Handakte WebLAWg refers to an entry by Tuning Spork (I know what a tuning fork is, but what is a spork?) on the way the Massachusetts Supreme Court, on November 18th, decided that the constitution of Massachusetts should be read to grant the same privileges to same-sex couples as to heterosexual couples.
bq. What the Massachussetts Supreme Court has done is to take the language of the People as it was (and intended to be) understood, and translated it into the modern colloquial usage.
Whether or not you or I support or oppose the legalization of gay marriage or civil unions isn’t at issue (I happen to support it) . The issue is: Who, in a republic of laws, not tyranny, writes the Law?
It’s a well-written piece, and with interesting comments. It should be mentioned, though, that the court at the same time granted a 180-day period for the legislature to pass laws, depending on its view of the matter.
The case reminds me of the time when the House of Lords found that a husband can be found guilty of raping his wife. Mind you, in that case the court was merely varying a definition of marriage from a 16th-century court case – it wasn’t redefining a constitution.
There are very few countries that permit same-sex marriage – according to a Canadian site only the Netherlands and Belgium. Registered partnerships have some similarities, but they are distinguished from marriage.
In the USA, of course, a marriage recognized by one state must be recognized by another. The Legal Reader reports on a challenge to an Iowa divorce of a civil union (Iowa itself doesn’t have civil unions). The divorce was granted by a county court on November 14th and is being challenged in the Iowa Supreme Court.