I’ve been waiting a long time to write that headline. But seriously, folks, the ruling in Kentucky by a GHW Bush appointee is not just a victory for marriage equality; it’s the equivalent of a knock-out. It effectively says that there is no need to worry at all about the level of judicial protection applied to the gay minority – rational basis? heightened scrutiny? strict scrutiny? – because the case for banning gay marriage is so devoid of any logic it should merely be laughed out of court. Money quote:
These arguments are not those of serious people. Though it seems almost unnecessary to explain, here are the reasons why. Even assuming the state has a legitimate interest in promoting procreation, the Court fails to see, and Defendant never explains, how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has any effect whatsoever on procreation among heterosexual spouses.
Excluding same-sex couples from marriage does not change the number of heterosexual couples who choose to get married, the number who choose to have children, or the number of children they have … The state’s attempts to connect the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage to its interest in economic stability and in “ensuring humanity’s continued existence” are at best illogical and even bewildering.
That, of course, was also the damning conclusion of the Prop 8 trial. If you actually put the logical arguments for banning marriage equality to a rational test, they don’t actually exist. There are no apparent costs to this reform at all:
Those opposed by and large simply believe that the state has the right to adopt a particular religious or traditional view of marriage regardless of how it may affect gay and lesbian persons. But, as this Court has respectfully explained, in America even sincere and long-held religious views do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted …
Lyle Deniston notes:
In February, in an earlier phase of the judge’s review of the Kentucky ban, he ruled in February that it was unconstitutional for the state to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages of Kentuckians that were performed in other states. That ruling is now under review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
So this is not over in Kentucky. But the fact that every single marriage ban challenged since Windsor has been struck down is telling. Allahpundit continues to make the following flawed point:
We’ve gone from this issue being a fringe preoccupation of the left 20 years ago to the federal bench slam-dunking it today, thanks in large part to Kennedy and Windsor.
Marriage equality was absolutely not a “fringe preoccupation of the left” 20 years ago. It was a fringe preoccupation of the gay right and a handful of gay liberals – and largely opposed by the gay left. It was then and is today a centrist reform that any sane and reasonable conservative would support – as many have in America and around the world. Which is why it gives me particular pleasure to note that this particular judge was nominated by none other than Mitch McConnell. It is a victory for conservatism and reason – two things the current GOP has sadly a rather loose grip on.