Damn those activist judges, legalizing gay marriage even though a majority of the public, um, also supports it by mattsteinglass
May 28, 2008, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Law, United States | Tags:

It seems that in the aftermath of the ruling by California’s State Supreme Court that the state constitution requires that people of the same sex be allowed to marry, the majority of California voters now support gay marriage. The margin is something like 51-42 or -43, for a position that was apparently opposed about 56-44 just last year.

The problem with the conservative argument that judges shouldn’t legislate morality, or should leave normative decisions up to the political sphere, or public opinion, or whatever, is that when judges make decisions about fundamental matters of constitutional rights, it affects public opinion, and hence the political sphere, and hence morality. There were surely a large number of people in 1972 who, while amenable to the idea that abortion is a matter best left up to women themselves, wouldn’t have been sure that there is a right to an abortion as part of the right to reproductive freedom which is part of your right to privacy or to control over your own body. But in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade, a lot of those people decided they, like the majority of the Supreme Court, did embrace the view that the abortion issue falls under the right to reproductive freedom. Similarly, there are clearly a lot of people who are basically gay-friendly but might not have been sure they felt gays had a right to marry, but who in the aftermath of a 9-2 4-3 decision by an overwhelmingly Republican supreme court [thanks to Paul for pointing out mistake – Matt] have decided that actually they think, yeah, maybe gay people have a right to marry the person they love too.


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I completely agree and support equal rights for gay couples, but just fyi there’s only 7 justices on the California Supreme Court and the decision was 4-3.

Comment by Paul

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