The Pro-Gay Marriage Ruling Conservatives Should Love

Men with Confederate flag decals reading “Never Forget” on their gun-rack-equipped pickups and a fondness for “states' rights” don't seem like the likely demographic to support same-sex marriage.

Following today's unanimous ruling by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, however, they may have to be — or risk ideological hypocrisy.

Despite the hot-button issue of same-sex marriage, today's ruling actually trotted out a favorite conservative hobby horse. In narrowly deciding that states that allow same-sex marriage cannot be subsequently undermined by the federal government, the three-judge panel made a classic states' right argument.

“The decision says states should determine what marriage is, and the federal government should then accord states that dignity instead of saying, 'No, you can't do this,'” says Michael Zamperini, a constitutional law professor at Golden Gate University.

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