Thursday, July 6, 2006

NY court says no to gay marriage

The New York Court of Appeal has rejected (PDF) a bid to declare unconstitutional the state law that makes marriage one between a man and woman only. The 4-2 majority made it quite clear that while the state legislature can pass a gay marriage law if it wanted to, the status quo is also perfectly legal under both the US and state constitutions.

It concluded there is a rational basis for the restriction -- that heterosexual couples alone can procreate; and that all things being equal opposite sex parents are better for kids -- but it also said that someone who opposes same-sex unions should not also be dismissed as a bigot; that there might be legitimate reasons for one to personally oppose the practice. There was a huge difference, stated the majority, between laws that prohibited interracial marriage (ruled illegal in the 1960s) and this.

As I've stated previously, I part company with most progressives on the issue of same-sex marriage -- I oppose it. Civil unions are where I would draw the line. However, that the courts are recognizing that this is one issue they should probably stay away from is a positive step -- at least for me. More odious things such as police brutality and voting rights violations definitely are matters for the courts. This is not one of them.

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