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On gay rights, Constitution does not apply morality to equality

Letters to the Editor

Douglas Brubaker

Issue date: 11/6/09 Section: Opinion
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Since most college students live in a media bubble and don't follow current events many of you may not be aware of Obama's recent promise to end the military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." It seems that this effort will soon draw the issue of gay rights and its partner gay marriage to the political battlefront. It is the issue of whether the protections and privileges the government grants heterosexual couples should be extended to gay couples that I will address here. For American history has shown that when one demographic is denied equal treatment and suffers repeated abuses, they will persevere until the government yields to their demands.

I here reference the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, that "No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws," as the basis for my position. The law which must be applied is the First Amendment's guarantee to freedom of association. The most intimate association between two people is that of marriage. Under the Constitution, we must evaluate whether the association between homosexual and heterosexual couples is fundamentally different. No doubt it is, but this truth comes through a judgment of value and not through any objective legal analysis. Where in the Constitution does it say anything about applying a moral or, as is the case with gay marriage, religious evaluations to questions of equality? Does not our government strive for a wall of separation between judgments of law and faith? The Constitution, the supreme law of the land, does not view citizens differently based on any moral doctrine of an apparent majority. A compromise must be found which protects the rights of the homosexual citizen as a minority while being sensitive to the concerns of a majority who cannot bring themselves to legalize gay marriage.

My question is, what defines marriage? For the faithful it certainly isn't some government certification or any piece of paper. Marriage is a union of spirit sanctified by God. I am completely against gay marriage, yet I would grant homosexuals, as United States citizens, the equal protection of association under the Constitution. I would define all unions recognized by the government as civil unions and leave marriage to the church. The great theologian CS Lewis made this distinction between the two unions when he married his wife twice; once to give her his British citizenship in the eyes of the state and again for love before God. It is time to render unto Caesar that which is his. The faithful may resent the legal recognition of gay unions; homosexuals may feel denied the label of being married. What should be remembered is that what is right is seldom popular and, in this case, what is popular in the eyes of either side is emphatically wrong.
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In This Issue


  • A conversation with Keith Lupton
  • Attempts to balance Ohio budget face ever-changing obstacles
  • Can you name this place?
  • CWRU loses to Oberlin in first round of most vegetarian-friendly college contest
  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing receives $3.7 million in federal stimulus grants
  • Have you heard about National Society of Collegiate Scholars?
  • Overheard at Case
  • SEC votes to hold referendum on Media Board salaries
  • The college student's guide to credit cards
  • USG Briefs


  • Cuban is wrong on steroids
  • Suddenly swift
  • Teams kick off season at Rochester

Fun Page

  • Combo Scramble Solution
  • Maze Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions


  • 'Home' for the holidays
  • Editorial: Campus vegetarian options don't always deliver
  • On gay rights, Constitution does not apply morality to equality
  • Rwandan genocide convicts should serve sentences in home country
  • SafeRide/campus escorts need improvement
  • Sex not a joking matter
  • State your case: What's the best way to kill a zombie?
  • US culture sets down roots in Argentina


  • Coen brothers' A Serious Man proves to be serious
  • Diaz, Marsden, Kelly speak about new morality drama, The Box
  • Hitting the Spot: Other Girls
  • Mather Dance Center assembles fall collection of dance pieces to be collectively performed as Returning
  • Nutrition: Mac 'n' cheese done healthy
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern probes questions
  • The Buzz
  • The hottest hair for 2009: dress up your tresses
  • The Starving Student Report: brief reviews of local eateries

Cross Country

  • Host Spartans finish second in conference women's race, eighth in men's


  • Football Gameday: Case vs. Carnegie Mellon
  • Ground game carries Spartans to 8-0


  • Spartans outplay, but can't outlast Emory and stay winless in UAA
  • Spartans secure winning season; team regionally ranked

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Jenna Yaney

Worst Case Scenario

  • The stalker's futility
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