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SCOTUS and Society
The Court and Gay Marriage
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  • rheddles

    social policy ought to focus on strengthening the non-gay marriages

    No thanks. Strengthening my marriage is up to me and my wife. What social policy should focus on is to stop undermining traditional marriages. But destroying the family is a goal of all leftist movements. Given the leftist drift of the elite, I do not expect the undermining to stop let alone ebb.

    the Chief Justice’s job to enhance the legitimacy of the Court in American society. That is likely to be the result of the Obamacare and gay marriage decisions of this week.

    Really? Interpreting the words “established by the State” to mean established by the federal government is going to increase the legitimacy of the SCOTUS? Ultimately these decisions will result in a reduction of respect for the rule of law as has Roe.

  • fastrackn1

    The worst part about this decision is that it is forcing us closer to complete acceptance of the lifestyle.
    I really don’t care what queers do…I just don’t want to know about it…I don’t even want to think about it….

  • Anthony

    WRM, your short piece brings to mind question: the ultimate problem is what sort of social organization is best for man to live under (a question posed at my Jesuit undergrad University).

    Then, the concern was social ethics (what is good or better or best for society/people – are we under social organization or within it. In other words, “in exploring the nature of social value, or social values, we need to reconsider what is meant by value. Do social values exist in groups, or in persons? are groups good for persons, or persons good for groups?” And how do societal arrangements adjust?

    Your piece raises ideas of “oughts” and “obligations” – moral ideals. That is, obligation presupposes the existence of intrinsic values which are at stake in some course of action (civil marriage) that may be altered by decision. On the other hand oughts presupposes some societally normative behavior. On the whole, implicit in your piece is the question of social obligation/normative expectancy – i.e. choosing the greater rather than the lesser for a complexy interdependent federation (United States of America).

  • qet

    You cannot so easily separate the “legal” aspect of the decision from the social policy aspect. You allow that you’d prefer to see this dealt with by Congress. But Congress has no power to legalize gay marriage. It can extend (or deny) federal tax and other benefits to same-sex couples, but it cannot do what the Court just did. So right away your preferred vehicle for change is disabled. The entire reason this case was brought was because the “legal” avenues were not opening up as quickly as a very very small number of people–call them “gay activists” just to have a convenient tag–demanded. Here, policy had to directly confront and negate legality.

    But you are essentially correct in your observation that through cases like this and Burwell, the Court is trying to function as the ethical conscience of the nation. Kennedy’s opinion, especially when considered together with his statements in a 1992 case, basically holds that the Constitution is merely a device whose purpose is to enact popular views of the ethically good into law. In this he is not creating from nothing; he is preceded by the Griswold Court and the Roe Court, among others.

  • Pete

    Isn’t Uncle Mead cute?

    He calls homosexual marriage — an oxymoron if there ever was one — ‘gay marriages.’

    No professor, no matter how the homosexuals try to pervert the language, they are far from ‘gay.’

    The homosexuals are disturbed people who try to cover up the depravity inside them with an excessive show of happiness.

    Nobody can be described by the Supreme Court decision. The court as an institution represents the decadent elite, not the American people.

    • caubel

      I am not a citizen of the USA. But this decision and the raging purge of the confederate past (some even plan to attack the dead confederates!) are a clear cut in US history. Not a single founding father would approve it. It’s no more the land of the free, the US of Mark Twain or of the Capra movies. Next step, the burning of books…

  • FriendlyGoat

    “If it turns out that opening civil marriage to gay couples makes pro-marriage policy less contentious, then even hardcore religious opponents of gay marriage might end up taking some comfort from this ruling.”

    I like the first half of that sentence, even if doubting the second half might actually happen anytime soon. But the occurrence of this historic change combined with a fresh presidential race might spark a good debate on what “pro-marriage policy” should actually look like and include.

  • Arkeygeezer

    Marriage is a rite of the church. It is not subject to social or secular interpretation. As WRM points out, civil marriage is not recognized by many churches. My faith tells me that two people are not married unless they are united in Christ Jesus. Whatever the Supreme Court decides in this matter is irrelevant to my family. We will follow our Lord; not Caesar! What the rest of the world does is up to them.

  • David Hoffman

    The problem is that the activists who have been pushing gay marriage will not be content to accept the distinction between civil marriage and religious marriage. Sooner or later, they will attempt to compel religious bodies to perform same sex marriages. This will be interpreted as an issue of fairness and discrimination instead of religious liberty. They are already attempting to squash anyone who dissents from their position so obviously they have little respect for any idea of individual freedom.

    • jeburke

      It’s already started, as some gay activists have pointed to government funding of various health, educatio and social welfare activities by religious organizations as well as tax exemptions of church properties as levers to use against churches that hold out. “Liberal” Catholics are in for a big surprise.

  • Jerome Ogden

    Secular Humanism is defined as a “religion” by the Supreme Court (Torcaso v. Watkins.) All laws and all individual behavior must now comport with the canons of Secular Humanism to avoid legal or social sanctions throughout the United States. For example, the punishment for listening to prayers in school is suspension; the punishment for a bakery that refuses to assist homosexuals to marry is bankruptcy.

    The Supreme Court has now officially blessed any and all available sanctions for non-compliance with Secular Humanism’s Canon Law on gay marriage. That’s OK for the humanists, I guess, but, as Roberts points out, don’t confuse their Canon Law with the U.S. Constitution.

  • lhfry

    Eliminating marriage and the kinship structure that the union between a man and a woman creates is a longtime goal of the left. Marx, Engels, and their 19th century associates saw marriage and family relationships as an impediment to the
    establishment of Communism. They were correct in that those who do not marry are more likely to become dependent on
    the state and therefore to support a state that provides for their welfare. We see this today in the US – the
    decline of marriage has led to instability and a growing population dependent on the state for support. To the
    extent that there are any homosexuals who wish to establish permanent,monogamous, and exclusive legal relationships, and I don’t see any, they are being used by much more powerful forces to achieve other ends. Redefining marriage will destroy the
    institution as legal recognition of groups and other relationships spreads.

    I never understand why libertarians, who profess to desire smaller, less intrusive government, tend to support “getting the state out
    of the marriage business.” Strong extended families – generally related by blood (although old fashioned adoption
    can work too) are the best defense against an overambitious state.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    No where in the Constitution is the authority over marriage given to the Federal Government. The Supreme Court has done a miserable job of protecting the rights of the States and the People, as you would expect when the Justices are all chosen by the power hungry politicians of the other 2 branches. It’s like letting the convicts chose their own jailers.

  • BrianLOConnor

    The Constitution does not give the Feds any authority over marriage.

    But the Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution says that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws.”

    That’s the clause the majority used to base their decision on.

    That’s just scarey as hell.

    If the Equal Protection clause can be used for this decision, why can’t it be used for other issues? For example: why can the justices devine a right for individuals not to be offended?

    If an individual has a right not to be offended, then the august judges could prohibit certain kinds of speech deemed “offensive” (what’s to prevent this).

    I’m also worried about implementing the present decision on gay marriage. I believe it will place more power in the hands of beaurcrats of the sort who populate the IRS and EPA.

    If you think persecuting bakers and florists for not celebrating gay weddings is bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Real and imagined slights of all sorts will multiply and I fear it’ll be open season on anyone who expresses an opinion that is considered unfriendly to gay marriage.

    • circleglider

      Actually, Kennedy’s basis for justifying his decision in Obergefell was the [substantive] due process clause. His opinion would have had far greater legal legitimacy if it had been based upon the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

  • circleglider

    We are not set up for national referendums—and that’s a good thing, in my opinion—so the Court’s intervention is not the kind of problem it was in, say, in Roe v. Wade, or the school prayer decision, where it imposed a view on the country that the country wasn’t ready for.

    The United States has indeed been “set up for national referendums” ever since the Constitution was ratified in 1788. They’re called constitutional amendments — and like any sensible national referendum in a large and diverse republic, they require supermajorities.But beginning less than 75 years ago, the Supreme Court began to ignore this requirement — and the Congress simultaneously abdicated its judicial impeachment power. All of which is why, by the way, every Congressional confirmation of a new Justice is now a mini-Constitutional convention.So, no, we can’t say that the Court’s intervention in Obergefell doesn’t represent exactly the same “kind of problem [as] it was in, say, in Roe v. Wade, or the school prayer decision.” We’ve already fought one war over our refusal to tolerate our differences. Do we have to fight another?

  • charlesrwilliams

    A man cannot marry a man no matter what Justice Kennedy says.

    • fastrackn1

      Next step is that a man will be able to marry his dog…after that he will be able to marry his….

  • stan

    These cases enhance the legitimacy of the Court?! Wow. That’s so crazy even the Queen couldn’t believe it before breakfast.

  • lhfry

    The only poll that counts is the ballot box and a majority of states voted not to redefine marriage to suit homosexuals. Polls can be constructed to produce the result the pollsters want – it all depends on how you ask the question, the question’s content, and the analysis that is often applied afterwards to account for anomalies.

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