Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Gay Marriage: Massachusetts Strikes Back

Today’s Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that “civil unions” won’t fulfill their same-sex marriage requirement from last November isn’t particularly surprising.  They said “marriage” and that’s what they meant.

I was encouraged by seeing this comment in the ruling, though:
Because the proposed law by its express terms forbids same-sex couples entry into civil marriage, it continues to relegate same-sex couples to a different status.  […]  The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal.
I anticipate seeing increasing support for “civil unions” across the country (being used as a stop-gap), with an eventual Supreme Court case on “separate but equal” grounds which will do away with the term in favor of simple “marriage”.  First we need to get a hodgepodge of “civil union” statutes among the various states, followed by lawsuits and legislation forcing them to unify in meaning and value.  It will take years to get to and through that stage, but it is refreshing to see “separate is not equal” coming up so early in the discussion, and from the judicial side of things.

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