RON HART: The case for a government/marriage divorce

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 05:23 PM.

ROSEMARY BEACH — With the Supreme Court effectively ruling in favor of gay marriage, options have narrowed for its opponents.

Overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) comes after last year’s decision ending the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. The Supremes thought that if gays could endure brutal military combat, they might now be able to handle marriage.

But this decision was ultimately about increasing individual freedom, though it overruled the popular vote of a state.

Conservative activists in California appealed the ruling Sunday to the über-liberal Ninth Circus Court of Appeals in San Francisco; they might as well put it to a vote at a Cher concert.

As far as conservatives are concerned, turning the matter back to the states might bode well for future rulings. I do not see how conservatives can rightfully vote to end the provisions of the Voting Rights Act that are so intrusive for Southern states, yet vote to increase federal authority over marriage under DOMA.

Justices who voted to dismantle the silly enforcement mechanism of the Voting Rights Act said in their briefs that times had changed since the 1960s. They have also changed for gay marriage. Thirty percent of Americans approved a decade ago; more than 50 percent do now.

Always the optimist, might I point out to social conservatives the potential positives of gay marriage? They will adopt the children pro–lifers create; they will buy houses and gentrify neighborhoods; they will be monogamous and perhaps attend church; and they will be concerned about education, crime, taxes, and even the role of government spending in their lives.

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