Supreme Court Appears Unwilling to Legalize Gay Marriage Nationwide

Washington, D.C.—The Supreme Court heard oral argument today on California’s 2008 ballot initiative Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution in order to forbid gay marriage. The upshot appears to be that while a majority of the Court believes Prop. 8 to be misguided, including both the four liberal justices and Justice Anthony Kennedy, those justices are not willing to strike Prop. 8 down as unconstitutional and therefore legalize gay marriage in all 50 states. As Justice Kennedy declared in perhaps the most significant statement of the morning, this case asks the Court “to go into uncharted waters.”

Kennedy’s comments are certain to disappoint gay marriage advocates. As the author of the Court’s rulings in both Romer v. Evans (1996) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003), Kennedy is one of the Court’s strongest voices in favor of gay rights. Yet he gave no indication this morning that he saw the case against Prop. 8 as a proper vehicle for establishing a sweeping win for gay marriage. In addition to referring to the “odd” rationale of the federal appellate court ruling against Prop. 8, Kennedy wondered whether the Supreme Court should have even agreed to hear the Prop. 8 case in the first place. “I just wonder,” Kennedy said, “if the case was properly granted.”

For the Court’s liberals, on the other hand, the main impediment to legalizing gay marriage nationwide appeared to be the question of jurisdiction. Because the state of California announced that it would no longer defend Prop. 8 in court, the law’s legal defense was taken up by a group of individuals who had supported the original ballot initiative. So in addition to the constitutionality of Prop. 8, the Supreme Court also considered today whether or not those ballot supporters possessed the legal standing to defend the law.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg set the skeptical tone right from the outset. “Have we ever granted standing to proponents of ballot initiatives?,” she asked, knowing that the answer would be “no.” Justice Elena Kagan promptly followed up. “Could the State assign to any citizen the rights to defend a judgment of this kind?” she questioned, her tone suggesting that she thought not. Chief Justice John Roberts also voiced skepticism, declaring at one point, “a State can’t authorize anyone to proceed in federal court...I don’t think we’ve ever allowed anything like that.”

Taken together, the combination of Kennedy’s hesitation about entering “uncharted waters” and the apparent liberal consensus on standing means the Court is unlikely to rule on the constitutional merits of Prop. 8 and will instead limit its decision to the particular circumstances present in California. That may still mean the legalization of gay marriage in the Golden State, but the ruling won’t go any further than that.

Watch Matt Welch interview Damon Root on today's oral argument:

 

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  • sarcasmic||

    For something to be legalized, then it must be illegal. If same sex marriage is illegal, then where are the same sex couples rotting in prison for the crime of entering into an illegal marriage? Oh, you mean legally recognized? Oh, well why didn't you say so in the first place? Fuck. Words matter.

  • Proprietist||

    legalize [ˈliːgəˌlaɪz]
    1. (Law) to make lawful or legal
    2. (Law) to authorize or sanction by law

  • ||

    Just let him cry himself to sleep. These tantrums usually pass quickly.

  • sarcasmic||

    Your website is stupid.

  • Proprietist||

    Fair enough. It's still under construction.

  • JT||

    Not as stupid as your FACE!

  • Calitaxian||

    You should put some ice on that burn!

  • Linda518||

    Bella. I agree that Philip`s posting is unbelievable... on monday I got a new Car from having made $7552 this past 5 weeks and over ten-grand this past munth. it's by-far the easiest work Ive had. I actually started seven months/ago and practically straight away startad making over $72 per/hr. I follow this website, jump15.com

  • IceTrey||

    Prop 8 doesn't make same sex marriage "illegal" it prohibits the state from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. This whole thing isn't about marriage it's about state licensing.

  • sarcasmic||

    The term "legalize" implies taking something that was previously illegal and making it legal.

  • Fluffy||

    I was against Prop 8, but I don't see how you can deny the ballot proponents the opportunity to defend the law in court.

    To do otherwise means that the initiative process itself is a giant scam.

    To defeat initiatives they don't like, the Attorney General of any state would need merely to fail to defend the initiative against any spurious challenge.

  • Ray||

    Which is exactly what they do, Gray Davis did exactly that with Prop 187, for example.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    Using standing to get rid of the case would only delay the inevitable clash.

    Might as well pretend like these fuckers have standing and rule on something or you're going to see this case again.

  • Brett L||

    You mean that all of those people changing their profile picture on FB will have no effect whatsoever on the outcome of this? But they feel so righteous about it!

  • ||

    Haha I have seen a number of those pop up today. I posited the question of whether a "Prop 8 is constitutional" ruling would make a difference to people, or whether it just be something that is morally wrong but constitutionally right, not unlike the ruling on Obamacare.

  • Brett L||

    Oh man. The stupid keeps on coming. I've got to find a different way to chat with the gf at work. "Equipping every house in America with solar panels would cost less than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined cost."

    Well, no shit. If we're just going to throw around $3T, lots of free shit could be had. We could pay off every mortgage on every primary residence worth under $200k, too!

  • ||

    She said that? Or you are subjected to that while chatting with her on Facebook?

  • Brett L||

    No, a couple of my well-meaning but innumerate liberal friends posted that.

    I'll try to link.

  • ||

    Work blocks Facebook, and fun things. So you'll have to describe it.

    Do you just get annoyed with people posting stupid (read: illogical) stuff like that or do you respond and attempt to stir the pot? I'm always the latter. Although debating on Facebook is probably only slightly above arguing on YouTube.

  • Brett L||

    Its just a pic of a house with photovoltaics photoshopped onto the roof that says: "Equipping every house in America with solar panels would cost less than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined, and save US taxpayers $162B per year."

    I believe the total cost of both wars is in the neighborhood of $3T at this point.

    One friend who posted it got pissed when I asked her why she only wanted rich people who could afford homes to have free electricity. I didn't follow up to ask her why she wanted rich people to pay less in taxes, too.

  • wareagle||

    how in the hell does anyone know that solar would "save taxpayers 162B per year"????? Citation damn sure required. And the cost of the wars is a total non sequiteur.

    This is why my FB universe has dramatically shrunk in the past year. Brett, you are a better man than I for wading into what is the shallow end of the gene pool to talk to these folks.

  • Lawless Heathen||

    OW MY BRAIN

  • ||

    Or you could just give it all to me. And I could have lots of ponies.

  • ||

    You're already off the owning a penguin thing, huh?

  • ||

    I said I didn't want to own one, just pet one.

  • AlmightyJB||

    You can pet mine.

  • BakedPenguin||

    *sidles up to nicole*

  • Brett L||

    The best racket at Moody Gardens is that they'll sell you "penguin art" for $10 a pop. Said art being the product of getting the penguin to walk across a paint covered sponge and then a 6"x8" canvas. Its pure fucking marketing genius.

  • ||

    See I totally think the penguin art thing is stupid but them I'm also like "Ohemgee a penguin walked across a fucking canvas! Cutest evar!"

  • JT||

    How's that a racket? You got a penguin to rent out?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hey, where's my pony? I haven't negged you in weeks. I know how sensitive chicks get when they stop working out.

  • ||

    You can come and ride my pony. If you know what I mean.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I...do I need to bring my own saddle?

  • Brett L||

    "You got the saddle/I got the horse."

    Isn't that an old Merle Haggard tune?

  • Chris Mallory||

    Mel Tillis

  • ||

    I think for $3T I can provide my own saddles, Hugh.

  • ||

    Just wear chaps.

  • ||

    Don't be selfish, that money should be spent on abortions and miniature flags.

  • ||

    I could have lots of ponies.

    See Nicole, this is why I say that cute animals derail lady-sense.

  • ||

    SHUT THE FUCK UP THOSE ARE BABY OTTERS.

  • ||

    That's why we need to club them to death.

  • ||

    That's SEALS heller, and this one wants to give you a hug.

  • ||

    No, he wants to give me a hug!

  • ||

    Then who will hug the baby sloth?

  • ||

    Are you suggesting I can't hug them all? God, jesse, don't you know by now I am a total fucking whore?

  • ||

    A sloth calls 911 to report a mugging.

    Sloth: "I just got mugged by a roving band of thug tortoises."

    911: "Can you provide a description of you assailants?"

    Sloth: "It all happened so quickly I did not get a good look."

  • Brett L||

    That one definitely needs to be clubbed before it breeds.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Damn, you're making me hungry.

  • ||

    Doesn't matter to me, if it's a baby with fur, I club it. Then I rub my monocle on the fur with a little blood.

  • ||

    if it's a baby with fur, I club it

    Then can I interest you in a baby pygmy hippo?

  • Brett L||

    Then can I interest you in a baby pygmy hippo?

    I'll bet that would turn into the softest pair of waterproof boots ever.

  • ||

    I am taking the baby pygmy hippo away from Brett. It can live in my bathtub. My boyfriend and I have already spent years discussing this contingency.

  • Virginian||

  • Brett L||

    That goat is racist. He keeps knocking down only the black goats.

  • ||

    Why did a "boost testosterone" ad pop up on that goat video?

  • Brett L||

    You know hippos are evil, shit-spraying territorial killers, right, Nikki? I'm just looking out for you by turning it into boots.

  • Virginian||

  • Virginian||

  • Brett L||

  • Virginian||

    God...so much dust in this room...really coarse stuff, getting in my eyes...making them water fierce.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....Xi0J4&NR=1

  • ||

    That's full-sized hippos, Brett, not teeny ones.

  • ||

    It can live in my bathtub.

    Where will you keep the baby dolphin and his penguin friend then nicole?

  • ||

    I'm kind of freaked out by dolphins. Rapey. I mean, have you seen that King of the Hill episode?

    But I have enough bathtubs for everyone.

  • ||

    I'm kind of freaked out by dolphins.

    No I totally understand. There are so many baby semi-aquatic animals to house in your bathtub.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's not nice to call Warty's baby sister a hippo. She's just big boned.

  • ||

    My wife has a hat that looks a little like that.

    *cleaning smudge off monocle with silk handkerchief

  • ||

    (Realistically, they don't derail lady-sense so much as activate lady-sense.)

  • John||

    Can you please pay me a large seven figure salary to take care of your ponies? please/

  • ||

    Yes, absolutely. You may also have your choice of miniature American flag or abortion. But only because you asked nicely.

  • ||

    John Roberts, steps back, fakes right, shimmies right... ANALtax! UNBELIEVABLE!!! He's done it again! The Chief Justice has come out of nowhere and declared constitutional something that most legal analysts considered dead in the water!!!

  • ||

    DAMN IT! shimmies left!

  • RightNut||

    Splitting the baby?

  • ||

  • Tman||

    I was in tears reading that earlier.

    If only it were true.

  • ||

    Ahhh...if only.

  • ||

    Your libertarian universe includes a licensing and benefits scheme at the federal level of government, imposed on the states, by 9 guys in robes? Doesn't sound remarkably than the decidedly un-libertarian universe in which we find ourselves, to me.

  • ||

    *remarkably different

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Well, good. There's no way anyone following this issue can honestly say that gay marriage is not something within the purview of the "states and the people", unless one believes that 14th Am incorporation of the BoR and other Amendments makes the states mere appendages of the federal government without general police power.

  • Calidissident||

    I agree with this, though I think gay marriage should be legal if states are granting marriage licenses. I do think, however, that the part of DOMA that says the feds won't recognized state legal gay marriages is unconstitutional.

  • ||

    I do think, however, that the part of DOMA that says the feds won't recognized state legal gay marriages is unconstitutional.

    Wouldn't it be ironic if recognizing those marriage and granting them the same federal benefits as straight marriages finally pushed the religious right to the position of doing away with the civil institution?

  • buybuydandavis||

    It would be great. Why is the government privileging a certain lifestyle - marriage?

  • sloopyinca||

    Speaking of gay marriage, the Wesley Crusher and Traveler episode just started on BBC America.

    Eye-ruh-neeeeeeee!

  • Banjos||

    I don't think we should be exposing our daughter to Wesley Crusher at her age. Maybe we should find something less offensive to watch. Jesse.in.mb, do you have that lube link from the other day?

  • ||

  • ||

  • ||

    You don't think you should instill the Wesley-hate young? Hmm, I don't know.

  • sloopyinca||

    We could ask Episiarch, but he's got his TV on full blast fapping furiously in anticipation of the vision quest scene.

  • ||

    Pfft. His Wesley hate is only a cover for his wild, furious Wesley love. Don't we all know that by now?

  • ||

    Epi can love?

  • ||

    Only Wesley. See, isn't that actually worse than no love at all? So typical of him.

  • ||

    Not on my work computer...I can get it to you later though.

  • ||

    Gayest episode since gay came to Gaytown.

  • sloopyinca||

    Gayer than the buttsecks that's implied in the first Traveler episode.

  • Robert DCannon||

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  • Banjos||

    Sorry, but between keeping my husband from murdering hipsters and making miniature top hats for my farm animals, I don't have time for a part-time job.

  • BakedPenguin||

    But how much did Victoria make last month? I know I won't believe it.

  • ||

    There was a guy arguing "standing" on the radio (Rush) this AM. He thinks that since the State dropped its argument and it was taken up by another group, there would be no standing for the 9th CC decision to strike down prop 8 and it would stand.

    If that's what Kennedy meant.

    FWIW. I'm no lawyer.

  • sloopyinca||

    This makes sense. It probably belonged in the state court system exclusively.

  • John||

    I think it would also mean that there was no standing for the 9th Circuit to hear the case in the first place, meaning Prop 8 stands.

    Fluffy makes the best point above. If the state can just not argue to defend a proposition, then the whole system is a sham.

  • ||

    That's what I thought I said John, albeit perhaps not well.

  • John||

    No. I was just being dense.

  • sloopyinca||

    If the state can just not argue to defend a proposition, then the whole system is a sham.

    California's government enforces environmental regs that aren't even on the books. They ignore popularly passed referendums at their leisure. Of course they're a sham.

  • ||

    If they find that to be the case than the District Court ruling stands, which also struck down the law.

    Prop 8 has lost at every level so far.

  • Lord Humungus||

    knowing Roberts, he will legalize gay marriage - as a penaltax!

  • sloopyinca||

    Now that's what I call a sticky situation.

  • ||

    Chill, bro! You know my incoherent comment at 3:40 was already making that joke!!

  • Ama-gi||

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah, that's the 14th Amendment. The condom of American jurisprudence: stretch it until it fits.

    By my count, the people of California have passed about sixteen thousand bone headed constitutional amendments. How come this one gets reviewed by the federal courts?

  • Ama-gi||

    So just because other bone headed amendments passed in California weren't reviewed by the federal courts this one shouldn't be either? And how does the 14th Amendment not apply here?

  • Virginian||

    Personally I think marriage is a Ninth Amendment right.

    I think that federalism is something worth preserving overall, even though it sometimes leads to less optimal results. If Prop 8 is struck down on 14th Amendment grounds, it basically kills federalism totally. I mean, it's mostly dead already, but it would be the final straw.

    It's ok to think that's worth it, but I personally don't. I still maintain that gay marriage is like...25th...30th on the list of important issues for liberty. Yes, it should be legal, no I'm not so desperate to throw out the bathwater that I will toss the baby with it.

  • Ama-gi||

    And why can't it be both a Ninth Amendment and a Fourteenth Amendment right? They're not mutually exclusive. A state shouldn't be able to prevent me from marrying someone based on their sex anymore than they should be able to prevent me from marrying someone based on their race.

  • Virginian||

    Absolutely true. I just happen to think that the negative effects of striking down Prop 8 would outweigh the positive ones. In an ideal world, there wouldn't be government involvement in marriage. But we live in the real world.

    If Prop 8 is struck down, one of the last vestiges of the old republic will be swept away. If the people of a state cannot amend their own constitution without federal approval, then federalism is dead. Unenumerated rights, such as marriage, must meet a far stricter test for federal intervention then enumerated rights, IMO.

    You are, I think, watching the hand the man on stage wants you to watch. The statists, particularly the federal statists, don't care about gay marriage. That's the excuse, not the reason. They have used this issue as a stalking horse, and now they're ready to hammer another nail into the coffin of the federal republic.

  • Ama-gi||

    Yes, I agree, in an ideal world the government wouldn't be involved in marriage at all, but as you said, we live in the real world, and it is involved in marriage, and therefore, no state should be able to pass a law that denies the equal application of marriage to, at the very least, any two individuals who wish to enter into it. If this isn't a Fourteenth Amendment issue what is? What if California wanted to amend its constitution to prevent miscegenation? Would that not require federal intervention? And if it would require federal intervention, then how is this any different?

  • ||

    The 9th and 14th Amendments in conjunction legitimize libertarian theory across all levels of government. To argue that they legitimize statism requires a willful inversion of words. Lawyers and statists will do that, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight for a consistent libertarian agenda through the justice system by fighting violations of rights and equal protections by all levels of government.

  • Virginian||

    I understand what you're saying. I feel like this one of the divergences in the libertarian movement: there are people who think federalism as an institution is worth defending strategically, even if tactically it is problematic. I think DOMA is unconstitutional and should be struck down by the Court, but I cannot lay hands on the part of the federal Constitution that gives the feds the power to overturn a state amendment. Statue maybe, but not a duly passed and ratified amendment. It is up to the people of the state of California to decide which laws they will live under. If they were rounding up Nisei again, that would be something that crosses the threshold, IMO.

    I just think that in this case, the downside is way higher then the upside.

  • ||

    "I cannot lay hands on the part of the federal Constitution that gives the feds the power to overturn a state amendment."

    What if Alabama voters supported a constitutional amendment to relegalize slavery or Jim Crow? How does being in the state constitution pre-empt the policy from 14th Amendment review?

  • Virginian||

    Unenumerated rights, such as marriage, must meet a far stricter test for federal intervention then enumerated rights, IMO.

    Slavery is clearly prohibited by a duly ratified Amendment. The status of marriage vis a vis the federal Constitution is much much more ambiguous.

  • ||

    Ok, but segregation isn't. Can Alabama re-impose segregation via constitutional amendment?

  • Virginian||

    Can you make an honest argument without bringing out the army of strawmen to burn?

  • ||

    Wait, how was that a strawman or dishonest argument? Segregation is not banned constitutionally at the federal level, just by statute. Your argument was that passing something into the state constitution overrides federal constitutional review under the premises of federalism, even if that amendment conflicts with federal law, correct?

  • ||

    Ok, but segregation isn't.

    Statutorily it is though, so you'd still be on different ground than with marriage, where there is no statutory or constitutional enumerated right in question. The only real justification one can grope for in this being a federal question is the fact that the federal government decided at some point in time that it was going to bestow benefits on certain people based on the licensing schemes of 50 individual states. It's hard to imagine how doing so made the federal government the new arbiter of said licensing schemes.

  • Ama-gi||

    I agree completely that the two together are a strong basis for libertarianism.

  • Ama-gi||

    (That was directed at Proprietist in case anyone was confused.)

  • ||

    how does the 14th Amendment not apply here?

    Because there's no enumerated federal right to marriage, and non-enumerated rights are retained by the states and the people, respectively. Marriage has always been licensed by the states, at their discretion.

  • sloopyinca||

    What this case boils down to is taxation. If the IRS Tax Code is the law of the land, I can see the opponents of Prop 8 winning on Equal Protection grounds. If it is departmental policy and not law, those grounds go away...but the federal government has a tax code that is not law, and should have to release every tax evader (to use their term) in federal prison.

    Either way, the government loses a little bit of that iron grip.

  • ||

    Between federal taxation and immigration laws, there are plenty of grounds to challenge state jurisdiction over competing definitions of "marriage".

    I'm actually really curious how many legally married gays file taxes as "married"? There are no warnings saying it has to be a man-woman marriage on the tax form.

  • sloopyinca||

    I wish you were right, but you're not.

    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch02.html

    "Marital Status

    In general, your filing status depends on whether you are considered unmarried or married. For federal tax purposes, a marriage means only a legal union between a man and a woman as husband and wife. The word “spouse” means a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."

    Those people are in violation of the tax code.

  • ||

    Were I gay and married, I'd file it anyway, refuse to pay any levied penalties and challenge the DOMA on that premise.

  • sloopyinca||

    As Justice Kennedy declared in perhaps the most significant statement of the morning, this case asks the Court “to go into uncharted waters.”

    Ooh, is he gonna have to pay royalties to Henry Brown for going all Plessy v. Ferguson on us?

    Fucking cowards.

  • Joao||

    The feds can't give gay marriage the same civil rights as hetero as that would criminalize those who want nothing to do with it. As the case in the northeast about a florist that would not provide flowers for a gay wedding. They were at least censured by the law. I don't pretend to know the outcome. Will look it up.

  • ||

    U WOT M8?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Because the state of California announced that it would no longer defend Prop. 8 in court, the law’s legal defense was taken up by a group of individuals who had supported the original ballot initiative."

    With respect, that's not the issue. You're actually begging the question. The governor and state AG refused to represent the state of California in court, and California law says that in that situation, the proponents of the initiative get to represent the state. The question is whether the proponents can appear in federal court as representatives of the state of California, or whether this would violate the standing requirements of Article III. The opponents of standing say that the proponents of Prof 8 don't have a fiduciary interest in the case, the way (for instance) a state AG would.

    But as discussed above, this interpretation will deny the people of California representation in court if their elected officials refuse to defend the laws the people approved.

  • ||

    Why would you want to force a baker an AG to provide for a gay wedding defend a law, when you know they don't want to and will do a terrible job?

  • sloopyinca||

    Isn't the AG sworn to uphold the laws and Constitution of the state of California? I would think it falls under ethics. If they have a moral objection to the law, they can refuse to uphold it by resigning out of principle, which is what I would do if I were the CA AG.

  • ||

    Our AG is Kamala Harris. I was under the impression that ethics wasn't her strong suit, but I wouldn't mind seeing her resign.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    California has, by operation of law, designated people *other than* the AG. That's the point.

  • ||

    Oh please, EvH, you know I was just teasing you. If they give prop8 a weak defense people will cry foul if it gets knocked down. Although I suspect the same people would claim it wasn't defended strenuously enough no matter how well defended it was if it got knocked down, but that is neither here nor there.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I heard the anti-SSM argument. He made unnecessary concessions and Scalia kept jumping in to help him out. And that would be true whether Prop 8 is knocked down or not.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It was more a pro-federalism argument than anti-SSM, but it still was not as good as it could have been.

  • ||

    A few people had posted up snippets on FB where it sounded like Scalia was annoyed at their incompetence.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    But as discussed above, this interpretation will deny the people of California representation in court if their elected officials refuse to defend the laws the people approved.

    I don't see how the federal constitution has to be warped to accommodate the ballot initiative process at state levels. The constitution requires the feds to guarantee a republican form of govt at the state level, so the people must have some sort of representation in the legislative process, but that doesn't include ballot initiatives. California chose a stupid system for enacting laws, and now they have to deal with it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What about the federal constitution is being warped?

    Although the USSC has specifically avoided this issue (saying it doesn't have power to decide), the fact is that a state can comply with the Republican Government clause, even if in some cases the people reserve the right to govern directly. Otherwise say farewell to the New England town meetings.

  • SumpTump||

    Dude I never even thought about it like that before. Wow.

    www.MaxAnon.tk

  • Tony||

    I got the impression that Kennedy was both worried that the question was before the court too soon and that he appreciates that gay marriage should be legal. Nobody asked about or explained what is the appropriate time in the process of democratic experimentation for the court to decide a civil rights violation needs to be rectified. There are quite a few more states that ban gay marriage than banned interracial marriage when the Loving decision was handed down. On the other hand, anyone with a brain can see the obvious and inevitable trajectory of public opinion, not to mention the obvious civil rights problem. For the court to punt, all they'd be saying is let a few more states legalize gay marriage before we decide in favor, which is not an especially principled take.

    Scalia's obsession with "when did it become unconstitutional?" reminds me of conversations had on these boards, and as such was a painfully stupid question--though not rebutted especially well. The answer is it's been unconstitutional since at least the date of the ratification of the 14th amendment, and just hasn't made it to the court until now. Curious that no one asks whether allowing same-sex marriage is constitutional. And if that's OK, then equal protection has to apply.

  • ||

    Tony:

    ...ot to mention the obvious civil rights problem....equal protection has to apply."

    But, you would deny the voters in states, through the democratic process a chance to have their way. That smells like one thing and one thing only: authoritarianism! You can't deny stupid busybodies the right to meddle and regulate your life if they want to. Anything else is totalitarianism.

    /Tony
  • Tony||

    I'm defending the usual libertarian position: that the constitution and/or basic civil rights ought to trump democratic will. How the tides turn!

    Libertarianism is nothing but a heap of bullshit until you guys can start endorsing things you are uncomfortable with. It's so interesting that despite all your rhetoric about adhering to strict principles, none of you thinks those principles lead to anything other than your personal utopia.

  • ||

    Tony:

    I'm defending the usual libertarian position: that the constitution and/or basic civil rights ought to trump democratic will. How the tides turn!

    Libertarianism is nothing but a heap of bullshit until you guys can start endorsing things you are uncomfortable with.

    Is there some contest I'm not aware of? Where you win if you say something, and then immediately contradict what you just said, more than any other poster? Because, if there is, you win, hands down.

  • Tony||

    I contain multitudes, but that's beside the point. I'm not always in favor of majoritarian will. I do favor civil rights. I do recognize that large majorities can overturn even those (i.e., amend the constitution). You guys seem to think God or Rand or whatever ultimate authority trumps all, and I can't buy into that bullshit.

  • ||

    Tony:

    I can't buy into that bullshit.

    Except when it's gay marriage, something you're totally comfortable with.

  • ||

    If only we could channel your instinct towards gay marriage into some more general, consistent philosophy. One that doesn't break down the minute you encounter someone you're comfortable fucking over, since you can't identify with them.

  • Tony||

    I'm consistently in favor of equal rights for all and positive action on equal rights by all minorities who don't have them. To which principle are you referring when you oppose equal marriage rights?

  • ||

    you oppose equal marriage rights?

    No such thing is under consideration in this case. Granting special privileges to certain people based upon their willingness and ability to get a special state license endorsing their relationship is not "equal" just because you expand by a very tiny fraction the amount of people able to obtain the special license to get the special privileges, you rent-seeking cunt.

  • ||

    Also, I'll be interested in hearing your condemnation of the Wickard v. Filburn decision and your support of Heller. You know, since you're a consistent supporter of civil rights.

  • Tony||

    I don't necessarily support a maximalist interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, but I would be against the state restricting gun ownership to straight people.

  • ||

    Tony:

    I'm consistently in favor of equal rights for all...To which principle are you referring when you oppose equal marriage rights?

    I don't oppose equal marriage rights. I oppose hypocrisy.

    So, you're consistently in favor of equal rights? This implies that everyone has equal rights. This contradicts your positions on progressive taxation, wealth redistribution, health care, subsidization, and a host of other issues.

    You don't care if people with high incomes, doctors, hospitals, businessmen, and solar-energy providers get unequal treatment under the law. But, you do if it's regulating gay marriage. Because you're gay, and you identify with gay people, but I assume you're not a rich, high income doctor businessman who provides solar energy. You can't relate to them, so you're fine with screwing or rewarding them, however you see fit, through the power of the state.

    Unless you're one of the rich assholes living in Washington DC, I can't see how anyone could think they're getting some advantage from the system, by being somewhere in the circle of gun-pointing. It's like the pathetic bragging of a slave who gets to eat from a really great pile of trash his betters has left for him. If you think that's better than you could do for yourself with freedom, that's really sad.

  • Virginian||

    Derp derp derp derp.

  • Lawless Heathen||

    How does this boil down to anything more than certain people are being disallowed from entering a consensual contract with particular benefits? E.g., joint ownership of property, inheritance, etc.

    What am I missing here?

  • ||

    Considering that a same-sex couple can enter a series of contracts that do all of those things, I don't see that being the issue at hand.

    The state has a ready-made contract that contains many agreements, but has been defined to only be accessible to couples of the opposite sex.

    We can have a discussion about whether or not that is ok, but let's not pretend that the state is disallowing anyone from setting up their will, or opening up a joint checking account.

  • Tony||

    Let's not pretend that all benefits are available to gay couples in every state, or any federal ones... or that separate but equal isn't inherently unequal.

  • ||

    In what state are homosexuals denied the rights of contract vis-a-vis inheritance or joint ownership of property?

    While we're at it, let's not pretend that allowing homosexual couples in certain types of relationship to access special privileges from the federal government is any more "equal" than allowing exclusively heterosexual couples in certain types of relationships access to special privileges from the federal government.

  • Tony||

    You're welcome to take your case to court. So long as marriage remains a state concern, it has to be available to couples regardless of sexual orientation in order to accord with the constitution. I'm not sure what's so difficult about this for you.

  • Lawless Heathen||

    Okay, so they're not allowing them to enter a single, all-encompassing contract similar to marriage.

    Not being dense, just trying to figure out why they're arguing whether or not to disallow two adults to enter such a contract.

    That's what "marriage" boils down to, in essence, in my view.

  • David Housholder||

    Playing "Mother May I" with Caesar is always a mistake. I know my anarchist slip is showing, but let's not get carried away with the buzz. http://wp.me/p2KckS-iS

  • joelgarcia||

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  • Lawless Heathen||

    Why the fuck isn't there a report spam function on here?

  • buybuydandavis||

    "the Supreme Court also considered today whether or not those ballot supporters possessed the legal standing to defend the law."

    They'd better. The Supreme Court won't enforce that a State follows the rule of law and respects the results of lawful ballot initiatives? Can States ignore elections as well?

  • obd2works||

    You made some nice points there. I did a search on the topic and found most individuals will consent with your site.

  • MamaLiberty||

    By what legitimate authority?
    http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?page_id=1294
    "The question not being asked by most of us is: By what legitimate authority? How does anyone legitimately gain authority to control the lives and choices of other people against their will?"

    Why should any "government" have anything whatsoever to say about a person's marriage or any other personal relationship, any more than about their religion, speech or other non aggressive behavior?

    Only SLAVES need to ask permission for this.

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  • aaliyahjuhan||

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