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《经济学人》:幸福婚姻在美国

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So far neither side has scored a decisive victory, though each will occasionally claim one. When it was passed, DOMA looked like a solid victory for enemies of gay marriage. Its aim was to nip moves towards same-sex marriage in the bud by defining marriage as a legal union “between one man and one woman as husband and wife”. It also stipulated that in the event of an individual state making same-sex marriage lawful, no other state needed to respect the rights or claims arising from such a marriage. To buttress this apparently formidable firewall, three dozen states have imposed constitutional or other legal bans.

目前为止,两方都没有取得什么决定性胜利,虽说他们时不时的会宣称自己胜利了。当初《捍卫婚姻法案》的获准通过,对于反对同性婚姻的人来说,这看似是个实实在在的成功。《捍卫婚姻法案》定义婚姻为依照法律程序,一男一女互为夫妻的结合,以此来达到掐死同性婚姻于摇篮中的目的。同时它还规定,万一有个别州承认同性婚姻合法性的话,其他各州也不必对次类婚姻所产生的权利和要求予以尊重。为了支持这条看似强大的防线,三十几个州以州宪法或者其他法规的形式,强制颁布了对于同性婚姻的禁令。

And yet gay marriage marches on, scoring its own victories along the way. Among the greatest and most recent was New York’s decision last month to become the sixth and most-populous state to allow same-sex marriage. If the Respect for Marriage Act were to become law (though this will need to await a more sympathetic Congress), this would defang DOMA and mark another victory for gay marriage. But DOMA is anyway not the deterrent it once seemed. The ever-cautious Barack Obama, who favours civil unions but says his views on gay marriage are still “evolving”, has ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the law, which is under challenge in the courts.

然而,同性婚姻一直都在继续,并且过程中也取得了一些胜利。上个月,纽约州成为允许同性婚姻的第六个州,同时也是六个州中人口最多的一个,对于“同性婚姻”来说,这是自己最近一次的胜利,同时也是有史以来最伟大的胜利之一。倘若《尊重婚姻法案》能够写进法律的话(虽说那还得等着“通情达理”的国会予以通过),《捍卫婚姻法案》的威力恐怕就会被大大削弱,从而为同性婚姻打赢又一场战争。但是话又说回来了,《捍卫婚姻法案》早已失去当初的震慑力了。《捍卫婚姻法案》在法庭上受到质疑,一贯行事小心翼翼的奥巴马也已要求司法部门放弃为此法案提供辩护。奥巴马个人支持同性恋民事结合,但他表示自己对待同性恋婚姻的看法还未一锤子钉死。

The relentless back-and-forth in Congress, the courts and state legislatures transfixes the minority of Americans who feel strongly about this issue. And yet the cycle of victories and defeats may in the end matter less than one startling underlying fact, which is that America’s attitudes to homosexuality appear in recent years to have undergone a dramatic change.

对于同性婚姻问题,国会,法院以及州议会一直反反复复,令那些强烈抵制同性婚姻的少数美国人无计可施。可是最终,胜利与落败的轮回就显得不那么重要了,一惊人的基本事实反而更加要紧,那就是,近几年,美国人对于同性恋的态度发生了巨大的转变。

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