Former congressman Jim Ryun’s baby boy Ned opines on marriage equality in California. He calls for state and federal constitutional amendments, saying:
if the other side on this debate wants to push their agenda down our throats thru the judicial system, we push back.
But what, exactly, is being pushed down his throat? How does it affect him whether a gay couple has the right to call themselves husbands or wives, or to get the benefits afforded to married heterosexual couples?
We can set aside the various anti-constitutional blathering about how courts shouldn’t overturn laws that have majority support as well. That’s what courts do. They protect the rights of minorities. This ruling builds on a California Supreme Court ruling which overturned the state’s eugenic anti-miscegenation laws decades before the US Supreme Court followed suit. And you better believe that those laws had majority national support when they were overturned. It doesn’t matter, because those laws were wrong. They were immoral, illiberal, and unconstitutional. The fact that a bunch of conservatives think it’s icky when two men, two women, a black man and a white woman or vice versa fall in love isn’t legally or morally relevant.
By the way, the Loving decision and the anti-miscegenation laws themselves are a counterexample to conservative columnist Denis Prager’s claim that this is ruling constitutes a “redefining of marriage for the first time in history.” Marriage laws change all the time. The early books of the Bible are full of plural marriages, dowries go in and out of fashion, the age at which people may marry changes, common law marriage is accepted and then outlawed, and at the end of the day, society survives. Our notion that marriage is about love is a fairly modern concept; for much of human history, it was principally an arrangement which established social and financial ties between families. I happen to think society is better off for having seen that redefinition of marriage, and the California Supreme Court just extended that concept to the whole of society.