Friday, October 10, 2008

Big Gay Marriage News

And in other important local news this morning, the Connecticut Supreme Court announced the right of gay couples to marry.

I'm happy with the result, but it seems to me to be a questionable legal decision that's bound to invoke an unneeded backlash. Connecticut was the first state in the nation to pass civil unions through the political process and proponents of gay marriage should have followed the same route in taking the next step. What we'll see is what we're seeing now in California, where opponents of gay marriage have proposed a Constitutional Amendment that would strictly define marriage as being between a man and a woman. It's basically the Roe effect, where those on the losing side feel extra slighted in having the final decision on a controversial social issue handed down by an unelected judiciary.

What's disturbing about the decision from a legal perspective is that it does grant "special rights," in this case to gay and straight people alike. What's unclear to me is what legal principles elevate the recognition of traditional heterosexual relationships and typical homosexual relationships above individuals who may chose to take part in a non-traditional relationship such as polygamy.

As I said, the end result here is great news for gay couples who have been waiting to marry. But, if the goal in seeking to use the terminology of marriage has to do with respect and acceptance, it seems to me as though the judicial route, with all the backlash that's bound to come out, may not have been the best choice.


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