Wednesday was a big day for advocates of same-sex marriage. Here in Indiana, U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that the state’s current legislative ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal-protection clause because it treats couples differently based on their sexual orientation. Furthermore, Young declared that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state.
The second development occurred in Denver when a federal appeals court, via a 2-1 vote, ruled that states cannot prevent gay couples from getting married, essentially putting the matter of same-sex marriage bans on the doorstep of the U.S. Supreme Court.
WITHIN HOURS of the ruling gay couples in Indiana were applying for marriage licenses and tying the knot, including here in Elkhart County.
State Sen. Carlin Yoder, Middlebury and U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski both expressed their disappointment in Wednesday’s ruling and both anchored their stance to state rights.
“I feel the federal judge has overstepped his bounds,” Yoder told The Goshen News. “It’s another step in taking away states’ rights and very disappointing for one judge to overrule the legislation. It’s troubling from my perspective. It’s a state’s right issue and Indiana has been very clear (on the issue). It’s been taken away from us.”
WE CAN SEE see where Yoder and Walorski are coming from, but their “state’s rights” argument is misplaced emphasis in our eyes. We’re really talking about human rights here and the freedom of choice all Americans deserve if it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. How does marriage — gay or straight — infringe on the rights of anybody else? Why should our state senator or state representative determine who we can or cannot marry? It is inappropriate for a state legislature to decide the relevance of personal relationships that have nothing to do with it. Talk about overstepping bounds and troubling.