Day By Day

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Return of Sanity? -- civil unions in Connecticut; gay marriage in Oregon

The WaPo reports:

Connecticut Closer to Approving Civil Unions

By Jonathan Finer

Sunday, April 3, 2005; Page A14

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut could become the second state in the nation to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples -- and the first to do so without being prompted by a court order.

Legislation that would create civil unions, and give them legal status equal to marriage, has passed three House-Senate committees here and could come before the full Senate as soon as Wednesday.

Now this is the way to do things -- through the normal political process. That way the issues involved will get a full public airing and the decisions will be made by the elected representatives of the people rather than by unelected administrators or judges. The result will be something less than the activists wanted, but it will be something that the American public will be able to live with. That, for now, is a reasonable and sane compromise.

However, activists won't be satisfied with a democratic solution. The article notes that Gay and Lesbian groups consider this just a stepping stone toward full legitimation of same sex marriage and will step up their efforts to achieve this through judicial fiat. And, if they succeed, they will be further undermining the legitimacy and integrity of both our political and judicial institutions.

In a surprising outbreak of sanity:
The Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday nullified nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year ago by Portland's Multnomah County, saying a county cannot go against state matrimonial law.

''Oregon law currently places the regulation of marriage exclusively within the province of the state's legislative power,'' the high court said in its unanimous ruling.

The court said state law bans gay marriage. It also noted Oregon voters approved a constitutional amendment last November that even more explicitly prohibits the practice.

[NYT article; read it here].

Imagine that, a state supreme [perhaps the most liberal in the nation] deferring to the legislature and to the will of the people. Perhaps we are beginning to see a real turning away from the arrogant judicial activism of the past few decades.


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