While most states have taken steps in recent years to uphold the traditional definition of marriage, Rhode Island’s attorney general yesterday took a step in the opposite direction by issuing an opinion that could make Rhode Island the first state to recognize an out- of-state same- sex “marriage.” It’s unclear what impact the opinion will have since it is non-binding.
However, Rhode Island is among a handful of states that do not specifically define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The attorney general buttressed his argument by noting that the state currently bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and currently provides benefits to the homosexual partners of state employees. Once again, we are seeing how seemingly benign forms of legal recognition of homosexual behavior are serving as stepping stones in a larger agenda.
Meanwhile, a case potentially testing the legality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is headed to the Supreme Court. A lesbian couple that obtained a Vermont civil union and subsequently conceived a child through artificial means is now locked in a bitter custody dispute. The biological mother moved to Virginia, a conservative state that recently adopted a marriage protection amendment and does not recognize Vermont’s civil union law. The two states have issued conflicting custody rulings based on their respective “marriage” laws, and now the Supreme Court is being asked to step in. A broad ruling in Vermont’s favor could redefine marriage in America, forcing every state in the union to recognize homosexual “marriages” performed in Massachusetts. And with only four conservative votes on the high court and the sweeping scope of Lawrence v. Texas, such a ruling is not out of question. Stay tuned!
(Gary Bauer; End-of- Day; 2/22/07)