Friday, February 04, 2005

Points for New York

In another victory for Marriage equality advocates, a New York State Court has mandated that state marriage codes allow for gay marriages. The case, Hernandez v. Robles, thus joins Castle v. State (Washington, discussed here), Anderson v. Sims (also Washington, discussed here), and of course the famous Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (Massachusetts) case in favor of marriage equality. On the other side, we have Morrison v. Sadler (Indiana, discussed here), Wilson v. Ake (US District Court [Middle District of Florida], discussed here), and In re Kandu and Kandu (US Bankruptcy Court, discussed here). All have important things to say about the topic, and with the exception of Morrison I thought all were reasonably well-written and argued.

I was again pleased with the quality of this decision. It did a good job dismantling the purported reasoning behind the discriminatory principles of the current marriage code. In an ironic twist, the court noted that one of the plaintiffs parents were barred via anti-miscegenation were themselves barred from marrying in 1966. They moved to California, the first state to allow interracial marriage. Now, the circle has closed, with the son striking his own blow for marriage equality. And best of all, the decision added to the litany of analysis which proves that gay equality advocates actually show more respect for the institution of marriage than anyone else:
"As a society, we recognize that the decision of whether and whom to marry is life-transforming. It is a unique expression of a private bond and profound love between a couple, and a life dream shared by many in our culture. It is also society's most significant public proclamation of commitment to another person for life. With marriage comes not only legal and financial benefits, but also the supportive community of family and friends who witness and celebrate a couple's devotion to one another, at the time of their wedding, and through the anniversaries that follow. Simply put, marriage is viewed by society as the utmost expression of a couple’s commitment and love. Plaintiffs may now seek this ultimate expression through a civil marriage."

Though, as Orin Kerr points out, this decision will undoubtedly be stayed and latter resolved by the Court of Appeals in that state, it is still undoubtedly a positive sign. Good luck and many blessings to all the couples involved.

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