Gay Marriage Case Offers G.O.P. Political Cover

If the Supreme Court resolves the issue as expected, it could largely neutralize a debate that a majority of Americans believe Republicans are on the wrong side of.

Comments: 312

  1. "For us, it's over in Wisconsin," Scott Walker says, when the truth is that same-sex marriage is legal here despite him.

  2. I think Walker's Wisconsin is the whole point here. He doesn't have to take a position.

  3. As a liberal, I fear not Mr. Romney. He governed the first state to legalize gay marriage and also the first state to enact universal health care. If he didn't like those, he couldn't stop them either.

  4. To Mexaly, Massachusetts had a Democratic supermajority in their state legislature. For the most part, it didn't matter what Romney thought regarding legislation passed there. Nobody has to fear a former governor. The foes of liberty and equality are the current Republican Congress, the current half-Republican Supreme Court, and a future Republican president who would nominate more Republicans to said court and provide no check or balance to said congress.

  5. Maybe Mr.Huckabee might reread his Constitution and note the separation of Church and State. Just sayin'...

  6. Yes, but for Huckabee and his ilk, State = Christian state. Problem solved.

  7. Being an ignorant hypocrite is what makes one a conservative, though. Conservatism: where arrogance and ignorance meet.

  8. I am rather shocked at the willingness of this author to put marriage equality and abortion in the same vein. It shows a subtle bias that attempts to make the two issues identical in the eyes of the public.

    In the US marriages must be sanctioned by the gov't requiring a license to be legal; the religious blessings of a marriage can only be performed *after* the gov't sanctions it. Over the course of history, marriage has been defined in numerous ways by numerous churches but remains a legal contract in the US. Everyone should have the right to enter into a contract and if they choose & have it blessed by a church. Religious and social conservatives long stated that equality marriage rights for blacks would promote "racial mixing”. Now, we abhor claims that religious institutions can be exempt from law because of race. Our viewpoint is inevitably different from the biblical. We cannot overlook the cavity that exists between then and now, nor deny its existence.

    By implying that marriage equality is somehow disdainful of holy word, conflates religion and civil law. What happens to humanists, agnostics, atheists, or those of any faith different from those trying to define marriage by their religious perspective? How does this free Americans from religion, or does it simply mute the voices of those who may worship differently, or not at all?

    In matters of civil law and legislation, the religious should not have unwarranted power over all.

  9. The Constitution's first amendment specifically denies Congress the power to give religionists any favorable legislation.

  10. NTS I love your comment but the article writer seems to be saying that *some voting Americans* see both topics in a religious way. That is not a writer bias; that is likely close to the truth in terms of where some Americans are today on both topics.

  11. As with abortion, just making gay marriage legal does not mean the right wing will give up. They will come up with other tactics to undermine rights. Its what they do. Its the only thing they do except for promoting oligarchy.

  12. Three points: former Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson's book offers a carefully reasoned examination of scripture to reach very different conclusions than the conservative movement; his work is seldom mentioned. He reviews his own journey and the public's reaction to gay marriage; it is well worth reading by supporters or detractors.

    The Supreme Court is not likely to undo but its ruling the thousands of marriages that already exist across the states. To do so, would create and I did terrible legal morass. Such a ruling would effectively declare all the couples legally divorced against their will! Thousands of families and children would be legally harmed.

    Thirdly, the conservative movement has begun pushing the idea of gay recruitment, using marriage as an enticement. This conspiracy formulation will have greater appeal than direct opposition. It's also multiplies the fear factor. Conspiracy and fear are the GOP wheelhouse. Look for the party to double down.

    More then other political issues, gay marriage demonstrates the divide between grassroots reality and with people what to believe. Dick Cheney is the post of Father for this cognitive dissonance. This separation of ideologies from reality is the party's raison d'entre. As with income inequality, the party will remain in denial on gay marriage.

  13. Separation between religion and state needs to be strictly enforced. Now if this marriage issue is a mute point I hope all those gay people will be just as powerful in their voices to defend a women's right to chose. To support birth control, the morning after pill and yes, if need be the right to have an abortion and availability to do so.

  14. Walterrhett, i love your posts and always follow them, but I wish you would proofread before posting. Your wisdom is hard to follow,when the wording is scrambled.

  15. pshaffer: I wholeheartedly agree! It has to do with my lifelong spelling bane; my blood sugar levels, and phoned-in posts as I spend nights with my 100 year-old uncle (who has no internet). In this case the battery was dying (under 5%) and I didn't want lose the whole comment.

    You can find corrected and revised editions of my comments (with great art!) on my blog (free!) See: []

  16. “It’s been settled. Let’s move on.”

    How does that save people who have been lobbying for years for a constitutional amendment against gay marriage and whose party in Congress is still spending taxpayer money defending a law that the Justice Department has essentially ignored?

    Where is their principle, as George Bush, who won in 2004 by using this divisive issue, liked to say?

  17. He's saying YOU LOST. Time to move on to other issues.

    Republicans have LOST this issue. Scott Walker is at least smart enough to know that. He normally doesn't sound this smart though.

  18. Yes and don't forget the Republican Party platforms anti gay stance.

  19. Scott: conservatives and the GOP "lost" the abortion issue in 1973 with Roe v. Wade.

    How'd that work out, long term?

  20. Gay marriage should be legal in this country as should most agreements between CONSENTING adults. The government should stay OUT of people's personal affairs . On the other hand the church of any denomination or faith does not have to like accept or condone gay marriage. If you want to belong to a club or a church you have to play by the rules of said organization. Don't like the rules don't join. An alternative would be to start your own club or church . It could be called the gay church of Christ . Hetorosexuals need not apply.

  21. "If you want to belong to a club or a church you have to play by the rules of said organization. Don't like the rules don't join." Would you be so accommodating if said club or church was denying membership or privileges based on race? On gender?

  22. Most serious voters will not forget. Just like most (on all sides) know about dog-whistle politics and the Southern strategy.

  23. Why else do you think the court decided to take it up now?

  24. As a Democrat, it might be fun to watch the upcoming Republican candidate debates to see them squirm and speak in kama suptra-like terms regarding same-sex marriage. Then when Santorum or Huckabee speak up, then the rest of the field will become "severely conservative." Republicans can always be counted on for a good laugh, then America will be terrorized by the thought that they really mean it.

  25. Yes Democrats do get a good laugh from Republican candidates, but some of those candidates win. Then look at the people they choose for the Supreme Court. Then we have to live with their decisions. Then who gets to laugh?

  26. Why do these so-called socially conservative types want to deny us gays the right to marry? Do they want us to keep living in sin?

  27. They want someone to pick on so they can distract voters from the fact that they're dipping their hands into the cookie jar.

  28. These so-called "social conservatives" are really authoritarians, and want the rest of the world to either conform to their own narrow vision or somehow disappear--preferably at no cost.

  29. Ha. The right to be joined for life and call this whatever you want is the future or is actually already the case. You will live in "sin" until you die as will everyone else.

  30. Didn't the Supreme Court also rule on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act? How have Republicans reacted to that?

  31. Yes - they ruled that legislation which, were it a tax, could not have been heard before enactment [due to the Anti-Injunction Act], and which was nowhere described as a tax by Congress, was not a it could be heard by them.... at which point... it was magically transformed into a tax, to put it under the Taxing Power rather than the Commerce Clause - all of which means the government can apparently legally require you to buy broccoli - although the 9th and 10th amendments may have enough residual meaning left after years of "living document" interpretation to prevent them actually requiring you to *eat* it.

    So the legislation which was not written as a tax, did not look like a tax, and which were it a tax, could not have been heard, was heard, because it wasnt a tax, but then declared a tax, so that it could be declared Constitutional under the taxing power - even though Congress quite unequivocally put it under Commerce Clause authority.

    Got it?


    That was health care and whether the government can legally require you to buy things merely by calling the penalty for not doing so a 'tax'.

    Next they're on to handle marriage.

    I'm sorry, have Dems stopped whining about Citizens United? You know - the case that said Democrats can't fine or jail Republicans for making crummy political documentaries?

  32. Nope, and a good thing, too.

  33. In short, Republicans will continue fighting marriage equality. Good.

  34. Of course, if the marriage equality issue is removed, then the Republicans will actually need to come up with other issues to run on. That means either searching within themselves and doing research on the world around them to see what really matters, or finding other scapegoats to avoid anything of substance.

  35. They can still run on asking congress for a marriage amendment and prove how foolish they are for making such a statement.

  36. It would probably be finding other scapegoats. Not being based in reality or facts, today's GOP, like the totalitarians of yore (1939), would eventually discovered that an LGBT-free society would not work any better, and would have to victimize some other group in a never-ending game of social musical chairs.
    In some ways, the Final Solution ensured that Nazism would lose World War II, as too many resources (manpower, materiel, and transport) were drained from the war effort to carry out this inhuman and useless task.
    The GOP's efforts to debase government, all the while increasing their pay, pensions, and perks, ensure that taxpayer monies end up in the hands of connected middlemen who accomplish far less. Just look at private health insurers for Medicare Advantage programs and charter schools, as examples. It's a curious mix of gangsterism and pimping but, wait, isn't that what Lucky Luciano was jailed for and later extradited?

  37. Nowhere is it explained by these politicians who are trying to avoid discussing their actual beliefs why their "reasoning" (masked under high-sounding principles about the rule of law, etc.) does not apply verbatim with "gay marriage" replaced by "abortion" or other topics that they vocally abhor. Admittedly, logical reasoning has nothing to do with being a politician, so one cannot be too surprised. The failure of address such logical inconsistency is nonetheless funny. At least Cruz and Huckabee admit their beliefs.

  38. One can easily imagine the conservative rightwing Justices desperately trying to find an out to make it illegal but I cannot see any outcome other than legalization.

    Religion should never play a part in the rights of others. Nor should there ever be popular votes on others rights.

    This should be, and the operative word here is "should", a no brainer. Equal justice and rights for all in the eyes of the Constitution.

  39. If GOP plans to respond to questions regarding same-sex marriage with "it's settled", how will they explain away 49 attempts to overturn the ACA, and returning to the Supreme Court with efforts to further dilute campaign finance and the ACA before The Supremes? I sincerely hope their zealots force them to continue to defend the indefensible.

  40. Still the Republican Party continues its anti middle class, anti immigration, anti gay crusades.

  41. Yet they just won the Senate/House and enjoy their strongest majority in decades. A movie about an American sniper made by an American movie legend is breaking all kinds of records.

    The culture wars are back and I dare say liberals are over estimating the popularity of their views.

  42. Gee Ed, what the heck does American Sniper have to do with the issue?

  43. The American conservative is never more willing to part with his money than when he thinks it's going to take some liberal down a peg. Which is the whole point of American conservatism, the subjugation of others.

    I daresay the popularity of an American minority's freedom and equality is beside the point of the U.S. Constitution.

    But then I only came along after the American conservatives were taken down a peg regarding racial equality, so I take it for granted that people would see this rights thing as a foregone conclusion by Martin Luther King Day, 2015. Not your view, eh?

  44. It's a rather sad state of affairs when the Republican party needs the cover of the Supreme Court in order to get a pass from the Republican tea party and evangelical base to justify their discrimination against gay and lesbian couples that seek out a conservative way of life, i.e.; marriage.

  45. Read the work of gay activist and spokesperson Dan Savage to see how "conservative" his lifestyle is -- it consists of open infidelity and promiscuity, and the two men (he and his partner) going on cruises where they pick up third party lovers for fun and games. This is in his own books and columns (not an accusation by outsiders). He despises fidelity and thinks it is for "straights and breeders" and says so openly.

    Most people who want gay marriage state very openly their disdain of traditional marriage custom and ideals, and that they are REALLY in it for the 2900 Federal benefits (!!!) and for things like suing bakers and florists who won't give them what they want.

  46. And of course you know this because all of your gay friends tell you this and you have a deep understanding of what gay sexuality is. There are plenty of heterosexual people who fit the discription of what Dan Savage advacates. Should we view everyone's sexual behavior of one group through the ideas of one person? You are a male right so your idea of sex is the same a Larry Flints. I know where you are coming from. The idea of gay sex bothers you and so they are all perverts in your mind. But taking the idea of one man and putting a whole group of people in that mold is just wrong. There are people with loose sexual norms in every class, group, color, race, age, sex, political, origin, and what ever other group you want to add here and it is very small minded to pick one person of any group and think they speak for the whole.

  47. And the difference between this Dan Savage and the average heterosexual swingers of today, or the '70s, or any era, is what, "Concerned Citizen from Anywheresville"? Let's acknowledge gay people have as much Constitutional legal right to the myriad legal benefits of marriage that straight people do, and then rail against infidels (see how I did that?) of any sexual orientation, while praising monogamy of any sexual orientation, and I will believe your morality is well founded.

    Let's also acknowledge marriage and the socialization thereto is itself an edifying institution, and that the edifying benefits of being freely included into said socialization would accrue to at least some of teh gays if we'd only let them in on the gig from the get-go?

    Meanwhile I'll presume you don't lump all straights in with Larry Flynt or Hugh Hefner or some such, nor argue all straight rights hinge on whether the least moral among them are promiscuous hedonists. Because with gays estimated between 1—10% of the population, and historically prevented from normal self actualization and edifying social mores of dating and proms and marriage from cradle to grave, I venture to guess there are more heterosexuals in absolute numbers to prevent straight people from being found morally deserving of marriage rights or (gasp) 2900 Federal benefits. It's a little chicken-and-egg arguing hopeless sinners don't deserve a chance at love and marriage.

    If I had a dime for every disdainful groom...

  48. In a saner country, Equal Protection would simply be taken to mean what it says and the issue would have been neatly wrapped up decades ago.

    In a much saner country, government would have nothing at all to do with the institution of marriage - but such libertarian thinking has not made its way into the 2 party hive mind. Most Americans are fit, it seems, to ride this two-party, left/right paradigm all the way to the bottom...

  49. It will be very interesting to see how the vote comes down. I wonder how the Conservatives on the court will vote.

  50. Since a majority of the Supreme Court is Catholic, I'm sure many of them will continue to take their wafer as Catholics in good standing....

  51. I've always been taken aback by Christian conservatives who say marriage is being "redefined." Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples no more redefines marriage than extending women the right to vote "redefined" voting. It's really offensive. It's like saying voting is ruined now that women can vote, or marriage is ruined now that gay couples can marry. How ridiculous.

  52. The analogy with voting is faulty--there are no reasonable arguments for not extending the vote to women. However there are many sound philosophical and anthropological arguments against same sex marriage,viz.,What is Marriage? Man and Woman a Defense by Robert P. George et al.

  53. Rob - Marriage is a partnership agreement between two people who want to share their lives together. I know a number of same sex couples and there is no difference between their marriage and my heterosexual marriage, all of them go to work, pay bills, shop etc.

  54. I don't agree Rob. The anti suffrage movement was very harsh on women. It called the women who wanted to vote, power-hungry, unnatural women who wanted to shirk their true responsibilities - the kitchen, the home, and taken caring of men. The characterized these women as those who would sexualize politics and un-sex women, and confuse the proper boundaries of men and women. They would, in effect, upset the natural order.

    How is that any different from someone saying gay marriage is unnatural?

  55. Scott Walker, who is shown here, saying "it's over" which he voiced last fall, didn't want it to be over though, or did he? With the election coming up in a month or so after the decision, was he sneakily trying to convince WI voters, that he too, wanted the WI ban law to be done with? Did he say this to then sneakily try to attract LGBT voters in the state - that now he was the good guy - declaring "it's over" and they would not have anything further to worry about, underestimating the intellect of the voters, LGBT or whatever?

    He called for his then Attorney General JB Van Hollen to press for an appeal of the first court's decision,to allow WI to overturn legislation that banned gay marriage. The Supreme Court's decision to allow gay marriage came then after Van Hollen's appeal. If Walker really wanted things to be over, he would have saved time, energy, taxpayer money, and gay people's emotions by simply stopping at the first level. The majority of people in WI did not want the continued obstruction of gay marriage - but Van Hollen pressed on. Walker had to impress his conservative party that he would make the press to try to sustain the ban, with the appeal to the Supreme Court.

    So interesting the NY Times is suddenly showing more and more of Governor Scott Walker of WI - giving him more and more press - which is especially dismaying to many in WI, and us NY Times subscribers, who direly oppose this man, and for good reason. Presidential material? Never.

  56. Presidential material? Never. Toilet paper? Yes! (That sobriquet more easily applies to Gov. Scott of Florida--remember Scott Tissue in rolls of 1,000?)

  57. The citizens of Wisconsin do not want gay marriage.

    If you believe otherwise -- then put it to a vote. But you won't. Lefty liberals know that when gay marriage is voted on, it almost always LOSES.

    If they really believe that people now accept gay marriage -- why use the courts? Why not let people VOTE and SHOW YOU how much they really accept gay marriage?

  58. How would the people have voted on the civil rights issue in the 60s? Someone has to override people's prejudices and ignorance. How does gay marriage affect you besides offending your sensibilities? I don't give a hoot for your religious beliefs but I let you sound off; you mind your own business when it comes "religious" issues and the world would be a better place.

  59. Republican political operatives are shameless when it comes to exploiting the fears and prejudices of "values voters". Remember the "Southern Strategy"?
    They have been very successful getting people to vote against their economic interests by claiming to support their values. They desperately need the votes of those who fear the "others", those that do not look, speak or believe as they do.
    They money men who support the Republican party care little for these issues. What they really care about is low taxes, low levels of regulation, and cheap compliant labor. I'll bet the conversations at their exclusive clubs are not about god, guns, gays, and fetuses.
    No surprise that they see a potential ruling by the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage giving them cover. They did not really care about this issue in any event and now they'll be able to blame the Court.

  60. Good point, actually. They will point to the Court (if they do force gay marriage on the nation) and say "look at how they took your right (to determine your own state marriage laws) AWAY FROM YOU!"

    This will set the stage for the next GOP POTUS to put a number of very conservative judges in the Court. And then the next several years will not be happy ones for lefty liberals.

  61. This case will play out 6 to 3 in favor of gay marriage with Roberts siding with the majority. He is strategic enough to know the harm a no vote brings his party. He presides over the eroding respect and significance of a branch in decline largely as a result of his own doing. An "umpire calling balls and strikes" is about as farcical a statement as was ever uttered by a Court nominee. Time for term limits.

  62. Please - the judicial branch began its decline with Wickard v Filburn, and rapidly accelerated it by declaring a right to privacy - {which sounds great, sure} out of the "penumbras and emanations" of the Bill of Rights.... neither word being a synonym for "words," of course.

    On the contrary, Roberts sought consensus and "stronger" decisions, but whatever his politics, or your like of them, the court is hopelessly politicized now such that both liberals and conservatives do little more than reverse-engineer a justiifcation for the conclusion they want to reach based on political worldview, not a sober analysis of the law per se.

    We have met the enemy and it is them. All of them.

  63. Who do you see as the third vote? Scalia? I'm not sure I can see that after his dissent that started the legal cascade that has lead to this.

    I doubt it would be center-seeking Kennedy either. And as you observed, it's unlikely to be Roberts (with his eye on history).

    I wouldn't be surprised if Thomas and Alito end up alone, trying ludicrously to explain why their decision wasn't based on their personal religious beliefs. Their dissent may go down in history as a record-breaking exercise in legal hypocrisy.

  64. Term limits would have forced the honest Justices into retirement and more ultra right wing bigots would be sitting on the bench today.

  65. Oh I think abortion is very much in the same category. Forget polling. Whenever restrictions have been put specifically to a vote as a ballot question as has happened in several states where a ballot question was used to overturn over zealous Republican legislative initiatives usually in red states they have been substantially rejected. If Roe ever got over turned mayhem would ensue.

  66. "If Roe ever got over turned mayhem would ensue."

    Yes but several states have sadly been successfully chipping away at that for 3 decades now. "States Rights" sounds nice in theory but it causes ridiculously variable laws regarding civil rights in reality.

  67. Haha, I think the liberal left has shown that they do not care about abortion as much as they care about forcing gay marriage on the nation, and destroying traditional marriage.

    They made their choice. I hope they are happy with it.

  68. Concerned Citizen - I'll ask this for the 50th time, how does the marriage of one couple destroy the marriage of another? You keep making this assertion but you never have anything to back it up with.

  69. If they are really the idealogues they pass themselves to be (the GOP), they will start a Supreme Court impeachment movement. But they won't, because they are not really idealists of any sort: they are hypocrites, and opportunists, and like the title of a Frank Zappa album, they are "only in it for the money". More for them and their friends, not so much for the rest of us.

  70. How is it possible that Republicans win both when the Supreme Court decides in their favor AND when it decides against them?

  71. Whatever "political cover" a Constitutional review by the SCOTUS ruling may provide it will be primarily cover within a divide Republican National Party not with the general electorate.

    As mentioned in the article, a plank opposing gay marriage is in the Republican National Party's platform. It is extremely unlikely the gay community will forget the widespread and vehement opposition Republican state legislatures, governers and congressional representatives has publicly espoused over the years. Mr. Jeb Bush's acquiescence to the recent Appellate court's decision in Florida will not magically erase his prior anti marriage equality statements.

  72. When Amendment 2 passed in 2008 in Florida I vowed not to support any Florida charities. Since the same people who supported it are still kicking and screaming hoping against hope that the courts do not undo their bigotry I have decided to continue my one man crusade.

  73. Nor should Americans either forget or ignore Jeb Bush's participation in the Project for the New American Century ("PNAC"), the cabal that came up with the Iraq War, among other things. This makes him unfit for the presidency, to say the least.
    Similarly, Hamas still has the eradication of Israel and Jews worldwide in its platform, and "Mein Kampf" called for the eradication of Jews.
    Never forget, lest history repeat itself. How an LGBT person could vote Republican astounds me; the party has become too rotten and too corrupt to change from within. If the nation follows their xenophobic, homophobic, racist, and greedy policies, it negates the promise of our Constitution and hastens our national ruin.

  74. Republicans have not said 'It's settled, let's move on' - they continue to bash and threaten to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

  75. And in states where gay marriage is legal, they continue to propose lunch counter type discrimination bills for religious bigots who run flower shops and bakeries.

  76. The right-wing politicians in robes will do whatever it takes to advance the cause of their reppublican clients.

  77. No matter what the court rules, the evangelicals and religious fundamentalists who seem to be in charge of the Republican Party will ramp up their anti-gay hate speech, and bellow loudly about "religious freedom", a code phrase for legalized bigotry.

  78. Bigotry is and should be perfectly legal provided it's not used to anyone's detriment. P.S. It's not to my detriment when a bigot denies me his friendship - just a job or a public room.

  79. Do you Trust the Supreme Court as it stands, to rule once and for all this issue in favor of gays? That is what a gay person has to be asking themselves. I don't.

  80. I do, the same five justices who in our favor two years ago will do so again. With a little extra luck Chief Justice Roberts might join the majority. He claimed that he respected the sanctity of cases already decided when asked what he would do regarding Roe v Wade in his confirmation hearings and the court has already spoken!

  81. I trust that the Court will rule in favor of gay marriage because that is what benefits the conservative politicians who apparently own them. The issue is beginning to hurt the GOP, and the Court has consistently ruled in favor of anything that benefits the GOP and against anything that damages its prospects.

  82. Same sex marriage has become the third rail in post 21st century politics. I would respect a presidential candiate who can speak honestly on a hot button issue instead of giving "nuanced" answers. The American popele want to know where these candiates stand whether it be for or against. Republican or Democrat , if they waffle or hedge their responses they will lose a shot at the White House.

  83. The title of this article says that the majority of the people think Republicans are on the wrong side of this issue. Let's actually for once think about that statement. How many states have actually voted this law in and how many have been forced to accept it? How does anyone even pretend to know what the majority thinks until it was put to a vote and it hasn't been has it? The same as illegal immigration. Put it to a vote and the majority rules. Healthcare put it to a vote! Our current healthcare bill was the largest tax increase ever and will totally hurt the middle class. Now our current president wants to sound like he cares and tax the rich. Feed hate of the rich, take no responsibility for his huge tax increases. What a guy.

  84. In America, we don't put people's rights to the popular vote.

  85. The votes against gay peoples rights were taken well in the past, before lgbt people began coming out of the closet and demanding equal rights. Taken today, all polls indicate they would not happen and discrimination would not be enshrined into law and religious intolerance would not have been allowed to run rampant.

  86. Most of those votes against same sex marriage wouldn't happen today, acceptance has grown. Same sex marriage has been around for awhile now and people have realized that it doesn't impact them at all. Quite a few people simply don't care or give it any thought.

  87. The reason the Republicans can't win this one is that once one opens their eyes, it turns out that *EVERYONE* knows someone who is gay and probably someone who is both gay and would like to be married. It's hard to look your friend in the face and then vote against their right to live the same full and fulfilled life that we ourselves expect to live.

    Abortion has been kept much more "in the closet", with women generally keeping quiet about their abortions. But I take heart in the recent wave of women speaking out saying "Yes, I had an abortion and I don't regret it!". When it turns out that we all know women who have had abortions, perhaps it will finally become just as hard to vote against their rights.

    Republicans are going to find it harder and harder to find and employ the socially-polarizing issues they've been using so successfully to get Americans to vote against their self interests and in favor of the wealthy and powerful.

  88. We can only hope.
    There was an interesting item in Le Figaro this morning, where a French psychologist finds far-right parties like the Front National appealing to homosexuals! But why would an LGBT person want to join with a group that puts them in the same pariah-class as the Nazis painted Jews and Gypsies (although they do NOT propose costly genocide efforts--the GOP simply wants these people--and poor people--the 47%--to somehow vanish at no cost).

  89. The comparison between abortion and marriage is inexact, and offputting to those who don't view the two as morally equivalent.

    Abortion is not a proud or triumphant thing; it's a difficult and deeply personal decision. It's the ending of a human life.

    Marriage is a public event, an affirmation of love, an entryway to parenthood. It's essentially a celebration of life.

    I want everyone - gay or straight - to be joyous about getting married. Having an abortion doesn't merit a similar response.

  90. I think this article greatly underestimates the intransigence of the Republican right; they will continue to make this an issue in the primaries, and insist on "state's rights", railing against "judge-made law" and "unelected judges", and hope for an overturn--and they will press the Republican candidates accordingly.

  91. I don`t think that gays do need that much attention. It seems that they have everything they need but they want more. Let them live their lifes but why do officials push the situation further and further on? Soon we, heterosexuals will have no space to live...That`s sad. But the situation will hardly change. Unfortunately.

  92. So you are saying that gay people should be happy as second class citizens? Not gonna happen

  93. Please expand on your position that allowing gay men and women to have the same rights you do, e.g., the right to marry the man or woman they choose, reduces your own space? How does that impact you and your own life?

    Are you saying that what you define as 'your space' must be filled only with bigoted heterosexuals, and it's getting harder and harder to find a social sphere where that is the norm. Fortunately.

  94. It must be frustrating not to be able to decide for others what "they need", that you no longer have the privilege of letting "them live their lives" (how generous you are). Those gays are actually people with inalienable rights, just like heterosexuals, who don't need someone to tolerate them or portion out what they need.

    How that takes away "space to live" of heterosexuals is a real mystery, unless you can only live comfortably when others' rights are subjugated to, and less than, yours. What a nice America you've had for hundreds of years. I'm real sorry it's changing for you.

  95. The article starts off saying that the Supreme Court decision may well take the issue of gay marriage off the table. By the end, it seems to say, "then again, maybe it won't take it off the table." Appears to me that the authors are hedging their bets.

    I'm surprised that there was no comparison to the battle regarding ObamaCare. I can imagine Republican voters in the primaries asking the candidates if they would work to overturn gay marriage (if that's how the SC decides), in the same way that they are expecting Republicans to work to undo ObamaCare.

  96. I wouldn't be too sure that this supreme court will legalize same sex marriage nationwide (requiring that states accept out-of-state marriages). This is the same court that allowed Citizens United.
    And there are so many religious nuts out there who will be putting same sex marriage front and center that a) we won't be able to talk about something important and b) Republican candidates won't be able to bow out of that conflict.

  97. Not so fast. This may not be the complete slam dunk that people believe it will be given the way the Court has framed the question. I hope it is a slam dunk but the cynic in me thinks that if the Court goes the other way, progressives would have a very mighty issue to rally around for 2016. How big a wrench would be thrown into the next elections cycle for the Republicans? A very big one.

  98. Men have married men, women have married women, and the sky has not fallen. But maybe, some Republicans think, if we yell loud enough, people will still be scared. Not just "chicken little" types, these people are low on the scale of even chicken thinking. Huck- huck- huck a bee?

  99. Made me smile. Thanks.

  100. The sky didn't fall with the Citizen's United ruling either.

    Yet most people still think that ruling was WRONG.

  101. It's clearly a win-win for Republicans. A decade ago, an acquaintance of mine said that in 50 years conservatives would be so embarrassed over their historic anti-gay stands that in the future they wouldn't even acknowledge their past. His timing was a bit off and for all but the troglodytes it's clear the party leadership know it's time to move on or be left behind. Equally significant is the decision will become a rallying cry - elect us so we can pack SCOTUS with folk more like us. Nothing like aggrievement to bring out the voters even if there is no going back on this matter.

  102. You think a Supreme Court decision for same-sex marriage will make the right-wing crazies shut up and go away about it? A decision for will just energize a push to amend the federal constitution and touch off a round of bashing the leftist liberal activist Roberts court (ha!). A decision against will energize the movement to roll back the progress in the states and local governments and the federal executive level. If you think a Supreme Court decision is going to quiet and not intensify the right-wing outrage, you ain't seen nothing yet.

  103. A Federal Marriage Amendment was a non starter when Dubya tried it out in the early 2000s. And there was far less support for marriage equality then.

  104. True, but since the early 200s the right wing has become a lot more virulent.

  105. What you describe is the sensible reaction, but I'm not sure it will be the Republican reaction. Particularly if the Supreme Court stops short of finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, effectively leaving the issue to the states.

  106. Agree. They have been fighting bit by bit against other SCOTUS rulings they do not like. Not sure they will stop.

  107. The Supremes were waiting for one appelate to disagree with the others. Just look at that timing.

    Half a dozen circuits say "marry" and the newcomer says "no."

    If the Supremes were to rule in favor of the one circuit that disagrees with all the others, Especially if it's a narrow ruling, will encourage the overruled courts to bring more cases and apply more pressure.

    Plus, Hillary could win two terms. That would do it, no matter what the present Supremes think.

  108. First SCOTUS gives the Republicans the Florida recount extravaganza... and George is sworn in. Nevermind that they contradicted previous rulings to not interfere in a states right template, by gosh, this was important so precedent be hanged. Citizens United made Corporations into people and put all of their money on the table. When this wasn't enough SCOTUS opened up the floodgates even more... anybody anywhere can now invest in purchasing their own legislature, limits on how many reps in a single legislative body can be bought? That's gone.
    Need help in the South?
    No problem. SCOTUS to the rescue! Pesky Voting Rights Acts are eliminated. In about 15 minutes, punitive new types of voting poll taxes are enacted and various voter suppression tactics are enacted. Chutzpah beyond belief, to begin with the same behaviors that brought oversight in the first place.
    Now....suddenly SCOTUS wants to help by eliminating a troublesome social issue that makes Republicans look backward, angry, and mean spirited.
    SCOTUS. To even a casual political and court observer, it is undeniable tbat the best court that money can buy, is helping the RNC buy our country.

  109. "Citizens United made Corporations into people"

    No - it didn't.

    Seriously, liberals - did ANY of you actually read that case?

    p.s. It did not find that money=speech either.

  110. Yes, who knows what the Supreme Court will do. What we do know is that the male, catholic, corporate majority and the bible belt radicals want to pick at Roe v Wade until it's useless. Mr. Huckabee says, "“They are only the Supreme Court, not the supreme branch of government,” he said. “They are most certainly not the Supreme Being, from which all law ultimately emanates.” Here's some news, Mr. Huckabee - neither are you or your radical supposed christian brethren. Yet you seem to think you have a right to tell over half the world's population - women - what they can do with their own bodies. Our bodies came from exactly the same place as yours and not one single living human being, including you and the pope, knows where that is. It is time for you power-hungry radical religionists to stop pretending you are some god-sent messengers and admit that you just want to control the actions of women because you have some outdated religious idea that men are supposed to control women. NO. You are in for the fight of your lives.

  111. The Hobby Lobby decision shows the Supreme Court is perfectly willing to allow lunch counter type discrimination. Even if they coerce all states to recognize a gay marriage that has taken place in one of them, my bet is that they will allow various and sundry bigots to weasel out of treating all people equally.

  112. Funny - I thought the anti-Catholic stuff became a little bit déclassé [outside the Deep South, anyway] around the time of Jack Kennedy.

    Well, at least you didn't do talk about how many Jews there are on the Court or how their religious beliefs make them incompetent jurists.

    I'm assured that doing so is deemed - impolite and a bit silly, in this day and age.

  113. Mr. Huckabee is just a fradulent, crapulent huckster, selling some products to a low-information base.
    If he's "presidential," we lost World War II to the Axis some 70 years later.

  114. How interesting for a party that is wrong on about every social issue (voting rights, equality with respect to race and gender, Jim Crow, woman's choice, gun laws, immigration, religion, the desire for a theocracy, prayer in school) that they would have the supreme court decisions providing cover.

    So I guess that was easy to be wrong without completely damaging the country beyond repair. Hurray for the Supreme Court.

    Now, I wonder what arbitration body exists to redress the republican ideas about fiscal and monetary policy and government (drill everywhere, remove all regulation, shut government down, spend money you don't have, declare war with everyone, subsidies for the rich, punish the poor for being poor, get the haves hate the have nots).

    I guess just the Church of public opinion.


  115. Where do you sign up to be the person who gets to declare which political position is wrong - and, is there an election, or does one just sort of strong arm one's way into the role?

  116. Your first sentence shows exactly how wrong you are. What makes you think the Republicans are wrong about social issues. They see the Democrats as being ridiculous as they are.

  117. Thank you Eochaid and Jacrane, for the exact response I wanted to evoke. The right wing is characterized by an inordinate number of people who just simply know they are right and everyone who does not agree with them is traitorous, seditious, anti-American, lazy, and a dangerous, free-loading crazy person deserving of GitMo. But dare someone squarely at the median call someone else wrong! Ooooh!

    The intellectuals on the right frequently castigate (and in my opinion, quite rightly) those in the center and left of either equivocating, or maintaining an ambiguous moral relativism. But, dare anyone call attention to their impotent silence, equivocation, and moral relativism. Intelligence and rationality take a back seat when the right says: Restriction of voting rights of minorities is okay. Not pursuing genetic research is okay. Giving tax subsidies to big business is okay (medicare is not okay). Restricting a woman's right to choose is okay. Choking a guy selling cigarettes until he dies is okay. All these right wing positions are results of intelligent people equivocating and seeking shelter in moral relativism.

    Any chagrin about that?

  118. I love how the NYT arrives at its conclusions. The majority of Americans favor same sex marriage? Maybe on the Upper West Side and other similar enclaves but not out here.

  119. Who cares, Bill? That's not the point. We all count, even those of us "out here" who disagree with you.

  120. "Majority of Americans" doesn't mean "majority of people in your neighborhood". The NYT's statement is correct.

  121. The Republicans are on the wrong side of EVERYTHING! They are also against the equal treatment of people who are gay. "Surprise, surprise!" Their lust to serve both themselves and their 1% taskmasters will also destroy our social, politcal, and natural environments.

  122. This issue illuminates something I have felt for a long time, that the religious conservatives, formally known as the religious right although they were neither control the Republican Party structure as opposed to the voters who pull the levers, especially in Presidential primaries. In the past two Presidential Primaries the most centrist candidate was the victor much to the chagrin of the party hierarchy. John McCain paid the price of that by having to select a Vice Presidential candidate with appeal to these far right folks and look what that did to him, it cost him the election. Bottom line, if I am correct in my assessment then do not look for any acquiescence from the Republican party just because the Supreme Court says Marriage Equality is the law of the land. Roe v Wade and Same Sex Marriage will be the issues that will drive the Republican leadership on their march to oblivion.

  123. One aspect of the gay marriage question that seems to be ignored is federal tax policy. Some married couples---depending on a number of variables---receive a "marriage bonus" when filing jointly.
    This may seem like a minor technicality to some. I think otherwise. The government cannot grant tax benefits based on marital status with one hand while declaring a whole category of citizens (i.e. gays) ineligible with the other. For federal tax purposes, state laws will have to be consistent with one another in their definition of marriage. Or, alternatively, the option of filing jointly will have to be eliminated.

  124. Marriage helps people to accumulate wealth. That is why marriage equality is such an important issue.

  125. The vast majority of married couples get no bonus AT ALL -- it would take a very special set of circumstances to get even a small extra tax benefit. Most married people pay the "marriage tax penalty" and pay MORE taxes than two singletons.

    Quite a few gay people will be getting a shock in a year or two (or three), when their taxes go WAY up -- the marriage tax penalty plus many affluent gays will be paying the AMT now.

    Gays are not "ineligible" for any tax benefit nor ever were. Gays were never banned from marrying precisely like other people -- to marry any person of the OPPOSITE sex, assuming they are not related and not already married to someone else.

  126. Concerned Citizen - How old are you? You're echoing the logic that people used for a ban on interracial marriage, telling people they could marry anyone they wanted to as long as they were of the same race. Is that really the part of history you want to align yourself with?

  127. And Mike Huckabee needs to be reminded that the U.S. is not a theocracy.

  128. The US is not a theocracy...yet.

  129. But it's getting close.

  130. Both abortion and gay marriage are issues which divide liberals and conservatives.

    But there is a difference between killing and non-killing.

    When the Supreme Court stops defending non-emergency abortions, the abortion debate will come to an end.

  131. Do you really believe cretins like Scalia, Alioto, Thomas and Roberts wouldn't overturn Roe V Wade if their handlers would give them permission?

  132. "Non-emergency abortions." That's a very high-minded-sounding code name for government-forced births against the wills of pregnant women. Please remind me again, in light of Roe v. Wade's invoking our Constitutional right of privacy: How are their pregnancies any of your business?

    And BTW, there's also a difference between terminating a pregnancy and killing. But you already knew that.

  133. The abortion issue is complicated by how it relates to how society treats disability. There is a legitimate fear that allowing prenatal decisions about terminating pregnancies of fetuses with disability will spill over into similar treatment of sentient people who are disabled for one reason or another. This issue has to be laid to rest for people to be comfortable with abortion. There is no doubt that capacity to overcome disability is strong in many people, and their accomplishments are impressive. However, there is much heartbreak to raising a disabled child, and it is not fair to people for the government to say to people with a problem pregnancy that God has chosen to test them with a heavy burden. It is better to allow them to try again for a healthy child.

  134. As I see Republicans not only build a good half of his company around the fact that Obama was not their candidate, but also not ready to stand firmly for their convictions. Or their opinion is very easy to change, or they ready for everything, even if it is contrary to their convictions, just to get the majority of votes in the election.

  135. This assumes people will forget how badly they were treated by the GOP.

  136. That's part of the problem. Most people do seem to forget how badly the Republican treat them once election day rolls around.

  137. This article and those thinking the issue will be over are deluding themselves. People do not give up their beliefs that easily. Something as radical as the enshrinement of gay marriage as a constitutional right by 5 or more judges will produce a backlash. It will shock many who have been previously on the sidelines or weren't paying attention.

    States in the South will be the most aghast and rightfully so.

  138. Yes, because we all know how states in the south continue their long history of moral superiority.

  139. Are you serious? Unless people have been burying their heads in the sand for the last ten years they cannot be surprised. And if indeed they are surprised that gay people can get married in all 50 states, it proves the exact point the plaintiffs have been using all along: allowing gay couples to get married has ZERO effect on anybody except the couple doing it.

  140. One has the right to believe anything, however, one's rights to enact law are limited to laws that are fact based and serve a legitimate secular public purpose.

  141. An affirmative Supreme Court decision on gay marriage may well give political cover to some in the Republican Party, but social conservatives will continue to argue that caterers, photographers, etc. are not bound to provide services to those to whose "lifestyle" they object under the phony banner of religious freedom. The Court affirmed this travesty in the Hobby Lobby case in which it bought the argument that private employers could claim religious objections to certain birth control devices and therefor be exempt from the ACA.

  142. You are exactly correct and it is already happening. Check out what the crazy bigots in Texas are already doing. The next line of "defense" they are creating against the nonexistent battle with my husband and I, is to try to make denial of service legal under "religious liberty" 1st amendment grounds. It's hogwash and discrimination on its face.

  143. Congress shall make no law respecting tenets of religion, but it may enact regulations to assure that private religious ceremonies can be conducted without interference.

  144. Every single marriage equality law has been forced to put extreme carve outs for religious exemptions. No one is interested in forcing churches to marry couples they do not wish to for any reason. But when it comes to businesses, I am sorry. If you photograph weddings, you have to photograph them all. If you bake wedding cakes, you can't decide which ones you will or will not bake. This is Part 2 of this battle. And all because the religious right cannot accept that we are not living in a theocracy, and that their right to force their religion into the public square ends when they start making laws based on their choice of an imaginary deity.

  145. That's all well and good, and this would be true if only Republicans had a history of letting things go so easily. cough Obama Care cough

  146. I'm not sure what the complaint is by this front page editorial. The Gay community has fought for it's rights over decades against the prevailing political agenda of both parties. Having won legislative and legal victories across the country the Gay community may win their rights in a Conservative Supreme Court.

    This change took decades and the battle wasn't fought by liberals or conservatives it was fought by those who's rights were violated.

    If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Gay rights I suspect Conservatives may grumble but they will respect both the right and the law. This victory if it happens isn't an indictment of the right or a victory for the left it is a victory for humanity and mostly for those who fought the battle, conservative and liberal gays and their family members who were impacted by having their civil rights denied.

    One thing I expect from the next election is both sides working each over about social issues while more of my tax dollars are being used to fund the military, secret courts, death by drone, boots on the ground arming and training our future terrorists and an expansion of our military industry at the expense of education and health care.

  147. Let me tell you, that at the VERY MINIMUM, the right will put its efforts into banning abortion.

    There will be payback for destroying traditional marriage -- for decades.

  148. I think if this victory comes it's instructive to how our democracy actually works.

    The Gay community has won this battle through decades of changing legislation and winning court room battles at the State Level. By the time the SC actually hears this case the battle has for all practical purposes been won from the bottom up.

    In the case of Abortion the victory was won at the Supreme Court level without mobilizing the general population from the bottom up. That has allowed the opposition, taken by surprise to mobilize and fight.

    The best counter to that is stay mobilized and vote at all levels of government. The right has clearly done a much better job of this then the left.

  149. Concerned Citizen - Fascinating, so the right doesn't really care about the unborn, it's just a weapon to use as payback? Good to know.

    Tell us again how exactly marriages are being destroyed?

  150. The United States a has a separation between Church and State. The Supreme Being should have no say d have no say in this matter of gay marriage.

  151. In fact, if a state is allowed to refuse to recognize a marriage performed by a minister, the state is violating the freedom of religion of the couple. They are being denied recognition by the state of the marriage.

  152. I've always been bemused by the GOP's fanatic (I use the term advisedly) insistence that the state/government assume a hands off attitude to individual liberty and yet also insist that the state/government take an intrusive role in determining who has the right to marry....

  153. I'll bet you have an opinion about "who should marry" -- when it comes to incest, bestiality, polygamy, polyamory and other lifestyles.

    Very few people REALLY support total anarchy in marriage law (or lack thereof). If "anyone can marry who they love", then SOME people would marry their own mother. They'd marry 10 other people. They'd marry a dog! Plenty of people out there would marry children -- there was a case just the other day of an 18 year old man running away with his 13 year old girlfriend!

    This is not 1950 and nobody HAS to get married, or is required to marry in order to cohabitate. In fact, most STRAIGHT couples today choose not to marry and prefer to live together.

    This is about destroying traditional marriage, something the left has always despised.

  154. "something the left has always despised"

    i'm not sure what altered universe you live in but going to school and having many Catholic friends whose parents were divorced, cheated, remarried and did it again, while claiming to be good, religious, conservative folks with family values, clearly showed this is not about the "left" or the "right" per se. the only "traditional" part of this was their ability to go to church on Sunday and get "forgiven," and then have wine and gossip with the faithful and Father Murphy afterwards. i've read your posts here for quite some time and like Paul from White Plains, they always follow the same line. Just traditional old whining from white folks who would like a return to Leave It To Beaver while in reality dad was doing the neighbors wife. That IS the way it was, that was "tradition." hopefully you and your ilk will soon die off and leave the rest of us in peace. though given how much you folks like to "busy-body" into others lives and affairs you'll probably come back in the form of some Fox journalist talking head. After all got to keep intolerance, greed, hatred and bigotry alive cause that IS traditional!

  155. Concerned Citizen - Really? The left has always despised marriage? So you have stats that confirm that liberals don't get married? I'd love to see that data.

  156. This is the best explanation for the court's action that I've heard. They are setting the table for a Republican Presidential victory in 2016. Bush v. Gore and now this. Never let it be said that SCOTUS isn't a political player.

  157. Though I understand that social cases have always been used py politicians for their own benefits, this still upsets me. Gay marriages is still a hard case for different people, and I personally think, that people of the state have the right to decide about acceptability of gay-marriages.
    But such blushless use of this conflict for your own political advantage is pathetic and characterizes G.O.P. clearly.

  158. Well if they have the right to decide about gay marriage why shouldn't they then have the right to decide about civil rights? You really want to give the morons that run the red states that kind of power?

  159. That you "personally think, that people of the state have the right to decide about acceptability of gay-marriages" is the same as saying that voters have the right to decide that some people are not equal to themselves in the eyes of the law.

    How can anyone possibly think that's okay?

  160. But why is the state the proper level at which to decide this issue? Why not the individual, church, town, county, family, country?

  161. For some reasons the Times is pretty sure the Supremes will rule in favor of same sex marriage.

    I am NOT so sure. The Supremes were, so far, reluctant to overturn Roe vs. Wade but that is much more important issue than a gay marriage.

    We just have to wait and see and hope for the best.

  162. The Republicans are not interested in overturning Roe v Wade. They would soon lose all their millions of single issue voters (how many Catholics voted Republican because their Bishops told them to do so the last four presidential elections? ) They want to keep it as an issue to keep allowing them to win elections with the support of tens of millions of Catholics and other low info voters who vote against their own interests.

  163. I share some apprehension about them doing what in my view is the right thing, However, they knew exactly how many votes they had, and exactly what the results would be back in October, when they refused to accept appeals from the lower courts overturning the bans. As a direct result of that, couples in those states began marrying. Absent their prior refusal to take the cases I think the outcome would be far less predictable. Now, with marriages already proceeding in 36 states, can you imagine them reversing themselves and creating the nightmare of state and federal legal mess for all those couples? Not to mention they would be creating the exact situation which the Prop 8 mess did: some couples legally married, and others similarly situated prevented from doing so.

  164. This is based on the assumption that the SCOTUS will rule in favor of gay marriage. But if they rule the other way and hold the affected bans as constitutional, then the republican field for 2016 will have to explain to a public that is overwhelmingly tolerant (I'd even say accepting) of gay marriage as to why one class of citizens should be constitutionally subject to unequal treatment under the law (what most would refer to as "discrimination").

  165. They won't have to explain anything. If the voters of a state want gay marriage they will pass laws to legalize it. If they don't, why would they be mad at Republicans about it?

  166. Most importantly in a Presidential year, Republicans will have to make that explanation in swing states where it is likely to cost them votes. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico and North Carolina are states where support to marriage equality has grown.

  167. Please already! no state has EVER passed a "ban" on gay marriage.

    Even 30 or 40 years ago, you could hold a ceremony -- buy a cake -- get rings and a white dress or tux -- and have all the gay marriage you wanted. It was just that the STATE and your fellow citizens were not COMPELLED to accept your fantasy.

    Unlike interracial marriage, no gay couple staging a wedding ever got sent to jail or fined or punished for a pretend marriage.

    There is no unequal treatment here. Any gay or lesbian has ALWAYS had the right to marry an opposite sex partner (and some have done this). There is no litmus test at the altar to see who is gay or straight!

    All the laws have said -- have EVER said -- is that marriage is a relationship between ONE man and ONE woman. And it is. You can change the law, you can force it on people and you can distort the truth -- but you cannot change reality, which is that human beings have genders and family & children only come from the pairing of male & female.

  168. Mr. Huckabee's belief in a 'Supreme Being' from whom all legal matters are derived is like me saying I believed in the Sky Fairy and that the Sky Fairy will make all my wishes come true. Neither is true. Neither can be proved.

    America will be so much better off when the 'believers' believe their nonsense in their own houses of worship and their own homes and they leave the rest of us be. The Sky Fairy told me that would be for the best.

  169. One has to be out of one's mind not to see that Huckabee is just a charlatan taking God's name in vain.

  170. The Flying Spaghetti Monster told me the same thing.

  171. I fear the Court will rule in favor of States' rights to determine this issue for themselves. If so, all those states that passed gay marriage bans, only to have them overturned by courts, will now be back to passing bans, this time with finality. I fear a new wave of anti-gay fervor, increasing anti-gay legislation, more anti-gay violence in the streets. The new Silent Majority in this country are the progressives, and the various governments, city, state and federal, are increasingly controlled by the right wing minority. This may be the issue that sparks revolution.

  172. As long as Scalia, Alioto, Thomas and Roberts are involved your fear has much merit. The court took this up too easily- I believe they were ordered to "settle" it before the 2016 campaigns really got underway. Now if we could just out whoever has that kind of power over the Supreme Court.

  173. you know, progressives ought to worry at least a little when they find themselves saying the same things as the crackpot Right: you know, do it my way, or REVOLUTION!

  174. It would not cause anti-gay fervor -- not at all. It never did. It simply defines marriage as "a relationship between one man and one woman". It "bans" nothing.

    It is good for families and good for children and good for society.

    If right wingers are a minority -- how do you explain the midterms?

  175. I find this hilarious. "Thank you Supreme Court for announcing from the bench that our party was on the wrong side of history and the law, so that we can stop trying to defend our indefensible position which even we can no longer justify or explain."

  176. It sounds ridiculous--but they really are just that crass.

  177. Love the line about saying they still have to honor the law of the land. That hasn't stopped Republicans and the religious zealots of the country to pass laws that are unconstitutional when it comes to abortion rights and access to women's healthcare. I do not understand how they get away with it considering Roe v Wade is still the law of the land. One abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi is not an "undue burden"? When are women and like minded men, getting to the streets on this issue? The Rep Garrett's, Rep Smith's and Huckabees of the world have no concept of separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson is rolling over in his grave!

  178. I guess they "honor the law of the land" by killing abortion Doctors and not pregnant women in line for an abortion.

  179. Oh, give it a rest. There have been four abortionists killed since 1993, all by certified crackpots. No one defends that kind of violence.

  180. It's interesting to see how the press has let the GOP off the hook. A presidential aspirant - not 20 years ago - said the GLBT members should not be allowed to adopt children. The true meaning of an outrageous position like this is simple: gays can't be trusted to be around kids. Why aren't the media questioning the politicians for holding such bigoted views in their adult lifetimes?

  181. you don't have to go back that far. Rick Santorum ran two years ago and had the same views. Ask Mike Huckabee that directly and he will, if honest and willing to answer, agree that gays should not adopt.

  182. No, it is not about trusting gay people around children. (I do not believe gay men are any more likely to molest children than straight men.)

    It's that children need a MOTHER. They need both a mother and a father. If their real mother and real father cannot raise them, then they need an equivalent married straight couple so they have both a MOTHER and a FATHER. A gay couple cannot provide this.

    It has nothing to do with "trust" or molestation.

  183. So widows and widowers should give their children up for adoption?

  184. I've felt all along that the majority of the Supreme Court sees gay marriage as an easy throwaway that masks their repulsive, and yes 'activist' decisionmaking. I do hope that gay men (and women, but money is power) will become leaders now and use this new clout to follow in the footsteps of Barney Frank and work for the public good on other civil rights issues including economic civil rights.

  185. One more example of the free-rider problem with Republicans: they act like irresponsible children on key issues (gay marriage, global warming, etc.), and depend on the adults in the room to restore order. Reminds me of how 10 year old boys fight, when they tell their friends "Stop holding me back!" in order to sound tough, while really hoping that their friends hold them back.

  186. Enough with this "religious liberties" lingo. I have no problem in allowing people to believe whatever sci-fi tale they wish just so long as they keep it in their pews, homes and hearts.

  187. The first amendment was written to assure that Congress would not have the power to enact anyone's religious tenets into laws. This should not even be an issue.

  188. There's a huge difference between religious "liberties" and freedom of religion. Religious liberties are being brought to bear in Iraq, Turkey, Paris, etc., and should never be consider a human right. As in, "the drunken sailor took liberties with the vulnerable young woman." This is another example of the Republican Taliban changing the intrinsic meanings of familiar and emotive words. Great trick!

  189. Yes, saying that not being allowed to discriminate against lesbian and gay people is an infringement of religious freedom is complete and utter nonsense, and I hope Democrats and Republicans who don't think that way have the courage to call it out for what it is.

    When all these bakers who think their religious freedom is being violated by baking a cake for a gay wedding start giving all of the prospective customers a questionnaire to see if they are committing any sins, then I might take them seriously. But, you don't see them refusing to bake cakes for straight couples who "lived in sin" before marriage, or where one or both people are divorced (and divorce is something Jesus did speak out against). One truly has to wonder why they are so obsessed with homosexuality. Even if you are Christian and believe it's a sin (and for the record, I'm not and I don't), it's one among many and one which is given very little attention in the Bible, in contrast to the very heavy focus on social justice in both the Old and New Testaments, which conservative Christians don't seem to care about AT ALL!

  190. Just a technical point but gay marriage is not supported by a majority of Americans so any Republican opposing it could hardly be on the wrong side of the history this paper tries so diligently to create. I refer to the latest pew poll which if I'm not mistaken confirmed an earlyer one. But what does it matter the polls that consistently show young people opposed to abortion and gun control never see the light of "all the news that's fit to print" day. Why should reality obscure the sincecure-istas view of gagaland. It like this humble missive is contra courant and takes courage to deal with and so is disembled, ridiculed or most often ignored.....untill like prohibition it can not be and is reversed.

  191. From the article: "Support for same-sex marriage approaches 60 percent in some polls and keeps growing." Do you have access to data that contradicts this?

  192. You mean those Pew polls that shows 52% of Americans support marriage equality, and 40% oppose it? That 67% of those under age 35 support it? That in the last five years support for marriage equality has increased by 75% among eve the elderly who are least likely to support marriage equality?

    Are those the Pew polls you reference? If so, what is your definition of a majority?

  193. Please provide facts not Faux News talking points. What poll has suggested that the majority of Americans don't support gay marriage?

  194. I'm not sure I agree with the thesis that Republicans will be happy if the Supreme Court decides that gays have the constitutional right to marry because it will take the issue off of the table prior to the 2016 presidential primaries. I suspect their are a sufficient number in the GOP base who will fight the decision in exactly the same manner they have been fighting the Roe v Wade decision for decades. Surely this will keep the issue very much on the table. Indeed, I can see Mike Huckabee using the issue to energize the base whether or not he runs.

  195. The marriage equality issue puts the spotlight directly on laws enacting tenets of religion. It could open the floodgates into the whole Augean Stable of such laws.

  196. Even with the most optimistic polls (which are often slanted, and not just on this issue), there are still 40% of more of Americans who are opposed to gay marriage.

    Like polls and opinions about the midterms, you have to realize that the most liberal folks (the young, the poor, blacks, latinos, etc.) often do not vote or vote in small numbers.

    There are a lot of people who are very upset about gay marriage being imposed in their states, by judicial fiat -- in Florida, the vote to retain traditional marriage is only a few years old! -- but they feel powerless to speak out. The media lambasts people with name calling ("homophobic hater!") that tends to shut down any discourse.

    However, Roe v Wade is a great example. I was around in 1973 and I remember the relief that greeted Roe by the left. People thought the issue was now GONE -- no more protests at clinics. People would just "accept" abortion and those who didn't like it....well, they could just not abort their pregnancies. But it did not turn out like that, did it? The anti-abortion forces regrouped, and rethought their strategy, and they PERSISTED. Today, we are closer than ever to losing the right to abortion.

    The left apparently cares much less about this, than forcing gay marriage on the nation. I hope in the near future, when you have legal gay marriage -- but no right to abortion (something gays don't worry about, apparently) -- that you are as gleeful as in this article.

  197. Speaking of political covers. We now need a case to be brought to the Supreme Court, perhaps one that resolves the issue of EPA's authority in areas of climate change, to replace the ludicrous "I'm not a scientist."

  198. In a way, it's really amusing. A bunch of GOP tyrants all massing to insist their
    "Force be with us." Scott Walker lives in a midwestern state that has a proven track record of backward ideology. Their noses are in private individual's business when it should be on upgraded industry in their state so that the blue states don't end up supporting in the billions agri-insurance. Funny how there's always GOP money flushed to these states as tax subsidies but never to blue states when a disaster like Hurricane Sandy causes $200 billion in damage.

  199. The Sandy money went to the governors, New Yorkers got their money. Christie's handling of New Jersey's payout is one of the many reasons he is under investigation.

  200. I feel like I want to give them all a bicycle seat and a raincoat for their birthdays. Might get their noses out of private bedroom windows, and open stairwells.

  201. The G.O.P. can take only a limited number of fights to its grave. They already have abortion and guns. I don't think they're strong enough to take on more work.

  202. You forgot about undoing "Obamacare", civil rights laws and fighting progressive ideas on immigration.

  203. Don't be too sure. Ever heard of the walking dead?

  204. Well, they already lost those. More energy for the other failures.

  205. hmmm... You mean, the way Roe v. Wade defused the issue and gave political cover on abortion?

  206. The grounds courts find for decisions matters as much as the legislative history of laws. Roe v. Wade is the right decision justified on the weakest narrowest foundation the Court could contrive.

  207. The reportage here is largely what the Editorial Board and authors WANT to believe – not necessarily what is going to happen.

    Very few people successfully second-guess the Supreme Court. I remember before the Robert's decision on the individual mandate (with which I very much disagree BTW) that the letters and articles were moaning and hand-wringing about how Roberts would be the deciding vote AGAINST the individual mandate. When he uncharacteristically instead went FOR it, then suddenly he was "on the right side of history!" and "wanted to leave a legacy!" -- nobody ever considered that just maybe he was influenced (or had a secondary agenda, since he also voted to let states opt out of Medicaid, which may well be the undoing of Obamacare).

    My own feeling (and I have no inside track here) is that SCOTUS has been corrupted, by both the right and left. They are now for sale to the highest bidder -- not every justice, but several -- so that enough money or influence can bend one or two justices to get a decision someone wants very, very badly.

    There is absolutely immense money behind the gay marriage agenda -- the right totally misjudged how MUCH money -- and also there are many Republicans (like Rob Portman of Ohio) who have a gay child, and like Cheney, have been blackmailed to accept gay marriage or lose their child's affection.

    So I see the court throwing this issue to the activists for gay marriage -- the ones who insisted on imposing gay marriage by judiciary action.

  208. The article specifically says that the difference here is public opinion. People are more or less 50/50 on abortion and have been for decades, while public approval of gay marriage has gone from near zero to 60% in just a few years and continues to grow.

    Abortion is an intrinsically more difficult moral question -- it involves killing something. With gay marriage, it's much easier for opponents to give up and say, "Oh well."

  209. This is a prime example of NYT hoping-to-create-news. Precisely because there is agreement among GOP frontrunners like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and Mike Pence with Times Democratic darlings on a flashpoint issue, it MUST be suspect and their motives MUST be banal... not like those honest Democratic idealists like Senator Elizabeth 'Cherokee' Warren and Hillary 'Benghazi' Clinton...

    Like President Obama, who aspired to tutor Washington about civility, NYT is incapable of crediting opponents (and make no mistake - this 'news organization' sees the GOP as that) with other than base motives. It is doubly ironic, given this President's open attacks on the press and privacy through unprecedented surveillance programs and DOJ interventions...

  210. Speaking of "hoping to create news" -- Hillary "Benghazi"? - yes, just like John Boehner, who after several government panels have found no wrongdoing by the Administration on Benghazi, now raises $3 million to conduct another investigation and keep the "issue" alive.

    And course the GOP motives are banal! They can't win on this one, so they're backing off - most of them wouldn't unless they had to. Everyone (including the Democrats) are political, why are you elevating them above everyone?

  211. Haha....and who created the surveillance state....umm it was George W. after he LIED and got 4000+ Americans killed in Iraq. Anyone with a few active brain cells doesn't trust the GOP....just read their party platform and see what the stand for.

    P.S. You mention Benghazi but seem to have forgotten the 13 embassy attacks under George W. ....wonder why you have such a selective memory

  212. Gee, for a second there you almost sounded reasonable enough that one might miss the ridiculous claim that that list of Republican Prsidential wannabes actually support equal protection under the law for all.

    then, of course, ya hadda go throw in Benghazi, and the light fog dissipated.

  213. First, the Supreme Court generally takes cases that they are going to reverse. Second, the Court has refused to grant a stay in those cases where States are required both to recognize out-of-state marriages and grant marriages in state. Now that so many marriages are legal, it would be very hard to put that toothpaste back in the tube.

  214. This is just not true. It has nothing to do with reversal or upholding. When there are conflicting rulings among the Circuit Courts on the same law or constitutional challenge, SCOTUS grants certiorari.

  215. You mean, like Citizen's United?

  216. Your first point is questionable and either way is beside the point here -- conflict among the appeals courts all but compels the Supreme Court to accept a case, and one side or the other will inevitably be reversed.

  217. :It's been settled. Let's move on." In whose reality? Did the Supreme Court "settle" the Affordable Healthcare Act? Did the Supreme Court "settle" a woman's right to choose? Did the Supreme court "settle" voting rights or school desegregation or anything else the GOP detests? I didn't think so. No reason to hope here, either.

  218. Lefty liberals, who assume this is (or would be) a total 100% slam dunk, and that the issue would never occur again...

    You know, like abortion. Or voting rights.

  219. As a gay man, I look with hope toward the sweeping momentum of marriage equality that is taking hold across our nation, and the upcoming decision by the Supreme Court. I hope they will uphold my right to equal treatment under the law.

    But I cannot, and will not, forget the rhetoric and actions of the Republican party for the past decades, which embraced and promoted the most vulgar and dehumanizing mentality toward the GLBT population. The GOP's full embrace and promotion of bigotry has damaged and destroyed the lives of countless gay and lesbian Americans. Americans who wanted nothing more than to build and live our lives in peace.

    We've known all along that the Republicans were on the wrong side of history. Now that it becomes more apparent by the day, the GOP wants their actions and opinions to be water under the bridge. It doesn't work that way. For those of us who have been the unjustified target of their endless vitriol and hatred, we will not forget so easily.

  220. THAT is the right response to any conservative politician trying to duck the history of this issue by pointing to a court decision. The GOP at all levels and with few exceptions has been execrable on gay marriage, using the ugliest language, the most divisive politics, and utter denial of the fact that we are not a theocracy.

    Please don't let them off easy! They should be marginalized the way they tried to marginalize their fellow gay citizens.

  221. Thank you, Dominic, for putting into words exactly what I feel but could not have expressed nearly as well.

  222. If the Supreme Court decides AGAINST the legality of same-sex marriage in all 50 states, it will lose any vestige of legitimacy it had left after the travesty of "Citizens United."

  223. Republicans may secretly like it, but not because it would "take it off the table". On the contrary, they would point to the decision, along with Roe vs Wade, as proof that liberals are contemptuous of the democratic process and are willing to circumvent voters to win their agenda. That will give Republicans an edge in elections for years to come.

  224. People who understand the theory of constitutionally limited government want the Constitution's limits on Congressional discretion to legislate enforced.

  225. Pray tell, what is contemptuous of the democratic process? Do you mean to suggest that a person's rights are only to be gained by having the public vote on them?

    Equal rights are guaranteed in the constitution and apply to ALL persons, period. That means black people, women, and yes, LGBTs.

  226. This article misses a key scenario: SCOTUS upholds the right of states to ban gay marriage. Then, the number of gay marriage states probably drops back down to 20 or so. Then, proponents of marriage equality must fight the fight state-by-state -- perhaps for decades. That could make the hard right very happy, but moderate GOP politicians will then have to face the issue in many states. I'd like to see marriage equality in all 50 states, but I also like to see the GOP squirm as they try to hold the line against the rising popularity of marriage equality.

  227. This is the perfect example of 21st century politics: when faced with an opportunity for a complete and less polarizing victory on a divisive issue, you would choose a drawn-out period of confrontation, discord and emotional ranting on all sides.... I will take the win.

    Please go back to Jerry Springer and your reality TV shows - leave the important things to the grown-ups...

  228. You sure missed my point, ibdeep1 -- I don't want a drawn-out period of confrontation -- I want SCOTUS to uphold marriage equality. But, if they don't, it will put the Republicans on the defensive against the tide of people who believe in marriage equality. Read a little closer next time. !!! BTW, I hate Springer and reality shows!

  229. The article states Jebbie is a "religious Catholic". As opposed to Pope Francis
    or Scalia, Alioto and Thomas who imo are Sunday Catholics? You really can't be a conservative Republican AND a Catholic. They have opposing world views.

  230. You forget that phrase so magical to conservative Republicans: "cognitive dissonance."

  231. Nonsense. If you think that's true, then you're into some serious stereotyping.

  232. Huckabee says “They are only the Supreme Court, not the supreme branch of government,” he said. “They are most certainly not the Supreme Being, from which all law ultimately emanates.” And in so doing, conflates government with his brand of conservative religion. Not logical, not constitutional. Which is why it would be a dark day in America were he ever to become elected.

  233. Wow, OK, let me see if I get this right. The Democrats and Republicans have found a way to use 5% or less of the population for their polarizing political goals while much more significant issues of inequality that affect millions more people go unaddressed. NYT devotes so much time and attention to this issue that the balance is so prejudiced it is shameful. Better to get the Supreme Court to rule on this so we can move on to things that really matter.

  234. Please do tell what significant issues of equality are going unaddressed? I certainly hope that by "unaddressed" you don't mean no attention being paid at all. Poverty, racism, all are being "addressed" in some way or what's left? What's shameful is thinking that we are so simple that only one problem can be focused on at any one time.

  235. Human equality is always significant, no matter how small the minority.

  236. For the 5 percent or so of Americans who are LGBT, being a second-class citizen is a "significant issue of inequality" 100 percent of the time.

  237. Best part: Not one but 2 politicians specifically citing "Rule of Law." This gives these guys an escape hatch about the topic of course. Given the longer history and significance of Rule of Law, this is sad and lame use of Rule of Law.

  238. I hope we get over using nebulous language that leaves room for misinterpretation. "Separaton of church and state" is implemented by denying Congress and all state legislatures the power to enact laws based on anyone's articles of faith. If there is no logical secular rationale supporting a legitimate secular public purpose, a law is unconstitutional. It is that simple.

  239. This article has a strangely non-progressive tilt. The general public knows that the GOP is virulently anti-gay for the most part. The Republican Party platform is still for a federal BAN (strangely in parentheses), the "stars" like Cruz and Santorum will fight it hard, which puts faces on the issue, and candidates will inevitably have to answer debate questions about the "man and woman only" refrain.

  240. Was it only two years ago that a gay soldier was booed by the audience at a Republican presidential debate? Republican candidates who want to avoid this issue are going to encounter 'religious freedom' laws which give businesses, schools, employers and even pharmacists the right to discriminate based on personal religious convictions.
    What is missing are politicians who support the Supreme Court rulings to fearlessly and aggressively denounce prejudice.

  241. “It’s been settled. Let’s move on.”

    Yes, because that's just the kind of pragmatic and realistic people they are, our friends across the aisle, as they've so impressively and magnanimously shown over the years with all the other somewhat progressive rulings and laws that are now woven into the very fabric of American society. You know, like the Voting Rights Act, Roe vs. Wade, the Brady Bill, and the Affordable Care Act, all now completely resigned-to and moved-on-from by the GOP.

    What a relief it'll be, we can only hope, to finally have this issue settled as well, once and for all.

  242. Reality check supreme court should be taking up case of marriage in general 75 percent end up in divorce an broken homes ruining childens life to repeat same . Really national disgrace an is leading cause of crime in usa .Solve this issue an gay an crime problems wil fade away

  243. "They are only the Supreme Court, not the supreme branch of government,” he said. “They are most certainly not the Supreme Being, from which all law ultimately emanates."

    Since when does this "Supreme Being" dictate what speed you can drive and if you have to stop for red lights? Just because Mr. Huckabee's "supreme being" dictates how he should live his life does not have any affect on mine and people like him should stay out of politics.

  244. It's in part because speed limits and red lights are simply human ordinances that so many people don't take them as seriously as the proscriptions against murder and theft--at least not as burdens on the conscience. The world works in a certain way, as it has done since the dawn of time. The laws of physics, even evolution follow a certain pattern. We violate that natural order at our peril. The state has no interest, and no constitutional right, to meddle in the personal relationships of its citizens. Who loves whom, and who does what in the bedroom with whom, should be none of their business. Their only rational interest is in the circumstances in which the citizens of the future are raised, and thus it makes sense that the marital bond of husband and wife is viewed as distinct. It can--and it SHOULD--as a matter of purely human ordinance, create a category of domestic partnership contracts with exactly the same rights and benefits as marriage for any two people who want to enter such a partnership. For that matter, I would support the state eliminating civil marriage entirely, as a matter of equity, and issuing only licenses for domestic partnerships. That would leave marriage where it belongs--with the churches and other religious institutions.

  245. I don't believe Mr.Hukabee is saying that the Supreme Being is to interpret the Constitution. I believe he is saying that the nine justices, despite what each rules, must not look upon themselves as the arbiter of what is right and wrong but must see God as the One who is. They must rule as their (hopefully formed) consciences tell them, not as the polls would rule.

    Also implied is that they will NOT all come to the same conclusion but whatever they do, the issue is not deemed right or wrong because of their decision. In other words, despite how the vote falls, it still may be wrong objectively speaking.
    A truth is still a truth even if no one believes it. A lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it.

  246. Funny how the ruling on Roe v Wade never stopped anyone. The republicans have sold their souls to the far right religious extremists, who will demand a reversal. So we can have that to look forward to for the next fifty years -- if they haven't already pushed us past the tipping point on climate change.

  247. It speaks volumes about the character of today's Republican party that rather than engage in the great civil rights movement of our time, they prefer to shirk all responsibility and cower on the sidelines while others fight the good fight and earn their place in history.

  248. What a majority of Americans think of as equality, the GOP thinks of as lemons. So I think the article is pointing out that the best way for them to make lemonade out of a pro-marriage equality Supreme Court decision is to lean on a straw man Activist Court and wiggle out of taking the position of fairness. But I wonder if rather than being a gift to them by taking it off the table, it instead empowers the religious nut bag candidates like (potentially) Huckabee, Santorum, Carson and Cruz to rack up some wins in the far right primaries, become the GOP candidate, and basically ensure Hillary will be President in 2016.

  249. So let's send them money to put some thumbs on the scales.

  250. With the overwhelming evidence pointing to a warming planet caused by humans dumping large quantities of carbon dioxideand methane into the air, and zero evidence for the Universe being created six thousand years ago, it will be fun to see if we are going to have another lineup of Republican troglodytes denying global climate change and evolution.

  251. Bring on the Republican Clown Car!

  252. Practical politics would say the gay marriage debate is over. However, evangelical conservatives know God's law is invariant and not something even the Supreme Court can trifle with. This issue will continue to divide the Republican Party as long as the party caters to the far right.

  253. Incest is already legal in some States. Polygamy is next. We are now in an era that condones, "if it feels good, do it and legalize it at the same time." Man can make many laws but when the laws are in opposition to natural law, in the end, Mother Nature wins every time.

  254. granddad1 - Please name the states that have declare incest legal. I'm waiting.....

  255. Huckabee declaims: “They are most certainly not the Supreme Being, from which all law ultimately emanates.”

    He couldn't be more wrong. In the United States of America, all law emanates from The Constitution. I can't believe this theocrat-in-waiting was once a real-live governor. Or that anyone who was once a governor could be so openly unAmerican.

    But then again, we did have George Wallace, Ross Barnett and Orval Faubus as governors. But none of them were so obvious about demanding to replace the Constitution with the Bible.

    Huckabee represents a clear and present danger to the future of our Republic.

  256. Be careful not to shut him up; that would make him look smarter.

  257. No but he needs a bit of help in communications. You will get used to him in a few years as President.

  258. How the Supreme Court Votes will determine whether they are living up to their sworn duty to up hold the Constitution of the United States, or whether there are those Justices that put their religion & personal beliefs above the constitution.The real issue is not marriage between same sex citizens, but more importantly, that do American Tax Paying Citizens have a right to conduct their lives as they wish as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others.

  259. Opposition to racial integration and abortion has become industrialized over the last 60 years.
    Today the Jeffersonian ideal of public education for all has become an underfunded disaster in less wealthy areas. Private and religious schools that require tuition are the norm in urban areas. If someone is recruited by a law firm or corporation to relocate, tuition costs for primary and secondary education are negotiated as part of the 'benefits package'.
    If a woman chooses an abortion, she is more likely to have it if she is financially affluent and can travel to a more tolerant community. Doctors in Catholic hospitals create 'medically necessary' diagnoses in order to terminate pregnancies of profoundly disabled fetuses.
    Will only affluent gay partners be able to have legal rights of spouses. We have stopped enforcing sexual conduct laws. The states now only deny insurance, adoption and inheritance to gay couples.
    By extending individual liberty we have created a class system with regard to racial and reproductive freedoms.
    In a practical manner, the less wealthy and the less Anglo have fewer Constitutional privileges. Demagogues like Huckabee and Cruz are empowered and rewarded financially while poorer Americans are victimized,

  260. The US is two-tier from top to bottom. There are those with reserves and staying power, and those who struggle from moment to moment.

  261. The gay marriage fight is over. The gay federal benefits fight is over. The gay state level benefits fight will soon be over. The gay adoption fight will soon be over.

    That just leaves equal treatment at work. from businesses, and from charities. This fight could drag on for quite a while longer.

    But, in the end. Gay rights will win. Just looking at historical patterns that much is abundantly clear.

  262. Everyone has the right to pursue their own meaning of life. That is why we do not use the law to impose one person's meaning onto another.

  263. I hope that you are right. But in the late 1960s, we also thought that segregation and blocking African Americans from voting were coming to an end. We thought that feminism and reproductive rights were a done deal in the 1970s. We all know how that has turned out.

  264. Small wonder Roman Catholics were basically not asked to serve on the SCOTUS Today we have six sitting on the Court. The most conservative court anyone alive today has seen. And by any standard the most troubling to those who believe in liberty and freedom for all of America's citizens and the right to choose those choices which are very personal. I find it troubling when these individual feel they can play God in the lives of people they do not even know much less care about. Ok, I know its just politics. But that is what bothers me!

  265. They were literally raised to believe that idolatry is the pathway to immortality.

    You can't idolate if you just stick to facts and reason.

  266. In 1960 when John F. Kennedy was running for president, the average American had serious fears that a Catholic president would take orders from the Pope, putting Catholic doctrine above the United States Constitution. John F. Kennedy dispelled those fears, at least regarding himself. But the Catholic Supreme Court has proven those fears well-founded relative to themselves. Yes, there should be a litmus test for nomination to the Supreme Court, and it should be over whether you are willing to concede that it is your place to establish U.S. law for U.S. citizens and visitors to our country, not to uphold sectarian variants of ancient religious extremism be it of the Sharia we hear warned about from the right, or of the ever more pervasive Judeo-Christian variety.

  267. As a Roman Catholic I would strenuously object as a Judge to determining the Constitutional rights of other citizens by reference to my faith.

    If the SCOTUS wants to uphold its recent pronouncements on freedom of religious conscience it must recognize and affirm that right to citizens whose spiritual or religious ideology differ substantially from themselves including the right to having no religious conscience or beliefs.

  268. Gay marriage will - should the court decide for it - will give them only a teeny weeny cover.

    Let's just wait for the entertaining primary discussions, when they once more have to show their hand if they believe in evolution, climate change; raising taxes on the ueber rich by closing a multitude of tax loop holes that is not available to the aver Joe and Jane; raising the minimum wage for people to be able to not having to work two jobs in order to put food on the table, and the million dollar question why we don't have a universal healthcare system like other nations at less than half the cost and better medical outcomes than in the US.

  269. And that is the cover that these Republicans desire - to be able to ignore the economic plight of their voting base by roiling them up about sexual issues.

  270. Sarah, why is it everyone is so upset for a prospect of a win? I am certainly in favor of it. If we want politicians to stop playing games, we need to stop encouraging gamesmanship...

    And could you please list three nations with comparably pluralistic populations, comparable percentages of undocumented immigrant populations and better medical outcomes that arecoupled with a civil justice system that mandates over-treatment to avoid liability? Answer - There isn't one out there.

    One of the reasons our healthcare is so expensive - and one of the main drivers for medical and surgical device innovation - is defensive medicine. Many of the expensive procedures we take for granted are primarily defensive measures to protect primary care physicians from litigious patients...

    The reason "we don't have a universal healthcare system at less than half the cost and better medical outcomes" like other nations is that - like the unicorn and Sasquatch - it's a great idea, everyone has heard about someone who says they knew someone who saw one, but when investigated, it is an urban myth.

  271. Here in good old Virginia, the homophobic right wing is following the recent tactic of proposing unconstitutional, discriminatory laws under the cover of "sincerely held religious beliefs". We will spend years litigating this approach to stripping the rights of LGBT and other groups not favored by fundamentalist evangelicals. Right wingers never stop trying to subvert the laws. They apply the same tactics to abortion and have passed hundreds of laws at the state level.

  272. Users of the homophobic quip hope to replace disgust with fear.

  273. What makes people think that, IF SCOTUS, rules in favor of same sex marriage, the republican party will forget about it? In my opinion, this would become another Roe vs Wade and the GOP would use this as another attack of the liberals against conservatives.

  274. It is their bridge too far. It will cost them the war.

  275. More like Loving vs Virginia than Roe vs Wade. No one brings up interracial marriage anymore, same will be true of this given time. The old phobes will die off.

  276. The conservative majority on SCOTUS knows that its majority will not survive the election of a Democrat as President in 2016. This is simple self preservation in taking a losing issue for Republicans off the table.

  277. I believe intimate behavior between consenting adults is private and none of the government's business.
    Therefore [except for incest laws ] I support the right of two adults
    [ heterosexual or homosexual] to marry.

    It seems to me that much of this debate or discussion is not really about "marriage".
    There seems to be the belief by many opponents of same sex marriage that homosexual behavior is dirty or perverted and that approving the right of same sex marriage is giving approval to homosexuality.
    That some heterosexual couples engage in some of the same sex acts that homosexual couples do is irrelevant to opponents.
    Yes opponents will reluctantly allow for domestic partnerships but not same sex marriage because that gives approval to "perverted" homosexual behavior.

    We have severe economic problems in this country.
    Can't we address these instead of being concerned about what consenting adults do in private.

  278. If you--as many people do--believe there are far more pressing concerns facing this country than whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, you have the dissenting side to thank for the inordinate media attention the issue has received. Their outrage and logic-challenged rationales (chief among them the three P's: polygamy, procreation, and prejudice) have made it far more newsworthy than it would have been otherwise.

    Their grudging allowance for domestic partnerships or civil unions, and grumbling why can't same-sex couples be satisfied with those since they're the same as marriage (separate but equal, which worked so well for education--not) in everything but the name (not true, incidentally), are like telling Rosa Parks to accept being consigned to the back of the bus because it gets there the same time as the front.

  279. Masters and Johnson's study of human sexuality caused them to conclude that it spans a whole spectrum from extreme heterosexuality to extreme homosexuality, and everywhere in between.

  280. Much as I would like a clear, totally unambiguous decision by the Supreme Court declaring gay marriage to be an individual right protected by the Constitution, I don't share the fond hope that things will then be hunky dory for the Grand Old Tea Party candidates ("it's decided and that's it -- let's move on to deporting immigrants and terminating health insurance for millions"). I assume that the dec. in the Supreme Court will be 5-4, and that Kennedy will write it. Will he hedge the right with wishy-washy language, perhaps not even declare it a right at all, but make it more likely that states must recognize marriages contracted in other states? Whatever he and the more liberal wing of the Court do, it will be denounced fiercely by the to-the-death conservatives, very likely with Scalia writing an inflammatory, scathing dissent. A lengthy season of debates by the Republican wannabes will require them to denounce the decision as well, again and again. There will be no pass on this issue.

  281. That's not how it is supposed to work under the theory of constitutionally delegated powers. All the powers of the people are unwritten in the Constitution. The Congress has only the legistative powers listed in the Constitution, and the first amendment specifically denies Congress the power to enact any article of faith into legislation.

  282. No, you are wrong (says he, respectfully). The Bill of Rights explicitly contains "powers of the people" written into and protected directly and indirectly (by making them enforceable against the states) by the Constitution. The enlargement of individual rights has occurred in our history, and will do so again, by either the Congress enacting such rights or the courts by declaring them already provided by the Constitution, or by both means. The Scalian view of our Constitution as delivered from on high and unchanging is an intellectual aberration, more of a tactic by the right to preserve privileges assumed by one class at the expense of others. Its sway will end sooner or later.

  283. Read the Bill of Rights again. The theme "congress shall not" runs through all ten of those amendments.

  284. It also gives the Republicans cover when "conservatives" are the ones like Cruz, Gomert, (Iowa) King, and Huckabee that crank up the yelling, hate, obnoxiousness, or bizarre mannerisms whenever a camera appears.
    Extreme conservatives like Walker and Pence are called "moderates" for exhibiting basic acceptable adult behavior in public.

  285. To Anne:

    And that is how the needle is moved ever rightward in this country. Just 4 years ago Paul and Rubio were Tea Party darlings. Today they are viewed as sage and sagacious problem solvers.

  286. However the Supreme Court ultimately rules, more than half of Americans support gay marriage. Republican politicians can decide whether to join the growing ranks of voices calling for marriage equality, or to follow the lead of GOP figures like Rob Portman in favor of gay rights.

  287. The two things that stand out to me are the Republican Supreme Court rewriting of the petition to open the door to a decision that is more in line with the Republican agenda. This is barefaced judicial activism.

    And two, the Republican Supreme Court bailing out the Republican Congress from the unpopular corner they have painted themselves into.

    If left alone, all states will continue to recognize that marriage is an equal protection issue for all and not a religious issue for a minority. This is clearly not the outcome the Republican Supreme Court wants.

  288. They're on the right side of the issue. Screaming left wing insanity is on the wrong side.

    Sex and gender isn't an issue of 'diversity', it's an issue of function and species survival. Gender impairments are bad. Normalizing the queer is horrible social policy.

  289. This editorial points out, once again, why I cannot support the Republican Party of today by any means at all.

  290. It's instructive that you see this news story as an editorial... because it is...

  291. I've got news for all the people that claim that where they live there are virtually no gay or lesbian people:its not true. We are everywhere and conservative estimates say that 5-10% of any given population is gay. Now there may very well be more gay citizens in liberal cities and areas with a lot of gay night life, but generally speaking there is a gay population even in the most conservative areas of this country. Also if the court does not rule in favor of universal same sex marriage across the country it is just a waiting game because younger generations of voters will vote for it in years to come. Most polls have shown that younger Americans overwhelmingly support gay rights. Its not an "if" gay marriage is legal in all fifty states and territories, its a "when" it is.

  292. Your numbers are so far off as to be laughable. No legitimate social scientist or research believes that gays and lesbians are 10% of the population and even 5% is a great stretch.

    The most recent research (look it up!) by very liberal researchers -- who WANTED and EXPECTED to find higher numbers -- shows gays and lesbians to be only 1.5% of the population. Even if you claim that 50% of homosexuals are still in the closet (in 2015? really?), that would only make it 3%.

    I heard the 2.5-3% figures for years, and accepted them, but now I realize they were greatly overblown.

    Gays and lesbians tend to gather in the largest cities, where such a small minority group can more successfully find partners and companions, and supportive agencies/groups. So if you live in a big city, you naturally see and meet more gays & lesbians, and this gives the impression there are more of them than there really are.

  293. I would like to add the queries; when precisely in the review of the Constitutional rights of any citizen, being irrelevant as to gender, sexual orientation, religion, predominate racial identity,did location within the Republic became relevant.

    And for all who claim to desire limited government, freedom of religious conscience; including the right to have none, and individual freedom why would we want the State directly involved in a citizen's most intimate and private choices of association?

  294. Your point being? Injustice to one is injustice to all.

  295. It would be rich if the Republicans, who call themselves proponents of states' rights, get behind a federal judicial ruling which would torpedo progress made by individual states.

  296. Gay voters have with good reason distrusted big government republicans who want no regulations on big business but to oppress our most personal decisions. I would be very wary of their sudden change of heart, which smacks of opportunism. Only because that now dead ideologue robert bork was rejected and replaced by anthony kennedy was any progress made. Remember, there are four venemous justices on the court who hate gays. It will only take one republican justice to replace ginsburg.or breyer and all the progress since 1996 can be reversed.

  297. Why would it be settled and let's move on because of a Supreme Court ruling? Roe v. Wade was supposed to have settled the abortion issue way back in the 70's, but it doesn't seem that we have moved on. After 2016 Republicans won't be able to resist chipping away at whatever the Supreme Court decides.

  298. Consider this possible outcome from SCOTUS:

    1. It finds that same sex marriage is not a Constitutionally protected right;

    2. It upholds the legality of any same sex marriages performed during the period it was legal in any jurisdiction; and,

    3. It rules that States must recognize any marriage legally performed in another State.

    Such a decision would, arguably, have the least positive and the least negative (depending on your point of view) effects on the status quo -- nobody loses except going forward and there is a "work around" (getting married in a State where it's legal).

    The questions the Court has asked to be addressed get directly at points #1 and #3, so it's possible that they could take a pass on #2. But the Court surely recognizes that if they come down this way on point #1, and especially if they don't address #2, there will surely be a frenzy of legislation and litigation from both sides that they will have to address potentially for many years into the future -- at least until the Court finally comes to accept the inevitable.

    Whether the Court decides to settle this question "once and for all," I don't see that being the end of it, no matter how many Republican politicians seem willing to "move on."

  299. That is precisely the outcome I hope for, as it follows logically from the 9th, 10th, and 14th Amendments, as well as the full faith and credit clause. It being the logical outcome, however, makes it unlikely to occur.

  300. They won't, unless they are short-sighted fools. The actual 'marriage' issue is simply a placeholder for the underlying rights of the married. If they find marriage not to be a 'Constitutionally protected right', another case is filed a week later saying that tax breaks can thus not be given to people who are 'married', as it becomes unequal taxation without merit. Same thing with 'partner rights'. A lawsuit will be filed saying that laws can no longer use 'marriage' as a way to access medical records, to determine inheritance, etc. If marriage is not 'a protected right' it needs to be written out of law. Can't have it both ways....

  301. dw659 - I disagree. Just because something is not a Constitutionally protected right, does not mean that it can not be used as the basis for rules. To take your tax example, home ownership is not a protected right, nor is higher education, owning securities, or having an IRA; yet all of these are legitimate taxation inequalities. Marriage, by definition, expands one's family and family has always been a determinant for medical records, inheritance, etc. The only thing a protected right grants is the inability of the government to regulate that right without strict scrutiny as to the necessity of restriction.

  302. Not only Republicans! Democrats and bureaucrats are in the same boat. Despite executive orders and departmental policies of nondiscrimination, the federal government still denies health and other benefits to the domestic partners of federal employees.

  303. Regardless of how the Court votes, marriage today doesn't mean what it did yesteryear. Now in my mid-40s, it is probably fair to guesstimate more than 75% of my age demographic grew up with grandparents who remained married 'until death do you part.'

    As a single male who has never been married (or wanted to be), the reality of first date conversation is after asking 'Have you ever been married?' the follow-up question is 'How many times?'. Marriage seems to have become more a matter of convenience; when the lawn gets a brown patch it is as though both start running for the fences.

    Misery loves company.

  304. ROFL. 75% of 'your age demographic also grew up with Grandparents that grossly restricted the rights of women to educate themselves, get jobs,go into politics, and that reserved the right to use a little corporal punishment when necessary to get the women 'back in line'. In the 1960s, when a cop responded to a domestic, they usually did so by telling the husband to 'keep it indoors' and 'keep the volume down'. Most women stayed because the alternative was often to live in abject poverty and be shunned by peers. most men stayed because they could have their cake and eat it too, why leave a free domestic servant who you can also demand sex from any time you want it? Especially when that servant has little power to stop you from indulging elsewhere when and if you feel like it.

  305. Actually the data show some interesting contradictions to what you're saying. Divorce rates peaked 30 years ago in 1985 at 5.0 per thousand per year and have been falling steadily since then--they're now at 3.5 per thousand per year, the rate last seen in the late 60's.

    Maybe gay marriage has lowered the heterosexual divorce rate? Makes about as much sense as saying it has destroyed traditional marriage, since traditional marriage was at its rockiest before gay marriage was a thing.

    In the 1940's and 50's (when the grandparents of your age demographic got married), divorce rates were only a bit lower (around 2.5 per thousand per year). The lowest rate in the last 100 years was in 1920, but it was still at 2.1 per thousand per year. I suspect people just hid divorces better; plus maternal death rates were much higher (0.8 per thousand per year), so there were many marriages that ended that way instead of in divorce.
    (Data from the US National Center for Health Statistics).

  306. Someone needs to explain very carefully to Mr. Huckabee and his ilk that the US is not a theocracy. Of any sort. I bet he is rabidly anti-Islamist but sees no problem with evangelicals dictating how Americans conduct their lives.

  307. “People are free to disagree with court decisions, but we are not free to disobey them.”

    Of course we are. That's civil disobedience. It's also prosecution risk. Unless you're in Congress. Then, it's okay to terrorize Americans, holding the world hostage over a debt ceiling, spending years railing against healthcare designed around your own models (implemented by one of your own party in his own state), or decrying equal protection for gay people. All for paramount personal values... until next year, month, week. Next Democratic President, we'll forgot Obama was "worst President ever."

    Opting out of gay marriage bans is convenient. They would have to shoulder blame if they didn't have SCOTUS to use as a shield against their well-fed radicals.

    As for non-objectivity and the NYT "making" news out of this, I think the extent to which Republicans bandy about toxic rhetoric, forget said rhetoric in a very short span of time, and then abandon their own "issues" (which pander to hate and toxicity in an increasingly radicalized base) is news.

    We should not be crying "objectivity" when all we mean is "you made my party look bad." The difference between NYT and Fox? One tries to use facts.

    Both parties look bad. Presidential candidates are trying to distance themselves from Congress, openly. We hate Congress. Until it's about "our" party.

    Objectively? Only one of the parties would ransom 100% of the country for the wishes of a tiny radical minority in it. There's objectivity.

  308. Even though I support gay marriage I am am tired of hearing the liberal refrain that the "majority" of Americans support gay marriage.

    Maybe this "majority" support that is true in urban America, many college towns and a handful of high-income suburbs, but it is certainly not true in rural America, most of the burbs and among those with less than a college degree.

    Gay marriage is like most issues in our balkanized nation - support depends where you live, how much education and income you have and even in those areas that support gay marriage, it is still barely above 50%.

  309. Sorry, but you are simply wrong. When the actual issue at stake here is presented to people, it is favored by a large majority. That issue IS NOT whether or not churches have to marry anyone or whether or not people who bake wedding cakes have to serve someone they don't like. It is whether the US federal government or state governments have a right to actually PASS LAWS that restrict the rights of people, or to enact tax legislation that gives unequal tax advantages to people, simply because of their sexual orientation.
    Should the Federal government give a 10% tax break to a heterosexual couple and not a homosexual couple? Should a gay partner of 30 years be denied access to the deathbed of their partner because they are not 'family'? Sorry, but a large majority of people say 'No' on these issues. The only reason you can sit their and claim that a majority "doesn't support gay marriage" is because radical right wing pundits and pols cloud this issue by pretending is has something to do with religious freedom. It doesn't, and it never has.

  310. Polls are pretty clear on this, and they have drawn their samples to be nationally representative. Your personal experiences don't mean anything in terms of actual data.

    The fact is that as gay people have been able to come out in the open, most people actually know (or are related to) a gay person. It's much harder to vilify a group when you know and like its members. That's why opinion has changed so quickly, and why the polls show what they do: a majority of Americans support marriage equality, and that support is growing fast. It's 80% among young people, so the handwriting is on the wall.

  311. re: TimothyI
    Contrary to what you may believe, polls are not "clear" on this, not when 30 states ban same-sex unions and there has been little move, via the ballot box, to overturn these bans.
    As such, Tim, living in a liberal echo chamber ignores the fact that the passage of gay marriage is something that will come about only after a coordinated fight, a fight, by the way, which has not been a notable trademark for most those who consider themselves progressive since our progressive friends think good things simply happen without a great deal of sweat and blood.

    reL dw659
    You can believe all you want that it is "radical right wing pundits" that is driving the anti-gay agenda, but you will be simply fooling yourself. Many people whose religious convictions that oppose gay marriage are not being led by the likes of demagogues like Mike Huckabee. Likewise, others who oppose gay marriage do not do this out of any sort of strong convection or willingness to follow right-wing demagogues, but do so because they live an unexamined life that could not conceive of marriage being anything other than what "mom and pop" did.