Thursday, July 10, 2003

Good-bye, Frisco, hullo, Boston! 

Gay marriage to be decided in Massachusetts by the Supreme Judicial Court by the end of the week. The SJC will most likely vote to legalize. Mixed feelings from the gay community.

1. Mostly a positive outcome. It's not likely that the disasters predicted by conservatives as a result of gay marriage legalization will come to fruition. For the most part, the only gays that will marry are those who are believers of marriage. Those who are ambivalent or hostile to traditional marriage or marriage in general will not participate. Furthermore, since gays represent only a small percentage of the population, and not many of them want to get married anyway, the number of gay marriages will be very small. It's hard to imagine that this small minority will have any substantial influence to alter the view of the majority on traditional marriage. I am, however, open to being convinced otherwise.

2. Will this increase support of the Federal Marriage Amendment? I don't know what to think of this amendment since commentators can't actually agree on what it actually does. Right now, 39 percent of the population support gay marriage, with 55 percent opposed. But after the SJC rules this week, opponents of gay marriage might be able to convince the undecided that an amendment is needed to prevent gay marriage from being imposed on the country by the courts. Andrew Sullivan has more on this froma pro-gay marriage perspective.

3. How will this decision affect other states? Is it possible that a gay couple will get married in Massachusetts, move to another state, then sue that state to have the marriage recognized? If so, will this case be argued in the Supreme Court next summer?

4. If so, then this will have a direct effect on the 2004 elections. This is bad news for the Democrats, since this puts the only issue in the gay rights debate on which the Democrats do not command a majority of the public opinion on the table. Is gay marriage to liberals worth 3 more Republican Senators and 4 more years of W.?
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