On the Liberal Front

Expandmenu Shrunk

Gay marriage around the corner

Gays and lesbians will soon have the irrefutable right to marry. It’s inevitable. Even John Roberts’ Supremes won’t be able to stop it as a matter of law.

Today California’s Supreme Court ruled that state laws prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriages violate state constitutional rights of gay people. The 4-3 opinion came from three Republican and one Democratic appointee.

According to Lisa Keen at the Windy City Times:

The legal issue before the court was whether state laws banning the legal recognition of same-sex marriages in California violate the state constitution’s guarantees of equal protection, freedom of expression, right to privacy or the fundamental right to marry. The laws banned both the licensing of same-sex marriage in California and the recognition of same-sex marriages licensed elsewhere.

The 172 page opinion comes in a case that consolidated six appeals. The court acknowledged the magnitude of the present moment:

We are in the midst of a major social change. Societies seldom make such changes smoothly. For some the process is frustratingly slow. For others it is jarringly fast. In a democracy, the people should be given a fair chance to set the pace of change without judicial interference. That is the way democracies work. Ideas are proposed, debated, tested. Often new ideas are initially resisted, only to be ultimately embraced. But when ideas are imposed, opposition hardens and progress may be hampered.

We should allow the significant achievements embodied in the domestic partnership statutes to continue to take root. If there is to be a new understanding of the meaning of marriage in California, it should develop among the people of our state and find its expression at the ballot box.

Same-sex marriage is as inevitable as the next network broadcast of The Wizard of Oz.

We’re not in Kansas any more.