Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Federal Marriage Amendment Passes

Thanks to Hugh Hewitt, who points me to Judge Downing's opinion.

Is the title to this post a little misleading? You decide. As we saw below, even the craziest liberals agree that gay marriage was not part of the Constitution when it was drafted. If, as Judge Downing has jst held, gay marriage is part of the Constitution, then the Constitution has been amended. (I'm sure Kate Michelman is furious). And that amendment is federal, rather than limited to a single state, because of the Full Faith and Credit clause in the U.S. Constitution (Article IV, section 1), which requires that "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State." Therefore the Constitution has been amended and instead of actually respecting the Constitutional requirements for an Amendment (Article V), it has been done anti-democratically. One judge tells us that this is the way it's gonna be, so this is the way it's gonna be - democracy can go take a flying leap. That's called tyranny, folks.

Of course the move is neither unprecedented (Massacheusetts did the same thing months ago, and liberals regularly use anti-democratic processes to impose their wills on the rest of the country) nor without legal ambiguity. Because Hewitt informs us in the same post that Missouri just amended its state constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Nevada has had such a constitutional provision since its adoption. So the question, in terms of the Full Faith and Credit clause, is whether a judicial opinion in one state can trump a constitutional provision in another state.

I suspect that Americans view a constitution as a higher life form (so to speak) than other laws. But then again, I would have guessed that statutes trump judicial opinions for Full Faith and Credit purposes, and in my Conflicts of Laws class I learned that's simply not true. A court in Nevada will respect what a court in California says, but will generally tell the California legislature to go jump off a cliff. Counter-intuitive? Yes. But still the Way Things Are.

Hewitt's numbers on the Missouri vote are very interesting. I already knew that gay marriage is tremendously unpopular in America. But Missouri voted 71% to 29% to amend their constitution. Of those voting, 800,000 were Democrats, and 533,000 were Republicans.

"This tells any objective observor that the overwhelming majority of Americans of both parties want marriage the way that it is and has been for 4,000 years of recorded human history --not as Judge Downing wants it to be."

Correction, Hugh. This tells objective observers what the overwhelming number of Missourians want, not necessarily what Americans in general want. But from what I understand, the statistics are pretty much consistent in every state (including otherwise whacked-out California). To parrot a million other conservative commentators, what liberals can't get through democratic processes, they get through activist judges. It's hard to dispute that statement when liberals seems to hell-bent on confirming it as often as possible.

Update: Meanwhile, homosexual blogger Andrew Sullivan (no link), who in spite of his support for George W. Bush in the War on Terror and on the economy has endorsed John Kerry on the single issue of the Federal Marriage Amendment, has still not married his boyfriend, although Massacheusetts says he can. Why do you suppose that is?

Update: Andrew Sullivan's screeching about gay marriage (and his failure to act on his newly-acquired right) reminds of a scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian, from which I will now quote:

Judith: Here! I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans', but that he can have the right to have babies.

Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister, sorry.

Reg: What's the point?

Francis: What?

Reg: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can't have babies?

Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.

Reg: It's symbolic of his struggle against reality.