Here's an attempt to conjoin the recent decision of the Washington Supremes (5-4, it is not unconstitutional to deny same sex couples the right to marry) and the thinking I did last week at Eliot Institute about the seven habits of effective UUs: how does this application of justice look through the lens of integrity, the first of the seven habits?
Integrity: steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code (American Heritage dictionary); integration, wholeness of self; impeccable with one's word; honest; authenticity (these latter being the contributions of the assembled participants at Eliot).
Justice: the upholding of what is just, esp. fair treatment and due reward in accordance with honor, standards, or law (American Heritage dictionary).
Question: were the five justices who prevailed acting with integrity or were they being self-serving and bowing to public opinion in an election year?
Question: were the four justices who dissented acting with integrity or were they being self-serving and bowing to public opinion in an election year?
I can't easily judge the extent of another's integrity. I can only judge the extent of my integrity, and that not always accurately. Sometimes it's evident that someone is not acting out of integrity; the outcome of his/her actions is clearly selfish and exclusionary.
In the case of the justices of the court, I have to assume that they made the best decisions they could make, out of their own authentic base of knowledge and experience, confining themselves to the narrow bailiwick over which they preside--the interpretation of the constitution of the state. Because they were within one vote of overturning DOMA, it is clear that the decision is still debatable, and, in fact, they essentially referred the law back to the legislature, which we had expected all along.
What bothers me about the written opinions is the sniping each side has directed at the other, impugning motives, knowledge, understanding, beliefs. THAT'S the lack of integrity, not the decision, in my book.