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The Constitutional Case for Gay Marriage

Posted on June 17 2010 5:46 pm
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by Jessica Lee

In November, 2008 I took a week off of work and went to San Francisco to fight Proposition 8. I was a volunteer in the No on 8 campaign and was assigned to City Hall holding the No on 8 banner. Dozens of gay and lesbian couples passed us as they were getting married at the last minute at City Hall before the threat that Prop 8 could pass that night. And it did.

That night, reflecting upon the tragic passage of Prop 8, I looked down at the No on 8 button that I was wearing, which read: “Unfair & Wrong,” and thought, we need a better argument. We need an argument that is not vague and based on eliciting pity; we need an argument that is based on fundamental American and constitutional principles, including equal protection under the law. And we have been provided with that argument, eloquently, from a place that might surprise some gay people: the right.

Libertarians have adopted our cause. The Cato Institute, which is the pre-eminent libertarian think tank, has taken a strong position in favor of same-sex marriage based on constitutional principles. I have counted at least 40 articles on their web site, dating from 2004, that support marriage equality. Most notable is the white paper that Cato’s chairman, Robert Levy, penned in January, 2010. It is entitled “The Moral and Constitutional Case for a Right to Gay Marriage.”

Read the Washington Blade interview with Robert Levy.

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