Is Arizona Next?

That sure didn’t take long. Already, yesterday’s ruling in Massachusetts seems poised to bring change to my home state. If only Barry Goldwater (a true liberal on this subject) could be here to see it.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

I miss Barry. I was priviledged to see him speak at the 20th anniversary of Roe vs Wade at the pro-choice rally. Goldwater was a true Republican who believed in state’s rights. He also believed in gays in the military – check out the story from the Republic back then:

It was right after that the Arizona Republic Party tried to drop his name from some buildings here – classy.

A little known fact was that his first wife founded Arizona’s Planned Parenthood.

November 20, 2003 @ 8:09 am | Comment

That was the Republicans at their very lowest. Do you remember how they argued that Goldwater must have been senile if he endorsed gay rights? So embarrassing….

November 20, 2003 @ 5:23 pm | Comment

Of course there’s going to be a backlash Richard and, IMO, it is going to be huge and very harmful to your cause. The Mass. court decision will, I believe, be seen, retrospectively, as a disaster for the gay marriage movement. When judges twist the law to reach results unforeseen by the drafters and strongly unwelcome to a large majority of the populace, the result is extreme social division and polarization.

This decision will make Roe v. Wade seem non-controversial in comparison. And, unlike abortion, which potentially directly affects 50% of the population, gay Americans are going to find themselves badly outnumbered and unsupported.

The only way to successfully achieve such a drastic and fundamental change to a central societal institution is legislatively.

My personal feelings on the subject are pretty ambivalent. I see potential risks and rewards, cost and benefits and I don’t think there’s anyway to know how it will work out until some state(s) actually give it a try. Had the Mass. legislature passed a bill permitting gay marriage, I’d have said “more power to them, and let’s see how it works out.” But to do this by judicial fiat stinks and is not in anyone’s best interests.

November 20, 2003 @ 5:41 pm | Comment

Conrad, if you look at my site, you will see that I have never lobbied for the cause of gay marriage. That is because I have seen it as still too early for the American public to accept such a “radical” idea. It’s why, when Clinton signed the Defense of Mariage Act, I didn’t complain; he really had little choice.

Maybe Sullivan is over-influencing me, but what he wrote over the past 24 hours has made me reconsider — maybe America is really becoming more tolerant on this issue. I’m not a lawyer, but see Sullivan’s post (scroll down to “Judicial Tyranny”); he addresses your points and arrives at a far more optimistic conclusion. For the moment, the glass looks half full, even though it’s hard to tell when there’s 12,000 miles between me and America.

November 20, 2003 @ 6:23 pm | Comment

The problem with the concept of “judicial activism” particularly for those who aren’t reasonably serious students of constitutional law, is that they tend to only recognize activism when they don’t like the result. Sullivan, as obsessed as he’s been over this issue is a classic case in point. He says that the decision “invents no new rights”. Say what!?!?!?! Well, except for the right of gays to marry, which is about the newest damned thing I can think of. . . .

He also says that the court “has not, ordered the legislature to do anything.”

Well, no. But it struck down existing laws limiting marriage to individual of the opposite sex and made it damned niegh impossible that any new laws can include that restricion.

Sullivan is simply too invested in this debate to see anything objectively.

I recognize that you have never advocated same-sex marriage. Similarly, I have never opposed it on my site. I have very mixed feelings. But one thing I am sure of, trying to force this upon the American people before they are ready, is an invitation to disaster.

What I would like to see is a few of the more liberal US states allow it and see what happens. If fears that it will be a farce or undermine hetrosexual marriage don’t pan out (and I would not be surprised if those arguments proved illusory) then the institution would spread. But to say that something that, as far as I know, has never been previously attempted in the entire history of human civilization, suddenly is a constitutional right, makes a farce of the law and will lead many people to dig in their heels and fight what they view as the perhaps the final battle in the “social revolution”.

Gays are going the be demonized over this, and don’t count on much real support from the vote whoring politicians of either party.

November 20, 2003 @ 9:22 pm | Comment

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