Samad on Gay Marriage as a Constitutional Question

Anthony Asadullah Samad notes the significance of the Constitution in today’s gay rights debate in his op-ed piece titled “Overturning Proposition: Gay marriage ban was always a constitutional question” – featured in the Chicago Defender in August 2010. Sparked by a federal judge’s overturn of California’s ban on gay marriage (Proposition 8),  Samad calls on the “Tyranny of the majority” as a fear of the Framers of the Constitution and a reality for supporters and activists for gay rights and marriage. In short,  one “can’t legislate social change” but can only “litigate it.” Samad cites arguments where litigation might favor the question of gay rights, especially since acts like Proposition 8 violate the “equal protection” clause of the 14th amendment. That said, only when gay marriage is made illegal can these arguments become hollow and ineffective and can marriage be determined not to be a fundamental right, as argued by Samad (and in the 1967 case Loving v Virginia, a case that dealt with inter-racial marriage, which Samad also cites).

Samad is a regular commentator as a national columnist and managing director of the Urban Issues Forum. This piece was found in the ProQuest newspaper database.

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