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Thread: States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

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    States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

    It should be obvious that the bans on gay marriage, whether enacted by voting or legislation, singled out homosexuals. Though supporters of these bans have claimed that gays should have settled for "civil union", the reality is that some of these amendments also banned civil unions with gays in them. That said, people have claimed that the recent Obergefell ruling was unconstitutional. Which leads me to present this question:

    Does the constitution give states the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation?

    I have provided two answers to this:

    A) Yes.
    B) No.

    The reason for this is clear. If you believe that these bans were constitutional, then states do have the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation. If you don't believe they were, then it's clear that states don't. There are no maybe's and others in most of my polls. They assume you understand the topic enough to make a decision based on what you know.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

    States and the people have the power to define marriage as a civil union between a man and a woman. Your question is biased because that is not discrimination, it is the free exercise of a state's given power to regulate society and the people's voice through the polls to define marriage. Now if a state actively prevents and refuses to recognize a civil union between same sex couples then yes that state discriminates.
    The question is more important than the answer!

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    Re: States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

    Quote Originally Posted by Disputatious71 View Post
    States and the people have the power to define marriage as a civil union between a man and a woman.
    #1. My question didn't ask whether states have the power to define marriage.
    #2. My question asked whether the constitution gave them the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

    Your question is biased because that is not discrimination, it is the free exercise of a state's given power to regulate society and the people's voice through the polls to define marriage.
    Explicitly excluding a group out of certain benefits/rights/privileges through "free exercise of a states given powers to regulate society and the voice through the polls" and discrimination are not mutually exclusive terms. There is no bias.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

    The answer is yes, that is not an opinion but a fact. In fact under the constitution the states have to power to discriminate against any group. However there are several federal laws that create protected classes.

    The question shouldnt be are states able to under the constitution because of course they are otherwise we wouldnt need all those protected class laws all the time. The poll question should have been, should sexual orientation be a protected class?

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    Re: States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

    Quote Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
    The answer is yes, that is not an opinion but a fact. In fact under the constitution the states have to power to discriminate against any group.
    This is quite the interesting argument. Which specific amendment/article is it based on?

    The question shouldnt be are states able to under the constitution because of course they are otherwise we wouldnt need all those protected class laws all the time. The poll question should have been, should sexual orientation be a protected class?
    The question wasn't are states able to under the constitution, the question asks whether the constitution grants them the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation. There is a very big difference between what you stated and what I asked. Being able to under the constitution would implies that the constitution allows them to do so even if the wording isn't necessarily there. My question asks for a specific part of the constitution which gives states the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    This is quite the interesting argument. Which specific amendment/article is it based on?



    The question wasn't are states able to under the constitution, the question asks whether the constitution grants them the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation. There is a very big difference between what you stated and what I asked. Being able to under the constitution would implies that the constitution allows them to do so even if the wording isn't necessarily there. My question asks for a specific part of the constitution which gives states the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation.
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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    Re: States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

    Quote Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
    I don't think that amendment was meant to provide a carte blanche for a majority to simply deny a minority a right/privilege/benefit through a vote.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    I don't think that amendment was meant to provide a carte blanche for a majority to simply deny a minority a right/privilege/benefit through a vote.
    Sure it was, not specifically of course, but the founders certainly knew that was covered under it. Just take a look at how weak the bill of rights was until the supreme court decided that the 14th amendment incorporated them. The 10th amendment was intended to give the states a large amount of autonomy, something that has been almost completely eradicated now to the point where people can't even fathom that it ever existed like that. The states had a large power to deny a lot of rights and privileges and many did so, its pretty clear looking at old state laws and SCOTUS decisions about them.

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    Re: States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

    Quote Originally Posted by Disputatious71 View Post
    States and the people have the power to define marriage as a civil union between a man and a woman. Your question is biased because that is not discrimination, it is the free exercise of a state's given power to regulate society and the people's voice through the polls to define marriage. Now if a state actively prevents and refuses to recognize a civil union between same sex couples then yes that state discriminates.
    If that same state used its "free exercise of given power to regulate society" to ban YOU from getting married, would that be fine? Can they ban Christians from marrying or owning property? Marriage is a right of the citizens, not the state, and they do not have the power to deny it to minority groups they find icky. (See Supreme Court decision)
    "If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life - and only then will I be free to become myself." ~ Martin Heidegger

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    Re: States and the power to discriminate based on sexual orientation

    Quote Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
    Sure it was, not specifically of course, but the founders certainly knew that was covered under it. Just take a look at how weak the bill of rights was until the supreme court decided that the 14th amendment incorporated them. The 10th amendment was intended to give the states a large amount of autonomy, something that has been almost completely eradicated now to the point where people can't even fathom that it ever existed like that. The states had a large power to deny a lot of rights and privileges and many did so, its pretty clear looking at old state laws and SCOTUS decisions about them.
    I think it's Fed10 that actually advocates against exactly what you're proposing. I don't question that states have a large degree of autonomy. However, it seems kind of contradictory to create a document which would be focused on protecting the rights and privileges of an individual, while allowing a majority the possibility to take them away based on whatever cultural, social or religious whim the majority might endorse at that point in history. Do you agree?
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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