By Teresa Welsh |
There are difficult questions in constitutional law. This is not one of them. The Constitution provides that "No state shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws," and the last time I checked, gay men and lesbians are people. Moreover, LGBT Americans possess all the traits the Supreme Court identified as requiring heightened protection from discrimination. States are not allowed to defy the Constitution, period.
The federal government, of course, isn't allowed to defy the Constitution either, which is why marriage equality must be recognized by states and the federal government alike. Just so that we're clear, however, leaving marriage up to the states would actually be an improvement from the status quo.
The whole point of the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act is to impose Washington, D.C.'s one-size-fits-all view upon couples that don't want some Washington bureaucrat to stand between them and the marriage altar. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act's big government takeover of marriage, same sex couples must now appeal to a nine person, unelected, unaccountable "marriage panel" that will decide whether they get to have the same marriage rights as anyone else. The time has come to repeal and replace this job-killing, Washington takeover of marriage with common-sense, family-centered marriage equality.
About Ian Millhiser Policy Analyst with the Center for American Progress
Evan Wolfson Founder and President of Freedom to Marry
Stacey Long Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Jason Kuznicki Research Fellow at the Cato Institute
Brian Brown President of the National Organization for Marriage