August 5, 2010 4:37 PM
The judge was a Republican appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan. One of the leading plaintiff's attorneys argued for George Bush in the Supreme Court case that installed him as President over Al Gore. And the result could turn out to be an historic win for social justice.
Yesterday's court ruling striking down California's ban on same sex marriage is a significant and welcome step. Several years ago Dane County was the only place in Wisconsin that voted against a similar constitutional ban here. While Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling applies only to California, the proponents of these bans are appealing and it's widely expected that the arguments will eventually come before the U.S. Supreme Court. The result there will, of course, likely impact every state in the nation.
In Madison, we continue to make strides. Thanks to the creation of the domestic partner registry in the last state budget, the city is now able to offer equal health benefits to both straight and gay employees and their families. Alder Mike Verveer recently introduced a resolution to make sure companies the city contracts with do the same.
The open discrimination against gay couples is a mar on American ideas of justice, equal treatment and fair play. It seems to me and, if the polls are any indication, most Madisonians that if people want to form stable households and create caring families, that's a good thing for our community.
The fact that it's not just liberal Madison coming to this conclusion but principled conservatives as well is a sign that a good marriage is forming to create a national consensus that it's time for the discrimination to end.