Supremes Will Take Up Gay Marriage Cases After All

Picking up an opportunity that many people though was slipping away, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear not one, but two gay marriage cases. The justices will weigh in on California's contentious Prop. 8, with which a slim majority of that state's voters sought to toss away any advantage on tolerance and civil liberties the Golden State might have to offset its hideous tax and regulatory environment. The Supremes will also decide the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act, which apparently sought to preserve the institution by keeping it small and select for the purposes of federal recognition.

Says the Washington Post:

In addition to the questions about whether the laws are constitutional, the court has asked the parties to respond to questions about "standing," a constitutional limit on who can bring a case before the court because of a constitutional limit that courts only can hear actual "cases and controversies." If a party doesn't have standing to bring an appeal, the court cannot hear an appeal.

The specifics of the DOMA case before the court are particularly poignant, since they involve a woman, Edith Windsor, who was forced forced to pay more than $350,000 in estate taxes after her wife passed away. The money wouldn't have been owed by the survivor of a marriage recognized by the feds. That's a pretty effective rebuttal of those who think legal recognition is either unimportant or a step too far.

Both Prop. 8 and DOMA have been, rightfully, I believe, slapped down by lower courts. The Supreme Court will have the final say.

This issue has personal importance for my wife and me, because we have close gay and lesbian friends who suffer the consequences of legal exclusion of their relationships. I count myself among those who'd like to see the state out of marriage entirely, but failing that, treating same-sex relationships on an equal basis strikes me as a no-brainer.

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  • Hyperion||

    It's just penaltaxes all the way down.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Gayness is taxable.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Gayneth ith takthable!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Not that there's anything wrong with that. Gayness, I mean. There's shitfuck wrong with taxes.

  • Hyperion||

    How do you calculate that tax?

    Well, at least they have to pay a fee now for a piece of paper, like the rest of us. So I am sure governments won't ever be opposed to it. Moar revenues.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, I suppose they'll run a series of tests on each suspected gay person, to evaluate their gayness. The most gay have to pay the most tax, regardless of income.

    I kinda hope they really do this, as we could use some people opposing government caprice for a change, rather than cheering it on.

  • Tonio||

    What about bisexuals?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Half!

  • Hyperion||

    Ok, now you've done went and opened up that damn pandoras box thing. Polygamists unite!

  • Zeb||

    We could tax... thingy.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Individual man date?

  • Hyperion||

    +1

  • Tonio||

    Damn spam filter won't let me link to the wikipedia article on Mandate magazine (a now defunct fap rag).

  • Hyperion||

    It's ok, I wasn't going to click on that link anyway. Damn, I am half scared to click on any link posted by the crazy sobs around here. In case Warty posts it, it's an automatic no-click.

  • Zeb||

    It;s usually just a metal video.

  • A Serious Man||

    Surprised they took the Prop 8 case which has a shit ton of petty legal issues to it that don't directly involve the constitutionality of gay marriage.

    I wonder if Anthony Kennedy will swing the decision by arguing that gay marriage is constitutionally permissible as a tax.

  • Hyperion||

    That's Robert's job. It's a PenileTax, except in the case of Lebanese couples... then it's... anyone???

  • ||

    A Lesby levy?

  • A Serious Man||

    A sapphic duty?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I just had this weird vision of the Delta brothers reviewing pledge candidates and accepting them because "We need the dues." I'm not sure what that has to do with this article or the Supreme Court.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Gay marriage is an issue that makes people stupid. Like, even worse than abortion. At least with abortion there really is something important about it. GM is just an argument over words.

    And to opine that GM counteracts CA's multiform depredations of liberty reflects someone uniquely susceptible to this stultification.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It just means he doesn't live in CA.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So you read this part:

    Edith Windsor, who was forced forced to pay more than $350,000 in estate taxes after her wife passed away. The money wouldn't have been owed by the survivor of a marriage recognized by the feds. That's a pretty effective rebuttal of those who think legal recognition is either unimportant or a step too far.

    And still decided to go with the "it's just semantics!" angle?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    That's a problem with the estate tax discriminating against the nonmarried, not a problem with marriage definitions.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's a problem with the estate tax discriminating against the nonmarried, not a problem with marriage definitions.

    Fair enough.

  • A Serious Man||

    And I'm willing to bet that Edith Windsor is a Democrat. If so, then fuck her for not paying her fair share.

    Nothing against gays or gay marriage, but so many of them tend to be progressive fucktards that would be just fine if a heterosexual person was in the same situation as this lesbian woman.

  • Mickey Rat||

    But apparently it is not an important rebuttal against the estate tax.

  • ||

    GM is just an argument over words

    No. It's an argument over Statism. If you believe that:

    1) The promotion of the traditional nuclear family leads to a society that's more likely to adhere to Christian morality.

    2) A function of the State is to encourage actions that promote a healthy society.

    Then you are rationally anti-Gay Marriage.

    It's only becomes a debate over words when you're dealing with Civil Union vs. Gay Marriage.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Marriage has been between men and women in every society in history. This characteristic is not a Christian innovation, and certainly not a consciously chosen statist one.

  • ||

    When you step away from the "God told me it was bad" position, I'm saying that one can look at marriage, as you say a human institution, as one that in this country leads generally to the promotion of values that line up with once that are held by Christians. So the evolution of the institution is irrelevant. Only it's affect on modern society is relevant.

    Obligatory disclaimer...this is not my view.

  • Randian||

    Marriage has been between men and women in every society in history. This characteristic is not a Christian innovation, and certainly not a consciously chosen statist one.

    Sure. And the King was ordained by God to rule. Until he wasn't.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The divine right of kings was a Renaissance innovation, actually. And of course there were extremely compelling reasons to dump it, which don't exist re gay marriage.

  • Calidissident||

    "The divine right of kings was a Renaissance innovation, actually. And of course there were extremely compelling reasons to dump it, which don't exist re gay marriage."

    No it wasn't. If by divine right of kings we simply mean the monarch rules with the blessing of God or the gods, it wasn't a distinctly European idea at all historically

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Marriage has been between men and women in every society in history.

    That simply not true. Both Suetonius and Cassius Dio (Book 62, chapter 27) report that Nero married some dude named Sporus in a full Roman marriage ceremony.

    Jus' sayin'

  • R C Dean||

    Nero did a lot of things that weren't exactly legal or ordinary for anyone who wasn't god-emperor.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    True. But it wasn't like Greco-Roman history and culture wasn't full of dude love.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Ancient Greek culture was very much against obligate homosexual behavior. Socrates and his pals had wives and children, and in any case didn't engage in penetrative sex with other men but rather frottage.

    It was never recognized as being on equal footing with heterobehavior.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Ancient Greek culture was very much against obligate homosexual behavior.

    Again, you're painting with too broad a brush here. What you've described was the Athenian view. Theban homosexuality most definitely included penetrative sex between two men of similar age. Homosexuality was so celebrated in Thebes, that it was considered the "birthplace of (male) homosexuality." This cultural preference was mocked in Athenian comedies all the time. Sparta was somewhere in the middle.

  • ant1sthenes||

    So if we call female homosexuals lesbians, why don't we call male homesexuals thebians, huh Mr. Smarty Pants?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Thebes didn't produce enough good poets?

    *shrugs*

  • T o n y||

    No it was much more highly esteemed. A product of the extreme misogyny of those societies.

    Some tribal cultures put homosexuals on a pedestal. Some didn't recognize the concept at all.

    The relevant question is how our society treats them, or should treat them. There is no universal rule for this, but we've had a good run with equal rights and liberalization so far.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It was also full of pedophilia and ephebophilia which had significant overlap with the "dude love".

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It was also full of pedophilia and ephebophilia which had significant overlap with the "dude love".

    Again that's mostly the Athenian version. From their point of view, it wasn't "gay" until he grew a beard. That's why the Athenians looked down on the Thebans, because the Thebans encouraged homosexual relationships between adult men.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The problem with that argument is that the "traditional nuclear family" has only existed for 60 years or so. Multi-generational extended families have a much longer history in this country and the world over.

  • Randian||

    It's only becomes a debate over words when you're dealing with Civil Union vs. Gay Marriage.

    Which is exactly what you have in California. The only thing I can hazard is that somehow reforming the estate piece of it got overlooked in Cali's massive legal code.

  • Randian||

    Whoops, never mind. I mixed the two cases.

  • Tim||

    This is all to avoid taxes? Why won't Gays share their wealth with us? BASTARDS!

  • Hyperion||

    They're trying to get out of paying their fair share! Everyone knows that all gays are super rich and have great taste in decor, or they don't watch the HGTV, derrr!

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The Supremes will also decide the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act, which apparently sought to preserve the institution by keeping it small and select for the purposes of federal recognition.

    You could have legal gay marriage in all 50 states and the number of homosexual marriages would still be dwarfed by the number of hetero marriages.

    Every time I think Krayewski is the most dishonest hack at Reason, Tucille shows up to prove me wrong.

  • Tonio||

    Aw, poor Tulpy-poo. I'm already hungering for your tears. So yummy. So sweet.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's a pretty effective rebuttal of those who think legal recognition is either unimportant or a step too far.

    WRONG. Estate taxes are bullshit no matter how you slice it.

  • R C Dean||

    Edith Windsor, who was forced forced to pay more than $350,000 in estate taxes after her wife passed away. The money wouldn't have been owed by the survivor of a marriage recognized by the feds.

    I'm not a trusts-n-estates lawyer, but I think they could have made sure everything was held jointly (with right of survivorship) and avoided those taxes just as if they were married.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    But then the gay marriage advocates couldn't hold her up as a bloody shirt.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I vaguely recall reading something about this--that there were other ways to get most of the marriage benefit via trusts.

  • R C Dean||

    If you owe 6 figures in estate tax, that means you had a 7 figure estate. A 1%er, in other words.

    Interesting that the poster child for gay marriage is a 1%er who wanted to avoid paying taxes. That's not really how the narrative is supposed to go; it will be interesting to see if this angle is played up by the same media that is now baying for the blood (or at least the money) of 1%ers, and thinks the estate tax is a moral imperative.

    Naturally, I would prefer that there was no estate tax, so this recognizing gay marriage to avoid estate taxes is another government solution to a government-created problem.

    Personally, I don't much care about gay marriage, really. It falls into my vast Zone of Apathy. The arguments for it tend to be pretty unpersuasive to me, namely (1) We want the government to bless our private arrangement, (2) We want government goodies that are doled out to married people, and (3) marriage has always meant "two people of any sex" and its wrong to limit it to "two people of different sexes."

    But, whatev. Get married, don't get married, its all the same to me.

  • A Serious Man||

    It's a test case. Although ironically this fact will probably figure into the reasoning Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts make when they rule against.

  • Randian||

    I hope this unleashes a torrent of tax avoidance the likes of which the world has never seen.

  • Wintermute||

    What about me? I'm single. Why should other people get financial benefits just because they're allegedly having sex with each other?

  • Randian||

    Just go marry someone then.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    You act like it's like going to Walgreens for cough syrup.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    And of course, homosexuals are as free to marry "someone" as anyone else is.

  • Pro Libertate||

    They're coming for you, too. Look for a 'Batin' Tax in 2013.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "I count myself among those who'd like to see the state out of marriage entirely, but failing that, treating same-sex relationships on an equal basis strikes me as a no-brainer."

    Only if you accept the premise that a difference in sex is of no consequence in sexual relationships. Accepting androgyny as legal premise makes no sense.

  • Calidissident||

    "Only if you accept the premise that a difference in sex is of no consequence in sexual relationships."

    If we are legally speaking about a situation involving consenting adults, I think that's a valid premise. It's not the job of the state to promote a certain kind of relationship or to discourage victimless behavior

  • Mickey Rat||

    "If we are legally speaking about a situation involving consenting adults, I think that's a valid premise."

    Why?

    Marriage as a legal institution is entirely based on the premise that the state should encourage certain kinds of relationships. What societal good does the recognition of homosexual relationships advance? Don't answer the state has no business promoting behaviors because by supporting same-sex marriage you have already accepted the premise that it does.

    The idea equal protection mandates recognition of homosexual marriages renders incoherent exactly what societal interest legal marriage is supposed to advance. What societal good does the recognition of homosexual relationships advance?

  • The Original Jason||

    The court takes on Proposition 8 after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declared it to be unconstitutional. The challenge was brought by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and has been led by lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies.

    The Kochtopus strikes again!

  • شات عراقنا||

    thank you very thanks

  • Rick Santorum||

    We need to ensure that the states can't decide for themselves whether same-sex marriage ought to be legal because MUH SOCIAL JUSTICE.

    Isn't it interesting how most homosexuals voted for Obama rather than Romney? The very groups you seek to promote, lolbertarians, are your hated enemies. Oh, but please encourage more immigration, I'm sure they're going to care about the free market when Obama offers them the good ol' gimmies.

  • Mickey Rat||

    They are adhering to something they think is a principle, damn the consequences. The principle is nonsensical but utilitarian arguments should not trump that.

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