Following the Supreme Court's refusal to intervene, Wednesday was the first
day same-sex couples could procure marriage licenses in the District of
Columbia. There reactions include celebration and hand-wringing
from the usual suspects, and attempts to predict what this will mean for same-sex marriage elsewhere.
- Rejoice Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward
would love to have the government out of marriage entirely, but says,
"failing the realization of a libertarian utopia in the nation's
capital, it's great that D.C.'s gay families now have the option to get
the legal recognition the rest of us already enjoy." To drive home the
point, she adds, "In D.C., getting gay married is now almost exactly
like buying a handgun."
- Same-Sex Marriage Really Does Impoverish the Institution Jennifer Roback Morse of traditional marriage advocacy group the Ruth Institute isn't pleased, looking at the new marriage licenses:
it out: people are "legally married." No one has the "status" of bride
or groom, husband or wife. The natural concepts of husband and wife
have been replaced with a purely legal concept. Thus does the state
shove civil society aside.
- Look What the Diocese Is Willing
to Sacrifice The D.C. Diocese has ended all spousal health benefits
responding to the new law--rather than offer benefits to same-sex
spouses (refusing to do so now would be illegal), they are choosing to
end the program entirely. Heritage's Chuck Donovan is one of several to see the Diocese's decision as a principled stand, a "[sacrifice] for religious liberty":
idea that major changes in civil society can be implemented without
profound clashes of principle is clearly false. Marriage is not an
insular institution, even if, as here, it can be insulated to a degree
from public policy. The Archdiocese of Washington has asked the
Church's adherents to bear the brunt of the new policy, but the coming
clash was visible to city officials who chose conflict over compromise.
- Which Means What, Exactly? Philadelphia Weekly's Joel Mathis
responds to those harping on the Diocese's move: "the fact that some
institutions will take extraordinary steps to avoid coming under the
law isn't really an argument for or against the soundness of the law
- Hints for Gay Marriage Elsewhere? ShortFormBlog's Ernie Smith
notes the Supreme Court's decision not to intervene "in a last-ditch
effort to stop" the change, and wonders "what that means for the court
case currently grinding through in California."
- Don't Celebrate Just Yet "The court challenge," observes Adam Serwer
at The American Prospect, "was where the real threat to marriage
equality in D.C. was always going to come from, and that isn't over
yet. I also wouldn't read too much into Roberts' decision yesterday,"
he cautions. "Depending how the appeal process goes, he may yet get to
rule in marriage equality opponents' favor--and marriage rights in D.C.
may yet be put to a citywide vote."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
hhorn at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.