A restrained judge ejects gay marriage from the courts

I was very surprised this morning to read about a judge who held (correctly) I think, that gay marriage is not a matter for judges, but for the people’s representatives (who, unlike judges and European politicians, are actually beholden to their constituents):

New York’s highest court ruled Thursday that gay marriage is not allowed under state law, rejecting arguments by same-sex couples who said the law violates their constitutional rights.

The Court of Appeals in a 4-2 decision said New York’s marriage law is constitutional and clearly limits marriage to between a man and a woman. Any change in the law should come from the state Legislature, Judge Robert Smith wrote.

“We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives,” Smith wrote.

Gay marriage may or may not happen ultimately in America, but it certainly is not the type of sea-change in a society that judges should be deciding.

Incidentally, the article had a tidbit of information that surprised me.  It turns out that Rosie O’Donnell’s brother was one of the plaintiffs since he too is gay.  This supports the idea that being gay has a genetic component.  (And I know that gays are theoretically less likely to reproduce, so the gene ought to have died out, but the fact is that, for a variety of reasons gays have, at all times, had children — especially women, who often haven’t been in the position to refuse sex.)  There are also indications that homosexuality is a result of hormones in utero (which explains certain very, very young boys I know who are markedly effeminate).  This “biology is destiny” component to homosexuality needs more attention — from scientists without an axe to grind — and the results should seriously be considered as part of a national debate on the subject of gay marriage.

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  • Kevin

    “This supports the idea that being gay has a genetic component…There are also indications that homosexuality is a result of hormones in utero.”

    Bailey and Pillard (1991): occurrence of homosexuality among brothers
    52% of identical (monozygotic) twins of homosexual men were likewise homosexual
    22% of fraternal (dizygotic) twins were likewise homosexual
    11% of adoptive brothers of homosexual men were likewise homosexual
    J.M. Bailey and R.C. Pillard, “A genetic study of male sexual orientation,” Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 48:1089-1096, December 1991.

    Bailey and Pillard (1993): occurrence of homosexuality among sisters
    48% of identical (monozygotic) twins of homosexual women were likewise homosexual (lesbian)
    16% of fraternal (dizygotic) twins were likewise homosexual
    6% of adoptive sisters of homosexual women were likewise homosexual
    Bailey, J. M. and D. S. Benishay (1993), “Familial Aggregation of Female Sexual Orientation,” American Journal of Psychiatry 150(2): 272-277.

    It seems that a Mendelian gene would yield 100% homosexuality in identical twins so I tend to disbelieve the genetic argument but I do see where the hormones in utero may provide some insight as identical twins do have different fingerprints (i.e. different surroundings within the same womb results in different fingerprints.) I also believe there is probably some choice involved as well since not all homosexual men exhibit an effeminate nature nor do all homosexual women exhibit a masculine nature.

  • Marguerite

    For an unusually clear and balanced treatment of this contentious issue read ‘Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth’ by Jeffrey Satinover, M.D. Although published in 1996 it is still the best I’ve read.

  • Trish Olsen

    BW, I have come to believe people are “gay” for different reasons — primarily because 1) they were BORN that way 2) they have psychological problems that have caused it 3) they have simply CHOSEN it. When I was actively singing, I worked with gays all around me and I truly believe “most” of them came from catorgories 2 or 3. It is sad because no matter how far we’ve come as a society, homosexuals are still considered outcasts — which, especially if they were born that way, is not fair or deserved.

  • Kyle

    I agree with you. I do believe many are born gay, as well I believe many choose or pretend to be gay just as many gays live and pretend to be straight. I think that very little attention is given to those gays and lesbians in committed loving relationships that give much back to the community. So much attention is placed on the perverts and immoral individuals. There are both in every group.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    but for the people’s representatives (who, unlike judges and European politicians, are actually beholden to their constituents):

    But isn’t that Mob Rule, Bookworm? As a lawyer, why are you on the side of popularism, doesn’t the rule of law matter?

    This supports the idea that being gay has a genetic component.

    This also supports the thesis that being gay is environment influenced, given that families travel in the same circles and are exposed to much of the same stimuli early in life.

    This “biology is destiny” component to homosexuality needs more attention — from scientists without an axe to grind — and the results should seriously be considered as part of a national debate on the subject of gay marriage.

    As far as I know, it seems that for men, gayness is derived from lacking the right triggers to finding childlike features to be attractive. Meaning, women have been self-selecting for certain traits that are similar to children’s traits. Lack of hair, a face that will automatically incite a feeling of protectiveness by men, and so forth. I can tell a female face from a male one just by looking at the features. Genetically, the face structure of males have not changed all that much. Sloped browed and hard jaw line, with a lot of hair, and a caveman you will have. Although the hair on the headdoes make a slight difference in ease of analysis between a male and female face. The males always have a bit of a slopped brows, with certain cheek, chin, and jaw structures.

    If a man finds a man attractive, obviously it is because he doesn’t find female form and faces attractive. The weird thing is, this trait in men is also related to let’s say, the trait for sexual interest in children. Men who favor boys, young boys. Homosexuals who favor men who are effiminate or more suitable for the submissive role in a relationship, produces some weird results.

    Lesbians, have a problem with the male form, in that it is too hard. They seem to prefer softer bodies. Less muscled forms, less masculine forms. This also is genetically weird, in that women tended to want to find strong father figures for their children. So what’s up with the genetics that find soft bodies and women to be pleasurable and attractive in a sexual way? Seems to be a little bit of miswiring going on here.

    In a way it is worse for men, because they can have both sets of miswiring in their genetic makeup. A man could find boys to be attractive, but not older manly boys, but younger boys with childlike features. It’s like having two recessives.

    If a man didn’t find child like qualities in a woman attractive, then theoretically he could be attracted to bigger boned and stronger women. Women who are built athletically perhaps, he need not go for the man on man action.

    The thing about neoteny, women having child like features, is described here in a replicated David Brin post, on my blog.

    http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/2006/09/david-brin-and-human-evolution.html