Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Love Wins

If we now allow same sex marriage in Washington, D.C., assuming Congress or the courts don't stop it, doesn't that mean that the battle for marriage equality is essentially over?  D.C. is, after all, the capital of the United States of America.  When visitors from foreign countries tour our capital, they probably assume that whatever is allowed in the capital must be the law of the United States.  The nuances of our federal system are probably lost on most of the world.  And while protesters from Kansas and elsewhere are making a valiant last ditch stand against same sex marriage, they also will have a hard argument to make that the capital of the United States of America is not the real America.  But do they understand, I wonder, that they so emphatically and proudly stand for hate, while the couples getting married stand for love?

The photo above shows Morgan Murphy and Todd Williamson, a straight couple who waited in protest until gay marriage was allowed, before getting a marriage license, and an unidentified hater draped in flags and a stylish purple sweatshirt. (by Jeff Malet from TPM)   That's at least one piece of anecdotal evidence that allowing gay marriage is not exactly threatening this particular traditional marriage.


  1. I'm sure the divorce lawyers will be happy. After all, why should sraight people be the only ones to "enjoy" being married?

  2. If you support the imposition of DC law on the states, then I'm sure you are just as upset as I am that we had to wait a year after DC v. Heller was decided to determine if the second amendment applies to the states. (through a supreme court incorporation case, McDonald v. Chicago)

    I understand the difference between a federal enclave and a state, and I understand the perfunctory requirement to legally determine if a "federal" document (The Bill of Rights) applies to the people who live in states, but it all still seems so silly.

    Here's to freedom of marriage! May all aspects the federal government has complete control over apply freely to all citizens of this nation.

  3. Whether each article of the Bill of Rights applies to the states is not a perfunctory requirement, but is a matter of whether the due process clause of the 14th amendment requires that the Supreme Court's interpretations of each of the more specific requirements in the Bill of Rights be followed by the states. (e.g., do the states have to follow the exclusionary rule for illegally seized evidence (4th amendment), or warn suspects of their right to remain silent(fifth amendment)) What is interesting about the gun case currently before the Supreme court is that some of the conservative justices now on the court have taken a pretty narrow view of what we call the incorporation doctrine in the past. But the betting is that they will suddenly become liberals when it comes to gun rights, and forget about their prior strict constructionist views. Meanwhile, in second amendment cases, unlike say, abortion cases, all the liberals on the court suddenly get all concerned about the exact text of the amendment. I did a post on this on my law blog a while back which you might find interesting.

  4. Ahh, I think I understand now. So incorporation isn't necessarily whether or not the bill or rights applies to the states, but whether or not a supreme court decision regarding a particular amendment applies to the states directly?

    While I've withheld a personal opinion on abortion (due mostly to the fact that I feel I am improperly "equipped" to reach a conclusion on such a topic), "my body, my right" makes perfect sense to me. Specifically when applied to self defense, and the carrying of a weapon capable of equalizing a 100 pound jogger with a 300 pound rapist.