Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Relationships & the Law Today: Possible Supreme Court marriage outcomes
VIEWS
by Leslie A. Gutierrez
2015-05-13

This article shared 3689 times since Wed May 13, 2015
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on the legal challenges to bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples in Obergefell v. Hodges. Specifically, the Court was tasked with addressing two questions: ( 1 ) whether states must perform same-sex marriages; and ( 2 ) whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in another state where such marriages are legal.

The Supreme Court is comprised of nine Justices. The "liberal bloc" of the Supreme Court consists of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Elena Kagan, and Justice Stephen Breyer. All indications suggest that they will rule in favor of marriage equality. The clear conservatives on the bench include Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Samuel Alito, and Justice Clarence Thomas. There is little doubt that they will side against marriage equality. The remaining two Justices—Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy—provide the ambiguity.

Justice Roberts is one of the more conservative Justices on the bench and has a record of casting votes in favor of conservative outcomes far more often than not. However, in in recent years, he has voted consistent with the Court's liberal bloc on several occasions. Some legal scholars believe he may vote in favor marriage equality. That said, many believe that if he does rule in favor of marriage equality, he will choose to write the opinion that will accompany the ruling and he will likely write it in a narrow way, limiting the opinion's applicability to marriage rights only ( without leaving any room for the opinion to be applied to extend further rights to LGBT individuals and families ).

However, same-sex couples do not need Justice Roberts' vote to achieve victory. Even if Justice Roberts votes against marriage equality, the tie-breaker will belong to the infamous "swing-vote" on the bench—Justice Kennedy. In the past, Justice Kennedy has voted in favor of gay rights. He voted in favor of striking down "laws against sodomy" in Lawrence v. Texas and just less than two-years ago in U.S. v. Windsor, he voted in favor of striking down the section of the federal "Defense of Marriage Act" law that defined marriage as between a man and woman only.

Thus, even without Justice Roberts' vote, if Justice Kennedy follows his prior pattern of analysis, the Supreme Court should issue a national mandate for marriage equality with a 5-4 decision. Both Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy asked tough questions to both sides during oral argument, not giving any clear indication as to which way they will decide. While the ultimate decision is still up in the air, we do know that there are a few outcomes.

First, marriage equality could lose 5-4 if both Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy side against same-sex couples. Most legal scholars believe that such a decision is unlikely, but possible. If that were the case, same-sex marriage would still be legal in the states that currently allow it. However, the remaining states would be permitted to continue to ban and/or refuse to recognize same-sex marriage.

Second, the Court could rule narrowly, answering no to the first question but yes to the second question. In other words, the Court may find that states do not have the obligation to perform same-sex marriages but that they must recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states, though it is difficult to imagine how the Court could conceive of a legal distinction between the two. Nonetheless, if the Court feels unready to hand down a broad, sweeping decision that would make same-sex marriage the law of the land, this option provides the Court a way to grant some rights but postpone the question of full marriage rights.

Finally, the Court could issue a complete victory for same-sex marriage. If the court decides that there is a constitutional right to marry and that states are required to perform and recognize same-sex marriages, then same-sex marriage will be allowed nationwide. Such a decision will also deem all current same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional and all states that currently have such bans in place will have to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Supreme Court will release its ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges in June.

Leslie A. Gutierrez is an Associate at Clark Hill PLC and focuses her practice on business litigation and estate and trust litigation.


This article shared 3689 times since Wed May 13, 2015
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

OP-ED: New Year's Eve circuit parties go on despite COVID-19 travel concerns 2021-01-08
- This past New Year's Eve, thousands of gay men flocked to Mexico to attend a New Year's eve "White Party" hosted by long time party promoter Jeffrey Sanker—the host of the annual white party in Palm ...


Gay News

OPINION Where do we go from here (redux)? 2020-12-28
- The year 2020 has been a stressful one. With George Floyd's death as an inflection point about race and racism in America, an unprecedented presidential election and social unrest during an ongoing pandemic with a rising ...


Gay News

VIEWS Taking care of your mental health during a COVID holiday season 2020-11-26
By Adam Ouanes - This holiday season is unlike any before, and it leaves many people feeling unsure about how to get into the holiday spirit. It's not unusual for many people to find this time of year overwhelming, but ...


Gay News

The Amazon Trail: Rats fleeing a sinking ship 2020-11-14
- I've heard the idiom "like rats fleeing a sinking ship" often lately, and while the metaphor is apt for what's going on in the United States, at our house it's even more befitting. Merriam Webster notes, ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Harris stands on shoulders of giants 2020-11-09
- The struggle to get President-elect Joe Biden to the finish line first with 270 electoral college votes was unquestionably an epic battle. However, Biden's battle wasn't a century-long one like women finally winning the right to ...


Gay News

Lilly Wachowski: Refuse Fascism, at the Ballot Box and in the Street 2020-11-02
Video below - In a rare, public and political statement, filmmaker Lilly Wachowski (co-creator of The Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta, Sense8) published this personal essay on the literary website, LitHub.com, calling on people to "Refuse Fascism, at the ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Is Pope Francis' support of civil unions just lip service? 2020-10-29
- Pope Francis has expressed support for civil unions in the Catholic Church. Once again, the pontiff has sent shockwaves across the globe to 1.3 billion of his followers with another LGBTQ- affirming statement. However, this one ...


Gay News

LETTER Thank you, Pope Francis 2020-10-22
- I never thought I would live to see the day when a pope would endorse civil rights for LGBTQ couples. Praise God for His Grace. Also, the many Roman Catholic individuals and organizations who worked so ...


Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett 2020-10-22
- Women-Church Convergence, a coalition of Catholic-rooted organizations including DignityUSA, deplores the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. We have serious concerns about the judgment of any nominee ...


Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Lambda Legal responds to nomination of Judge Barrett 2020-10-13
--From a press release - Lambda Legal sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging its members to oppose Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The rushed confirmation hearings began today for President Trump's nominee to fill the seat of the late ...


Gay News

LETTER Vote 2020-10-03
- President Trump, you have had almost four years to lead the United States and have failed us by your own choosing. Whether it be in foreign policy and domestic policy you have not protected the United States ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT As a gay bipolar man, I've learned to live with suicidal thoughts 2020-10-01
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 20. LGBTQ+ youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth. In addition, LGBTQ+ youth are almost five ...


Gay News

LGBTQ HISTORY MONTH My Notorious RBG moment 2020-10-01
- In the 1990s, the U.S. Senate was attempting in every possible way to censor this new thing called the internet. The senators soon came up with an idea to stop information that might be objectionable to ...


Gay News

OP-ED: Ruth Bader Ginsburg bent the moral arc toward justice 2020-09-21
- Like so many Americans across the country, I, too, am mourning the news that U.S. Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87. As a soft-spoken firebrand ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN True stories, trans tales and more in new picture books 2020-09-16
- New books can be a delightful relief in these days of quarantine. Here are some of the many new LGBTQ-inclusive picture books that just came out last month. (See Mombian.com for even more.) The Fighting Infantryman, ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.