Same - Sex Marriage: U.S. Supreme Court Should Rule In June 2015

Same Sex Marriage — Civil Rights Issue Finally Before the U.S. Supreme Court

Listen to excerpts from the U.S. Supreme Court Hearing.

In April, The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments for several hours on what is probably the greatest civil rights issue of my time. I was not around during the 1964 Integration Act.

The Supreme Court was acutely divided over the issue. For the most part the justices will play to their role and we can predict their individual opinions.  The 5 republican justices will vote conservatively and the 4 democratic justices will consider the issue.

There is one exception and the deciding vote will likely come from Justice Anthony M. Kennedy — Republican. 

Reports from those who listened intently to argument and questions put forth by the justices give hope to gay rights activists. The New York Times reported that Kennedy’s vote is probably crucial, and that based on the tone and substance of his questions, gay right activists have reason for optimism.

Kennedy appeared to send conflicting messages: Wary of moving too fast, but his demeanor appeared emphatic when he stated that same sex couples should be permitted to marry. It should be noted that Kennedy is the author of three landmark cases that have already expanded the scope of gay rights.

Kennedy’s primary problem with same-sex marriage appeared to be whether there had been enough time for federal debate on the issue to disturb what has been considered the concept of marriage for thousands of years. He added that the “social science on this” — the value and perils of same-sex marriage — is “too new.”

Kennedy also expressed severe qualms in excluding gay couples from the sanctity of marriage. See what I mean about sending mixed signals?

For those of you who will argue, as one person did on my FB comment, that marriage should be between two people for the purpose of procreating, how do you address the desire of the elderly to marry. I’m speaking of couples who are no longer in their child bearing years. Or what about younger couples who marry after making a conscious choice not to have children?

Back to the current trending topic of same-sex marriages:

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument stemming from the ban on same sex marriages in four states, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The arguments were divided into two segments:

  1. Whether the states must allow same sex marriage. Does the 14th Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
  2. Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

While Justice Kennedy sits on the fence, there was nothing ambiguous about Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’S remarks. Mary L. Bonauto, a lawyer representing the rights of a plethora of same-sex couples, urged the justices to remove “the stain of unworthiness” that the ban produces. Chief Justice Roberts suggested that Bonauto was asking the court to do something progressive and unconventional. “You’re not seeking to join the institution,” he said. “You’re seeking to change what the institution is.” Chief Justice Roberts said.

Scalia, a devout Catholic won’t likely change his views on homosexuality. Scalia expressed his concern that a priest or rabbi could be sanctioned for refusing to perform a same-sex marriage. That leads to another interesting and controversial topic. It requires another blog post devoted solely to a discussion of the equal protection clause and discrimination verses freedom of religion.

Scalia is the U.S. Supreme Court Justice who taught one of my law classes on the Greek Isles. I attended a summer law program through Tulane University. Justice Scalia was one of our visiting professors. He offered the day’s instruction as we sailed on a boat to Lindos, Greece. Despite many of our differing opinions I found him to be a charming and extremely likable, approachable person.

My thoughts:
For those of you who don't know me, I am a married heterosexual. I am also a republican so many of my thoughts, opinions and passions don't jive with my political party affiliation. I am a huge supporter of gay rights and I believe that same-sex couples should have the same right to marry as opposite-sex couples.

  Now for my Two Cents:

I think the decision will come down this month or maybe in July. It will be a close call with the deciding opinion riding on Justice Kennedy. I predict a win for gay rights activists and a step forward for marriage. The court will hold that if a state issues a license for opposite-sex couples to marry then they must also issue a marriage license for same-sex couples. I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.

You’ve heard of splitting the baby?
 Courts often decide in favor of one side for one issue and the opposing side on the other issue. Many legal experts expect the courts to rule in favor of same-sex couples on the second issue before the court, which is whether the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize the marriage of same-sex couples that are legally made elsewhere, hence each state must offer full faith and credit to the legal unity of another state. By answering yes to the the second issue the court can avoid answering yes to the first question. The court can reach the same outcome without the polemical mandate of requiring each state to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples. Aha ... avoid backlash.

I’m not sure how they will do it or what the vote will be, but I strongly believe that the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court decision will finally afford gay and lesbian couples the same right to marry as heterosexual couples.

What do you think? I’m interested in how you think the court will rule, but also if you will favor or oppose their ruling.

The consensus seems to be that the court will strike down Michigan’s court ban on same-sex marriage, but like many Americans, they remain nervous about amending a definition of marriage that has prevailed for most of recorded history. See Same-Sex Skeptics, a Scary New World.

God, I hope my dang comment section is finally working. I've experienced some stressed filled days trying to switch back to blogger, but my easiest alternative was to leave up Disqus comments and pray that blogger platform takes them. If not it might be time to finally make the WP move.

Please join in the discussion and leave your opinion.

 I would like to know your opinion on same-sex marriage.

                Do you believe that same-sex couples should have the same right to marry and be afforded all of the legal and societal benefits of marriage as opposite-sex couples?

                 Does the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause give same-sex couples the same right to marry as opposite-sex couples?

Who should decide whether same-sex couples should be permitted to marry? Should it be left up to the individual states, thus allowing some states to continue the same-sex marriage ban?

                One step further, but this is a topic for an entire blog post. Does a person’s freedom of religion trump an individual’s right to same-sex marriage?

                 I am referring to the pizza parlor that refused to cater a same-sex wedding reception.

If you own a business whether it be a wedding consulting company, photography studio, catering, florist, etc., and based on your religion you oppose same-sex weddings can you refuse to bend your moral/religious views and decline to offer services to same-sex couples?

Or can the government force you to offer services?
Are you discriminating against a protected class if you refuse?

For those of you who believe freedom of religion allows you to refuse to participate in a same-sex union, could your business also refuse to perform a service for a bi-racial wedding? A Jewish Wedding?

Holy crap, I hope the people leaving comments don’t throw bricks at me? We all have our opinions and that is what is great about our country and this blogging platform. It allows us to discuss our thoughts and opinions on social issues. I am inviting you to participate and express your opinion, but be advised I do not want any racial slurs or bigotry comments. Please tell us your views. We are all passionate about certain ideas and/or laws.

Which States Currently Allow Same-Sex Marriages?

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