A momentous, landmark decision from the Supreme Court today. In a 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges the Supreme Court found that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional, and that states must recognize marriages from other states.
That’s justice, to my mind. The homosexual community has been waiting far too long for this day. I’m glad of the outcome.
I’m more dubious about the path to this end, however. I wish that homosexual marriage had been legalized through the will of the people rather than through a fiat from the courts. I wish that North Dakota, specifically, had legalized gay marriage before this ruling came down.
I think that such a legalization could have passed here – on the ballot, if not in the Legislature. In fact, I think we were just a few years away from having strong majorities in favor of legalizing gay marriage in pretty much every state in the union.
Perhaps we should have waited. A democratic solution to social issues like gay marriage is, for the sake of peace and acceptance, always preferable to one imposed by judges.
If legalized gay marriage were the result of a process reflecting the will of the people I think its opponents would be more likely to understand it. As it stands, I fear those people are going to retrench and be as hostile – if not more so – to expanded marriage rights as they were before.
This is a happy outcome, to be sure, but I wish it had happened differently.