On gay marriage debate, sides push similar rights arguments

February 22, 2014 

In a baffling turn of events, social conservatives have adopted the same argument as opponents of Florida’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Both sides now lay claim to be defending civil rights — one equality for gays, the other protecting voter decisions.

Are election results inviolable? History’s proven otherwise with court rulings that overturn votes found to be unconstitutional.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, judges across the country are toppling state bans on gay marriage based on that high court ruling.

Last month, gay marriage supporters followed that trend with a lawsuit aimed at striking down the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment as a violation of the constitutional right to equal treatment.

Supporters of the 2008 amendment, passed by 62 percent of voters, are making a novel argument with a civil rights defense, launched last week. This should make for riveting courtroom theater should conservative organizations stick to that line of attack and attorneys argue that point in front of a judge.

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