Yet Another Blow For Same-Sex Marriage

Another week, another court ruling against same-sex marriage proponents, who now have been defeated on either coast within the past month. This time, it was the Washington Supreme Court that declared by a 5-4 vote that it would not interfere with a legislative assessment that favors heterosexual marriage over same-sex marriage. The ruling was strikingly similar to one issued a few weeks ago from the New York Supreme Court, which ruled after another sharply-divided vote that it was not the responsibility of the courts to second-guess legislative choices that favor one form of marriage over another.

Like the New York court before them, the justices in the Washington state majority directed the defeated plaintiffs to press their case and their cause before the people, and their representatives, saying that if there were a political consensus to permit same-sex marriage the courts would have no problem endorsing the practice. It is becoming increasingly clear, with disappointing decision after decision, that if the law is going to change to broaden same-sex marriage rights it is going to have to change from the grassroots and not from behind the bench.

By Andrew Cohen |  July 26, 2006; 12:10 PM ET
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"It is becoming increasingly clear, with disappointing decision after decision, that if the law is going to change to broaden same-sex marriage rights it is going to have to change from the grassroots and not from behind the bench." Why is this so disappointing? The role of the judiciary is not to make law, it is the role of the legislature. Thankfully, like the New York Court of Appeals, the WA supreme court did not take the activist route and make policy. If the citizens of WA want same-sex marriage, then they should lobby to change the law, not depend on judges to do the policy change for them.

Posted by: Farragut | July 26, 2006 02:32 PM

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Posted by: !*@&^@T*&^ | July 26, 2006 02:45 PM

Why so negative? Why not call it a victory for the sanctity of marriage?

Posted by: Wrong heading | July 26, 2006 02:54 PM

The change will come but it will take time and educating the American people.

Posted by: Mrs. Perez | July 26, 2006 03:00 PM

The role of the judiciary is not to rubber stamp the legislature but to make sure that the laws that the legislature pass are meant to treat every person equally.I would agree with you but time and time we see that a minority without political clout is discriminated against.Without the courts there would be no Brown v Board.

Posted by: Michael | July 26, 2006 03:24 PM

To: Wrong Heading

"Sanctity" of marriage? Two words for you - Britney Spears. And to (mis)quote Bill Maher: "How can there be any sanctity in an institution where you can go to Vegas, get drunk of your a** and get married by an Elvis impersonator?" Marriage is a state-sanctioned institution whereby you can get married in a church if you want. Remember, the celebrator says at the end of the ceremony: "By the power vested in me by the state of......".

I don't believe there is much sanctity with the divorce rate at 50+%. Maybe the real amendment needed should prohibit divorce, not same sex marriage.

Posted by: Richard | July 26, 2006 03:54 PM

Yeah...letting a democratically elected legislature create law that is the will of the overwhelming majority. What a bummer!

Sometimes you liberals have to admit that your point of view is not favored by a vast majority of the people, and just let it go. Admit you are in the minority. Stop trying to ram it down everybody's throat through undemocratic, nonrepresentative means as if you are somehow more enlightened and intelligent that the rest of us poor, dim fools that you believe apparently make up the electorate of the United States.

Posted by: Tim in KC | July 26, 2006 04:34 PM

Ah ha the old 50+% divorce rate statistic. Do an internet search and learn something about what the divorce rate really is before your next post.

Here's a great quote from our President:

"A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under federal law as a union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states.

Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives.

On an issue of such great consequence, the people's voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.

The outcome of this debate is important -- and so is the way we conduct it. The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God's sight."

I'll match that quote up to Bill Maher any day.

Posted by: Wrong Heading | July 26, 2006 05:30 PM

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