Beliefnet
God-O-Meter

mccain.jpgJohn McCain hasn’t said much about the California Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage earlier this month. In fact, God-o-Meter’s pretty sure that he personally hasn’t said anything whatsoever about the case, even while campaigning in California. The conventional wisdom is that the Golden Gate State’s ruling notwithstanding, gay marriage will be a much less salient issue in the 2008 presidential race than it was in 2004, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage and President Bush turned opposition to that development into a big applause line.
But The Weekly Standard argues that the California decision will become a national issue because the state lacks a Massachusetts-style law forbidding out-of-state gay couples from getting marriage licenses. So gay couples will try to get their California marriage licenses honored back home, setting of a national battle over marriage:

The 4-3 [California] decision… all but issues an invitation to out-of-state same-sex couples to migrate to California to be married between now and Election Day, November 4. This in turn makes certain that the federal courts will have the option of reinvolving themselves within a matter of months, regardless of the outcome of California’s referendum on a constitutional amendment restoring traditional marriage….
The Defense of Marriage Act is now the only (very shaky) legal barrier standing in the path of nationally mandated recognition of same-sex marriage. What is Obama’s stance on DOMA? He recently endorsed its repeal.

While the Weekly Standard argues that the coming national battle over gay marriage will strengthen John McCain’s hand in November, God-o-Meter must demur. McCain has so far been mum on the decision, creating the impression that it’s not much of an issue for him. And though the Weekly Standard claims that McCain “has prospectively endorsed the California amendment,” to ban gay marriage, God-o-Meter has seen no such commitment. Yes, the California decision turns gay marriage into a national issue as a practical matter. Far from exploiting that fact, however, McCain appears to wish the whole matter would just go away.


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