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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 18, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 47
Trump: Marriage equality is 'settled'

Why that's not good enough
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Trump: Marriage equality is 'settled'

Why that's not good enough

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Marriage equality is a 'settled' issue, Donald Trump said on CBS's '60 Minutes' on November 13, and he would not want his Supreme Court appointees to overturn it.

Asked by reporter Leslie Stahl whether the justices he appointed would be opposed to the high court's Obergefell ruling, which legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, Trump replied 'It's irrelevant. Because it was already settled. It's law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it's done.'

While that sounds good, the fact is that Trump said during his presidential campaign that he would, indeed, appoint judges who would overturn Obergefell. 'I'm a traditional guy,' he explained.

Even if he has evolved and now recognizes the right of Lesbian and Gay couples to marry, the right to marriage by itself does not guarantee full equality to Lesbian and Gay couples.

Trump supports the so-called 'First Amendment Defense Act' (FADA), a Republican-backed federal bill that would undermine same-sex marriages, even if they remain legal.

FADA provides that the federal government 'shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.'

The bill defines 'person' to include for-profit companies, and 'discriminatory action' to include 'revocation of tax-exempt status, grants, loans, benefits, or employment.'

In other words, FADA would blast a huge hole in the 14th Amendment equal protection and due process clauses that, according to the Supreme Court, protect same-sex couples.

Simply on the basis of a claimed 'religious belief or moral conviction,' anyone - including businesses that provide public accommodations - could deny services. Presumably that could include hospitals, insurance providers, judges, county clerks, or even a doctor who might refuse to treat one partner of a same-sex couple.

And they could do so simply on their own say-so, without any oversight whatsoever, just on the assertion that their religious convictions were involved.

No marriage - same-sex or opposite-sex - is sustainable if the couple can't access the same goods and services that are available to everyone else.

Even if Trump really does believe that the right for Lesbian and Gay couples to marry is settled law, as he told '60 Minutes', that's still not enough to give same-sex couples real equality with their opposite-sex neighbors.

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Trump: Marriage equality is 'settled'

Why that's not good enough

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