Mass. revokes ban on gay marriage

On Tuesday, Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court ruled that
same-sex couples have the right to marry, under the state’s
constitution.

In its 4-3 decision, the court gave the Massachusetts
Legislature six months to rewrite the state’s marriage laws to make
same-sex marriages possible.

“We declare that barring an individual from the protections,
benefits and obligations of civil marriage solely because that
person would marry a person of the same sex violates the
Massachusetts Constitution,” wrote Chief Justice Margaret Marshall.
“The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of
all individuals. It forbids the creation of second-class
citizens.”

According to The New York Times, the decision did not explicitly
tell lawmakers how to interpret the ruling. The only option for
those who oppose the decision is to try to amend the state’s
constitution so that it defines marriage as a union between a man
and a woman.

However, the process to amend the constitution would take at
least three years. During this time, it would be possible for
same-sex couples to marry–provided they are granted a marriage
license.

Although it passed, not all of the justices supported the
ruling.

“Today the court has transformed its role as protector of rights
into the role of creator of rights, and I respectfully dissent,”
wrote Justice Francis Spina.

Campus Ministry at Saint Louis University agrees that marriage
is a union between a man and a woman only, but does not necessarily
oppose equal rights for gays.

“The standpoint of Campus Ministry is that of the Church,” said
Michael Doody, S.J., director of Campus Ministry. “Marriage is a
sacrament between a man and a woman, by definition. Marriage is an
ancient institution to protect, nurture and educate the next
generation of the human family.”

However, Doody said, this does not mean that gay people should
not have the right to seek the same or similar protections and
benefits that married people have.

“Catholics are divided about whether the rights of married
people should be given to gay couples,” Doody said. “Some of us in
Campus Ministry are in favor of gay people in committed
relationships having the rights of those in one’s immediate family,
such as health benefits, inheritance, tax, benefits and similar
rights.”