Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Gay Marriage | Support Israel | David Niose | Supreme Court | gay marriage | endorse

Secular Humanist: High Court Must Endorse Gay Marriage as a Right

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 03:41 PM

Same-sex marriage should no longer be subject to community approval, statutory limits or referendums, says a supporter of the plaintiffs who made their case for expanded marriage rights in a historic Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday.

"It's become clear that same-sex marriage is a right, and it's not something that should be voted on at the ballot box," David A. Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association, told "Newsmax Now" co-host John Bachman on Newsmax TV Tuesday.

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Niose, who said his organization approaches public policy from a "basically nonreligious … scientific and rational standpoint," co-wrote an amicus brief to the high court in March urging support of same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday he told "Newsmax Now" that the body politic as a whole has come around to the idea that prohibitions against same-sex unions are inherently discriminatory — and once that happened, he said, the issue was no longer up for a vote.

"We don't let certain communities decide that they'll let people marry, [and] other communities decide that they don't," said Niose. "It has risen to the level of a recognized right, and rights are not subject to ballot boxes."

Niose acknowledged the business-backed pressure campaigns that forced Indiana and Arkansas to rewrite religious freedom statutes that critics considered anti-gay. But he said that waiting for the free market to legitimize same-sex marriage is not the way to ensure it as a basic right.

"It's not so clear that it has been decided by the free market economy," he said. "In some communities, they would like to have laws that forbid or allow businesses to not serve gay people. That is just plainly discrimination.

"We've come too far and we need to recognize, as a society, that we have rights and that people are respected, especially when somebody decides to enter the stream of commerce by conducting business in this diverse society," said Niose. "They cannot just pick and choose who they will and will not serve based on invidious discrimination."

Niose did not object to the reverse — customers shunning a business based on their beliefs. He defended boycott threats leveled against a gay hotelier who hosted Sen. Ted Cruz at a private event in New York.

Texas Republican Cruz is a candidate for president and a proponent of marriage as a heterosexual institution. The hotel owner, Ian Reisner, has since apologized publicly for inviting Cruz to speak.

"I wouldn't call a boycott intolerance," said Niose, adding, "that is the free market, quite frankly. Customers have the right to point out prejudice and to encourage people not to patronize businesses that discriminate."

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Same-sex marriage should no longer be subject to community approval, statutory limits or referendums, says a supporter of the plaintiffs who made their case for expanded marriage rights in a historic Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday.
David Niose, Supreme Court, gay marriage, endorse, respect rights, Newsmax Now
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2015-41-28
Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 03:41 PM
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