HoustonChronicle.com – Supreme Court refuses to block gay marriages in Massachusetts
“The Supreme Court refused today to block the nation’s first state-sanctioned gay marriages from taking place here starting next week.
The justices declined without comment to intervene and block clerks from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in Massachusetts. The state’s highest court had ruled in November that the state Constitution allows gay couples to marry, and declared that the process would begin Monday.”
It looks like one of those situations where politics may make strange bedfellows. Undoubtedly the liberals on the court are perfectly happy to let the Massachusetts ruling stand. Hopefully the conservatives on the court are taking the right attitude that marriage is a state matter and the federal courts have no rule.
In other news the same day, the Missouri legislature has placed a (state) constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage on the ballot. The issue will be decided the way it should be. Ultimately Massachusetts voters are very likely to overturn their state’s high court decision with an amendment to their state constitution also. A federal ruling on the issue might interfere improperly with the proper functioning of that amendment process. This issue shouldn’t be decided by a state or federal court, but bringing the federal courts into it only short circuits the proper democratic response to judicial activism at the state level.