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Gay marriage v. states’ rights

  A same-sex wedding in 2006

A same-sex wedding in 2006

Gay marriage is once again before the U.S. Supreme Court, and depending on what the Court decides, it could become the law of the land.

Opponents have taken a new tactic. It’s not about whether or not gays should marry but whether the Court or the states should decide this.

Trust me: It’s about whether or not gays should marry, and invoking states’ rights in this situation here smacks of the Dred Scott Decision of 1857, in which the Court ruled 7-2 that just because you’re a slave living in a free state doesn’t make you free.

Right now, you might be gay and married in New York but you sure as hell ain’t gay and married, in, say, Tennessee.

And that’s absurd. There are certain things in which there must be uniformity of the law, otherwise what’s to stop a heterosexual couple’s marriage from being ignored by a state?

It’s hard to understand why opponents wouldn’t favor gay marriage. These same opponents are usually at the forefront of so-called family values and gay marriage seems to be all about family, often including adopted children who might otherwise be deprived of a stable, loving home and educational opportunities. It would seem to be a win-win.

In “The Penalty for Holding,” the forthcoming second novel in my series “The Games Men Play,” the gay protagonists are moving toward marriage and family and an understanding of something larger than themselves. Whereas the gay protagonists in “Water Music,” my debut novel, have no interest in marriage or having children even though they’re family-minded and a kind of family in themselves.

Or, to paraphrase Justice Sonia Sotomayor, just as some straight people choose to marry and others don’t, n'est pas?