Editorial: Score one for civil rights | VailDaily.com

Editorial: Score one for civil rights

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

There may come a time when Americans will regard gay marriage bans as bigoted and backward as most Americans regard bans on inter-racial marriages today.

Until then, institutions like the California Supreme Court will have to take the moral high ground by overturning the state’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage, which the court did last week.

Allowing same-sex couples to marry is as justified as allowing women to vote and African-Americans to own property. By banning same-sex couples from the same rights and responsibilities of heterosexual couples, California had relegated gays and lesbians to second-class citizens.

Colorado did likewise last November, when the majority of voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman, essentially instituting a gay marriage ban. That is a blemish on our state’s constitution and on this state’s tradition of respecting individual rights to privacy. And no, same-sex marriages do not in any way threaten traditional unions.

Some will decry this decision as the work of “activist judges” (generally defined as a judge whose ruling you don’t agree with).

But sometimes the majority shouldn’t rule. Most Americans would agree now that this country should never have denied an African-American man and a white woman the right marry, yet the majority of Americans in the 1950s and much of the 1960s thought that kind of discrimination was just.

Thankfully, in 1967, the California Supreme Court banished laws that forbade interracial marriage.

That decision prompted the reversal of similar bans across the country.We hope the California’s court latest landmark decision will have a similar effect.

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