Cautionary Words from a Same-Sex Marriage Supporter

In today’s Washington Post, Charles Lane warns his fellow supporters of same-sex marriage that a Supreme Court decision for “marriage equality” is very likely to be greeted by a substantial part of the country in the same way that Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade were greeted–with outrage, and a palpable sense that the Constitution, as well as justice, had been betrayed.  This would not be a happy outcome.  I don’t agree with Lane’s reading of public support for same-sex marriage (instead, see Ryan Anderson and Andrew Walker at The Corner), or with his view that the constitutional questions regarding same-sex marriage are “not a no-brainer, for either side.”  Actually, “does the Constitution secure a right of same-sex marriage?” is a legal question with perhaps the easiest “no” answer in our country’s history.  Those to whom this is not obvious might fruitfully begin with Adam MacLeod’s essay yesterday at Public Discourse.  But Lane’s warnings about the practical realities ahead should be taken into account by liberals generally, and by the justices of the Court particularly.

Matthew J. Franck — Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.

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