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No Good: The Massachusetts "compromise"

Maggie Gallagher

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In Massachusetts, legislators are frantically debating the wording of various state constitutional amendments that would overturn the Goodridge decision, in which, by the slimmest of 4-3 margins, the state's highest court declared it could find no rational reason why anyone would not want gay marriage.

The first "constitutional convention" met February 11, voted down several versions, and adjourned to March 11. Now influential opponents of gay marriage appear to be ready to sign on to a truly disastrous "compromise," a constitutional amendment that would a) declare "married" to be a unique status consisting of a man and a woman and b) simultaneously declare civil unions to be, now and forever, the exact legal and constitutional equivalent.

Some legislators are even quoting me in defense of this bill. "Civil unions," I wrote in the Weekly Standard, are "one bad step" away from a marriage culture, while gay marriage is "the end of the road."

Yes, that's true -- I wrote that. I did not, and do not, think a federal marriage amendment should try to ban civil unions. But constitutionalizing civil unions as the eternal equivalent of marriage is a wholly different, and much worse, proposition. It will not overturn Goodridge, it will ultimately affirm it. Here's why....

Read the entire article on the National Review Online website.

Posted: 3/1/04



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