Tuesday, March 15, 2005

No Rational Purpose

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer ruled yesterday that bans on gay marriage are illegal. Judge Kramer ruled that "It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners." Tradition, the Judge reasoned, cannot support an otherwise unconstitutional law. "The state's protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional," he wrote.

I agree. I would defy anybody to explain what rational purpose the state has in denying monogamous gay couples coequal legal status to their straight counterparts. The religious underpinnings of the animosity to gay marriage violate the First Amendment's establishment clause. The argument that gay marriage undermines the institution of marriage falls apart for lack of evidence, anecdotal or otherwise.

In fact, gay marriage can only strengthen the institution of marriage, giving gay and straight couples alike even more role models. Don't get me wrong. Gay marriages will fall apart. Straight marriages will continue to fall apart. But the strong marriages of either type will give everybody an aspirational goal. Gay marriage is good for marriage.

1 comment:

pck said...

Well, as you are well aware, I disagree with the Judge's decision.

I haven't much time to post much, but I'm trying to keep my objections on the record.

First, I find it incredibly puzzling that very few seem to consider homosexual behavior as different, much less wrong or immoral (which is another discussion).

I suppose this is a worldview issue, which is way to long to discuss in this form.

Secondly, I oppose rulings like this because it further substantiates homosexuals as a protected class. See the recent legislation passed in Illinois on discrimination based on sexual orientation.

What began as noble programs and ideas, e.g. affirmative action for racial minorities, and programs that have had some success, are expanding and swallowing the law.