I find it a somewhat delicious irony that on the day the Supreme Court hands down its gay marriage decisions, a day I had planned on blogging about the debate on gay marriage. But, I had been planning that before knowing that on the actual day, I would be more focused on writing the first chapter of the second part of my epic.
I have long thought the debate on this important issue, this fundamental social institution, has long been particularly lame. And from reading my Facebook feed, see that it has become ever more so, with all too many (but fortunately not all) treating the decisions not so much as constitutional interpretation and social policy, but as personal validation — as if they needed some government body to decide the “right” way so they can feel recognized. But, that feeling of approval will fade.
That said, I have seen two statements on Facebook which do get at the meeting of the decision, from people on opposite sides of the political aisle. And I’m sure that in due course, I will discover some thoughtful blog posts and editorials. But, for now, while I have much to say about marriage, my mind is on my book. At the end of May, I finished the first draft of the first part of the book (over 150,000 words) and spent the better part of this month revising it, having intended today to print out the whole thing and take it to a printer (so I can share it with friends). (As I begin serious work on the second part.)
So, let me offer the meaningful Facebook post for your consideration. My friend Harmeet Dhillon (my predecessor as president of the U-VA Federalist Society) offered this on the standing issue which served to overturn Prop 8:
As a political law practitioner, the broader implication of today’s Prop 8 ruling is 1) a narrow interpretation of standing and 2) apparently there is no recourse by the citizens if their elected constitutional officers (here, the Attorney General) simply refuses to enforce a law passed by the majority of voters. The former is likely an artifice of the Court trying to dodge a merits decision on a very controversial issue, but the latter severely undercuts the power of the citizen-sponsored proposition in California, regardless of subject matter or what political persuasion is affected. A sobering reminder that your vote on propositions sort of matters sometimes, while your vote on who is the Attorney General matters a whole lot. And not enough of you vote!
Our left-of-center reader Rob Tisinai gets that state recognition of marriage is about more than just “rights”:
VERY COOL: SCOTUS grants us the dignity of recognizing we not only want the rights of marriage, but the responsibilities too. We are not cry-babies demanding rights, but adults with dignity claiming our full citizenship. Quote: “DOMA divests married same-sex couples of the duties and responsibilities that are an essential part of married life and that they in most cases would be honored to accept were DOMA not in force. For instance, because it is expected that spouses will support each other as they pursue educational opportunities, federal law takes into consideration a spouse’s income in calculating a student’s federal financial aid eligibility… Same-sex married couples are exempt from this requirement. The same is true with respect to federal ethics rules. Federal executive and agency officials are prohibited from “participat[ing] personally and substantially” in matters as to which they or their spouses have a financial interest…”
Perhaps later in the day (or tomorrow), I will write a more substantive post.
Or maybe not.