CT demolishes arguments against marriage equality

The New Rebublic writer, Richard Just, recommends reading the Connecticut Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision. He comments:

It’s actually a rather moving document: a cogent defense of gay rights that efficiently demolishes the chief arguments against marriage equality, while offering what struck me as a reasonable defense of judicial intervention in the matter.


First, the decision lays bare the absurd illogic at the heart of civil unions. In order to argue that Connecticut’s civil union law did not discriminate against gays and lesbians, lawyers for the defendants were forced to contend that civil unions are basically the same as marriage.


Second, the justices made a pretty lengthy foray into the question of whether gay marriage ought to be adjudicated by the courts or left to the legislative process–and, in doing so, they offered an extended historical analogy that contains a worthwhile political lesson for liberals.


The court’s reasoning here contains what I think is an important cautionary note for liberals. It’s tempting to assume that, because history is headed in our direction on gay marriage, there is no need for the courts to get involved. But there’s a difference between knowing that history is headed in your direction and knowing how quickly history is headed in your direction. In the case of women’s rights, history turned out to be moving a bit slower in the direction of full equality than it appeared to be moving during the heady days of 1973. In the case of Connecticut and gay marriage, it’s conceivable that it might have taken the legislature just a year to enact marriage equality. But it’s also entirely conceivable that it could have taken decades. Which is why I’m unconvinced when gay rights advocates (like John Cloud this week in Time) argue that the same-sex-marriage battle needs to be fought in legislatures not courts. The Connecticut Supreme Court makes a good case that it needs to be fought in both.

Read the article here.

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