Sunday, August 09, 2015

Governor Kasich was Mealy-Mouthed and Missed an Opportunity to Defend Ohio's Constitution on the Marriage Amendment

Governor Kasich is getting a lot of attention for his stance on gay marriage during the primary debate (video).

But earlier this year, before the Supreme Court's decision on the Ohio's Marriage Amendment as it related to the Ohio-initiated Obergefell v. Hodges case, he failed to make the case on behalf of the people of Ohio.

In the April 18, 2015 CNN interview with Sara Murray he was asked about his position on gay marriage and his decision to attend a wedding of a close gay friend (Video starting at 0:35):

Sarra Murray: "...So what brought you to that decision even though you are opposed to gay marriage?"

Governor Kasich: "...It's pretty simple for me.  I don't need to be making big statements about any of this.  I'm not going to change my position on it.   We'll see what the court does. But, it's pretty simple.  I care about him, he cares about me. He invited me to something.  I'm going to go do it.  It's not that complicated..."  
When it mattered most, Governor Kasich was mealy-mouthed on the democratically arrived at public policy of the state he governs.

As the highest elected official of the state, the issue was not solely about how he privately felt, but about how Ohio's decision to economically subsidize relationships that resulted in new citizens for the state.

Consistent with his position, Kasich should have said something like:

 'I've carefully read Judge Sutton's decision from the 6th Circuit that the Supreme Court is now reviewing.   The opinion exactly captures the intent of my fellow citizens in Ohio when we voted for a change to our constitution in 2004.  The justices of the Supreme Court should look at Judge Sutton's sound legal reasoning and respect the democratic will of Ohioans when he states':
...One starts from the premise that governments got into the business of defining marriage, and remain in the business of defining marriage, not to regulate love but to regulate sex, most especially the intended and unintended effects of male-female intercourse. Imagine a society without marriage. It does not take long to envision problems that might result from an absence of rules about how to handle the natural effects of male-female intercourse: children. May men and women follow their procreative urges wherever they take them? Who is responsible for the children that result? How many mates may an individual have? How does one decide which set of mates is responsible for which set of children? That we rarely think about these questions nowadays shows only how far we have come and how relatively stable our society is, not that States have no explanation for creating such rules in the first place.

Once one accepts a need to establish such ground rules, and most especially a need to create stable family units for the planned and unplanned creation of children, one can well appreciate why the citizenry would think that a reasonable first concern of any society is the need to regulate male-female relationships and the unique procreative possibilities of them. One way to pursue this objective is to encourage couples to enter lasting relationships through subsidies and other benefits and to discourage them from ending such relationships through these and other means. People may not need the government’s encouragement to have sex. And they may not need the government’s encouragement to propagate the species. But they may well need the government’s encouragement to create and maintain stable relationships within which children may flourish. It is not society’s laws or for that matter any one religion’s laws, but nature’s laws (that men and women complement each other biologically), that created the policy imperative. And governments typically are not second-guessed under the Constitution for prioritizing how they tackle such issues. Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471, 486–87 (1970)...
...What we are left with is this: By creating a status (marriage) and by subsidizing it (e.g., with tax-filing privileges and deductions), the States created an incentive for two people who procreate together to stay together for purposes of rearing offspring. That does not convict the States of irrationality, only of awareness of the biological reality that couples of the same sex do not have children in the same way as couples of opposite sexes and that couples of the same sex do not run the risk of unintended offspring. That explanation, still relevant today, suffices to allow the States to retain authority over an issue they have regulated from the beginning...

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