Re: Amendment 1 | Letters to the Editor | Indy Week
Pin It

Re: Amendment 1 

The statute placing Amendment 1 on the ballot, and the amendment itself, both violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution guarantees that "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion." This prohibition applies to the states as well as Congress. In evaluating whether a law establishes religion, courts require that the law has a "secular purpose," that its "primary effect" "neither advances nor inhibits religion," and that it does not cause "excessive entanglement" of government and religion.

Proponents of Amendment 1 have offered nothing but religious justifications for the amendment and no valid secular purpose. Some legislators are on record as justifying the amendment based on the religious arguments. Even if they could convince anyone that the amendment's primary purpose is secular, it is also clear that the amendment's primary effect is to both advance and inhibit religion: It advances conservative Christian beliefs by codifying those Christians' definition of marriage, while it inhibits the free exercise of others' religions by denying churches that believe in marrying same-sex couples the opportunity to do so in legally recognized fashion. And what could more excessively entangle government with religion than adopting and elevating one religious group's definition of marriage and imposing it on everyone else?

The Iowa Supreme Court is, as yet, the only court to use Establishment Clause analysis to overturn a same-sex marriage ban, in Varnum v. Brien. Equal-protection arguments are strong and important, but anti-amendment lawyers should also sharpen their First Amendment arguments if this deplorable amendment passes.

Stephen Rawson
Durham

Latest in Letters to the Editor

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Letters to the Editor



Twitter Activity

Comments

in regard to the abortion law under consideration - can we assume these wise white men will see to it …

by jej on Back talk (Letters to the Editor)

When you pull tongue-in-cheek comments out of context of the original thread, it'd be nice if you had the courtesy …

by Heath Satow on Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

Most Read

  1. The Dark Side of the Funny Business (Letters to the Editor)

Most Recent Comments

in regard to the abortion law under consideration - can we assume these wise white men will see to it …

by jej on Back talk (Letters to the Editor)

When you pull tongue-in-cheek comments out of context of the original thread, it'd be nice if you had the courtesy …

by Heath Satow on Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

Thanks for pulling my quote out without noting that the comment was made tongue-in-cheek. A bit creepy when you pull …

by Heath Satow on Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

was the misogony stuff actually some type of performance art?

by sthomper on Mob Rule (Letters to the Editor)

Ryan Plankenhorn appears to have good intentions with his remarks, and it is much appreciated. I would kindly like him …

by MelissaJ123 on Blind Attack (Letters to the Editor)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation