Activist Monday: Is the Supreme Court about to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage?
Posted April 27, 2015on:
It seems like the answer could be yes.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s arguments on Tuesday over same-sex marriage will cap more than two decades of litigation and a transformation in public attitudes.
Based on the court’s actions during the past two years, a sense of inevitability is in the air: That a majority is on the verge of declaring gay marriage legal nationwide.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court’s pivotal member on gay rights, has been marching in this direction with opinions dating to 1996. In his most recent gay rights decision for the court in 2013, rejecting a legal definition of marriage limited to a man and woman for purposes of federal benefits, Kennedy deplored that U.S. law for making gay marriages “unequal.”
Here’s what will happen on Tuesday.
Two legal questions are before the justices: whether the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection cover a right to same-sex marriage; and, if they do not, whether states that ban same-sex marriages must recognize such unions performed in other states.
The big, big win would be if same-sex marriage is found to be Constitutionally protected. With Roberts as Chief Justice, this is unlikely, but amazingly, not impossible.
An element of uncertainty hovers over Chief Justice John Roberts, who broke with the other court conservatives and cast the deciding vote upholding President Barack Obama’s healthcare law in 2012. Roberts voted against gay rights in the 2013 ruling. But he separated himself from the most conservative dissenters and declined to declare outright that states may ban gay marriage.
It is truly amazing how far America has come on this front. Last Friday, Bruce Jenner just came out as transgender while 17 million people watched, and the overwhelming majority of Americans were supportive of his journey from one sex to the other. Think about just a few years ago, when DADT and DOMA were still in effect…seems like a bad dream, doesn’t it? 37 states now have legalized same-sex marriage, and shockingly, these states have not been drowned in the wrath of Yahweh/Jeebus. The lack of evidence that there is “anything wrong with that” has pushed the wingnuts’ ravening homophobia farther and farther into the fringes of society, where it belongs.
I think we all have reason to hope that, in a few months, anyone who wants to get married will be able to get married in America. It’s about freaking time!
This is an open thread.
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