Must a loving couple sue to get married?
CASIE McGee wants to marry Sarah Adkins legally in West Virginia, even though state law does not recognize same-sex marriage.
They and two other couples have joined with the Lambda Foundation to have a federal judge overturn the state law.
Technically they are suing Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick and Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole, who issue marriage licenses. The clerks have no choice in the matter. State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is defending the state, as required by law.
"McCormick prays this court will presently abstain from ruling on this issue, particularly in light of the upcoming legislative session," her attorney, Chuck Bailey, wrote in response.
While the U.S. Constitution does recognize unenumerated rights in the Ninth Amendment, not every desire of man is a right no matter how noble and pure.
In the case of marriage, over the centuries, society has recognized marriage as a union of a man and a woman. The history of marriage in the United States includes a demand that Utah ban the Mormon practice of polygamy before gaining statehood in 1896.
Although recognized by the Zhou Dynasty nearly 3,000 years ago, the same sex marriage movement is largely a 21st century phenomenon. The Netherlands became the first modern nation to legalize it in 2001.
Instead of forcing gay marriage upon the people of West Virginia through litigation, advocates may want to give the people of West Virginia a chance to consider and debate the issue.
While many people stereotype West Virginia as a conservative state, West Virginia is one of only 18 states that bans executions. The House of Delegates voted 67-30 in 2009 and 68-30 in 2010 against a proposal to ban gay marriage in the state constitution.
But for now, gay marriages are against the law and the attorney general must uphold the law.
The case is before U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers, once known as Chuck Chambers, the longest serving speaker of the House of Delegates. Tim Miley has that job now.
Judge Chambers should allow Speaker Miley to
do his job. And Miley and other legislators should