Posted on | January 14, 2014 | 105 Comments
Same-sex marriage was illegal in all 50 states as recently as 2003. That was the year in which Justice Anthony Kennedy invoked the “emerging awareness” doctrine in the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas ruling:
In all events we think that our laws and traditions in the past half century are of most relevance here. These references show an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex.
From this decision — premised on the oddly arbitrary claim that “laws and traditions” antedating 1953 are invalid or irrelevant “in matters pertaining to sex” — it was a swift race to the point at which a federal judge appointed in 1994 by President Clinton could declare that a state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional:
A federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Tuesday that the state’s constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage violated the federal Constitution, the latest in a string of legal victories for gay rights and one that occurred in the heart of the Bible Belt.
The state’s ban on marriage by gay and lesbian couples is “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit,” wrote Judge Terence C. Kern of United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, in Tulsa, deciding a case that had languished for nine years. The amendment, he said, is based on “moral disapproval” and does not advance the state’s asserted interests in promoting heterosexual marriage or the welfare of children. . . .
The Oklahoma amendment under question, stating that “marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman,” was adopted by referendum in 2004 with 75 percent of the vote.
So, the votes of 75 percent of Oklahoma’s citizens are invalid, because the “emerging awareness” doctrine declares that 5,000 years of human tradition constitute “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion.”