Attorney Christopher Wolf writes about privacy rights and same-sex weddings in the District of Columbia in an op-ed for CNN.
Last week, D.C. was added to the list of those few states that permit gay marriage. A law passed in December and signed by the mayor went into effect when Congress (which has the power to reject D.C. laws) refrained from interfering.
Likewise, Chief Justice John Roberts refused an application to the U.S. Supreme Court to block the gay marriage law from going into effect, on procedural grounds, saying that the legal challenge was premature.
This should not be viewed as a ringing endorsement from the high court for gay marriage or for protecting the privacy rights of gay people.
Only two months ago, in January, the Supreme Court was not so hands-off in gay-marriage-related cases. Twice, the court intervened in cases in which active opponents of gay marriage, in California and Washington, have claimed that their right to privacy will be invaded if they are not given legal protection to be unseen and anonymous. […]
This month, now that the D.C. gay marriage law has gone into effect, my domestic partner of more than 12 years and I will wed. With our marriage will come a bundle of rights, making us equal under the law to our heterosexual peers. More fundamentally, we will be able to have our loving commitment to each other officially recognized, like any other committed couple.
And in terms of personal privacy, no longer will I have to indicate my sexual orientation to anyone who asks me whether I am married, as I can thereafter simply answer “yes” rather than explain that I have a “domestic partner,” the well-understood code that one is in a gay relationship. The marriage license the Superior Court is providing us will include the right to privacy in our relationship.
I am not closeted, but it is part of my right to privacy to choose with whom I share the information about my sexual orientation.