By Rowan Cravey
Is the war for marriage equality worth any price?
So the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that it is unconstitutional for gay marriage to not be legal and sanctioned by the government.
Very divided with 5 votes to 4 in favour of the decision. As much as the dissenters will be and have been pilloried and attacked for their position, to be called ‘bigots’ and ‘homophobic’, even as ridiculous as those assertions will be, their approach was very principled.
John Roberts; “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it…”
Samuel Alito warned that the decision will be: “exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”
While the outcome may be good for same sex marriage advocates, as Roberts outlines in his own way in his dissent, the method leaves much to be desired. This decision to be made by only 9 people to affect a country with over 300 000 000 people in it and 50 individual legal systems being utterly overridden is not a good precedent.
While Antonin Scalia was the dissenter I disagree with most, he said that the decision was a “threat to American democracy,” saying it robs citizens of “the freedom to govern themselves.” While it seems a little far to say this, it is based quite astutely; a court of 9 people, with only 55% of the judges on the panel agreeing with the decision has made the ironclad dictation as to what MUST be legal. This is aside from the content of the decision, but the precedent does not bode well from a legal point of view.
A lot of this principled approach will be pilloried as bigoted and homophobic. The Left will put their fingers in their ears for the most part to live in the moment of ecstasy with their rainbowed profile pictures on Facebook. The dissenters will be viciously condemned or probably more likely; their opinion waived away as though it is but a child’s analysis of the meaning of life.
The ridiculous justification of the supporters’ position being on the ‘right side of history’ is utter foolishness. This is political agenda being given confirmation bias. The standard must be one that means that the government does not intrude where it should not and in this case, where the courts should not be activist, something I suspect has happened.
In closing, while I support the idea of a deregulated marriage, this instance of the conduct of the SCOTUS is something that I believe can lead to a troubling precedent and reflects what I see as a growing tendency for judges to believe themselves as the Bastions of Good and Evil.
Yours in True Liberalism, Rowan.