The Pursuit of Happiness

I have often referred to this phrase from the Declaration of Independence in my discussions on marriage equality. In response to comments I made in another journal, someone recently questioned whether or not the Declaration could be used in legal arguments.

From Wikipedia (that world-renowned source of reliability :D):

The phrase “pursuit of happiness” appeared in the 1967 Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), which focused on an anti-miscegenation statute. Chief Justice Warren wrote:

The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

The phrase is used in the depression-era case Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), which is seen as the seminal case interpreting the “liberty” interest of the Due Process clause of the 14th amendment as guaranteeing, among other things, a right to the pursuit of happiness, and, consequently, a right to privacy.

If Loving v Virginia cannot be considered relevant in any question of marriage equality, then I do not know what can be. As a member of the pagan clergy, I fully support the right of any committed, adult persons to engage in the rites of marriage (regardless of gender sexual orientation or, for that matter, number.)


I’m reposting this because the same  questions have arisen in the Second Amendment arguments, bout the applicability of the Declaration of Independence in terms of applying the “well-regulated” standard for firearms.