Turning point

US Supreme Court debating marriage equality

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the issue of marriage equality on Tuesday, and seemed to be weighing the question of whether now is the right time to force states to allow same-sex marriage as public opinion has shifted very quickly in favor of the issue. Thirty-seven states and Washington D.C. are currently allowing same-sex marriages. The two main issues in front of the judges during oral arguments were whether states are required to offer marriage licenses to gay couples, and whether states have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Justice Kennedy, who was influential in striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and is generally seen as the key swing vote on the issue, pondered whether the court wasn’t moving too fast on gay marriage. “This definition [of marriage] has been with us for millennia,” Kennedy said. “It’s very difficult for the court to say, ‘Oh, well, we know better.’” Nevertheless, he also noted that it’s only been 10 years since the Supreme Court struck down separate-but-equal racial discrimination and laws banning interracial marriage, the same amount of time between when the court struck down sodomy laws and now. While Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito remained skeptical, Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg appeared sympathetic to the arguments in favor of same-sex marriage. Ginsburg reportedly suggested that there have already been plenty of changes to the institution of marriage, nothing that it’s become more egalitarian. The court will likely issue a decision in June — as of now, people on both sides of the argument seemed to be optimistic that the Justices would rule in their favor.

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.

 

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