November 18, 2003

Gay Marriage: Massachusetts Right and Wrong

It's a good day for the pro-gay marriage argument (link currently to the slip argument and when the final goes on the internet the link will change and this notice will be stripped). For those of us who believe that the construction of civil marriage is more in line with traditional understanding, it's been a pretty bad day though there are a few silver linings.

On the bright side, the Massachussetts Supreme Court has only one raving lunatic who wanted to completely substitute his judgement for the state legislature's. That would be Justice Greaney who, in his concurring opinion wrote that to withhold "relief from the plaintiffs, who wish to marry, and are otherwise eligible to marry, on the ground that the couples are of the same gender, constitutes a categorical restriction of a fundamental right."

The carrying plurality, meanwhile, believes that the legislature needs to have the final say on public policy though they are seriously in error that it hasn't already spoken against gay marriage. The dissents were forceful and varied and hopefully will carry the day on the next go around (no doubt there will be a next go around).

The down side, of course, is that now the legislature is going to have to go into painful detail over what, exactly, civil marriage is intended to accomplish. They are being forced to do so by a judiciary who believes that it has a legitimate role in setting the legislative calendar (the order requires legislative action during the next 180 days). Such a schedule is not conducive to considered deliberation of the desires of the people of Massachussetts but is better suited to a rubber stamp mentality of shut up and pass what we said.

Andrew Sullivan is, of course, delighted, though I'm not sure he's figured out yet that his side has not won the final battle.

Posted by TMLutas at November 18, 2003 01:11 PM