Discussion: <span class="s1">Justice Kennedy Seems Skeptical Of Both Sides In Gay Marriage Arguments

Discussion for article #235764

The issue with the brother sister argument is that it would actually change the definition of marriage too. An old man and woman can get married under the law but cannot or have no plans of raising kids. What about infertile younger people? Is the biological capability to procreate required or just the potential in the ideal scenario?

Just seems like a stretch. I definitely do not get how you can even pretend holding this from other people is because of religious freedom. If the court starts letting people out of things because of their faith than they might as well end the rule of law.

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If marriage is to fulfill its aspirations, it must be defined by the commitment of one to another for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health…not by the people it excludes. Equal protection and assurance of equality under the law is a U. S. Constitutional guarantee and must NOT be left to states’ whims, bigotry and a lackadaisical “well let’s wait a while longer and see” process.
JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED ___William Gladstone

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I am pro marriage equality. However, when the court cuts off debate by deciding things for everyone, conflicts can fester and grow worse. Going for civil unions with ALL the benefits of marriage minus the name would’ve been to accept a kind of second class status, but it would’ve obviated almost all the arguments against marriage equality (I think). For one thing, there would’ve been no “definition” nor any millennia of tradition to confront. The little bit I heard didn’t seem to be going too well for the marriage equality side.

Can’t remember the legal principle of reciprocity now, but one big legal thorn is whether one state recognizes marriages consummated in another state. That’s a big problem for the Justices if they rule against marriage equality, I THINK.

More broadly, it feels to me that progressives, in general, have to left the playing field at the state level to conservatives. We don’t come out for anything other than national elections and we don’t duke it out district by district, which is how we’ve gotten gerrymandered out of the House.

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Justice Antonin Scalia said the issue is not whether there should be same-sex marriage “but who should decide the point.” He expressed concern about the court imposing a requirement on the states that "is unpalatable to many for religious reasons."

Has this guy read the Constitution?

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Kennedy, whose vote could decide the issue, said marriage has been understood as one man and one woman for “millennia-plus time.” He said same-sex marriage has been debated in earnest for only about 10 years, and he wondered aloud whether scholars and the public need more time.

“It’s very difficult for the court to say ‘We know better,’” Kennedy told Mary Bonauto, a lawyer representing same-sex couples.

[snip]

Justice Antonin Scalia said the issue is not whether there should be same-sex marriage “but who should decide the point.” He expressed concern about the court imposing a requirement on the states that “is unpalatable to many for religious reasons.”

Breyer asked whether the nation needs more time to “wait and see” whether gay marriage is harmful to society. Bonauto responded that wait-and-see has never been considered a justification for discrimination under the Constitution.

OK, I think I see the problem here. Apparently the court thinks they are supposed to be moral arbiters of what’s best for the peons of society, and have lost sight of the fact that their job is to rule on issues of legality and constitutionality.

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RE: Anthony Kennedy “said same-sex marriage has been debated in earnest for only about 10 years,”

The issue wasn’t part of presidential debates until 10 years ago.

But people have earnestly advocated same-sex marriage since at least the 1970s.

Anthony Kennedy, on a lower court, ruled against gay-marriage in a 2-1 decision in 1985:

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“millennia-plus time.”

I would recommend the Justices read ‘Same-Sex Unions In Pre-Modern Europe’, John Boswell, Villard Books, 1994.

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“Going for civil unions with ALL the benefits of marriage minus the name would’ve been to accept a kind of second class status,”

Kind of???

The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment is pretty clear: state laws must be applied equally to all people.

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Whatever one thinks of Justice Kennedy, at least he seems to keep an open mind about issues that come before the court and asks clarifying questions before deciding. That cannot be said about all of the other justices, many of whom do not approach issues with such humility and reserve. The way he reaches decisions goes a long way in giving the court more credence.

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Whether or not a marriage is consecrated by a church, marriage in the US is a civil contract. Your marriage isn’t recognized by the State unless you pay a fee to get that stupid piece of paper. This religious argument is stupid. Even if you or your religion finds the arrangement morally repugnant, your church is in no way obligated to consecrate this contract.

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In that case, I think and I could certainly be wrong, immigration and deportation status were the overriding factors and the arrangement of the marriage to allow one person to remain in the U.S. It was not the marriage itself but immigration policy and its history that Kennedy reviewed and used when he ruled against the plaintiffs…the use of a marital status and the hardship deportation would cause as a factor to justify the plaintiff staying in the country.
In any case, Kennedy’s vote should not be taken for granted in this case and your trepidation is well founded.

Spot on Eustace! As I’ve said before, marriage is a civil and legal matter and religion has NOTHING to do with it unless the two making the marriage contract with each the other include religion. If they choose they can ‘take up serpents’ at their nuptials or get married in the National Cathedral but neither case has a thing to do with the legal arrangement of marriage.

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Many states wouldn’t even entertain the idea of a “civil union” for gays – they wanted to recognize nothing that even resembled “traditional marriage.”

This whole fight really got started during the years AIDS was ravaging the community and couples lost a lot to legal battles, be they as simple but totally necessary medical durable power of attorney, property and estate fights with blood relatives who had totally disowned their gay relative but swooped in when there was anything like houses, cars, etc. The totally insane, homophobic RWNJs–including Reagan and his ilk–started this fight. Once we realized the needs to and for each other were no different than any other married couple and had this shoved in our faces time after time, realizing there was just no compromising with the vast majority of them (additionally, the full faith and credit issue across state lines necessitated going all the way, since true equality in this arena is optimal and needed just like for everyone else) – we had no other choice but through the courts.

Except for a very few instances such as hard-fought rights in places like San Francisco, New York, Ann Arbor, MI, etc., the court system has been the only way to secure our rights.

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Similarly, if “slippery slope” arguments rule the day, we might also end the rule of law. I think that’s one of the whole reasons we have a judiciary – to confirm that “yes this is legal, no this isn’t.” Like, the sign may say you can “leave a penny, take a penny”, but no that doesn’t mean you can empty the cash register.

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All these BS arguments made by the lawyers and justices make me so angry. No, child rearing is not the main point of marriage, and even if it were that avenue is available to (and motivates) gay couples too.

Consider the case of a couple who applied for a marriage license saying “We don’t actually like each other, we just wanted to have a kid.” How would that go over?

And wedding vows – has anyone ever said “Can we cut out all the love and honor and obey stuff, and just make it about squeezing out a few kids?”

So many of these arguments are just invented BS, crafted to deny marriage to people, not because anyone actually believes them. A whole nation of debaters. So frustrating.

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““You’re seeking to change what the institution is,” he said.”

Utterly ridiculous, unschooled and ignorant of even the essentials of law. This would disqualify him from a law school debate in his first year even!

Despicable ignorance. I imagine he felt the same way about slavery.

Last week, a 102 year old man and a 91 year old woman in the UK got engaged and plan to marry in June. When they do (if they both live until then), they certainly won’t be having kids. They may not even have sex (who knows?). So what?

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As for the argument about gay sex being a sin, suppose one believes it is? The same book says we are all sinners, so I guess we ought to do away with marriage then, by those lights. The right to marry is extended even to murderers on death row, yet you want to deny it to gay people?

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Chief Justice John Roberts said gay couples seeking to marry are not seeking to join the institution of marriage. “You’re seeking to change what the institution is,” he said.

  1. Yes they fcking are, and 2) no they fcking aren’t. Has Roberts actually talked to any gay people? If he had, he’d find a lot of normal, wonderful people saying “I want to commit my life to the person I love.” He’d hear them say “I’ve spent my life watching friends get married, and have been yearning to do the same.” He’d find absolutely no one saying “I want to change this institution and make it something different than it is.”

Justice Antonin Scalia said the issue is not whether there should be same-sex marriage “but who should decide the point.” He expressed concern about the court imposing a requirement on the states that “is unpalatable to many for religious reasons.”

Well, that’s easy. The court is only deciding about the civil institution of marriage, which holds no say over churches. Scalia knows, this right? What a sh*tbag.

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