Jesse Quintanilla, left, and Briana J. Castaneda, 23, center, join a crowd… (Los Angeles Times )
Re "Moral issues can't simply be ruled invalid," Opinion, June 27
Maggie Gallagher believes that Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's desire to write this generation's Brown vs. Board of Education with his majority opinion invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act is misplaced. If in fact this was Kennedy's desire, this is exactly the right case.
Gallagher writes that Kennedy's decision subverts the will of the people. I wonder what the will of the people regarding integration was in 1954, when the court made its decision in Brown and struck down racial segregation in public schools. I wonder what the will of the people was in 1967, when the court decided in Loving vs. Virginia that laws banning interracial marriage were unconstitutional. Sometimes the court has to do what is right and move the public consciousness forward when the will of the people lags.
Ten years ago, most voters were against gay marriage; that has changed, thanks largely to discussion, debate and a willingness to question blind tradition and authority. Thankfully, the court has recognized, as in Brown and Loving, that rational arguments for discrimination do not exist.
Spring Valley, Calif.
Not everything legal is moral. The child in the womb deserves protection in spite of Roe vs. Wade. And those in touch with natural law as well as the Gospel will continue to protect marriage as between a man and a woman, in spite of public opinion or judicial tyranny.
All individuals should be treated with dignity regardless of their sexual preference. However, all sexual activity outside marriage is objectively sinful. Let us hope that society recognizes eternal truths instead of continuing to throw incense at the altar of relativism.
In holding up the resurgence of the pro-life movement after Roe vs. Wade in 1973 as an example of what could happen to the flagging anti-gay marriage movement, Gallagher ignores a very important difference between the two issues.
An abortion involves the killing of a living being. However, when Adam and Steve get married, no one is harmed. My heterosexual marriage is not harmed; Gallagher is not harmed; Adam and Steve's children are not harmed (they now have married gay parents, as opposed to unmarried ones). No one's rights are negated. Gallagher is apoplectic that the courts would invalidate duly enacted laws. But it is the purpose of the courts, and especially the Supreme Court, to "subvert" the will of the people or of a legislature if a law unfairly causes harm to others.
This is what the courts are supposed to do.
Gallagher's complaint that Kennedy "seems to be trying to write his own moral values into the Constitution" rings hollow. The bulk of her Op-Ed article asserts, in so many words, that it's OK for the Christian community to impose its views of morality — particularly regarding sex and abortion — on society.
She can't have it both ways. If Gallagher and her ilk attempt to write their own moral values into law, then it's necessary to have people who hold an opposite view push back.
A better approach would be to keep such moral values out of the law altogether. But that, of course, is not what Gallagher really wants.
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