A Milestone for Same-Sex Marriage

In striking down Utah’s ban, a federal appeals court declared for the first time that gay couples have a “fundamental right” to wed.

Comments: 183

  1. With so many sad tales of discord in the world, it is heartening to see the right to marry for same sex couples upheld and honored, a cause for celebration.

  2. For the US Court of Appeals in Denver: On exactly what fundament is the right to church marriage funded?

  3. This ruling addresses the right of same-sex couples to be married legally... NOT the "right" to have that marriage performed in and recognized by a church.

  4. After fighting for gay rights for 40 years I never thought I would live long enough to see marriage rights for gay people sweeping ahead this far, this fast. I had to fly out of my country on July 20, 2005 to be legally married in Canada. Now I could be married in my home state of New York. Good reason for gratitude and celebration.

    But forgive me if I pose an ominous question: if gays are no longer become the prime target for demonization, then who is next in line? A renewed attack on women? People of color? Immigrants? Predatory eyes are scanning the landscape for victims of convenience. Our politics demands it.

  5. It's already here: Progressives demonising conservatives.

  6. I would argue that there will still be people/the media/politicians "demonizing" other people. Brown v. Board happened 60 years ago but there is still school segregation. The struggle for equality will continue. In fact, it's not so rosy for LGBT people outside of NYC.

  7. It is time for the Supremes, imperfect as they are, to embrace the four simple words carved into the lintel of their workplace.

    Equal Justice Under Law.

  8. And now Indiana's anti-gay marriage law has been invalidated, and the legislature has put their ballot initiative to prohibit same-sex marriage on hold. The trajectory for the demise of this form of bigotry in American is now clear. Same-sex marriage will eventually be legal throughout the United States. The public supports it and sees in which direction the wind is blowing. The anti-same-sex marriage crowd should be true to their purported "defense of marriage" commitment now bow out and focus on family stability, perhaps working to alleviate alcoholism, spousal violence, divorce, poverty and bankruptcy due to lack of health care access--all major causes of family destruction.

  9. I must say that I am humbled by the outpouring of people of good conscience who have taken up the mantel of marriage equality.

    I must agree with the Supreme Court that marriage is a fundamental right. Every person must understand that the desire to protect one's spouse and one's children rises above all other concerns.

    To deny such legal protections must require the most extraordinary circumstances. Certainly we cannot let simple bigotry be the cause for such.

    I was able to marry my partner of 14 years as a result of the Supreme Court cases argued so forcefully by Ted Olson and David Boies. We will forever be grateful to them and those justices who decided in favor of liberty and the Constitution that day.

    We are born into an imperfect world and we all do our best to make it just a little bit better in our way as we can.

    God bless all those who did their part.

  10. You were able to get gay-married because the Supreme Court tossed aside the votes -- TWICE -- of a majority of citizens in your state.

    Will you be so happy when you vote on some issues that you truly believe in, and another Supreme Court tosses out your votes as meaningless?

  11. You and your husband are part of our community, you deserve both support and respect. Best wishes to you both.

  12. Someday white people aren't going to be the majority in this country, either. Are you going to be happy if "the other" outvote you and decide which rights you get to keep? Or are you going to be looking to the courts to keep things fair for you, too?

  13. As one-half of one of Wisconsin's 500+ couples, I say "thank you" NYTimes for your human rights perspective. I do not understand why this country is so often marching to the incorrect tune. Yet one note in this musical that is our country is playing in tune is the movement toward same-sex marriage. I always believed that the U.S.A. stood for human rights. Nice to have one belief confirmed.

  14. perhaps we will finally have a true democracy where indeed we are all equal under the law, with the same unalienable rights, equal rights, not abridged by traditions of slavery, prejudice, bigotry, religious misunderstandings of what a loving god wants, namely equality and the ability to love another and to raise a family.

  15. It's discouraging to hear our Governor go on and on about how much money the State of Utah has set aside to fight this ruling, while the State has yet to take advantage of expanded Mediaid. The State's arguments against marriage equality are predicated on the sanctity of opposite gender parents and their children, but the State cares little for the children of the poor.

    Shame on Utah.

  16. Roe v. Wade has divided this nation and, 40+ years after its decision, still remains a contested usurpation of judicial power roiling our politics. But Roe would be a day in the park if the Supreme Court were to affirm the 10th Circuit and--contrary to its own Windsor decision of a yea ago--impose a fictional "right to marry" that pretends sex is irrelevant to marriage. In both instances, the judiciary would fundamentally divide our society on the basis of a "right" that can clearly be found nowhere in the Constitution clearly and an action which, when the Constitution and 14th amendments were ratified, were regarded by all the ratifying states as criminal. This would not be a triumph of a "right" but of lawless wrapped up in the thin figleaf of raw judicial power.

  17. Well if we were to use your logic, women would still be the property of their father or husband, slavery would be legal, only white land owners could vote, etc, etc, etc. We established a right to marriage a long time ago. And as society has progressed from the 18th century (we now live in the 21st century), our ideas of rights and freedoms have change from what white, slave owning land owners thought about who had rights and what they were.

  18. The Supreme Court has already recognized a fundamental "right" to marry whether it is in the Constitution or not. Deciding in favor of same sex marriage would in no way establish a "right" that has already been adjudicated, by Loving v Virginia if nothing else. What the court(s) are being asked to decide is if that right is open to lgbt couples.

    The various legal entanglements that accrue to married couples are the exigent factors. The "right" to marry is already settled law.

  19. Nonsense. Abortion is different beast, because evangelicals consider every one of them a murder. When gay marriage is legal in all 50 states - and it's coming, make no mistake about it - evangelicals and catholics and mormons and others whose religion teaches that homosexuality is a sin will not even be aware that gay marriages are happening, because they won't be invited.

    " sex is irrelevant to marriage."

    Fixed that for you. Where does it say in any state's marriage laws that straight couples have to have sex? Or have to have procreative sex? Where are non-procreative forms of sex barred for married straight couples? Why the double-standard?

    You keep putting the word "right" in quotes, because you aren't familiar with the hundreds of years of existing jurisprudence on marriage. Ability to rear children is not a requirement - men who are serving time for spousal battery can remarry a woman who divorced him because he was beating her. A married woman has a constitutional right to use contraception. The issue here is not a right to "gay marriage" it's a right to "marriage." There are literally dozens of supreme court cases establishing that "marriage" is a fundamental constitutional right.

    And as far as dividing society? I think the lady doth protest too much ;)

  20. I am intrigued by the fact that most of our political discourse is based on biblical dictats, homosexuality for example.

    The progress we have made on this matter is encouraging, but others are languishing, women's reproductive rights for example. The SCOTUS decision to allow religious fanatics to harass women seeking healthcare is abominable.

    Who are we? A nation built on Jeffersonian secularism, or are we a mere Christian nation, with each and every one of our morality and values (and our laws) based on the Bible?

    Anyone who wants to respond, please - read the Bible first - all of it - not the parts you like.

  21. I haven't read the Bible because I don't believe in an old book of Jewish Fairy Tales (Bill Maher). So why would I? But I think what you observe should give us pause in the fact that our opposition is bound by religion, a wholly dangerous thing in the wrong hands-as we see today but evident even more by history it's ruthless disregard for the very thing it professes to 'save', humanity. The opponents to Equal Marriage are organized under this umbrella and they have exerted quite a defense but luckily Equal rights are not decided by money and defamatory picket signs. I think your observation is also great in that America is at a loss for the definition of its soul. Are we a fanatic oppressing people or a progressive, thoughtful, and even-handed people. The political division, so engrained (and at its harshest onset) by the Bush Administration, into our culture by the Right Wing machine has seeped into the very being of the American identity so much so that the only solution most family's have is to not discus politics. Citizenship was once so intertwined with civil discourse and rightly so dependent on this level of discourse because it meant being a part of this new thing called Democracy. I'm being told I'm close to 1500 characters. Oh Well must continue on another thread.

  22. The right to a safe legal abortion is dying even as I write this -- and the loss of legal abortion is likely to be the conservative "blowback" to having gay marriage forced on the nation (in 16 of 19 states, it was IMPOSED by legislative or judicial fiat, and not a vote of the people).

    So in fact, you'll have gay-married couples but your daughter won't be able to get an abortion if she needs one.

    I hope y'all are happy about that. Also, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Bible, but with the tremendous developments in pre-natal medicine that make viability of fetuses much more possible.

  23. The court will have to be dragged into this kicking and screaming.

    The only liberties they are enthusiastically proactive in enlarging are the 'rights' of fictitious persons (corporations) and the free '$peech' of our oppressed billionaires.

  24. Marriage equality is inevitable in the United States in all 50 by the end of the decade. The Supreme Court acts timidly and if no Appeals Court rules differently from the Denver Court, then it might just let the lower court decisions stand. Little fanfare, no decisive decision in favor of gay marriage in all 50 states.

    While several states (Utah, Wisconsin, Indiana, Arkansas, etc.) have had gay marriages performed, only to have courts stay decisions and suspend them. Marriages wait until the Supreme Court hands down something more definitive.

    Many constitutional questions remain as when a two persons of the same sex marry in the 19 states allowing them, but then return to home states where they are not allowed. Is their marriage still legal? If persons move to another state, say California to Texas; is their marriage no longer valid?

  25. I'm still concerned by the fact that if a same sex spouse wants to vote in a state that does not accept same sex marriages, then they have to revert to their unmarried name on whatever form of photo ID they plan to use, be it passport, military ID or Drivers License. Seems a bit unfair to me, especially when you consider that the 19th amendment states that no one can be denied the right to vote because of sex. By denying same sex spouses the right to use their married name they are giving heterosexual spouses a voting right that they are denying to same sex spouses.

  26. That is not even remotely true. Every adult has the right to change their name to any darn thing they want -- their spouse's name, a hyphenated name or Santa Claus.

    It has nothing to do with marriage, though it is a CUSTOM in western culture for a woman to take her husband's name after marriage (and any children born of that marriage take it as well). But it has not been standard since the 70s, when women started keeping their own names or hyphenating names.

    If a gay-married couple has one partner take the other's name, and they change it legally, then that is that person's name -- period -- in any state.

    BTW: as it happens, my daughter got married this May -- a traditional marriage with a man -- and she decided to take his name. We were just chatting about all she had to go through at City Hall and the DMV to legally do the paperwork and get a new Driver's license. So, it is not "automatic" for straight people -- it is a legal action to have your name changed in the courts, and it is permanent if you do so.

  27. The day US Supreme Court acts in accordance with the needs of this nation and the people in this 21st century, keeping in mind the covenants of the 4th, 14th amends and the Bill of Rights, will a real reckoning. As it stands now, the conservative 5 to 4 domination is more interested in what the so called founders intended in 1787. The simple facts are that we do not live in that era but 2014, and these appointed for life just cannot reckon with the needs of the Nation and the people.

  28. Give huge credit to Judge Vaughn Walker, the trial judge in the Proposition 8 trial in California. Walker's written decision summarizes the arguments on both sides then goes on to lay out the legal principles at issue and how they apply to the Prop 8 trial. It is a masterpiece of clarity and conciseness. Every ruling in favor of gay marriage that I have looked at or heard about seems to acknowledge the reasoning Judge Walker laid out in the Prop 8 case.

  29. Great point and everyone should read it (chuckles to myself). A great position ruling is the foundation for the future and in this case the future of equal rights for all Americans.

  30. We are never going to resolve this debate until we decide what marriage is. Why do we have marriage? What's social purpose does it serve? Why should the government become involved with marriage? Not many years ago the answer would've been clear: getting married was starting a family; creating the next generation and inculcating them with the values of our culture. Today, however, the majority of children live in single-parent homes. The majority of children are born out of wedlock. Whatever the traditional reason for marriage was, it is fair to ask whether it still applies today. Today marriage seems to be about benefits, both government and employment. If we can agree on the purpose of marriage, I think the rest of the pieces will fall into place. Maybe there should be more than one kind of marriage. Or maybe we should abolish marriage and let each of us negotiate our own relationships.

  31. " Not many years ago the answer would've been clear: getting married was starting a family; creating the next generation and inculcating them with the values of our culture."

    Look up the supreme court case Griswold V. Connecticut. The supreme court ruled over 50 years ago that a married woman has a constitutional right to use contraception. How, then, can anyone argue that marriage is about procreation?

    " Maybe there should be more than one kind of marriage. "

    We already have that. Every marriage is its own animal.

  32. Please provide a cite for your "facts", Thomas. I do not believe that the majority of children are born out of wedlock. Remember, also, that a large proportion of the children living in single-parent homes were born into a marriage that later broke up.

    Please provide cites.

  33. I have to correct your assertion that "Not many years ago"... however "Today", "The majority of children live in single-parent homes.". Since the 50's out of wedlock marriage was growing its just that the social stigma kept it hidden very well. By the 80's a great majority of children were being born out of wedlock. I only bring up this point because it is a tenet of the discriminators to use procreation as a measuring stick for marriage. Enough Said.

  34. It's time the Supreme Court stopped kicking the can down the road and rule that gays have a Constitutional right to marry in any state in the union. After all, the back and forth of legal decisions has treated gays as ping-pong balls in the struggle for civil rights. As in some states, first they could marry, and then they couldn't, and then they could, which has made a mockery of the law. Only the Supreme Court can stop this travesty by issuing a definitive decision in favor of nationwide same-sex marriage - and soon.

  35. Mainer's approved gay marriage--at the polls three years after voting against the right to gay marriage. One of the most effective ads in favor of same sex marriage included a large farming family who celebrated the lives of all their children, including their gay daughter and her partner. The parents had been reminded by their priest that the daughter they loved yesterday was the same person who was now open about her sexual orientation. Still beloved.

    A second powerful message was that marriage laws provide a largely invisible umbrella over families. For 52 years my husband and I and our now adult children have protected by laws of which we were almost unaware. A goal of those who have supported same sex marriage has been to extend those same protections and benefits to families who choose marriage.

  36. I came out at the age of 17, back in 1984, just as the spit was hitting the fan on the AIDS crisis....

    I recall self-appointed experts, with PhDs, calmly explaining to learned audiences that "homosexuals were incapable of forming lasting relationships" and so the only reasonable way to combat the AIDS crisis was to "Eradicate the homosexual infrastructure. Close down the bars. Close down the bookstores. Close down the nightclubs."

    I knew it was rubbish, but many in the audience approved. Mostly, they can be forgiven. They were just ignorant. The catholic priests had already started dying of AIDS but the church was still denying it. (ultimately more than 1000 would succumb to the disease) They were also still denying the child molestations too. This was way before Margarethe Cammermeyer and Keith Meinhold made the news. Shows like Will & Grace, and Queer as Folk were still the dreams of radicals.

    It turns out that *closeted* homosexuals (a subject the church knows quite a lot about) have a very hard time forming lasting relationships but those of us who figure it out, come out, and live our lives honestly do just fine.

    I'm pushing 50 now, still HIV negative and in my 3rd long term relationship. We've been together 12 years. We play doubles tennis with a couple of gentlemen who have been together for 44 years.

    I've never been married. Honestly, we're not it a rush. But I'm glad the options is available to the kids who came out after my generation.

  37. Strange, the Times always see the last battle on gay marriage as a 'milestone'. In a secular society, you can say anything is a 'fundamental right', but that does not make it so. Secular marriage is nothing more then an extension of contract law. It has nothing to do with fundamental rights. In our nihilistic, secular society any law is but an inconvenient barrier to each persons 'happiness'.

  38. Marriage was declared a right back in Loving vs virginia by the supreme court.

  39. Amen. They are doing nothing more than one-sided proselytizing for a particular point of view, and oddly, forgetting that homosexuality is just one of the many variations on human sexuality that exist. The reason for traditional marriage is that traditionally, human male/female pairings resulted in offspring and produced very deep and powerful cultural ties amongst people -- what we call "families" and the building blocks of human society.

    It is not, however fashionable, about personal happiness or having a "bestie buddy with benefits" or even love. It's about biological family.

    Strip that away, and there is not the slightest reason for polygamy or adult incest marriage to be illegal. In fact, child marriage would be pretty defensible (who are we to tell children what would make them happy? we already have zero authority to tell them not to have sex!). God knows what will make the next bunch of whingers "happy".

    Meanwhile we pat, twiddling our thumbs, while more than half of all children grow up without fathers, barely educated and in unstable homes riddled with drugs, crime, dependence on welfare, illiteracy. But thank goodness, we'll have what really matters -- really fancy gay weddings (and if you are a baker who doesn't believe in it, may God have mercy on your soul, because the lawyers will be out for blood).

  40. We are not, in fact, a secular society. The vast majority of Americans strongly identify with religion (overwhelmingly Christian) and adhere closely to religious dogma. We are, by careful and intentional design, a secular government. Having a government forbidden to use its power to favor religious beliefs allows each American to be true to her or his own covenants or lack thereof without fearing that government will act against them. Religious freedom cannot exist in a theocracy.

    Your contention that marriage has nothing to do with fundamental rights, but only contract law, seems a bit myopic. The recognition of marriage by a religion (a sacrament requiring that it be recognized by god) and the recognition of marriage by the state are very different in their nature and their impacts. In religion sexual unions outside of marriage are sins that may elicit punishments by god. Sexual unions outside of marriage in civil society fail to qualify one for benefits afforded the married. Refusing to allow a couple to be married thus separates them from equal treatment under the law. Forbidding them the legal ability to marry because of their sexual orientation involves government respecting an establishment of religion, which exceeds its constitutional authority. It also denies such couples access to due process of law.

  41. Three points: in times of tight budgets, state and federal, the party that claims by self-assignation to be fiscally responsible is willing to waste vast amounts of money state by state and vote by vote to put forth dubious legal attacks against equal rights--a bedrock amendment of the Constitution they claim to support. More money is wasted on appeals; the waste spreads across each state; the Congress wastes time voting for healthcare repeals--and no one penny of this money is being used to produce jobs and higher incomes for the American people, except the $1,000 an hour lawyers hired by government to assist on these losing cases.

    Two: marriage is more than just a contract; it is a deep and abiding symbol of faithful sharing of life and love, an announcement of a inviolate partnership to a community. The legal permission simply engages those more important elements of personal celebration and rites. Let's not lose sight of what it means to the couples beyond estate planning and joint taxes.

    Three: Christianity began as a religion that clearly described for its believers a way, involving faith, good works, mercy, transcendent love, to what Christians call redemption and salvation. It was not a manual for how to organize human society to rigidly reflect 2,000 year old customs and culture. It is perfectly possible to keep its principles and change with the times.

  42. Unfortunately, you are bringing moral arguments to what has become a legal discussion. We are basically moving forward as a country with growing segments of the population stating they don't want other's morality imposed on them. If that is to be, let it be. As such, I should now be able to marry my sister (or my brother, for that matter) so that she can get on my benefits plan and I can leave her all my assets as my spouse. Who is "society" to stand in judgement of our decision?!

  43. Yes walterrhett, but why force the Church to comply with something a Christian Church and its God is not willing to accept? What's the point? A civic mode marriage is as solemn and good as any ceremonial anywhere.

  44. Once again, this ruling does not force churches to comply with performing wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. I can't figure out how you could possibly derive that from reading the ruling. People aren't going to see some kind of crazy influx of gay weddings in their churches unless their churches voluntarily accept them - and many Christian and Jewish traditions already do.

  45. The Supreme Court has no reason to act because U.S. v. Windsor was definitive. The opinion in Windsor found that the Federal definition of marriage as between a man and a women was an unconstitutional violation of the due process provision of the Fifth Amendment and its implicit equal protection provision. Since the due process provision of the Fourteenth Amendment and its explicit equal protection provision impose the exact same restrictions on state law that the Fifth Amendment impose on federal law it is unlikely that any judge is going to ignore Windsor and let restrictions on same-sex marriage stand.

    The editorial's claim a that "Only a strong decision from the Supreme Court" can resolve this problem" is not true. Decisions from nine more circuits accomplishes exactly the same thing. (The DC Circuit and the Second Circuit have nothing to consider since DC and the jurisdictions in the Second Circuit already have same-sex marriage. The First and Third Circuits have Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to consider.) Appeals are already underway in many, it not all, of the circuits. Even if the Supreme Court were to grant cert in the Tenth Circuit case it would most likely be another year before a Supreme Court decision would be issued and possibly a full two-years. Denying cert next October would allow couples in the seven states to marry immediately and send a clear message that this fight is over.

  46. I sympathize strongly with the intent of the ruling and its potential outcome. But I wonder how it will fare at higher appellate levels. I fail to find any independent basis in law that justifies the court's statement that “A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.”

    The strong impression created is that an appeals court articulated a social conviction, and one held by an elite at that, when it pronounced "a fundamental right" to wed, irrespective of sexual identity. This appeal to the "penumbra" argument of fundamental rights is not one that has attracted immense sympathy from an originalist U.S. Supreme Court majority, if only a bare majority.

    This is an issue that is not yet fully settled at all in the minds of millions of Americans, although we're getting there slowly. There are many still who find a basic difference in sexuality that is not the same as the far more superficial and artificial differences presented by race, ethnicity -- even biological gender.

    I've made my own decisions on the issue, but many Americans still disagree. I suspect that the Supremes will want to see that issue develop further in the hearts and minds of Americans before allowing such a controversial pronouncement by the courts of a basic right.

  47. I'd say race and gender are quite immutable in any human and thus very basic rather than artificial. My haircut is artificial not my race.
    Whom I'm attracted to is also quintessentially basic. I couldn't change my heterosexual desires if I tried. Nor can a homosexual.

    And both types of sexual desire are completely natural. One type is a more dominant trait in humans obviously but what does that matter?
    Homosexuality exists in humans, period.
    It's biological fact and not a big deal.
    Everyone should just accept and move on.

  48. I disagree, Richard. Once the federal government confers certain prerogatives and tax subsidies on certain kinds of contracts (like marriages), it may not then turn around and say only certain categories of people (like heterosexuals) are eligible to apply. Sooner or later, even the Supreme Court will have to acknowledge this simple, obvious point.

  49. WmC:

    Now, YOUR argument is a pithy one.

    But you may take it too far. Society reserves benefits solely to specific classes all the time: for instance, we still protect women far more extensively over men in divorce proceedings, on the assumption, that may or may not be valid in the specific circumstances, that women care for children and are necessarily more dependent; or, that allowances should be made for blacks and Hispanics in competition for college entry when they don't equal or surpass actual performance on tests by whites. We've identified in both cases societal objectives that trump the general notion that all people should have equal access to all benefits.

    In the case of marriage, many look on thousands of years of recorded history and of marriage, and see a framework for the healthy rearing of children -- and we know that the best outcomes still come from nuclear families, of whatever economic class. This rational consideration doesn't even need to lean on religious notions of the sanctity of one-man-one-woman to argue for guarding the classical definition of "marriage" -- but there's no denying that millions of Americans still defend those religious notions, either.

    Personally, I don't buy the arguments: I don't think we damage an institution used for traditional purposes by introducing other purposes. But that's me -- it's not all of America, and for a community to form and be maintained we ALL need to be aware and respectful of different convictions.

  50. In the US, marriage has always been a civil contract, fixing certain rights and obligations of the parties to each other, and certain joint rights and obligations they have vis a vis the State and society at large. From the perspective of the States and Federal Government, religious ritual has always been an optional component, with no legal significance, as such.

    There is no reason, in logic or public policy, that justifies limitation of the rights of any two single people to enter into an enforceable marriage contract.

    By statute and judicial decision, some traditional limitations on the right to marry have been removed over the course of history. While traditional limitations may still be enforced as a barrier to religious "solemnization" of a marriage, that is of no significance to a purely civil marriage contract.

    Nothing stops "traditionalists" from following whatever tradition they please, concerning marriage restriction. They simply do not have a right to impose such a restriction on persons who choose not to seek solemnization from such a religious organization.

    There are those who argue: If the same sex barrier can be broken, the same logic would apply to support marrying a goldfish or to have a 3, 4 or 5-way marriage. Animals do not have contractual capacity. Polygamous marriage entails social issues that materially differentiate it from two-partner marriage, but there is little doubt cases will be brought for recognition of a right to polygamy.

  51. But what about a father-son who own a business together entering into a "marriage" so that part of the business can be protected from estate taxes?

    Given the arguments made for gay marriage, I believe the above argument has merit and should prevail. We need to either recognize marriage as a contractual partnership that can be legally entered into by two or more consenting adults, just like any other partnership, and thus each partner accruing benefits from other partners, or we need to seriously reconsider the numerous and expensive benefits that the state has built in for couples.

  52. Same for father-daughter. The gender of the two people isn't relevant to the discussion.

  53. The father and son already have a legally recognized relationship.

  54. As the tidal wave for same sex marriages reach the shores of southern states will there be stiff resistance to maintain the status-quo of traditional marriage. Will the Supreme Court have a final 9-0 decision on this issue like they did on the legal case that blocked President's Obama's ability to make recess appointments. I still think there is a silent majority on this issue are too fearful to speak their mind on this cultural hot button issue facing our country. Once gay marriage is legal across all 50 states will pastors, rabbis, and imams who refuse to marry gay couples will they be sued in civil courts. Will there be a Gay Awareness Month? Will a National Gay Pride Day become a national holiday? Will school children be taught one day that those who fought for same sex marriage be recognized as civil rights heroes? Will history books be revised to reflect this sentiment. Will there be a 50 shades of rainbows type of fiction for those who identify as LGBT. Who knows just food for thought. Sometimes the push to be in the mainstream can bring interesting outcomes in daily life.

  55. Poll after poll lately shows a majority support marriage equality in this country.

    Religious ministers will not be sued for refusing to marry gay couples, and if they are sued, the cases will be thrown out of court. The government cannot tell religious groups who they can and cannot marry. This is a civil issue, not a religious issue.

  56. This seems an important reason (as legal argument; who really "needs" a reason) to go full tilt! "But it also concludes that some vital Social Security and veterans benefits cannot be provided because they are tied to a couple’s “place of domicile” rather than a “place of celebration” standard. Congress is unlikely to fix that."

  57. One small step for mankind. One giant leap for political correctness.

  58. First off, you say that like its a bad thing. You folks complained about political correctness so much that it seems from here right wingers just want the freedom to remain racists. All political correctness means is that people should be called what they want to be called. Even just normal decency and manners should be enough to ensure that, but we have a lot of bad human beings who need to be named and shamed to become decent themselves.

  59. Moral and legal and Constitutonal correctness.

  60. A few years ago, when Ted Olson and David Boies were beginning their then longshot efforts to have gay marriage be legal throughout the nation, someone asked Olson why he thought they could prevail if a proper case ever came before the Supreme Court.

    His simple answer: "I know how to count to five."

    I've always wondered about that. Was it bravado or did this paragon of conservative thought rub elbows on occasion with Justice Kennedy or people who knew Kennedy and his leanings and sentiments?
    I figured they might know mutual acquaintances on the right and someone let Olson know that Kennedy could be counted on.
    Or perhaps he sensed that Kennedy was predisposed to rule in favor because of past support for gay rights cases.

    This is coming. Dignity and acknowledgement of love as the most basic human right. And guess what? It will not diminish marriage or anything about life in this nation.
    Rather, it will lift America proudly to it's historical place: a beacon of freedom to all humans.

  61. Ted Olseon and David Boies were not involved in the Windsor case. They were involved in the California Prop 8 case, which actually did not succeed in its goal of national marriage equality; and Kennedy voted against the dismissal that brought marriage back to California.

  62. As marriage has dissolved institutionally, one wishes same-sex couples success and happiness. At the same time, the experienced in marriage will caution them against excessive celebration, as if to say, Now that they can marry legally, they will be happy forever. The Utah court has appeared to say they have the fundamental right to fail as well as to succeed in a legal relationship, which is new in our society, I believe, and rationally, difficult to assimilate. Marriage is perhaps the toughest of all human relationships to make work, more difficult than ever in rems of making a marriage last and survive the rocky, and often
    disastrous road that leads to divorce and attendant negative ramifications. Perhaps gays and lesbians can avoid the pitfalls that attend to marriage or work through them better. I don't know and don't really think anybody knows. I wish I were among those that could say with confidence this is a great step forward. That's yet to be seen. Perhaps gays and lesbians have a more practical wisdom as to how to cope with the multitude of tensions that arise among couples. That is a central part of the great puzzle. Words of caution might be in order rather than excessive jubilation.

  63. To answer directly what you just seem to be dancing around - gays marriage will have the same successes and failures as straight marriages.

    The issue is have we as a society decided to turn our backs on centuries of societal and community mores. We seem to be doing so, but instead of renouncing the concept of state sanctioned marriage, we're just making it fit into our current legal framework. That is the part that is bound to fail.

  64. I long said that with the advent of gay marriage, gay divorce could not be far behind. Some gay marriages have been dissolved. But it's fairly irrelevant to our discussion here. We haven't done anything to "protect" heterosexual marriage, why would we do something different now? I always found it interesting to see those "protecting" marriage who are themselves divorced, perhaps multiple times. The church has done nothing to lower the incident of divorce, and accepts it with their members and even their clergy. So when they complain about gay people I just recognize them for the hypocrites they are, and disregard them.

  65. Are you trying to say that since some gay marriages will end in divorce, we should prohibit gay marriages?

  66. All these stays the state governments are using to drag out equity. Wrong! And then the NFL saying they will pay for the care of all those men with head injuries, but they can also pay for not saying they are guilty of any wrong doing or cover up. Wrong ! And while I'm off the subject, how is it that the ISIS seems so much better trained then the money, men and years we spent over there training Iraq. For a group we are told is so bad, how did they get so good? Again something seems obviously wrong!

  67. I don't agree with the assessment that same sex couple is a "civil rights" issue. Nor do I necessarily think that there is an inherent "right" to wed regardless of your definition of it. It's just plain common sense, which seems to be forgotten in a rush to embrace "diversity" in everything. Having said that, in the modern society marriage is a conduit to all sorts of right, benefits, and responsibilities. Over centuries the society has used marriage as a vehicle to achieve various religious, moral and economic goals. I don't see a simple way to bestow those rights (most of which are related to basic rights of a citizen) on the same sex couple other than marriage. Therefore I do support it as the most efficient and obvious method for ensuring that we don't harm the people simply because of their sexual orientation.

  68. There is an efficient way - a partnership contract. Could be between two men, two women, a man and a woman, multiple parties, siblings, cousins, etc.

    As posted, this gay marriage argument is almost exclusively about the benefits of marriage. If that is what we want, we need to redefine what the state sanctions as marriage to a partnership. Perhaps then we'll start looking at how much of marriage is subsidized and start making more rational decisions on that basis rather than tradition, since tradition obviously has been thrown on the dust heap of history.

  69. Marriage is a "civil rights" issue because the entity bestowing all the rights on civilians, including the wedding certificate, is a civil government (as opposed to say a military or ecclesiastical body) that is supposed to be by the people, for the people, and of the people. If I pay taxes, elect a civil government, and participate in a civil society, why shouldn't I have the right to wed?

    Now, when the day comes that the Man in the Sky decides to comes down to marry couples and manufacture his own wedding certificates, maybe I'll change my mind. Until then, as long as the government of human beings I elected and support with my tax dollars is marrying people, I feel everyone should have the right to be married.

  70. Ginsberg addressed this issue in the arguments for DOMA. She asked the lawyer if he thought it just that some people were entitled to full marriage but others needed to be content with "skim milk marriage". Sixty years ago SCOTUS ruled that "separate but equal" was inherently unequal.

  71. I teach at a troubled youth center. Out of the hundreds of troubled youth I have taught, I have never taught a youth that was raised by his or her biological parents that were married to each other. The rising generation is our most important investment and quality marriages have proven to be the most important factor in a child's success. There is no aggregate scientific proof that non-traditional families will be just as affective for raising youth. We are in effect forcing a massive science experiment on the rising generation. Why do we have to force this experiment on all of America? This is a perfect opportunity to allow different states decide by democratic vote, since the consequences are not known. Give the experiment a solid 30 years and it will be obvious who is right on this issue - the liberals or the conservatives.

  72. There is no proof that gay parents hurt the development of children either, so in this case the rights of the individual must take precedence. And what evidence we do have suggests children with gay parents are not harmed.

    One thing you do say is true. We do have 30 years to see how things pass, since same sex marriage is well on its way to become the law of the land everywhere, and we will have taken a big step toward outgrowing our hatreds and bigotries.

  73. Thank you for your post - but the politically correct crowd pushing "gay marriage" don't want to be troubled by such inconvenient historical data that you raise. All of our traditions and sense of community standards are up for destruction by elites living in their ivory tower, secure in their wealth and privilege so there is no need for them to think of the real work consequences of their actions.

  74. Are you for real, Jared? Whenever I hear this argument, I think people are so out of touch with reality.

    First, I worked with institutionalized children for several years. Now, I have taught middle school for 17 years in both extremely affluent and extremely poor communities. I have seen it all and can say for sure that just because children have two biological parents of the opposite sex is absolutely no guarantee that they will have a trouble-free, good life. In fact, none of the neglected, abused, or abandoned children I have encountered over the last 20 years have come from gay parents. None. The small handful of students I have taught from gay families were children rescued from the clutches of a crazy social service system. These students were wanted, cared for, and well-adjusted.

    Go figure.

  75. Will someone please explain to me where the
    "Fundamental Right to Marriage" is found in the
    Constitution ? [ Please don't say in the 14 Amendment
    which has nothing to do with Marriage. ]

    Why do Federal Judges keep ruling on legal questions
    that are, by the 10th Amendment "Reserved to the States" ?

    The argument made that laws against "Gay Marriage"
    are the same as the long ago laws against "Inter-Racial Marriage" are fallacious and specious and the legal,
    or lack of legal, reasoning that argues that they are
    is illogical.

    If the New York Times Editorial board applauds such rulings
    what will they say when those seeking multiple spouses
    demand their "Fundamental Right" to wed and what will
    they say when those under the "Legal Age" to wed demand
    their "Fundamental Right" to marry whomever and whenever
    they so wish ?

    The Courts should have left this to the Citizens of this
    country to decide in due time. It is we who should make
    the Laws, not the Judges.

  76. The courts didn't just "decide" to legalize same-sex marriage. It's been 45 years since the Stonewall riots. People have been living with and working with LGBT people and realize that we are not the perverts and animals the right-wing has made us out to be. We have made our arguments over the last 45 years to convince the general public that we deserve the same protections as everyone else.

    Allowing adults to marry children doesn't hinge on same-sex marriage. Any adult could have brought this case to court at any time. But they haven't. An adult marrying a child is not the same as two consenting adults marrying.

    And as for the citizens making the laws: you did. And the judges have found them unconstitutional. I think they know better then the average citizen what is constitutional and what is not.

  77. Of course 16 or so Federal judges have now ruled in contradiction to your thoughts and legal analysis. Keep in mind regardless of whatever laws are passed or struck down same sex couples will continue to love and live together, and many will raise families. The issue is, and is only, whether we continue to deny them rights and mark them and their children as second class citizens.
    Also suggesting that "Citizens of this country to decide" is to suggest that we allow the majority to rule on the rights of a minority. This idea ignores the existence of the Bill of Rights which is in place precisely to to ensure that that does not happen.

  78. The constitution was written to protect the minority from the majority. Throughout the history of this country, the constitution has provided relief to those who were subjected to human bondage, disenfranchisement, and Jim Crow laws that stripped them of their basic human dignity.

    The argument being made by each one of these marriage cases is the basic tenet that all citizen are provided equal protection under the law. Currently, there are two different classes of lesbian and gay individuals, those who can legally marry and those who can't. Whenever there are separate classes of individuals within a group, it's expected that the SCOTUS will remedy the inequity. With the majority of Americans supportive of marriage equality, it is time for that the court provides a remedy for the different classes and once again make equality the law of the land.

  79. This is all wonderful news. What is a shame is the years lost and countless dollars spent on ultimately achieving a legal goal that should be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer who understands American ideals and has aa sense of decency.

  80. Ask any attorney dealing in marriage law, and you will hear that person say that marriage is not a rights issue. It's odd to see this bending in interpreting the institution of marriage and what was hundreds of years' tradition has now become outmoded. In with the new, right? But the families you refer to-- the ones where a "father" is reduced to a tube of toothpaste, a squirt to an egg? That artificial family of two guys or two gals and the unfortunate children who have no rights at all in such a scenario? (Let's see what happens when such "progeny" hit puberty) "All to suit this persistent narcissism? The law is so dry. And it's sad to see how one powerful lobbying group changed years of tradition, the very structure of society to suit their incessant narcissism. Same sex unions was not good enough. It has to be "Marriage" so these couples can "have children". This is purely a societal experiment. We have no idea of its ramifications. When the Supreme Court does rule and impose this new law of the land, it will become the "anathema" abortion issue that is now a reality in so many red states, so many years after Roe v. Wade. So, no, I do not look forward to the day this becomes the law of the land. I won't be celebrating, and there are gays out there who feel the same way I do, but they are never heard. Their voices are censored just as my comment here will be most likely be censored by your pro-gay marriage staff.

  81. You ignore the fact that other countries have for decades allowed same-sex marriage and are still standing and, in many cases, doing much better overall than the United States. As for same-sex marriage being a "societal experiment" that could, in your view, harm children, hasn't it been proven that children are harmed enough with opposite-sex marriage? Perhaps we need to revisit the efficacy of that institution if we're looking at whats' "best" for the children.

  82. There is abundant evidence that kids with SS parents do just fine, with perhaps the only issue being that some people want to treat their families differently and denigrate their family. There is plenty of opposite sex couples that provide appalling environments for their kids.

  83. Spirited33---I find your post to completely miss the legal issues that have caused the quest for equal protection. Ask any lawyers another question, since the term "married" is used extensively in the Federal Codes, to bestow obligations and benefits does this now raise the issue of marriage to a constitutional question? The courts have found over and over, that it does. Your concerns over the morality of calling a same sex devotion a marriage, is perfectly fine for your religious needs, but it can not be determinate as to the law. Wanting to be treated the same under the laws of the country is not persistent narcissism, but equal protection. Which is guaranteed by the Constitution and amendments and is the issue at hand. Your religious beliefs on the definition of marriage are not challenged by this. This simply has nothing to do with religion. It is about equal protection and discrimination.

  84. I am not sure I fully understand what AG Sean Reyes expects to hear from the Supreme Court on appeal. With other Federal Courts seeming to concur on this issue, do he and elected officials in other states expect a different response?

    Do they actually think that some magic judge is gonna wave his wand and change all this?

    What else there is to argue?

  85. Sean Reyes and Governor Herbert are playing to the Tea Party voting base, just like Chris Christie did. Christie only dropped the idea of an appeal when it was obvious that he didn't have public support for the idea (let alone public support for the cost of pursuing this windmill tilting. Politicians dream of becoming famous historical figures--ironically, since his name is on the lawsuit (Kitchen vs Herbert), Utah's governor may indeed be long remembered--the same way Virginia as, as in "Loving vs Virginia". But this isn't fame--it's notoriety.

  86. We have the same discussion going in Norway and a number of other countries around the world. Judicially, same-sex marriage should be allowed in a civic setting, however NOT in Christian churches. Still, a growing number of people are ostensibly bent on trying to force God to accept something that God never accepted, according to God's own word. Should a Christian church be willing to take part in such absurd and needless acts of folly?

  87. Christian places are precisely the kinds of places where people should find acceptance and encouragement for joining lives in committed relationships. A remarkably large number of people in churches are on second and third marriages, yet are married without question by members of ordained clergy.

    The idea that those--gay or straight--who have been baptized and confirmed within a denomination might be relegated to second class citizenship within a congregation is just silly. I can't imagine who would wish to be part of congregation that had such an attitude toward people. One body, one spirit, one faith, one baptism--of all who choose to follow this path.

  88. Not sure what you're referring to - nobody is trying to force churches to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, despite the fact that many religious denominations do perform and recognize such marriages. This is all about civil marriage, not religious marriage.

  89. Perhaps the better question would be "Should a church that purports to follow Christ be willing to castigate some of God's children from their midst because of who they love?"

    Christ famously refused to participate in the punishment of the woman who the crowd wanted to stone; He taught us that none of us have the moral authority to "throw the first stone". And yet some would call themselves followers of Christ as they attempt to judge and punish others.

  90. The Utah ban was one of the most mean-spirited in the country. And it was passed in 2004 by 66% of the voters.

    That does not reflect well on the state and its culture.

  91. I had the misfortune of having to drive through Indiana last week. We passed a billboard that depicted a man and a woman gazing down in rapture at her wedding ring, and the text read: "Unique by design; vote your values."

    I was astounded that a political ad encouraging discrimination was even legal, but of course when you see the word "values" in this context, it's always a coded appeal to the white, heterosexual, pseudo-Christian who's been convinced by the Republicans that he's an endangered species.

    A moment after we passed this billboard, my fellow Canadian friend remarked, "Well, at least we know now that Neanderthals had a written language."

    This wasn't just an example of a smug Canuck trapped in the Flyovers; it struck us that a country in which all legal and political progress must be achieved through battles with a powerful right-wing evangelical lobby is a functional theocracy.

  92. More accurately, the US is a dysfunctional theocracy. Our democracy is influenced and distorted by extremist religiosity but the effect on us is uneven, spasmodic, and probably not very effective in the long run. Like a disability, we've learned to live with it.

  93. Why do I feel that the Supreme Court cannot be trusted to do the right thing? Oh, yes, it was that Citizens United thing.

  94. There has never been a credible argument against same sex marriage. Ever.

  95. there are some credible arguments for and against on this sensitive issue..read some of the earlier comments. Granted you don't have to agree with the arguments being made.

  96. The proponents of the view that homosexuality is a normal variant of human sexuality argue for the elimination of any reference to homosexuality in a manual of psychiatric disorders because it is scientifically incorrect, encourages an adversary relationship between psychiatry and the homosexual community, and is misused by some people outside of our profession who wish to deny civil rights to homosexuals. Those who argue that homosexuality is a pathological disturbance in sexual development assert that to remove homosexuality from the nomenclature would be to give official sanction to this form of deviant sexual development, would be a cowardly act of succumbing to the pressure of a small but vocal band of activist homosexuals who defensively attempt to prove that they are not sick, and would tend to discourage homosexuals from seeking much-needed treatment. - and there is the rub. Coming to believe is a process that stems from personal experience. Each of us has this experience; all LGBT Anonymous members who find recovery have solid evidence of a benevolent Power acting for good in their lives. Those of us who are recovering from sexual orientation disturbance., after all, are the fortunate ones. Many, many die from our disease, never to experience what we have found in LGBTA

  97. The proponents of the view that homosexuality is a normal variant of human sexuality argue for the elimination of any reference to homosexuality in a manual of psychiatric disorders because it is scientifically incorrect, encourages an adversary relationship between psychiatry and the homosexual community, and is misused by some people outside of our profession who wish to deny civil rights to homosexuals. Those who argue that homosexuality is a pathological disturbance in sexual development assert that to remove homosexuality from the nomenclature would be to give official sanction to this form of deviant sexual development, would be a cowardly act of succumbing to the pressure of a small but vocal band of activist homosexuals who defensively attempt to prove that they are not sick, and would tend to discourage homosexuals from seeking much-needed treatment. - and there is the rub. Coming to believe is a process that stems from personal experience. Each of us has this experience; all LGBTA members who find recovery have solid evidence of a benevolent Power acting for good in their lives. Those of us who are recovering from sexual orientation disturbance., after all, are the fortunate ones. Many, many die from our disease, never to experience what we have found in LGBTA

  98. Remember, traditional marriage has always been open to LGBTs, provided they and their opposite sex partner consent. Since when has marriage been about love, except in a non-legal context?

    If gays want to marry, then the only questions are legal, and when it comes to the legalities, gays don't have a good case. DOMA is a law that defines what is a spouse for the purposes of receiving federal benefits. If a state wants to define what a spouse is for the purpose of state provided benefits, okay, it's their money and their legislature. When it's a federal dollar, then Congress should decide.

    When the Supreme Court says Congress cannot define who qualifies for federal assistance, then it is granting to a state the right to spend federal money. No one would permit a state to lower the retirement age for their citizens to receive social security benefits, but the Supreme Court now allows states to decide who can receive spousal social security survivorship benefits, in addition to many others.

  99. There are two key aspects to marriage: first, there’s the social and religious acceptance and approval of the relationship and second, there’s the legal aspects of marriage that provide protections, rights, responsibilities and obligations
    The second aspect could have been provided to same sex couples through legal unions providing the same rights and obligations as traditional marriage. Most people would have accepted that and we could have moved forward, mostly in harmony.
    What has turned out to be a legal tangle of spaghetti has caused a major schism in the country. There is a large majority of people in the country who, if given the choice, would opt for civil unions for gays but a smaller but perhaps a significant minority who will never accept marriage, and a still smaller but highly vocal minority that would accept nothing less than legal marriage.
    Only time will tell how this plays out in our broader society. Personally I believe gays are entitled to the same rights and obligations as married couples when in a committed, legal relationship; however, the way I was raised and my beliefs today instruct me that marriage is an institution for one man and one woman; always has been, always will be, no matter what the courts might say.

  100. Marriage is not a religious institution, it is a civil one. The phrase "by the power invested in me by the State of" should tell you that. Further, when couples seek divorce they don't go to the church, they go to the State.

    The church co opted marriage to ensure it participated in wealth creation. Further, marriage as an institution has evolved over the centuries. In biblical times, for example, plural marriages were accepted.

    So to now stand on, ahem, ceremony and say that marriage should not be open to all committed couples is at the least unfair. I'm very okay if your church would rather not condone same sex marriages. That will tell me all I need to know about your church and how much it loves one another as yourselves. But your church doesn't get to say whether I can get married or not.

  101. You see, what is fundemental is that you don't get to pick and choose what rights and protections that others have just because of the way you were raised. It doesn't work that way. Let me help you with all this stuff: first you go to the courthouse and get a "marriage license" then you have some sort ceremony (surprise!!!!! it doesn't have to be in your church, really it doesn't), officiated by someone or another duly appointed and recognized, every one signs all around,...and then wait for it.....you send it in, its registered and you are then and only then legally married. Get the legal construct? You can march down the aisle of a huge cathedral night and day for a month and with out the license and sending it in, you are not married. Why are you so interested in denying others the right to a legal marriage?

  102. I've not said 'my' church can say you can marry or not, did I? You read a lot not written I see. The history of marriage indicates the institution has changed much over the centuries. However the long history does not include much if any substantial support for same sex marriage. True, the government has high-jacked the institution for some good reasons and once they set up rights, privileges and obligations it became an issue of equal access, equal treatment, etc. I understand the legal issues and I am in agreement that committed couples in legal relationships should be treated equally. I just do not, and never will agree that marriage, the non-governmental institution, is meant for anyone other than one man and one woman. The institution was instigated to protect women and their children, then to limit access to the female by other men. It was never intended for same sex couples since the protections it was designed to afford were not relevant to same sex couples. Things have changed but not that.
    Trying to convince most folks that marriage (other than the legal issues) should be for all will garner you as much success as trying to convince most Muslims that Mohammed was Jewish.

  103. So, once more, an important issue is being decided by her courts instead of the democratic process. After all, it worked so well with abortion. 40 years after Roe vs Wade, abortionists are still pariahs, woman often keep their abortions secret, and elected officials court popularity by coming up with clever restrictions that will pass court approval, and a movie dealing with abortion is praised for its "courage". Making a court decree does not share public attitudes.

    So now gay couples want the same status as abortionists. They have stated that they think popular opinion is shifting in favor of gay marriage. So why don't they wait until they have a majority and then propose changing the law by the democratic process?

  104. For the same reason that Oliver Brown did not wait for the civil rights movement to convince a majority that separate but equal was wrong. For the same reason the Lovings did not want for the majority to accept inter- racial marriage. Because we have a CONSTITUTIONAL Democracy not one founded on the principle of pure majority rule.

  105. The important issue that is being decided by the courts is whether legal protections, or any other benefit or penalty that occurs with marriage, are open to all citizens. If the United States and its individual component states had not closely intertwined laws with marriage there would be no issue and no decision. Gay couple do not want the same status as abortionists; they want the same status as John and Joan Smith next door. In this country it is not supposed to be legally possible for a vote to remove rights from citizens. And yes, SCOTUS has already decided that there is a legal "right" to marriage.

    Now if marriage had stayed in the religious realm entirely--a total rewrite of history--the courts would have no function here. But the decision is not being made by the courts; our system of jurisprudence and equal protection has already been put in place by "we the people."

  106. That is very very special and I think the right wing extremists must have stayed up all night figuring out how to equate gay marriage with say, abortion. I suspect charlesbalpha feels the same way about slavery too.

  107. If we have moved beyond centuries of religious, social and community constructs of what constitutes marriage, we should completely get rid of the concept of marriage sanctioned by the state.

    Instead, Individuals should be able to enter into partnership contracts with whom ever they choose, get it recognized by the government and thus reap all the benefits that marriage provides. If, as now, they choose to get it recognized by a church of their chose, so be it.

    I had two "spinster" aunts that lived together their whole lives. Yet in no way was their relationship - probably stronger and more enduring than many marriages - ever recognized as other then a convenience. So, when one aunt pre-deceased the other, her estate was passed on with out any of the protections that a spousal death would have received.

    Face it, this whole gay marriage issue is not about "rights", its about the benefits accruing from the state. If we are now detaching marriage from what were societal standards, we need to go the whole way with it.

  108. I agree. Since homosexual "marriage" is a sham, a fraud of the real thing let's just do away with any tax-related, state benefits for all and allow "marriage" to be defined as aything that matters to an individual
    i.e. I'm "married" to my job or I'm "married" to the idea that America's moral compass is broken.

  109. It is about rights and yes benefits, straight people get them and there's no reason that gay people shouldn't have them.

    John Smith - I don't think you have any concept of what marriage, gay or straight is about.

  110. For those who say the definition of marriage should be left to the states; I wonder how that world would look? A gay family with children is transferred from Connecticut to Utah....are the parents no longer married? Utah forbids adoption by gay parents. If one parent dies in Utah, what happens to the children? Utah law is very specific that it not only forbids gay marriage; but it does not recognize such marriages performed elsewhere. I would think that even states rights advocates would find that result unacceptable. We are not a nation of 50 different countries; where people lose fundamental rights when they cross a border. Thank goodness we are one country with a constitution that guarantees equal protection of the law.

  111. Sometimes I am not so sure that 50 different countries wouldn't be the worst thing, or at least two or three countries, North, South, and Texas.

  112. "We are not a nation of 50 different countries; where people lose fundamental rights when they cross a border."

    Yet the belief that the US is fundamentally a confederacy of nation-states persists to this day. It is the pseudo intellectual veil held to disguise many anti-democratic, discriminatory and frankly, seditious beliefs.

  113. Since having & raising children is no longer the purpose of Marriage then what is the point of Marriage ? There is no reason for government to regulate it at all, anyone can marry anyone for any reason without regard for gender or age or anything else. If two ( or more ) people want to claim they are married who cares, why do they need a license, blood tests or anyone's permission ? Get the government out of people's personal business. There is no longer any reason to collect fees or regulate or control who married who, no reason at all. Stop all government involvement in marriage, leave people alone & respect their privacy.

  114. ...oh about 1000+ laws that govern property, taxes, medical decisions, power of attorney, inheritance, etc. Obviously you have never bothered to look into all of the legal ramifications of marriage.

  115. I applaud the opinion and strongly support the right of same sex couples to marry. I do NOT support the action of the Boulder County Clerk. She believes that the opinion, stayed by the Court, clears the way to issue marriage licenses in Colorado and that the stay applies to Utah only.
    The process of attaining marriage equality must respect the rule of law.
    Boulder's clerk is proceeding lawlessly. She harms and disgraces the effort.

  116. I applaud the Boulder County Clerk for taking the initiative to push back against a hateful, mean-spirited law that is unconstitutional on its face. Where would America be without people willing to stand up against injustice?

  117. It is intriguing that the one area of American jurisprudence that seems to be moving perpetually forward and 'with all deliberate speed,are issues of the same sex community.That these issues should be the bellwhether of progressive change concerning American liberty and freedom was/is,certainly unexpected,at least a mere five years ago.Will Americans reflect on these issues as the dawn of a new appreciation of 'American Exceptionalism.Is this the new Civil Rights Movement that will register as prominently as old one?'The leading Indicators are positively good,so far.

  118. That sounds good in theory, but the U.S. is clearly on the lagging edge of advancing equal rights for LGBT. Certain European countries have been way ahead for decades. Even Latin America currently has better protections for their GLBT citizens. There is nothing exceptional about the U.S.'s stance here. As with anything else, change in America is about what curries the most political favor.

  119. I await the day when we stop calling it "same-sex" marriage, and simply say "marriage." I also pray the all religious faiths--not just the state--begin to recognize the love between two people.

    Finally, I think of the long period now (that began with my generation in the wake of The Pill) when people live together but are not married. Those folks have no rights with their partner still, and that's easily addressed by documents such as living wills and health-care powers of attorney. My executor of the latter takes precedence over family in visitation and decisions. Of course I would expect my family to be consulted, but the primacy of my executor is iron clad and very legal (thanks to the very fine lawyer whom my gay friends recommended). All my young gay friends in long-term relationships should be thinking about this.

  120. The world changes. We are finally beginning to realize that homosexuality is part of humanity and personal bias by Bronze Age men is just that, personal bias. A homosexual person is an equal part of humanity and we have to come to terms with the fact that the urge in them to commit to a long lasting relationship with another is as fundamental as any such desire by "normal" people.

    The agony we are going through in coming to terms with a biased reality we created based on our personal fears is gradually eroding and we are ever so slowly moving toward a future many are afraid to face.

    Remember, once blacks, women, Jews, the Irish, the Chinese were considered less than "normal" Americans and were denied many basic rights. We now, hopefully, realize that these "inferior" segments of our population are equal to any white, Anglo-Saxon man and their needs must be honored to the same degree.

    Get over gay marriage, the end of the world is not nigh because of it. There are real causes that may bring our world to an end, obsess on those.

  121. Joe M. has written about a solution to this problem of still-legalized discrimination by suggesting a solution that already exists in the USA.
    It is the so-called "religious Right" that pretends that only certain kinds of people be denied the right to marry at the same time they advocate their own right to enslave their family members.
    Does anyone here have doubts that the targeted persons are the victims of a Nazi obsession for ruling the personal lives of humans they feel they should be able to persecute just because they always have been allowed to lay down the rules in their little townships?
    Let's put damper on the most egregious offenders in those newfangled "religious" organizations. We already have the Federal laws available for that task.

  122. yes, well, it's not only the states that are holding up the parade. The federal government still does not recognize gays as a protected class and still does not allow most gay federal employees to provide health benefits to their partners. It's been a long, long time coming, but I know change gonna come. with all deliberate speed.

  123. The argument that same-sex marriage resembles inter-racial marriage appears to be logical.
    Obviously, just as the legalization of pot varies from state to state, the patchwork with both issues (i.e., GLBT rights and pot-users rights...) should be quickly (!) settled in the USSC.
    Or should we, as usual, just sit on our heels while these 9 high and mighty lawyers split hairs and then, in exhaustion, defer to a lower court?

  124. Without any reputable evidence, the entertainment culture, uneducated media, and sexual activists have seduced today's teenagers, in particular, to believe that people are born homosexual.However, science has found no biological basis for homosexuality, bisexuality, or transsexuality.

    Study after study has found the “LGBT” lifestyle to be unhealthy, with the highest rate of sexually-transmitted diseases,and higher cancer rates and earlier deaths.

    The fact that people are not born homosexual matters because the entire fiber of our society is impacted -- for good or for ill. There is no "gay gene" -- so homosexuality is not biologically based. The only human genders are male (if you inherited a "Y" chromosome from your father) and female (if you did not inherit a "Y" chromosome from him) -- so homosexuality is not a new "gender."

    People inherit unchangeable characteristics like their race and ethnicity, but homosexuality is not inherited. Science and biology confirm this, and thousands of former "gays and lesbians" who have changed their behavior also prove this fact. Therefore, homosexuality is not a "civil right" (a supreme law punishing those who disagree) for marriage or anything else.
    Ironically, the "LGBT" (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) "civil rights" laws have severely infringed upon the constitutional rights and religious freedom of those who disagree, punishing dissent.

  125. You clearly haven't ever known or loved anyone who has struggled with being gay. If it was simply a matter of persuasion, then there would be no gay people. The vast majority of media from the past 20 years still shows heterosexual couples as the norm. It's not the easiest path to take. I myself am straight, but I've known far too many people in my life who have had a hard time coming to terms with it.

    I'm not sure what science you read, but you might want to go back and do a little more research.

  126. You have lost me: how exactly is allowing certain people to wed infringing upon your religious freedom? Religious freedom to subjugate others with your beliefs, perhaps? That's hardly a right.

    Also, I would like for you to show to us these alleged scientific studies (published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, of course), as every study I've seen indicates the exact opposite.

  127. Pretty much everything you said above is disproven by "real" science. I don't understand why conservatives cannot understand science or feel a need to make up an alternative reality (i.e. creationism, climate change, human sexuality, etc.)?

  128. Thousands and thousands of people in Utah, a majority, voted to ban gay marriage.

    And now, a few judges have decided to override the people's decision.

    Well, so much for "of the people, by the people and for the people."

    Only in America.

  129. The vote you refer to in Utah is over ten years old, and polling has shown that the results would not be the same if a vote was held today. Even in conservative Mormon land, people have a heart.

  130. Sorry. "Of the people, by the people and for the people" does not mean the people get to decide everything by majority vote. We have a Constitution that has to be followed. Or would you go along with a majority vote that says everyone named after a color can be arrested and held without trial because of their name?

  131. Civil rights should never be determined by the will of the majority. If they were, in many places, blacks would still be drinking out of different water fountains.

  132. Be it be known that God disposes what man proposes and God in the Holy Bible had condemned perversion and immorality. God's law on marriage can't be altered by man to suit his caprice. Churches that supported same sex marriage had defied God's very own words written in Revelations thus losing their divinity to be called Christian Churcnes

  133. Anyone who uses the Bible as authority while using an incorrect name to describe the last Book of the Bible, loses all credibility. To understand that this book describes a single Revelation is to begin to understand some of it.

    That said, using the Bible as any sort of definitive moral authority is a dubious claim, at best. Consult your friendly neighbourhood textual critic for an outline of the numerous problems involved in doing so.

  134. Unless of course you either are not a Christian or you happen to be one of the Christians who believe that the teachings and example of Jesus were about treating all people with dignity and avoiding the natural human tendency to treat as outcasts those who differ from the majority in some manner.

  135. Marriage is a man made institution and it's changed several times over the years.

    Who made you God's spokesperson?

  136. There has never been a credible argument against same sex marriage. Ever.

  137. Last year, our trip to DC coincided with the Supreme Court decision and we were there as history was made: on a tour bus on the way to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

    My wife and I saw the crowds outside the Supreme Court and read about the decision on our SmartPhones.

    It looks like we'll be planning another trip to DC next year. Forget about a tour bus....I'm going to be part of the crowd outside of the Supreme Court! By then my wife and I will be together almost 17 years.

  138. Marriage equality is fairly simple.

    The states are responsible for the laws governing civil marriage. The states have wide leeway, but they may not legislate outside the boundaries of our federal Constitution. So, federal equal protection and due process of law apply to state marriage laws, even though there is no mention of marriage in the Constitution. Tradition is not a valid legal reason to hold on to an unconstitutional provision in a state law. The courts are not legislating anything but applying federal constitutional rights to state laws.

    Slippery slope arguments about polygamy are inapplicable. Bans on same sex marriage target one subset of Americans, GLBT citizens, without a constitutionally valid reason, violating constitutional equal protection and due process rights. Bans on polygamy apply to all citizens, equally, so there is no violation of equal protection or due process.

    Civil law marriage has no legal relationship to religious marriage. All religions are free to apply their own faiths and rules. Guaranteed by the federal Constitution.

    Finally, all of the social and psychological rationales for maintaining a ban on same-sex marriage are not supported by scientific research. Most damaging of all, the children of same-sex couples are deeply hurt by the unequal status of their parents' relationship. So, it's not only the adults in same-sex relationships who are marginalized, but their children who are stigmatized. Unconstitutionally.

  139. While I do agree that same-sex couple should be accorded the full legal benefits of a marriage by the state, I would be uncomfortable with the inevitable law suits trying to force churches to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Let keep the church and state separate - and, yes, religious institutions do get tax exemptions because they fill more roles in society than simply performing marriages, do let's retire that old saw on this issue.

  140. Not true. I do not go to church; I do not go to the mosque; I do not go to the temple. What benefits do I get from these religious institutions? None. They should not have tax exemptions. They fill no roles in my society. This country was built on the principle of separation of church and state. Let's get it back there and stop listening to the religious idiots.

  141. I'm not aware of anyone wanting to sue churches to force them to perform same-sex marriages. Even if they wanted to, such suits would go nowhere. If there is a threat to the separation of church and state, it's coming from the church, not the other way around.

  142. Churches can and always will be able to discriminate against whom they are willing to marry. Please stop making up bogus strawman arguments to defend a position (yours) that is just indefensible.

  143. Read, The Bells Are Ringing For Me And My Pal. It's a big book, and it sums the whole unfair matter up nicely.

  144. I'm against same sex marriage. However, the laws are changing, as well as many cultural attitudes, and the law is the law. Those of us who are against same sex marriage should respect enacted laws, while working within the system to try and change them through the democratic process. I guess then my question is - logically where does this lead and where does this end? Are we several years away from legalized multiple marriage partners, straight or gay? Does what was once illegal someday become the new norm?

  145. This kind of illogical thinking is fear mongering. It is the same kind of fear that enabled laws against interracial marriage. You don't explain why you are against same sex marriage but it seems odd that you would want to spend your time trying to change laws that protect human rights to dignity, love and family. This out-dated fear based ideology of "family" as between a man and woman only is narrow and actually selfish, as there are many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in our communities and they deserve the same dignity and respect for their lives as the "straight" community does.

  146. Maybe. Things change. People who spend their short lives trying to prevent change are wasting their time.

  147. So, answer my "illogical" thinking with a logical answer. Where does this lead years, decades down the line?

  148. Every argument against same-sex marriage has long been debunked as hypocritical nonsense, at best based on utopian presumptions of marriage and family which heterosexuals themselves fail to live up to. It's particularly interesting how many women have come out in defense of "traditional" marriage (you mean the kind where the bride vows to "serve and obey" her husband, and the wife is considered the husband's physical property?). You simply can't push for a ban on same-sex marriage on the basis that it threatens the very foundation of civilized society without explaining why you're not likewise pushing for bans on divorce, single parenthood, and out-of-wedlock childbirth (and that lame "We're not perfect" doesn't cut it).

    Nothing will convince the bigots of the rightness of marriage equality, but future generations will look back and wonder what the fuss was about.

  149. People can believe whatever they want, based on whatever arguments they want. What they cannot do is impose those beliefs on others, especially through legislation. This principle applies to beliefs on any subject, including gay marriage and abortion.

    There is no need to establish a new "fundamental right." Though I have no objection to that as a secular civic principle in gay marriage cases, it seems to me a stronger argument to base the right to marry on traditionally guaranteed liberties such as freedom of religion, thought, speech, etc..

  150. The recent phenomenon of anti-gay conservatives trying to play the victim would be amusing if it weren't so sad. Exactly what is being "imposed" upon you? No one is requiring you to have nor attend a same sex wedding. Just as many Catholics historically have personally not recognized marriages out of their church, so may you choose to personally not recognize same sex marriages. Same sex marriage damages absolutely no one, as has been amply demonstrated in court, with opponents alleging damage, yet universally and embarrassingly being able to produce absolutely none.

    On the other hand, it is opponents of same sex marriage that wish to impose their prejudices upon others, demonstrably damaging law-abiding tax-paying same sex couples and, even more compellingly, the hundreds of thousands of innocent U.S. children they are raising. How do you explain to these children that they must be denied the protections, benefits, responsibilities and simple human dignity only conferred by allowing their same sex parents to marry?

    You may recall that in the Prop 8 case, Justice Kennedy referred to the real and demonstrable harm caused by the Prop 8 ban to at least 40,000 such children in the state of California alone.

    I think Justice Kennedy's mention of this, especially taken with his caution that the state's rights arguments may not violate constitutional protections, should make it clear where this is ultimately headed.

  151. Perhaps an alternative might be to remove heterosexual marriage, and then see if you feel the same way. Also, remove the right of men to have sex with women, and only allow women the right on their terms, and perhaps there would be no need for abortion.

  152. We need to separate the legal concept of marriage from the religious concept of marriage. Marriage as legal concept is about the contract and how it is legally interpreted and enforced. Marriage as a religious concept is what ever the religion says it is. So all of this fight is really a Church vs State conflict.

  153. We already have separated that in the US. No state of the union, including those in the Bible belt, requires any religious recognition in order to accept a marriage as legal. It's all secular: Fill out the right paperwork. Offer the right documents. Go off to the person responsible for finalizing the marriage, and there you go. You're married, as far as all of the fifty states are concerned. No church, synagogue, or mosque comes into it.

  154. Another milestone along the path toward a feminized future.

  155. HOW is marriage equality any kind of an approach to a "feminized future"? Also, what would be so bad about a feminized future? We have a "masculinized" past and present. We survived and continue to survive the testosterone ridden emotional outbursts, footsie-stomping, attempts to compensate for various size issues, etc. We can surely survive the estrogen version of the same.

  156. Equality is feminine? Interesting.

  157. Even if it were, which I don't agree with, what would be so bad about a feminized future?

  158. Fundamentally men and women are not the same or in the biological sense equal. Any sane human being wants all humans to be treated fairly and equally before the law. Calling homosexual unions marriage does not accomplish that goal. If stupid or provocative people believe it will they are not only mistaken but just playing into the hands of an elitist minority that want to degrade and supplicate all non elites. You will note we hear little about the denigration, death and destruction of homosexuals and even women in general worldwide from these so called equal rights people.

    This is a credible argument for calling a loving union between homosexual lovers anything but marriage and deny this at your intellectual peril.

  159. Yes, calling it marriage accomplishes the goal of marriage equality.

  160. Really? That's ridiculous. How does same sex marriage "degrade and supplicate all non elites" What total nonsense. We've heard these Chicken Little vague predictions of doom constantly from opponents of equality and dignity for gays, yet with now over a decade of experience with same sex marriage not one heterosexual marriage nor couple has been affected in the least.

    On the other hand, consider how these state bans demean and degrade the hundreds of thousands of innocent U.S. children being raised in same sex households, let alone their tax-paying, law-abiding same sex parents. How do you justify relegating these children to third class status? After all you can't even claim that their back of the bus will still get to the same bus stop.

    Your "credible argument" is absolutely nothing of the sort.

  161. If there is a "credible argument for calling a loving union between homosexual lovers anything but marriage," you certainly haven't presented it. Please tell us where we can find this compelling argument!

  162. I'm glad that gay people can now marry. It's about time that this basic right was given to them, I hope they take advantage of it because marriage is truly the most wonderful thing on earth. Now that this agenda has been accomplished, it's time to move the news to broader issues. Over 1600 intelligent, angry people wrote in this week to protest the loss of buffer zones around abortion clinics. Women (1/2 the population) are losing the right to control their own bodies and destiny, while the media continues to focus nearly exclusively on the expanding rights of a small minority (gays comprise ~1/20 of the population).

    The diminishing rights of women should not be ignored while the expanding rights of others are celebrated. It's not fair.

  163. Now that we as a society have witnessed the genuine attraction of gays for one another, we have become convinced that this is natural, not perverted.

    We're fortunate to live in a society that respects individual rights and it is growing in such respect regarding other clashes of the individual and the group, such as the right of an individual have an abortion.

    But that is another subject that needs to addressed in another article.

  164. "One might just as easily argued that interracial couples are by definition excluded from the institution of marriage."

    He should have cited Loving v. Virginia. And yeah, this was ALREADY argued and found unConstitutional.

    I appreciate Judge Luceros opinion, but to not cite L oving v. Virginia sort of impels he's was ignorant of that decision.

  165. “To claim that marriage, by definition, excludes certain couples is simply to insist that those couples may not marry because they have historically been denied the right to do so,” Judge Carlos Lucero, a Clinton appointee, wrote in a majority opinion in the Utah case, joined by Judge Jerome Holmes, a George W. Bush appointee. “One might just as easily have argued that interracial couples are by definition excluded from the institution of marriage.”

    The Judge is comparing same sex couples with opposite sex couples and presenting a logical error. To imply that, by definition, interracial couples consisting of one man and one woman are fundamentally the same as two men or two women is a argumentative flaw. There is an intrinsic and fundamental difference between the sexes and regardless of HBO movies or who appointed whom the logic is flawed.

  166. Except that, historically, interracial male-female couples were denied the right to marry because of the "argumentative flaw" that there was "an intrinsic and fundamental difference" between races. Which was the judge's point.

  167. What is meant by "fundamental right"? Narrowly, that it's guaranteed by the Constitution, or more broadly that it's a moral or human right? There is a difference between saying something would be beneficial and saying that if people were denied it some fundamental right would be violated.

  168. A fundamental right is one that the Court has recognized as such, and it has recognized a fundamental right to marriage.

  169. Sometimes in the Court's history it has referred to fundamental rights as those which predated the existence of the states as states or the federal government at its formation. Some of this analysis is found in older cases such as Griswold, etc.

  170. Couple: Two persons married, engaged, or otherwise ROMANTICALLY paired. -- Webster Dictionary
    ------------------------------------------
    (1) Perhaps the opposition to 'same sex' marriages will diminish, and acceptance of such marriages enhanced, if the LGBTQ activists started referring to such marriages as SAME GENDER marriages, not SAME SEX marriages. The term SAME SEX conjures up visions of what is unarguably unnatural sexual acts between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. The term also connotes that SEX is a major part of such relationships.

    (2) There is also a perception that Gay union is fraught with serious consequences such as transmission of HIV leading to AIDS. If there is new evidence to show that Gay sexual relations are 'as safe' as MOST, if not all, heterosexual relations, then the general public needs to be brought up to speed.

    (3) The supreme court cannot just TAKE UP the question of SAME GENDER marriages unless a person or a group having standing brings it up for consideration. To me, it reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of how any court, leave alone the Supreme court, works when the editors argue: "Yet the Supreme Court need not — and should not — wait for every appeals court to act or for a conflict to emerge among different circuits to revisit the same-sex marriage question."

  171. I'm sure the editors know how cases come to the U.S. Supreme Court. Their point was that the Court could obviate a series of decisions by making one clear decision in the first case from Utah.

  172. I have news: most transmissions of HIV in the world occur between heterosexual people. HIV doesn't discriminate.

  173. It seems simple to me: if you're an American citizen, then you have all the rights of an American citizen. All the rights. Period. Am I missing something?

  174. The states never withered away because Congress never fully utilized its power to quash economic competitions between them.

  175. Society has always placed limits on marriage. You have to be certain age, cannot marry blood relatives, etc. What's next Polygamy? Marrying your pet? If you include gay marriage as legal. Then any form of marriage should be deemed legal. Why discriminate!

  176. I love when people compare loving marriage between two people to marrying a pet. Thanks for the mature, legal-based and brilliant insight Genius,

  177. Can your schnauzer say "I do"?

    Age restrictions are in place because children are recognized as not having the maturity to consent without possible coercion.

    Coercion is possible is pre-existing relationships as well--such as older brother, younger sister--thus potentially denying one the "free will" necessary to enter a marriage.

    So, too, is the case in polygamy where the power dynamic may be unbalanced enough to deny one or more members that free will.

    Consent is key to marriage. Mutual, equal consent. Age, multiple numbers and, obviously, species can all impede on that consent.

    Your slippery-slope argument is old, weak and needs to be retired.

  178. It used to be legal to get married when you were 12. Are you saying we shouldn't have changed that, because marriage is an immutable thing?

  179. As to anti same-sex marriage "slippery slope" arguments, it might be argued with even greater reference to reality that heterosexual marriage leads to polygamy. I have yet to hear any LGBT persons ask to marry multiple partners.

  180. Gay marriage vs. heterosexual marriage? Gays argue they are being denied many thousands of benefits afforded heterosexual couples and that is discrimination.
    What about the discrimination against single people? Just because two people decide to get together and have a family does not entitle them to benefits that discriminate against a single person. Any marriage benefit afforded by law such as a tax break is a tax penalty for a single person. A single person is considered a lesser citizen and a second-class citizen compared to a married person because they get federal benefits denied to single people.
    Government partitioning (single/married) is reflected in society's attitudes toward single people. Predujice against single people is enshrined in our tax code and legal system (enacted by elected married people of course.) Oh you're not married (what's wrong with you that you're not married?) Certainly you don't deserve to be in political office until you prove you can coexist with someone else. Oh you want to be a professor at a university? Well you have to be married for that (other than a rare token of course). Married people are treated better than single people socially, career-wise, and BY LAW. Any benefit afforded a married couple (gay or otherwise) is a "punishment tax" for not being married for a single person.
    All the gays are doing is trying to become part of the "married social club" so they can start looking down on single people too.

  181. Your statment goes against the point of why the government has these laws in the first place. The idea of tax breaks and whatnot for married couples has been put in place because the government WANTS you to get married; this is why you pay higher taxes if your single. If you get married, the government assumes that you are placing down roots, you get a house, you spend more money....which helps the economy grow. Single people then pay more money because there is no government incentive not to tax them more.

  182. Your argument is absurd. The benefits bestowed upon couples who choose to marry is justified because they enter into a legally binding contract to support each other and the progeny of either. This significantly reduces the potential liability of society, government and the taxpayers.

    Unmarried persons do not enter into these legally binding obligations.

    Essentially, you are arguing for the benefits and privileges of marriage without the responsibilities. Why should singles be able to claim the benefits without accepting the obligations?

  183. Must have missed that part of the Constitution that says one minority may redefine marriage so it suits their lifestyle, but every other minority, such as polygamists, may continue to be discriminated against. Marriage equality? Hardly. Merely special treatment for the liberals' minority du jour.