which makes it vastly different in nature than gay marriages.

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