Gender, Marriage and the Rule of Law
A Political Essay by Jeffrey E. Poehlmann
Originally published February 21, 2004
With the recent rulings in California and Massachusetts, the topic of same-sex marriage has guaranteed itself a place in the pantheon of hot button issues poised for the pressing in the political grandstanding of our current election year. The state of Massachusetts and the city of San Francisco, CA, have sensibly treated this as an issue for the courts and not constitutional amendments, though already there is a renewed fury to protect the sanctity of an institution from something that poses it no real threat.
It seems that every few weeks there is another story in the news that makes mention of the passionate arguments for or against the legalization of "gay marriage." Typically, sides against such a legal union call for the "protection" of marriage, as though existing marriages will somehow be in jeopardy if such laws offering equal protection of same-gender couples are enacted. Sides in favor of such laws, on the other hand, state that they are only looking to gain equal legal footing for what they claim are equally important and meaningful unions.