Well, another step on the road for legal equality for gays and lesbians as a Washington State judge has ruled the state's definition of marriage as between a man and a woman violates the state constitution's protection of substantive due process. The actual decision (PDF) is a very solid piece of legal reasoning that also makes good use of the social scientific arguments against heterosexual-exclusive marriage. And I'm always heartened by the invocation of substantive due process and fundamental, yet unenumerated, rights arguments. Three cheers for the Ninth Amendment!! Let us hope we see thsoe arguments extended to economic issues, as in the Lochner era. I'll plug Randy Barnett's new book on these issues, while I'm at it.
And yes, for my radical libertarian friends, perhaps the state should be out of marriage altogether, but in the world of the second best, it is a violation of equality before the law, also a key libertarian principle, that gays and lesbians are denied the same right to marry that heterosexuals have.