Gay marriage’s second round at the Supreme Court
Following yesterday’s debate on the future of California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage in the state, the Supreme Court began its hearing this morning on the Defense of Marriage Act.
Since its inception in 1996, DOMA has drawn controversy, but this is the first time that the mandate, which has fallen out of favor with the Obama administration, has been brought to the Supreme Court.
Though crowds in front of the courtroom are smaller than yesterday’s Prop. 8 supporters and opponents,
Photos: Karen Bleier, Mark Wilson, Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images
Supreme Court hears arguments on Prop. 8 ban on gay marriage
The debate between both sides of the argument and the Supreme Court has come to an end, with a final decision on the fate of California’s contentious Prop. 8 expected to be announced at some point in June.
Though any prognostications made based on Supreme Court arguments must be taken with a grain on salt, liberal justices were particularly intent on critiquing the defense of the gay marriage ban.
From Supreme Court reporter David G. Savage:
Justice Anthony Kennedy, while acknowledging that the long-term effects of legalized gay marriage are unknown, suggested that the tens of thousands of children of gay and lesbian couples in California have a voice in the case as well. “They want their parents to have full recognition,” he said.
Photos: Nicholas Kamm, Karen Blier, Jewel Samad, Win McNamee / AFP/Getty Images, Molly Riley / MCT, Dana Verkouteren / Associated Press
It’s been four years since the efforts to overrule California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage, began. Then, it seemed like an impossible challenge, but now, with public opinion vastly shifting in favor of gay marriage, the possibility of the court ruling against Prop. 8 seems likely.
From David G. Savage and Maura Dolan’s preview of the arguments scheduled to begin tomorrow:
The conventional wisdom among legal experts is that the court will stop short of declaring that gays and lesbians have a right to marry nationwide. A narrow ruling voiding Proposition 8 would bring gay marriage to California, but it would not force a change in states where strong opposition to the idea remains.
Photos: Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images,
The colorful house opposing the Westboro Baptists
The Westboro Baptist Church has become synonymous with hate-filled and derogatory language, with publicity-grabbing stunts protesting everything from gay marriages, Catholicism to military funerals - making them an open target for activist Aaron Jackson.
Jackson, looking at the area surrounding the church, was shocked to discover that there were houses for sale right across the street, prompting him to create an “Equality House,” which will serve in direct contrast to the church’s message, and house a new anti-bullying initiative.
From veteran Mike McKessor, who painted the house:
“Every neighbor that I encountered was so happy, and everybody was smiling when they go by,” McKessor said, with a chuckle. “It was on a busy street, and everybody slowed down and took pictures. I’m not exaggerating. Dang near every car stopped and said, ‘Good job! Good job!’ … I’ve never had people so happy for painting a house.”
Photo: Planting Peace
So long, Prop. 8?
With the Supreme Court set to rule on California’s controversial ban on same-sex marriage, President Obama asked the court yesterday to reject the voter-passed law.
From the the White House statement:
“Tradition, no matter how long established, cannot by itself justify a discriminatory law. Prejudice may not be the basis for differential treatment under the law.”
The brief filed by the administration argues that same-sex marriage bans should be treated similarly to laws discriminating on the basis of gender. If the court agrees with the White House, same-sex marriage bans across the country would be immediately put in limbo.
Photo: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times
AP pronounces them wife and wife
With a changing in cultural norms comes a change in the Associated Press’ style. After outrage arose following a leaked memo revealing that the longstanding news organization was advising writers to refer to married gay couples as “partners,” instead of husbands or wives.
The new entry in the style book under “husband, wife” reads:
Regardless of sexual orientation, ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. ‘Spouse’ or ‘partner’ may be used if requested.