A Court's Silly Rationale

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Court's Silly Rationale

As Zoe noted yesterday, in a 5-4 decision the highest court in Washington state upheld a law banning same-sex marriage. The court, writes the Post, "was bitterly divided ... producing six separate opinions ..."

In the Post's summary of this decision, something stuck out like a leather mini-skirt in church:
"Although marriage has evolved, it has not included a history and tradition of same-sex marriage in this nation or in Washington State," the (majority) opinion said. It added that because state law prevents both sexes from entering into a same-sex marriage, it does not discriminate on the basis of sex.
Couldn't the same argument have been made in the 1960s to uphold bans on interracial marriage? (i.e., since a state ban on interracial marriages applies to both races, it's not discrimination.)

If there's a silver lining in this Washington state decision, it's the fact that King County's (Seattle) African-American county executive definitely saw a connection:
"This is an unwise decision," said Sims, who is black and who said that gays must continue to fight for change, just as blacks did. "Sometimes it takes longer than we might like to bring about needed social change."

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