As I mentioned in a previous post, the folks at PajamasMedia asked me yesterday to pen a post on gay marriage. Let me whet your appetite with the opening paragraphs:
If, in his opinion overturning California’s Proposition 8, Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker were making an argument for gay marriage to a the elected members of a state legislature, the first 60-odd pages of his opinion would be a fine contribution to the debate. In thoe pages, he summarizes the benefits of marriage, how the institution promotes social stability and personal happiness (among other things)– and how extending those benefits to same-sex couples would most assuredly benefit gay people. Indeed, Dale Carpenter, Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law at the University of Minnesota, called the opinion overall “a pretty good compendium of a policy brief for SSM.”
Walker’s ruling, however, is not a policy brief, but a judicial decision striking down a popular provision in the California constitution stipulating that the state only recognize unions between one man and one as “marriages.” With his decision, the Judge prevented the people from settling the controversial issue of how states could recognize same-sex couples and personally assuming the responsibility for determining how the state may regulate the unions it recognizes as married.
To be sure, he makes a good case for gay marriage, but a lousy one for usurping the power from the people to decide this issue. In this sense, his ruling becomes a political boon for the GOP–as it can tie his decision to the increasing sense that our governing bodies (e.g., Congress the various bureaucracies it has created) are disregarding the popular will as they make laws and set policy.
To read the rest, click here.