Tuesday, November 25, 2003

The Theory of Evolution

Gianni Riotta, writing in Corriere della Sera (Milan) on the Massachusetts ruling.

The revolution was triggered by the landmark ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the recent Lawrence versus the state of Texas case, which struck down all the Unites States’ remaining sodomy laws. These were antiquated statutes, to which no one attached any legal weight, but by a small majority, America’s supreme legal body declared them unconstitutional, ruling that no discrimination is possible on the basis of sexual preference. In a rare moment of public dissent from his eight colleagues, Justice Antonin Scalia, champion of conservative jurisprudence, immediately warned that the Court was opening the door to legal gay marriages. Scalia is right. Social progress takes place in the United States through the evolution of the law, guaranteed by the Supreme Court and backed up by politics. The Brown versus Board of Education ruling banned racial segregation in schools. Roe versus Wade made abortion legal. The New York Times versus Sullivan decision guaranteed and extended the right to freedom of information. Now two rulings in Washington and Massachusetts make same-sex marriages possible.

I’m willing to bet that Scalia would like to roll back Brown, Roe, and Sullivan…and Darwin, if he could.