Lavender becomes us
October 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm PZ Myers
Minnesota Atheists are highlighted in Lavender magazine. The reason? Gays and atheists often find themselves fighting on the same side in battles against the Religious Righteous, and Minnesota Atheists recently filed a friend of the court brief in a pending argument against the odious “Defense of Marriage Act”.
The amicus brief filed by Minnesota Atheists supports the couples in their effort to get rid of the law and argues the unconstitutionality of DOMA, noting the law’s theological basis.
The Minnesota State Constitution, with clauses guaranteeing freedom of conscious and freedom of religion, and the U.S. Constitution, which establishes freedom of religion in the First Amendment and equal protection for all in the Fourteenth Amendment, are violated by DOMA, according to the brief.
Berkshire said the religious roots of the law are grounded in “conservative Christian” views and leave those who have differing beliefs out in the cold.
“[DOMA is] a religious law that’s not just a difference of opinion,” Berkshire said. “It’s a religious law that’s harming people.” The amicus brief gives several sectarian arguments why same-sex marriage is considered unacceptable by some religious institutions, but says there is no secular reason to bar same-sex couples from opportunities given to heterosexual couples.
There those atheists go, making the world more tolerant and wiser one step at a time.
Minnesotans are certainly free to be conscious and to practice their religion. Practicing religion while unconscious is apparently not specifically protected in the Minnesota State Constitution, although perhaps it's incorporated in a penumbra.
The "religious roots of the law" are just the sovereignty of the citizens of Minnesota, a process colloquially known as "democracy". People vote their conscience. Democracy is circumvented when ideologues use the courts, rather than the legislature, to make law. Rule by judges is oligarchy, not democracy.
Traditional law regarding marriage-- that it is intrinsically heterosexual-- obviously isn't a violation of the rights of gays, who share exactly the same rights as all Americans. Those would be the right to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, freedom from unlawful search and seizure, etc. The prerogative to marry anyone you want has never been a right, much to the disappointment of polygamists, pet owners, and pederasts. Law governs marriage, and marriage-without-borders has never and nowhere been law.
The right of citizens of Minnesota-- gay or straight-- to vote in accordance with their beliefs-- religious or irreligious-- is protected by the Constitution. As long as Minnesotans remain conscious.