Thursday, May 15, 2008
The Judges Giveth...
The California Supreme Court ruled today that the California Constitution requires the state to recognize same-sex marriage. In November, there will likely a constitutional amendment on the ballot restricting marriage to heterosexual couples only.
I'm curious how this will play out in the Presidential campaigns. I'm hoping that McCain doesn't call for a federal Constitutional amendment. Marriage is a local issue. Let the states figure it all out. I'm obviously not thrilled when judges make social policy, but at least it's isolated within one state. Californians who are upset at the ruling will be able to overturn it in November.
Obviously you're right, but then you get problems with full faith and credit and you get Federal Laws like DOMA.
It'll probably be a week before I read your response, but why is DOMA unconstitutional? AFAIK, it has been upheld against court challenges a number of times.
Before people go around proclaiming DOMA unconstitutional under the FF&C clause, perhaps they should read the constitution. First, the Constitution specifically grants Congress the right to pass legislation regulating the states' behavior with regard to the FF&C clause. Second, DOMA just restates longstanding law: States don't have to enforce another states laws when those laws are contrary to the public interest of the state. States are given broad power to protect the health, safety, welfare and morals of their citizenry. Marriage falls squarely within that broad power.
With regard to the effect on the election, it might put CA in play for McCain because the constitutional amendment will get a lot of conservatives and moderates to the polling booth. The original ballot measure (that was just struck down) won 63% of the vote. I seriously doubt things have changed that much in the few years since we last voted on gay marriage. And there are still a lot of moderates who here who don't mind granting all the same rights to gay couples, so long as their relationship is not called a marriage. I bet those sorts of moderates are more likely to vote for John McCain than they are Barak Obama.
And for the record, I think DOMA is silly and support civil unions for everyone and allowing rabbis/priests/mullahs/ministers to decide who to "marry."