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Supreme Court Ruling – Gay Marriage A Constitutional Right

Supreme Court Ruling – Gay Marriage A Constitutional Right

14th Amendment requires states license same-sex marriage and recognize other state marriages.

[Note – this post addresses the Court ruling. See our Reactions post for how America is responding to the ruling.]

There are four cases consolidated for the Court to answer two questions:

The cases are consolidated and the petitions for writs of certiorari are granted limited to the following questions:

1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?

2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

At current count, 37 states have gay marriage: 8 by legislative action, 3 by popular vote, 26 by court order. (via Byron York)

The decision has just been released (here), with the majority opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy. The answer to both questions was YES.

There are four separate dissenting opinions.

We will update this post until we’ve gone through all 5 opinions

Majority Opinion

Via Scotusblog:

Holding: Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex… And to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when a marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state.

We will update

The first line of the majority opinion set the tone, and would be a focus of Justice Scalia’s dissent:

The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity. The petitioners in these cases seek to find that liberty by marrying someone of the same sex and having their marriages deemed lawful on the same terms and conditions as marriages between persons of the opposite sex. [at 1]

Scalia would write of this opening:

“If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,’ I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.” [at 7, fn. 22]

The Court identified the following underlying principles:

A first premise of the Court’s relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy…. [at 12]

A second principle in this Court’s jurisprudence is that the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals…. [at 13]

A third basis for protecting the right to marry is that it safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education.

Fourth and finally, this Court’s cases and the Nation’s traditions make clear that marriage is a keystone of our social order. [at 16]

Here are some of the money quotes from the majority opinion:

The right to marry is fundamental as a matter of history and tradition, but rights come not from ancient sources alone. They rise, too, from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era. Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.
But when that sincere, personal opposition becomes enacted law and public policy, the necessary consequence is to put the imprimatur of the State itself on an exclusion that soon demeans or stigmatizes those whose own liberty is then denied. Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.

The right of same-sex couples to marry that is part of the liberty promised by the Fourteenth Amendment is derived, too, from that Amendment’s guarantee of the equal protection of the laws…. [at 18-19, hard breaks added.]

It is now clear that the challenged laws burden the liberty of same-sex couples, and it must be further acknowledged that they abridge central precepts of equality. Here the marriage laws enforced by the respondents are in essence unequal: same-sex couples are denied all the benefits afforded to opposite-sex couples and are barred from exercising a fundamental right. Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm. The imposition of this disability on gays and lesbians serves to disrespect and subordinate them. And the Equal Protection Clause, like the Due Process Clause, prohibits this unjustified infringement of the fundamental right to marry. [at 22]

The Court summed up the 14th Amendment conclusion as follows:

These considerations lead to the conclusion that the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them. Baker v. Nelson must be and now is overruled, and the State laws challenged by Petitioners in these cases are now held invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite sex couples. [at 22-23]

The Court rejected the assertion that such an issue should await the democratic process:

Of course, the Constitution contemplates that democracy is the appropriate process for change, so long as that process does not abridge fundamental rights…. This holds true even when protecting individual rights affects issues of the utmost importance and sensitivity.

The dynamic of our constitutional system is that individuals need not await legislative action before asserting a fundamental right… [at 24]

And in conclusion, the majority writes:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage
embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.



Roberts focused on the Court not focusing on a results-based reasoning, whereby a “good” result results in analysis meant to achieve that result:

Petitioners make strong arguments rooted in social policy and considerations of fairness. They contend that same-sex couples should be allowed to affirm their love and commitment through marriage, just like opposite-sex couples. That position has undeniable appeal; over the past six years, voters and legislators in eleven States and the District of Columbia have revised their laws to allow marriage between two people of the same sex.

But this Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what
the law is, not what it should be…. [at 1-2]

Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition.

Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage. Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. [at 2]

Perhaps harkening back to how Roe v. Wade resulted in decades of acrimony because it usurped the political and cultural process, Roberts wrote:

Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens—through the democratic process—to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept. [at 2]

“Just Who do we think we are?”

The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own “new insight” into the “nature of injustice.” Ante, at 11, 23. As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?

Roberts rejected the “right to marry” line of case law as being irrelevant to this issue:

In short, the “right to marry” cases stand for the important but limited proposition that particular restrictions on access to marriage as traditionally defined violate due process. These precedents say nothing at all about a right to make a State change its definition of marriage, which is the right petitioners actually seek here. [at 16]

And also the “right to privacy” cases:

Neither Lawrence nor any other precedent in the privacy line of cases supports the right that petitioners assert here. Unlike criminal laws banning contraceptives and sodomy, the marriage laws at issue here involve no government intrusion. They create no crime and impose no punishment. Same-sex couples remain free to live together, to engage in intimate conduct, and to raise their families as they see fit. No one is “condemned to live in loneliness” by the laws challenged in these cases—no one. Ante, at 28. At the same time, the laws in no way interfere with the “right to be let alone.” [at 16-17]

Roberts then went down the logical slippery slope, to polygamy:

It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” ante, at 13, why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” ante, at 15, why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? [at 20-21]

[Further updating now by Amy, as WAJ has appointment he can’t change.]

Roberts’ closing thoughts provide an excellent summary:

If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.


Scalia sets the context for his opinion by drawing a line between the subject matter of today’s holding, and how it came about:

The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me. The law can recognize as marriage whatever sexual attachments and living arrange- ments it wishes, and can accord them favorable civil consequences, from tax treatment to rights of inheritance. Those civil consequences—and the public approval that conferring the name of marriage evidences—can perhaps have adverse social effects, but no more adverse than the effects of many other controversial laws. So it is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.

We’ve seen this problem before—the problem of “creating” Constitutional rights—and Scalia is quick to point it out:

The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact— and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Consti- tution and its Amendments neglect to mention.

Scalia goes into great detail describing the evolution of the gay marriage debate in America, and recognizes how the conversation has highlighted the best that democracy has to offer. Additionally, he says, there’s “no doubt” that the people alive when the Amendment was drafted never decided to prohibit the limitation of marriage to opposite sex couples—so debate must be allowed.

But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law. Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its “reasoned judgment,” thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect.

Scalia calls the majority decision “judge-empowering,” and criticizes the majority’s use of the “four principles” that led the majority to their conclusion, as opposed to the People’s understanding of liberty.

This is a naked judicial claim to legislative—indeed, super-legislative—power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government. Except as limited by a constitutional prohibition agreed to by the People, the States are free to adopt whatever laws they like, even those that offend the esteemed Justices’ “reasoned judgment.” A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.

He points out the “unrepresentative” nature of the Court, saying that this drastic change in policy violates the principle of “no social transformation without representation.”

The strikingly unrepresentative character of the body voting on today’s social upheaval would be irrelevant if they were functioning as judges, answering the legal question whether the American people had ever ratified a constitutional provision that was understood to proscribe the traditional definition of marriage. But of course the Justices in today’s majority are not voting on that basis; they say they are not.

Scalia being Scalia, he took the opportunity to (rightfully) lampoon Kennedy’s sweeping opinion and propensity to wax emotional:

It is one thing for separate con- curring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the Court to do so.22 Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent. “The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spiritu- ality.”23 (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie.

Ask the nearest hippie. Make this man our king, America.

Scalia’s main concern? Taking these decisions away from the People, and putting them into the hands of a panel of 9:

Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before a fall. The Judiciary is the “least dangerous” of the federal branches because it has “neither Force nor Will, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm” and the States, “even for the efficacy of its judgments.” With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them—with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the “reasoned judgment” of a bare majority of this Court—we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.

He did not “respectfully dissent.”


Thomas’ dissent was heavy on history, taking things back all the way to the Magna Carta, Blackstone’s commentary, and the original intent of the Framers.

In enacting the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, the Framers similarly chose to employ the “life, liberty, or property” formulation, though they otherwise deviated substantially from the States’ use of Magna Carta’s language in the Clause. When read in light of the history of that formulation, it is hard to see how the “liberty” protected by the Clause could be interpreted to include anything broader than freedom from physical restraint.

That was the consistent usage of the time when “liberty” was paired with “life” and “property.” And that usage avoids rendering superfluous those protections for “life” and “property.”

If the Fifth Amendment uses “liberty” in this narrow sense, then the Fourteenth Amendment likely does as well. Indeed, this Court has previously commented, “The conclusion is . . . irresistible, that when the same phrase was employed in the Fourteenth Amendment [as was used in the Fifth Amendment], it was used in the same sense and with no greater extent.”

He then moves on to describing how “freedom” has been defined (we embrace oxymorons in the legal profession) by the Court, and contrasts that usage with what Kennedy did in his ruling:

Even assuming that the “liberty” in those Clauses encompasses something more than freedom from physical restraint, it would not include the types of rights claimed by the majority. In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular gov- ernmental entitlement.

What is liberty? “Locomotion,” freedom, or something else entirely? It doesn’t matter for purposes of Thomas’ argument, because what he’s concerned with is depravation of liberty:

Whether we define “liberty” as locomotion or freedom from governmental action more broadly, petitioners have in no way been deprived of it.

Petitioners cannot claim, under the most plausible definition of “liberty,” that they have been imprisoned or physically restrained by the States for participating in same-sex relationships. To the contrary, they have been able to cohabitate and raise their children in peace. They have been able to hold civil marriage ceremonies in States that recognize same-sex marriages and private religious ceremonies in all States. They have been able to travel freely around the country, making their homes where they please. Far from being incarcerated or physically re- strained, petitioners have been left alone to order their lives as they see fit.

Nor, under the broader definition, can they claim that the States have restricted their ability to go about their daily lives as they would be able to absent governmental restrictions.

Does Thomas believe the Framers would have recognized a liberty interest in these disputed government entitlements? No.

Instead, the States have refused to grant them governmental entitlements. Petitioners claim that as a matter of “liberty,” they are entitled to access privileges and benefits that exist solely because of the government. They want, for example, to receive the State’s imprimatur on their marriages—on state issued marriage licenses, death certificates, or other official forms. And they want to receive various monetary benefits, including reduced inheritance taxes upon the death of a spouse, compensation if a spouse dies as a result of a work-related injury, or loss of consortium damages in tort suits. But receiving governmental recognition and benefits has nothing to do with any understanding of “liberty” that the Framers would have recognized.

The Court took the debate and decision away from the people, and endangered liberty as a result:

Although our Constitution provides some protection against such governmental restrictions on religious practices, the People have long elected to afford broader pro- tections than this Court’s constitutional precedents mandate. Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.

Lastly, he rejects the majority’s claim that today they have done great work to preserve “dignity.”

The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.

We would do well to remember that.


Alito gives it up in the first paragraph:

The question in these cases, however, is not what States should do about same-sex marriage but whether the Constitution answers that question for them. It does not. The Constitution leaves that question to be decided by the people of each State.

It’s the 10th Amendment argument we’ve all been looking for. Along for the ride comes the procreation and “purpose of marriage” argument:

Adherents to different schools of philosophy use different terms to explain why society should formalize mar- riage and attach special benefits and obligations to per- sons who marry. Here, the States defending their adherence to the traditional understanding of marriage have explained their position using the pragmatic vocabulary that characterizes most American political discourse. Their basic argument is that States formalize and promote marriage, unlike other fulfilling human relationships, in order to encourage potentially procreative conduct to take place within a lasting unit that has long been thought to provide the best atmosphere for raising children. They thus argue that there are reasonable secular grounds for restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

It is far beyond the outer reaches of this Court’s authority to say that a State may not adhere to the understanding of marriage that has long prevailed, not just in this country and others with similar cultural roots, but also in a great variety of countries and cultures all around the globe.

As for the rights of individual dissent, Alito wastes no time saying what many conservatives are thinking:

Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences.

It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.

Perhaps recognizing how its reasoning may be used, the majority attempts, toward the end of its opinion, to reassure those who oppose same-sex marriage that their rights of conscience will be protected. We will soon see whether this proves to be true. I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.

Alito does a good job tying the concepts of federalism to the rights of conscience that he believes have been threatened by today’s ruling:

The system of federalism established by our Constitu- tion provides a way for people with different beliefs to live together in a single nation. If the issue of same-sex marriage had been left to the people of the States, it is likely that some States would recognize same-sex marriage and others would not. It is also possible that some States would tie recognition to protection for conscience rights. The majority today makes that impossible. By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas. Recalling the harsh treatment of gays and lesbians in the past, some may think that turnabout is fair play. But if that sentiment prevails, the Nation will experience bitter and lasting wounds.

Alito rejects the majority’s creation and imposition of a new right and, above all, laments the breakdown of restraint exemplified in the majority opinion.

I do not doubt that my colleagues in the majority sincerely see in the Constitution a vision of liberty that happens to coincide with their own. But this sincerity is cause for concern, not comfort. What it evidences is the deep and perhaps irremediable corruption of our legal culture’s conception of constitutional interpretation.

Most Americans—understandably—will cheer or lament today’s decision because of their views on the issue of same-sex marriage. But all Americans, whatever their thinking on that issue, should worry about what the majority’s claim of power portends.


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5,000 years of accepted tradition down the tubes.

Again, never democratically, always by black-robed decree.

Connivin Caniff | June 26, 2015 at 10:12 am

abolish marriage licenses.

Here come the lawsuits against religious institutions.

    nebel in reply to Yujin. | June 26, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Cousin marriage laws could also be the next to fall. After all, the court has reasoned that people have an inherent right to choose whom the marry. Therefore, states cannot prohibit marriage between cousins. The biological basis for prohibiting cousin marriage is irrelevant under when two same sex cousins want to marry. Clearly, cousin marriage laws are another example bigotry [end sarcasm].

      Milhouse in reply to nebel. | June 26, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Well, and why not? I don’t understand why so many states don’t allow them in the first place. Especially since these laws have always been irrelevant, because a pair of cousins who wanted to marry could always go to a state that hasn’t got this strange hangup and marry there, and then come back home and their marriage would be instantly recognized. So what exactly is the point?

        Ask the UK — and the NHS — just how well that’s working out for them.

          Milhouse in reply to Amy in FL. | June 26, 2015 at 11:08 am

          Cousin marriage has worked out very well for the UK, for the many centuries that they’ve practiced it. There is no significant genetic risk to cousins marrying, unless they already come from a long line of such marriages. English families didn’t usually do that. Sometimes they married cousins, but sometimes they married strangers, and even foreigners, so it all worked out very well.

      Yujin in reply to nebel. | June 26, 2015 at 11:04 am

      The lawsuits against religious institutions will be used to break down those institutions. For the Left moving forward means that the State is the Religion. No competition allowed.

      Stuff your cousin marriage sarcasm. Jackass.

Mr. Kennedy write:

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a character protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning

So if I think something should be in the constitution and I am a Justice it must be there.

So does this mean that businesses can stop offering “partner” benefits since any couple can get married or does that still have to stay for “same sex” couples cause “some are more equal than others”?

OK, that’s it for me. After 3 outrageous, lawless Supreme Court decisions in a row, I no longer owe allegiance to the U.S. government.

    Immolate in reply to JPL17. | June 26, 2015 at 11:43 am

    A common sentiment today I’m sure, but realistically, what can any of us do other than going full Galt? If someone has a off-grid enclave in the mountains somewhere for those of us who are hard-working and fed-up to retreat to, please consider me for membership. Otherwise, I’m feeling like I should continue to support my family and my church until such time as the Lord calls me home.


MouseTheLuckyDog | June 26, 2015 at 10:45 am

Uhm. Does anyone want to tell us the sides?
Also was there any desent?

    anoNY in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2015 at 10:56 am

    How you feeling about this whole Supreme Court thing, Rags? heh…

      Ragspierre in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

      My positions are very clear, and they are right.

      You’ve just managed to ask a transcendently stupid question.

      I expect no better.

        anoNY in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2015 at 11:24 am

        Oh come on, I’m just taking a victory lap here. I’m sure you’ll win when Alabama decides to stop issuing marriage licenses altogether, or some pathetic own-goal like that.

        Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2015 at 11:31 am

        See, you’re so stupid as to assert this is about “winning”.

        And you’re so stupid you think you “won”.

        You can’t even address my points.

        Plus, you are so dishonest as to keep flogging your bullshit here.

        A VERY good example of your Collective.

          anoNY in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2015 at 11:37 am

          Gay marriage is the law of the land, so long as a state issues marriage licenses. That seems like a pretty clear win to me. I understand there are folks who don’t like the fact that it was imposed by the Supreme Court, but I am assured that, like Brown and Loving, in time even those in opposition will come around and at least decide not to care anymore.

          In a few years, once the world has not blown up due to the gays getting to marry, this won’t even be an issue.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2015 at 11:59 am

          “Gay marriage is the law of the land…”

          Well, so was Dred-Scot. So was Japanese internment. So IS Kelo.

          To the extent we HAVE a “law of the land” anymore…which is apparent we do NOT.

          Saying something is so…in the face of all objective reality…not only doesn’t make it so, it insults our rational selves.

          But you’re WAY past that.

          nordic_prince in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2015 at 12:12 pm

          The SC upheld Dred Scott as valid, too, moron. Didn’t make it right. They were wrong, because they are (gasp) fallible.

          The SC got it wrong yet again today. We can only hope that future generations will be wiser than the present one, recognize the idiocy of today’s decision, and overturn it, as Dred Scott was eventually acknowledge to be wrong.

          Wishful thinking and judicial fiat do not magically turn two homosexuals shacking up into a “married couple,” no matter how many licenses they fill out, no matter how many cakes they force people to bake, no matter how much they hold their breath and stop their feet insisting that they’re “married.”

          Two homosexuals cannot be “married.” They never have been able to, and they never will be able to. To persist in such fantasy is a sign of emotional immaturity at best, and mental instability at worst.

          anoNY in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2015 at 12:13 pm

          Please, slavery and internment actually hurt people. Gay marriage doesn’t hurt anyone.

          nordic_prince in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2015 at 5:04 pm

          Regarding the canard “homosexual ‘marriage’ doesn’t hurt anyone”: Give me a break. If you really believe that the presence of a counterfeit has ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on the genuine article, you’re a fool. Of course it does, which is why there are laws against counterfeits and other bootleg items.

          Fakes hurt everyone by cheapening the value of the genuine article.

          I realize that you believe that homosexual “marriages” are not fake, but your wishful thinking is symptomatic of your delusion. The rest of us are not obliged to humor your fantasies, any more than we’d be expected to cater to any of your other whims.

          anoNY in reply to Ragspierre. | June 27, 2015 at 6:46 am

          “Of course it does, which is why there are laws against counterfeits and other bootleg items.”

          This is a stupid analogy. Why is this idiot trying to equate marriage with material possessions? What happened to the “dignity” of marriage that you are trying to protect?

    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2015 at 11:04 am

    So what? All that shows is that it’s not a good idea to keep doing it, generation after generation. If your parents and grandparents were cousins, it’s not a good idea for you to marry a cousin as well; but if they weren’t then the risk is insignificant.

    In any case, even if it’s a bad idea, how is that any business of the state? I thought eugenics was discredited and disreputable. Incest laws aren’t because of eugenics, since they date back to long before genes were discovered; they’re moral statements, and who thinks cousin marriages are immoral?

    But my main point is that cousin marriage has always been legal in most states, and such marriages contracted in the states that allow them have always been recognized in the states that don’t, so what was ever the point of those states not allowing them?

      Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | June 26, 2015 at 11:14 am

      “Incest laws aren’t because of eugenics, since they date back to long before genes were discovered…”

      Putting aside your bullshit use of “eugenics”…

      Ah, I see. So it would be your thesis that the dietary laws laid down in the Old Testament are “moral laws”, since they were given long before modern science and could have no health implications.

      Yet you seem to follow a kosher diet.


        Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2015 at 5:34 pm

        Ah, I see. So it would be your thesis that the dietary laws laid down in the Old Testament are “moral laws”, since they were given long before modern science and could have no health implications.

        That’s right. Where on earth did you get the idea that kashrut had anything to do with health? An animal’s meat is exactly as healthy no matter how it was killed. Milk and meat are no more healthy when eaten separately than they are when eaten together. There is no nutritional difference between catfish and carp. Really I’m surprised any rational person could have falled for the myth that kashrut was about health.

      But my main point is that cousin marriage has always been legal in most states

      Define “most”.

        Milhouse in reply to Amy in FL. | June 26, 2015 at 6:04 pm

        You appear to be correct, but only just. And Texas only recently banned it, apparently by stealth; there was little press coverage of the ban until after it passed. My point still stands. (Minnesota permits it only for Indians, which seems to beg for a constitutional challenge.)

    to be that stupid he has to be practicing long and hard, and its visibly paying off.

This will be all fine and dandy with the leftist political establishment until a father marries his son and avoids inheritance tax. If it comes down to a “fundamental human right” and loss of tax dollars, the human right thingy loses.

    onlyabill in reply to Anchovy. | June 26, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Damn! That is one good idea you got there!

    Let me see… Step one is to now push for polygamy, step two is to also marry one of my children (so it won’t matter if me or the wife die first), step 3 is to let this go on and on and on…

    I believe that is called a line marriage.

    anoNY in reply to Anchovy. | June 26, 2015 at 11:39 am

    This makes no sense. Prior to today, according to your example, a father could have just married his daughter for this inheritance tax-shelter. Gay marriage has not changed this.

Some people think this opinion “settles” this issue. They are wrong. This marks the beginning of all that will come that has not been part of the sales job of “gay marriage”.

Americans, and only some Americans, are the only people in the world who have a hangup about cousins marrying. Everywhere else in the world, and in about half of America, it’s considered completely normal.

    It’s only “normal” in the UK amongst certain cultures, and the results of its “normalization” are anything but pretty…

    British Pakistanis, half of whom marry a first cousin (a figure that is universally agreed), are 13 times more likely to produce children with genetic disorders than the general population, according to Government-sponsored research.

    One in ten children from these cousin marriages either dies in infancy or develops a serious life-threatening disability.

    While British Pakistanis account for three per cent of the births in this country, they are responsible for 33 per cent of the 15,000 to 20,000 children born each year with genetic defects.

    Opposing cousin marriage on scientific, medical and humanitarian grounds is not “bigoted” or “square”.

      nebel in reply to Amy in FL. | June 26, 2015 at 11:39 am

      However, same sex marriage is legal. This means that cousins of the same sex will inevitably try to marry in a state with incest or cousin marriage laws. In this situation where the spouses are the same sex, there is no medical reason to prohibit the marriage. Therefore, there is no legitimate state interest to prohibit the SSCM (same sex cousin marriage) – only animus. Moreover, the court has ruled that “the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.” Also, the court could rule that the state interest does not exist in SSCM but does exist in heterosexual cousin marriage, ironically giving same sex couples greater marriage rights that heterosexual couples.

      Maybe no one will try to get a SSCM, but if they do I can easily see the liberal SCOTUS majority reasoning this way. I am not looking forward to SSCM becoming an issue. Instead, I am just looking down the rabbit hole that the left is dragging us.

      Milhouse in reply to Amy in FL. | June 26, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      Wrong. It’s considered perfectly normal by all cultures in the UK.

      Milhouse in reply to Amy in FL. | June 26, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      A 50% rate of cousin-marriage is much more than considering it normal; they must be going out of their way to do it. Of course that’s not healthy. The risk of marrying your cousin is minimal; but if you keep doing it, generation after generation, the risk accumulates. It’s like how it’s safe to drive after one drink, and even after two if you feel fine, but three is pushing it.

      I probably know about 15-20 couples who are first cousins, none of their children have any genetic problems, but most of them take care that their children should marry away from the family; certainly if one of their children did marry close in, they’d insist that the grandchildren marry far out.

I firmly believe that the Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to be as miserable in marriage as opposite-sex couples.

It’s a proud day for America!

    Divorce lawyers everywhere will be celebrating, anyway!
    And I can’t wait for a thousand nagging moms to get on the phones and start kvetching to their partnered LGBT sons and daughters, “So! No more of this living in sin! When are you two getting maaaaaried already?!” There’s always a silver lining 😉

“The right to marry is fundamental as a matter of history and tradition, but rights come not from ancient sources alone. They rise, too, from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.”

Who is better informed-the academically inbred ad hoc elitists or the millennia of millions of people who have IDENTIFIED with traditions subject to God and not to the wiles and wills of tyrannical humanism? This improvised decision is solely based on the loudest noise in the room.

We the people were given a sacred trust and it has been despoiled by the folly of morally penurious populist popes.

Atheism has now become America’s state religion. Pay homage to the gods of humanism, say these popes.

    “Who is better informed-the academically inbred ad hoc elitists or the millennia of millions of people who have IDENTIFIED with traditions subject to God and not to the wiles and wills of tyrannical humanism? ”

    Your “traditional” marriages are still valid, don’t pretend like this affects you in any way because it does not.

      Ragspierre in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Well, you’re partially right, you lying POS.

      “Traditional marriages” are the only valid marriages, since that is what the term MARRIAGE means.

      This decision debases marriage to a level where even animals wouldn’t dare go. And, like I said, it also endorses atheism by its ignorance and/or rejection of any Authority other than man.

        “This decision debases marriage to a level where even animals wouldn’t dare go.”

        Someday, perhaps, those animals will open up their hearts and let their gay animal brethren get married.

        It’s only animals and conservatives left on the “traditional marriage” side, apparently.

          I can’t speak for animals-apparently you can.

          Or, wait, are you calling me and people like me animals? Isn’t that the type of derogatory name-calling that homosexuals hate?

          BTW: God is the One who doesn’t endorse homosexuality in any way shape or form. It really doesn’t matter what the populist sentiment du jour is.

          anoNY in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm

          But you’re the one who purported to know that animals would not have debased marriage to the level that we humans apparently have.

          “But you’re the one who purported to know that animals would not have debased marriage to the level that we humans apparently have.”

          Ah, then I must have used the word “animal” just as you did-in its derogatory form.

          anoNY in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm

          “Ah, then I must have used the word “animal” just as you did-in its derogatory form.”

          In that case, my comment was merely a joke. I thought it funny that you had mentioned animals making decisions about how to arrange their marriage licensing.

          I don’t think you are an animal, though I am not too sure about Rags…

    I don’t think the God of Abraham is smiling on the Court today.

I’m not against same-sex marriage at all, and have actually been to a couple of weddings since Florida legalized it. But this was not the right way to go about making it more widely acceptable.

This should have been left up to State legislatures, not the Federal Supreme Court.

Even LGBT folks should not be celebrating the usurpation of State’s rights and the maiming of Federalism this ruling represents. Today, it may have worked in their favor. Tomorrow…?

    anoNY in reply to Amy in FL. | June 26, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Might as well have left interracial marriage up to those same legislatures, then.

      Ragspierre in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Another obvious lie, and one you really know better than to try here.

      But you can be counted on to lie.

      Marriage was traditionally seen as the union of one man and one woman. The Loving decision didn’t change that traditional definition, it just said that the State couldn’t discriminate on the basis of race. It said one man could marry one women, regardless of skin color. It took the racism out of marriage laws, but left the traditional concept of marriage alone.

      Same-sex marriage activists really need to stop co-opting black history and pretending that the struggles they face are exactly like those whose ancestors were brought here in chains. You know which demographic group opposes gay marriage to almost the same extent white evangelicals do? Oh. And you’re not going to win their support or approval by continually pissing them off by stealing their history.

        anoNY in reply to Amy in FL. | June 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm

        In this country, it was traditional to marry within your own race. Until it wasn’t.

          I think you’re being deliberately disingenuous here.

          anoNY in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 12:39 pm

          Would you like me to just admit that it is “traditional” to marry someone of the opposite sex? I have no problem admitting that.

          Now, I would like you to admit that many former “traditions” have fallen by the wayside over the centuries. I would like you to admit that there is no logical reason to follow “traditions” merely because they are “traditional” (in fact, this almost seems like a logical fallacy, akin to an argument from authority).

          Ragspierre in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 12:40 pm

          Yeah, another lie from an idiot who is also a historic moron.

          Now, I would like you to admit…

          Look, friend. I’m not opposed to same-sex marriage; I’ve said that before. I’m probably one of the few here who is on your “side” in that regard. But you’re wasting my time by being silly and glib. You insinuated that the Obergefell was no different to the Loving decision. I took the time to explain to you why I didn’t think that was the case. Now you’re shifting the goalposts and want to argue something else.

          I think you’re being deliberately disingenuous, and a crashing bore to boot. I’m done pretending any of your comments here are made in good faith. Go have your afternoon nap and settle down.

          anoNY in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm

          You are still arguing that interracial marriage was not “traditionally” banned, which is incorrect.

          My argument transcends tradition, because I do not believe we need to be beholden to traditions, but rather we can examine them and discard the ones that are obviously only serving discrimination.

          I realize there are differences between Loving and Obergefell, but your original point about letting the legislatures decide goes to exactly one of the similarities.

          Radegunda in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 2:28 pm

          Interracial marriages have been going on for millennia, and they function exactly the same way as monoracial marriages. When the offspring of two interracial marriages get married, the whole concept of “interracial marriage” starts to become meaningless.

          Same-sex “marriage” has essentially never happened historically until quite recently, and it was universally considered absurd until quite recently. Unlike “interracial” marriage, it requires a fundamental redefinition of what marriage is.

          And of course a same-sex “marriage” cannot ever produce the offspring who would go on to blur and erase the difference between “same-sex” and “different-sex” marriage.

          anoNY in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 2:42 pm

          Shorter Radegunda: But we have always done it this way!

          Radegunda in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 3:37 pm

          Longer anoNY: I’m going to ignore the obvious fact that a “same-sex marriage” can never, ever function in the way that marriages (interracial and otherwise) have been functioning for millennia, and I’m going to ignore the fact that it’s often difficult or impossible even to say whether a particular marriage is or isn’t “interracial.” Instead, I’ll keep reciting the absurd mantra that the issue of “same-sex marriage” is fundamentally the same as the issue of “interracial marriage” — because it’s so much easier than coming up with a more plausible argument for deconstructing “marriage.”

          Milhouse in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 6:44 pm

          As far as I know no society has ever defined marriage as within a race. Nobody has said interracial couples can’t marry; some have merely said that they shouldn’t. That makes the issue fundamentally different from same-sex “marriage”, where the point of contention is whether such a thing can even exist. The accepted definition of marriage, in all societies, requires a partner of each sex; the modern SSM movement is trying to change what marriage is, and no legislature or court has the power to do that merely by saying so, any more than it can turn a dog’s tail into a leg by saying so.

          anoNY in reply to anoNY. | June 27, 2015 at 6:48 am

          Oh right Milhouse, in the Loving case, Virginia was just “suggesting” that the couple not get married. Is that why the Supreme Court felt the need to get involved?

Midwest Rhino | June 26, 2015 at 11:19 am

So marriage was about family, and the benefits due (usually) a Mom that made a career of raising kids, while (usually) Dad brought home the bacon. If Dad died at 65, Mom, by raising responsible children for society, had earned the pension/Medicare till she died at 90.

So thanks to activist SCOTUS, we can now include the gay homemaker that takes care of kids for 25 years, thereby earning that pension/Medicare when spouse dies at 65. And apply all the other rules and benefits that apply to the children.

Other than that, (and some inheritance or death bed benefits of a spouse) the state or companies don’t need to share pensions or other entitlements for the childless couples, same sex or not.

If there are no children, singles should be treated equally with couples. If single person earns a pension and dies single at 65, he doesn’t get to bequeath it to a friend. Why does a simple marriage license change that? The transfer of such major benefits was only for the cause of child rearing, wasn’t it? Cut those jackpot transfers out, unless kids were raised. There’s your equality … singles are people too.

    platypus in reply to Midwest Rhino. | June 26, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    You make a very interesting argument. I think I like it.

    Radegunda in reply to Midwest Rhino. | June 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    “The transfer of such major benefits was only for the cause of child rearing, wasn’t it?” — Yes, obviously.

    The concept of “spousal benefits” arose in a time when a wife was usually at home raising children, and therefore not in a position to provide for her own financial needs. (And, IIRC, it also developed when wage controls induced employers to offer non-wage compensation in order to attract the best employees.)

    Eventually, “spousal benefits” evolved into the belief that employers are morally obligated to provide “benefits” for a non-employee just because that person is living with an employee — even if that non-employee may have a full-time job, but without such a generous benefits package.

    That’s a strange notion in itself. What makes it stranger is the implicit assumption that single employees living alone and financing a household on one income should accept a suppression of their own pay in order to subsidize double benefits for other employees, some of whom are living in two-income households with no children. Where’s the equality in that?

      Milhouse in reply to Radegunda. | June 26, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      The concept of “spousal benefits” arose in a time when a wife was usually at home raising children, and therefore not in a position to provide for her own financial needs.

      No, it arose at a time when people took seriously the Bible’s statement that a married couple become “one flesh”, so they were legally the same person.

Hi. Long time lurker, first time responder.

I have seen the role of homosexuality evolve. When I was born it was defined as a psychological disease. This was by the DSM. WE see where it has gotten to.

Before anyone enters into such a conversation, I think it is important that they make clear where they stand. I have no problems, with homosexuality the way Raymond Burr or Victor Graber practice it. I have no problem with homosexuals living together. I do have problems with promiscuity. Not just with homosexuals but with straight people too. I do not even have a problem with some gay people adopting children in some cases, but I often think it is done for the wrong reasons.

I believe that Justice Scalia should, in his dissent, have written
“I told you so”.

I also believe that in 10-20 years we will be legalizing pedophilia. At that point God will come along and Sodom and Gomorrah our ass.

“Somersaults of statutory interpretation”.

Roberts in his dissent: “Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be”

This is a joke, right?

    Miles in reply to MJN1957. | June 26, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Roberts has twisted himself into such a pretzel between King v Burwell and now this that I think he’s met himself coming the other way.

    He wrote opinions that almost exactly contradict each other in their underlying premises of judicial oversight.

    Is this a definition of cognitive dissonance?

When I was born it was defined as a psychological disease. This was by the DSM.

Psychiatry has participated in the crazyfication of any number of disfavored groups. Being opposed to whatever political regime is currently in power has also been decreed a mental illness. See: “Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union.”

Furthermore, as to scientific legitimacy, just look at today’s DSM – everyone’s crazy now, probably even you.

To be clear, I’m not dissing your expressed opinions in general – just taking issue with the use of the DSM as any kind of “authority”. That way madness lies… literally.

theyellowbear | June 26, 2015 at 12:31 pm

This is another step, by the nefarious progressives, to make Christianity, and the Word of the LORD, illegal. Those of us that can see this also know who it is that is behind this…

Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize any marriages if they refuse to recognize any?

If a state law on marriage is declared invalid is it not also void for all marriages? If not then reexamine the first question.

    anoNY in reply to pdxnag. | June 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I don’t think the 14th Amendment would force a state to issue marriage licenses if it did not want to issue any marriage licenses (straight or gay), no. If the state does not give preferential treatment based on marriage, there really is no “equal protection” issue inside the state.

      Miles in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      I think we’re going to see many states simply do this.

      They will get out of the business of issuing marriage licenses or having anything to do with recognition of any marriage or deal with divorce suits. Laws will be reworked to eliminate any deference, advantage, or disadvantage to marital status.

      Personally, I always thought marriage shouldn’t be any business of the state anyway. Follow the idea that it’s a personal contract.

      I also think you will see many congregations make it a policy of only performing marriages for members of the congregation and make rules that exclude practicing homosexuals from membership, but not attendance.

        anoNY in reply to Miles. | June 27, 2015 at 6:50 am

        I think that this is really the only response that conservatives will have that will actually “work” and be constitutional.

        However, considering how much they wish to “protect” marriage, this would be an incredible own-goal.

How Roberts can dissent about “results-based” reasoning, while at the same time pushing SCOTUScare, is truly the highest hypocrisy of the land.

    Milhouse in reply to jhkrischel. | June 26, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Simple. In both cases he’s deferring to the legislature’s intent and purpose. The legislators who created the 14th amendment certainly didn’t intend to require states to change the definition of marriage, and Congress has made no secret of its opinion on the matter.

Can some lawyer tell me if “couples” have hitherto been deemed to have constitutional rights and liberties? Don’t constitutional rights belong to individuals? There is the right of the people peaceably to assemble, but does that refer to a right belonging to a discrete set of individuals?

The constant invocation of the “rights” of “gay couples” seems to demonstrate how difficult it is to make the case on the basis of individual equal rights, since gay people have always had exactly the same “right” as anyone else to enter into a marriage relationship; they just have not wanted the kind of relationship heretofore known as marriage. (And until very recently, they generally scoffed at the whole notion of marriage for themselves.)

So the argument is refined: “the right to marry the person of your choosing.” But there are still restrictions for everyone: restrictions of age, degree of kinship, number of partners. And neither the Constitution nor statutary law can guarantee you the “right” to marry the person of your choosing, because that person may not wish to marry you.

So then we’re back to the “rights” of mutually willing “couples.” And back to my first question.

As for the “equality” argument, it has an intrinsic contradiction: the fundamental premise is that gay people require a different definition of “marriage” because they were “born different.”

    Radegunda in reply to Radegunda. | June 26, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Well, I misspelled “statutory,” but I’m not a lawyer, so I should get a pass.

    anoNY in reply to Radegunda. | June 26, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    “The constant invocation of the “rights” of “gay couples” seems to demonstrate how difficult it is to make the case on the basis of individual equal rights, since gay people have always had exactly the same “right” as anyone else to enter into a marriage relationship; they just have not wanted the kind of relationship heretofore known as marriage.”

    But this gets back to the Loving case: blacks had the same rights as whites, neither could marry outside their race.

      Radegunda in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      The Loving case did not involve a redefinition of marriage. It involved the lifting of a legally imposed restriction that was by no means a universally recognized circumscription of what a marriage is.

      If any “couple” now has the “right to marry,” then a brother-sister couple does, and a father-daughter or mother-son couple. Or is it only gay couples who can claim that expansion of “rights? How is that “equal”?

      And if any “couple” has the constitutional right to marry (which, of course, is nowhere in the Constitution), why shouldn’t a “trio” or a “quartet” have the same right?

      Once you’ve broken apart the fundamental definition of “marriage” — and forced everyone else to recognize and support the new definition — you have no basis to argue that other redefinitions should not be legally protected.

        anoNY in reply to Radegunda. | June 26, 2015 at 3:33 pm

        “Once you’ve broken apart the fundamental definition of “marriage” — and forced everyone else to recognize and support the new definition — you have no basis to argue that other redefinitions should not be legally protected.”

        Frankly, I don’t really need any basis. I got what I want in Obergefell, and I am not arguing for or against any other type of marriage you are suggesting. You insist on hammering the “slippery slope” angle, but I find it unconvincing. By the “slippery slope” logic, allowing remarriage after divorce also has all of those unintended consequences. Hell, if a divorced woman is allowed to marry again, anything goes!

Well, call me mercenary, but I am going to try to make money off this ridiculous decision!

Here is my idea!

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

    That was vulgar.

      Well, I think it was hilariously funny! One reason why we find ourselves in this farcical situation is that conservatives were way too polite to call this gay crap what it is. Way too polite to point out that sodomy can’t be too great, or 20@ of men who have sex with men wouldn’t be HIV positive. And 25% of the gay men in San Francisco.

      Our great dignity and reserve, has come back to haunt us. Instead, we should have been throwing pies. Because that worked.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

There IS a minor, tiny silver lining to this opinion:

Concealed Carry across state lines just became inevitable.

And this MUST be the holding on that future case, to be consistent with this gay marriage holding:

“I choose to express my identity by carrying a concealed weapon. I choose to go to New York to do so.”

“The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity. I seek to express that liberty by exercising my Constitutionally GUARANTEED right to keep and bear arms in public. The Second Amendment, as applied by the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license firearms carrying by individuals as a personal right. The individual state is ALSO required to recognize a concealed carry license when an individual has been lawfully licensed out of state.”

If they can’t make that jump, then there is an untenable dichotomy in the treatment of constitutional rights.

    Great point…. A constitutional right is a constitutional right, no?

    But then again, it does completely negate the 10th amendment, which truly does not even seem to exist anymore.

    Another Ed in reply to Chuck Skinner. | June 26, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    The Second Amendment does not recognize any distinction between open carry or concealed carry of weapons, round capacity in the weapons, or ammunition type:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    So, load up the hollow points into that 15 round magazine and parade through Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts openly carrying, and tell anyone who questions it that it is recognized in Vermont. Don’t worry about any state issues license to carry or possess a weapon, again because Vermont does not require one. Why should your enumerated rights change when you cross a state line? Wouldn’t a restriction of those rights as you cross a state line be considered an infringement?

I think the only way to protect religious liberty with regards to SSM is to get religion completely out of the business of state recognized marriage.

What I mean is that we should require that ANYONE (gay, straight, cousins, polygamous) who wants to get married CAN but it has to be performed by a magistrate of the state. This would be the ONLY marriage or union that would be recognized by the state with regards to divorce law, rights of heirship/survivor, etc. If you want a church / religious marriage, you’d head over to the church after the magistrate ceremony. We’d then leave it up to each and every religion to decide who they will marry. Without govnerment interference.

That is the only way that I can see to actually protect the rights of religions to “marry” who they see fit. It actually is the way it is done in many European countries.

    anoNY in reply to derf. | June 26, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Why not just get rid of the “solemnization” requirement altogether? Two people sign a license, and boom, married. Then they can go to the (willing) church of their choice if they wish to have a ceremony.

      Radegunda in reply to anoNY. | June 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      As if the gaystapo would be happy to go with “willing” churches only — even as they have been busy coercing the unwilling to participate!

      What about admitting that gay people already had every right to form a relationship and a household of their choosing, and in many states they could already get the material advantages of marriage — including the “right” to make single people subsidize their extra benefits — but under a different name?

      What about admitting that this was really not about giving gay people something they lacked, but about compelling the whole society to affirm and support the novel concept that a relationship between two men or two women is fundamentally the same as what has been known as marriage from time immemorial, and punishing those who say it isn’t?

        anoNY in reply to Radegunda. | June 26, 2015 at 3:36 pm

        ” and in many states they could already get the material advantages of marriage ”

        “Many states” does not equal “all states”.

        “including the “right” to make single people subsidize their extra benefits ”

        Why not more tears over single people having to subsidize heterosexual marriages? There certainly are a lot more of those to subsidize…

        “and punishing those who say it isn’t?”

        Last I checked, the freedom of speech was secure. If you are concerned about businesses having to cater to the gays, then my response is that is the risk you run when you open a business. If you don’t like it, you can always just stop operating as a business…

Another ruling based on pro-choice doctrine. The “rainbow” is noticeably lackluster.

bobinreverse | June 26, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Squeaky: Love the concept but how about equipping it with car seats?

Garbage in, garbage out. It’s one of the weaknesses of our system that adverse parties can come before a court both with faulty or wrong-headed arguments. The court then attempts to decide the case based on one faulty argument or the other. This case is one of those with wrong-headed arguments on both sides. So although I agree with the outcome, I disagree with how it was reached. (Opinions based upon wrong-headed arguments also set bad precedents.)

Square one – we have governments (federal and state) of enumerated powers. Our governments find all their powers in the constitutions that control them. Where in any of them is there the authority to deny two people over here that which is bestowed upon or granted to those two people over there? It’s nowhere to be found. This fact, accompanied by the principle of equal protection under the law, requires government to not discriminate in its marriage licensing practices. (Indeed, it is because of the principle of equal protection that the authority to discriminate is not found among the powers of government.) If government permits these two people here to marry, it must permit those two people there to marry – it is powerless to do otherwise.

This is not about “rights,” it’s about government power, and the lack of enumerated authority to treat people differently because of their sex or sexual orientation. The Founders did not imagine a “right” to gay marriage, but because they did not, they couldn’t possibly have empowered government to prevent it. And had they done so, it would have been under a principle alien to our laws (in fact, the same wrong principle that permitted the scourge and stain of slavery), inequality under the law.

    tom swift in reply to DaveGinOly. | June 26, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    and the lack of enumerated authority to treat people differently because of their sex or sexual orientation.

    But they were treated the same. Everywhere in America, a gay person could marry exactly the same people as anyone else. His orientation earned him no special treatment.

    That’s not what gay activists wanted. They wanted special treatment, specifically an expansion of the population which they were legally qualified to “marry”. Of course they muddied the waters by claiming to want merely “equal” rights. But I suppose if the word “marriage” can mean anything at all, so can the word “equal”. And activists were adamant that they didn’t want any legal equivalent of marriage which was called something else. They have been intent on changing the meaning of the word “marriage”. The strategic rationale for this obsession remains obscure, at least to me.

      anoNY in reply to tom swift. | June 27, 2015 at 6:38 am

      “But they were treated the same. Everywhere in America, a gay person could marry exactly the same people as anyone else. His orientation earned him no special treatment.”

      So could blacks and whites prior to the Loving decision!

      If Islam were the state religion, and all others were banned, we would still all have the same right to practice religion!

    Milhouse in reply to DaveGinOly. | June 26, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    State governments are not of enumerated powers, unless their constitutions say so.

    gasper in reply to DaveGinOly. | June 27, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    “. . .it must permit those two people there to marry. . .” And permit those three or four people there to marry, or permit that man to marry that goat, and on and on. Or for that man to marry that boy there. Do you have a limit to this unbridled freedom to marry?

The dissents are horrible. The majority is intolerable.

The MAJORITY is morally insane. At the level of Dred Scott, no less in intellectual bastardly, no less in hubris, and where Taney’s Majority was vile and evil the Kennedy Majority is morally insane. It is easier to throw off the cultural chains of evil than to survive MORAL INSANITY.

To throw off the chains of chattel post-gin-mill plantation slavery took a massive amount of lives. But with that sacrifice the chains were broken. What will escape for a nationwide moral insanity take? Is this decision, the worst drop of descent among many since the William-Taft-Woodrow Wilson era into moral depravity, survivable?

Later this coming week we remember what George Washington bid us, to celebrate the Declaration of Independence with joy and bright noise — parades, festivity and fireworks.

Let us remember what NONE OF THE DISSENTS DARED REMEMBER from THAT WONDERFUL DOCUMENT SINGULAR IN HUMAN HISTORY: That in in our birth as a nation we claimed of Independence because it was that “which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle:” us. That our rights are “endowed by our Creator”. That we only could support such a bold Declaration “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”

Not Roberts, Not Sclai, and not Alito did mention any of these terms of our G-d, the G-d Creator who fashioned us all and all that is good. The Creator who found man too lonely without a woman, and that was happy to find Adam and Eve bound to each other in the first marriage, and wished them to be fruitful. The same God of Creation and continuing Nature and the Setter of the Laws of that Nature, from which all bounties flow by the acts of Divine Providence, without which no man, no nation can sustain.

Man’s dominion on this Earth was granted by that G-d.

Today’s insane ruling had a majority mocking G-d’s Dominion over us all, and even the dissenters who strove from some sanity spoke not of that G-d, it was all abysmally ignorant.

Still, we have the Fourth and the memory of what we once were, and perhaps we shall again come, and pray soon, but not so soon as to be another lesson forgotten too quickly, to remember the moral and G-dly basis and commitment to that Dominion at our founding.

    bvw in reply to bvw. | June 26, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    I didn’t see there was a dissent by Thomas, initially. His is very good. Hits on most of the points I think get us back to our good rootstock of Liberty. Mentions G-d, and quotes the Declarations in the place where we in our initial birth gave red where red is due.

LukeHandCool | June 26, 2015 at 3:56 pm

From God Almighty to God is Dead to God is Alive and he’s Gay in the blink of an historical eye.

Obama and the Clintons purport to have “evolved” on the issue over the last few years.

Much faster is how the liberal media has “evolved” into loving 5-4 ruling relationships.

Their evolution is not measure in years but in administrations. It was only one Republican administration ago when they detested 5-4 SCOTUS rulings that fell in favor of the majority GOP view.

    Evolution is a physical process with a chaotic character. Perhaps they will be stopped at the next sink or “reset”. Or earlier, once enough people stop consuming the secular opiates that suppress their integrity and conscience, and acknowledge the consequences of selective-child and selective exclusion under the State-established pro-choice religious/moral doctrine.

    Especially the selective-child policy, a wicked solution to a “wicked problem” (a la premeditated murder). Spontaneous conception is not a myth, it is a fantasy told to spoiled children who want to enjoy mature pleasures without the corresponding responsibility.

      anoNY in reply to n.n. | June 27, 2015 at 6:42 am

      “Evolution is a physical process with a chaotic character. Perhaps they will be stopped at the next sink or “reset””

      This seems apt, you are saying the only way to stop progress is to have a disaster.

      That the eye evolved is progress, which only goes one way. It would take being stuck in a cave (conservativism) to make us evolve the eye away such as some lizards have.

NC Mountain Girl | June 26, 2015 at 5:42 pm

We’ll see how popular homosexual marriage remains when Social Security and Medicare bankrupt the nations.

Trans marriage ruling | Supreme Court | Trans sexual | Equivalence… Notably selective equivalence. Whether it is selective-child or selective exclusion, the State-established pro-choice doctrine has a strictly negative character in practice.

Selective-child and selective exclusion policy under the State-established pro-choice doctrine are the “slavery” and “racism” of the 21st century.

Progressive “Principles” Prediction:
“Legal Gay Marriages in any state must be recognized by all states! Yay, Supreme Court!”
” Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act? Let the States decide!”

The pervs are nancin’ in the streets.

“But they were treated the same. Everywhere in America, a gay person could marry exactly the same people as anyone else. His orientation earned him no special treatment.”

So could blacks and whites prior to the Loving decision!

If Islam were the state religion, and all others were banned, we would still all have the same right to practice religion!

At what point is our Constitutional guarantee of a Republican form of government abrogated? Because SCOTUS is no longer even pretending not to be the superlegislative branch of our government, and because I have no say in determining the Court’s composition, it’s time to reject all federal taxation in the absence of representation.

Matrimonial-aka-Divorce Lawyers: Their “Industry” will go on Hyper-Steroid Status with the SCOTUS news.

I’ve been in the Entertainment Business(Mainline drama series, MOWs, Mini’s, etc)for 40+years. The homosexual lifestyle and, for that matter, the Male Homo-Sexual Habits have been known to me(sometimes in astonishingly nausea inducing detail)since I began(very naively)in a major studio mailroom in the early seventies. Hell, I’d never seen a bagel, much less heard what the Boyos were doing like crazed gerbils in their…errrr….leisure hours. Because the Cultural-Societal ‘Thought Police’ didn’t have a strangle hold on wiping out simple factual TRUTH, the pre-nineties were a far more HONEST Time. Nearly all my gay male friends and colleagues from the 70s and 80s died in the Plague Years. Being a far franker and infinitely more honest time, they took personal responsibility that AIDS was spread and killing them like flies due to their male-unfettered/multi-partnered/unleashed lifestyle. NO longer allowed to be—ddduuuuhhhhhhh–discussed by us straights in the Thought Police Era. But, then…? BEHAVIOR.

Allen Ginsberg called it “Fecal Love”. Very strong EEeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuu…!! effect for T-Rex straights like me. But, many fine friends. I miss the Boyos, but they were behaving like rabbits long after the truth of the cause was known. Roll of the Dice and most Lost.

There, some Non-PC Truth.

How did we go from banning The Ten Commandments in the public domain to this g-dless decision by the USSC.
Nothing has been learned from the devastation to society by ratifying the murder of your unborn baby.

This seems like it would be a separation of church and state issue. While marriage licenses from the state would be shall issue, the church can continue to do as it pleases.

I’m in the inverse situation. I’m married to my wife by the Catholic church, but never having applied for a license from the state, Illinois doesn’t recognize our marriage. (which is by design for a variety of reasons)