On Thursday I wrote “I’m looking forward to having my policy preferences affirmed by the Supreme Court tomorrow or Monday when it rules in favor of same sex marriage.” I’m just glad I didn’t jinx it.
I’m thrilled with the outcome of Obergefell v. Hodges, though I’m persuaded by Sasha Volokh who suggests it should have been on equal protection grounds alone, and not substantive due process.
In other words, that if marriage is something the state is going to provide for then it must be provided for equally. But while choosing one’s partner is a fundamental right, it’s not obvious that marriage is as such. If the state were to get out of the business of licensing marriage entirely, doing so would not itself be a violation of rights. The analysis here is the same as Brown v. Board of Education: the state isn’t required to provide education (though some state constitutions may require it), but if it does so then it must be on equal ground.
Skift rounds up travel brands celebrating the ruling. I like American’s take.
I think though that Delta deserves a special shout out because they actually already had implemented a policy to ‘gross up’ the taxes owed where insurance coverage for domestic partnerships was not allowed to be provided on a pre-tax basis. They didn’t just put words into it, they put dollars too, before today’s decision (although because of this decision won’t actually have to do so).
This has been an important issue to me for a long time. I remember helping to put together debates on same sex marriage 15 years ago, hosting among others Andrew Sullivan who was still a lonely voice nationally on the issue. Most of our politicians are late-comers to this issue. It wasn’t many years ago that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were against this, before they were for it. I can’t think of any issue where the national tide turned on something so deeply felt so quickly.
So I end today’s posts with the recognition that for many of my readers today was a very important day. Congratulations.