Friday, October 10, 2008

And Connecticut Makes Three

I'm looking over the morning's Connecticut Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. By four to three, they granted summary judgment in a suit filed by Beth Kerrigan and Jody Mock. The 85 half-filled page PDF file is here.

I hope Arthur Leonard of Leonard Link has detailed analysis soon, saving time and providing his insights.

While we in New England in particular revel in the real equality at work here, we still need to think of California, Florida and Arizona. They each face ballot bans on same-sex marriage. With a tiny bit of luck, this decision will sway west coast undecideds to vote no on Proposition 8. They need donations to fight the big bucks of anti-gay sorts from the usual suspects to the recently enlisted LDS church.

Back side of the country, the Connecticut court was consistent with California and Massachusetts decisions.
The majority opinion It is instructive to recall in this regard that the traditional, well-established legal rules and practices of our not-so-distant past (1) barred interracial marriage, (2) upheld the routine exclusion of women from many occupations and official duties, and (3) considered the relegation of racial minorities to separate and assertedly equivalent public facilities and institutions as constitutionally equal treatment.’’ In re Marriage Cases, supra, 43 Cal. 4th 853–54.

Like these once prevalent views, our conventional understanding of marriage must yield to a more contemporary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitutional protection. Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice. To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others. The guarantee of equal protection under the law, and our obligation to uphold that command, forbids us from doing so. In accordance with these state constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry.
'nuff said. However, I'm sure Prof. Leonard will have more and so will I.

Follow-up at 5: As usual, Leonard Link did not disappoint. While I marked up my copy and prepared my notes for a post, he zoomed in with analysis.

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