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February 04, 2004

May brides...and grooms

So the Massachusetts Supreme Court determined that same sex couples should have the same rights to join in matrimony that heterosexual couples enjoy. Not civil unions. Marriage. Anything else, they say, is relegating those unions to an unacceptable and unconstitutional second-class status. And according to the New York Times, by mid-May gay couples in the state should be able to get hitched, something we will no doubt be toasting emphatically at that time up in Vancouver. (And I have to admit to being especially delighted by the timing since Jay and David are, to my mind, an amazing example of why people should get married, gay or straight--how's that for some shameless sucking up?)

Per the court's ruling:

"That there may remain personal residual prejudice against same-sex couples is a proposition all too familiar to other disadvantaged groups," the Massachusetts court said. "That such prejudice exists is not a reason to insist on less than the constitution requires."
Posted by paulette at February 4, 2004 10:49 AM | TrackBack
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This is one more issue that is going to underscore how divided our nation is. It's also one more log on the fire of the increasingly puritanical national ethics the government seems intent on burning in to our collective society. (Whew. I had to work for that, and it's STILL not very good.) The timing is oddly ironic - the court has released this decision hot on the heels of the sexually charged Superbowl scandal. What do you wanna bet that we're on our way in to a full fledged morality war? Republicans, the party of less government, are about to step up their campaign against what's on your television and who's your bedroom. Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

How tragic that something so sweet is already being discolored by homophobic extremists.

Posted by: pam on February 5, 2004 04:03 AM

Thank you Paulette my dear! Here's my favorite bit from the text of the ruling: "For no rational reason the marriage laws of the Commonwealth discriminate against a defined class; no amount of tinkering with language will eradicate that stain."

Posted by: jay on February 5, 2004 10:03 AM

this may end up being one of the key issues of the '04 presidential election for two main reasons

1) the republicans will use this to attempt to paint kerry as another northeast liberal, even though kerry's only in favor of civil unions & handled on a state-by-state basis

2) conservatives (remember gary bauer?) are really pushing bush, and he's probably going to have to come out in favor of a "federal marriage amendment" to the constitution in the next few months. not that i give it much of a chance of passing the senate, but it will paint bush exactly for what he is.

Posted by: jason on February 5, 2004 12:14 PM

Here's our President on the issue. "Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman," Bush said. "If activist judges insist on re-defining marriage by court order, the only alternative will be the constitutional process. We must do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage."

I'd like to believe that an amendment would be the proverbial snowball in hell, but it could be the War Powers Act all over again. The Senate has been very weak when it comes to bellweather issues. Also, I can imagine whole issue pushed back to a state level (think community property law), which is just absurd. What happens when you move to a state that doesn't have that law? Is your marriage invalid?

Michael Kingsley is making more and more sense: "Mutually consenting sex with the person of your choice in the privacy of your own home is now a basic right of American citizenship under the Constitution. This does not mean that the government must supply it or guarantee it. But the government cannot forbid it, and the government also should not discriminate against you for choosing to exercise a basic right of citizenship. Offering an institution as important as marriage to male-female couples only is exactly this kind of discrimination."

For the rest, go here.

Posted by: pam on February 5, 2004 11:05 PM
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