LGBTQ movement wins marriage rights, but hard fights lie ahead

    June 28, 2015

    On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court, in in a rare act of support for people instead of for corporations or religions, invalidated all state laws that prohibit same-sex marriage. The Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges holds that states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and must recognize such marriages if they take place in other states, thereby eliminating the last state holdouts and granting same-sex couples the legal and economic rights granted to other married people. It was a swift and stunning victory for the gay rights movement, which is now celebrating a very special Gay Pride weekend.

    In finding state laws that prohibit gay marriage to be unconstitutional, the Court relied on the “due process” and “equal protection” clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, adopted by Congress in 1868 to eliminate the vestiges of slavery. Those clauses have been employed over the years to expand a variety of civil rights by re-naming them constitutional rights.  However, the Court failed to broaden its ruling beyond marriage to prohibit other kinds of discrimination against LGBTQ people.

    The decision exalts the traditional “values” of being married and emphasizes the rights of children to be free of the stigma of having unwed parents. We congratulate plaintiffs’ attorneys for crafting this leap for human rights in acceptable reactionary terms concerning the virtues of an institution that has actually oppressed women and children for millennia. And apparently, the Court isn’t concerned that 40 percent of American children are born to single mothers and that about 30 percent of those families live in poverty; the Court doesn’t find poverty to be unconstitutional. [Read more...]

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