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Many Predict Supreme Court Will Rule Same-Sex Marriage is Constitutional
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The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week as to whether same sex marriage will be deemed constitutional in the United States.

Summary: This week, the Supreme Court will decide whether there is a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry in the United States.

According to Reuters, the U.S. Supreme Court’s arguments tomorrow on same-sex marriage will symbolize the end of over twenty years of litigation, as well as the reformation in public attitudes toward the practice. Roughly three decades ago, in a 1986 Supreme Court ruling, homosexual sex was called an “infamous crime against nature,” even worse than rape, and was “a crime not fit to be named,” according to NPR.


Many predict, based upon the court’s actions over the past couple of years, that the majority will declare same-sex marriage legal across the country.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who appears to be most in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, has voiced such an opinion in court rulings since 1996. Recently, in 2013, the court rejected defining marriage as limited to a man and a woman for purposes of extending federal benefits—a law that Kennedy called “deplorable.”

Although that opinion did not address the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in the United States, lower court judges interpreted the ruling as accepting it and began the process of invalidating state bans.

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When states appealed some of the rulings that struck down their bans on same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court declined to hear the cases, essentially meaning that the bans were ineffective.

Many states immediately began allowing same-sex marriages after the Supreme Court announced its decision.

The appeal of a single decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit will be heard by the Supreme Court this week. Last November, the court upheld the ban of gay marriages in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Today, 37 of the 50 states allow same-sex marriage. Therefore, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court will rule that gay couples cannot marry. Over the past ten years, public opinion polls have demonstrated a large increase in support for same-sex marriage. The court’s ruling is expected by the end of June.

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However, it is difficult to predict how the justices will individually vote.

Kennedy, who often cases the deciding vote in close cases, may argue that the Constitution gives same-sex couples the right to marry, or he may show concern for each state’s rights to control its marriage laws.

Chief Justice John Roberts voted against same-sex rights in the 2013 court ruling, but he declined to state outright that the states may ban gay marriage.

In March, the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses was stayed in Alabama.

In many cases, Roberts has tried to diffuse tension in especially controversial issues, and inform the country’s citizens that the court is following precedent. Many are curious as to what the chief justice will write in the opinion. In the 2013 opinion, he rejected the court majority’s view that federal lawmakers were intentionally harming gay couples with a limited definition of marriage. He wrote, “I would not tar the political branches with the brush of bigotry.”

As for the four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, many predict that, without a doubt, this group will vote in favor of same-sex marriage, as the have already demonstrated their support. According to Yahoo, Ginsburg was even the first Supreme Court justice to officiate a same-sex wedding.

The three most conservative justices, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas, have argued that nothing in the Constitution provides the right to same-sex marriage.

In 2012, President Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage.

The court will have to decide the answers to two questions: Whether the Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process include a right to same-sex marriage, and, if they do not, whether the states that have banned same-sex marriage must recognize same-sex marriages that were performed in other states.

Roughly 30 adults and 20 children have appealed the 6th Circuit’s decision. James Obergefell is the name petitioner. Obergefell wanted Ohio to recognize his Maryland marriage to John Arthur as Arthur was dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The courtroom, which holds 400, is expected to be full. Lines for general spectator seats began forming at around 6:00 a.m. Friday morning, over four days ahead of the arguments, which are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Thursday.

Source: Reuters

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