May 19, 2014

"Even a Rat May Drown a Nation"

Today's decision by United States District Judge Michael McShane, striking down Oregon's same-sex marriage ban, is just great. A few excerpts:

This remains the law of the land, that mere moral disapproval of a particular group of citizens is not a legitimate reason for intentionally withholding rights and benefits from that group. 

Additionally, any governmental interest in responsible procreation is not advanced by 
denying marriage to gay a lesbian couples. There is no logical nexus between the interest and 
the exclusion. See Bishop, 962 F. Supp. 2d. at 1291 ("[T]here is no rational link between 
excluding same-sex couples fr;m marriage and the goals of encouraging 'responsible 
procreation' .... "). Opposite-gender couples will continue to choose to have children 
responsibly or not, and those considerations are not impacted in any way by whether 
gender couples are allowed to marry. Nothing in this court's opinion today will effect the miracle 
of birth, accidental or otherwise. A couple who has had an unplanned child has, by definition, 
given little thought to the outcome of their actions. The fact that their lesbian neighbors got 
married in the month prior to conception seems of little import to the stork that is flying their 

It is at times difficult to see past the shrillness of the debate. Accusations of religious 
bigotry and banners reading "God Hates Fags" make for a messy democracy and, at times, test 
the First Amendment resolve of both sides. At the core of the Equal Protection Clause, however, 
there exists a foundational belief that certain rights should be shielded from the barking crowds; 
that certain rights are subject to ownership by all and not the stake hold of popular trend or 
shifting majorities. 

Do read the whole thing.

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