3 votes
Jun 3, 2015

In the letters LGBT, I'm G.
I want our community to get equal rights. But I have spent a whole lot of the last 22-23 years studying how the US Supreme Court has been interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment, and I arrived at the decision a long time ago that I only want us to get equal rights by the voters and/or legislatures creating the new laws that give us equality. The Fourteenth Amendment was not intended to give us equal rights. I know that the Equal Protection Clause could possibly be interpreted that way, but I am certain that this was not the intent. I feel so passionately about this that when I was on one website about nine years ago, when I saw a gay man say that he wants the US Supreme Court to declare that gay people like him (and me) to have the equal right to adopt children, I responded that "I am not ashamed of being gay, but I am ashamed of the gay community."

The Equal Protection Clause was only intended to ban racial discrimination. There is no other known purpose than that. When I've said this on other sites, I often get responses that the EP Clause does not mention race. The way I ought to respond every single time is that the Clause also does not mention anything about "minorities," "bigotry," "prejudice," or "xenophobia" either. The words of the Fourteenth Amendment tell us so little. It can be so easy to use those words for your own political goals, which is a big mistake. The US Supreme Court has far too often made the mistake of putting their own political views into the words of the Fourteenth.

Eighty-four years ago, the great SC Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote the following in a dissenting opinion: "I have not yet adequately expressed the more than anxiety that I feel at the ever increasing scope given to the Fourteenth Amendment in cutting down what I believe to be the constitutional rights of the states. As the decisions now stand, I see hardly any limit but the sky to the invalidating of those rights if they happen to strike a majority of this Court as for any reason undesirable. I cannot believe that the Amendment was intended to give us carte blanche to embody our economic or moral beliefs in its prohibitions. ... [W]e ought to remember the great caution shown by the Constitution in limiting the power of the states, and should be slow to construe the clause in the Fourteenth Amendment as committing to the Court, with no guide but the Court's own discretion, the validity of whatever laws the states may pass."

The Court's rulings are still giving me that same anxiety. I want to celebrate victories at the ballot box and in the legislatures, not when courts render decisions that clearly were not intended.

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