I don’t really care about this ruling vis a vis gay marriage as much as two other interesting points it brings up
(Courier-Journal) In a ruling that could open the door to gay marriage in Kentucky, a federal judge has struck down the state’s ban on recognizing same-sex unions performed in states where it is legal.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled Wednesday that Kentucky’s prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law by treating gays and lesbians “differently in a way that demeans them.”
Ruling in a suit brought by four gay and lesbian couples and their children, Heyburn said that, while “religious beliefs … are vital to the fabric of society … assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons.”
Heyburn’s decision strikes down part of Kentucky’s marriage amendment, enacted in 2004 by 74 percent of the voters, which says “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky.”
Now, we could probably continue on with a discussion on the merits of what Judge Heyburn declared, in effect flushing the votes of 74% of Kentucky residents down the toilet, dismissing the 1st Amendment along religious liberty lines, and other notions. But, let’s consider some other issue, first with the 14th Amendment, which is the “equal protection clause” (the 5th amendment is also an equal protections amendment, however, that deals more with criminal behavior) Heyburn cites
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. 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.
At the heart of the ruling, this is about affording gays who have been legally married in other states the same recognition if they move to Kentucky (an interesting thought is “why did the gay married couples move to a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage in the first place?” ). Since they were afforded that right in another state, the judge says they should have the same right in Kentucky. Let’s consider, while this might be bad for gay marriage opponents, and even the judge notes that this opens the door to full gay marriage for all in Kentucky, it can also mean that other states MUST recognize …. gun rights. If you have obtained a concealed carry permit in Kentucky, if you move to, say, New York, they have to recognize that right. If Kentucky allows you to own a Bushmaster with a 30 round magazine, California must allow you to own it if you move their. If you have a Walther P99 with a 15 round magazine, Washington D. C. must allow ownership.
This may also have implications for simply visiting or passing through a state. Traveling to New York for a fishing trip? They must allow you gun that doesn’t comply with their law, but complies with your own state laws. Driving through D.C.? Same thing.
Let’s also consider that this applies to Obamacare. Regardless of his add-ons, Obamacare is treating different entities/individuals differently under the law. Some groups and companies are given waivers, while others aren’t. The employer mandate for all is extended out to 2015, the individual mandate isn’t. Companies with 50-99 employees have the employer mandate extended to 2017, those with more are not getting the same benefit. Individuals/small businesses are treated differently in different areas of the country. Young people are penalized for being young. Healthy people are penalized for being healthy. People are charged different rates on the federally run exchange than those in other states and counties. Some people get subsidies, others don’t.
Furthermore, Obamacare was supposedly an attempt to help the minority of US citizens without health insurance, but, in passing the legislation, it created negative effects on those with insurance, essentially penalizing them, violating the 5th and 14th Amendments. For a more detailed, legalistic view of this, please read this post.
Many have wondered why Republicans haven’t gone after Obamacare due to its equal protection violations. Judge Heyburn just opened that door. We should use it.
And don’t forget about your gun rights.