Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Making the Case for Marriage Equality

David Boies, along with former Bush administration Solicitor General Ted Olson, is challenging California’s Prop 8 in federal court. He lays out the reasons in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

[T]his is not a Republican or Democratic issue, not a liberal or conservative issue, but an issue of enforcing our Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and due process to all citizens.

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Gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters, our teachers and doctors, our friends and neighbors, our parents and children. It is time, indeed past time, that we accord them the basic human right to marry the person they love. It is time, indeed past time, that our Constitution fulfill its promise of equal protection and due process for all citizens by now eliminating the last remnant of centuries of misguided state discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The argument in favor of Proposition 8 ultimately comes down to no more than the tautological assertion that a marriage is between a man and a woman. But a slogan is not a substitute for constitutional analysis. Law is about justice, not bumper stickers.

Marriage is not just between a man and a woman. It is between two people who love each other and are capable of making a life together, equally committed and responsible for the choice that they made. For the state to deny this fundamental right to people based on innate characteristics such as race or gender is at odds with everything a free and mature society strives to be.