Not pictured: any “small-government” conservatives cheering the decision.
“This case is difficult because it couples issues of equal protection and federalism with the need to assess the rationale for a congressional statute passed with minimal hearings and lacking in formal findings,” Judge Michael Boudin wrote in the decision. “In addition, Supreme Court precedent offers some help to each side, but the rationale in several cases is open to interpretation. We have done our best to discern the direction of these precedents, but only the Supreme Court can finally decide this unique case.”
It certainly is difficult, but there is one thing to keep in mind. The call for gay marriage is not asking the country to endorse it, but simply to stop discriminating against it.
There are a number of things which, if you morally disagree with, you can also reasonably demand that no one be allowed to do them. You can’t say “if you don’t like rape, then YOU don’t rape anyone,” substituting rape with murder, burglary and the like. Those are examples where there are victims of others performing said action.
Gay marriage has no such victims. The opposition is purely against the idea of it, because everyone knows damn well that there is no effect on your life from people elsewhere getting married. This is a case of true “religion-only” regulation, like if the government decided meat on a Friday should be illegal or the days of blue laws making it illegal to sell alcohol on a Sunday (my previous home state had that up until fairly recently).
The worst gay marriage opposers can say is that it’s wrong for them to have to pay taxes for things that they disagree with. When it comes to this, there are two critical points to keep in mind:
- Everyone’s taxes go to a handful of things they morally oppose, be they wars or Title V education, or federal grants for the arts. But mature adults look at the greater good, not selfishness.
- Just because it’s “against your religion” doesn’t suddenly give your opinion a titanium suit of armor from criticism nor does it mean it’s given extra weight. The operative word is “your”. If that’s all you got, then back off.
So we’ll see if it sticks. I don’t expect a federal gay marriage law, but at least we could have no law against it.