State of the Debate

Another day, another win for marriage equality ...

First Published      Last Updated May 21 2014 01:18 pm

It was Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania Tuesday. School bonds. County government restructuring. Picking a Democrat to run against a vulnerable, but hardly defenseless, incumbent Republican governor.

So, in many of the state's newspapers, the news that their state had been the latest to see a federal judge invalidate its ban on same-sex marriage took second place on the front page. Or maybe only made a P. 1 info box, referring to full coverage on an inside page.

The exception was the blue collar tabloid Philadelphia Daily News, which filled its cover with a photo of two happy women at the marriage license office and the clever caption, "I'd Like to Buy a Vow."

So much of the definition of news is, "What else happened today?" But maybe we're getting to the point where the expansion of marriage equality rights isn't such big news any more.

Pundits, of course, are on it.

Stop gay marriage fight, Utah leaders — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

"It is only getting harder to deny the conclusion of last summer's Windsor decision defining marriage as a due-process right of any couple. In the last two days, federal judges in Oregon and Pennsylvania came to the same inevitable conclusion as Judge Robert Shelby did in Utah last December. In recent months 14 federal judges have ruled against state same-sex marriage bans, and in some cases the states didn't even bother to defend their laws in the wake of Windsor. ...

" ... No, this is over, and persisting just reinforces the perception that Utah is behind the times and out of sync with the nation. Come up with a graceful exit, Gov. Herbert and Attorney General Reyes."

Gov. Corbett should allow same-sex marriage ruling to stand — Easton (Penn.) Express-Times Editorial

" ... Shortly after last year's Supreme Court rulings, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced she would not defend Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act because she believed it was unconstitutional, leaving the battle to Gov. Tom Corbett. Now, it appears the only thing standing in the way of same-sex marriages in Pennsylvania is Corbett and an anticipated appeal of today's ruling. ..."

Congratulations: Marriage equality comes to Oregon — Astoria (Ore.) Daily Astorian Editorial

" ... This decision was squarely within Oregon's inherent strain of live-and-let-live libertarianism. Most Oregon citizens believe families of every kind are worthy of society's approval and support. Life is more than complicated enough without states putting up barriers to those wishing to step within the love and protection of marriage. ..."

—­ Gay marriage ruling welcomed in Pennsylvania — York (Penn.) Daily Record Editorial

Federal court strikes a blow for equality — Harrisburg (Penn.) Patriot-News Editorial

"It's only fitting that, on primary Election Day, a day that we celebrate our freedom to choose and the equality we all enjoy in our democracy, a federal court judge in Harrisburg struck down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage. ..."

Even Conservative Judges Can't Deny the Constitutional Logic of Same-Sex Marriage — Margo Schlanger | The Daily Beast

" ... Although opponents of marriage equality have sought, post hoc, to layer a veneer of respectability over this purpose, everyone knows that the goal of banning same-sex marriage is precisely to express disapproval for gay and lesbian unions—and the romantic and sexual love of members of the same sex that drives them. Indeed, opponents of same-sex marriage were quite open about that goal not so long ago. Judges of many stripes rightly see that goal as flatly inconsistent with Windsor's understanding of equal protection. ..."

Are judges in gay marriage cases reading the tea leaves right? — Michael McGough | The Los Angeles Times

" ... To put it charitably, Kennedy's opinion was ambiguous. So one would think that in applying it, judges in lower courts would split more or less evenly between those who regarded Windsor as a states' rights case and those who saw it as a case about due process of law or equal protection of the laws, or an amalgam of the two constitutional guarantees. ... In fact, same-sex marriage has won victory after victory in the lower courts. ..."

Same-Sex Marriage Support Reaches New High at 55% — Gallup Politics