This week I am taking my wife of 40+ years out to dinner. I plan a toast to those same-sex couples who are now getting married in AZ (and elsewhere) because of the change in our laws. When those laws changed, my marriage did not collapse. And when I make the toast, I don't anticipate a divorce. There never has been an adequate answer to the question of how same-sex marriages damages existing opposite-sex marriages. Nor has there ever been a convincing argument about how the possibility of same-sex marriages would suddenly lower the rate of men marrying women. You disagree? Show me the data. Here is more along these lines by EJ Montini writing at azcentral.com.
Shawn Aiken, a lawyer representing seven Arizona couples who were challenging the law in court, said afterwards, "These couples from across Arizona bravely stood for equality for themselves, their families, and over 21,000 other gay and lesbian couples living in Arizona today."
The judge had given the state until Thursday to come up with an argument to convince him otherwise.
But there is no good argument.
Here are two contrasting reactions to the legal decisions.
Gov. Brewer, speaking from some dark place out of the past, said, "In 2008, Arizona voters approved a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Now, with their rulings, the federal courts have again thwarted the will of the people and further eroded the authority of states to regulate and uphold our laws. It is not only disappointing, but also deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than two hundred years."
... Arizona ACLU Executive Director Alessandra Soler, said of the court's decision, "Today's ruling brings security to thousands of families in Arizona. It's a moment to be celebrated. Equal protection of the law is one of the fundamental principles that allows our country to thrive and evolve. Dismantling this discriminatory ban brings our state and nation closer to our founding ideals of fairness, justice and liberty. We will continue to fight for equality for all Arizonans and oppose any efforts to unravel today's historic victory."
Montini has a knack for cutting right to it.
In Arizona on Friday the earth did not stand still. Traffic flowed. Children went to school. Restaurants served food. Mail was delivered. A blanket of clouds pulled itself over the Valley in the early morning hours, but then the sun broke through.
And some people who couldn't get married before, got married.
And my married life goes on. I wish them well.