The New York Times reports that a Manhattan judge has ruled that a state law effectively barring gay marriage violates the state Constitution. She has ordered New York City, the defendant in the lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of five couples, to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in 30 days.
This is a great victory in the ongoing battle for equal marriage, although the war is far from won, even in New York; the ruling only applies to New York City, and there are other cases pending elsewhere in the state in which judges have upheld the ban. And the city has not yet officially announced whether it will appeal, but realistically appeal must be inevitable. But it is another significant notch in the belt of organizations like Lambda Legal, and here in Massachusetts, Equal Marriage.
Still, I am proud of my home town for getting it right, and I only wish I could count on the rest of my country to do the same. When was the last time a president was permitted to express his bigotry openly in a State of the Union address? And yet our president seems perfectly comfortable standing before the country and announcing that some of us are not entitled to the same rights as others, because he finds the idea distasteful. The president's view makes me sick, but I have too much respect for the Constitution to propose an amendment banning it.