BYU professor to senators: Courts will OK gay marriage=20
By Robert Gehrke=20
The Salt Lake Tribune=20
Salt Lake Tribune =20
WASHINGTON - If Congress wants to ban same-sex marriage, it should do
its part in approving a constitutional amendment prohibiting the
practice before the courts force states to honor such unions, a
Brigham Young University law professor told senators Wednesday.
Professor Lynn Wardle said the courts are on a path toward finding
a constitutional basis for requiring states to honor gay marriages,
and the existing Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law allowing states
to define which marriages they honor, would not stand up if that
"Today, we feel the institution of marriage is severely
threatened," Wardle said. "The bedrock of our society, the basic,
fundamental unit, is under attack."
Wardle said he expects a "rash of opinions" from courts in the next
18 months making a case for a federal right to same-sex marriages.
It was the first hearing as Congress reopens the issue of whether
to amend the Constitution to bar gay marriages.
Kathleen Moltz, a Michigan same-sex parent, warned that a
constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages could eliminate
domestic partner benefits such as health insurance.
Notre Dame law professor Gerard Bradley predicted the Supreme Court
will be bound to take up the same-sex marriage issue soon, and said
there are likely enough votes on the court to mandate recognition of
the unions, potentially wiping out every state marriage law except
Bradley said the amendment would only provide a legal definition
for marriage, letting church's define which marriages they recognize.
"No doubt many Mormon men in America consider themselves married to
several women," Bradley said.
Wardle noted that Mormons no longer practice polygamy. The church
disavowed the practice more than a century ago.