Justices find right to marry, extend it to same-sex couples

Here’s the main news:

The Supreme Court on Friday delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

The court’s action marks the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation’s jurisprudence. Advocates called it the most pressing civil rights issue of modern times, while critics said the courts had sent the country into uncharted territory by changing the traditional definition of marriage.

“Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. He was joined in the ruling by the court’s liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

All four of the court’s most conservative members — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — dissented and each wrote a separate opinion, saying the court had usurped a power that belongs to the people….

In his first-ever dissent, Justice Roberts asked, “Who do we think we are?” He argued that same-sex marriage was rapidly gaining acceptance across the country legally, and that the court, “in a government of laws and not of men,” had no business pre-empting that democratic process.

Here’s the text of the opinion.

24 thoughts on “Justices find right to marry, extend it to same-sex couples

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    The first reaction I’ve seen from a presidential candidate:

    Statement by Gov. Perry on SCOTUS Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges:

    “I am disappointed the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. I’m a firm believer in traditional marriage, and I also believe the 10th Amendment leaves it to each state to decide this issue. I fundamentally disagree with the court rewriting the law and assaulting the 10th Amendment. Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written.”


    1. Bill

      Rick Perry is gay or bisexual.There have been too many substantiated claims by gay men to doubt it…
      But what more can we expect from such a goofy politician than hypocrisy.

      1. Barry

        Sure they have….. silly- silly stuff

        Making things up doesn’t help you. (And I don’t care about Rick Perry one way or the other)

  2. Doug Ross

    People who like the status quo, whether it be the Confederate Flag or “traditional” marriage definition, have to prove what harm will come from these changes. Will there be any real downside to ANYBODY from either decision?

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      But gee, Doug, next thing we’ll have people marrying their dogs, and and and….

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          and where is the “harm” in that, as long as they aren’t coerced or on assistance

          1. Barry

            There is no harm in it. Adults should be able to do whatever they want to do and have the government “ok it” as long as it doesn’t obviously hurt anyone else.

            But plenty of liberals argue against it that it’s “different” and it’s “not the same as our fight”,, etc…..

            It’s very much the same fight.

            1. Kathryn Fenner

              I haven’t heard “liberals” say that–gay activists, sure–they want to fight their fight.
              The complaint about polygamy is the coercion factor and the free-loading factor.
              Frankly, in some communities, where so many marriageable men are incarcerated (or dead), polygamy could be a solution.
              But it isn’t before us today. Nor is marriage to your pet.

        2. Brad Warthen Post author

          Frankly, in one sense I’m surprised we didn’t get polygamy first — seems like there would be a broader market for it, and therefore greater pressure.

          Except the same-sex issue wasn’t about the number of people wanting to marry. Its emotional center was about acceptance. It was about society putting its imprimatur on the idea that homosexuality was in every way the same as heterosexuality.

          I don’t think there’s a huge market of polygamists out there seeking validation — although I could be wrong…

          1. Barry

            In some areas of the country there are some

            but of course fair is fair- it doesn’t matter if there aren’t “enough” of them to grab the headlines.

    2. Barry

      Well- the “harm” won’t be a good measure because one side will deny there is any harm in anything anyway no matter the issue

      After all, there are perfectly sane parents who stare into a tv camera every week and proclaim that their child is a “good boy, well behaved, and wouldn’t hurt anyone” after he’s caught standing over his victim.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          One would say his actions prior to the confirmation hearings were the culprit, not the exposure of same #IbelieveAnitaHill

        2. Lynn Teague

          That was not Joe Biden’s finest moment – by a long shot. Good ol’ boy incarnate, chairing the committee.

  3. Karen Pearson

    I just wish that they had more specifically crafted this so that everyone would understand that we can’t refuse civil marriage. That is basically a contract between 2 people. It affords people who enter that contract certain privileges that one doesn’t have without it. I understand the problem with making a distinction between “civil contract” and marriage. One cannot be a second class deal. The churches, I think, should get out of the state’s business. Once the state has gotten through witnessing and the civil marriage, then those who wish, can go to whatever religious institution the wish. If that institution is willing to sanctify their marriage, or witness the sacrament of marriage (over and above civil contract) then they may do so. But all are legally married.

    1. Barry

      It’s time to go further. Quit hating on families that look different.

      It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy

      ‘That’s one reason why progressives who reject the case for legal polygamy often don’t really appear to have their hearts in it. They seem uncomfortable voicing their objections, clearly unused to being in the position of rejecting the appeals of those who would codify non-traditional relationships in law. They are, without exception, accepting of the right of consenting adults to engage in whatever sexual and romantic relationships they choose, but oppose the formal, legal recognition of those relationships. They’re trapped, I suspect, in prior opposition that they voiced from a standpoint of political pragmatism in order to advance the cause of gay marriage. In doing so, they do real harm to real people”


    2. Barry

      There are serious people of faith that believe their marriage is between their church and God first- and the state 2nd, etc…

      They (and I am one of them) would rather see the state get out of the marriage business over my church getting out of it.

      If people want to enter into legal contacts with the state’s blessing- have at it. They do it all the time.

  4. Bill

    Brad and Warren Bolton deserve credit for changing peoples minds on gay marriage in SC…
    To quote a heading on Brad’s old blog,’Why Gay? Why not Faggot?

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