Thursday, March 17, 2005

Changing Laws and Minds in California

In the swath of Monday's California marriage decision, many people squared off pro or con. A law professor who has made this his concentration had a longer view.

The New York Times quoted William B. Rubenstein as saying, "If this were 1975, it would be rather shocking, but in 2005 it is totally consistent with what courts have been doing for the last decade or so." He called Judge Kramer's decision "not out of the mainstream" legally and in line with other decisions, including Hawaii's 1993 ruling. The trend seems to be courts agreeing that marriage is a basic right for all.

Rubenstein is Founding Director, The Charles R. Williams Project on Sexual Orientation Law, at University of California at Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, anti-same-sex-marriage folk are posturing -- appeals, amendments, plebiscites, et alii. On the other side, the Times also got kinder, gentler, perhaps naive quotes from Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
"We have to melt hearts and open minds and that can't be done in the courtroom," Ms. Kendell said. "That is done at P.T.A. meetings, Kiwanis clubs and neighborhood potlucks."

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