July 30, 2006


Gay-marriage advocates grapple with their next course of action (Lornet Turnbull, 7/30/06, Seattle Times)

Like civil-rights crusaders of the 1960s, champions of gay rights have long looked to the courts to grant them what they believed they couldn't get elsewhere.

Judges, they believed, are charged with righting historic wrongs and delivering pure justice in a way voters with their own biases and the lawmakers beholden to them often would not.

And, indeed, the landmark civil-rights rulings of the past century bear them out: Brown v. Board of Education, which ordered school desegregation, and Loving v. Virginia, which later struck down laws banning interracial marriages.

But a string of recent court decisions, including last week's 5-4 Washington Supreme Court ruling that upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriages, suggests the judicial path may have failed them and that justices who have found themselves pilloried as activists will not deliver full salvation for gays after all.

Taken together, the decisions represent a body of case law that might make following Massachusetts' lead in allowing same-sex marriage that much more difficult for the handful of states still weighing the question.

Blacks based their case on the country's religious beliefs and made a moral claim on the national conscience. They only required that America live up to its own ideals.

Gays are demanding that we violate those religious tenets, privilege immorality and forget about our ideals.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 30, 2006 9:23 AM
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