The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage
(aka gay marriage)
across the U.S. in its ruling of The Obergefell v. Hodges case from
Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee.
Part 39: 2015-JUN-26:
Disagreements among the High Court Justices:
Excerpts from the minority opinion of
Chief Justice Roberts.
Actor George Takei's take on marriage equality:
We use the term "gay marriage."to represent the marriage of two persons of
the same sex.
We prefer "Same-sex marriage," a more inclusive term that
includes spouses with a bisexual sexual orientation, but it would make this web
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
"LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
More excerpts from Chief Justice Roberts' minority opinion (Cont'd).
The Court's majority decision is a statement of social policy, and is not supported by the Constitution:
"The majority purports to identify four 'principles and traditions' in this Court’s due process precedents that support a fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry. ... In reality, however, the majority’s approach has no basis in principle or tradition, except for the unprincipled tradition of judicial policymaking that characterized discredited decisions such as Lochner v. New York ... Stripped of its shiny rhetorical gloss, the majority’s argument is that the Due Process Clause gives same-sex couples a fundamental right to marry because it will be good for them and for society. If I were a legislator, I would certainly consider that view as a matter of social policy. But as a judge, I find the majority’s position indefensible as a matter of constitutional law." 1
Webmaster's comment: [bias alert]:
Chief Justice Roberts does not seem to consider the point of view that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry because marriage is a basic human right for all persons and for all couples, subject to the age and consanguinity requirements imposed by the State.
The basic question is not whether access to marriage would be "good" for same-sex couples. The 14th Amendment requires that all people -- and thus all couples -- should be treated equally by the federal, state, and local governments. The basic question is whether same-sex couples should have the right to choose to marry like opposite-sex couples have always had. The majority opinion of the Justices said "yes."
The essence of marriage is procreation, to preserve the human race:
"The human race must procreate to survive. Procreation occurs through sexual relations between a man and a woman. When sexual relations result in the conception of a child, that child’s prospects are generally better if the mother and father stay together rather than going their separate ways. Therefore, for the good of children and society, sexual relations that can lead to procreation should occur only between a man and a woman committed to a lasting bond.
Society has recognized that bond as marriage. And by bestowing a respected status and material benefits on married couples, society encourages men and women to conduct sexual relations within marriage rather than without. As one prominent scholar put it, “Marriage is a socially arranged solution for the problem of getting people to stay together and care for children that the mere desire for children, and the sex that makes children possible, does not solve.” 2
Webmaster's comment: [bias alert]:
Chief Justice Roberts is correct: the human race must procreate in order to survive. If babies suddenly stopped being born, the human race would be reduced to a miniscule fraction of its present size within four generations, and disappear within five generations. However, he appears to have had a break in logic. He took the most common procedure for procreation and treated it as if it is the only procedure. He seems to believe that same-sex couples cannot have a baby. While most children are conceived through the act of sexual intercourse between one woman and one man, fertility clinics have provided alternatives:
In the case of an opposite-sex couple in which the man is infertile, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization of his wife can be employed. This only requires one woman and a supply of semen. If, for example, some natural disaster occurred and made 99% of males infertile, the human race could survive through the use of these medical techniques using semen from the 1% who were still fertile. Such techniques are also available to a same-sex couple which consists of two females, whether they be lesbians or bisexuals, or one of each. Aside from the method by which one or both of the spouses became pregnant, the processes of pregnancy, birth, and raising of the child would be identical to those same processes by an opposite-sex couple.
Surrogate motherhood can also be employed by either opposite-sex or same-sex couples using sperm provided by one of the spouses or via donated sperm. Although a woman outside of the couple would go through the 9 month process of pregnancy, the same-sex couple's 18 year process of raising the child would be identical to those same processes by an opposite-sex couple who conceived a baby themselves.
He may have not considered these alternative paths to procreation because he is a devout Roman Catholic. His church forbids artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization, and surrogate motherhood for theological reasons. 3
Marriage is restricted to opposite-sex couples because Noah Webster said that it does:
"In his first American dictionary, Noah Webster defined marriage as 'the legal union of a man and woman for life,' which served the purposes of 'preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, . . . promoting domestic felicity, and . . . securing the maintenance and education of children'." 4
Webmaster's comment: [bias alert]:
Webster's first dictionary: "An American Dictionary of the English Language" was first published in 1828. But definitions change over time. The fundamentals of marriage have changed enormously over the past two centuries: arranged marriages are now rare; married women can own and control property; a husband raping his wife is now considered a crime; women are even allowed to vote independently of their husbands. Before the Supreme Court's ruling, 70% of same-sex couples could marry where they live. 5
George Takei's reacts to the High Court's gay marriage ruling and Donald Trump:
George Takei played the role of Hikaru Sulu, the helmsman of the USS Enterprise starship on the TV series Star Trek. He married to Brad Takei during 2008 after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage during May and before Proposition 8 was narrowly passed by the voters in November. (Prop 8 stopped further gay marriages temporarily). He has actively promoted marriage equality in recent years. The following is an interview on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. It was published on 2015-JUN-30: