In just a little over a week, the Supreme Court will be hearing two gay marriage cases, marking the first time that the high court is hearing these vital cases.
As a gay man, I am pretty happy that the Supreme Court is hearing these cases, but am hesistent at the same time. The decisions that the Supreme Court issues will have everlasting effects, but frankly, I am thinking they will decide that gay marriage bans are unconstitutional.
It’s pretty simple: both of the cases they are hearing were written for the Supreme Court, and the folks defending them are political savvy lawyers. Additionally, President Obama and the White House are no longer defending the Defense of Marriage Act, the law that was once signed by former President Clinton in 1996, which allows states to decide to ban marriage on a state-by-state case. Additionally, President Obama and his administration issued a brief denouncing the Defense of Marriage Act, and a handful of celebrities, legal counsels, and other high profile agencies have done the same thing.
What concerns me is not the issue of whether or not they will decide the bans are unconstitutional. I am confident that they will. What terrifies me, however, is that it will come down to a 5-4 decision. Like many social issues that have come before the Supreme Court, I am concerned that the case will be close.
Think about the issue of abortion, for instance. In the landmark case, there was a 7-2 decision issued by the Supreme Court which basically legalized abortions. Since then, the issue has been a hot topic, and parts of that law have been stripped. The Roe v. Wade decision has been stripped so severely, that there is now a waiting period for young women in some states. Some folks have to undergo counseling before getting an abortion. Other states require that you see a sonogram of the fetus before you can undergo the procedure. I am not going to dive into my views on abortion right now, my views are complicated, and stem from various influences that I have encountered in my life.
I will say, however, that if a 7-2 decision by the Supreme Court can be so heavily influenced by the wave of politicians with nothing better to do than dictate how women should behave, then I worry, that a close decision by the Supreme Court on my right to get married could also become a series of legal arguments, and in time be so similar to the issue of abortion, that my marriage will mean less than my heterosexual counterparts.
Some folks disagree, believing that the decision by the Supreme Court will come down to a 6-3 decision. That’s at least the opinion of one columnist, Dave Hogg from Forbes magazine. According to Hogg, in the article, he says that he is “predicting a 6-3 decision, written by Chief Justice Roberts, that forces state and federal recognition of same-sex marriage” because “Roberts doesn’t want his name to get run over by history.” (Read the column here).
Now, Hogg is a freelance sports columnist, so I can’t necessarily say that he is qualified to be making such an assessment, however, one can hope. One can hope for a a 9-0 decision too.
And until summer, when the Supreme Court is due to issue their decision on my right to get married, us homosexuals can continue to do what we have been doing for decades now, hope.