President Obama's Justice Department colluded with gay marriage advocates to make sure the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was overturned by the courts.
That's not just my view -- it's pretty close to the searing conclusion drawn by professor Richard Epstein in a piece for Forbes:
"This controversial case might well go up on appeal. But if so, it looks almost like collusive litigation, unless some true defender of DOMA is allowed, as an intervener, to defend the statute on the merits."
Epstein is referring to recent twin rulings by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro -- in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- that strike down key portions of DOMA.
"As a supporter of gay marriage, I still think that the DOJ's faint-hearted advocacy is no way to run a legal system," Epstein continures." Nor is it wise for courts to use the equal protection clause as a club against conventional morality, deeply felt."
Epstein concludes: "We don't need a judicial precedent that will spark a nationwide rerun of California's Proposition 8. We need courts to back off to democratic processes, imperfect as they are."
Richard Epstein, a brilliant libertarian constitutional law scholar, opposes DOMA as policy, not only because it prevents the federal recognition of gay marriages but because it excludes polygamous marriages, as well.
But he is nonetheless standing up for core principles. Just because you favor gay marriage doesn't make it a constitutional right.
Take that, Ted Olsen!
Jonathan Rauch, who makes the best conservative case for gay marriage possible, is a gay man, the author of "Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights and Good for America," and another man of great principle. In The New York Times he called on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan and the other Supreme Court justices to uphold Proposition 8. "The argument for upholding California's gay marriage ban has merit -- not because the policy is fair or wise (it isn't), but because it represents a reasonable judgment that the people of California are entitled to make."
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.