Gay Marriage and the Supreme Court: What The Justices Could Do
Regarding Proposition 8, the Supreme Court could uphold the decisions of the lower courts and find the amendment unconstitutional. If the court does this, gays and lesbians will be able to marry and have their marriages recognized in California but nothing outside the state will change. The court could go further and rule all American gays and lesbians have the right to marry and to have their marriages recognized. This could be achieved by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court could also overturn the decisions in both states leaving California without same-sex marriage and not requiring the federal government to treat same-sex couples in the same way they treat opposite-sex unions.
The federal government, and the governments of New York state and California will not oppose the appeals at the Supreme Court. All three levels of government have given up defending DOMA even though the law is still on the books and still being enforced. And the government of California will not defend Proposition 8. In the absence of defense by the defendants, other groups will argue the defendant’s position.
These cases are scheduled to be argued in March, with decisions expected in June before the court recesses for the summer.
Adf Media. Perry v. Brown (2012). Accessed December 10, 2012.
New York Times. Windsor v. United States (2012). Accessed December 10, 2012.
Channel 4 News (London), Gay marriage: U.S. Supreme Court takes on historic rights case (2012). Accessed December 10, 2012.
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