Dan Herzog writes:
The attorney general reports that as a matter of state law on constitutional provisions, "the primary rule of construction is to give effect to the intent of the people of the State of Michigan who ratified the Constitution by applying the rule of "common understanding."
You might think that settles the matter: the voters thought they were banning gay marriage, period, right? Well, no. The attorney general continues, and he's right on the legal merits, "But if the constitution employs technical or legal terms of art, those terms must be construed according to their technical or legal sense because, "in ratifying a constitution, the people may understand that certain terms used in that document have a technical meaning within the law."
The Christian Right thinks this is great:
Gary Glenn of the American Family Association is one happy camper: "I don't think there's any question the majority of Michigan taxpayers will be strongly supportive of the attorney general's opinion," he said.
And a member of Citizens for the Protection of Marriage embraced the advisory opinion, too, making explicit the links between marriage, religion, and traditional gender norms. "Mary Hann said restricting benefits to only heterosexual marriages is important in keeping marriage sacred, which is what Michigan residents voted for. "Traditionally, the benefits were won because a man would provide income for the family so women could stay home and take care of children," Hann said. "To try to arrange a new term of marriage to further people getting better and better benefits doesn't make sense.""
Herzog notes that many supporters of the constitutional amendment made a point of emphasizing that they only opposed gay marriage, not domestic partner arrangements. Where are they now? They appear to be silent. It's almost as if they knew this would happen and, for some strange reason, are pleased with the situation. You don't suppose that's what's happening, do you?