August 4, 2010

Dr. Drew: Prop 8 Tramples on Basic Civil Rights

Posted: 06:50 PM ET

By Dr. Drew Pinsky, Larry King Live Guest Blogger

Dr DrewI am certainly by no means a legal scholar.  Nor do I have any special understanding of American History.  I am an American citizen with a deep appreciation of the brilliantly balanced system our founding fathers created.

There was a reason they set up our system as a republic and not a direct democracy.  The Jacksonian Revolution started us in a direction whereby direct appeal to the people and direct democracy gained a distinct priority in our value system.

But never did the founding generations expect that we might see the advent of a system where a simple appeal to a majority could result in any whim the majority might decide to assert.

A main concern of the founding fathers was to create a system that was sufficiently balanced and thoughtful so as to buffer against one group exerting its will upon another.  This to them, was nothing other than mob rule. While we retain a distinct preference for the gloss of a direct democracy the fact is we are not and thankfully so.

Throughout history democracies have inevitably fractured and failed.  Even the Greeks felt that a democracy was impossible in populations greater than 100,000 members.  Not only are we so much larger but more heterogeneous making this even more treacherous.

Alexis De Toqueville, a Frenchman who came to America in the opening decades of the nineteenth century to study Democracy in America, in his objective assessment remained very concerned that our system had a potential to allow for something he called the Tyranny of the Majority.  That is to say he was concerned that merely by being a majority one group could exert its will upon another, even restrict its civil liberties and rights.

Unfortunately, the referendum system in the State of California has become the mechanism for actualizing precisely this tyranny. The California Supreme Court determined that the argument against same sex marriage was untenable.

The opinion, written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, cited the Court's 1948 decision in Perez v. Sharp where the state's interracial marriage ban was held unconstitutional. It found that "equal respect and dignity" of marriage is a "basic civil right" that cannot be withheld from same-sex couples, that sexual orientation is a protected class like race and gender, and that any classification or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is subject to strict scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause of the California State Constitution (source: Wikipedia).

In other words it was the concerted opinion of the judicial authority that the logic used against interracial marriage was the same as that, which was being used against same sex marriages. In spite of this very clear understanding of the law and the logic of prejudice, the response rendered by the referendum system with the passage of Proposition 8 was: “too bad”.

Now my point here is not to get into whether or not gay marriage is good, right or should even be included in the definition of what we consider marriage.  My concern is that the referendum system in California can rescind the civil rights of a minority group, independent of the operation of other governmental authority.

Abraham Lincoln famously argued in his debates with Stephen Douglas that there are certain things that the majority simply cannot decide.  We simply could not allow for a majority to decide that it is acceptable to enslave another population of humans no matter how substantial that majority.

He famously quipped that “squatter sovereignty’s” right to determine whether or not a state should be free or slave was based on an argument that was thinner that the soup made from the shadow of a pigeon that was starved to death!  And so are the arguments flying about today to justify and legitimate Prop 8 and the Referendum system from which it was unleashed.

I ask my fellow citizens to give this careful thought.  The protection against the tyranny of the majority has been an important consideration throughout the history of our government and we have quietly allowed, out of our own ignorance and apathy, a very important threshold to be crossed.  A majority has restricted the basic civil rights of a minority.  Beware, it may be your rights next to be trampled merely because there are enough people who think it should be so.

Dr. Drew Pinsky is the host of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab" and a frequent guest on Larry King Live.

Filed under: Larry King Live • Politics

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Anne   September 21st, 2009 11:37 pm ET

The rights of any minority should not be subjected to majority vote.

Terry, TX   September 22nd, 2009 4:27 am ET

Forgot to add something.....I am sure Dr. Drew sends his kids to private school.....along with all the celebrity their kids would not be subjected to CZAR Kevin Jennings indoctrinations.....just public educated kids are the targets...

Think about it   September 22nd, 2009 8:53 am ET

Marriage is between man and woman, husband and wife. Where does anything say otherwise?

Just it something else, like civil unions. Civil Unions are between partners. Have the same rights, live your lives and be happy.

The major sticking point for most is to redefine marriage. If it is truly equal rights they want name it anything else and it will pass.

Anne   September 22nd, 2009 11:52 am ET

Dr. Pinksy said he felt sorry for Conrad Murray. I will never forgive him for saying that he felt sorry for an MD who administered a lethal dose of propofol to a person in their home and that person died. I guess he doesn't think Michael Jackson's deserved the constitutional right to life as everyone else.

I think MJ had a condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome a very painful nerve disorder that is debilitating and can cause you to end up in a wheelchair and unable to walk if it is in your legs/feet. It is red hot burning pain with electic sensations (like a sparkler up against the skin) and color and temperature changes (hot to cold) in the injured area usually the extremities which can spread throughout the body. The photo of his spider bite shows one foot is red and the other foot is white. I bet he was never properly diagnosed for this condition and suffered a great deal. This condition does require very strong pain meds or an implanted spinal cord stimulator. Adrenalin makes it much worse.

pat davis   September 22nd, 2009 2:01 pm ET


I saw that, Dr. Pinksy said he felt sorry for Conrad Murray because he didn't know what he was getting himself into as far as caring for Michael Jackson. I took offense to this also. Murray knew what he was getting himself into, $$$$$!

I don't like this doctor, I don't like his views. Many of his comments on Michael Jackson insinuated that he (Michael) was responsible for his own death.

He spoke a lot about how celebrities use their fame to get what they want. What about the doctor's obligation to his patient? Isn't he/she responsible for providing the best advice and care for their patient.?This didn't happen in Michael's case, so who's fault was that?

I don't like this guy, he's full of hot air! He talks a lot but say nothing!Like the rest he's taking advantage of Michael's death, by getting his 15 minutes of fame!

Nothing he has to say interests me. I didn't even like him on Celebrity Rehab.

Nathan   September 22nd, 2009 6:52 pm ET

Civial unions do NOT have all of the same rights and such of marriage.
Look it up :/

Susan Northern California   September 22nd, 2009 6:54 pm ET

Thank you Drew for your edifying commentary.

I agree, we're on a slippery slope and everyone should be aware that the next rights to be trampled, could be their own.

Mandy   September 22nd, 2009 7:06 pm ET

"Now my point here is not to get into whether or not gay marriage is good, right or should even be included in the definition of what we consider marriage. My concern is that the referendum system in California can rescind the civil rights of a minority group, independent of the operation of other governmental authority."

That's what people need to think about. Not if homosexuality is good, wrong, right, or whatever. But if one majority should be allowed to chose the way people's lives are run. It's not right. No group should be allowed to chose how another's lives are going to play out in ANY scenario. THAT'S not right, making everything else irrelevant.

Jeri   September 22nd, 2009 7:20 pm ET

Civil unions do not have anywhere near the rights a person receives in marriage. They are not equal at all. There is a vast legal difference.

Tobii Metro   September 22nd, 2009 7:24 pm ET

Some of y'all need to realize getting married isn't a religious thing, it's the lawful joining of two people. If anyone ever payed attention at a wedding they say "we are here to lawfully join" or something of that variation.

Dodie ~ California   September 22nd, 2009 7:28 pm ET

Dr. Drew Pinsky

The problem is NOT with democracy! The problem is that infringment on our basic rights should never be voted upon! Prop 8 should have never even been on the ballot!!! As a democracy, we the people, vote on health care reform, our elected officials, where we would want our tax dollars to be used, etc.

None of these have anything to do with basic civil rights! I live in California and I was appauled at the thought of Prop 8! IT SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN ON A BALLOT - IT SHOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED!! !!!

george   September 22nd, 2009 8:03 pm ET

"Marriage is between man and woman, husband and wife. Where does anything say otherwise?"

Probably not in the bible

"Why keep referring to things as “Prop 8″…same sex…same sex marriage…..funny this so called learned doctor man….never used the the word “homosexual”…

What difference does it make if you call it "same sex" or homosexual". Homosexual literally means same sex...

And I'm sure that you are an accurate judge of what an impressive medical record is

alexlyrics   September 22nd, 2009 8:29 pm ET

My brothers married with 5 kids and a hypocrite, he voted for prop 8 and has many gay friends.

I think that everyone should have a right to marry who they want. aren't we free?

5grecianurns   September 22nd, 2009 8:43 pm ET

I wholeheartedly agree, Dr. Drew! Thank you!

Brittany, Kansas   September 22nd, 2009 8:48 pm ET

why is this still even an issue. no one is forcing straights to live with gay couples, nor force them themselves to marry with the same sex. the argument can go both ways. one argument is "if it's not that big of a deal and they just want the title of being married why do they need a license", well would you like your wedding license to not exist? didn't think so. the other is "it is not right, the bible says so" and so in america, there's only one religion? don't think so. america is suppose to be a melting pot of many different races, religions and cultures. whatever happened to pursuit of happiness, allowing gay marriage wouldn't prevent someone elses pursuit of happiness, people just aren't comfortable with it. if they're going to make it illegal because it's against the bible, then we should allow people punishment by throwing stones and we should ban liars.

Sarah   September 22nd, 2009 8:58 pm ET

I agree with what you are saying, but from what I have seen and heard from many people (here in southern California of all places!) the problem we are facing is ignorance. People tend to want to block out and put away what they do not understand. Homosexuals deserve the same rights to get married as anyone else. Why are we arguing over a word? Call it something else, whatever, just give them the rights they should have in the first place as American citizens.

ivy lee   September 22nd, 2009 9:09 pm ET

Right on, Dr. Drew!

I honestly think that one day, our nation will regard these gay-bashing bigots with the same horror and embarrassment as the mobs that once screamed at children during the first years of school desegregation.

Leon   September 22nd, 2009 9:10 pm ET

Hey Dr. Drew, how is the war on drugs and what you do with "celebrity rehab" any different in terms of a large group of people enforcing their will on a the minority. If the minority chooses to do drugs then let them. At least we wouldn't have this Mexican prohibition war going on.

adam   September 22nd, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Go Dr. Drew!! Separation of church and state and equality for all!
Not just equality, equity!

Kevin   September 22nd, 2009 9:36 pm ET

Prop 8 is just plain wrong. We all know that separate is not equal just as a civil union is not a marriage. How is this hard to see? Did we as a nation learn anything from the civil rights movement?

Justin   September 22nd, 2009 9:40 pm ET

I like Dr. Drew ... but his opinion on this matter doesn't really matter does it? He is a medical Doctor right... the weigtht of his opinion on this matter is no different than Joe Blow

rob   September 22nd, 2009 9:41 pm ET

thanks doc. great read. it is only a matter of time until right prevails over ignorance. god is love.

Sonia   September 22nd, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Dodie, I think you and Dr. Drew more or less agree that Proposition 8 should not have been on the ballot. His point is that democracy has allowed the referendum system to take over our civic life to the point that a simple majority of citizens were allowed to determine the civil rights of a minority group , and democracy is what led to that power in the first place.

I envision there will be many more comments slamming Drew, his qualifications, and gay marriage itself, but I wonder how many people will consider his real point – not whether gay marriage is right or wrong, but whether the population at large should have the right to make that decision for a minority group. That's why we have courts and elected officials in the first place.

Prince Exquisite   September 22nd, 2009 10:25 pm ET

First of all, Western culture has defined marriage as being between one man and one woman before there was a United States of America. Neither the federal nor the state governments imposed this definition upon anyone. Our governmental systems have superimposed rights upon the basic definition, but they have never sought to define the institution itself. They have always left that up to society. Why? Because First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, expression, and association have carved out a protected zone which allows the members of society to form and retain social conventions, and to imbue them with whatever level of value that society chooses. Thus, the definition of marriage should always be society's determination. And hate it or love it, society "speaks" by majority vote in both representative and pure democracies (as many of our senators are about to find out when they come up for re-election).

As far as equal protection goes: protections like this are obviously important so as to protect minorities from "the tyranny of the majority". I'm all for protecting minorities from malicious treatment; I am Black after all. But it's important to note that equal protection violations occur only when a similarly situated group is treated differently. If the institution of marriage has been defined for thousands of years in Western society as the union of one man and one woman, and if we still choose to define it as such, then when it comes to marriage, gay couples are not similarly situated as straight couples because they fall outside of the definition of marriage. Now, when it comes to government benefits that are extended to heterosexual cohabitants, gay couples probably are similarly situated; but when it comes to marriage, they are not by definition.
Finally, state governments have had the authority to regulate the legal bounds of marriage since there has been a US Consitution, and they have exercised this authority. Minors can't get married without parental consent; you can't marry your daughter; you can't marry a goat; you can't marry yourself. Their regulations have only been deemed unconstitutional when governments have withheld marriage rights from those who fall within the definition (one adult man and one adult women).So long as the government has a legitimate interest in maintaining the prohibition that's rationally related to the means used (and a compelling interest with narrowly tailored means in strict scrutiny cases), the regulation is constitutional.

When it comes to social and moral issues especially, courts traditionally give a very high deference to the voting public (unless a suspect class is involved), and they should continue to do so.

As an aside, the US Supreme Court has never given gays protected class status, but I expect this issue to be brought before the US Supreme Court within the next 5 years.

Juyon66   September 22nd, 2009 10:44 pm ET

Ok, the point is being overlooked. Instead of attacking him, listen to what is being said. This country has gotten into trouble (understatement) by the majority deciding what was best for the minority. Which was really the majority deciding what was best for the majority. How can we get this or that without getting our hands dirty? "They" need to be restricted to only having this because we don't want "them" in the same category as us.
Africans were stolen from Africa and enslaved. That isn't the worse part; the worse part is that it continued for over 400 years and can still be felt today. The aboriginal people of this country were forced from their land again and again. The infrastructure of this country was built on the backs of the minority, a minority that was forced to the point to the point of death to fulfill the whims majority.
What's my point?
There is no place for reason in the hands of the majority. Reason says, if I have this right so should you. We need to let reason have its turn. What does a same sex couple do to destroy marriage? Heterosexual couples will still be divorcing at an astronomical rate.
Many people made this country great. Why can't many people enjoy the fruits and rights of that labor?

Catrina Bevilacqua   September 22nd, 2009 11:00 pm ET

Wake Up People!! This is the 21st century, we evole, change, and some of us even GROW!! Gay people make up at least one per cent of the world population, and I have news for all you bigots, there're not going anywhere. And I especially love the ones that hide behind the Bible. I cannot beleive I share the planet with so many ignorant and indecent people that regard thereselves as human being.

John H   September 22nd, 2009 11:26 pm ET

My concern is with the tyranny of the minority in conjunction with certain liberal progressive elements of the judicial branch. The judicial branch is empowered by the Constitution to interpret the law, not write it based upon their own individual predujices. No one's individuals rights are being denied them. They are free to enjoy all the privileges of marriage and few would deny them those rights. Same sex couples should be allowed to be treated as family when it comes to hospital visitation rights, filing jointly for their income taxes, etc. The only thing they are unable to do is redefine the term "Marriage." Their attempt to change the meaning of the term is nothing less than the Tyrrany of the Minority in my judgement. It is becoming much too frequent for small groups to be able to force their will on the majority by simply shouting tyranny while they themselves are exercising just what they critcize the majority of doing. As always, if you repeat an untruth often enough, it eventually becomes accepted as fact by a large number of the more easily influenced.

Dodie ~ California   September 22nd, 2009 11:39 pm ET

@ george

Not everyone believes in YOUR BIBLE! I resent the implication that everyone has to believe the same way you do. A democracy allows for different beliefs! Trust me, I feel your belief should have ended 2000 years ago! It is archaic and out of touch with science! Yet, I do NOT push my belief system on others! I feel everyone has the right to believe whatever they want as long as they do NOT harm others.

How does same sex marriage HARM YOU???????? It has NOTHING to do with YOU!!!

The problem is.... everything seems to just revolve around you. Well, I hate to tell you this, but YOU and your religion are NOT the center of the Universe!!! Oh yes, my people have been here 12,000 years before your people!

Chris Coleman   September 22nd, 2009 11:49 pm ET

Okie dokie as a gay man that's been with my partner for 14 years (longer than all my straight friends) I want equal treatment under the law...PERIOD. if my partner or I should die he/I should get his SSI,his pension our house but, no we don't even get the tax break because he's considered single. I don't want special rights I just want what's right! not someone elses morality being imposed on me through my government. FYI there is no gay agenda what do you think we sign up and get a news letter?!? being gay isn't a lifestyle its part of nature and the human condition as with the large majority of life on this planet homosexuality runs the gamet. so keep your morality because you obviously need it more then me!!! I will be with my partner regardless worry about policies that affect yourselves and let others pursue their own happiness or one day I may be voting on an issue that could deny you your civil liberties and I may vote my morality or religious conviction not what is right or fair

Dodie ~ California   September 22nd, 2009 11:57 pm ET

@ Sonia

Beautifully stated! Yes, I completely agree with you. Then Democracy could be dangerous because if enough people are manipulated or a belief / religion becomes dominant, then their target group will always lose! Very sad!

Shannon   September 23rd, 2009 12:28 am ET

If you are not from CA you might not realize that Prop. 8 called for a Constitutional Ammendment but it passed with only a simple majority. What kind of crazy state do I live in where a Constitutional Ammendment is a simple majority? Constitutional Ammendments are supposed to be a big deal to achieve 2/3 majority for the Federal Consitution.

I am interested in the person who had to look up Dr Drew and then passed judgement on his character and qualifications. Dr Drew is brilliant in the area of addiction medicine. His decision to use pop culture as a tool has resulted in the education of huge numbers of people who may not have been reached otherwise.

Gerard Garvey   September 23rd, 2009 12:41 am ET

Thank you Dr. Drew, for stating the issue at hand without the camouflage of false morality. Well said.

TonySD   September 23rd, 2009 12:41 am ET

Right on Dr. Pinsky! Now for all you saying we as Gays should just accept this and move on... Ok here is the deal: I will accept this if you promise me you will "accept this" when Prop 8 is overturned and we win!! Then when we the majority wins.... then I want all you hate mongers to SHUT UP!!!! Also, for those who keep saying we have the same rights with civil unions....I say...this just goes to show how ignorant you are! The fact is civil union is NOT the same as marriage. I will forever fight for my rights...because I am NOT a second class citizen!!!!!

carol kesling   September 23rd, 2009 12:42 am ET

@didie-- you go girl, i agree with you100%... everyone is created EQUAL. they pay THEIR TAXES & should have the same rights as everyone else in AMERICA !!!!!!!!! sorry dodie i spelled your name wrong... but you rock !!!!!!!!!!!

carol kesling   September 23rd, 2009 12:44 am ET

@ chris coleman,good luck to you and your partner and i hope someday sooner rather than later EVERYONE HAS THE SAME RIGHTS AS AMERICANS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chris   September 23rd, 2009 12:49 am ET

It's always kind of funny to hear the people who abuse, torture, murder and dehumanize gay & lesbain citizens screaming their heads off about morality.

Moraity indeed.

alex   September 23rd, 2009 1:03 am ET

wow its amazing that with the technology that we have today that there are still so many ignorant people out there . is it 2009 or is it 1809 . who cares if your gay or straight catholic or jewish . just live live live .

Krys   September 23rd, 2009 1:04 am ET

To Terry from Texas:
First of all, what Dr. Drew wrote was merely an opinion, having nothing to do with his credentials or medical background. Of course closed minded people such as yourself would single out one questionable situation or person to completely disregard the matter at hand. All he is simply saying is that if we (the US) continue down this "majority rules all" path, you may find that down the line one of your civil liberties might be denied to you. How would you feel if that happened to you? You would probably feel singled out, disenfranchised, betrayed... And the message would be that you just don't matter compared to everybody else. Gee. What a way to live.

Marc   September 23rd, 2009 1:19 am ET

Way to go Dr Drew – You hit it right on the mark!!!
History will prove prop 8 to be shameful and an embarrassment to California..

Krys   September 23rd, 2009 1:31 am ET

And to Prince Exquisite:
You stated that a "marriage", according to western culture is defined as a union between a man and a woman. This has absolutely NO legal basis. None, Zilch, Nada..! A "culture" isn't law. It may be tradition. But there is obviously a difference. And the fact that you are a black man and feel this way is ironic and frankly ignorant. Religion, especially Christianity, is also a tradition, but there is no law stating that we as a "culture" must worship. Nearly every minority group has had their day in court, so to speak; including women, native Americans, African-Americans, disabled persons, and so on... All of these groups at one point or another were disenfranchised of their basic and civil rights as human beings. What makes gay marriage so different? They are human beings for crying out loud, not objects we can just disregard, and therefore just by being a human being, equal rights should be mandated and upheld, period.

angela   September 23rd, 2009 1:50 am ET

Why dont you stick to addiction your speciality, but you are so busy judging and slamming addicts, like you did to the poor woman who called in and looked for some validation for her suboxone therapy. It was disgusting how you put her down, so self righteous about how you did not believe in that. But you think gay marrage is okee dokee. You sound more and more like a quack celeb Dr, because I think thats what you are. I used to think you were authentic, no more. No wonder the patients in your book died.

Concerned   September 23rd, 2009 1:52 am ET

While I agree with Dr. Drew's assessment of the referendum process in California, I also agree with the outcome of the vote. With that being said, I do believe that the outcome was correct. I believe that the word "marriage" should not be used to describe a gay (homosexual for Terry from Tx) union. Call it what ever you want and give the union the same rights and privileges as a heterosexual union, but "marriage" has a traditional meaning and that tradition should be upheld. One more thing, to Teryy from Tx, whether or not Dr. Pinsky's kids go to a public or private school is not important in this discussion. Are you perhaps so inadequate that the only argument you think you can win is against children? Mann up and debate Dr. Drew. He'll mop the floor with. By the way, his kids will too.

psion128   September 23rd, 2009 1:52 am ET

Tyranny of the Majority is already here. We saw it when Americans called for the blood of those that caused 9/11. We gave up liberties and rights to be individuals with the passing of the Patriot Act & Military Commisions Act. What individuals do in their own time is there business as long as it does not hinder another individuals rights.

Though by technical definition gay marriages are not real marriages. They are partnerships. There should be a separate legal documents that give them the similar status but it should not be called a marriage. They should be allowed to have this separate status but it should not be called a marriage. I do oppose that nomenclature.

Chris   September 23rd, 2009 2:03 am ET

As per the U.S. Constitution, minority rights are supposed to be protected from the majority. This is why I feel the California Supreme Court, by upholding Prop 8, failed to do their job.

Prop 8 is about as un-American as you can get. It infringes upon a civil liberty and establishes a legal inequality. It violates the first Amendment (the part about not establishing a State Religion – Let's face it, the whole thing was motivated by religious beliefs) as well as the fourteenth amendment (Equal Protection Clause).

And outside of the Bible, no one can explain what is so immoral about homosexuality. But telling lies (half-truths and distorted truths are still lies, mind you) to get a discriminatory referendum passed... I don't know what God you worship, but the one I believe in doesn't stand for that sort of thing. You wanna talk about morals? If something is supposed to be "immoral", you shouldn't have to do immoral things to stop it from happening.

I can't believe this is still being debated, and sadder still is that this asinine referendum was passed and upheld. We can pat ourselves on the back all we want for being "open-minded" enough to elect a black President, but we haven't reached equality yet. And until we do, we cannot be a truly free nation.

Excellent work, Dr. Drew. You hit the nail right on the head. Someone questioned his credentials earlier, well... You don't need "credentials". Everything you need to know about this issue can be learned in a High School Civics class. Or Introductory Government class. A 52% majority passed a discriminatory law based on irrational fear and hate. That's mob rule. That's a tyranny of the majority. The Constitution is supposed to defend the civil rights of the minority. When this is not being done, that means someone (in this case, the California Supreme Court) is not doing their job.

Wendy   September 23rd, 2009 2:04 am ET

I thought a relationship is between two people not a State. Is California in my bedroom when I lock the door?

Love is love whether its woman and man, man and man or woman and woman. Live and let live. Gay couples should be joined in matrimony with the same rights as straight couples. So because the couple has the same genetailia the union of love only gets a "civil union?" The bible; if you read John 1, 2 & 3 its about love.

About the Michael Jackson comment what does that have to do with this topic? Pat Davis, not to defend Dr. Drew, he has a right to write what he wants this is America... land of the free. I do not agree with Dr. Drew all the time, but this topic is necessary and I agree with him. I read it as relationship slavery.

PS If I may add Elton John has a petition on Facebook to adopt. Please take the time to sign it. Dr. Drew only 36 people signed it and hoping to add more. Thanks all.

David   September 23rd, 2009 2:54 am ET

What Dr. Pinsky fails to mention in his history lesson is that this country was founded on Christian principles. The Bible was the most frequently quoted document of the founding era and our laws were largely based on Biblical teachings. When talking about Alexis de Toqueveille Dr. Pinsky omits what de Toqueville believed made America great. "America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." It doesn't take a PhD in Anatomy to realize that homosexuality is not natural. God, our Creator, says homosexuality is a detestable sin( Lev 18:22). John Adams stated, "Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." Our founding document, The Declaration of Independence, makes clear that we are endowed by our Creator witih certain inalienable rights...but our Creator says homosexuality is wrong, always has been wrong and always will be wrong. Just as slavery is wrong, always has been wrong and always will be wrong. This isn't about civil rights it is about right and wrong. It is about natural law. It is about what is natural and what is not. It is about Anatomy 101.

LD   September 23rd, 2009 2:59 am ET

Everyone deserves to have a chance at happiness, regardless of skin, sexual preference, religion or place they are born.

There is only love and fear... so many fearful people here.

Corey - Illinois   September 23rd, 2009 4:35 am ET

Marriage is an institution which blurs the line between a religious ceremony and legal contract. In this country, the separation of church and state is a long held and widely accepted foundation of our democracy. If marriage is to be solely a religious ceremony between a man and a woman, then so be it. Replace it entirely with secular Civil Unions which have legal bearing, all of the legal rights and responsibilities, and can be entered into between consenting and eligible adults of whatever gender.

There is no reason for subjective religous or personal opinions and/or views to be brought into the discussion. I married my husband in Iowa recently, and even so, my marriage does not afford me the same rights as that of a heterosexual couple throughout the country expressly because too many people (who have no valid reason to concern themselves with my personal business) are concerned with who I share my life and my bed with. I cannot understand why any person would care whether or not I marry another man. Don't they have their own lives to look after?!? Shouldn't they be more concerrned with their own spouses, children, education, employment, health care, ...?

Ryan   September 23rd, 2009 5:01 am ET

Fortunately, I live in Washington State which does allow domestic partnerships. My partner and I have been together 15 happy years through thick and thin and I feel sure we'll be together until death separates us. Domestic partnership allows some dignity if one of us were to become ill. We can visit and make medical decisions for one another instead of having to wait for a parent/family member to make this decision as it was prior; although, they would have respected our decisions. DP's are not perfect, but it's a step. We do not have the protection of federal tax laws, property ownership, inheritance benefits, etc..

I'm an extremely spiritual man. God is part of each and every day. He is all knowing, all loving and all forgiving. If my situation is considered wrong by some on earth; I'm comfortable leaving my fate to the hands of my God who will pass judgment, not my neighbors, city or fellow Washingtonians

For so many of us that are in long term, same sex relationships.. please ensure you have wills, including living wills put in place. Yes, they could be challenged by a family member, however the intent is known to a judge.

I was extremely disappointed with the prop 8 situation even before it was voted on. How people can vote away others rights is beyond my comprehension of our great land. It's my wish that all people are safe, healthy and happy. Live and let live. God is all loving and forgiving. Much more than can be said for those people passing judgment on an issue that in reality has nothing to do with them.

When the accusations are made regarding the mistreatment of children by gays; ALL statistics I've researched place this foul and criminal act predominately with straight men. None of which is acceptable. This is a topic we can all agree on.

Cali MJ Fan   September 23rd, 2009 5:29 am ET

Dr. Drew you did a FANTASTIC job with this article. Thank you! Adam did a great job with your NoH8 shot. Looks fabulous - thanks for adding your face to the cause!

Prop 8 is most unconstitutional. For those who think the principle doesn't apply to them–

Women, think about having the right to vote taken away because there are more men in the state you live and the majority didn't agree women were worthy of voting. Say good bye to your voice.

Men, think if the majority of people in your state voted back in the military draft. Your choice of joining the armed forces would be mandatory.

It is the same principle that Dr. Drew discusses. BTW, he is not getiting talking points from GLSEN– sheeesh. Everyone in California has been living Prop 8 now for almost 2 years.

Mandy   September 23rd, 2009 9:16 am ET

@Wendy "I thought a relationship is between two people not a State. Is California in my bedroom when I lock the door?"

BEAUTIFULLY stated. I completely agree.

Shawn   September 23rd, 2009 9:59 am ET

Dr. Drew this is a very nice piece about one of unavoidable problems with democracy and why we need a system of checks and balances to correct these situations.

One thought I had was that sometimes its not even a majority of people making decisions for everyone, but just the largest minority. If only half of the population votes, and then a measure is approved by 51% of the vote, then 26-30% of the population decides on the rights of everyone.

Koral from Shelton   September 23rd, 2009 11:18 am ET

Dr. Drew, yes, logical & educated people think like you. God, I'm so glad I don't live in Texas.

Liz   September 23rd, 2009 12:45 pm ET

We are human just like everyone else! We breath the same air and bleed just like you, we have feeling just like the next person. Just because we love the same sex doesn't mean we love different. We love just as hard if not harder. So why do other people get to tell me who I'm allowed to marry or not? I thought we were able to make our own choices? You don't have to agree with what I am as I'm sure I wouldn't agree with you on some things, but that's called an opinion and we're all entitled to it. I shouldn't have my rights taken from me just because I'm a lesbian! I work, pay my bills and taxes just like everyone else so I should be entitled to all my rights just as the next person!

Prince Exquisite   September 23rd, 2009 12:46 pm ET

1) I suggest you read the Supreme Court's opinion in Loving v. Virginia. The court, as well as our lawmakers, have traditionally given high deference to long-lasting Western social conventions for the very reason that many of these conventions are older than our government. As I stated in my prior post, one of the main purposes of the first amendment in preserving our rights to freedom of religion, expression, and association is to prevent the government form divesting society of its right to define these conventions as it pleases. 2) The court in Loving by no means sought to change the traditional Western defnition of marriage (one man and one woman); what it declared unconstitutional was the prohibition of interracial marriages – a state policy that was superimposed upon that definition. This is because, under the 14th amendment, all races are considered SIMILARLY SITUATED. Therefore, interracial heterosexual couples should not be treated differently than non-interracial hetero couples, because all hetero couples, regardless of the race of the parties, meet the basic Western definition of marriage.
3) The LEGAL question at issue, then, is ARE HOMOSEXUAL COUPLES AND HETEROSEXUAL COUPLES SIMILARLY SITUATED? when it comes to privileges such as tax benefits, hospital visitation rights, etc., I'd argue yes. If unmarried hetero couples can get these rights, then clearly marriage is not at issue; cohabitation is at issue.
BUT WHEN IT COMES TO ABILITY TO MARRY, THEY ARE NOT SIMILARLY SITUATED. WHY? BECAUSE THEY FALL OUTSIDE OF THE DEFINITION OF WHAT THE MARRIAGE INSTUTION ENTAILS. And whose job is it to define what the marriage institution entails? According to Loving, that is society's determination. In democracies, we determine things by the consent of a majority.
4) Homosexuals are basically arguing that their civil rights are being denied because the definition of marriage has not been expanded to include their unions. The defnition also does not allow for incest, bigamy, bestiality, or "marriage of self" according to the current definition. Are all of these peoples' "rights" being violated as well?
5) Since the marriage definition in this country unquestionalby has its roots in Judeo-Christian tradition, the fact that a minority is attempting to autocratically change the definition brings up serious first amendment issues. Suppose the definition is changed nation-wide by an autocratic decree of the US Supreme Court. Would southern baptist churches be compelled to marry gays under penalty of law? If so, isn't this a blatant 1st amendment violation?
6) In closing, once again, the determinaiton of the definition should be society's decision. The battle should be waged in the court of public opinion. That being said, gays should stop calling those on our side irrational bigots. Many of us are not. Ad hominems never result in fuitful debate; they only make folks angry.

Kyle   September 23rd, 2009 2:11 pm ET

The minority must always be protected from the tyranny of the majority.

HBDB   September 23rd, 2009 3:06 pm ET

I can't help but notice all the comments about homosexuality. They seem to be all base on fear and hate. Legal rights are legal rights. What if all these so called christians, had there rights taken away, let alone there tax excempt status. They use God and the bible to create hate and fear and that is not what it is all about. You are intitled to your opinion., but you are not allowed to take a persons equal right away not matter are the one who will be jugded in the end.

Edgar   September 23rd, 2009 4:18 pm ET

My utter disinterest in the gay marriage rights issue has given me the advantage of an objective view to base my opinions upon. I do have my own opinions about the institution of marriage, but one thing to think about is the power of marriage to ground couples to relational commitments thus avoiding any of the anti-social personality traits often associated with individuals who feel cast out of society.

Many homosexuals from my state frequent the singles bars their entire lives with no solid reason to commit, so when you think about this also becomes a public health issue, not only for the gay community, but all society at large. I believe that all citizens in any society should be given the right to all the basic needs of human fulfillment. Respectful coexistence is crucial to the advancement of all humanity. Special thanks goes to those who would allow my voice to be heard.

Thank you,
Edgar J

Ashley   September 23rd, 2009 4:46 pm ET

This was an amazing writing on our rights. If only more journalists and lawyers would speak out like this with such clarity and factual support. But no.. we have to listen to Ann Coulter debate Al Sharpton for 5 hours. Lovely.

It's funny how some people jumped on his medical credibility or went off on completely irrelevant subjects, refusing to attempt to refute his great points.

I'd really love to see Dr. Drew debate with Maggie Gallager (president of National Organization for Marriage) on this issue. He'd shut her down.

It's only a matter of time before we have our rights (federally) so we wont have to deal with this anymore. Next state is now Maine. NO on Prop 1!!!!

Lesa Marie   September 23rd, 2009 6:55 pm ET

I don't understand why people don't Live and Let Live.....If 2 people of the same sex want to get married who are we to stop them....Who are we to judge.....If you don't agree then fine....But don't try and stop someone else from having the same happiness and joy that you have....We the people ......The Constitution did not say that only Straight peole have the right to freedom and the pursuit of Happiness....It is clearly taken the civil rights of Gay and Lesbian people...How can any State let this Happen? Gay and Lesbians should have the same right as any other straight person....One day they will overcome. They will win the WAR.......And for all of you who disagree will have to accept it and then maybe you can move on with your sad, EMPTY Lives.....We will pray for all of you.....You need it....All of you who do not like it....So Sad.....To Bad.....Get over it.....

Jeff C   September 23rd, 2009 8:42 pm ET

I agree with the doctor and that is what we have with Prop 8 mob rule, based on fear and a belief that one's idea of family and sexuality is the only right way. Interesting that I watched a program on National Geograhic on Childhood to see that our idea of what childhood is does not mean it is universal. Same goes here with relationships and marriage and yet we have a people group who says our way or the highway.

And to think Prop 8 won by only 5500 votes in CA. But this speaks more to the groups mostly gay who so blindly believed that they had won which is so disrespectful to the LGBT community but it is what it is. One day we will have marriage for all and the fear mongers, and those who use their faith as a sword will put it down and realize how wrong they are. Much like they have had to do with the issue of being black in America. Oops I forgot there are still people in the US that don't like African Americans due to their skin color and belief of their own superiority.

And John H I will agree with you in some ways but the issue is that there are still over 1400 rights that as a gay person I do not have that a married person does. When there is equality with all relationships then I know we have turned a page til lthen the hypocrisy continues.

pat davis   September 23rd, 2009 10:09 pm ET

DR. WHO??????????????????????

Brian   September 23rd, 2009 10:44 pm ET

Marriage is between a man and a woman. That's what the Bible says. It's a sacred religious institution.


We shouldn't, however, legislate religion. So, take the word marriage out of every state's constutution. Civil Unions for everybody.

My dear heterozexual friends, you can keep "marriage." Enjoy your sacred, God-ordained instution.

Oh, and you can also keep "divorce."

TL/Huntington Beach   September 24th, 2009 12:15 am ET

Marriage is not between two people. It means families marry families but you don't find that out until after you get married.

You also don't find out how interfering, difficult, controlling, competitive and jealous your in-laws can be until after your married. It may not be like that for everyone but it is for a lot of people.

Mother's can't handle losing their sons to that special someone who is taking over a large part of their son's emotional and executive function where that was once their role.

Look at all the broken marriages in the world. Maybe our expectations of marriage are too high.

What if we were to change the definition of marriage? I think marriage should have an expiration date and if both partners feel they want renew contract for another five years than proceed.

You marry someone because of love. But as the statistics prove to us love doesn't always last forever.

Again, this is another area where one size does not fit all.

Krys   September 24th, 2009 3:26 am ET

Prince exquisite,
Really? What are you so scared of? Besides your complete misinterpretation of the First Amendment and narrow minded reading of relevant Supreme Court precedent, you fail to take into account the human aspect that surrounds gay marriage. Why is it so wrong that two people who love eachother want the same rights that are afforded to heterosexual couples. Doesn't this sound like an Equal Protection issue? Also you fail to take into account recent Supreme Court opinions that have struck down statutes criminalizing same-sex sodomy while strongly suggesting that statutes banning same-sex marriage are similarly unconstitutional. Furthermore, your reference to Loving v. Virginia is misguided. As you know, or maybe you should read it again, the Court ruled that Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Please explain how you make the leap from the specific facts of this case, without analyzing Lawrence v. Texas, to arrive at the conclusion that same-sex marriage is unconstitutional?

Terry   September 24th, 2009 5:28 am ET

To the posts about societal rules based on religious belief before our Constitution guided us... which came with us as we emigrated from the old world; many of these old world countries have had same sex marriage for years now. Spain and the UK are two examples. Spain surprised me (majority Catholicism), the UK... no so much. I have heard of no breakdown of civil society with either one of these countries. It appears their tolerance to enact governmental equal civil laws should be a model for the new world here in the USA. Live and let Live, leave the judgment to the Almighty if you are a believer, as I am. Judgment in the name of God bothers me. God is about love and will judge us all, gay or straight. Let's be more like Him.

Chris   September 25th, 2009 1:36 pm ET

What the Prop 8 supporters and fear mongers don't realize is that by attempting to "protect" the institution of marriage, they are damaging the institution of religion.

I know I lost my faith in the religious community. Because now I know if they want a law passed, they'll lie, cheat, distort the truth, cover up the truth, make threats, and bully their way into the law books.

As someone who believes in God, I seriously shake my head in disgust at the tactics used to get Prop 8 passed. If that's your "righteous path", you can keep it.

Angela   September 25th, 2009 6:22 pm ET

I don't care who wrote this it was very intelligent and well thought out!

The guy from Texas probably didn't even graduate from high school and he is bashing this doctor. That is funny!!

In any case who cares if gay people get married!! I don't, and my husband doesn't either! I personally think that the only people who care are insecure and not secure with themselves. My husband and I are good friends with a lesbian couple and enjoy having cook outs movie nights with them just like we would with any other couple. Until we personally knew two wonderful people who are unable to have the same rights as us, we never really realized how very important it is! Its not just a pc of paper! It is thousands of laws and rights that we straight people don't even think about. We just have them. SO yeah...this couple they are American citizens, they pay their taxes and they own a home together and for example have to pay more taxes because they aren't "married" they have children and don't have all the protections they deserve in that respect. As well one of them got very ill at one point and wasn't allowed in the hospital with her partner of 20 years! How wrong is that! All of these things come with the legal rights of marriage. SO is about civil rights and its about time we start opening our eyes and stop being so down right mean and ignorant!

EVERYONE deserves equal rights!

Quietstorm   September 26th, 2009 1:03 pm ET

Im sorry..Dr. Drew I support you..but I dont support gay marriages..Sorry..I can't take the beliefs that were instilled in me and take them and throw them in the trash..sorry not me..we all have rights to our opinions so I will respect your opinion and everyone else's on here that agrees with you

chris coleman   September 27th, 2009 10:38 pm ET

I understand living ones life on the teachings of the bible but, what I just can't comprehend is the fact that some people want to force their beliefs on others. your right to freedom of religion only exist due to the fact that this is a nation of laws...not some sort of shariah type religion guided style constitution. I am almost positive that some in this country would shrill with delight to have a religion police brigade riding around in the back of trucks with beating staffs in hand to whack whomever they think is displeasing god to knock some godliness back into them.The United States laws are based on human rationality not religious ideals of what's most god-like. I think we can all be thankful for that we as a nation are striving for a more perfect union western world style. Our laws are not perfect but, when some want to blend the lines of religion and government thats not what this country was founded on no matter how many times you say it. thomas jefferson scoulded john adams during his presidency on this very issue. for those that want a more relgious based government I suggest relocating to the middle east because without the sep of church and state that is exactly what this country would be like. trying to legislate a certain religious ideal of perfection leads to loss of freedoms, ideals, and everything that makes this country so unique in the world. I don't believe anyone wants to lose their rights on the judgement of someone elses religious beliefs but, by denying 10% of this countries population fair and equal treatment under the law. this opens the door to decisions that could deny you your own rights unfortunately that doesn't seem to bother some of you because you dont mind blending a little religion into the law because it isn't affecting you... yet!!! that's the part you don't see too blinded by your biblical morality. As for calling HOMOSEXUALITY unions a marriage when did the church copyright a word. Legally it will be the same thing. I will gladly go to the court house, its cheaper!!!

Andy   September 27th, 2009 10:46 pm ET

@david Oh yes. Because as we all know the founding fathers envisioned a Christian nation. *cough*

"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world and I do not find
in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They
are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men,
women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been
burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this
coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to
support roguery and error all over the earth." – Jefferson

"It is the duty of every true Diest to vindicate the moral justice of God
against the evils of the Bible." -Paine

"What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on
civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of
political tyrrany. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of
the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty
have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government,
instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy." -Madison

(and as signed by your beloved John Adams on the Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11) "The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the
Christian religion." -Adams

*cough cough* Yeah... They truly aimed for a Christian nation...

ty   September 28th, 2009 11:10 am ET

I think Prop 8 was a gross violation of civil rights being trampled, and for those saying the definition of marriage shouldn't change or is between a man and a woman, Marriage has changed many times!

Are you glad blacks can marry whites, or do you want to go back to when interracial marriage was illegal? What about when woman were considered LEGAL Property? Was that another blow to marriage when our goverment moved to consider both partners equal?

Time to get with the times people. There were a lot of people upset when they took slavery away, or forced religions to accept African Americans into the church or lose there tax exempt status. This is just a new forefront of civil liberties of a minority that we need to help protect!

Jake Lockley   September 28th, 2009 1:40 pm ET

Looking at the Bill of Rights, not seeing any rights being violated by Prop 8. In fact the California Civil code guarantees equal rights... unfortunately Prop 8 is about special benefits in CA, and not rights. If it was about equality then single people would not be discriminated against in doling out those special benefits.

Don't grant special rights or benefits to anyone based on relationship status.

Accepting homosexuality is one thing, promoting or endorsing it as healthy behavior equal to and worthy of the same consideration and respect is another. By definition, homosexuality is perverted behavior. So is a lot of consensual legal behavior, but they are not being promoted as normal or healthy. Homosexuality should be respected as a choice, but not endorsed or promoted as worthwhile for the propagation of the species or as healthy.

Kirsten   September 28th, 2009 2:50 pm ET

The rights of any individual should not be subjected to any vote whatsoever.

Dan Ostrowski   September 28th, 2009 3:22 pm ET

Precisely right, Dr. Drew. The majority should not be able to dictate the rights of the minority.

Ashley   September 28th, 2009 3:40 pm ET

@ Jake Lockley

Hey, Copernicus.. if you look PAST the bill of rights and head onto the 14th Amendment, you'll find the equal protection clause.

Your "perverted" argument was probably used by thousands of rednecks back when anti-miscegenation laws were overturned in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia. The Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were a violation of the 14h Amendment.. Millions of racists probably lost their collective crap.. But we now look back at that and shake our heads. It's just a matter of time before we get ours rights.

But I admit that your argument is more legitimate than the rednecks who undoubtedly grabbed their white sisters away from her black prom date screaming "Ay! If anyone's havin sex with my sister, it's gonna be me!"

If I was trying to marry my stapler, then your perverted statement would have merit. If I was trying to ban Sunday church services, than the religious argument would make sense. But I'm just trying to marry Angelina Jolie. Relax.

Sonia   September 28th, 2009 3:53 pm ET

@ Kirsten and Dan Ostrowski: YES! And even though that's Drew's main point underlying this whole discussion, it will soon get lost in the shuffle in a discussion over the definition of marriage, once again...

note how no one has an argument supporting the majority's right to vote on such a decision here.

Andrew   September 28th, 2009 4:36 pm ET

Who is it really hurting?!?! It seems like something that would really help a lot of people and potentially the progress of the human race.

Ashley   September 28th, 2009 4:48 pm ET

@ Prince

I'm going to attempt to debate each of your points.

1) "one of the main purposes of the first amendment in preserving our rights to freedom of religion, expression, and association is to prevent the government form divesting society of its right to define these conventions as it pleases."

Freedom of religion does not mean you can create legislation to dictate other’s lives by your beliefs. What if there were millions of religious fanatics wanted to ban Red Lobster because shellfish is an abomination according to their God? Would you let them?

2) "The court in Loving by no means sought to change the traditional Western defnition of marriage (one man and one woman); what it declared unconstitutional was the prohibition of interracial marriages."

Amendments have been created to ban “traditional western" ways before... like slavery... women's voting rights. But before that.. Oprah would have been screwed.

States have laws banning discrimination against people for race, religion, sexual orientation.. There are also state bans on gay marraige. It's just a matter of time before we get our rights.


First off, capital letters are fancy. Second, stop with the definition defense. It’s a definition; it’s not a civil rights movement to tattoo it on your forehead. “Think of all the trees we’ll have to waste to change the damn dictionary definition!!”

Again, precendents have been set before... there's a thousand ways you can phrase equal change as wrong. Either way, blacks and women have fought, and won, for their rights before. Bruno is next.

4) “The definition also does not allow for incest, bigamy, bestiality, or “marriage of self” according to the current definition. Are all of these peoples’ “rights” being violated as well?

The funny thing is… we aren’t any of those things! I’m not trying to marry my sister. I’m not trying to marry all of the Kardashian sisters (one will do). I’m not trying to have sex with my dog. And I’m not asking to marry myself.

You might as well say “if the gays can marry one another, than we’ll have to legalize the idiot who wants to marry his turtle!!” If you want to categorize us in the “tree humpers” category go right ahead. But the psychology community will disagree with you.

5) "The fact that a minority is attempting to autocratically change the definition brings up serious first amendment issues."

Again, women and black rights. How many religious books degrade women? After the passing of the 19th Amendment, I wonder how many people used your argument of the “minority” pushing views on the “majority." Let's say Sudan had laws that we have here.. and Sudanese women fought to be able to wear pants like Lubna Hussien, but the majority who followed Sharia used your arguement and said the majority thinks women should not be able to.. which is how it's always been.. would you agree with them?

6) "gays should stop calling those on our side irrational bigots. Many of us are not. Ad hominems never result in fuitful debate; they only make folks angry."

If a white man said he was against interracial marriage because it was against his beliefs or he found it “unnatural” and then said “but I’m not a racist!!” would you believe him?

I think my head just exploded.

LouNYC   September 28th, 2009 9:03 pm ET

Hey "Think about it"... IT IS equal rights we're after. I don't care if you call it marriage, civil union, tomato soup or anything else. The point is that both gay and straight couples should receive all their civil and legal rights from the same document. Then let those who want a "marriage" go to their local church and get one there.
So.. I agree with you. I have no desire to "redefine" marriage. Just make the federal and state governments change the civil, criminal and tax laws from marriage to civil unions and have all states issue only Civil Union certificates to both straight and gay couples. If marriage is a religious institution, then let only a religious organization perform those.

Richelle   September 28th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

To those of you criticizing Dr. Drew, I whole heartedly doubt you know him. Not saying that I know him personally but it is unfair for you to judge him, making ignorant judgements about his kids, his job, his credentials. Seriously, is board certified physician and addictions medicine specialist not impressive? Do you think that you know him based off this article alone? The kind of doctor, the kind of person he is? I don't understand how you can make these judgements and not know the person.

By the way, to those of you picking out parts of the article, giving your points about how the Dr. is wrong and you are RIGHT, I think you definitely have the upper hand. Yeah, you do. I mean, I just skimmed through the comments to add this one but oh it's so obvious. You're so big for publicly stating your opinions somewhere where close to nobody is going to read them carefully. Also I commend you for all having such astute opinions, my, you should have written your own article for CNN!!! See you on Larry King, right? Since you're so educated!

It's seems I'm contradicting myself, right? Me putting my own opinions on here for bashing yours. Here's some advice from a 17 year old high school senior who is not as politically or socially aware as all of you: it's great that you have your own stance on the world but bashing someone else for theirs kills your credibility.

But not like it matters to the rest of us.

TinaMarie   September 28th, 2009 10:52 pm ET

Dr. Drew has done much much more than celebrity Rehab...just sayn...
Your negative comments don't take away from the message. nice try though.

" Beware, it may be your rights next to be trampled merely because there are enough people who think it should be so."

Mike , VA   September 28th, 2009 11:22 pm ET

why is it so many people will pull everything someone says out of context until it is no longer recognizable. We are talking about basic rights everyone should have straight or homosexual. Why are people so fearful of this? To me people seem brainwashed to hate others that are different than themselves in order for them to feel more secure with their own lives.

Brandon B   September 29th, 2009 10:28 am ET

The issue isn't specifically about same sex marriage you cankerous hee-haws. If you paid attention to the article or to anything regarding Proposition 8 besides "the gays!" then you would see that the issue is actually a very scary prospect.

Danny   September 29th, 2009 12:43 pm ET

I teach American Government and in any text it will read that The majority should rule but must respect minority rights.

Using closed minded religious based thinking does not respect the rights of the minority . If the Bible (a two thousand year old book) is your best reason for banning same sex marriages it time to for you wake up.

Juanimator   September 29th, 2009 5:43 pm ET

Terry, TX: Clearly you do not understand the definition of Democracy and Republic. Your head is obviously too clouded with homosexual preocupations. Simply replace "same sex mariage" with, for instance "irish-american property rights" and you'll see what the writer means in this article.

Julz   September 29th, 2009 5:49 pm ET

Thank you for taking a stand on this, Dr. Drew!
Too many people are letting thier emotions about the subject of same sex marriage dictate their behavior. They need to take a closer look at the issue, gather unbiased facts, and realize that this is a matter of civil rights.

courtney   September 29th, 2009 8:10 pm ET

someone's been reading the federalist no. 10! i love dr. drew... and his article is very well written!

Julianne Bridget   September 29th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

It doesn't matter who wrote it, or the words that were specifically used.
If some guy asked me to marry him, I would not judge him on how he did it.
The point is NOT the how. It is the what, the topic, the matter, the base.


Erin   October 1st, 2009 6:16 pm ET

Marraige right NOW in MOST states states that it is between a man and a woman. And that needs to stay the same why? For what reason? Tradition? OK, well, then I guess blacks and women shouldn't be able to vote – let alone let different races marry. That's just crazy talk!

The reason that most of the ignorant, hateful people give is that it "says blah in the bible". OK – separation of church and state. You don't see the state getting involved in church-related matters...until, of course, the priest is molesting the alter boy.

Marriage isn't sacred right now and never really has been. If someone like Khloe Kardashian can get married after 30 days and people can get married because they're knocked up, it's not sacred. If two people are in love and their relationship is stable and honest, they should be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't hurt others – and a couple of rings and a piece of paper doesn't hurt anyone. Those of you who think it'll affect you in any way need a hobby and a life.

Chris Coleman   October 3rd, 2009 3:52 am ET

I'd like to thank all the people that wrote in support of my equal rights as a homosexual man in a 14 year relationship to be able to enjoy the same rights afforded heterosexual couples. I am glad that most people realize if I can be denied my rights that they too could be denied civil liberties on the whim of a majority vote. thanks DR. Drew for your op-ed (blog) and opening a discussion on this topic maybe if more would do the same my partner and I wouldn't have to worry about ssi benefits, unfair taxation, property ownership laws, insurance coverage and our wills being contested by a next of kin that we don't even talk to. I couldn't imagine the worry that gay parents have to deal with!!! hopefully one day soon the 10% (thirty million) of the U.S. population will get what we should already have equal protection under the law. Like the minorities that fought before us with a little help from all of the community will win this fight too. I just want everyone to think... today it is my rights being denied tomorrow it could be yours. Please make sure you vote with American values not theocratic values (thats un-American)! As for those that disagree pick up a history book every once and while instead of the book... @Carrol...i appreciated your thoughts very much I can only hope as well...thankyou!!!

Sonia   October 6th, 2009 12:22 pm ET

Rights evolve through education and tolerance. In one of our founding documents, I am three fifths of a person. Until 1967, there were laws that did not allow people to marry, even if they had reached their majority. There is no such thing as gay marriage. If you are lucky or blessed enough to find your true love, the state you live in should allow you to marry that person, no questions asked. Why is this such a difficult concept to understand?

Jay Lawyer   October 6th, 2009 12:25 pm ET

Since when is sexual orientation a protected class? I am an attorney, and that's news to me.

Ha.   October 6th, 2009 12:31 pm ET

Terry is from Texas? What a shocker!

julia   October 6th, 2009 12:40 pm ET

Being a History major, I think dr. Drew did his homework, and he is absolutely correct. Not only was scholar toqueville right on the money, but the fear of the mob rule was EXACTLY why the judicial branch was created in the first place. For a group of educated people with ample experience in law to give an expert opinion, not reference democratic practices in CA (which is exactly what our ca judicial system did). A shame they can't exercise their purpose correctly.

I am APALLED at the comments on here, the logic presented against homosexuality is unsound and disgusting. Marriage is a right, not a privilege designated by opposite genders.
No civil rights movement has ever failed in this country. Its just a matter of time before justice prevails.

julia   October 6th, 2009 12:43 pm ET

Being a History major, I can see dr. Drew did his homework, and he is absolutely correct. Not only was scholar toqueville right on the money, but the fear of the mob rule was EXACTLY why the judicial branch was created in the first place. For a group of educated people with ample experience in law to give an expert opinion, not reference democratic practices in CA (which is exactly what our ca judicial system did). A shame they can't exercise their purpose correctly.

I am APALLED at the comments on here, the logic presented against homosexuality is unsound and disgusting. Marriage is a right, not a privilege exclusively exercisrf by opposite genders.

No civil rights movement has ever failed in this country. Its just a matter of time before justice prevails.

Robert   October 6th, 2009 1:18 pm ET

Should a mother be allowed to marry her daughter/son? Two consenting adults truly in love or trying to beat inheritance/tax laws, etc... Who are we to judge there right to marry? Should the President be selected by the electoral college without paying attention to the voting constituents?

Majority rules! If you don't like it, move to Cuba, China or N. Korea, there majority does not rule but tyranny does.

Dr. Drew, would you agree Congress shouldn't be able to make laws based on majority, the Supreme Court too?

kellie   November 26th, 2009 11:10 am ET

the political community is at the service of the civil society from which it is born. Civil society represents the sum total of the goods, cultural or relational, which are relatively independent of politics and the economy. The state should make sure that the legal framework allows the social actors (societies, associations, organisations, and so on) to carry out their activities in total freedom; it should be ready to intervene, only if needed and in conformity with the principle of subsidiarity, in order that the interaction between freedom of association and the democratic way leads in the direction of the common good.

Cali MJ Fan   November 26th, 2009 12:40 pm ET

Fantastic job Dr. Drew. 10000000% agree with you!

A. Smith, Oregon   November 26th, 2009 5:37 pm ET

For churches across America, the bread and butter money maker is marriages. Although Christianity has long and repeatedly attempted to copyright 'marriage' as their sole domain and solely as a contract with their 'god', history shows that Christianity did not invent nor create Marriage.

In fact Christianity greatly abused its corrupted power on removing other cultural bonding ceremony's between individuals seeking a deeper relationship that was observed by its outer society and community.

With multiple famous Christian Marriages ending in Divorces, its clear the marriage contract is not between any 'god' and those individuals, it is a legal contract between consenting adults and observed by the outer society and community at large.

President Abe Lincoln was very close to being a dictator during his term in office. He actively threatened to lockup the entire Supreme Court which greatly disagreed with what they perceived were illegal actions not supported by constitutional laws.

I find it interesting that Dr. Drew uses a dictator style argument in his attempt to persuade people that a majority of people have no say in a legal binding contract between two consenting adults.

sheila crone   November 26th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

Dr. Drew is only interested in beathing Dr. Phil in popularity. He thinks very highly of himself and loves the control that he has over the kooks/celebrities that flock to him. He needs to stick to his playground in Hollywood and get over himself.

sheila crone   November 26th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

I forgot to mention to Larry King that he should try someone else or is he part of the leftist propaganda himself. It's disgusting to see grown men and women groveling for Hollywood's attention. But, then again, that's where the most nuts are.

John H.   November 26th, 2009 11:33 pm ET

To those who say Civil Unions do not provide the same legal rights as Marriages, I say make into law all the legal rights enjoyed in Marriages and asign them to Civil Unions. That way everyone is given equal rights under the law and it is no longer necessary to redifine the word Marriage. That should solve everyones problem but I doubt it will as the real goal of the same sex marriage crowd is to take for themselves the term Marriage and not to gain equal rights.

Jared D.   November 30th, 2009 8:09 pm ET

Proposition 8 is about defining marriage between man and woman. Why would that be important? Because, marriage should be a beneficial union for society. Same Sex couples can be allowed to form civil unions, but calling that a marriage can damage society. How would that damage society? First, it damages the understanding of what a family is. Children deserve to be raised in an environment where they have the loving support of a mother and father. France rejected gay marriage in 2006. They concluded that same-sex marriages do not benefit the interest of children or future society. France concluded that they could “no longer systematically place [the] aspirations of adults ahead” of children’s needs and rights. I myself have same-gender attraction. While I love children, I would never seek to raise a child in a same-sex relationship. Why? Because adoption is about a child's right to a family with a mother and father, not merely about my right's for a child.

Mark R.   December 7th, 2009 5:36 pm ET

Jared D. – Gays are not fighting to redefine 'marriage' although once this battle is won it may need to be redefined. We are fighting for equal civil rights.

I too have same-gender attraction (so much so that I have no different-gender attraction and simply consider myself gay) and luckily have been able to come to accept it and live happily despite life-long badgering from society, schools and even my own straight family.

You say, "children deserve to be raised in an environment where they have the loving support of a mother and father,” but this is meaningless if they are abandoned by heterosexual parents, even if the reasons are justifiable. These children now have neither a mother nor father present in their life. Adoption, albeit unlikely, is now the only option for these innocent children. Would you deny them a family headed by a same-sex couple? What about single parent adoption? Would it be better in your opinion to let them be raised by the state?

In fact, prevailing research shows that kids raised by gay couples fare no better or worse than kids raised by straight couples. Check out the recent research by Ellen C. Perrin at Tufts. And though I don’t have backing research I would venture to guess that children raised by gay or straight parents generally fare better than those raised in foster care.

I was raised by straight parents, never came out to them until long after I was out of their house. My father was an intolerable homophobe and his constant reinforcement that I was 'bad' or 'less-than' along with the vitriol perpetrated on me in "Catholic" school caused me terrible emotional pain my entire life growing up. Was I “better off” than if I had been raised by two loving same-sex parents without any such hate? Probably not. Were my two straight brothers better off learning to hate homosexuals from their heterosexual father and participating in the same abuse of their gay brother? Probably not. In any case, I am happy to tell you that they and my father have since done a “180” in their beliefs about homosexuality and have realized the pain they caused me. But only after I came out to them and they had time to take stock of all the terrible things they said, never knowing that all along they were saying them about me. It sounds like you could benefit from exploring your rather obvious internalized homophobia with a good therapist, and I hope that you do. It is truly sad to see you suffer.

ErnieLG   December 7th, 2009 8:36 pm ET

As a hetero male, as a staunch American patriot, and as an educated Californian, I will never accept the trampling of others' freedom and rights anywhere. It's encouraging to see that there are still those who struggle for the civil liberties that everyone in our nation (and the world) deserves.

Also as a director of different mentorship programs for at-risk youth, I've seen gay couples parent and save (who would be otherwise hopeless) children. It's impossible to refute what these children would tell you about their parents and what they've done for them. It's actually interesting, because, even without a study, it's so obvious the effect of an adult caring for a child in need.

BART KEARNS   December 10th, 2009 1:01 am ET

it will for sure shock those know me well at the church am going to at this current time but am a very strong backer of the group gladd as well as a firm backer of prop 8 i feel time times they are changing even those who are strong in church would say am wrong it's still a sin to them i'd say get in line with the times but i might be in the few that feel that bible might want to bend with the modern time cause things can not stay the same they must get into step or be left in the dirt truly know this will sock a lot of Christan all i can sat deal with it and please get in step if not get into the modern times or be left behind and in closing i totally agree with dr. drew
bart kearns
of canoga park ca

Dan   January 3rd, 2010 10:32 pm ET

You all can oppose gay marriage all you want. It is already happening and we will have gay marriage in the entire country sometime soon.
Get a life and get over it.

Ewa   January 4th, 2010 2:10 am ET

It is about time to stop pretending that we all have equal rights and actually give people EQUAL RIGHTS. We must move forward, not backwards. Really, it is time. Generations change; old, conservative views die out, the US is behind many other countries in this issue, it is 2010... it is about time! This should be embarrassing to the government and to the people that such a powerful county is still so behind in the area of basic equality.

Karen Grube   January 4th, 2010 4:51 am ET

I'm sorry, but the passage of prop 8 was a triumph of voter rights. Voters have the right to define marriage for their state, and the voters in California and Maine and in 31 other states have said NO to gay marriage, and have passed laws banning gay marriage in 15 others.. If the voters want to define marriage as inclusive of gays, that's one thing, but so far that has never happened, not once. Clearly, this is unacceptable to the Americal people. And rightfully so! Governments have a stake in the success of society's most fundamental institution, the family. One of the reasons governments exists is to protect these fundamental institutions.

I'm sorry, but I will never believe that what some call a struggle for civil rights is nothing more than a very tiny minority trying to force their own political and social agenda on the rest of us, who have said NO to redefining marriage very clearly and very loudly. One of the most basic principles we live by in this country is the sancity and value of the vote, and to disrespect the voter's decision is just wrong and as anti-American as anything I can every imagine. If gay marriage is EVER to be accepted, it HAS to be by the consent of the voters. It cannot be forced on people. No one has the right to use intimidation and bullying (even if it's with law books instead of baseball bats) to force their lifestyle choice on the rest of us! And NO ONE has the right to take our vote away.

Ern   January 4th, 2010 12:26 pm ET

Karen is a genius. We should, in every instance, allow a majority to deny civil rights to a minority. Now we can finally ban inter-racial marriage, jews, black people... Think about all of the progress we can make!

I think the most "anti-American" thing one could imagine would be trying to create an America where people are judged, isolated, and treated unfairly. To some Americans, the "basic priniciples we live by in this country" are liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Ever heard of Jim Crow Laws or racism? The Holocaust? I mean, take a glance in a history book to see the effects of mob mentality and an unwillingness to accept and understand those who are different.

And you must be very confused, because I don't know how anyone could be "forcing their lifestyle choice" on you. They're making you marry someone of the same gender? Hmm. Poor confused people.

Smith in Oregon   August 4th, 2010 7:03 pm ET

The California Federal judges ruling against Prop. 8 is another huge blow against the Republican Potty. And yet another reminder to the American people that the roaches aka Republican Potty'ticians are attempting and FAILING to rewrite America's constitution to reflect their regressive, racist and bigoted narrow points of view.

Like President Obama recently stated before a large crowd of appreciative supporters, Republican Potty'ticians want America to slam the vehicle into 'R' for reverse, back in the ditch, back to segregation, back to racist laws and hateful nightstick wielding goons. President Obama reminded the crowd, Democrats are slamming the vehicle into 'D' for driving forward, progressing into the future, not regressing into the toxic moronic Bush Family values of the past.

That must be the overwhelming reason why Republican Potty'titicans don't want the Bush tax cuts on the ultra rich American's to be removed. Adding another 3 Trillion dollars to the federal deficit is fiscally responsible according to the GOP.

Smith in Oregon   August 4th, 2010 7:08 pm ET

It seems Democrats must remind the heartless and callous Republican Potty that infant children of Brown Skin born in America have civil rights and constitutional rights also. Grabbing those infants and dumping them like trash on the Mexican border is entirely missing in treating humanity with decency and respect, it is a corrupt regression back to segregation and anti-Black and anti-Brown America era long past.

Who cares what the Republican Potty'ticians want? If they were a majority in power they'd either rewrite the 14th. constitutional amendment or illegally go around it like the depraved and utterly corrupt Bush-Cheney often did with various constitutional and legal statues. The Republican Potty of NO has no ideas and no help but loads of racist and heartless solutions to strike back at a black president, how original!

For 2 full years the Republican Potty pushed how awful Black America is on the American people, American voters rewarded them by electing in America's first Black President. Now the Republican Potty is pushing how awful Brown America is on the American people, and American voters will reward them this coming November by removing as many Republican Potty'tican Archie Bunkers from public service as possible, thanks for the incentive!

Cajazz76:24:8   August 4th, 2010 7:26 pm ET

@Karen Grube..

You should accept as truth the constitution's of all states and the ONE that protect's us all, are written out of sight of the voter's because their ignorance, if contained therein, is captured....all freedom will escape. Constitution's to be valid, have to insure the majority, that the minority will not be denied..You need to pound a few nails in the framework of human behavior, beyond what the framework of the constitution's supports and protects...caj.

Cajazz76:24:8   August 4th, 2010 8:44 pm ET

Gay marriage is California no's now called marriage. Boy, the right-wing is in a nose dive tonight....

edwah   August 4th, 2010 8:57 pm ET

From a Christian based perspective, as well as with the framers of the Contitution of the United States, i know without a shadow of doubt was there the intent to protect same sex marriage.

The God fearing would not blow away there honor and worship to the preeminence of Christ in the church then go to theiir Government post and Job and frames laws contrary to the rightness they learned and appreciated at church.

The morality adhere to at church was the respective rights of all people and the Laws expressed in the Contitution the binding laws of Covenant all people's. They did not construct laws to defend immorlaity, but did have consequences and laws governing them. Same sex sexual activities were Unlawful Carnal Knowleged, and cannot then be legal under the sanctioned law that pertect the institution of marriage, by definition laid out in Holy Scripture.

The framers of the Constitution based their mind about marriage from scripture not some johnny come lately crusade to debase it and the attempt to include a right to , because they fail or willfully ignore to grasp the God fearing perspective and intent of the framers.

It is enough not hold peopel whpo willfull desire to embrace immorality, but to make it legal but to make laws to protect immorality brings a curse upon the people who do all they can to refrain from immorlaity. Both Republic and Democracy hold to the Majority by reason of definition the Majority of the people meant to give advantage to the people who held the values protected and agreed to in the Constitution.

Special interest of the enemies of the morality and continuity of the Constitution are not in Majority therefore by definition illegal to protect special interest.

The Constitution must be seen as a standard to protect the interest of the majority, within its content without any debasement to adulterate

IKHAN   August 4th, 2010 10:06 pm ET

Hi Larry,

In Christianity Homosexuality is a sin carrying Capital Punishment.
Lev: 20:13
But we are not a Judo- Christian state contrary to what some would have us believe, though the majority of the population may have Christian names. Its not the Scriptures but the Constitution which governs this nation thru a democratically elected govt.

The rights of majority alone are not protected by the Constitution but the rights of all.Therefore the laws which are legislated conforming to the spirit of Constitution have to be accepted though they may be repugnant to a religion.

Annie McLean   August 4th, 2010 10:33 pm ET

... I am a woman... need I say more ?

Anthony Smith   August 4th, 2010 11:05 pm ET

Jesus have mercy. What a sad day.

Cajazz76:24:8   August 4th, 2010 11:27 pm ET

"Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, man's inclination for injustice makes democracy necessary "-Reinhold Neibuhr...The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness...

John H   August 4th, 2010 11:28 pm ET

Dr. Drew tramples on our basic civil rights. The right to vote and have it counted.

@Dodie....We shouldn't be allowed to vote on something that tramples on our basic civil rights? No one trampled your rights. Find yourself a nice man and get married.

thegreaterinfestation   August 5th, 2010 12:32 am ET

civil right??? marriage ...??? who get to dictate what...?

marriage is the union, that spawns semi clones, hybridized to catch up with reality faster then its forefathers.

some cultures have many males taking care of one female... and others where there is a male who takes care of many women.

law needs to respect human adaptability, and provide protection to children from their less evolved parents. thus

nobody cares where you put ur junk. nor how much of a bond we develop with the things we rub upon.

Amoglee   August 5th, 2010 3:36 am ET

I am a person who believes in equality for all. I will respect those with differing opinions from myself... only asking for the same respect in return. I have been married to my husband for 7 years and I can't imagine my state or country telling me that my marriage is not right. I don't believe this is a religious issue (and if it is it should be from the prospective of Christ's love... Christ would want Christians to show LOVE and not judgement. I can't believe that Christ would show anything but love to same sex couples). Peace to you!

Karen O'Donoghue   August 5th, 2010 4:03 am ET

I am very impressed with the way Dr. Drew so eloquently put this whole picture into perspective... We need to as a people living in what is supposed to be "a nation conceived in liberty and brought to the proposition that all men are created equal..." remember that just because we do or do not agree with our neighbor's belief's... it is equally their right to disagree with you... freedom of the people...

Charles   August 5th, 2010 11:40 am ET

@John H,
No chance and you know why.

Joe G. (Illinois)   August 5th, 2010 3:54 pm ET

You never want to rationalize sin when you are in the devil’s court.

Whether it be smoking, drinking, doing drugs, perversion and sexual immorality, gambling and so on and on..

There is only one way to combat sin and the devil..

Hugh ~ California   August 5th, 2010 5:41 pm ET

@John H,
What trampled on your basic civil rights? None, that I can see; you can get married any time you want to. Perhaps you should read the Constitution; no state has the right to vote on legislation that violates the Bill of Rights.

Article 14: Due process is the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law. Due process holds the government subservient to the law of the land, protecting individual persons from the state.

The Supreme Court has recognized an individual’s rights under state law, ruling that state’s cannot make laws which infringe upon an individual’s “fundamental rights.” This is why California's Prop. 8 should have never been on a ballot in the first place.

Gerald Jolly   August 6th, 2010 9:31 am ET

When will people see Dr. Drew Pinsky for what he realy is.

A person that exploits the system and people for personal gain, is not a person that should be commenting on matters he knows nothing about.

A person that would rather appear on television shows and concoct a show of his own is not a person that most folks should put their faith in.

Dr. Drew Pinsky is what he is.

A person that's in it for the money and self serving reasons


GiveMeABreak   August 10th, 2010 10:18 pm ET

All I want to know is this: How can 1 judge overturn the vote of the people? Californians said no to same sex marriage, and this one Gay Judge says no to the people, and yes to his own view. I am against gay marriage and don't mind saying so. Humans are the only species that does such a thing. If GOD had wanted his people to be this way, then there would be no Adam and Eve, but Adam and Evan.

Being heterosexual seems to be the minority. I am sick and tired of every show on T.V. having a gay character. It is not necessary to stick that in my face everywhere I turn. This the reason Sodom and Gomorah was destroyed. You can't know GOD and still commit the sin of homosexuality and lesbianism. I don't care how you slice it, it is wrong. News Flash!!!! Gays and Lesbians can't reproduce. That still takes a man and a woman. (even with artificial insimination)

Matt J.   August 17th, 2010 5:06 am ET

Dr. Pinsky was right about one thing: he is no legal scholar, nor an expert on American history.

Nor could he cover up his gross ignorance with all his dangling references to the Founding Fathers, who never would have supported this mockery of their values, the so-called 'right' to "gay marriage".

No, the Found ing Fathers knew better. They read Montesquieu, NOT JS Mill, so they understood that 'liberty' does not mean 'libertine'. They understood that there is no right to gay marriage, that marriage is itself a social institution closely wrapped up with the survival of any society, whether before their great invention of the American Republic or after, that to remain so vital and conducive to our survival, it must be as it has always been: between a man and a woman.

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