Tuesday, April 28, 2015

US Supreme Court Hears Same-Sex Marriage Case

The heat is on between two very strong opinions in the US. Today, April 28th, is a historic day as the 9 US Supreme Court Justices hear two 2.5 hour arguments for and against same-sex marriage in the states. The two specific questions to be answered are:

1. Does the US Constitution require states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, considering equal protection and due process under the law?

2. Are states required to recognize same-sex marriage licenses from out of state?

Monday morning, a conservative group gathered on the Supreme Court steps in DC to declare a new law to "restrain the judges" from ruling in any case regarding same-sex marriage. The speakers said it was wrong for federal judges to take the rights from citizens to vote against gay people, and that the gay agenda should not be allowed to advance via the court system.

As early as last Friday, a line formed in front of the Supreme Court building to get into the hearing today. Several same-sex couples long-awaiting this ruling sat in lawn chairs and sleeping bags expecting to fare rain or storm to get a seat. Several others protesting same-sex marriage held up signs stating "homo sex is a sin", "Repent Repent", and "Shame" underneath a photo of two men kissing. A supporter held a sign saying "Don't like gay marriage? Don't get gay married."

While several of the arguments stem on religious beliefs of traditional marriage, lawyers point out that tradition and religion were forced out of political decisions that did away with Jim Crow laws, slavery, and anti-interracial marriage laws. Supporters argue that stripping same-sex couples from marriage rights demeans and invalidates real, committed families and sends a message of unequality to the children of such parents. Some lawyers argue that it's not about validating families, but whether states have the right to define valid families through the democratic process.

The forecast for the ruling is a 5-4 in favor of same-sex marriage legalization. Experts suggest that the high court only got involved since there was a split in the lower courts, and that it is highly unlikely for the court to overturn and invalidate the marriages that have already been performed in so many states, especially since it decided to not take on the cases in October of last year that struck down state bans--essentially giving their agreement on the strike-down.

Since the ruling is so historic, some suggest that the more conservative judges might swing in favor of SSM to solidify the decision and affect who writes the majority or dissenting opinions.

Religions, including the LDS Church have filed hundreds of briefs to the court, urging them to favor traditional marriage between a man and a woman for the sake of tradition, society, children, and God. They suggest that legal same-sex marriages would undermine and harm society and religious freedom, stripping religious people from enforcing their beliefs on others via majority vote.





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