Thursday, January 20, 2005

License to Carry Marry

As someone who supports the rights of same-sex couples to marry (more to the point, I support the concept of the government getting out of the marriage business altogether), I'm finding it hard to be very sympathetic to this couple's cause.

Fla. Refuses Recognition Of Gay Couple's Bay State Marriage

Judge Soundly Dismissed Lawsuit In Favor Of State Ban

POSTED: 7:18 am EST January 20, 2005

TAMPA, Fla. -- After 27 years together, Nancy Wilson and Paula Schoenwether got married last summer in Massachusetts, along with thousands of other same-sex couples who wanted their unions legalized.

Massachusetts right now is the only state that allows gay marriage, but Wilson and Schoenwether want their home state of Florida to recognize their union, too. Their attempt to get that recognition, though, was soundly rejected Wednesday when a judge dismissed their lawsuit, upholding a federal law that lets states ban same-sex marriages.

Coincidentally, Florida is the only state that will issue me a non-resident license to carry a concealed weapon on a shall-issue basis, without requiring that I be similarly licensed in my home state. All I need to do is send in the application and a check, and wait - gee, that sounds a lot like getting a marriage license. Huh.

Now, what percentage of gay marriage activists in the state of Massachusetts, or in the rest of the country for that matter, do you suppose, would rally to my defense as I try to convince Massachusetts law enforcement agencies to recognize my right to carry a concealed firearm in the Commonwealth, based on the fact that I could legally do so in Florida?* How many of them woud be marching beside me up the front steps of the Supreme Court to argue on my behalf?

Hint: it's a very, very, very small number.

In the interest of fairness and equality, I propose that anyone looking to get married in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must first be required to take a marriage safety course, be photographed, fingerprinted, subject to a criminal background check. and then made to pass a marriage proficiency test. After all of that, they must then provide on their License to Marry (LTM) application, a list of reasons for requesting such a license. Then, if the licensing authority determines they have adequately expressed a "need" to get married, a license may be issued (subject to any "common-sense" restrictions the local authorities deem appropriate).

Sound ridiculous? It should. And I don't recall reading in the Constitution anything about the right of the people to get married.

* Members of Pink Pistols excluded