A Couple Of Legal Issues

 Same sex marriage is in the news.  I seldom write about marriage because, to be honest, I’m not very good at it. Of course, those who have failed or even some who have never been married may still choose to lecture couples who are enjoying successful relationships.   

Here’s a tell – the loudest, angriest defenders of traditional marriage are the unhappiest people you will ever meet. 

Traditional Marriage.  Biblical Marriage.  Holy.  A man and a woman, and her maid, and another woman (perhaps the sister of the first woman), and her maid, and maybe another woman or two.  You know, MARRIAGE. 

Personally, I am sick of the hypocrisy.  I’m tired and bored with the conversation.  There are two distinctly different, sometimes competing, components to marriage.  One part is spiritual.  The other part of marriage is legal, i.e. property rights, taxes, and responsibility. 

Churches, synagogues, mosques, etc… control and define the spiritual meaning of marriage.  Each religion has the right to decide whether the couple getting married meets the criteria of the faith.  The Catholic Church gets to determine whether the union of a Catholic and a Jew, a Catholic and a Methodist, or even two civilly divorced Catholics should be recognized by the Church.  My friend the Orthodox Rabbi is in no rush to preside at the wedding of a Jewish guy to a Christian girl.  And there are still churches in this country where a mixed race couple might not be welcome. 

But all of those couple may choose to be legally married.  The tax deduction for married couples, the ability to pass along assets to a surviving spouse, or even the right to visit a loved one in the hospital should not be decided by Sharia Law, the Pope, or even a local Rabbi. 

By the way, my friend the Rabbi is adamantly anti-pork.  Never had it.  Never will.  Pork is specifically forbidden in the Bible.  But he doesn’t want to make pork illegal.  He sincerely hopes that his non-Jewish friends enjoy their ham sandwiches.  He is far more concerned about those who would use religion, selectively enforced, as a weapon. 


 Is George Zimmerman guilty of second degree murder?  Is he guilty of manslaughter?  I have an opinion.  So do you.  But, just for a moment, let’s jump forward. 

Let’s suppose that the jury decides that Trayvon Martin had George Zimmerman pinned on his back.  And we will even suppose that Trayvon some how noticed George’s gun, the gun in the special concealed weapon holster.  The holster that sat below his waistband and kept the gun “concealed” in the small of his back.  But Trayvon still saw the gun and reached for it.  Yes, we will assume, for a moment, that the jury acquits George Zimmerman of all charges and sets him free. 

What’s next?  George Zimmerman, wannabe cop, licensed to carry a concealed weapon, returns to the neighborhood watch.  How safe do you feel?

4 thoughts on “A Couple Of Legal Issues

  1. Besides the spiritual and legal aspects of marriage, there’s the personal. Honestly if you had asked me what the two aspects of marriage are, I would have said that instead of spiritual – but I also know that most folks are more spiritual than I am.

    My father, for example, has been cohabitating with Yvonne for longer than I can remember. They have eschewed marriage for legal reasons. But their personal bond is as close as any couple whose years together have turned to decades – gay couples, married couples, any couple. Thankfully, nobody but them can legislate or legitimize that.

  2. As to your take on same sex marriage, I whole-heartedly agree. As to your take on the Zimmerman fiasco, you are missing the point and so did the State of Florida and probably most other states confronted with the same old problem. Forget about the facts – if it has anything to do with black and white, we must make it about race and must certainly indict a man without the sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Was Zimmerman profiling in the neighborhood and did he seek out Trayvon Martin? Most likely. Do we know what happened after the initial confrontation? Most assuredly not. A tragedy to be sure and to lose a child is the coldest cut of all. But let’s not forget the legal and ethical duties of a prosecutor. Is it to represent their jurisdiction and enforce laws to their fullest extent? No – the legal duties of a prosecutor are to assure that justice is served and ethically they must have sufficient evidence to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to the trier of fact. Good luck with that one. Some wish to blame our criminal justice system. It’s not about the lawyers or the judges or the system itself. It’s about juries who do not understand the concept of reasonable doubt, and certainly have no concept of circumstantial evidence. Remember O.J.?? Remember Casey Anthony?? Both guilty and both acquitted by misguided, ridiculously unintelligent men and women of the jury. Who should we blame? The whites? The blacks? George Zimmerman??

  3. Now the Judge has decided that since the prosecution has surely not proven 2nd degree murder, let’s have a try at manslaughter. Only problem is that manslaughter is an unintentional act and Zimmerman admittedly acted intentionally. It has been argued as a purely self-defense case by defense counsel. This is why public outcry, pressure and opinion should never be a substitute for evidence. You either have it or you don’t…

  4. These are two LEGAL issues. In both cases we find the need to seperate the legal from the emotional. Oddly enough, many of us who want to strictly apply the law or the Constitution to one of these two issues would run on gut reaction to the other.

    I was hoping that some of my attorney readers would contribute to the conversation. Thanks for your input, Jack.

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