The Supreme Court Will Finally Vote On Same Sex Marriages

Wedding rings and heart shade by Flickr user filippo.salamone, licensed by Creative Commons

Man & Man, Woman & Woman, Woman & Man, What’s the difference?

The United States Supreme Court will soon vote on two cases for same sex marriage.  The two cases include, California’s Proposition 8 and a federal case that limits the constitutional rights for gay and lesbians.  Right now the federal courts excludes governmental benefits for civil unions.  By listening to the cases together the courts can now rule for both and decide if same sex marriage should be a constitutional right or should be left up to the states to decide.

California passed Proposition 8 in 2008 that prohibits same sex marriage and only allows marriage between a man and a woman.  The state passed this law after the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was legal in California.  Some believe that same sex marriage should be left up to the states.  They believe that this is not a human or civil rights issue and the states should have the right to decide.  Forty one states still do not allow same sex unions and 30 of those states prohibit the unions among gay and lesbians, even writing in to their constitutions that same sex marriage is illegal.

Others believe that Proposition 8 discriminates against same sex couples.  They believe that it is their constitutional right to marry like it had been in 1967 for interracial couples.  Theodore Olson, a Washington lawyer who is also representing California gays, believes that it is a human’s fundamental right to marry whoever they see fit.

Hopefully, the Supreme Court will come to a conclusion soon as they have been putting the issue off for a number of years now.  What is your opinion on the two cases?  Should gay and lesbians have the same rights as married couples between a man or woman?  Should this issue be left up to the states?

9 comments on “The Supreme Court Will Finally Vote On Same Sex Marriages

  1. Robyn DoaneRobyn Doane on said:

    Come on! Just because marriage is left up to the states does not mean that they can decide who a person loves or not. This is no longer a marriage issue but a human rights issue. Just forty-five years ago the Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional. This should be the same ruling for same sex marriages. If you are straight, black, white, or gay, why should you not have the same rights as your neighbor? Like Theodore Olson mentioned it is a fundamental right to marry whoever you love and who’s to say otherwise!

  2. jack salvatore on said:

    This case is literally a no-brainer, which is exactly what worries me with this court. What constitutional (not religious, CONSTITUTIONAL), basis is there to deny same-sex marriage? The 14th Amendment is pretty clear on equal protection under the law and even though gay/lesbian couples don’t fit within a protected category, even under the simple rational-basis test, these laws prohibiting same sex marriage fail. There is no rational basis for creating this discrimination. The only basis I can discern with these laws is that people find the gay lifestyle distasteful. Fine. That distaste does not rise to the level of legally prohibiting the conduct. Or put it this way: if there is a constitutional basis for denying gays and lesbians from marrying, then by extension, that must mean that a law proscribing anyone from engaging in a gay/lesbian lifestyle likewise passes constitutional muster? Let’s hope they don’t open that can of worms.

    • Robyn DoaneRobyn Doane on said:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Let’s keep religion out of the government. Why is it even a discussion whether or not same sex marriage should be legal. Of course gays and lesbians should have the right to marry! Mine and your beliefs are not the same as everyone else’s but does that make it right to disregard a group of people for wanting the same rights that a man and woman together have?

      • jack salvatore on said:

        Yes. I guess sharpening the argument, it goes like this: who says “marriage” is a legal union between a man and a a woman? Well, certainly not the constitution, which I am confident is mute on this point. Therefore, the Solicitor General will be forced to argue that these laws that discriminate (literally, make a distinction) between marriage of different sexes or of the same sex pass the rational basis test. What would the rational basis be? That man/woman marriages foster procreation? I guess that’s possible. Certainly, marriages between same sex couples is not going to result in natural births. A strong family life? Hmmm, no, don’t think so. No, it seems the only basis is that some religious groups find same sex marriages distasteful and so they want to deny that group equal protection under the law. I mean, just as an exercise, Robyn, you be the Solicitor General. What rational basis argument do you make?

        • Robyn DoaneRobyn Doane on said:

          You might be right in saying that religious groups find same sex marriage distasteful so they will try everything in their power to deny gay and lesbian rights. How can they even argue procreation and strong family life when there are so many orphaned children and divorced families in our country. I mean one cannot say that if two men or two women married that their marriage would never end in divorce, but they should at least have the option to marriage first. As the Solicitor General is it not safe to say that the only rational argument is human rights and human rights alone?

          • jack salvatore on said:

            Well, I think the Solicitor General is going to have to take the “government’s” position in this case, meaning he or she has to defend the circuit court ruling upholding one of these laws. Then I’m sure there will be amicus briefs. The opposition will present the arguments we have been raising.
            So what the hell would I argue if I were in the position of trying to uphold these laws? I think it’s got to be that I argue the laws create a discrimination, can’t deny that, but that the discrimination passes the rational basis test. Ok, what rational basis or bases?I’m reaching. The procreation thing is one, but then no one said that a marriage has to result in children. So what the heck is it? That historically a marriage has been defined as a union of a man and woman? So what? Does some archaic definition amount to a rational basis? I sure hope not. That’s not a very strong argument. I honestly can’t think of a legitimate rational basis argument and that’s why I said this case looks like a no-brainer to me, unless you and I are not properly framing the arguments that will be raised.

  3. Robyn DoaneRobyn Doane on said:

    It’s most definitely a no brainer. Let’s just hope the courts agree with us!

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