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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 29, 2013/ 18 Nissan, 5773

Let the People Decide

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The arguments on gay marriage before the Supreme Court this week pose the most momentous questions the court has faced in the past 50 years — and perhaps in its history. At stake is the definition of an institution that has been the bedrock of civilization from time immemorial.

For at least the past 2,000 years, marriage has been defined as the union of one man and one woman in Christian cultures. But the definition has not been universal in all cultures or at all times. Islam allows polygamy. Historically, Jewish men were allowed to have more than one wife — as Abraham, Jacob, David and Solomon did — though the practice was banned among Ashkenazi Jews a thousand years ago and is not practiced today even among Sephardim. And in the American context, Mormons practiced polygamy until giving it up in order for Utah to be admitted as a state.

Nonetheless, until quite recently, all societies have insisted that marriage entail at least one male and one female. There are no exceptions by any society until the late 20th century. Now plaintiffs are arguing that the Supreme Court should declare a fundamental right grounded in the U.S. Constitution for same-sex couples to marry. I think that would be unwise.

But that does not mean I believe the court should uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples whose marriages are recognized in a handful of states. Nor does it follow that the high court should necessarily reverse lower court decisions striking down an amendment to the California constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, which voters in the state passed through popular referendum (52 percent to 48 percent).

A majority of Americans now accept same-sex marriage, as do an overwhelming majority of young Americans, by 80 percent in some recent polls. Given that the civil institution of marriage reflects the values of the society, it is hard to imagine that same-sex marriages will not become legal in many if not most states within a short time frame. If the court strikes down DOMA, as I believe it will, even those states that deny same-sex couples the right to marry in their state would be forced to grant spousal rights to couples married in other states, just as they do heterosexual couples.

As someone who believes strongly in our federalist system, in which states are the basic units of political power with only delegated power given to the federal government, I think marriage should be the provenance of the states. But I am also sympathetic to the many committed gay couples who wish to give their unions permanence and legal recognition, which brings with it both duties and rights that are critical to maintaining committed relationships. I have gay family members, friends and former colleagues who wish to marry (or have married) their long-term partners, and I respect their decisions.

But while respecting their commitments, I also recognize that this issue has moral and social ramifications, which have not been fully explored much less resolved. I think the only way to do so is through open political debate. Many Americans — faithful Catholics, Muslims, evangelical Christians and orthodox Jews — will continue to oppose gay marriage on moral grounds. But they can do so within the context of religious rites of marriage, while states decide the civil rules.

The Supreme Court would do well not to throw out 2,000 years of tradition in one fell swoop. A better — and more conservative — approach would be to recognize the right of states to determine marriage qualifications by striking down those provisions of DOMA that contradict that principle, but also to hold off on recognizing marriage as a constitutional right.

Let the states decide who can and cannot marry. If recent history is any guide, gay couples will have plenty of venues to seek legal recognition of their unions in the near future. Social mores evolve over time — but they should not be mandated by fiat by nine men and women.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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