The Sovereign Mind

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Posts Tagged ‘civil rights

What’s Next in the Gay Marriage Debate?

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With the passage of Proposition 8 in California, it is now against the state’s constitution for gay couples to marry. But does anyone really think this is the end of the issue?

The passage is just the latest of many similar state constitutional amendments passed around the nation. However the fight in California was perhaps the most important fight thus far, since it happened after gay marriage was legalized there.

So what’s next? The amendment is being challenged in court, but from what I understand that is a long-shot. The only viable course of action left for gay marriage activists is to bring their case to the United States Supreme Court. I fully expect a case to be brought before the court soon. My guess is it will happen shortly after Obama appoints a justice, which many believe he will have the opportunity to do. The case could be the most controversial since Roe vs. Wade prohibited states from banning abortion. Ironically, it could be the passage of Proposition 8 that hastens that outcome. reports:

To the gay community, California – not Massachusetts – will push the national agenda for same-sex marriage, said Kerry Eleveld, political editor of The Advocate, a gay-oriented national publication. It was California, she noted, that struck down a ban on interracial marriage 60 years ago, paving the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to agree two decades later.

But, some have a word of caution:

Other lawsuits could follow, but gay rights groups have called on supporters not to file cases in federal court. They fear that a loss at the U.S. Supreme Court could set back the marriage movement decades.

“We think it is early to go into federal court and ask federal courts to say we have a federal right to marry,” Pizer said.

By “too early” I assume they mean they want to wait for some turnover on the court.

The only thing that would trump the U.S. Supreme Court decision would a national constitutional amendment, which is off the table due the fact that Democrats are now in charge.

In that case, the best that defenders of traditional marriage can hope for is that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule that states are within their rights to restrict gay marriage. That would allow some states to allow gay marriage and some to restrict it. But honestly, my prediction is that the U.S. Supreme court would hand down a decision analogous to Roe vs. Wade, and gay marriage will be legal everywhere much as abortion is.

So for those on either side of this issue, get ready for a wild ride. This is only the beginning.

Please note I’ve left my own opinion on the issue out of this for now. This is just my prediction, like it or not. If I’m right, they’ll be plenty of attention paid on a national level and plenty more discussion to be had.


Written by Mike

November 5, 2008 at 7:30 pm