Depending on where you are, it seems courts, governors and legislators all want someone else to take responsibility for ruling on same-sex marriage. Here, we ended up with court-mandated SSM because the legislative leaders looked away too often for too long. As we write, Washington State's elected high-court judges have been sitting on their decision for a year and one-half.
In New York State this morning, the Court of Appeals threw it back to the legislature in a four-to-two decision. The New York Times recap is here and AP's somewhat misleading version is here.
The initial wire-service report is that the court rejected SSM, while the reality is that it was pushing it away. Instead, as the Times reports, "The court did not rule that the state should not or could not allow gay marriages, only that the state constitution did not require that it allow them."
Interestingly enough in what the legislature may take as arguments when it takes this issue up -- as it surely will under public pressure from all sides, the court stressed the importance of marriage to children. Again, as the Times put it:
First, the court said, marriage could be preserved as an "inducement" to heterosexual couples to remain in stable, long-term, and child-bearing relationships. Second, lawmakers could rationally conclude that "it is better, other things being equal, for children to grow up with both a mother and the father."The justices did not buy the plaintiffs' comparison with segregation by race. The case had 44 couples as plaintiffs.
Writing for the majority, Judge Robert Smith concluded, "We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives."
The 70-Page Decision: Majority and dissenting rulings are in the PDF of the decision. We haven't read or analyzed this yet. But wait, we have read it now, Friday. See a few comments and some citations here.
Tags: massmarrier, same-sex marriage, New York State, Court of Appeals