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Religious Tolerance logo

The U.S. Supreme Court's acceptance of appeals of 4 SSM cases:
one each from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee.

Part 6: 2015-JAN-16:
Still more reactions to the Supreme Court's
decision to accept the appeals.
Impact of the Supreme Court on the
conflict over SSM in Alabama during 2015-FEB.
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We use the acronym "SSM" to represent "same-sex marriage."
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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poll symbol2015-JAN-16 to 20: Other comments on the high court's decision to grant certiorari (Cont'd)

  • Jon W. Davidson, legal director of Lambda Legal -- a pro-equality advocacy organization working to promote gay rights -- also issued a statement, saying:

    "After years of struggle and the dedicated work of thousands across the movement, we are finally within sight of the day when same-sex couples across the country will be able to share equally in the joys, protections and responsibilities of marriage. ... From the early stirrings in Hawaii in 1993 to the critical victories in Massachusetts, California, Iowa, and New Jersey to the breathtaking triumphs of recent months, we all can take pride in what together we have accomplished." 1

  • An article in WND® Faith, a conservative Christian web site, noted that two of the four consistently liberal Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have officiated at legal same-sex marriages:
    • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg solemnized the marriage of her long-time friend Michael Kaiser who runs the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to another man.

    • Justice Elena Kagan officiated at the same-sex wedding of one of her former law clerks.

    Herbert Titus, from the law firm of William J. Olson, P.C., who is a widely recognized expert in constitutional law, said:

    "I would think on an issue as filled with emotion and conflict as this ... that a judge should not have put themselves in a position that either of these judges put themselves. ... Yet they went ahead and put their official imprimatur on same-sex marriage.

    "It tells you an awful law about the culture. These people are immersed in the homosexual culture to the point they would step out of their role as a justice to officiate in a wedding that would put them in a position of lending their name and prestige to same-sex marriage when they had every good reason to believe the issue would be before the court." 2

    There may have been two considerations that these two conservative commentators did not mention in their attacks:

    1. Both Justices Ginsburg and Kagan had had a close personal friendship with the persons whose marriage they solemnized. They probably would have found it difficult to turn down a request from such a friend, regardless of the friend's gender or the gender of the person they married.

    2. In his "Sermon on the Mount," Yeshua of Nazareth (a.k.a. Jesus Christ) is recorded as having summed up the Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a. Old Testament) in one short sentence. It has come to be known as the Golden Rule. Matthew 7:12 states that he commanded his followers that:

      "Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

      Leviticus from the Hebrew Scriptures has two verses that together contain the essence of the Golden Rule:

      • Leviticus 19:18: "... love your neighbor as yourself."

      • Leviticus 19:33: "The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt."

Both Justices Ginsburg and Kagan are Jewish. In following the these two verses in Leviticus and the rest of the "Law and the Prophets" they might well have felt a second obligation to solemnize the marriages when requested.

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Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry -- a pro-marriage equality group -- commented eloquently on limits on the powers of states to define marriage:

"... while states regulate marriage, they do so under the Constitution. There is a floor below which the states may not go, and that floor is the Constitution’s guarantee of the freedom to marry and equal protection under the law. Loving v. Virginia [which legalized interracial marriage across the U.S.] and other important freedom to marry cases have affirmed both of those guarantees, the very guarantees nearly 60 state and federal courts have invoked in the waves of rulings in favor of the inclusion of gay couples in marriage.” 3

[The Washington Post quoted Wolfson as writing "exclusion of gay couples from marriage" instead of "inclusion of gay couples in marriage." We assumed that this is a typo and sent an email to the author of the article. Five weeks later, the error remained in place.]

Jonathan Caphart, writing for the Washington Post, drew a parallel between the high court's 1967 ruling in Loving v. Virginia and the present constitutional questions concerning same-sex marriage. The majority decision in "Loving" legalized interracial marriage. Their ruling said, in part:

"The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law." 3

Webmaster's opinion: (bias alert)

Replacing "free men" with "free persons," would update the language to the 21st Century. After all, women are people too. If one replaced "racial classification" with "sexual orientation" then the passage could be inserted directly into the one of the opinion in the same-sex marriage case to be written by a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in late 2015-JUN or early JUL. The only real question facing us now is whether that would be the majority or the minority opinion in the ruling. The vote is probably going to be 5 to 4; it usually is on matters related to human sexuality and/or morality.

In fact, replacing "racial classification" with "gender identity" then the passage could be inserted directly into the one of the opinions in the transgender and transsexual cases that will probably be the next civil liberties battle as soon as same-sex marriage is settled.

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2015-JAN/FEB: Impact of the Kentucky/Michigan/Ohio/Tennessee cases related to a major internal conflict in Alabama:

A battle royale was fought in Alabama over marriage equality. It Involved:

  • Senior officers of the state government;

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center -- an organization that monitors hate groups in the U.S.;

  • All three levels of the federal judicial system -- the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court;

  • Individual probate judges who issue marriage licenses;

  • The state Probate Judge Association;

  • The approximately a half-million lesbians, gays and bisexuals who live in Alabama who might want to be married to a member of the same sex, now or in the future;

  • Many conservative Christian believers, pastors, and groups;

  • and above all: Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court.

As noted by many media commentators, this conflict was reminiscent of desegregation battles in the deep South during the 1950's and 1960's. They invoked former arguments in support of states' rights, and images of former Governor George Wallace (D) standing in the schoolhouse door at the University of Virginia trying to block two black youths from registering for classes. The main difference between then and now is that the previous battles dealt with the race of a discriminated-against minority. The present battle deals with the sexual orientation of a different discriminated-against minority.

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This topic continues in the next essay, Part 7.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Constitution Check: On same-sex marriage, what is settled, what is not?," Constitution Daily, 2015-JAN-20, at:
  2. Bob Unruh, "Supreme Court Justices officiated at same-sex 'marriages'," WND Faith, 2015-JAN-19, at:
  3. Johnathan Capehart, "Loving the Supreme Court’s decision to take on gay marriage," The Washington Post, 2015-JAN-19, at:
  4. Adalia Woodbury, "Clarence Thomas Admits Defeat in the Right Wing’s War on Marriage Equality," Politicususa, 2015-FEB-09, at:
  5. "Supreme Court rules in Dred Scott case," This Day in History, A&E Television Networks, 2014, at:
  6. "The gay rights controversy," University of Missoouri-Kansas City, undated, at:

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How you may have arrived here:

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage> same-sex marriage sub-menu > Kentucky > Supreme Court > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Kentucky > Supreme Court > here

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Michigan > Supreme Court > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Michigan > Supreme Court > here

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Ohio > Supreme Court > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Ohio > Supreme Court > here

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > same-sex marriage sub-menu > Tennessee > Supreme Court > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage >same-sex marriage sub-menu > Tennessee > Supreme Court >here

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > SSM menu > > Supreme Court > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM menu > > Supreme Court > here

Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2015-JAN-16
Latest update: 2015-FEB-24
Author: B.A. Robinson
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