From yesterday’s 172-page four-to-three decision:
. . . we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest. Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional.
☞ If the ruling seems an example of ‘judicial activism,’ note that the California legislature had already passed same-sex marriage. Twice. (It was vetoed.)
And that ‘judicial activism,’ where needed to protect minority rights, was exactly what the founders intended. Patriots – even those who don’t much care for minorities – understand this.
From Justice Joyce Kennard’s concurring opinion:
The architects of our federal and state Constitutions understood that widespread and deeply rooted prejudices may lead majoritarian institutions to deny fundamental freedoms to unpopular minority groups, and that the most effective remedy for this form of oppression is an independent judiciary charged with the solemn responsibility to interpret and enforce the constitutional provisions guaranteeing fundamental freedoms and equal protection.
Kenard, 67, is one of the Court’s six Republican-appointed justices, three of whom joined the lone Democratic appointee. A fourth Republican appointee – while dissenting – nonetheless argued that ‘Californians should allow our gay and lesbian neighbors to call their unions marriages.’
For a good account of the decision and the background leading up to it, click here.
Quite properly, nothing in the Court’s ruling will affect what churches choose to do; only the state government bureaucracy, which must now afford same-sex couples equal rights. If Massachusetts’ experience is any guide, traditional marriage will not suffer. Promiscuity may take a small hit.