In the immediate aftermath of the passage of Proposition 8, a great variety of gay groups in Los Angeles and across the Golden State held a variety of fora on the way forward. Save for one event the week after the election (sponsored by the Williams Institute), the remaining confabs were distinguished by the absence of Republican speakers.
The various gay groups thought they could move forward without including gay Republicans. So, it is particularly delicious to see that Republicans helped win cases against a federal law and a state constitutional amendment that these groups sought to overturn.
That said, what it is most troubling about both these rulings is that while each judge makes some very sound arguments about why state recognition of gay marriage is a good thing and why the ban on gay people serving openly is a bad one, in doing so, they usurp the role of the legislature. Just because they want to find something in the constitution doesn’t mean it’s there.
In this case, the ruling wouldn’t be necessary if Democrats hadn’t been dragging their feet on repeal. Without the pressure from the gay left blogs, the Administration and this Congress might not have acted. Despite their pressure and House passage of legislation repealing DADT, the bill currently languishes in the Senate. That body should move forward immediately with repeal, to spare having an unelected judge dictating how and when the military implements repeal.
As I understand it, the legislation passed by the House will give the military time to prepare for the transition. Indeed, save for its foot-dragging, the Administration has put forward a sound strategy for repeal, sending the military brass to Capitol Hill to lay the ground work for repeal, then pushing legislation through Congress, legislation which would allow the executive branch to determine how best to implement the new policy.
Should the Senate pass — and the president sign — repeal, we’ll be spared the prospect of litigation. And the executive branch would determine how to implement repeal, instead of subjecting this to the whim of a judge with a cavalier attitude toward the separation of powers.
*NB: in comment #26, beggar’s banquet notes that I misused the expression, “begs the question.” Looking up the idiom online, I found that by at least one of its definitions he was right. But, one site did yield the meaning I had intended, “if a statement or situation begs the question, it causes you to ask a particular question“. That said, in appreciation of a reader who appreciates the original meaning of words, I changed the title.