Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:53 PM
RKP5637 (38,436 posts)
Supreme Court to decide same-sex marriage
The U.S. Supreme Court took up the issue of same-sex marriage Friday, agreeing to decide whether gays and lesbians can wed in California and whether the federal government can deny benefits to married same-sex couples.
After weeks of indecision, the justices granted hearings to supporters of California's Proposition 8, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and the 1996 federal law known as the Defense of Marriage Act. It withholds federal recognition and spousal benefits, including joint tax filing and Social Security survivor payments, to more than 100,000 same-sex couples who married under their state's laws.
The cases will be argued early next year, with rulings due by the end of June. It's not clear, however, whether the court will decide the broader question of whether the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the laws gives gays and lesbians equal marriage rights in all states.
That question was not addressed by the federal appeals courts that declared both Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
4 replies, 603 views
Supreme Court to decide same-sex marriage (Original post)
Response to RKP5637 (Original post)
Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:01 PM
customerserviceguy (17,272 posts)
1. I hope this isn't coming to the Court prematurely
While it is a relief to see that finally a few states have OK'd equal marriage at the ballot box, it would be better if we were facing this decision with a good quarter to a third of the states having stripped homophobia from their constitutions. It would be good if one of the states (like Oregon, for example) that have stained their constitutions with hate reversed that by the time of a SCOTUS ruling.
We got stuck with laws that criminalized sexual behavior between gay people that exempted the same behaviors with Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986, it took seventeen years for that to be reversed in Lawrence v. Texas.
Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #1)
Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:24 PM
RudynJack (1,044 posts)
3. I don't think it's premature.
DOMA has numerous circuit court decisions that need to be resolved. I don't think there was any more waiting to be done on the issue.
Prop 8 is more interesting, but the decision being appealed was specifically written for Justice Kennedy, who has a good record on LGBT issues. The question I keep asking is which four justices took the case? I don't think it was the conservatives, because they can't "trust" Kennedy on the issue. I think it was the liberals who feel confident they'll get Kennedy on their side.
And if Kennedy overturns Prop 8, I suspect Roberts will join the majority. He doesn't like 5-4 decisions, especially on the big issues. These are among the biggest issues the court has accepted in recent years, and even the conservatives know they're on the losing side of history. So my really early and totally wild-ass guess is Prop 8 will be overturned 6-3.
Response to RudynJack (Reply #3)
Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:17 AM
customerserviceguy (17,272 posts)
4. I worry about the particular cases being brought to the Court
In one, it's an overseas marriage where the deceased spouse's marriage was not recognized by the state of NY at the time of the death. We wouldn't expect the court system to recognize (for tax purposes) a polygamous marriage authorized by an Islamic country, would we? I feel that the case would be stronger with a marriage that was recognized by a US state, and conducted under its laws.
Also, with the California case, it would not apply universally to the rest of the US, and I'd like to see something come before the Court that would.