Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan said this morning that a Supreme Court decision leaving the states to decide whether or not to allow same-sex marriage was in the best interest of Americans, because it would ensure that the country didn’t move too fast in granting equal marriage rights to all of its citizens.
Noonan said on ABC’s This Week that Americans “don’t take it well” when the Supreme Court makes decisions that affect the entire country — such as declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional or repealing the Defense of Marriage Act — and said one of the “great sins” of Roe v. Wade was that it took power away from the states:
NOONAN: Oh, George Will said something here a few weeks ago, he said, look, opposition is literally dying out — it is the older Americans, not the younger Americans. One of the things that I like by the way about a compromise in which state by state does it, it’s not only about localities and keeping power local — it also takes a little time. Sometimes it’s good when everything takes a little time to settle itself out. May I note, by the way, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a famous court liberal, her acknowledging very recently, in the “Times” today, that the Roe v. Wade decision, the abortion decision, had gone too far and was an overreach, that is an epic statement.
Noonan’s reference to Ruth Bader Ginsburg came from a speech the Supreme Court justice gave at Columbia Law school last year, in which she said Roe v. Wade went “too far, too fast.” But Noonan’s appeal to let the issue take time to “settle itself out” ignores the fact that activists have been fighting for marriage equality for nearly 40 years. And her insinuation that Americans won’t like it if the Court declares a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional ignores that support for marriage equality is at an all time high: a Washington Post-ABC News poll found 58 percent of Americans support gay marriage rights, up from 37 percent in 2003. That 58 percent includes 81 percent of youth, which lends credibility to Noonan’s insight that opposition to marriage equality is dying out.