On Tuesday, the LGBT community scored a victory for equality when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Proposition 8, which had banned same-sex marriage in California. Not long after the ruling was handed down, Mitt Romney, eager to pander to ultra conservative anti-gay hate groups, made a statement, condemning the decision.
“Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage. This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”
The problem with Mitt’s statement is that the judges did indeed correctly interpret the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say anything about marriage. It does not say that straight couples are the only ones who can marry, nor does it say that homosexuals can’t get married. What the Constitution does say is that everyone has the right to personal liberty, privacy, and equality under the law. Laws that ban consenting adults from marrying violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Constitution. In other words, the judges made the right call. So basically, Romney is promising to appoint judges who will consistently misinterpret the Constitution, which is similar to what Newt Gingrich has promised to do.
Laws against same-sex marriage are similar to laws that once banned interracial marriages in the South. The Supreme Court struck all of them down. If the court remains faithful to precedent and the correct interpretation of the Constitution, the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court should be upheld by the nation’s highest court.