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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 Oct. 18, 2004 / 3 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

Why marriage can't be left to the states

By Jeff Jacoby


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | An issue as crucial as the future of marriage in America deserved more than the three minutes CBS newsman Bob Schieffer allowed it during last week's debate between President Bush and Senator John Kerry. And it deserved a more thoughtful introduction than Schieffer's irrelevant question about whether "homosexuality is a choice." (Do we debate issues of religious liberty by first asking if "religion is a choice?")


Even so, in their brief exchange on what may turn out to be the most critical social question of the next four years, Bush and Kerry each said something significant.

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The president explained why a constitutional amendment is the only option remaining for those who want to preserve the timeless understanding of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. There is already a federal law on the books — the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act — that purports to do just that. "But I'm concerned that that will get overturned," Bush said. "And if it gets overturned, then we'll end up with marriage being defined by courts, and I don't think that's in our nation's interests."


Kerry, who claims to oppose same-sex marriage but who voted against (and harshly denounced) the Defense of Marriage Act, replied that there is no reason to treat marriage as a federal issue. "With respect to DOMA and the marriage laws, the states have always been able to manage those laws. And they're proving today — every state — that they can manage them adequately."


Kerry's call for leaving marriage to the states echoes the old segregationist argument that the federal government had no business interfering with the states' handling of race relations. Now as then, "states' rights" is a smokescreen for the protection of something most Americans find objectionable: Jim Crow in the 1950s and '60s, same-sex marriage today. And just as state sovereignty was not permitted to override the compelling national interest in racial equality, it cannot be allowed to override the compelling national interest in preserving the definition of marriage that Americans have always embraced.

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In any event, it simply is not true that the US legal system has always left marriage to the states. In 1967, Virginia's ban on interracial marriage was ruled unconstitutional in the famous case of Loving v. Virginia. Nine years later, in Turner v. Safley, the Supreme Court refused to uphold a Missouri prison regulation that blocked inmates from getting married. What's more, as Maggie Gallagher of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy has noted, "the question whether the basic legal definition of marriage is a national issue or a states' rights issue was tackled once before and settled, in the 19th century."


In an essay for The Weekly Standard last March, Gallagher pointed out that between 1862 and 1887, Congress repeatedly passed laws intended to stamp out the practice of plural marriage. The Morrill Act of 1862 made polygamy a crime punishable by prison or a hefty fine. When Mormon-dominated courts in the Utah Territory refused to enforce it, Congress enacted the Poland Act of 1874, transferring jurisdiction over polygamy cases to the federal courts.


After the Supreme Court upheld the Morrill Act in 1879, Congress grew even more aggressive in its determination to keep marriage monogamous. The 1882 Edmunds Act vacated the Utah territorial government, created an independent commission to oversee elections, and made it illegal for polygamists to vote or serve on juries. The Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887 went further, disincorporating the Mormon Church, seizing its property, requiring wives to testify against husbands, and imposing an antipolygamy oath on Utah voters and officeholders. In 1890, the Mormon Church capitulated and renounced plural marriage for good.


It is because of this "active federal intervention" by Congress and the courts, Gallagher writes, that monogamous marriage remains the law of the land in America today. "There is nothing radical or unprecedented about the idea of a national definition of marriage."


What has changed in 125 years is that courts can no longer be counted on to uphold the settled understanding of that national definition. Despite Kerry's claim, the states are not being allowed to "manage" marriage as they see fit. Same-sex marriage is now lawful in Massachusetts only because four unelected judges unilaterally imposed it. Thirty-nine states have passed defense-of-marriage laws, usually by large majorities, but that isn't stopping opponents of those laws from hunting for judges to strike them down.


It is only a matter of time before a federal judge — perhaps even the Supreme Court — brushes aside the federal DOMA and orders other states to give "full faith and credit" to same-sex marriages from Massachusetts. The only way to prevent the confusion and seething discord such a ruling will lead to is by changing the Constitution. Constitutional change should never be undertaken lightly. But there are few institutions more vital to society's well-being than marriage.


Bush is right: It is not in our national interest for so grave a question to be decided by judicial diktat. Far better that it be decided openly and fairly, with public debate and the participation of Congress and the states. Anything else would be profoundly undemocratic — and unwise.

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


Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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