Friday, October 10, 2014

A big win for gay marriage advocates

By Mike Thompson, Detroit Free Press
There is good news for advocates for gay marriage that came out of a Supreme Court ruling on October 6, 2014, or lack of ruling for that matter.  In essence, according to Politico, the Supreme Court decided to punt on all seven of the seven pending petitions requesting the Court to rule on same sex marriage.

By deciding not to hear these cases, the Supreme Court has, and duly so, decided to honor the tenth amendment which states that any issues not covered in the U.S. Constitution are left to the states, to the people, to decide.  In this way, the Supreme Court is in essence saying that the Federal Government has no Constitutional claim to rule gay marriage.

What this ruling means is that states can rule on gay marriage however they want, and it's no longer going to require a state by state vote.  When state officials want to make gay marriage legal, all they have to do now is have a majority, pass a law, and have their governor sign it.  No longer will it require a majority of voters voting yes for it to pass.

To me, as a Constitutional loving American, this only makes sense.  If the Supreme Court had ruled in this way (or, again, not ruled), if the Court had announced in 1972 that it would not rule on Rowe-v-Wade, state rulings on the issue would have stood.  Abortion would have been legal in some states and illegal in others.

Surely I am against any abortion, and consider it to be murder of innocent children.  However, the issue is not covered in the Constitution, and therefore it only makes sense that it be left to the states to decide.  The same is true of gay or same sex marriage.  Lacking an amendment, the issue should be left to the states to decide.

Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post is rightfully giddy about this "non ruling," as she said: "Supreme Court confirms what should be already known: The fight over gay marriage is over."

I wouldn't say that it is over, but this surely is good news for both gay marriage advocates and liberty.

According to Politico, the Justices turned down petitions challenging appellate decisions that overturned same-sex marriage bans in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The ruling clears the way for same sex marriage in five states, and could clear the way in six other states based on appeals court rulings already handed down.  While the practice is currently legal in 19 states, this could soon become 30, according to Politico.

I have said on this blog before that I agree with Ron Pal when he said, in effect, that "No majority should be able to vote away the rights of the minority."

While many states had referendums where the majority in those states opposed gay marriage, those referendums may now be challenged by lawmakers.  This is a perfect example of how the U.S. Constitution protects the minority from the majority.

You'll rarely ever hear me agreeing with Justice Ruth Ginsburg, although I can't deny that I do agree with her in this case as she said, "All three federal appeals courts to take it up have agreed that it is unconstitutional for states to prohibit same-sex marriage."

What she was essentially saying was that because there was no lower court ruling disagreeing with those three, they punted the issue back to the lower courts.  This means that the lower court rulings stand.  This means that gay marriage is now the law of the land; that rulings against gay marriage are unconstitutional.

See my post Seven Myths About Gay Marriage.