Gay Marriage Is Constitution Day Topic At Dalton State

Monday, September 9, 2013

The constitutionality of gay marriage will be the topic of Dalton State’s annual Constitution Day program Tuesday, September 17, at 6 p.m. in Goodroe Auditorium of Gignilliat Memorial Hall. The public is invited to the free program which will be led by Mr. Matthew L. Hipps, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Dalton State.

The United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional in a split decision last June. DOMA denied federal benefits to gay couples who were legally married in their states; as a result of the ruling by the high court, the federal government now recognizes same sex marriages in the 12 states and District of Columbia where gay marriage is legal.

The Internal Revenue Service went a step further earlier this month when it announced that it would recognize same sex marriage in all 50 states for tax purposes. Similarly, the military recognizes same sex marriage and extends spousal benefits to all married service members.

Federal benefits include Social Security survivor benefits, immigration rights, and family leave.

In writing the majority opinion for the high court, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that DOMA violated the Fifth Amendment protection of equal liberty.

“We are going to talk about the Constitutional issues regarding gay marriage and what happens when politics and morality meet,” said Hipps, who teaches Introduction to American Government and directs the College’s First Year Experience program.

“We want to examine and discuss the potential benefits and costs of a gay marriage amendment and talk about how the issue of gay marriage is really a larger issue of human rights and equality,” he said.

Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, the program is recommended for mature audiences.

Constitution Day recognizes the signing of the Constitution by the framers on September 17, 1787. Each year, Dalton State presents a Constitution Day program which highlights one or more basic liberties afforded to us as Americans in the document that provides the framework for our government.

Mr. Hipps has led Dalton State’s Constitution Day programs the last two years, addressing issues related to the First Amendment right to free speech. His topics have included Political Discourse and Civility and Tolerance.

The Constitution Day program is sponsored by the Office of Student Life.

Bright School Holds Pajama Party Auction

The Bright School's Pajama Party Auction benefits the children of the school. Visit the auction website to bid on more than 250 items. Items up for bid include works of art, clothing, jewelry, gift cards, rugs, electronics and special experiences. The auction ends at 10 p.m. on Nov. 1. All items will be available for pickup at the Bright School Development Office, 1950 McDade ... (click for more)

Criminal Justice Speaker Series At Chattanooga State Welcomes Ray Krone Thursday Night

Ray Krone, the nation’s 100th Death Row exoneree and co-founder of Witness to Innocence will share his experience of wrongful convictions and discuss his efforts to abolish the death penalty tonight at 6 p.m. The presentation will take place in the Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) building, room C-30, on the main campus of Chattanooga State Community College, 4501 Amnicola ... (click for more)

2 Witnesses To A Murder Refuse To Testify At Jury Trial

Two men who prosecutors say witnessed a murder in Hixson on Jan. 31, 2014, on Wednesday refused to tell their story to a jury. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman ordered Andrew Biro and Jacob Tyler "T.Y." Keel to answer questions from prosecutor Lance Pope, but they both refused. Biro had said during testimony in General Sessions Court that Christopher Levi Parker threatened ... (click for more)

PETA And Humane Educational Society Offer Reward For Torture-Killing Of Dog After Envelope Mailed From Chattanooga

An envelope postmarked from Chattanooga and containing a photo of a dog strung between two trees arrived at PETA's office in Virginia Tuesday, along with the severed ear of a dog. PETA members are offering a reward of $5,000-and the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga has added another $1,000-for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘The Right To Bear Arms’

As the worldwide debut of the much-anticipated “Hacksaw Ridge” is set for next weekend, it didn’t take long for the anti-gun fanatics to decry “a war movie.” Mel Gibson, the director of the film that focuses on a conscientious objector Desmond Doss who refused to bear a weapon but saved an estimated 75 lives, was asked about America’s gun problem as he toured to promote the film. ... (click for more)