Guest Blog

Special thanks to "Tocqueville," TBB friend and constitutionalist, who has been keeping close track of the recent legal developments in the same-sex marriage controversy. Please consider his string of insightful comments and reportage on these events, in chronological order (it is fairly lengthy--but well worth your time):

6 July 2006:

Gay marriage was dealt two defeats today.

By a vote of 4 to 2, the highest court in New York has held that the New York constitution does not "compel" the recognition of same-sex marriages. The matter, said the court, is for the state legislature to decide. Here is an excellent quote from the majority opinion:

"The dissenters assert confidently that "future generations" will agree with their view of this case (dissenting op at 28). 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. We therefore express our hope that the participants in the controversy over same-sex marriage will address their arguments to the Legislature; that the Legislature will listen and decide as wisely as it can; and that those unhappy with the result -- as many undoubtedly will be -- will respect it as people in a democratic state should respect choices democratically made."

This marks the first state high court to address the substance of a gay-marriage claim since the outrageous Goodrich decision in Massachusetts in 2003.

The ruling, coming from a fairly progressive court in a deep-blue state, must be considered a significant set-back for gay-marriage litigants and further evidence that (if democracy is allowed to prevail) conservatives are not losing this battle. At the same time, the opinion does not undermine the arguments of those who have claimed that a federal marriage amendment is needed to block an activist Supreme Court from imposing gay marriage on the nation. That argument is largely premised on the demands of the Full Faith and Credit Clause and the questionable constitutional validity of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

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