Another Supreme Decision Coming

The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would hear oral arguments on four cases seeking clarity whether States can Constitutionally deny same sex couples the right to marry. Until recently, the Court had a holiday since each of the appeals courts had ruled for same sex marriage. Finally one appeals court ruled against same sex marriage and there you have it… the recipe for a Supreme Court deciding vote.

For States rights and religious values reasons there are strong sentiments to allow individual States to decide for themselves. The Constitution and common practice, on the other hand, seem to read same sex couples seeking marriage have a strong case.

What will the Court decide given its conservative nature and that 6 Justices are Catholic?

The “your kidding me” aspect of one of the cases in Ohio offers insight into the fragile basis for denying same sex couples marriage rights.  One same sex couple seeking marriage already live together and already have adopted children, and already live side by side with other Ohioans just as ordinary other couple. Ohio law, however, denies the right for same sex couples to marry or for same sex couples to “jointly adopt” (one can, two can’t). This sets up all sorts of potential problems should the adoptive parent die.

On a more general basis, the entire issue is about contract law and equal access to benefits flowing from the State and Federal Government. (Religious arguments should be irrelevant since we have separation of church and State.  Don’t we?

Consider, two people form a partnership, how does property or assets flow when one dies or the both choose to separate?  There is either a contract or there is a marriage agreement. So why should the State require some couples to have a contract while others can choose  a much simpler and more inclusive path which spells out property and benefits benefits?

Those who hold religious beliefs that marriage is an institution based upon one man and one woman have difficulty seeing that this is not a religious question. Religious groups often point to history and trace back one man, one woman through antiquity, and claim, therefore, man/female model is natural law. In the US, however, the Constitution is the basis for the nation’s laws.  The Constitution spells out  each person must be treated the same under the law. Federal and State benefits have historically not treat same sex couples the same as heterosexual ones and only recently has the tide moved in the direction of treating same sex couples the same as heterosexual ones.

Religious groups, of course, are private organizations and can (at their own peril) treat individuals differently in accordance with their traditions.


With 36 States already allowing same sex marriage, the Supreme Court will have to reach pretty low to come up with an argument supporting States rights to treat individuals differently under the law.

Explore posts in the same categories: Democratic Party, Politics, Religion, Republican Party, same sex marriage, Supreme Court

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