Gay Marriage Battle Heads To Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will take the forefront in the same-sex marriage debate on Tuesday and Wednesday when it hears arguments on the constitutionality of California’s controversial Proposition 8 and the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act.

UPDATE:

The Supreme Court will take the forefront in the same-sex marriage debate on Tuesday and Wednesday when it hears arguments on the constitutionality of California’s controversial Proposition 8 and the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act. If the court strikes down DOMA, married gay couples will be allowed to receive federal benefits in states where same-sex marriage is legal, but it would still be legal for states to outlaw gay marriage, although that would change if Proposition 8 is declared unconstitutional. And things are getting personal: Chief Justice John Roberts’s gay cousin, San Francisco resident Jean Podrasky, will attend Tuesday’s hearing, and she said she “absolutely trust[s] he will go in the right direction.” Meanwhile, in France, hundreds of thousands attended an anti–gay marriage rally in Paris, with dozens arrested as the police fired tear gas on the crowd.

The Hill:

The whole ruling might hinge on this question. Same-sex marriage proponents say marriage is a fundamental right. Lower courts in the DOMA case have agreed, and it’s a view that would require the court to approach DOMA and Proposition 8 with extra scrutiny.

DOMA’s supporters, though, say marriage isn’t a fundamental right, but rather an institution the government created to serve the goal of promoting procreation.

John Eastman, chairman of the board of the National Organization for Marriage, said states have the right to make their own laws to encourage people to have children.

“I think there’s this over-arching issue of whether this is a civil right, that the court should decide against majority rule, or a policy decision,” he said.

As long as the court agrees that reproduction is a key function of marriage, Eastman said, DOMA and Proposition 8 could stand.

Now I see what Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed's blathering on the TV on Sunday was all about. David reported that Reed said that the "primary purpose of marriage was procreation." But lesbian Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen shot Reed down with "The point of marriage is love and commitment."

Reed insisted, however, that he is correct and shot back with "What I said is the verdict of social science is overwhelming and irrefutable," refusing to look at at Rosen, who is a same sex parent. It can safely be said that Ralph Reed is a fraidy cat freak.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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