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US: Top lawyer predicts that the US Supreme Court will support equal marriage

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  1. bobbleobble 14 Mar 2013, 2:09pm

    I’m not as optimistic but he could be right. We already know effectively how 7 of the 9 will vote. Scalia, Alito and Thomas will vote against like good little Republicans. The four liberal justices Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsburg and Breyer will vote with us. Then it’s all down to Roberts and Kennedy. But it also depends on how far they extend the scope of the case, will they only consider California or other jurisdictions too? Time will tell.

    Oh and Whelan correlation is not causation. Yes marriage has declined in the Netherlands but that is part of an ongoing trend in the western world and has nothing to do with SSM. The biggest decline in recent years in Europe has been in Bulgaria which has the lowest marriage rate of any of the EU 27 and constitutionally bans SSM. So explain that one, dolt. You can’t simply look at one country’ statistics and draw conclusions.

    1. Introducing the Netherlands is a red herring.

      Couples in the Netherlands have a range of options for gaining levels of legal recognition. These include marriage, registered partnership (straight and different sex couples) and de facto relationships.

      What the Netherlands provides is for couples to choose the level of legal protection they desire or need. Some prefer registered partnerships or de facto over marriage. It is called choice. What is wrong with that ?

  2. On a related note, I worry about how many people I see on equality sites that comment “they’ll legalise it nationwide soon anyway”. I think there’s been a lot of misinformation around concerning how wide the brief is in both of these cases, and I think some are unaware that there are more conservative judges than liberal on the bench at the moment.

    I really really hope a very surprising wider decision comes out of one of the two cases but the most likely outcome is California gets equal marriage back and a clause of DOMA gets scrapped that pertains to taxes and benefits.

    1. bobbleobble 14 Mar 2013, 2:25pm

      What I think might happen is that they will expand the decision to say that once SSM has been exercised as a right it can’t then be taken away whether by popular vote or repeal of the law etc. So in other words it will mean that Washington, Maine and Maryland won’t be voting every other year on whether to outlaw SSM again.

      With only 9 states currently practicing SSM i cannot see SCOTUS enacting nationwide SSM and overturning all bans nationwide. The four liberal justices may write a dissenting opinion advocating that but I can’t see it happening.

      1. I would be inclined to agree with you, with possibly an additional ruling upgrading civil union states to equal marriage ones. However I think getting that kind of result probably hangs on Illinois, Rhode Island and Minnesota getting their legislation rubber-stamped before the ruling date. The breakthrough in Colorado has probably helped a little too. All three final pushes are going to be awfully close (and delayed).

    2. I see where your coming from Max. Just one thing thoe 18 times the supreme court has heard cases on marriage in its history from Divorce and Interical marriage and every time the scope or range was for the hole country. I believe one important fundamental thought and i know they do as well it has to do with the declaration of independence quote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I believe when they vote this will be very much present in their minds of “created equal”. It will most likely be the whole country vote not just some states or 1 state.

  3. On the Other Hand 14 Mar 2013, 2:33pm

    It’s good that he sees grounds for optimism, and he should know. Even the President and the Dept of Justice have filed briefs in support, and they must be difficult to ignore.

    Also, the Prop 8 case was originally a Republican initiative, against the wishes of the local gay activists who thought it was too soon, so that may also be relevant to Republican judges, blurring party lines.

  4. On the other Hand 14 Mar 2013, 2:44pm

    How about an article on how our own Home Secretary is promising to scrap our own equivalent of the human rights part of a Constitution, i.e. The European Convention on Human Rights, and the Human Rights Act. Without these we would not have had the scrapping of inequalities in the criminal laws, or the introduction of Civil Partnerships.

    We are seeing the demonising of human rights in the UK by the Minister who is responsible for protecting them. This is very dangerous in an age where austerity is seeing the rise of fascism in Europe.

    1. The ECHR has led to the end of several injustices to LGBT people (age of consent, gender recognition, joining the military, etc.) but I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with civil partnerships. Many Council of Europe member states still provide no recognition at all to same-sex couples, and I think the Court has explicitly ruled that this is acceptable.

      1. One of the reasons for bringing in Civil Partnerships (in the Times at the time) was advice that gay couples were discriminated against tax wise, particularly on death of one of the couple, as against straight couples who had the choice of getting married and so being exempt from Inheritance Tax. The survivor of gay couples often had to sell their joint home to pay the tax. This was said to be contrary to the Convention, and cases would have been taken to Court if the law hadn’t changed. This difference in treatment doesn’t necessarily happen in all countries.

      2. One of the reasons for bringing in Civil Partnerships (in the Times at the time) was advice that gay couples were discriminated against tax wise, particularly on death of one of the couple, as against straight couples who had the choice of getting married and so being exempt from Inheritance Tax. The survivor of gay couples often had to sell their joint home to pay the tax. This was said to be contrary to the Convention, and cases would have been taken to Court if the law hadn’t changed. This difference in treatment doesn’t necessarily happen in all countries.

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Mar 2013, 3:00pm

    I think Prop. 8 will be struck down allowing California to resume marriage for gay couples. DOMA may well go the same way but I don’t think the SCOTUS will rule that equal marriage must be enacted in all states. Eliminiating Prop. 8 and DOMA will have enormous impact around the world, particularly in the EU. It will definitely impact opposition in the UK once they realise they are fast becoming increasingly outnumbered and irrelevant, not that they won’t give up their acts of desperation.

    1. Hey Robert , Just wanted to ask you a question sinces you are aware and talking about the impact it will have on the EU if DOMA and prop 8 is abolished. Does what the United States do in favor or opposition about L.G.B.T. rights “affect” the UK or EU when they deal with their own gay right issues for good or bad intentions? because Ive never noticed if it does.

  6. Janet Lameck 14 Mar 2013, 4:16pm

    That law should have been in effect 237 years ago!

  7. I still don’t get how *my* marriage affects *someone else’s* religious liberty.
    If ‘religious liberty’ gives you the right to prevent someone else from experiencing the same fundamental basic rights that they have, then they should not be granted religious liberty.
    Religious liberty should only exists when their ‘liberty’ only affects themselves, not the rights of others.
    Or my religious liberty,a belief that all other religious people must live on Mars, must be implemented.

  8. sarah forbes 17 Mar 2013, 9:38am

    By the U.S. Supreme Court liberating these 20,000 Same Sex Married future couples, they are forcing 100 million+ Religious Americans to accept future Gay~Married Family Court Judges sitting in roost deciding straight family values ..

  9. sarah forbes 17 Mar 2013, 9:41am

    Why is this comment being censored ?

    By the U.S. Supreme Court liberating these 20,000 Same Sex Married future couples, they are forcing 100 million+ Religious Americans to accept future Gay~Married Family Court Judges sitting in roost deciding straight family values ..

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