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

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

Apparently "bro" is now considered a synonym for "any male who disagrees with us". You don't know me, my viewpoints, …

by Adam Douglas Wallace on Jordan Peterson’s Bro Minions Would Like a Word With Us (Letters to the Editor)

"While citing the fact that he's a professor and other so-called credentials"

The original article never mentioned his academic …

by Jonathan Gilman on One More Round of Jordan Peterson Comments, Plus Some People Defend Chris Brown (Letters to the Editor)

Most Recent Comments

Apparently "bro" is now considered a synonym for "any male who disagrees with us". You don't know me, my viewpoints, …

by Adam Douglas Wallace on Jordan Peterson’s Bro Minions Would Like a Word With Us (Letters to the Editor)

"While citing the fact that he's a professor and other so-called credentials"

The original article never mentioned his academic …

by Jonathan Gilman on One More Round of Jordan Peterson Comments, Plus Some People Defend Chris Brown (Letters to the Editor)

The articles about Peterson have been extremely intellectually dishonest and factually inaccurate. Filled with unsubstantiated claims of racism, mysoginy, transphobia …

by Timothy Oswald on One More Round of Jordan Peterson Comments, Plus Some People Defend Chris Brown (Letters to the Editor)

So rather than admit your Journalist was factually wrong - a claim the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) also point …

by Niall O' Sullivan on One More Round of Jordan Peterson Comments, Plus Some People Defend Chris Brown (Letters to the Editor)

Outright referring to Peterson's defenders with epithets (one of them rather sexist) is a great way to bolster his message …

by linville_2112 on Jordan Peterson’s Bro Minions Would Like a Word With Us (Letters to the Editor)

© 2018 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