Obergefell, 48, could become as famous as Brown (the lead plaintiff in the historic school-desegregation decision) or Roe (the pseudonym for Norma McCorvey in the case that legalized abortion nationwide). But his goal isn’t to make history; it’s to make sure he is listed as the surviving spouse on his husband’s death certificate.

There are two basic questions being asked of the Supreme Court:

The justices are considering two simple-sounding questions: whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and, if not, whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where they are legal.

But the arguments were filled with discussions of equal protection and fundamental liberties, how an understanding of the Constitution changes with society, and when majority rule must give way to minority rights.


Justice Kennedy will, in all probability, be the swing vote.  Heretofore he has been fairly progressive towards gay rights issues.  We shall see.

The real bogus argument to me is to let the people decide.  The majority of people are heterosexual.  It is human nature to defend one’s own “way” of doing things.  The rights of the minority must be protected.  We cannot count on the majority not to trample the rights of the minority.

I suggest that most social change would not have occurred if it were left up to the will of the people.  What say you on this subject?  What will the outcome of Obergefell be?

9 Thoughts to “Will same-sex marriage prevail as the law of the land?”

  1. Ed Myers

    I’m willing to let any household structure define itself as a family using marriage laws. If all members of the household register as such with the IRS or SSN by listing everyone’s social security numbers it is a family by right. They can dissolve at any time with appropriate paperwork. A website will validate relationship claims so a school, for example, can determine whether Person X has rights to see certain student records. Some of the anachronistic sexists provisions in our society (spousal benefits, alimony, etc. ) will naturally disappear when families of multiple adults (ala Friends) start asking for recognition.

    There is nothing sacred about households and how they are assembled or recognized. Religion must continue to make matrimony a sacred rite that is off limits to any government meddling.

  2. Emma

    Will LGBT folks riot, loot, and burn if they don’t get their way on this most basic human right?

    Somehow I doubt it.

    1. I doubt it also.

      I am getting tired of Baltimore. At what point are these people just rounded up and jailed for rioting, looting and burning.

  3. Cargosquid

    I predict that the court will say that the states must allow it.

    If they were willing to follow the Constitution….. They would allow the states to define what they thought marriage should be….but enforce equal protection so that states must recognize marriages from other states.

    IOW…the states don’t have to marry you. But they must recognize another state’s marriage.

    1. Using that criteria, we would not have ended segregation. It would have been up to the states.

      I hope you are right though about the courts.

  4. Jackson Bills

    Will same sex marriage be law of the land? Eh, maybe not. I think it will be a states issue when all is said and done.

    Look, I personally think if a man wants to marry a man or a woman wants to marry a woman then so be it. I have abesolutely no issues with gay marriage. I have gay people in my family; Some married and some not. The only difference is where they live.

  5. Ed Myers

    With current mobility a couple can travel through 5 or 6 states in one day and work/live in different ones. To have each state create a different set of marriage rules for that couple is not very governmentally efficient. Standardization is needed and nationalization of marriage will reduce the burden of government on marriage more than having 50 governments regulating marriage. Smaller government argument does not always equate to supporting state’s rights.

  6. Scout

    I see nothing wrong with different states having different conditions for licensing, whether it be marriage, hunting, electrical contracting, or dog possession. I also don’t believe, at least not as a general principle, that states have to honor the licenses granted by other states with differing standards. If that were the general rule, the least demanding state would always control (Think, for example, of how nuts it would be, given Virginia’ completely lax standards for issuing concealed carry permits, if New York had to honor such a permit when a fearful, packing, palsied, senile, anger-driven Virginian with a CCP goes to the Big Apple to take in a Broadway show).

    But the fundamental issue in the case heard this past week before the Supreme Court is whether a state can create and dispense legal status and privilege to opposite sex couples while denying that same status to same sex couples. The jurisprudence we have to guide us under the XIVth Amendment indicates that such distinctions can’t be arbitrary and have to have at least some intelligible rationale, and, in some cases a very compelling rationale. Thus far, the reasons advanced for the distinction in the marriage context are pretty fragile and it seemed like a majority of the Court understood how insubstantial those arguments were.

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