It is not often when a judge hands downs a ruling which ostensibly benefits gay people while using legal arguments correspondent with conservative ideals. In many cases, judicial action sought by gay activists relies on strange logic relying on principles at odds with our ideals (& constitutional guarantees) of limited government, separation of powers and federalism.
Occasionally we see a ruling which causes the libertarians among us to cheer while making social conservative grimace, e.g,. Lawrence v. Texas which struck down state sodomy laws. (While I like the result, I wish they had worked it through the Ninth Amendment, reactivating that often ignored provision, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.“)
Now, while I’m wondering if the federal benefit at issue in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, the federal court case striking down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on Tenth Amendment grounds, will cause appellate courts to overrule Judge Tauro, this ruling (at least for now) remains a decision that both gay people and conservatives can cheer.
Gay people should be pleased that DOMA will not prevent partners from getting benefits to which they are, by dint of their relationships, should be entitled. Conservatives should be delighted by the invocation of the Tenth Amendment; courts are recognizing (as they long ago should have recognized and once did) what the Founders made explicit: the federal constitution creates a government of limited powers.
While we don’t hear this too often within gay activist circles, it needs be said. Any law which limits government and expands freedom benefits gay people, not just because of our sexual orientation which makes us different from the social “norm,” but also because we’re individuals just like everyone else.
Freedom is good for all people.