Our courts, which have mishandled abortion, may be on the verge of mishandling homosexuality. As a consequence of two pending decisions, we may be about to accept homosexual marriage.
In 1993 the supreme court of Hawaii ruled that, under the equal-protection clause of that state’s constitution, any law based on distinctions of sex was suspect, and thus subject to strict judicial scrutiny.1 Accordingly, it reversed the denial of a marriage permit to a same-sex couple, unless the state could first demonstrate a “compelling state interest” that would justify limiting marriages to men and women. A new trial is set for early this summer. But in the meantime, the executive branch of Hawaii appointed a commission to examine the question of same-sex marriages; its report, by a vote of five to two, supports them. The legislature, for its part, holds a different view of the matter, having responded to the court’s decision by passing a law unambiguously reaffirming the limitation of marriage to male-female couples.
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