U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case on Gay Marriage

Same-sex marriage will finally have its day in federal court.

The U.S. Supreme Court has just announced they will, for the first time, hear a case for the legality of Gay Marriage. NBC News reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to take its first serious look at the issue of gay marriage, granting review of California’s ban on same-sex marriage and of a federal law that defines marriage as only the legal union of a man and a woman.

Until now the Supreme Court has left the question of same-sex marriage exclusively in the hands of individual states. However, with states passing contradictory laws, a blunt constitutional issue must be addressed: is there still a legal right to marriage under the U.S. constitution, or not? If there is, then laws such as California’s Proposition 8 are an unconstitutional infringement of a legal right. The 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia established marriage as a constitutional right, but precedents have been overturned before.

At the very least, the court will look at this question: When states choose to permit the marriages of same-sex couples, can the federal government refuse to recognize their validity?  But by also taking up the California case, the court could get to the more fundamental question of whether the states must permit marriages by gay people in the first place.

This is a huge step for same-sex marriage supporters. We can only hope the Supreme Court takes their time and weighs their decision carefully, as this will set the precedent for years to come and will have a  vital bearing on the lives and marriages of people across the nation, including many Good Men Project contributors such as Jerry Mahoney and William Lucas Walker.

Photo: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr

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About Kathryn DeHoyos

Kathryn DeHoyos currently resides on the outskirts of Austin, TX. She has 2 beautiful children, and is very happily un-married to her life partner DJ.

Comments

  1. wellokaythen says:

    The Court is doing several things all at once that are individually unusual and taken together make a very rare situation. It’s going to look at two laws at the same time, a state law and a federal law, which is unusual. One of the laws is DOMA, which the federal government (executive branch at least) is not even going to defend in court at this point. In another rare turn of events, a White House that supported a law now wants the Court to overturn it. It’s one of those unusual moments the government doesn’t really contest the striking down of an existing law. A group of Republican legislators have hired an attorney to defend the law in court, but it’s not clear that they have the legal position to do such a thing.

    No matter how it turns out, it may not be a conclusive ruling that changes everything everywhere forever. It will probably not be a _Brown v. Board_ type situation. (I will be happy to be proven wrong on that, though.)

    If/when the laws get struck down, the _basis_ by which they are struck down will be the key issue. Are they struck down because they discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, or discrimination on the basis of sex, or because of an absence of legal authority, or because you can’t have “separate but equal,” or….

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