Illinois lawmakers are being pressured to pass legislation that allows same sex partners to marry. This week, a Nevada judge ruled marriage laws are not discriminatory. From Family Research Council:
Nevada is willing to gamble on a lot of things, but marriage isn't one of them. In federal court yesterday, Judge Robert Jones dealt a big setback to state activists hoping to redefine marriage. His opinion, which he issued just days after oral arguments, may be one of the most compelling yet on the question of "equality" for homosexual couples. The lead plaintiffs in the case are two lesbians, both grandmothers, who argued that Nevada's 10-year-old marriage amendment is discriminatory. Judge Jones emphatically disagreed in a 41-page masterpiece that thoroughly dismantled the Left's legal logic. Homosexuals aren't being denied the right to marry, Jones explained. They simply have to abide by the same criteria as everyone else.
"Like heterosexual persons, they may not marry members of the same sex." In fact, Jones wrote, "A homosexual man may marry anyone a heterosexual man may marry, and a homosexual woman may marry anyone a heterosexual woman may marry."
In other words, this isn't about discrimination or equal protection. "Homosexuals have not historically been denied the right to vote, the right to serve on juries, or the right to own property," he pointed out. "The protection of the traditional institution of marriage, which is a conceivable basis for the distinction in this case, is a legitimate state interest," he said, adding that if the state recognized same-sex couples' marriages, heterosexuals might "cease to value the civil institution as highly as they previously had and hence enter into it less frequently... because they no longer wish to be associated with the civil institution as redefined."
Then, in perhaps the most pivotal part Jones's opinion, he highlighted the recent success homosexuals had at the ballot box. "It simply cannot be seriously maintained, in light of these and other recent democratic victories, that homosexuals do not have the ability to protect themselves from discrimination through democratic processes such that extraordinary protection from majoritarian processes is appropriate."
In other words, our Election Day losses might actually be the key to future victories in court. Now that three states have actually voted for same-sex "marriage," liberals can no longer claim the court as their only avenue to "equal protection." Even lesbian activists like Nan Hunter, a Georgetown professor, admit that judges might be less likely to intervene on marriage if homosexuals no longer seem "powerless" to advance their agenda. It could even, Hunter argues, change the way the Supreme Court sees the issue--if, as it's expected, the justices agree to hear at least one of the marriage cases in their hopper.
The high court planned to meet today to decide which marriage case it would take. Thanks to the growing number of lawsuits, the justices have their pick of cases--from challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or federal benefits laws to California's Proposition 8. Given the high profile of any marriage case, the court would likely hear a suit in March and rule in June. That ought to give the bench plenty of time to absorb Judge Jones's decision!