Today was an historic day in family law. A federal, not simply a state court judge, ruled that same sex marriage should be allowed. While the ruling is much more than simply an opinion by a judge that such marriages should be allowed, the real significance is that the burden now shifts to opponents of same sex marriage to overturn the decision on appeal. As any lawyer will tell you, it is always better to be the Appellee than the Appellant (the one filing the appeal).
Far be it from me to attempt a full fledged legal analysis of the decision in this format, but the simple and straightforwad result of this decision is that the concept of same sex marriage has taken a huge leap forward and seems well on it’s way into acceptance, at least in our legal system. While most studies seem to indicate that the legalization of gay marriage was an eventual certainty, this case seemed to move the process along much more rapidly than many expected.
Regardless of your view on this topic, there is no doubt that this is truly an issue that will be discussed over and over, in courthouses and coffee houses.
Past generations have confronted many changes to widely held opinions and positions (Loving v. VA-interracial marriage; Roe v. Wade-abortion; Brown v. Board of Education-segretation in schools). Yes each issue is different, but the fact that in America we can examine, debate, vote, litigate, appeal, then vote again, is a wonderful thing. The checks and balances and open processes we use are extraordinary. There is no way to please everyone, but what an interesting issue and what interesting times we live in.