Blogs > Liberty and Power > Would Amendment Ban Civil Unions?

Feb 8, 2004 6:06 pm

Would Amendment Ban Civil Unions?

Following up on Steve Horowitz's question: I’m not sure how the proposed Assault On Marriage amendment would in fact be interpreted by the courts, but Andrew Sullivan's interpretation seems to have some merit. The amendment explicitly applies not only to"this constitution or the constitution of any state" but also to"state or federal law."

Suppose a state legislature passes a law giving marriage benefits to unmarried couples (same-sex or otherwise). The proposed amendment would appear to make such a law judicially unenforceable. After all, any attempt to apply said law would involve construing state law to confer the legal incidents of marital status on unmarried couples. The amendment's language doesn't say that the prohibition applies only to the attribution of implicit rather than explicit conferral.

I've long ago given up expecting conservatives to care about individual rights. But it seems they no longer care about states' rights either.

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