Here's a portion of Prop 8 challenge attorney Ted Olson's rather brilliant argument in this week's Newsweek, "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage".
Watch a video of Olson, AFTER THE JUMP…
Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostilitytoward gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unionspromote the values conservatives prize. Marriage is one of the basicbuilding blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it isa stable bond between two individuals who work to create a lovinghousehold and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couplesto marry because the commitments they make to one another providebenefits not only to themselves but also to their families andcommunities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one's own needs. Ittransforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations,and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being ofsociety. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to sharein this vital social institution is evidence that conservative idealsenjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this,rather than lament it.
Legalizing same-sex marriage would also be a recognition of basicAmerican principles, and would represent the culmination of ournation's commitment to equal rights. It is, some have said, the lastmajor civil-rights milestone yet to be surpassed in our two-centurystruggle to attain the goals we set for this nation at its formation.
Thisbedrock American principle of equality is central to the political andlegal convictions of Republicans, Democrats, liberals, andconservatives alike. The dream that became America began with therevolutionary concept expressed in the Declaration of Independence inwords that are among the most noble and elegant ever written: "We holdthese truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, thatthey are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, thatamong these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Sadly,our nation has taken a long time to live up to the promise of equality.In 1857, the Supreme Court held that an African-American could not be acitizen. During the ensuing Civil War, Abraham Lincoln eloquentlyreminded the nation of its found-ing principle: "our fathers broughtforth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty anddedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
Atthe end of the Civil War, to make the elusive promise of equality areality, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution added the command that"no State É shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property,without due process of law; nor deny to any person É the equalprotection of the laws."
Subsequent laws and courtdecisions have made clear that equality under the law extends topersons of all races, religions, and places of origin. What better wayto make this national aspiration complete than to apply the sameprotection to men and women who differ from others only on the basis oftheir sexual orientation? I cannot think of a single reason—and havenot heard one since I undertook this venture—for continueddiscrimination against decent, hardworking members of our society onthat basis.
Various federal and state laws haveaccorded certain rights and privileges to gay and lesbian couples, butthese protections vary dramatically at the state level, and nearlyuniversally deny true equality to gays and lesbians who wish to marry.The very idea of marriage is basic to recognition as equals in oursociety; any status short of that is inferior, unjust, andunconstitutional.
Watch a video from Newsweek accompanying this cover story, AFTER THE JUMP…