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经济学人:平等保护同性恋婚姻

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“THE freedom to marry”, wrote Earl Warren, chief justice of the United States Supreme Court,“has long been recognised as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.” Warren wrotethat sentence in 1967, by way of explaining why he and his colleagues unanimously ruled that laws banning interracial marriages violated both theequal protection and due process clauses of the fourteenth amendment. Supporters of gay marriage would like to see that same court apply that same reasoning to their cause. On February 7th a federal court in California brought them one step closer.

“婚姻自由,长久以来都乃自由之人追求幸福不可或缺之至高无上人权之一。”美国最高法院的首席大法官Earl Warren在1967年时和他的同僚们一致通过裁定,认为禁止不同种族通婚的禁令违反了第十四修正案的平等保护条款和正当程序条款,为了解释这一裁定,他写下了上面这句话。同性恋婚姻的支持者们希望看到这同一法庭也将同一理由适用于他们的案件。而加州联邦法庭在2月7日的判决让他们离自己的目标更近了一步。

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Proposition 8, a ballot initiative passed by California’s voters in November 2008 amending the constitution to prohibit gay marriage, was unconstitutional. That initiative passed fivemonths after California’s Supreme Court overturned an earlier ban on gaymarriage; during that time, California granted marriage licences to some 18,000 gay couples.

美国第九巡回上诉法院裁定8号提案违宪。8号提案最早在2008年11月在加州投票通过,修改宪法以禁止同性婚姻。而在8号提案通过的五个月之前,加州最高法院推翻了之前一项关于同性婚姻的禁令;在此期间内(原:就在这五个月期间内),加州为大约18,000对同性“夫妻”颁发了结婚证书。
The appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling in 2010 that Proposition 8 violated the fourteenth amendment, but did so on far narrower grounds, leaving unanswered the broad question of whether states could ever restrict marriage to heterosexual couples, and finding instead that California’s measure visited a unique harm upon gays and lesbians by stripping them of a right they once enjoyed. Under California law, gays retained the rights to adopt children,file taxes jointly and share bank accounts. Proposition 8 simply denied them the “official, cherished status” of marriage,leading the court to conclude that its sole purpose was “to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California”.
虽然巡回上诉法院支持初级法院在2010年做出的关于8号提案违反第十四修正案的裁定,但它基于的理由却极为狭隘,它回避了一个更广泛的悬而未决的问题——美国各州是否会将婚姻仅限定于异性夫妻之间;相反地,却只针对“由于加州的做法剥夺了一项同性恋者们曾经享有的权利,反而对他们造成了特定伤害”这一点做文章。加州的法律规定,同性恋(伴侣)享有领养孩子,共同纳税以及共享银行账户的权利。8号提案只是否决了他们婚姻的“合法的,崇高的地位”,这使法庭断定8号提案唯一的目的就是要“降低加州同性恋者的地位并剥夺他们的尊严”。

The case now seems certain to be appealed to the United States Supreme Court, though other states are simply pushing ahead with allowing gay marriage: on February 8th Washington’s state legislature voted to allow it, though the decision could yet require approval at a referendum. Marriage, far beyond such mundane matters aspensions and bank accounts, is of course a hugely emotive subject. As the Ninth Circuit noted in handing down its judgment, “Had Marilyn Monroe’s film been called ‘How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire’, it would not have conveyed the same meaning.”

尽管其他州都在推动允许同性婚姻的进程——2月8日,华盛顿州众议院投票通过允许同性婚姻的提案,当然决议的最终批准还需公民投票表决——但现在看来,此案(8号提案违宪一案)一定会上诉至美国最高法院。婚姻,是与情感高度相关之事,远不同于养老金,银行账户等一般俗务。就像第九巡回上诉法院在宣布其裁决时所指出的那样:“如果玛丽莲梦露的电影叫《如何与百万富翁签订一纸家庭伴侣关系》(而不叫《如何嫁个百万富翁》),意思就大相径庭了。”

重点单词   查看全部解释    
protection [prə'tekʃən]

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n. 保护,防卫

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restrict [ri'strikt]

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vt. 限制,约束

 
jointly ['dʒɔ:intli]

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adv. 共同地,连带地

 
vital ['vaitl]

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adj. 至关重要的,生死攸关的,有活力的,致命的

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certain ['sə:tn]

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adj. 确定的,必然的,特定的
pron.

 
judgment ['dʒʌdʒmənt]

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n. 裁判,宣告,该判决书

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lessen ['lesn]

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v. 减少,变小,减轻

 
register ['redʒistə]

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v. 记录,登记,注册,挂号
n. 暂存器,记

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orderly ['ɔ:dəli]

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adj. 有秩序的,整齐的,一丝不苟的,和平的

 
prohibit [prə'hibit]

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vt. 禁止,妨碍

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关键字: 婚姻 经济 学人 同性

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