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Voice of the people

Jul. 10, 2013 @ 11:10 PM

1951 movie is still relevant to today

On Sunday, June 23, I decided to watch an old movie not seen for years. After 92 minutes, I started to think about our planet.

Governments around Planet Earth reflect the problem shown in the movie made in 1951 and renewed in 1979.

We have traveled out into space. Are there life forms beyond our knowledge or beliefs?

If we do not change, I believe they may come to show us a new way to live together.

Find this movie: "The Day The Earth Stood Still."

Don Watts

Huntington

Court could OK same-sex marriage

The Supreme Court has "spoken" in two cases involving same-sex marriage. In the first case, DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act (which defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman), was challenged by the survivor of a same-sex marriage performed in a state that had legalized such marriages. The court could have (and should have) found DOMA unconstitutional because Congress is without power to define marriage. It chose instead to find that DOMA violates the 14th Amendment by denying equal protection of the law to the rights of legally married same-sex couples. By necessary implication, these rights spring from the state's legalization of same-sex marriage.

In the second case, citizens of California appealed a decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which declared that a recently adopted amendment to the California Constitution (defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman) violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

This is the identical issue decided in the DOMA case. Since California has not legalized same-sex marriage, the rationale by which the Supreme Court overturned DOMA would require it to overturn the 9th Circuit decision. The court creatively avoided the issue, dismissing the appeal on the pretext that citizens of California lack standing to appeal the decision, because they were not "hurt" by the decision. The Circuit Court's decision stands, but it applies only to California. Other states are not precluded from defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

But proponents of same-sex marriage will continue to urge state legislatures to redefine marriage. And we may expect the Supreme Court to eventually follow the lead of the 9th Circuit and creatively construe the 14th Amendment as establishing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Lawrence L. Pauley

Huntington

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