What Will SCOTUS Hear?

The coming week could be very interesting in the ongoing struggle for marriage equality. The Supreme Court is expected to announce which of as many as ten cases regarding marriage equality they will choose to hear. Chances are they will choose to hear at least one or two. Chances are also that they won’t hear all ten. That’s a lot of cases on one issue. Besides, at least one of them, Windsor v United States could, in theory, lead to the court completely demolishing DOMA on constitutional grounds that the entire act violates equal protection… if they decide that way.

Interestingly enough, in one case, Hollingsworth v Perry (which has had two previous incarnations as Perry v Brown and Perry V Schwarzenegger), if the court refuses to hear it, then it’s an automatic equality victory. You see, Hollingsworth v Perry is the case against California’s infamous Proposition 8 outlawing same sex marriage. Two courts, thus far, have ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under California law. That means if the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, the lower court’s ruling will go into effect and California will begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples in a matter of weeks.

Makes me kind of hope the court doesn’t choose that one.

Whichever cases the court chooses to hear, however they turn out, this space will remain adamantly pro marriage equality.

Nobody has yet managed to explain to me in what way my marriage will be harmed by two men or two women who love one another getting married than it is by the sad travesty of Kim Kardashian’s multi-million dollar, world-televised seventy-two day marriage.

What I can see, and can be appalled by, is the fact that same sex couples – even where they can legally marry in this country – are denied rights and benefits that I take for granted. Rights of visitation in hospitals, of inheritance, of tax benefits, and many more.

In 1954, the Supreme Court struck down the concept of ‘separate but equal’ because while it was always separate, it was virtually never equal. Right now we have a significant segment of our population offered a ‘similar’ but hardly equal version of marriage.

I only hope the current Supreme Court has the courage of their predecessors in 1954.

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