Sunday, July 09, 2006

Washington Post declares voting on same-sex marriage is just and inevitable

This Washington Post editorial seems to say that the decisions of the state courts on same-sex marriage are irrelevant, one way or the other, because "it's become clear that democratic majorities, not judges, ultimately will decide how evenhanded state marriage laws are going to be. In many states, ballot initiatives have preempted any litigation by amending state constitutions to prohibit same-sex marriage." The editorial also says: "State laws, and even state constitutions, are generally easy enough to change that courts cannot force same-sex marriage on an unwilling populace."

Last night, I saw a fellow on C-SPAN, who was said to be historian of the U.S. Senate, and he was asked something like what Senate floor speech would he most like to have heard, and he cited the speech where Senator Everett Dirksen said of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, "Victor Hugo wrote in his diary substantially this sentiment, 'Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come.' The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing of government, in education, and in employment. It must not be stayed or denied."

Maybe someday the time will come for the idea of same-sex marriage will come. Maybe it won't. I agree with the Post commentary that it won't come through litigation in state courts alone, because the state law (unlike the federal law and especially the U.S. Constitution) can be changed relatively quickly to undercut unpopular court rulings on a wide variety of issues.

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