Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on whether the prohibition of same sex marriage by some States was Constitutional. Millennia was used to describe how long the world has considered marriage a union between one man and one woman. So what’s different now was the question?
That question is either rhetorical or irrelevant.
It is not so hard to see that the US man-woman marriage is not even close to what marriage was in past centuries. Think about hunter-gatherers or mid-evil peasants or knights. Think about even the US in the days of our founding fathers. Marriage was marriage and carried no other benefits.
Today there are so many of States and Federal authorizations such property rights, survivor benefits, and tax filing requirements associated with marriage living that to deny same sex couples access to these rights over the definition of what marriage is suggests a less than honest approach.
And for sure the Supreme Court Justices are well aware of the political tightrope they are walking. The Constitution is totally silent on marriage but the fourteenth Amendment does speak to equal protection under the law. The implication that “State’s Rights” allows each State to decide which people qualify for the recognition of being “married” is disingenuous.
As with so many other faith based objections, no harm will be inflicted upon man-woman marriage should the Court allow same sex marriages. As has been so frequently the case, tolerance of others seems lacking in America’s religious traditions.
States certainly have a right to decide who may adopt, or what tax benefits are available to couples. By the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, States are, however, prohibited from granting some couples a benefit and denying the same benefit to other couples for no compelling reason.
One would think this case should be so easy to decide but pundits do not consider the affirmation of same sex marriage a slam dunk following yesterday’s arguments.
This case is not about forming a union. It is about the benefits which have gone to man-woman teams and in some States have been denied to same sex teams.