SCOTUS to Hear Arguments on Gay Marriage

by Ryan on March 26, 2013

in Culture,Judicial Watch,Law,Politics,Pop Culture

Today the Supreme Court will hear the first of two cases dealing with gay marriage — the first being about California’s Proposition 8, the second about the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Prop 8 simply states: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is recognized in California.“  It passed with 52% of the vote.  Many believe that if brought up for a vote today, it would not pass.

So why don’t they vote on it again?

There in lies the problem with the activist left in this country:  what they can’t get through the will of the people, they run to the courts to impose.  Why risk a vote, right?  Rush Limbaugh brilliantly tied this concept to Roe v. Wade yesterday.  Usually court cases settle issues, but 40 year later Roe is still as contentious as ever!  It’s not the case in the UK where the people were able to vote on it.  Striking down Prop 8 and DOMA would overturn or put at risk 40 state laws protecting traditional marriage — that’s not just a few isolated states located in the same basic geographic area like most Jim Crow Laws were, and Loving v. Virginia dealt specifically with traditional marriage.

People under 30 show 70% support for gay marriage in recent surveys, while no other generational cohort shows more than 49% support at this time.  Other trends show that the public is slowly warming to the issue.  Meaningin time, the issue will be likely be settled by the people in a pro-gay marriage direction anyway.  But, most importantly the people will have decided — the civil society will make a decision based on its cultural norms.

But, here come the courts!  Roberts is apparently trying to be one of the cool kids on the court since his completely disastrous flip-flop on Obamacare, and Justice Kennedy is the new O’Connor on the social stuff.  In all likelihood the court will rule 6-3, 6-3 on these two issues, with perhaps a few surprises.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Misguided Gay Marriage Arguments? | Axis of Right
March 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm
DOMA Goes Down | Axis of Right
June 26, 2013 at 10:54 am

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

rightonoz March 27, 2013 at 5:40 am

From a point of justice for all, I personally support gay marriage, and hope that our Australian government sees sense and allows it.

I have no understanding of your constitution, other than from the point of an outsider the 14th APPEARS to support it (much as the 1st supports the abhorrent IMHO promotion of cigarettes.)

Again, as an outsider, amuses me that some people (politicians) who want the narrowest possible interpretation of the 14th want the widest possible interpretation of the 1st and 2nd.

Again, I’m an outsider, so could be so far off base as to by not funny.

Reply

Mike March 27, 2013 at 9:08 am

Hi Oz:

Often, the problem with Court interpretation of the Constitution (and sometime statutes) is that they interpret language that needs no interpretation. The Second Amendment is crystal clear as is my position: it means what it says, nothing more, nothing less.

The Equal Protection Clause prohibits states from applying laws differently for different persons. As I see it, the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment in this case depends on the definition of marriage. If marriage is, by definition, the union of one man and one women, then the clause does not prohibit the states from refusing to extend marriage to same sex couples. If marriage is merely the union between two persons, then the Equal Protection Clause would require states to recognize same sex unions as marriages. I think that because marriage is, by definition, the union of one man and one woman, the Equal Protection Clause does not require states to recognize same sex unions as marriages.

Of course, the wisdom of same sex marriage as a policy question is a different issue. But on Constitutional matters, it’s an important distinction. I know you’re not a fan of everything in our Constitution, but many fundamental rights are protected by that document. If we start picking and choosing which rights are protected as required and which are not, then we’ll have a founding document that doesn’t protect a damn thing. Given all the history, squabbling, and even bloodshed that went into that document, that is no small thing.

I love your point about cigarette advertising and the First Amendment BTW.

Reply

Ryan March 27, 2013 at 9:15 am

Hey Oz,
The 14th Amendment states that due process be extended to all American citizens. The common phrase used by many from the amendment is “equal protection of the laws.” It’s become kind of a “catch-all” phrase that activists use to turn their issue into a federal civil rights one.
Thusly, the gay community here feels that prohibiting gay marriage doesn’t afford them equal protection. There are a few flaws in their legal argument, but also some merits depending on how the court rules on this.
I would be much more comfortable with the states and the people deciding this themselves (rather than the courts) in order to avoid the kind of rancor that abortion still evokes here in America. One of the links above shows that gay marriage will probably be viewed as socially acceptable eventually anyway — the courts should let the issue evolve or devolve on its own with the people.
However, I agree that all this must be somewhat amusing to view from afar!

Reply

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