Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Prematurely"

News reaches Andrew Sullivan that the arguments in the California courts appear to be tilting against marriage equality:

I'm not a constitutional expert in California, so I will not weigh in on the jurisprudence here ... our task now is to keep making the case, keep building and strengthening our own families, keep reaching out to the next generation of more inclusive Americans. Establishing civil unions and domestic partnerships that are the equal of civil marriage is enough work for now. The society needs time to absorb this change, and to let go of its own irrational fears. Using courts to establish a precedent is one thing; using them to force social change prematurely when it is happening at its own pace anyway is foolish. [emphasis mine]
I am certainly not an expert on California law either, but I will say that I have yet to hear a non-laughable legal argument for banning gay marriage under the federal constitution or any state constitution. That's why the bigots have been agitating for, and often achieving, constitutional amendments banning same-sex unions -- they realize they need to change the constitution(s) to enshrine their petty, god-drunk hatreds.

I am not as sanguine about this as Sullivan seems to be. It's well and good for society to move toward greater acceptance of [pick your minority], but consitutions do not and should not answer to majority whimsy. Courts sometimes get to overrule majorities, and that principle is itself worth protecting.

In the fullness of time and patience, we're all "prematurely" dead.

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