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The Corner

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‘Gay Marriage by Fiat?’



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I write about gay marriage and the Court today:

The real reason for the court to invalidate [DOMA] would be that it supposedly has no rational basis and is born of “animus” toward gays.

This is the brief against Proposition 8, which was struck down by a federal appellate court, the famously activist Ninth Circuit, on grounds that it has no “legitimate reason.”

In this view, the promoters of Proposition 8 came up with a definition of marriage that has stood for centuries in the West and is endorsed by every major religion simply as an imaginative way to stick it to gay people. Every serious contender in the Democratic presidential primary in 2008, including Barack Obama, supported this same definition, presumably also out of the same simmering hostility to gays.

Supporters of traditional marriage believe that the institution exists as an expression of society’s interest in children’s being raised by their biological fathers and mothers. You can say that this understanding is dated, given what has become of marriage the past 40 years. You can say that it is too pinched, given evolving mores. You can’t say it is inherently hateful.



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