Marriage and the Courts

In today’s Britannica column, I write about yesterday’s 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Loving decision and its relevance to the current Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now actually Perry v. Brown) case. It includes videos from Cato’s recent forum, from the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and from the 1967 ABC News report on the Supreme Court decision. You really should watch that one.

I also note some of the objections to the Perry case:

When it comes to the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, there are legitimate federalist and democratic objections. One might say that marriage law has always been a matter for the states, and it should stay that way. Let the people of each state decide what marriage will be in their state. Leave the federal courts out of it. Federalism is an important basis for liberty, and that’s a strong argument. There’s also a discomfiting argument that a Supreme Court decision striking down bans on gay marriage is undemocratic, that it would be better to let the political process work through the issue. Some people, even supporters of gay marriage, warn that a court decision could be another Roe v. Wade, with decades of cultural war over an imposed decision.

For a response, read the column.