Marriage Equality hangs in the balance with Supreme Court

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Marriage Equality hangs in the balance with Supreme Court

With thirty-seven states now legal proponents of marriage equality along with our nation’s capitol LGBTQ Americans and our allies knew it would be just a matter of time before the issue would be brought  to U. S. Supreme Court. But at the end of the long awaited April 28th Supreme Court hearing of Obergefell v. Hodge I’m worried.

Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and one of the attorneys arguing in support of the plaintiffs faced a barrage of questions.

When Chief Justice John Robert told   Bonauto, that her position would “redefine” marriage, adding that “every definition I looked up until about a dozen years ago” defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, I wasn’t counting on his vote.

“You’re not seeking to join the institution, you’re seeking to change the institution,” Roberts stated.

For a moment during arguments, however, I thought Roberts might be on our side when he raised questions about gender discrimination with John Bursch, one of the attorneys arguing in opposition to marriage equality.

"I’m not sure it's necessary to get into sexual orientation to resolve the case," Roberts said. "I mean, if Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue can marry him and Tom can’t. And the difference is based upon their different sex. Why isn’t that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?"

But when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who is usually  the swing vote on tough rulings, chimed in stating that the traditional definition of marriage has lasted for “millennia” and changing it would be difficult, my heart sunk.

Kennedy has written all recent decisions protecting gay rights, including the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down sodomy laws that targeted gay men,  and the; 2013 U.S. v. Windsor, which would recognize and  provide federal benefits to same-sex married couple in states where their marriages were legal.

Jim Obergefell, not an activist of any sort, never expected to be a cause célèbre.  But when he sued his home state of Ohio for refusing to recognize him as the widower of his deceased spouse the lawsuit made its way to the highest