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Equal treatment under law

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While I generally enjoy John Pawlak’s satire, and did so for most of his column on gay marriage, he has done a disservice to our County Clerk Sharon Stover.
Pawlak complains that Stover did not take the law into her own hands, but responded to a court with her understanding of the law.
I strongly disagree that Sharon’s argument was weak — she sought to abide by the law, as we expect of a responsible county clerk. Unless the media reports have been completely inaccurate, the details of the form are specified by law, not regulation, however strange and unusual that may seem. Note that it only required (as always) brave people to assert their rights to bring the matter to court attention.
And wonderfully, in America, the law is trumped by the Constitution. That the law is in conflict with the state Constitution (as amended regarding Equal Rights) was determined in the proper province of the judiciary — for now at least, we’ll eventually hear what the state Supreme Court has to say.
It is unfortunate that governments have used the religious term, “marriage”, to describe state approved formation of families, coupling, or whatever it should be called when two people who love each other seek that approval.
A sufficient time of co-habitation used to lead to what was called “common-law marriage” and was often viewed as the state injecting its unwanted recognition into personal affairs.
In retrospect, it is puzzling that this was not the avenue by which gay and lesbian couples first asserted their rights to equal treatment under the law, as it amounts to the government “recognizing” and sidesteps “approving,” which is causing so much political heartburn.
Terry Goldman
Los Alamos