Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Full Un-Faithfulness and Credit

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the state's highest court) earlier this morning ruled that civil unions aren't enough--only Gay marriage will suffice. This sets up the most stark confrontation possible. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution (Article IV, Section 1) was designed to ensure that judicial and other decrees of one state were valid in all states. Thus, persons legally married in one state can move and still be married in the "foreign state." Putting the Massachusetts decision together with the consistently means that four judges may impose Gay marriage nationwide.

So it's a zero sum game now. And not just between Stanley Kurtz and Andrew Sullivan. The threat to the democratic process has never been more clear: can a bare majority of judges in the most liberal state in the nation impose on America what has not been achieved at the ballot?

Don't get me wrong. I favor civil unions. I also oppose President Bush's constitutional amendment banning Gay marriage as too invasive. I might even be persuaded that principles of Federalism warrant different states experimenting with different forms of marriage. But this is absurd.

My proposal: no Gay marriage until passage of a Constitutional amendment to Article IV, Section 1 specifying that the Full Faith and Credit clause does not require any state to recognize a marriage performed in another state unless either:

1) the marriage is between one man and one woman; or
2) in the case of a marriage OTHER than between one man and one woman, the marriage policy of the performing state was authorized by ordinary statute passed by the state legislature and signed by the Governor.

Over to you Mr. Kurtz and Mr. Sullivan.


Mitt Romney, Governor of Massachusetts, agrees in Thursday's Wall Street Journal.

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