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.