Gay marriage decisions likely to uphold state powers

If I had to guess, based on media coverage of oral arguments alone, I'd say the Supreme Court would be likely to let California's gay marriage ban stand while striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The result would be an affirmation of state powers, just as in the otherwise regrettable Obamacare ruling last year.

When I ran for Congress in 2010 in a predominantly Democratic district, I was often asked about gay marriage. My answer was always the same: 1) it's a state issue, not a federal one, despite DOMA, which may be unconstitutional; 2) it's better settled through legislation or referendum than the courts; 3) I'm OK with civil unions; 4) I'm sympathetic but can't vote or advocate for gay marriage because of my religious commitments. 

Not much has changed. I will admit that I'm wrestling a bit more with the challenge of supporting traditional marriage while remaining open to the redefinition of marriage by some of the states. I have lived in two jurisdictions where gay marriage is legal, and I haven't seen it harm traditional marriage in any noticeable way.

At our own traditional, religious wedding, the children of a (married) lesbian couple participated as flower girls. No one, including the Orthodox rabbi, had a problem with it. Values worth defending seem to thrive on tolerance.


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