As with the Obamacare decision a couple of days ago, I don’t think there are many people who are surprised at the outcome of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to legalize same sex marriage.
Although I have long been in favor of same sex marriage, there are serious shortcomings in the constitutionality of Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion. Our old friend Quin Hillyer is right to say that his ruling does not square with the opinions he expressed on states’ rights in U.S. v. Windsor scarcely two years ago. Kennedy’s ruling is rooted in convenience not in constitutionality, rooted in political expediency rather than principle. Given the rulings which have taken place over the past 48 hours, the Constitution might as well be relegated to a museum piece alongside the Confederate flag. It shouldn’t of course. The Constitution is simply too important to give up so easily. Yet it won’t be easy to restore it to its proper place in American jurisprudence.
Nevertheless, the constitutionality of today’s decision is a separate issue from the merits of same sex marriage itself. I understand that it is unfathomable to some people and people have an unhealthy fear of what they cannot fathom. I have never subscribed to the notion that same sex marriage means the end of Western civilization. Marriage is only as good as the two people who enter into it and today’s Supreme Court decision simply reinforces this principle. In this regard, life shall go on.
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