Marriage Anyone?

First Things, April 1996.


Almost 70 percent of the American people have indicated their opposition to “same—sex” marriages (males with males, females with females), but neither they nor their elected representatives are likely to cast the decisive vote in this matter. Like other moral issues—abortion, for example—this one is scheduled to be decided in the courts.

In fact, it may already have been decided (potentially, for the entire nation) by Hawaii’s state supreme court in a case involving the denial of marriage licenses to three gay and lesbian couples. Hearing the case on appeal in May 1993, the court said that the state’s marriage statute will be held to be a violation of the equal protection clause of the state constitution—unless the state can show a compelling reason why the “marital relation” should be restricted to a male and female.

First Things