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Marriage milestone

Ruling against state law a win for common sense

Judge Richard L. Young’s opinion Wednesday was rendered in clear, strong words that left no room for ambiguity.

Indiana’s anti-gay-marriage law is unconstitutional.

“It is clear that the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals based solely on the person they choose to love,” wrote Young, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana.

Gay couples had barely gotten to the courthouses before the denunciations came rolling in, predictable as summer thunder.

Senate President David Long hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would do the right thing and overrule Judge Young and the other federal judges who have coincidentally ruled against anti-gay statutes in a dozen states.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller almost instantly announced his office’s intent to challenge the ruling.

And Gov. Mike Pence, who is usually worried about wasting public money, rushed to announce that he supported Zoeller’s quixotic quest courtesy of Indiana’s otherwise-beleaguered taxpayers.

Just last week, the Indiana legislature was back in session for its Technical Corrections Day, to fix errors in the revised criminal code that was passed during the regular session earlier this year.

With part-time legislators working hard and trying to get back home, mistakes will happen, as Long explained. Surely the legislature’s inability to get the most important bill of the session right had nothing to do with the fact that Long and House Speaker Brian Bosma allowed lawmakers’ passion, energy and attention to be siphoned into the anti-gay-marriage crusade.

Young’s clearly written and impeccably reasoned opinion made it clear that all that bombast about “protecting” traditional marriage will probably prove to be in vain.

“In time,” Young wrote, “Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as a marriage – not a same-sex marriage.

“These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such.”

Also Wednesday, the 10th U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision to overturn Utah’s gay marriage ban. Indiana officials can add this ruling to their evidence for mass judicial delusion. But Judge Young’s eloquent decision can only be read as a victory for common sense.