I am beyond irritated with the blatherings of people who talk about the importance of equality and the end to discrimination on the one hand, and then talk about how great Barack Obama is on the other hand.
Barack Obama has come right out and said that he opposes same-sex marriage. Obama openly opposes granting equal marriage rights under the law to same-sex couples. Obama says that the states ought to be left to decide the matter of whether same-sex couple can have the legal right to marry.
The problem with that: The Constitution explicitly forbids the states from deciding for themselves whether they will grant equal protection under the law to all citizens. The Constitution requires that when there’s a question about equality of a group of people under the law, all states provide that equality, whether their legislatures like it or not.
The first section of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution reads:
“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.”
It’s particularly despicable of Barack Obama, who was only able to rise to power because of the work of civil rights activists in opposing the use of the States’ Rights argument to discriminate on the basis of race, to now advocate a States’ Rights argument in favor of discrimination against a group of Americans to which he conveniently happens not to belong.
It doesn’t matter whether you approve of homosexuality. It doesn’t matter whether your personal opinion is that same-sex marriage is a bad idea (and keep in mind that, if you’re married, chances are good that some people you know think that your marriage is a bad idea). The Constitution says what the Constitution says, and the Constitution is the law of the land. State governments are forbidden by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States from passing laws like Proposition 8, which discriminate against homosexual Americans.
Barack Obama knows the Fourteenth Amendment. He’s taught it in law school classes. Yet, as President, Barack Obama is choosing to ignore that part of the Constitution. What other parts of the Constitution will President Obama decide to ignore next?