Almost two months after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional, Prop 8 backers have annoyingly come to panhandle for an appeal on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. According to MSNBC, justices face two gay rights issues, namely, the Prop 8 appeal and two challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
California voters approved Prop 8 back in 2008, just six months after the state approved same-sex marriage. In 2010, a federal judge declared the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, and again in February, a three-judge panel voted 2-1 that the ban discriminated against same-sex couples. The full circuit has so far declined to hear a Prop 8 appeal, though its ruling remains yet one more unexhausted legal mineshaft. Backers of Prop 8 have urged the Supreme Court to hear their appeals, mainly because, in their words, same-sex marriage is a big issue in America right now, and they would very much like to know as they patiently bat their eyelashes "whether the ancient and vital institution of marriage should be fundamentally redefined to include same-sex couples."
Let's interrupt this train of thought for just a moment to remind ourselves that "ancient" institutions are not always "vital" institutions, especially if they are "curious" institutions. Just because something has been one way for a long time doesn't mean that it's a good way for that thing to be — people and cultures change over time, and institutions need to change with them. The other thing about defending marriage from a pseudo-historical POV is that marriage in Western culture, until, like, yesterday on a long-enough timeline, literally constituted an exchange of livestock, wealth, or real estate between two groups of people. That's it. Anyone who argues that marriage, as an institution, needs to be preserved as a contract that only men and women can enter into simply because it's been around for a long time should maybe broaden their historical perspective just a teensie bit.