26 March 2013

Today was a big day, wasn’t it? The Supreme Court heard arguments on same-sex marriage. 

The question before the court is if the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution means that individual states cannot define marriage in a way that counteracts that protection.

Today’s arguments provided at least one exchange, below, that was certainly food for thought for anyone who wants to define marriage as solely a procreative purpose. 

"The concern is that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historic traditional procreative purposes, and it will ... refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires ... of adult couples," argued pro-Proposition 8 attorney Charles Cooper, according to CNN.

Justice Elena Kagan then said: "Mr. Cooper, suppose a state said that, because 'we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we are not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55.' Would that be constitutional?"

"No, your honor, it would not be constitutional," Cooper replied.

Today’s arguments focused on California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage.

Tomorrow’s arguments will address U.S. v. Windsor,  which challenges 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that keeps married same-sex couples from getting the same federal benefits as opposite-sex couples. 

As a political science major, it’s always fascinating to me to see how the Supreme Court parses up its decisions and how complex they are. Often their ruling has nothing to do with the actual question at hand— in this case, same-sex marriage —and they will dismiss the case because they feel it should be decided by the individual states, which could happen this time. 

But it feels like this is the right time to fix this wrong. It’s time to make same-sex marriage a fundamental right guaranteed by the Supreme Court, not something that each state decides on its own. It's time to be on the right side of history. This is a civil right, it has nothing to do with religion. We’ll know how the court decides in June. 

In the meantime, this graphic, which has been floating around Facebook all day today, describes my thoughts on the matter perfectly. 

Normally, Tuesday is Chooseday, when I donate to a charity in the person’s name who suggested a charity to me. That will return again next week. 

Today’s  $10 goes to Freedom To Marry, a non-profit that works to win the right for same-sex marriage. The 10-year old organization partners with other organizations across the country to allow same-sex couples the same rights afforded opposite-sex couples. 

Click here to get “Causes and Effects” delivered every day to your email inbox (the subscription link now works) or enter your email in the top right corner. 

85 down, 280 to go!!

No comments:

Post a Comment