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The Very Worst Anti-Gay Supreme Court Arguments


By Matt Baume

I’ve rounded up the weirdest Supreme Court briefs that argue in favor of preventing gays and lesbians from marrying. Some are full of mistakes, others have baffling arguments. And at least one is incredibly sexist, and signed by a member of Congress.

Here’s a sampling of the logic before the US Supreme Court right now: Gays and lesbians shouldn’t be allowed to marry the person they love because most Americans are in favor of that, and also most Americans aren’t. In addition, marriage equality is bad for kids, according to a study had nothing to do with marriage. Also, religion. Tradition. And straight people don’t actually want to be married, so if gay people can marry then straight people will lose interest in each other. These are just some of the stupefying arguments presented to the US Supreme Court ahead of oral argument next week.

Maybe the strangest brief came from a group called “Same Sex Attracted Men and their Wives.” These are gay guys who married straight women, who seem to think that the case will result in a “mandate requiring same-sex marriage.” It won’t, don’t worry, nobody’s going to be required to have a same-sex wedding. The brief also argues that letting gay people marry each other suggests that there’s something wrong with gay people marrying straight people.

Whether it suggests that or not, the argument still doesn’t make sense. LGBTs should be prevented from marrying the person they love because it’s better to marry someone they don’t love? The logic here just doesn’t work. Which is probably why at least one of the couples cited in the brief, a gay man married to a straight woman, has since said that they wish they hadn’t been included.

Another brief claims that children of LGBTs do worse when their parents get married. But it cites a study from 1995, which is ten years before marriage equality was legal anywhere. Another says that gays are so politically powerful that they shouldn’t be allowed to marry because … well, that’s never explained. And it contradict’s NOM’s brief claiming that gays don’t actually have any public support.

Then there’s a brief signed by the “Leaders of the 2012 Republican National Convention Committee on the Platform.” That’s Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, former Republican National Committee Vice-Chairman James Bopp Jr, and Carolyn McLarty, the chair of the RNC’s Committee on Resolution and a retired veterinarian. Their argument: men are so promiscuous and women are so emotional that they need to marry each other to control those impulses.

The brief also argues that only straight families, and their children, can resist tyrants and totalitarian regimes. No explanation of how that works. It also claims that the average gay relationship only lasts a year and a half. Again, this was paid for and signed by Republican party leaders and at least one member of Congress.

It’s probably a good thing that the briefs against marriage equality are so convoluted. It’s certainly not doing any favors to the states trying to preserve their marriage bans. Oral argument will be the morning of April 28, that’s next Tuesday. So keep an eye out for that, and hopefully this is the last time we’ll have to roll our eyes at arguments like these.


  • 1. DeadHead  |  April 22, 2015 at 8:34 am

    A step forward in South Carolina… "A transgender South Carolina teenager has settled a lawsuit challenging the state Department of Motor Vehicles' policy governing a person's choice to take a driver's license photo wearing makeup. Federal court documents show Chase Culpepper's lawsuit was settled this week. … In the settlement, the DMV agrees to alter its policy to allow people to wear makeup in photos regardless of their gender."

  • 2. DeadHead  |  April 22, 2015 at 8:41 am

    On last night's NBC Nightly News there was a great story about a 5 year old transgender child and the parents decision to allow the transition, I Want to be a Boy watch it at

    NBC said there will be a 2nd segment about transgendered people on tonight's episode.

  • 3. A_Jayne  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:46 am

    "I Want to be a Boy"

    Interesting that they titled the piece that way. Every trans* man I have ever spoken with would phrase that, "I Am a Boy" – it's a matter of that person's truth, not a desire (to be something he is not).

  • 4. Deeelaaach  |  April 23, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I watched the piece on the news, and if I'm not mistaken, "I want to be a boy" is a direct quote from the child himself.

  • 5. DeadHead  |  April 23, 2015 at 3:56 am

    "I want to be a boy" is a quote from the 5 year old child. Children that age don't articulate as well as adults. It is awesome that NBC Nightly News has brought transgenders into the mainstream spotlight. Children melt hearts even the ones of the most hardened adults and by putting the faces of transgendered children up there as NBC did helps pave the path to understanding, acceptance and civil rights for all transgendered people.

  • 6. A_Jayne  |  April 23, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Fair enough.

  • 7. DeadHead  |  April 22, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Part 2 of the series. The story of Malisa, the 8-year-old granddaughter of Congressman Mike Honda, NBC Nightly News continues its series on transgender youth watch the interview here:

  • 8. RnL2008  |  April 23, 2015 at 1:03 am

    I watched the video on my facebook page and I gotta say, that person was meant to be a boy and he is so happy, it really says something about parents because they have to literally do something for their child to be happy and it's amazing that we are seeing this issue become a great education on the issue!!!

  • 9. mu2  |  April 22, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Will there by any kind of live coverage at the SC next Tues? Audio, video, blog, twitting or….?

  • 10. sfbob  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:17 am

    No electronic devices are permitted in the courtroom. Transcripts and audio recordings of the proceedings are released a few hours later but in terms of actual reporting, that is done the old fashioned way, by people taking handwritten notes and filing them from the press room once things are over.

    Read this; it's interesting…

  • 11. mu2  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:33 am

    ah, I see…thanks

  • 12. 1grod  |  April 23, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Scottie you will be in attendance. What are your plans to communicate with us?

  • 13. NetAmigo  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Anyone have any interesting speculation about what has happened to the 5th Circuit decision?

  • 14. mu2  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:32 am

    The clerk's dog ate it.

  • 15. Zack12  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:40 am

    I think they are waiting closer to a SCOTUS ruling before they release a ruling.
    That way there won't be much of the antics as we've seen in Alabama and elsewhere.

  • 16. NetAmigo  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:44 am

    That is what I've been thinking as well. They may wait until it will do no good to pursue an en banc hearing as the Supreme Court will rule before it could be accomplished. That makes more sense than thinking they are waiting out the clock for the Supreme Court. Otherwise, they might as well issue a stay as did the 11th Circuit.

  • 17. RobW303  |  April 22, 2015 at 11:50 am

    From what I gather, the timeline for releasing a ruling is more in the hands of the dissenting judge than the majority judges. Although I'd like to think that the judges don't try to strategically plot when to release rulings, I'm not naive to how political and ideologically biased most 5th Circuit judges are.

  • 18. Rick55845  |  April 22, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    I'm sorry, I never read the transcript from the hearing on January 9th. Is the decision from the 5th CA panel sure to be 2 to 1 in our favor? Maybe it was 2 to 1 against, and the dissenting judge holding things up is one who was on our side.

  • 19. tigris26  |  April 22, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    From what I think most of us gathered from the oral arguments at the 5th CA back in January was that the ruling would likely be 2 to 1 in our favor. Two of the three judges (Higgenbotham and Graves, I believe) both hammered the lawyers speaking for the state bans in each same-sex marriage case heard.

  • 20. VIRick  |  April 22, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Correct. The third judge, Jerry Smith, is an unrepentant bigot who will not decide in our favor, and who, in his questioning at the oral arguments, attempted to convince one of the other two judges to go along with him.

  • 21. Zack12  |  April 23, 2015 at 5:30 am

    Jerry Smith is a grade A jerk who wants to delay a ruling in our favor as long as possible.
    It doesn't surprise me in the least that he would drag his feet on this.

  • 22. A_Jayne  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

    If they were to release a pro-marriage-equality ruling on Monday, right before the SCOTUS hearing, wouldn't that make for a couple of very interesting days? (Especially if they don't stay their ruling…)

  • 23. DACiowan  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Updating the circuit list:

    7th Circuit – 9 days
    9th Circuit – 29 days
    4th Circuit – 76 days
    10th Circuit – 76 days for Kitchen
    10th Circuit – 92 days for Bishop
    6th Circuit – 92 days
    5th Circuit – 103 days and counting

  • 24. Sagesse  |  April 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    It's almost comic relief. With audio.

    Maggie Gallagher: Christians Must 'Be Prepared To Rebuild From The Ruins Of The Collapse Of Civilization' [Right Wing Watch]

  • 25. DeadHead  |  April 22, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    The victim card, again… "Christianity in this country is going to enter a new phase where we are a hated minority group," she declared.

  • 26. Rick55845  |  April 22, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    I've always considered the Christians to be a hated majority group.

  • 27. jcmeiners  |  April 23, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Hateful Christians already are a hated minority group. The loving and respectful ones, not.

  • 28. mu2  |  April 23, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Yeah but they're both keeping low profiles…

  • 29. DeadHead  |  April 23, 2015 at 7:08 am

    The hated Christians are the zealots, the ones saying "my god is better/bigger than your god" who are trying to force their beliefs upon the rest of the world and they start the bloodiest wars in their crusades for Jesus/God. And they wonder why people hate them.

  • 30. mu2  |  April 23, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Imaginary gods are not relevant to the real world and filthy "holy" old books of mythology derived from the campfire stories of illiterate bronze age goatherders who routinely massacred each other and other tribes over which one's god had the biggest cock, are not useful.
    Unless, that is, one happens to run out of toilet paper.

    Morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told.
    Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right.

  • 31. ianbirmingham  |  April 23, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Um, toilet paper? No way… try one of these instead!

  • 32. David_Midvale_UT  |  April 23, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Stupid people think they are hated because of their unsubstantiated personal opinions (e.g., religious belief) when in fact they are despised because their behavior hurts their neighbors.

  • 33. davepCA  |  April 22, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Such embarrassingly idiotic pearl-clutching. Hilarious!

  • 34. weshlovrcm  |  April 23, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Strident anti-gay activist Gallagher's terror and desperation has caused her to morph into a caricature of herself!

  • 35. mu2  |  April 23, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Maggie again. Poor old thing, couldn't get laid if she walked into San Quentin with 2 duffel bags full of signed pardons.

  • 36. mu2  |  April 23, 2015 at 7:02 am

  • 37. F_Young  |  April 22, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    New England Journal of Medicine Editorial In Support of Same-Sex Marriage

    …..A fundamental tenet of all medical care is the acceptance of patients as they are, for who they are, with respect and without prejudice or personal agendas.

    …..Same-sex marriage should be accepted both as a matter of justice and as a measure that promotes health. Marriage as an institution is about stable, long-term relationships, which we know encourage health, reduce the risk of some diseases, and promote healthy families. All health professionals know that in those with chronic and severe illness, care almost always relies in part on family. And when things get really difficult, as when life and death decisions need to be made, physicians know that talking with a patient's partner is not legally the same as working with a patient's spouse. Many same-sex couples are now raising children, and the health of those children demands that their parents have the full rights and protection of marriage. In our society, marriage is often essential to obtaining and keeping adequate health insurance coverage for both members of a couple and for their children.

    …..The Supreme Court should require the full recognition of same-sex marriage throughout this country. If the Court rules otherwise, whatever the legal logic, a clear injustice will result. And that injustice would damage the health and welfare of millions of Americans.

    The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine is America's oldest medical journal.

  • 38. weaverbear  |  April 22, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Amen – grateful to hear clarity and good sense from members of my profession.

    I was a college sophomore when the American Psychiatric Assoc. removed homosexuality per se from its list of mental illnesses. That however did not stop Charles Socarides (Gay Activist Richard's father) from teaching it was a mental illness that should be treated at my medical school for decades later. Having this from NEJM is most affirming.

  • 39. Sagesse  |  April 22, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    That's the most powerful statement on the subject I've read in a long time. I know the Supreme Court tends not to be influenced by editorial statements, but this almost has the quality of an amicus brief. Anyway, I hope the justices pay attention.

  • 40. ianbirmingham  |  April 22, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Awesome post, F_Young!! Thanks!!! 🙂 🙂

  • 41. Steve84  |  April 23, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Just glad to see that they realize that what's important are stable long-term relationships and not literally marriage itself. Too many marriage activists get confused there.

  • 42. 1grod  |  April 23, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Steve: And those against marriage equality because of the emphasis placed on biological parents vs emphasis on couples committed to providing stable long term relationships in which children can be nurtured – a family situated in an inclusive community. G

  • 43. F_Young  |  April 22, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Off-topic: What We Learned from the Global Activists at Quorum: Global LGBT Voices
    With eleven videos now produced and released, qualities like courage and resilience transcend differences of culture and identity.

    …..Even the language we use can be unintentionally marginalizing. We say LGBT, for example, but the more prevalent international term is SOGI —sexual orientation and gender identity— because it doesn’t assume that Western categories fit everyone’s experiences.

    …..As much as we wanted to emphasize the differences in experiences around the world, the commonalities rose to the top. Speaker after speaker stunned the crowd at the New York Public Library with their personal stories of survival, challenge, and triumph. More than one survived sexual assault, several had had their lives threatened. Some—Anastasia Smirnova from Russia, Maurice Tomlinson from Jamaica, Bisi Alimi from Nigeria—had to flee their countries in order to live their lives.

    …..What we as Western allies need to do, other than write checks and pressure leaders, is find ways to support those overseas who are already risking more than we can ever know to secure the safety and dignity of those marginalized for reasons of sexual orientation and gender identity. Despite gains in the United States, SOGI minorities are losing many battles overseas. Not only is the battle not over, it’s not clear who’s going to win.

  • 44. F_Young  |  April 22, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Sam Olens on gay marriage: Georgia will respect Supreme Court decision

    When it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court and gay marriage, Georgia will not be Alabama, Attorney General Sam Olens said early Wednesday.

    …..“There’s a distinction between me defending the law, and the order from the Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court rules on an issue, we’re going to follow the order…

    “We’re going to encourage all those agencies that have a policy role that they immediately follow the law. I cringe just as much when an attorney general seeks to defy the law as anyone else. When the U.S. Supreme Court rules, it’s not time for criticism. It’s not time for banter. It’s time for the lawyer to play lawyer, and to ensure that everyone follows that law.”

    <a href="” target=”_blank”>

  • 45. DeadHead  |  April 23, 2015 at 6:02 am

    After seeing the backlash in Indiana and Arkansas, the sensible minds of the GOP in my state don't want to risk losing the revenue and jobs being brought in by big business.

  • 46. VIRick  |  April 23, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Mainly because of Atlanta and its massive metro area, Georgia just isn't like Alabama, Indiana, or Arkansas anymore (or many other fly-over areas of the so-called "heartland"). Too many people have worked too long and too hard to transform the Atlanta area into a major economic dynamo to throw it all away over some pinch-nosed, retrograde attitude problem.

    Never mind that there are still pockets of pinch-nosed, retrograde attitudes in certain corners of the state. Atlanta trumps it all with its rather coarse expression, "Money talks, bullshit walks,– and bless your heart."

  • 47. scream4ever  |  April 23, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Indeed. There is ample evidence to support the notion that Georgia will be a blue state in the coming years.

  • 48. VIRick  |  April 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Florida will get there quicker, but Georgia is right behind it.

  • 49. Sagesse  |  April 23, 2015 at 3:44 am

    In the New York Times, no less. Guess it helps if you're a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Not sure the message is going to help him, though. Oh, and read the comments :).

    Bobby Jindal: I’m Holding Firm Against Gay Marriage

  • 50. StraightDave  |  April 23, 2015 at 7:18 am

    So I guess Jindal's looking to break out to an early lead in Iowa. But then comes NH. Pack light, Bobby. You're only going to need one change of clothes. And tell the missus to leave the porch light on.

  • 51. DrPatrick1  |  April 23, 2015 at 7:42 am

    I LOVE how he now wishes to protect the majority religious from the minority. Where is he on protecting minority religious views which wish to solemnize a GLB relationship in marriage? His flowing rhetoric is not really a policy, but a political stunt to curry favor with other bigots. I am so over his ilk it is not even funny.

    He has no chance to win, or even be nominated for the GOP, so he doesn't prove a threat there. He is merely a nuisance which will keep his state from progressing into the 21st century.

  • 52. JayJonson  |  April 23, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Jindal inherited a huge budget SURPLUS from former Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco; he has squandered it all and now the state faces the biggest budget DEFICIT in history. LSU and the other state colleges and universities are on the verge of bankruptcy, and are preparing for a declaration of "financial exigency" so that they can fire tenured professors and slash academic programs so that they can cope with an 80% cut in state funding. Yet Jindal continues his obsession with pandering to the most extreme elements of the religious right. Not only is his dream of a Presidential nomination delusional, but the state will suffer greatly from the blowback against his "religious liberty" bill should it be passed. Most people in the poorly educated state could care less about the bill, but when they find out that there will be no more Superbowls or NCAA championship games in the New Orleans Superdome, they will not be kind to Bobby, whose approval rating right now is 36% in the state and on the way down.

  • 53. StraightDave  |  April 23, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Here's Bobby Jindal in Jan 2013 telling the GOP how to remain competitive:

    – they "must stop being the stupid party"

    – "stop insulting the intelligence of voters.”

    – he accuses the party of …. ""looking backwards and having an obsession with identity politics."

    – "We must not become the party of austerity."

    How's all that working out for you, Bubba?

  • 54. VIRick  |  April 23, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I liked this comment:

    "And thanks, Supreme Court, for that Hobby Lobby decision. However, they say a corporation won't really be a person until Texas executes one."

  • 55. Sagesse  |  April 23, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Love it.

    Human Rights Campaign Took A Red Pen To Jindal's Religious Freedom Op-ed [TPM]

  • 56. David_Midvale_UT  |  April 23, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I hope regular readers know that the people behind "Same Sex Attracted Men and their Wives" are Mormon snake oil shills who have a financial interest in providing so-called therapy to so-called same-sex attracted (Mormon-speak for bisexual or homosexual) individuals. The Mormon club has a LONG history of animus for LGBTQ individuals, including witch hunts at Brigham Young University, electroshock aversion therapy (a.k.a. torture), and political activity to strip LGBTQ individuals of their constitutionally protected rights, starting with Hawaii's Future Today. The referenced brief is an outrageous collection of irrational nonsense. Sadly these clowns (and far too many of their ilk) are so deep in their willful self-deception that they do not realize that they have become laughingstocks.

  • 57. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Big day is here it seems..Arguments just started right ?
    The day did not begin that well for me..My internet connection is down (of all days it had to be today( and I had to come to the local library whose internet connection restricts access to most of this site (weirdly enough this is the only recent thread I am allowed to visit) presumably because it is "innapropriate" according to the education ministry's guidelines *sigh*..I will have to go before the audio and transcript are released I am afraid as well 🙁 Ugh…

    Fingers crossed my bad luck translates to good luck for the plaintiffs today !

  • 58. Rick55845  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Arguments will start at 10:45 Eastern, in about 35 minutes.

  • 59. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:20 am

    freedom to marry says differently actually…It says 10:00 – 12:30 SCOTUS will hear arguments on their live feed thread :

  • 60. RemC_Chicago  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Starts at 10 a.m.

    From Freedom to Marry:

    7:00am • The Timeline to Expect Today
    It's going to be a whirlwind day for the freedom to marry, and we want to keep you posted on all of it. Here's a look:

    9:30am Plaintiffs and attorneys from the legal cases before the Supreme Court will enter the Courtroom
    10:00am-12:30pm The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the freedom to marry, 90 minutes on Question 1 and 60 minutes on Question 2 (see above for more details)
    10:00am-1:00pm Supporters of the freedom to marry will rally with #Unite4Marriage outside of the Supreme Court. The rally will feature a wide range of speakers, and we'll be live-tweeting highlights throughout the day.
    1:15pm After the argument, the attorneys and plaintiffs will hold a press conference on what happened inside, and what to expect
    2:00pm The audio and initial transcript of the hearing is expected to be released from the Supreme Court before 2pm today. We'll have it up and available as soon as they do.
    All Day No matter where you are, raise your voice and call for the freedom to marry nationwide using social media by including the hashtag #LoveMustWin on a creative social post! And follow all of the submissions on Twitter here.

  • 61. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Won't lie, even I'm a little nervous but I firmly believe there will be full equality for all come the end of June.

  • 62. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Till I listen to what Kennedy has to ask and say today I am very, VERY nervous…

  • 63. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:26 am

    We all are to some degree but actions speak louder then words.
    What happened last fall and the fact they didn't issue stays in Florida and Alabama even though the 11th circuit had ruled where the bans were constitutional or not speaks volumes.

  • 64. 1grod  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:09 am

    ……though the 11th circuit hadn't ruled whether……

  • 65. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Live blogging has started and not going too well so far..Roberts already made his intentions clear and the first comment by Kennedy is :

    "ustice Kennedy said he had "a word on his mind .. and that word is millennia"

    But after that he fixed it a little bit with the comparison with Loving and Brown..

    "Justice Alito pointed out that Plato had written approvingly of homosexual relations, even thought the Greeks limited marriage to heterosexual couples."

    And ? The point is ? The ScaliaThomasAlitoRoberts machine is full on on fallacy..

    Missed that part of Kennedy's comment :

    "this raised the question for him of whether this might all be too fast to redefine such a long standing institution"

    We have not started well I think not at all…At least justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor are trying..

  • 66. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:42 am

    It was always going to come down to Kennedy.

  • 67. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I hoped Roberts might be in favour of a splitting the baby (5-4 first question, 6-3 2nd question) but let's see if he asks anything to the defendants..
    Alito is full on historical fallacies…We do not care about international law and history except when we do, that's the case with the conservatives..

  • 68. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:47 am

    "Scalia asked whether, if petitioners win, a minister who objects to same sex marriages could refuse to perform a civil same-sex wedding. Bonauto answered yes. Scalia pressed the point though, arguing that he could not understand how, a state could permit somebody to hold a license to marry people if that person would not exercise the power consistently with the Constitution."

    Here comes the full GOP legislative agenda ladies and gentlemen ! Utterly disgusting and trying to get away from the issue…Kagan and Breyer shot him down though !

    Good answer to the polygamy fallacy Alito was bound to shoot out from Bonauto.

    "The Court had said that the question is "who decides" whether same sex marriage will be lawful: the courts or the states? She responded that the choice is not between the Court and the state, but instead whether the individual can decide who to marry, or whether the government will decide for him."

    Kennedy must be in love with Bonauto right now. I am sure she should have been looking at him when saying that. It's an 100 % set up phrase to get Kennedy.

  • 69. DeadHead  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:11 am

    “Justice Breyer did express some concern that she (Bonauto) had not given a direct answer to the core question, which is why the Court should embrace same sex marriage when the opposite has been the rule for the vast sweep of history.”

    That kinda makes me a bit nervous to hear coming from one of the liberal justices.

  • 70. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:17 am

    We currently have 3.5 justices on our side judging from the first part of questions I am afraid…And it won't be enough..

  • 71. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Breyer is not going to rule against us.

  • 72. DeadHead  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:22 am

    If Bonauto gets rebuttal time, maybe Breyer was setting her up to answer that question.

  • 73. JayJonson  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:31 am

    We cannot panic. The justices are simply testing the plaintiffs. They always get the hardest questions. You simply cannot tell with any certainty how the justices are going to rule on the basis of the questions they ask. I do not think Kennedy or Breyer will rule against marriage equality. They have brought us too far.

  • 74. JayJonson  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:56 am

    We need to remember that oral arguments rarely if ever decide cases. These justices have already made up their minds. Mary Bonauto will do an excellent job. So will Douglas Hallward-Driemeyer, but the result will be a 5-4 decision on the right to marry that has already been reached on the basis of the briefs.

  • 75. JayJonson  |  April 28, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Scalia's absurd question about a minister having to marry people "consistently with the Constitution" is so stupid that he simply reveals that he will go to any length to distort the issues. I wish someone would ask him how Catholic priests are able to refuse to marry people of other religions if they are required to marry everyone who is constitutionally eligible to marry.

  • 76. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Thankfully Kagan pointed that out to him (referencing Jews though) and Breyer had to quote the first amendment for him..Treating him like the novelty he is is the best thing they can do.

  • 77. DeadHead  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:38 am

    This makes sense: “As Scalia knows perfectly well, the First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion. Consequently, it's unimaginable from a constitutional perspective that any priest, minister, rabbi or imam would ever be compelled to perform a gay marriage against his or her conscience. It’s hard to think of a more fundamental example of the free exercise of religion.

    Nevertheless, Scalia wanted to explore possible arguments in the other direction. After all, he pointed out, many states authorize clergy to perform marriages. How, then, could such clergy refuse to perform certain marriages?

    From a strictly technical standpoint, Scalia was actually pointing out a weird anomaly of state marriage law. In fact, it is bizarre that the state authorizes clergy to perform a civil function. It weren't for the long-standing nature of the practice, the delegation of state power to clergy would seem like a violation of the establishment clause. What, after all, could be more clearly an establishment of official religion than letting clergy, but not other nongovernment actors, perform a government function?

    But the real-world fact is that the tradition of clergy performing legal marriages won't be changed in the U.S., at least not in our lifetimes. Any constitutional difficulties can be resolved by allowing secular functionaries to perform the same role, as some states do. As Justice Elena Kagan pointed out, many rabbis won't perform weddings between Jews and non-Jews, and there’s never been any hint of a legal challenge to this practice.

    The best interpretation of Scalia’s motivation, then, is that he was trying to reassure opponents of gay marriage that the rights of clergy remain secure. Although he may not see it this way, Scalia was actually helping supporters of gay marriage to gain acceptance of a new right, but he will certainly oppose it in a dissent.” What Justices Are Really Saying

  • 78. JayJonson  |  April 28, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Anybody who seriously thinks that Scalia was actually trying to help "supporters of gay marriage to gain acceptance of a new right" is high on something. Just nonsense, unless, of course, the quote comes from The Onion rather than from Bloomberg News.

  • 79. RemC_Chicago  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Fabulous closing comment from Mary:

    Bonauto closed her argument with a neat turn of phrase. The Court had said that the question is "who decides" whether same sex marriage will be lawful: the courts or the states? She responded that the choice is not between the Court and the state, but instead whether the individual can decide who to marry, or whether the government will decide for him.

  • 80. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:11 am

    "Chief Justice Roberts noted how fast things are changing in society. In Maine, he said, same-sex unions were banned in 2009 and then, in 2012, approved via a ballot vote.

    “If you prevail here, there will be no more debate,” he said. “People feel very differently if they have a chance to vote on it” versus having same-sex marriage imposed upon them."

    WHO cares what people "feel" about other people's rights ? And who cares about debate ? These are families and rights we talk about ! And what will be imposed on them exactly Roberts ? They will have to marry someone of the same sex ? Ugh Kennedy and Roberts don't seem too eager to rule in favour of ME I tell you..

  • 81. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:17 am

    I think Kennedy will rule in favor of us but on grounds of equal protection, not heightned scrunity.

  • 82. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Till now I believe both him and Breyer are on the no side of this argument with only the women being sure votes…

  • 83. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:19 am

    You don't know Breyer that well do you?
    The idea he's going to vote to uphold the bans is a joke.

  • 84. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:21 am

    And yet the biggest surprise came out of his mouth till now..Till now it's a 6-3 against ME I think.

  • 85. JayJonson  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Yes, as I predicted, Roberts is going to write his dissent (I hope it is a dissent) echoing Sutton. It is really in our best interest, he will say, to have the issue decided democratically. As though, any gay or lelsbian person now living in Alabama or Mississippi will ever live long enough to enjoy equal rights under the law.

  • 86. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:22 am

    They are still opposed to interracial marriage, let alone same sex ones.
    As to your other point, you must be mistaken.
    Our one "expert" all but assured us that Robert's dissent in DOMA really didn't mean he would rule against us in these cases.

  • 87. Rick55845  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:20 am

    I hope someone points out to Roberts that no one is forced to marry anyone else, whether gay or straight. At least, that is true in US society today. So neither same-sex marriage nor opposite sex-marriage is going to be imposed on anyone.

  • 88. mu2  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:50 am

    No, they don't seem very eager…but they HAVE to be thinking of the chaos that would ensue if they uphold the bans…considering the thousands of couples that have already tied the knot. Unless there's some way around that…but I have no clue what it could be.

  • 89. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:52 am

    That's my hope right now, that they will consider the ramifications of a decision upholding the bans..Although Breyer and Kennedy's questions at the attorney for the states gave me some hope.

  • 90. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Roberts's reaction when people protested his Citizens United decision ? "Oh my god.."

    Roberts's reaction when an anti-gay bigot shouted in the courtroom "homosexuality is an abomination !" ? "Freedom of expression !"

    What kind of people are allowed by the GOP on this bench ?

  • 91. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:25 am

    For those worried about Breyer, keep in mind during the DOMA hearings that he asked a "question" like that to Roberta Kaplan, which was basically his way of telling her that she needed to answer a couple of the questions better.

  • 92. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:38 am

    "The Chief Justice also raised the question whether bans on same-sex marriage amount to sex discrimination."

    Not much hope here but given that the judge who made the most rigorous case for the sex discrimination claim was liberal Berzon, the last person I expected to consider that scenario was Roberts…

    "Justice Stephen G. Breyer, a member of the liberal bloc, forcefully questioned why states should be able to exclude gay people from marriage. “Marriage is open to vast numbers of people,” he said, adding that same-sex couples “have no possibility to participate in that fundamental liberty. And so we ask, ‘Why?’"

    I would want the answer of the attorney provided as well here, as much as Breyer..

  • 93. Waxr  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:33 am

    "Because that's the way it's been for millennia," is just not good enough for an answer.

  • 94. davepCA  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Especially when it's not even a true statement. Marriage has been various things other than 1man1woman in many places, and in fact 1man1woman isn't even the most common form of marriage when you look at all societies and all of history.

  • 95. Waxr  |  April 29, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Tthe historical information we have about marriages mostly relates to marriages between royal dynasties or aristocratic families. The marriages were arranged to confirm treaties between to nations, or for the perpetuation of political or economic power.

    Little is known about marriage among the more common and relevant lower classes and the poor. Their marriages were not considered important enough to record. They wouldn't need the church or an elaborate ceremony. It would be surprising if same-sex marriages were not common among them.

  • 96. mu2  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:45 am

    I almost fell out of my chair when I heard Kennedy's idiotic comment about marriage being the same for millennia….my opinion of his intelligence has dropped 88 points. Bah.

  • 97. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 8:58 am

    According to a lot of people, that wasn't a comment as much as it was telling our side to make their case.

  • 98. mu2  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Sure, I understand the concept of spin…I hope those lots of peoples are right. <shrug>

  • 99. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Then be negative and worry for the next two months then.
    Kennedy asked other questions which favor our side a lot more then the bigots.

  • 100. mu2  |  April 28, 2015 at 10:04 am

    I plan to be positive…and worry nevertheless. 🙂

  • 101. Zack12  |  April 28, 2015 at 10:05 am

    We're all worried a little bit but overall, it's clear Kennedy was more on our side then not.

  • 102. Waxr  |  April 29, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I was glad to see that somebody responded with "coverture". Women no longer give up their rights when they get married, and marriage itself is looked upon as a partnership. The female justices on the Court will understand the important changes.

  • 103. flyerguy77  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Have some faith, we haven't heard full questions/ answers

  • 104. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:04 am

    So according to reports so far we had 3 justices sharply on each side of the argument, Kennedy right in the middle and Breyer and Roberts reaching out accross the aisle with their questions but not striving very far from what we should expect…
    On SCOTUSblog they repeat the "legacy" argument when it comes to Roberts voting in favour of ME.

    CNN reports that Scalia's reaction to the anti-gay protestor was : "That was refreshing !"

    The man liked it, this guy said exactly what he wanted to say and was not ashamed to say so of course !

  • 105. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:17 am

    The audio for question 1 is up :

  • 106. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:22 am

    "Justice Kennedy asked why the federal government focused only on the equal-protection argument in favor of same-sex marriage and not on the argument that marriage was a fundamental right."

    I think we see where Kennedy wants that to go in terms of the legal pathway to equality..

  • 107. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:47 am

    "It's very hard to read the Chief, but he did ask questions in the second argument expressing some skepticism over the fact that states don't, in fact, deny recognition to any marriage that does not conform with state law, except same-sex marriages. And, as I mentioned, Justice Scalia asked questions suggesting he might think there was a reason based in the text of Article 4 that would justify ruling for the couples on recognition but not the right to marry. So one could imagine a potential compromise that would effectively allow same sex couples to get married in states that allow it, have their marriages recognized elsewhere, but not have the Court issue a decision that has broad implications for other kinds of sexual orientation discrimination."

    oh-oh..I hope there is a majority not tempted in order of more consensus to split the baby..If it takes spliting the baby to have Scalia join a pro equality opinion thanks but no..

  • 108. wes228  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:56 am

    They can vote differently on each question. It can be 5-4 on the licensing question and 6-3 (or more) on the recognition question.

  • 109. SethInMaryland  |  April 28, 2015 at 10:08 am

    At work so not been able to keep up with it much, i saw early in some reports kennedy testy to our side , but now i'm seeing reports he is likely a 5th for our side. I like to know what he asked the state?

  • 110. SethInMaryland  |  April 28, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Got to remeber kennedy played devils advocate last time in the prop h8 case then gave us that outstanding windsor ruling

  • 111. SethInMaryland  |  April 28, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Wow nothing at all about baker at all, somewhat strange it didn't come up at all. I guess are through piece of crap

  • 112. SethInMaryland  |  April 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

    affter that millenia talk to our side, when the state had their kennedy got a tough on the state , i think he was just testing mary to how to she reponed the usual antigay crap the bigots through out, remer in the health care case he said something along the lines that maybie the gov could have control over healthcare because of big it was, but then in the opinion he was strongley against the law

  • 113. SethInMaryland  |  April 28, 2015 at 10:46 am

    5-4 likely our side some reports though we should heads up, however roberts is now looking he could be swing vote , he did seem to give some keys he could swing ourway

  • 114. RnL2008  |  April 28, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I'm listening to oral arguments right now and it concerns me a little…..should SCOTUS rule and uphold the ruling from the 6th, which again, I doubt is going to happen….but it appears as if it maybe an iffy ruling in our favor…….let's hope I'm wrong here!!!

  • 115. SethInMaryland  |  April 28, 2015 at 11:36 am

    U know i wish ppl like roberts and sutton who bring up the dem process would forced into predicment where all the time be forced into referendums , having to donate money all time, and several other things. They talk as if it a fun and easy

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