I spent most of the morning outside the Supreme Court waiting for the Court’s decision on two cases regarding civil marriage for gay couples. The Court announced decisions in the cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. The United States. In the Perry case, the Court vacated and remanded the Ninth Circuit’s decision allowing California to perform same-sex marriages. They ruled in the Windsor case, aka The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case, that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages performed by states.
As a constitutional conservative, I am pleased that the Supreme Court affirmed that marriage and family law is the purview of the states. DOMA was a gross federal overreach and the Court was right in striking it down. I am also very happy that gay people in California can once again legally marry the person they love. In California and in all states where it is legal, those marriages will now be recognized by the federal government for federal purposes.
Now, the effort to pass marriage equality focuses on the states. Conservatives know that marriage is a good thing, and we should encourage, protect, and promote it for everyone – including gay people. I am looking forward to making that case, state by state, to build consensus through the political process to legalize civil marriage for gay couples.
I’ll write more on this later. Right now, I’m just taking a moment to really think about what this means for the millions of Americans, like me, whose lives this affects. This is big.