Will Same-Sex Marriage Become the Law of the Land?
Jun 22, 2015
So as we know, the Supreme Court will soon be deciding whether same-sex marriage will become the law of the land. The nine justices heard oral argument in late April on whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. Essentially, the decision will determine whether states have the right to ban same-sex marriage or refuse to recognize the unions of same-sex partners from other states. The issue is whether same-sex marriage bans violate the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, which states that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws. The court has to answer two questions: first and foremost, can states ban same-sex marriage? The second question is not as important because it may not matter. Secondly, the Supreme Court has to decide can states that do ban same-sex marriage refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples legally married in another state? So to break it down, the plaintiffs, the couples, are arguing that they should be given equal access to the constitutional right of marriage, and that’s something the court has long stated is a fundamental right. The states are arguing that deciding marriage laws should be left up to the individual states and that taking that right away from them is an infringement on liberty. What’s going to happen, what is the Supreme Court going to do with this case? Well, we don’t know. It’s a real nail-biter, and the justices are deeply divided on this issue. In either event, what does it mean for our country? Well, if the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, a same-sex marriage will become legal in the 13 states that currently ban it. If the court sides with the states, then we could actually see a rollback of same-sex marriage laws. In the states where federal courts struck down the same-sex marriage bans after the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States vs. Windsor, we could potentially see them choose to reinstate their same-sex marriage bans.
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