Same Sex Marriage

Same Sex Marriage

Edwin T. Scott Jr.

My fellow Americans and honored guests of America, young scholars and elders, I come before you today to speak of a great threat to the very fabric of our nation. Here within the walls of this institution of higher learning we take upon ourselves the responsibility of education, the purpose of which is the elevation of the human mind to a level that embraces freedom-freedom of thought, of reasoning, and conscious so that we might understand the broader portrait of life.

The founding fathers understood the Social Contract that John Locke subscribed the construction of governments to…the responsibility of governments instituted by the people to insure “life, liberty, and ownership of property”[1]. IN forging their great contract with this nation OUR founding fathers declared that contract to include the responsibility of the government to insure the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They also recognized the civic responsibility of the people to hold government accountable to that contract and in so doing they instituted the Constitution of the United States as an instrument of that accounting.

The Constitution is the most powerful and influential document in recorded history. It is living, growing and adapting through its various institutions even today. I am curious how many of you have served in public service and were required to take the oath of Allegiance to the Constitution. I have been in public service, law enforcement, security, and the military for nearly two decades. I am a Notary Public for the State of Texas and have the authority to administer Oaths and I myself have taken this oath on many occasions and it goes something like this…”I [state your name]do solemnly swear/or affirm that I will execute the duties of the office of [whatever position]and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States and the State of Texas, against all enemies both foreign and domestic, so help me God.”[2] My oath is a responsibility I take very seriously. It is my part of the Great Social Contract.

Now before me lies a great travesty, one that threatens to tear my beloved Constitution apart, the issue of Same Sex Marriage. For many Americans the issue of same sex marriage is a very emotional. They deem homosexuality as morally offensive and a degradation of our society, an affront to their religious beliefs. But these same well-meaning people have founded their positions upon a lack of proper discourse and academic understanding of the issues.

Many Christians would be surprised to learn that in History, Gays and Lesbians were regarded with equal standing and in some societies even men of revered status were owing to their impulses of sexual deviation. From the time before the first great civilization-the Assyrians to the Hebrew peoples of the Bible, the Egyptians, the Greeks, and extending to Roman Empire it was custom, indeed law that a war-faring people who were conquered were thus enslaved and often their men and women were raped and enjoined to the estates of the conquerors. This practice is well documented in historical texts, biographies and the HOLY BIBLE itself. It was acceptable to their societies despite any standard of religious philosophy.

Likewise the very foundation of the fundamentalist beliefs, include a history of multiple sexual partner relations, multiple marriage, and even same sex expressions of public affection. We know that the patriarchs of the old testament had multiple or Polygynous relationships-Adam had children by his own children and his children had children by each other, Lamech chose three wives, Jacob who was later named Israel had children by his two wives, sisters no less, and their two maidservants, King David had many wives and King Solomon had over 700 royal wives and concubines. Even Moses who gave the Hebrews the Ten Commandments from God had two wives, one a Hebrew wife and one an Egyptian wife.[3] God did not punish them for sexually immorality, for “committing adultery” or “fornication” as the fundamentalist today would him to.

In 1964, in Saqqarah, Egypt in Archaeologist discovered the tomb of a same sex couple named Niankhknum and Knumhotep that dated back to the Fifth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt which goes back about 4,000 years BC. This is important because generally only royalty or persons of wealth were buried in necropolis tombs. This same sex couple must have been very revered in their society.

They wrongly presume an almost militant stance in defense of their Christian values, yet they fail to perceive the threats to their own liberty that such a stance would enjoin. I ask that you bear with me as I take you through these issues and demonstrate to you the misconception and misgivings of an otherwise democratic people.

Perhaps one of the greatest American Orators of the twentieth century, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stated in his “I Have a Dream” speech, that “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable rights” of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.”[4] Likewise America has defaulted on its promissory note to the gay man and lesbian woman today.

In 1996 the Federal Government passed the “Defense of Marriage Act” or DOMA, and was signed by then President William Jefferson Clinton into law which allows that each state may recognize or deny any marriage-like relationship between persons of the same sex which has been recognized in another state. It also recognizes for the purpose of federal law that marriage is “a legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife” and further states that the term spouse “refers to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife.”[5]

This act effectively nullifies the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution which states that “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.”[6] Furthermore, it denies benefits and privileges to many unmarried citizens who are either cohabitating for convenience of moral conscious in lieu of marriage, which violates the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Constitution which states “The citizens of each state shall enjoy the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several states.”[7]

This law is the basis for many states enacting state “Defense of Marriage Acts” including Section 6.204 of the Texas Family Code, enacted by the legislature in 2003 which reads:

§ Section 6.204 RECOGNITION OF SAME SEX MARRIAGE OR CIVIL UNION

(a)    In this section, “civil union” means any relationship status other than marriage that:

(1)   is intented as an alternative to marriage or applies primarily to cohabitating persons; and

(2)   grants to the parties of the relationship legal protections, benefits, or responsibilities granted to the spouses of a marriage.

(b)   A marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union is contrary to the public policy of this state and is void in this state.

(c)    The state or any agency or political subdivision of the state may not give effect to a:

(1)   public act, record, or judicial proceeding that creates, recognizes, or validates a marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union in this state or in any other; or

(2)   right or claim to any legal protection, benefit, or responsibility asserted as a result of a marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union in this state or in any other jurisdiction.

These laws apply not only to the same sex couple but also the single heterosexual parent, the elderly pensioner, and the unmarried couple cohabitating together before or without the consideration of marriage. Therein lies their danger to every Americans liberty. And if the coffers of injustice have not been yet filled then legislature would seek to run them over with proposed amendments to our Great Contract and the individual contracts of the states with their peoples to further restrict and nullify the portions of those documents that offend the moral conscious of the fundamentalist.

As a result of states that have recognized same sex marriage and civil unions, among which are the States of Massachussets, Vermont, Hawaii, and independent jurisdictions in California, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York[8] the federal government has twice tried to enact the Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution that would define marriage as:

“1. Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. 2. Neither this constitution of the constitutions of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status of the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.”[9]

Another major problem these law is that they also violate the fourteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution by restricting and denying marital benefits to couples who marry or choose to cohabitate, regardless of whether that couple are homosexual or heterosexual. The fourteen amendment states in section 1 that, “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 the property with out due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.”[10]

Scott 12

Works Cited

[1] Cal Jillison. “Governance During the Revolutionary Period.” American Government Political Change and Institutional Development 2nd Ed. (USA: Thompson Learning, Inc. 2002), 30

[2] Secretary of the State, Notary Public Unit. “Educational Materials for Notaries” (State of Texas. 2005), 8

[3] “Family Types Mentioned in the Bible” EIGHT TYPES OF MARRIAGES AND FAMILIES IN THE BIBLE, AS COMPARED TO TODAY’S PRACTICES

[4] Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream.” (Washington, D.C. Speech at the Lincoln Memorial. 28 August 1963)

[5] Wikipedia Online Encylopedia. “Defense of Marriage Act.” (26 Jun 2005) <https: of=”” marriage=”” act=””>[6] Cal Jillison. “Constitution of the United States of America, Article IV Section 1” American Government Political Change and Institutional Development 2nd Ed. (USA: Thompson Learning, Inc. 2002), Appedix C, 440

[7] Cal Jillison. “Constitution of the United States of America, Article IV Section 2” American Government Political Change and Institutional Development 2nd Ed. (USA: Thompson Learning, Inc. 2002), Appedix C, 440

[8] Wikipedia Online Encylopedia. “Same Sex Marriage in the United States.” (26 Jun 2005) <https:>[9] Wikipedia Online Encylopedia. “Federal Marriage Amendment.” (26 Jun 2005) <https:>[10] Cal Jillison. “Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment XIV Section 1” American Government Political Change and Institutional Development 2nd Ed. (USA: Thompson Learning, Inc. 2002), Appedix C, 470

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