The Supreme Court just released its opinion on DOMA, and Prop 8. The justices showed some rare wisdom here, and even applied the Constitution in ways I never expected them to. I suppose, just when you are certain of the utter uselessness of an organization, they can perform one righteous act to make a liar out of you.
First let me explain what the Constitutional position of the federal government should be on marriage.
It’s that simple. Marriage is not mentioned once in the Constitution. It is not related to an enumerated power, and as a religious institution, it is arguably forbidden for the feds to pass laws concerning it under the First Amendment.
But, I will allow one disclaimer to this position: the full faith and credit clause in Article4:
“Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.”
Both gay rights activists and traditional marriage protectionists rely upon this clause to make the claim that America must either embrace or ban the practice of gay marriage across the nation. This fight comes down to contract rights. Gay marriage proponents ask: if marriage is a contract drawn up in one state, why is another state not bound to enforce it? This is the same argument slave owners used to force the northern states to return runaway slaves during the ante-bellum American period.Details