Thursday, July 06, 2006


Do You Take This Issue...?

New York's highest court (which is called the Court of Appeals, for some reason) gets same-sex marriage just right.

[It] ruled Thursday that gay marriage is not allowed under state law, rejecting arguments by same-sex couples who said the law violates their constitutional rights.

The Court of Appeals in a 4-2 decision said New York's marriage law is constitutional and clearly limits marriage to between a man and a woman. Any change in the law should come from the state Legislature, Judge Robert Smith wrote.

"We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives," Smith wrote.
This is exactly how a potentially transformative political issue such as this should be decided -- in the Legislature and not in the courts. Indeed, it is likely that New York will have a Democratic governor next year (Eliot Spitzer) who supports gay marriage. The Assembly is already Democratic and the Senate may go that way in the fall. If those wishing to change the law to reflect a new definition of what marriage is in the state, they will have a good opportunity.

At the same time, the eventual will of the people of New York -- as expressd through their "elected representatives" -- should not be preemptively curtailed through a federal constitutional amendment.

At least, so long as the
Defense of Marriage Act remains the law of the land.

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