Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SCOTUSblog Symposium on Same-Sex Marriage

SCOTUSblog recently ran a symposium on same-sex marriage. Dozens of essays, from a variety of (annoyingly, mostly dudely) viewpoints, are included and you may be interested in checking some of them out.

If you don't have the time to read all of the essays, constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky provides some parting reflections on the same-sex marriage dialogue that provides a good summary of the essays.

If you follow this debate closely, I question whether many of the arguments presented will be all that new to you. Nonetheless, it can be refreshing to read arguments that transcend the explicit and immature anti-gay animus so often found on Internet uttered by even purported leaders of the anti-equality movement (remember Jennifer Roback-Morse's anal sex is icky" gem?).

Chemerinsky ends his piece with a prediction:

"I continue to believe that the Court will rule, five-to-four, in an opinion authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, that laws prohibiting marriage equality violate the United States Constitution. Kennedy wrote the Court’s opinions in Romer v. Evans (1996) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003), and I think that he will see his longest-lasting legacy from over a quarter of a century on the Court being in the area of eliminating discrimination against gays and lesbians. I believe that his opinion will emphasize, as he did in Romer and Lawrence, the absence of any legitimate interest for prohibiting marriage by same-sex couples. As in Lawrence, and other opinions, he will point to the trend across the world.

Ultimately, the question for Justice Kennedy, the Court, and society is whether gays and lesbians are entitled to equal dignity and equal treatment under the law. There is only one possible answer to that question."

We'll see.


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