Another major setback to the court strategy for gay marriage. This time in Washington State:
The state Supreme Court upheld Washington's ban on gay marriage Wednesday, saying lawmakers have the power to restrict marriage to unions between a man and woman.NOTE FROM JOHN: First, I have to wonder whether we need a cultural and political strategy (answer: YES) to go along with this court strategy. It's not like judges rule in a vacuum. We've done very little to try to convince the public of the rigtheousness of our side in this debate, then we wonder why the courts slam us down. (Having said that, 3 months before the election is NOT the time to run ads on this issue, as noted yesterday.)
The 5-4 decision leaves Massachusetts as the only state to grant full marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. It was the latest in a series of significant court rulings favoring gay marriage opponents.
Second, we need a political-court strategy - you don't win court cases when conservative GOP judges keep being appointed to the court.
And finally, this "legalize marriage" court strategy looks increasingly like a runaway train, out of our control and stealing all the oxygen from the good work that's been done over the past decade on job discrimination and so much more. You pick your battles strategically. (Well, you do if you want to win, and have any political sense.) No one is saying we roll over and play dead. But I am saying that we only have so much time and so much money - we need to use those limited assets wisely. And blowing the entire wad on marriage strikes me as foolish and counterproductive. Someone in the community with some influence needs to stand up and say "enough already," and get our agenda back.