Mike Kueber's Blog

June 26, 2011

Same-sex marriage in New York

NY Times columnist Maureen Down’s column this weekend castigated President Obama for too frequently taking the position that he took in the Illinois state senate – i.e., instead of voting yes or no, he often voted “present.”  Maureen provided a plethora of examples, with her strongest involving same-sex marriage, which was legalized in New York a couple of days ago.  Obama has said that his position is “evolving” and that each state should decide the issue.

Maureen made a couple of interesting comments about this position – (1) women recognize the term “evolving” as typical of a male who is commitment-phobic, (2) although Obama claims that his position flows from his Christianity, Maureen notes that Obama rarely goes to church and is the picture of a secular humanist.

Although I support same-sex marriage, I am a federalist who believes that each state should control this type of issue in their state.  Other issues in this category would be abortion, the death penalty, and marijuana.

But Maureen quotes a contrary opinion from the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, “You think it’s going to stop with this?  You think now bigamists are going to want their rights to marry? You think somebody that wants to marry his sister is going to now say, ‘I have a right’?  I mean, it’s the same principle, isn’t it? … This is crazy.”

I don’t think it’s crazy.  I don’t think the federal government should be telling states, like Utah, what their law on bigamy must be.  Ditto for brother-sister marriages, even though there are there are scientific reasons in addition to religious reasons for opposing such marriages.  But if you’ve seen John Sayles’ classic 1996 film “Lone Star” starring Matthew McConaughey and Elizabeth Pena, you might not completely reject the possibility of such a marriage.