Supreme Court to Review Proposition 8 and Windsor DOMA Case

Supremes

The Supreme Court announced this afternoon that it will hear the federal challenge to Proposition 8 and the Edie Windsor DOMA case, marking the first time the high court has heard a marriage equality case.

UPDATE: CLICK HERE for our legal editor Ari Ezra Waldman's analysis of the ORDER.

Here is the SCOTUS order (PDF).

SCOTUSblog writes:

Prop. 8 is granted on the petition question — whether 14th Am. bars Calif. from defining marriage in traditional way. Plus an added question: Whether the backers of Prop.. 8 have standing in the case under Art. III.

In Windsor, the government petition (12-307) is the one granted. In addition to the petition question — whether Sec. 3 of DOMA violates equal protection under 5th Amendment, there are two other questions: does the fact that government agreed with the 2d CA decision deprive the Court of jurisdiction to hear and decide the case, and whether BLAG (House GOP leaders) has Art. III standing in this case.

As far as timing goes, arguments in the cases should happen around March 25-27, with a decision coming in late June.

Adds SCOTUSblog:

The Court's two orders on the marriage cases do not include a word about two other issues that lurk in the cases: is Baker v. Nelson still controlling and thus requires dismissal of marriage pleas by gays and lesbians, and what is the constitutional standard of review on gay rights issues. But both almost certainly will be argued in the briefing and at oral argument….It is obvious now why the Court took as much time as it did: the selection process must have been rather challenging, and the compositon of the final orders equally so. The Court, one might say in summary, has agreed to take up virtually all of the key issues about same-sex marriage, but has given itself a way to avoid final decisions on the merits issues.

Lambda Legal Director Jon Davidson's take:

"Perry granted on merits and standing of Prop 8 proponents. So no answers (or CA marriages) likely until June, and Court may ultimately duck merits of Prop 8 and allow order striking it down to stand by finding that Prop 8 proponents had no right to seek Supreme Court (and maybe not 9th Circuit) review."

NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. writes:

“Both the federal DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 serve only one purpose: to harm and stigmatize same-sex couples and their children. Without a doubt, Ted Olson, David Boies, and our colleagues at the ACLU will make the strongest possible case for equality before the Court. We are confident the Supreme Court will strike down DOMA once and for all next year, and, after four long years, will finally erase the stain of Proposition 8 and restore marriage equality to California couples.The day is now clearly in sight when the federal government, the State of California, and every state will recognize that same-sex couples and their children are entitled to the same respect and recognition as every other family.”

Writes the ACLU:

Windsor is represented by attorneys from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; the American Civil Liberties Union; the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. While New York and eight other states now give same-sex couples the freedom to marry, DOMA requires otherwise legally married same-sex couples like Edie and Thea to be treated by the federal government as if they had never married,” said New York Civil Liberties Union executive director, Donna Lieberman. “It is time for the Supreme Court to strike down this unconstitutional statute once and for all.”

Protect Marriage writes:

The day we've been waiting for is finally here . . . Today we scored a MAJOR victory for traditional marriage in the Supreme Court of the United States!!  Just moments ago, the Supreme Court GRANTED our petition seeking the Court’s review of the Ninth Circuit’s erroneous decision striking down California's Proposition 8. Thankfully, now we finally have a fighting chance at a fair hearing to defend the votes of over 7 million Californians who approved Prop 8 to restore traditional marriage. This is a great relief, after a long and difficult journey through the lower courts where the deck was stacked against us from the start.

GLAD writes:

DOMA creates a gay-only exception to federal recognition of state-licensed marriages, and we believe that the federal government should stop discriminating against same-sex couples legally married by their states. We know from working with legally married same-sex couples since 2004 in Massachusetts that DOMA undermines their security in every aspect of life and death. GLAD has been leading the fight for marriage equality for two decades, including the historic marriage equality breakthroughs in Massachusetts and Connecticut. That the issue will soon be heard by the Supreme Court is a vindication of our work to achieve equal protection under the law for same-sex couples. This day has been long in the making, and we are committed to the success of this case.

Freedom to Marry's reaction:

By agreeing to hear a case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Court can now move swiftly to affirm what 10 federal rulings have already said: DOMA’s ‘gay exception’ to how the federal government treats married couples violates the Constitution and must fall. When it comes to the whole federal safety net that accompanies marriage – access to Social Security survivorship, health coverage, family leave, fair tax treatment, family immigration, and over 1000 other protections and responsibilities — couples who are legally married in the states should be treated by the federal government as what they are: married." “Additionally, gay and lesbian couples in California – and indeed, all over the country – now look to the Supreme Court to affirm that the Constitution does not permit states to strip something as important as the freedom to marry away from one group of Americans.

NOM reacts:

"We believe that it is significant that the Supreme Court has taken the Prop 8 case," said John Eastman, NOM's chairman and former Dean (and current professor) at Chapman University School of Law. "We believe it is a strong signal that the Court will reverse the lower courts and uphold Proposition 8. That is the right outcome based on the law and based on the principle that voters hold the ultimate power over basic policy judgments and their decisions are entitled to respect."

"Had the Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts' decisions invalidating Proposition 8, it could simply have declined to grant certiorari in the case," Eastman said. "It's a strong signal that the justices are concerned with the rogue rulings that have come out of San Francisco at both the trial court and appellate levels. It's worth noting that Judge Reinhart is the most overruled judge in America. I think this case will add to his record."

GLAAD reacts:

“Today is a historic moment for our nation, equality and countless gay and lesbian couples, who simply want an opportunity to marry the person they love,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “Our momentum is great and our resolve is strong, with the Supreme Court now poised to affirm our Constitution’s core principals of liberty, dignity and equality for all.”

LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS:

"Today's decision by the Supreme Court to review Proposition 8 and hear a challenge to DOMA is another step forward for California couples to marry, with the hope that the federal government will also recognize these marriages," said Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. "In recent years, many conservative judges have repudiated DOMA, and five of the eight justices who have overturned this anti-federalist and discriminatory statute were appointed by Republicans. Add conservative champions like for former Solicitor General, Ted Olson, and it becomes clear that true conservatism demands respect for the freedom to marry."

Here's Ari's earlier analysis of the ruling in the Windsor case if you're interested.

Here's the New York Times report on the consideration.

Developing (refresh for updates)…

Comments

  1. Icebloo says

    WHAT ? ! They finally got off their cowardly. lazy asses and made a decision ?

    Well all you religious people out there had better pray because the Supreme Court is just another branch of the Republican Party. They hate us just as much as everyone else.

  2. Ken says

    so it seems another 6-8 months of waiting.

    Good golly things move so slowly. I want a job where someone comes to me, asks me to do something and I get to say, “I’ll have that to you between June and August of next year.”

  3. KP says

    Well, this has basically taught me that the gay orgs and blogs basically know nothing when it comes to SCOTUS. Nobody thought the Court would take on Prop 8. They said it was a possibility but not likely. They thought the court would just give in and let LGBT Californians marry. Nope. Scalia and Thomas won’t let that happen without a fight. And now we have to wait 7 months. And there is a very good chance the Court will not rule in our favor. Honestly this sucks. I am very nervous.

  4. Jake says

    Pete Williams says the conservatives must think they have votes on Prop 8 case or they would have voted not to grant cert. he seems to think it portends they will uphold Prop 8.

  5. JohnAGJ says

    @Icebloo: I understand the frustration and nervousness about these cases, but let’s not overstate things. An arguably even more conservative SCOTUS gave us Romer v. Evans as well as Lawrence v. Texas. The current make-up also gave us Kelo v. City of New London along with National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, both of which Republicans objected to quite strongly, rightly so in the first case at least.

    We’ll see what happens.

  6. Quest says

    Too many Catholics on the court…not to sound like a religious bigot, but they will not vote to provide equal rights for gays…Hope that Justice Kennedy can shake off all that early brainwashing and be on the right side of history.

  7. Jakey says

    FYI, it only requires 4 justices to grant cert. This does not mean anything at all, but I am hoping that the two swing votes (Kennedy and Roberts) go our way.

  8. Francis says

    Let the games begin.

    I’m not necessarily happy based on what I’ve been reading and what I’ve heard on TV post-decision from SCOTUS, but at the same time, it seems that the legal experts have been wrong a lot regarding these Prop 8/DOMA cases so we’ll have to see what happens. There is no point in not being hopeful yet realistic. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m confident in those who will be arguing for us in court. But you would assume that they wouldn’t have taken this if they didn’t want to make *the* decision, one way or another.

  9. Lee says

    The reaction from the orgs and blogs should be interesting – AFER seems pleased while Michelangelo Signorile and Joe Jervis are nervous. Honestly, I don’t know what to think.

    I imagine between now and June there will be a lot of people wondering if we shouldn’t have just put a Prop 8 repeal on the ballot. It’s been over four years at this point – and what happens if the court rules against us? I fear a loss at the court will completely destroy the momentum we have built over the past few years…

  10. George says

    Calm down everyone. I think Chief Justice Roberts might surprise everyone and rule in our favor on this. He clearly has a long view of history and of his legacy. Just a feeling I have.

    If the Supreme Court doesn’t strike down Prop 8, it can always be repealed by referendum next election. With the direction of polling, we’d clearly win a second round at the ballot box.

    As for DOMA, there’s no WAY it gets upheld. I could see it being destroyed by a 7-2 decision… or even a unanimous one.

  11. Icebloo says

    If ANY of them rule against us they should automatically lose their jobs. The Constitution CLEARLY states equal protection. There is no other way of reading it. End of debate.

  12. says

    i sincerely hope the “swing vote” judges will spend the time to rationally and soberly think about how history will remember them.

    do they want to be forever listed as a shameful opponent to human equality in America, for all its touted “Freedom Liberty and Justice”, or will they favour the short-term thrill of being a darling to the country’s remaining Bigotty Nitwits?

    nobody but the few remaining Klansmen looks back at reverence on the anti-Integrationists.

    this is, in reality, no different. the world only spins forward.

    how do you want to be remembered? as a proud example of American Liberty, or as a shill for the country’s scum?

  13. Jake says

    Yeah, a loss on the broad constitutional question would mean we can longer argue same sex marriage is a constitutional right. It would kill one of most potent arguments in the crib and put an official stamp of approval on antigay arguments. It could be a disaster for us.

  14. Dan Cobb says

    Chief Justice Roberts did pro bono for gay rights causes when in private practice. He’s married but has two adopted daughters. He’s got some class and is good looking. Closeted? I don’t think so, but he could be a big surprise vote on the gay marriage issue.

  15. Rick says

    “Yeah, a loss on the broad constitutional question would mean we can longer argue same sex marriage is a constitutional right”

    It’s not. If it were, marriage laws would not have been delegated to individual states.

    Those of you hoping for a sweeping decision that would legalize same-sex marriage nationally were and are dreaming. On the other hand, I suspect the Court will uphold the lower-court rulings on both Prop 8 and DOMA and did not think that it could just duck the questions since they have become such high-profile social issues at the national level.

    The cases will probably be narrowly decided (in our favor) because that kind of incrementalism is the approach the Court usually takes towards such contentious issues, desiring neither to get to far ahead of public opinion, nor to lag too far behind it.

  16. Howard says

    Here is an interesting analysis by SCOTUS Blog on another possible outcome for PROP 8:

    Again on standing in Perry: Just to refresh about the record: In Judge Walker’s Court, the same-sex couples had standing, and the state of California had standing. When the state refused to defend Prop. 8, Judge Walker allowed intervention by the Prop. 8 backers. That was not disputed.
    But when Walker ruled, and the state declined to file an appeal, the issue arose as to whether the backers of the measure could stand in for the state. The 9th CA asked for an got advice from the Calif SCt on that issue under state law, and then found Article III standing for the backers to appeal. If that standing decision is overturned, then the 9th CA had no live controversy before it, and it would have lost jurisdiction.
    There is no doubt — at least until I am better informed — that Judge Walker had jurisdiction to decide the case. Please e-mail me if you have reason to think I am wrong. At this blog, we are not a bit uncomfortable confessing error.

  17. Lee says

    Wow, never thought I would say this but I agree with Rick. Honestly, I think it might be best for the Court to narrowly rule on Prop 8. It sucks to admit but the country is just not ready for SSM nation wide. If the Court ruled for SMM for all 50 states, they would be a lot more pushback than there might be in 10 years.

  18. aki says

    I think you’re going to lose the prop 8 case simply because it feels like a democracy vs judicial thing for my and the will of the people (no matter how stupid) matters more that the opinion of a judge .

  19. unruly says

    @Jake, read up on Baker v Nelson and what that has meant since 1972. “Same sex marriage as a constitutional right” was decided then. By hearing these cases there’s the potential for a overturning of that case’s precedent but as it stands now that broader argument has already been lost.

  20. Anthony says

    Remember, if it is legalized nationwide in June, there is no possibility of a federal constitutional amendment. It would be dead on arrival in the Senate.

  21. Randy says

    Rick is wrong. Rights are not a popularity contest. States have recognized the right to marriage, and that gay people are not excluded from that right. The federal government cannot interfere with that right, and furthermore federal law cannot allow some states to stomp all over it.

    Unruly is also wrong. Baker is not precedent. No less than Scalia himself recognized this in Lawrence.

  22. says

    Prediction:
    DOMA Overruled 6-3 with Scalia, Thomas, Alito dissenting.

    PROP 8: Proponents have no standing, OR
    Prop 8 Unconstitutional based on Romer VS. Evans 6-3 OR 5-4 depending on how much Roberts is willing to swing.

    Insiders Note: Ted Olson is a very calculative attorney who is very much in bed with the conservatives of the court and has a VERY strong record with the Supreme Court. He will never bring a case to his friends on the bench unless he knew he had a really good chance in being successful. Olson is really good friends with Roberts, Alito, and Kennedy.

    Kennedy is the real major player who I think has shown very clear indications that gay marriage is a constitutional right, and I would not be surprised that he is worried about his legacy on the court. Roberts will also come to play, being the chief justice he is worried about legacy as well as this case will most likely be attached with his name forever if we win (much like Obamacare). Both justices see the clear writing on the wall and will want to rule in non-intrusive but yet favorable way that shows that the court is very relevant in setting fundamental precedent and paving the way for the rest of America. If SCOTUS mandates gay marriage all over the country it will swing much of the voters more in supporting gay marriage being that they will be able to see gay couples getting married and see NO harm to the institution. This is NOT the same as ROE V. WADE where people can make arguments that such ruling “lead to DEATHS of innocent babies.” They are totally two separate issues. We will see americans supporting gay marriage over 60%+.

    As far as Joe Jervis and their ilk, they can bite me. They need to get over themselves and be patient and WAIT AND SEE. They are NOT lawyers who have argued cases before SCOTUS. They have no connections to these justices (like Olson does), they can only assume things (and in Joe’s case his fear mongering may be due to his political opposition to Olson). And let me remind you that these are the same hacks that were against going to court in the first place, saying that Olson was going to lose – so far that hasn’t been the case. PROP 8 case has been very successful and carefully crafted in such a way to ensure such success.

    Lastly, so what if we lose? That is not my biggest concern. No matter what happens we have to get the public on our side. And we will. IF Prop 8 is upheld we go to the voters and they can (and will) OVERRULE the court, setting new precedent. Then we have other states to consider: Oregon, Ohio, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Minnesota, Delaware, Colorado, Illinois, Arizona. Once we have these states in our pocket we go back to court with a *NEW* more liberal court. The court has overruled itself many times and it will do so on this as well. Hardwick was overruled by Lawrence, twenty or so years later. But for gay marriage any reversal will come much sooner.

    I believe that time is more than anything on our side. And some us need to learn to be patient if you want to win. Patience and persistence are the two most important ingredients. We think in terms of ourselves and “me me me” – stop that! This is beyond you and me. This is something bigger and much more fundamental. We are setting the building blocks for human equality for tomorrow’s generation of gay Americans to come.

  23. Jakey says

    @JACKFKNTWIST

    Roberts has a history re gay issue. It may be pro bono and it may be that his firm made him do it. BUT I still stand by my belief that Roberts is a swing vote on this issue:

    1.) He can see that public opinion is going by way of acceptance of gay marriage. Therefore, he would not want his Court to be known to be on the wrong side of history.

    2.) He’s not a curmudgeon like Scalia, and I can see him as a progressive catholic.

    3.) I am betting that he’s the reason why Ted Olson is confident to argue in front of the SCOTUS.

    Prepare to eat crow when the judgment is handed.

  24. says

    @ Jake:
    “Yeah, a loss on the broad constitutional question would mean we can longer argue same sex marriage is a constitutional right. It would kill one of most potent arguments in the crib and put an official stamp of approval on antigay arguments. It could be a disaster for us.”
    —-
    I am pretty sure we have more and better arguments for us to use in favor of allowing gays to marry. The constitutional argument was really not used during the elections that lead us to victory (we used commitment as a better more effective argument), and besides I think using such argument that you pose has no real weight being that the SCOTUS has not YET ruled if there is an actual constitutional right to gay marriage.

  25. anon says

    I’m going to guess that conservatives wanted the Prop 8 case and liberals wanted the DOMA case so they did a deal to cover both. Just about everyone wants something out of these cases. In particular, Kennedy and Scalia, since they see the culture wars so differently. Kennedy also has to maintain his idea of “personal liberty” in precedent. Scalia wants to please the Pope, but even if he loses he likes writing scathing dissents. Nothing can be predicted at this time.

  26. Gary says

    When the rice and confetti have been swept away, the champagne long gone flat, many of us will find our lives have suddenly become not more free, but less. Idiots.

  27. says

    LAME leaders in Equality California refused to put it on the ballot this year…
    WE WOULD HAVE WON!!!!!!!! I’m IN California…I travel all throughout this state…gay marriage is a non issue. OUR LEADERS FAILED US!

    2014 IS A HORRIBLE DECISION!!!!!!! …The mid term elections ONLY bring out elderly and conservative voters. Young people do NOT vote in mid term elections!

    THEY ARE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE LGBT LEADERS IN CALIFORNIA!

  28. Scott Johansen says

    2014? Mid elections are very risky. Liberals, youth vote, and college voters are not keen on voting then. The Presidential election, especially this very pro liberal leaning one with great momentum for gay marriage (facilitated by our Presidents endorsement) was the one to put same sex marriage on the ballot. I’m sure it would have been successful. In my opinion, they should either now wait for 2016. 2014 is very risky in that if it fails again, California will no doubt be one of the last states in the union to see gay marriage, perhaps behind even some Southern states, and that would be a crying shame!

  29. says

    If we attracted 48% of voters for our side here in California over 4 years ago, with the calculating and massive Mormon campaign and with a terrible campaign of our own….we would have absolutely won (even by a small margin) this time around at the ballot box. That California marriage equality organizations were so over confident in the conservative leaning courts is very frustrating. The people have evolved, especially in CA. 2008 we had 48% of support. It’s 2012, with a President who has incredibly supported marriage equality, and we chose not to put it on the ballot? I too believe it was a very costly mistake by our leaders.

  30. Michelle says

    I wouldn’t put it on the 2014 ballot. I agree that the problem with a 2014 ballot is that most Californians don’t even vote for a Presidential election, much less a 2014 one. And those who favor gay marriage aren’t as passionate about it to vote in a 2014 election. But the church crowd, and massive churches sure will demand all their dozens of thousands of members stand in line and vote against our equality.

    I would say wait for the 2016 Presidential election, even though it’s absolutely terrible to think how LGBT contribute more in the state of California (by the millions) than perhaps any other state in the country.

  31. Bill says

    @KP: KP’s comment, “Well, this has basically taught me that the gay orgs and blogs basically know nothing when it comes to SCOTUS,” misses the point. It was unlikely that they would review any case because only about 1 percent get reviewed. Events that occur one time out of a hundred are not so uncommon that one would never expect to see one.

    Given that they broadened the scope, there are some bizarre outcomes that are possible. They could rule that states in general have the right to allow or forbid same-sex marriages, but that you can’t remove a right out of animus. The Proposition Eight campaign was based on what the high-tech industry calls FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). That campaign put out lies to the effect that kids in kindergarten would be told about sex, that churches would have to perform same sex marriage ceremonies even if that went against the church’s religious beliefs, etc.

    The Supreme Court could rule that Proposition Eight was invalid because the campaign to pass it was based on animus, but the proponents still might have an option of reintroducing Proposition Eight and running a “clean” campaign to try to pass it.

    There would possibly be broad benefits in protecting the rights of minorities if the court ruled that the voters must be given accurate information if they are asked to vote on an initiative that limits the rights of a minority – it would make passing any such legislation much more difficult.

  32. el polacko says

    i’ve long argued that the courts were not the place to take our fight for equality.
    a decision against us will have huge ramifications for generations to come.
    it does not bode well that the supreme court have decided to take up the prop 8 case when they could have simply sent the issue back to the state (where it belongs).

  33. Matt says

    This is all sounding so much like when Obama was “out” in support of gay marriage. You have the gloom-and-doom liberals, as well as the in-your-face gay conservatives, claiming this is a disaster. You’ve finally found something to agree on, and you’re just sounding so damn insufferable. Grow a spine, liberals, and get a life, conservatives.

    No one knows how this will pan out, but even if SCOTUS goes on the wrong side of history (which I highly doubt), history has a way of rectifying such mistakes. Time passes, people change, gay marriage is legalized in many more states, and the makeup of SCOTUS changes. It’s happened before, it’ll happen again. In either case, I think we’ve got a decent amount of evidence to safely assume that things will be ok and go our way. I’m being cautiously optimistic, but I was back when Obama was dancing around his support for gay marriage (actually, I was just irritated at him, as I am with a number of things, like that stupid Nevada judge and NOM et al.), and you all were being so gloomy-and-doomy back then too.

  34. Neal says

    It’s funny that no one complaints the stupidity of equality California who dropped the ballot after ruling. it’s time to reform the organizations and fire the directors who only know to host cocktail parties instead of outreaching. I am so stick of those inept organizations.

  35. Mary says

    “What happens for us next when the Republican-controlled Supreme Court rules against us on all of these cases ?”

    What happens is that same-sex marriage keeps making progress by being passed in one state after another over time. The good news here is that the Supreme Court’s members can’t do anything to stop this change even if they want to. All they can rule is that gay equality is not REQUIRED by the constitution, not that it is FORBIDDEN by it. Jon Rauch had a wonderful article once about why its best to let marriage equality be played out state by state in order to create a national consensus. Court action in favor of gay marriage only prolongs that right’s argument that “unelected judges” are forcing an agenda on the country. NOM should be facing a serious decline soon. A pro-gay ruling by SCOTUS will only give them a shot in the arm. I’ll bet they’re secretly hoping for it.

  36. ***** says

    @Collin, The basic answer is that a majority opinion will be written by one of the Justices of the court majority and will list the names of the justices which agree with the majority. Another Justice will write the minority opinion and will list the justices that agree with the minority.

  37. says

    Mary,

    You posted as recently that you think the image of two men showing affection disturbs you. You’ve posted terrible remarks about gay parents, gay suicide victims (completely overlooking the component of homophobia the victims faced) and spent a good majority of your life actively opposing gay marriage. You are the last person qualified to speak on the interest of gay people. I wouldn’t trust a shark in a gold fish costume as far as I could throw you, with your quasi support of us just so you can paint yourself as a moderate.

  38. Dynex says

    @ Mary

    That reasoning you provided is not justifiable. That reasoning of letting this play out for literally decades to come only serves well for your side. And by your side, I mean the heterosexual that is not at all effected by the lack of equality millions of LGBT Americans face. For you, it’s hardly costly or taxing that those LGBT are treated as second class citizens. Seeing them beg for rights from state to state hardly triggers any emotional response for you; so it’s easy for someone with a warm platform to sit back and say “Hey guys, be patient, and let this just play out…” It’s also a bit self indulgent.

    I could make the very exact argument you made against a federal gay marriage mandate for interracial marriage, and say let it play out state by state so that those opposed to it can’t argue that judicial judges impacted the process.

  39. 2 Dads says

    Mary: A majority of the American population now favors gay marriage. So the argument of activist judges imposing their pro gay opinion on the majority is a moot point. Majority of Americans stand with marriage equality.

    That does NOT mean they do so in every pocket of the nation, and that’s where it becomes problematic. That an area dominated by ignorance can strip the civil rights of LGBT based on popularity is unjust and UnAmerican.

  40. Duration & Convexity says

    @ Mary

    The tyranny of the majority should not be able to exploit the livelihood, civil rights and equal treatment under the law f the land, of the minority. You- as someone who *attempts* to paint yourself as so fair minded should know that by now.

  41. Alex Conjedo says

    Mary, that post came off so icky and calculating, even for you. “Don’t give gays equality nation wide via the SCOTUS because it will only anger NOM”….and? so what if it does? So WHAT if their very small base gets fired up. Having the highest court of the United States grant and recognize our equality means far, far, FAR more to me than caring about what NOM and it’s members think of me. You completely missed the point on this one- and worse, you did so on purpose and attempted to make it seem like you genuinly care about the plight of gay Americans.

  42. Klien says

    Mary,
    In my state of Arkansas, it will take another 30 to 40 years (at the very least) before a majority of this state vote in favor of gay marriage. In Mississippi, it will be closer to 50 years. But you already knew that, didn’t ya? hence your reluctance for the courts to pass gay marriage.

  43. Misso Dude says

    I’m curious to know, do you all think a ballot initiative would have passed in California this year? I lived in that state and truly think it could have.

    Would be very curious to know what readers here think.

  44. Martel says

    I’m also not American but the world LGBT comunity is very fixated on this case as well.

    I want to ask…is it just two days of trial again in front of Scotus? are the same arguments by both sides going to be made all over again or can we expect them to change their tunes?

    Thanks from Poland!

  45. Mary says

    Interesting. One individual posting under 4 different aliases – all to attack me for saying what Jon Rauch said himself. And I never said that gay couples expressing affection disturbs me. Nor did I say anything negative about gay parents (I support the right of gays to adopt. However, I did say that if Rick Santorum tried to pass laws taking gay people’s kids away from them he’d have a hell of a fight from me) And I never blamed gay suicide victims for anything. As for having spent most of my life opposing gay rights, I’m guilty. But a person can change. I’m only asking you to listen to advice. Why are you so friggin threatened, whoever-you-are? It’s not like I’m in danger of receiving an offer from Andy to become co-editor of Towleroad or that someone recommended me as the new president of the HRC. Jeez, get some perspective.

  46. Mary says

    Also, one more thing. The state by state approach is working – 4 new pro-equality states this year alone. And actually, 5 if you count Iowa re-electing the pro-gay judge. Why argue with success? If you’ve found an approach that works it’s logical to stick with it. I fear you’re falling victom to that old weakness of the 1960’s and 70’s Left – making the good the enemy of the best. SCOTUS could, of course, wave it’s judicial wand and declare same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. But keep in mind that there will be political fallout from such a decision – and none of us knows what it will be.

  47. andrew says

    @Mary: Hopefully you know that almost all those attacks on you come from the troubled soul of Little Kiwi. Dynex, 2 Dads et al only exist in the troubled mind of that malevolent Canadian. The Donald Trump of the left. The homofascist.

  48. says

    @Mary: The state by state approach is working, but not as an end in itself because there is a finite number of states that will cross into the equality column any time soon, and the state by state approach does not address federal benefits, the denial of which cannot be remedied in the states.

    What the state approach HAS done is pave the way for the Court decision finding DOMA unconstitutional, which it clearly is. Without all those married couples at the state level, there would have been no case. SCOTUS deciding that DOMA is unconstitutional has nothing to do with magic wands, it’s all about the constitution. (They don’t have to make a sweeping freedom to marry decision to find DOMA or Prop 8 unconstitutional; it is more likely to be a narrower decision.)

    You don’t wait when you believe the constitution is on your side. You seek remedy for injustice, as the Loving case showed. The only political fallout from the SC decision will be if they ignore the inevitable trajectory towards equality and their own place in history and vote for discrimination based on their personal or religious biases.

  49. Just_a_guy says

    Mary, you show yourself to still be an apologist for entrenched discrimi nation . It is absurd to say that li’l k is justo posting under multiple aliases. No, Mary, we know you here, and collectively find your veiled homophobia revolting.

  50. Mary says

    Just_a_guy, if I’m an apologist for anything it’s for believing that social change has to be managed carefully to avoid causing social chaos. This is a view I still hold even though my position on gay rights/marriage has changed. Backlashes do more than stall progress – they put those in the minority in danger. Keeping people safe is a worthy cause also. All the people who advocate “as much as we can get as soon as we can get it” are never around to explain or apologize for the disasters they caused by putting their emotions above logic and reason.

    And I never said it was Little Kiwi posting under 4 aliases. I just said it was the same person. In the past I’ve criticized others for accusing Kiwi without any proof.

  51. says

    @Mary: These cases were managed carefully. Just cause you’re new to the cause doesn’t mean everyone is. And your “concern” about the social chaos that will result from a law being correctly found unconstitutional has no basis in reality. You don’t know what you’re talking about. If you’re sincere, stop giving advice and start learning from those who know more than you do.

    Edie Windsor is 83 years old. She was married to a woman who shared 44 years of her life. The government owes her $350,000. Waiting is not an option, so stop the fear mongering or write the check to Edie yourself.

  52. Mary says

    Ernie, I like you a lot. So I hope you won’t be offended when I say that your last post sounds like a cross between you and Kiwi (although I know it’s you.) I can’t guarantee Mrs. Windsor justice anymore than you can guarantee me that there won’t be political fallout from a pro-marriage court ruling. But why would you play right into the hands of the anti-gay forces just when things are going well for you? An incredible amount of progress has been made in just the past 12 months. SSM in all 50 states won’t take decades to happen. But as of now only a few states, liberal ones, have voted it in by referendum or the legislature. So a pro-SSM ruling by the Supreme Court court DOES validate NOM’s claim that “unelected judges” are circumventing the democratic process. I honestly think that seeing SCOTUS settle this whole issue sets us back. The question isn’t whether this is just, it is whether or not the public buys the argument. Many people’s support for gay rights is still tenuous. Personally I’d rather give it time to solidify before trying anything risky.

    However, I DO believe that DOMA is unconstitutional.

    I wish Jonathan Rauch would post on Towleroad and back me up on this! Over at IGF more people agree with me about tactics.

  53. says

    Mary, you’re under the mistaken impression that the people who spent years taking these cases to the Supreme Court know less than you do. They don’t. They know more. And they also know that a majority now supports equality and for the next generation it’s a no-brainer. The approach has been conservative all along.

    The state by state approach, successful as it’s been in states like mine, does nothing to address federal inequality. The Constitution does. It has nothing to do with playing into NOM’s hands. They are well on their way to irrelevance. Risk is couples and families without federal protections; it is not make believe repercussions of a Supreme Court decision that favors equality. Trust me on this one. I’ve been doing this for as long as Jonathan Rauch has.

    If you want to really be an advocate and not a concern troll, stop worrying about the consequences of equality and start worrying about the consequences of inequality.

  54. Sha-Retha says

    “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’ Matthew 19:4

    When you are for same sex marriage you are against God now let us see who will win God or the people…… You better know that He will pronounce the final judgement in favor of His Word — For He said heaven and earth will pass away but His Word will stand forever.

  55. andrew says

    @Just_A_Guy: I don’t know who you are but I do know that you are a moron if you don’t know that Kiwi posts under numerous aliases in order to silence dissent. I have experienced his tactics myself and have seen him post vile things about Rick’s parents. If you, like him are a homofascist, this life long liberal democrat and out gay man calls you out.You and kiwi and the other homofascists can’t tolerate dissent. Deal with it, because I will not stop calling you people what you are: Authoritarian Bullies.The Donald Trumps of the left. This left winger condemns you!!!!!

  56. David L says

    I ask the Judges that please take time and ask themselves, Do I desire that the children of my children to see and live around this wrong environment of “DOMA”, This is a big sin and I ask please do not do things that you would repent, then therefore are unpleasant things to our Lord.
    Recalls Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+19&version=NIV
    Do not open doors to the enemy, therefore is filtered like worm in our lives.
    In advance thank you, our lord will compensate you.

  57. David L says

    I ask the Judges that please take time and ask themselves, Do I desire that the children of my children to see and live around this wrong environment of “DOMA”, This is a big sin and I ask please do not do things that you would repent, then therefore are unpleasant things to our Lord.
    Recalls Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+19&version=NIV
    Do not open doors to the enemy, therefore is filtered like worm in our lives.
    In advance thank you, our lord will compensate you.

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