The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday morning on the meaning of marriage.
Two California couples challenging Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, say it excludes gay and lesbian couples from an institution with a deep and distinctive meaning and thus violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.
Defenders of the ban say that states should be able to work out for themselves whether to permit same-sex marriage. The Constitution is silent on the question, they say, and the court should not intervene in the vigorous debate playing out across the nation.
Nine states and the District of Columbia allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Polls show that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, suggesting that further gains are likely in state legislatures and at the ballot box.
The trends lend support to both sides. The ban’s challengers ask the court to provide leadership in cementing victories in what they call the civil rights issue of the day. Its defenders counter that the increase in the number of states that allow same-sex marriage shows that the democratic process is working and that the court should not interfere.
The case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144, was filed in 2009 by Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, two lawyers who were on opposite sides in the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore, which settled the 2000 presidential election. They argued that California voters had violated the federal Constitution the previous year when they approved Proposition 8, overriding a decision of the state’s Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriages. [READ MORE]
I received the following in my e-mail. I appreciate the hard work and dedication the President has put behind his efforts to move the LGBTQ community one step closer to full equality and equal protection under the law. I am hoping the issue of gay marriage receives just as much effort as health care reforms, the War on Terror, and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:
I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I hope you’ll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality:
I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.
But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction. [READ MORE]
Ken Blevins/Wilmington Star News, via Associated Press
Recently, North Carolina’s state legislature enacted a measure that amended their State Constitution in order to specify a prohibition on same-sex marriage. North Carolina is now the 30th state in the country to enact such a law.
In an earlier post entitled, “marriage equality: an alternative approach.,” I avidly explain my perspective that marriage of any kind — heterosexual or straight — as a personal act of intimate commitment between two people, is not something governments should be monitoring, supporting, rewarding, banning, or attempting to control or define in in any way. And, I maintain this viewpoint. [READ MORE]