To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Goin' to the Chapel ...

Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman says he favors gay marriage but is nevertheless disturbed by the California Supreme Court ruling:
At stake was not whether gay couples may acquire the rights and duties of marriage in a state-sanctioned framework. As the court acknowledged, they can already do so under the domestic partnership law. But it's not enough for them to get the substance of marriage. The court said they must also get the same terminology.

It reached this conclusion through a lot of philosophizing about "the right of same-sex couples to have their official family relationship accorded the same dignity, respect and stature as that accorded to other officially recognized family relationships." But the state constitution (like the federal one) does not traffic in mushy terms like "dignity" and "stature." When a court puts such heavy reliance on amorphous concepts, it telegraphs that it will not be tied down by the actual words of the state charter.

For further proof, consider that while the California constitution forbids discrimination on the basis of "sex, race, creed, color, or national or ethnic origin," it does not forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The justices somehow found something in the document that the authors thought they omitted.

Read the whole thing here and discuss.

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