DAVID L. CHAMBERS


Foreword

THE SIGNIFICANCE and timeliness of Michael Mello's book was brought home to me recently when I participated in a conference on same-sex marriage at Brigham Young University Law School in Provo, Utah. Nearly everyone in the audience opposed permitting two men or two women to marry each other. Many favored an amendment to the United States Constitution to prevent any state from permitting same-sex couples to marry. Most regretted the decision of the United States Supreme Court in June 2004 holding sodomy laws unconstitutional. To them, the institution of marriage was under siege. The welfare of unborn children was at risk. Same-sex unions, one speaker believed, would offend “the dignity of children.” Another speaker referred to the union of two men as “mere friendship, with the option of sodomy.”

My task at the conference was to discuss the developments in Vermont. I drew on Professor Mello's manuscript and described the decision of the Vermont Supreme Court in the Baker case, the response of the Vermont legislature, and the responses of Vermont voters in the two elections that have followed. After I spoke, another member of the panel, a member of the Brigham Young faculty, delivered a short version of a 60-page law review article he had written appraising the Baker decision. He criticized the reasoning of the court and accused the justices of misusing their own precedents. He then went on at some length to point out that few appellate courts in other states had cited Baker in the nearly four years since it was decided. He never acknowledged that the absence of citations in other courts should be no surprise. After all, in the four years since Baker, no other appellate court in the United States has decided a case involving a claim for same-sex marriage. Moreover, the Vermont decision rests entirely on an unusual provision of the Vermont Constitution, the so-called Common Benefits Clause, that is found in only a few other state constitutions. What this speaker was trying to do was to make the Baker case go away.

-x-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Legalizing Gay Marriage
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 337

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?