U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizes g ay marriage nationwide

  • The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, handing a historic triumph to the American gay rights movement.

    The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the landmark ruling, gay marriage becomes legal in all 50 states.

    Immediately after the decision, same-sex couples in many of the states where gay marriage had been banned headed to county clerks' offices for marriage licenses as officials in several states said they would respect the ruling.

    President Barack Obama, appearing in the White House Rose Garden, hailed the ruling as a milestone in American justice that arrived "like a thunderbolt."

    "This ruling is a victory for America," said Obama, the first sitting president to support gay marriage. "This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free."

    As night fell, the White House was lit in rainbow colors - a symbol of gay pride - to mark the high court's decision.

    The ruling, the culmination of a long legal fight by gay rights advocates, follows steady gains in public approval in recent years for same-sex marriage. In 2004 Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. But the decision may provoke fresh legal fights in some conservative, Republican-governed states.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing on behalf of the court, said the hope of gay people intending to marry "is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

    "Without the recognition, stability and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser," Kennedy wrote.

    Kennedy, a conservative who often casts the deciding vote in close cases, was joined in the majority by the court's four liberal justices.

    Appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1988, Kennedy has now authored all four of the court's major gay rights rulings, with the first in 1996.

    The ruling is the Supreme Court's most important expansion of marriage rights in the United States since its landmark 1967 ruling in the case Loving v. Virginia that struck down state laws barring interracial marriages.

    At least two states, Louisiana and Mississippi, said they would not immediately issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples while awaiting legal formalities. Supreme Court rulings generally take 25 days to go into effect.


    In a blistering dissenting opinion, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said the decision shows the court is a "threat to American democracy." The ruling "says that my ruler and the ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court," Scalia added.

    Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so in his 10 years on the court. Roberts said although there are strong policy arguments in same-sex marriage, it was not the court's role to force states to change their marriage laws.

    "Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law," Roberts wrote.

    The dissenters raised concerns about the impact of the case on people opposed to same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

    While the ruling only affects state laws and religious institutions can still choose whether to marry same-sex couples, Roberts predicted future legal conflicts.

    "Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage," Roberts said.

    There were 13 state bans in place, while another state, Alabama, had contested a court ruling that lifted the ban there.

    The ruling is the latest milestone in the gay rights movement. In 2010, Obama signed a law allowing gays to serve openly in the U.S. military. In 2013, the high court ruled unconstitutional a 1996 U.S. law that declared for the purposes of federal benefits marriage was defined as between one man and one woman.

    Reaction came swiftly. James Obergefell, the Ohio man who was the lead plaintiff in the case, told a cheering crowd outside the Supreme Court, "Today's ruling from the Supreme Court affirms what millions across this country already know to be true in our hearts - our love is equal, that the four words etched onto the front of the Supreme Court - equal justice under law - apply to us, too."

    Obama telephoned Obergefell to offer congratulations.

    Hundreds of gay rights supporters celebrated outside the courthouse with whoops and cries of "U-S-A!" and "Love is love" as the decision came down.

    In Ann Arbor, Michigan, another of the plaintiffs, April DeBeor, told cheering supporters, "To my beautiful children, we did this for you," referring to her adopted children.

    "Love won," added popular comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who is gay.


    Conservatives denounced the ruling. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called it "an out-of-control act of unconstitutional judicial tyranny."

    Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, who is expected to run for president, called for amending the U.S. Constitution to allow states to again ban same-sex marriage. Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott said, "Marriage was defined by God. No man can redefine it."

    Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, "It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage."

    Opponents say same-sex marriage's legality should be decided by states, not judges. Some opponents argue it is an affront to traditional marriage between a man and a woman and that the Bible condemns homosexuality.

    Gay marriage is also gaining acceptance in other Western countries. Last month in Ireland, voters backed same-sex marriage by a landslide in a referendum that marked a dramatic social shift in the traditionally Roman Catholic country.

    Ireland followed several Western European countries including Britain, France and Spain in allowing gay marriage, which is also legal in South Africa, Brazil and Canada. But homosexuality remains taboo and often illegal in many parts of Africa and Asia.

    The Supreme Court's ruling came in a consolidated case pulling together challenges filed by same-sex couples to gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

    The Obama administration argued on the side of the same-sex marriage advocates.


  • یہ تعصب پسندی کے خلاف بہت بڑی فتح ہے

    تعصب کے خلاف جتنے بھی قوانین بنیں گے ان سے مذہبی تعصب کے شکار مسلمانوں کو بھی فائدہ ہو گا

  • I have no idea why some people create a duplicate thread on same topic when other thread was already there for 8-9 hours.


  • Lack of focus and concentration!

  • It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy

    Welcome to the exciting new world of the slippery slope. With the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling this Friday legalizing same sex marriage in all 50 states, social liberalism has achieved one of its central goals. A right seemingly unthinkable two decades ago has now been broadly applied to a whole new class of citizens. Following on the rejection of interracial marriage bans in the 20th Century, the Supreme Court decision clearly shows that marriage should be a broadly applicable right—one that forces the government to recognize, as Friday’s decision said, a private couple’s “love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family.”

    The question presents itself: Where does the next advance come? The answer is going to make nearly everyone uncomfortable: Now that we’ve defined that love and devotion and family isn’t driven by gender alone, why should it be limited to just two individuals? The most natural advance next for marriage lies in legalized polygamy—yet many of the same people who pressed for marriage equality for gay couples oppose it.

    This is not an abstract issue. In Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissenting opinion, he remarks, “It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.” As is often the case with critics of polygamy, he neglects to mention why this is a fate to be feared. Polygamy today stands as a taboo just as strong as same-sex marriage was several decades ago—it’s effectively only discussed as outdated jokes about Utah and Mormons, who banned the practice over 120 years ago.

    Yet the moral reasoning behind society’s rejection of polygamy remains just as uncomfortable and legally weak as same-sex marriage opposition was until recently.

    That’s one reason why progressives who reject the case for legal polygamy often don’t really appear to have their hearts in it. They seem uncomfortable voicing their objections, clearly unused to being in the position of rejecting the appeals of those who would codify non-traditional relationships in law. They are, without exception, accepting of the right of consenting adults to engage in whatever sexual and romantic relationships they choose, but oppose the formal, legal recognition of those relationships. They’re trapped, I suspect, in prior opposition that they voiced from a standpoint of political pragmatism in order to advance the cause of gay marriage.

    In doing so, they do real harm to real people. Marriage is not just a formal codification of informal relationships. It’s also a defensive system designed to protect the interests of people whose material, economic and emotional security depends on the marriage in question. If my liberal friends recognize the legitimacy of free people who choose to form romantic partnerships with multiple partners, how can they deny them the right to the legal protections marriage affords?

    Polyamory is a fact. People are living in group relationships today. The question is not whether they will continue on in those relationships. The question is whether we will grant to them the same basic recognition we grant to other adults: that love makes marriage, and that the right to marry is exactly that, a right.

    Why the opposition, from those who have no interest in preserving “traditional marriage” or forbidding polyamorous relationships? I think the answer has to do with political momentum, with a kind of ad hoc-rejection of polygamy as necessary political concession. And in time, I think it will change.

    The marriage equality movement has been both the best and worst thing that could happen for legally sanctioned polygamy. The best, because that movement has required a sustained and effective assault on “traditional marriage” arguments that reflected no particular point of view other than that marriage should stay the same because it’s always been the same. In particular, the notion that procreation and child-rearing are the natural justification for marriage has been dealt a terminal injury. We don’t, after all, ban marriage for those who can’t conceive, or annul marriages that don’t result in children, or make couples pinkie swear that they’ll have kids not too long after they get married. We have insisted instead that the institution exists to enshrine in law a special kind of long-term commitment, and to extend certain essential logistical and legal benefits to those who make that commitment. And rightly so.

    But the marriage equality movement has been curiously hostile to polygamy, and for a particularly unsatisfying reason: short-term political need. Many conservative opponents of marriage equality have made the slippery slope argument, insisting that same-sex marriages would lead inevitably to further redefinition of what marriage is and means. See, for example, Rick Santorum’s infamous “man on dog” comments, in which he equated the desire of two adult men or women to be married with bestiality. Polygamy has frequently been a part of these slippery slope arguments. Typical of such arguments, the reasons why marriage between more than two partners would be destructive were taken as a given. Many proponents of marriage equality, I’m sorry to say, went along with this evidence-free indictment of polygamous matrimony. They choose to side-step the issue by insisting that gay marriage wouldn’t lead to polygamy. That legally sanctioned polygamy was a fate worth fearing went without saying.

    To be clear: our lack of legal recognition of group marriages is not the fault of the marriage equality movement. Rather, it’s that the tactics of that movement have made getting to serious discussions of legalized polygamy harder. I say that while recognizing the unprecedented and necessary success of those tactics. I understand the political pragmatism in wanting to hold the line—to not be perceived to be slipping down the slope. To advocate for polygamy during the marriage equality fight may have seemed to confirm the socially conservative narrative, that gay marriage augured a wholesale collapse in traditional values. But times have changed; while work remains to be done, the immediate danger to marriage equality has passed. In 2005, a denial of the right to group marriage stemming from political pragmatism made at least some sense. In 2015, after this ruling, it no longer does.

    While important legal and practical questions remain unresolved, with the Supreme Court’s ruling and broad public support, marriage equality is here to stay. Soon, it will be time to turn the attention of social liberalism to the next horizon. Given that many of us have argued, to great effect, that deference to tradition is not a legitimate reason to restrict marriage rights to groups that want them, the next step seems clear. We should turn our efforts towards the legal recognition of marriages between more than two partners. It’s time to legalize polygamy.

    Conventional arguments against polygamy fall apart with even a little examination. Appeals to traditional marriage, and the notion that child rearing is the only legitimate justification of legal marriage, have now, I hope, been exposed and discarded by all progressive people. What’s left is a series of jerry-rigged arguments that reflect no coherent moral vision of what marriage is for, and which frequently function as criticisms of traditional marriage as well.

    Many argue that polygamous marriages are typically sites of abuse, inequality in power and coercion. Some refer to sociological research showing a host of ills that are associated with polygamous family structures. These claims are both true and beside the point. Yes, it’s true that many polygamous marriages come from patriarchal systems, typically employing a “hub and spokes” model where one husband has several wives who are not married to each other. These marriages are often of the husband-as-boss variety, and we have good reason to suspect that such models have higher rates of abuse, both physical and emotional, and coercion. But this is a classic case of blaming a social problem on its trappings rather than on its actual origins.

    After all, traditional marriages often foster abuse. Traditional marriages are frequently patriarchal. Traditional marriages often feature ugly gender and power dynamics. Indeed, many would argue that marriage’s origins stem from a desire to formalize patriarchal structures within the family in the first place. We’ve pursued marriage equality at the same time as we’ve pursued more equitable, more feminist heterosexual marriages, out of a conviction that the franchise is worth improving, worth saving. If we’re going to ban marriages because some are sites of sexism and abuse, then we’d have to start with the old fashioned one-husband-and-one-wife model. If polygamy tends to be found within religious traditions that seem alien or regressive to the rest of us, that is a function of the very illegality that should be done away with. Legalize group marriage and you will find its connection with abuse disappears.

    Another common argument, and another unsatisfying one, is logistical. In this telling, polygamous marriages would strain the infrastructure of our legal systems of marriage, as they are not designed to handle marriage between more than two people. In particular, the claim is frequently made that the division of property upon divorce or death would be too complicated for polygamous marriages. I find this argument eerily reminiscent of similar efforts to dismiss same-sex marriage on practical grounds. (The forms say husband and wife! What do you want us to do, print new forms?) Logistics, it should go without saying, are insufficient reason to deny human beings human rights.

    If current legal structures and precedents aren’t conducive to group marriage, then they will be built in time. The comparison to traditional marriage is again instructive. We have, after all, many decades of case law and legal organization dedicated to marriage, and yet divorce and family courts feature some of the most bitterly contested cases imaginable. Complication and dispute are byproducts of human relationships and human commitment. We could, as a civil society, create a legal expectation that those engaging in a group marriage create binding documents and contracts that clearly delineate questions of inheritance, alimony, and the like. Prenups are already a thing.

    Most dispiriting, and least convincing, are those arguments that simply reconstitute the slippery slope arguments that have been used for so long against same sex marriage. “If we allow group marriage,” the thinking seems to go, “why wouldn’t marriage with animals or children come next?” The difference is, of course, consent. In recent years, a progressive and enlightened movement has worked to insist that consent is the measure of all things in sexual and romantic practice: as long as all involved in any particular sexual or romantic relationship are consenting adults, everything is permissible; if any individual does not give free and informed consent, no sexual or romantic engagement can be condoned.

    This bedrock principle of mutually-informed consent explains exactly why we must permit polygamy and must oppose bestiality and child marriage. Animals are incapable of voicing consent; children are incapable of understanding what it means to consent. In contrast, consenting adults who all knowingly and willfully decide to enter into a joint marriage contract, free of coercion, should be permitted to do so, according to basic principles of personal liberty. The preeminence of the principle of consent is a just and pragmatic way to approach adult relationships in a world of multivariate and complex human desires.

    Progressives have always flattered themselves that time is on their side, that their preferences are in keeping with the arc of history. In the fight for marriage equality, this claim has been made again and again. Many have challenged our politicians and our people to ask themselves whether they can imagine a future in which opposition to marriage equality is seen as a principled stance. I think it’s time to turn the question back on them: given what you know about the advancement of human rights, are you sure your opposition to group marriage won’t sound as anachronistic as opposition to gay marriage sounds to you now? And since we have insisted that there is no legitimate way to oppose gay marriage and respect gay love, how can you oppose group marriage and respect group love?

    I suspect that many progressives would recognize, when pushed in this way, that the case against polygamy is incredibly flimsy, almost entirely lacking in rational basis and animated by purely irrational fears and prejudice. What we’re left with is an unsatisfying patchwork of unconvincing arguments and bad ideas, ones embraced for short-term convenience at long-term cost. We must insist that rights cannot be dismissed out of short-term interests of logistics and political pragmatism. The course then, is clear: to look beyond political convenience and conservative intransigence, and begin to make the case for extending legal marriage rights to more loving and committed adults. It’s time.

    Fredrik deBoer is a writer and academic. He lives in Indiana


  • Was This the Right Way to Legalize Gay Marriage?

    Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in today’s momentous 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision bringing marriage equality to every state in the country shows that he likes to let his pen soar: “Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations,” he writes, adding that it “demeans gays and lesbians for the State to lock them out of a central institution of the Nation’s society.”

    The question, of course, is whether it is the court’s job to usher them into it. The Times Op-Ed columnist Ross Douthat and I discussed the justices’ role as problem-solvers Thursday, in relation to the court’s ruling on Obamacare. I don’t think it was an act of judicial activism to continue the national availability of the law’s subsidies for health insurance. The court didn’t strike down an act of Congress. It simply looked to Congress’s purpose — a method of statutory interpretation of fine lineage, as the Georgetown law professor Marty Lederman explains. If Congress thinks the court got it wrong, Congress can pass a provision tomorrow restricting the subsidies. That won’t happen, because subsidies for some, not all, was never the plan of the Affordable Care Act.

    But doubters of Friday’s same-sex marriage ruling are on stronger ground today in accusing the court of overreach and activism. “The right to marry is fundamental as a matter of history and tradition, but rights come not from ancient sources alone,” Kennedy writes. “They rise, too, from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.” True — but how does this work in practice, and what are the limits?

    Kennedy has some precedent on his side: most powerfully, Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 ruling in which the court overturned state interracial-marriage bans. But he still has to explain why the court isn’t waiting for same-sex marriage to spread across the country through legislation and voter initiatives. “Indeed, it is most often through democracy that liberty is preserved and protected in our lives,” Kennedy acknowledges. The dissenting justices — all four of whom wrote opinions — hammer this point home.

    The majority justifies bypassing the democratic process because “individuals who are harmed need not await legislative action before asserting a fundamental right.” Kennedy brings in Bowers v. Hardwick, a 1986 ruling in which the court refused to strike down state sodomy bans, and points out that “men and women suffered pain and humiliation” in the 17 years that decision remained on the books, before it was overturned in Lawrence v. Texas.

    Denying the rights and benefits of marriage to gay people certainly also causes real harm. Kennedy invokes the plights of the plaintiffs before the court: “James Obergefell now asks whether Ohio can erase his marriage to John Arthur for all time. April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse now ask whether Michigan may continue to deny them the certainty and stability all mothers desire to protect their children, and for them and their children the childhood years will pass all too soon.” Does this mean the court should give itself the power to declare same-sex marriage throughout the land? Friday’s ruling overturns bans in more than half the states. (The laws remain in effect in only 14 or so states, but that’s only because the Supreme Court has allowed the lower federal courts to order the granting of marriage licenses to begin.) The ruling is not humble or modest or restrained. The court has newly recognized a fundamental right, significantly expanding the Constitution’s guarantees of liberty and equality. It has embraced an evolving, progressive understanding of the country’s foundational document.

    The dissenters are clear and thorough about the downsides of this. Chief Justice John Roberts asks sarcastically of his colleagues, “Just who do we think we are?” He also makes this sensible pitch for judicial restraint: “When decisions are reached through democratic means, some people will inevitably be disappointed with the results. But those whose views do not prevail at least know that they have had their say, and accordingly are — in the tradition of our political culture — reconciled to the result of a fair and honest debate.”

    Roberts warns that “stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.” Justice Samuel Alito goes further, predicting that today’s ruling “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy” and “exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.” He ends on a note of doom: “Recalling the harsh treatment of gays and lesbians in the past, some may think that turnabout is fair play. But if that sentiment prevails, the Nation will experience bitter and lasting wounds.”

    Among gay rights supporters, these doubts will be drowned out in celebration — as Roberts, for one, acknowledges. Perhaps some activists would quietly agree that state-by-state lawmaking would be better. But the evidence to date suggests that Alito’s dire warning is overblown; the backlash to same-sex marriage has so far been contained to minor skirmishes. There are no victims when gay couples marry. The gain, in love, commitment and stability, is easy to see. These are among the reasons public opinion has moved swiftly in favor of marriage equality.

    As we go forward, the debate between the two sides of the court over how to make social change comes down to trust. Do we trust the justices and their successors to use the key the majority took out today to unlock other doors, carefully and sparingly? Not even the justices themselves would claim that the court’s judgment has been infallible, or even close to it. In his dissent, Roberts brings up the court’s worst constitutional errors: decisions that entrenched slavery and set back workers’ rights. In my view, he could have added his own court’s Citizens United ruling to the list.

    But on a day that is glorious for so many people, let’s hope for a better future. The justices aren’t entirely removed from the democratic process, after all. The composition of the courts depends on the president and Senate we choose to elect. Over time, voters have a say in the kind of justice the court dispenses. The odds are good that most of them will think the court got this one right.


    فرقہ طاقت و اکثریت کے ممبران کو پھر کچھ سمج نہیں آنا اور انہوں نے طاقت اور اکثریت کے استرے سے لوگوں کی ٹنڈ کرنے کا کام جاری رکھنا ہے

  • @Lota Jee

    I don't see your take on the issue. Where do you stand for or against same sex marriages?

  • شیرازی صاحب

    ایک بالغ انسان اپنی مرضی سے اپنے بیڈروم میں کیا رنگین پروگرام کرتا ہے وہ حکومت یا کسی دوسرے انسان کی کنسرن نہیں ہے . کوئی جو مرضی کرے جب تک مجھے اس سے کوئی بل نہیں ا رہا مجھے اس سے کوئی پرابلم نہیں ہے .

  • @Lota Jee

    Good to see you getting back on progressive track.


  • شیرازی صاحب

    میری سوچ ہمیشہ سے لبرل ٹرین ہے . ہر انسان کو کسی دوسرے کو نقصان پوھنچائے بغیر اپنی زندگی گزارنے کی آزادی ہونی چاھیے


    ساس کی خدمات کی سعادت سب کو ہونی چاھیے یہ ایک یونیورسل رائٹ ہے

    Libertarianism (Latin: liber, "free") is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgement.[1][2]

    Libertarians generally share a skepticism of authority


  • @Lota Jee

    ساس کی خدمات کی سعادت سب کو ہونی چاھیے یہ ایک یونیورسل رائٹ ہے

    It's not a right it's a privilege and Thank God I am privileged.


  • Sick people. Sick minds. Sick country.

    The way things are moving in the western world I fear soon there will be a ban on a marriage between a man and a women. Only g@ys and lesbi@ns will be allowed to marry and then they will go shopping babies or renting the wombs of the poor Indian or Filipino mothers.

  • All monotheistic religions and few poly-theistic religions have condemned this vile practice in their scriptures. Only human vanity and arrogance can allow such shameful act to be legal. West has gone to the extremes in satisfying their self's aggression. One one hand they accept mind to be supreme and on other hand they also dont deny that mind is limited and still they insist upon being the slaves of these limits. Reason is bound to mind and it's shortcomings and thus it is in it self incomplete.

    There are contradictions in abundance but ignored because self is infect reigning supreme. It is not reason or logic, it is just selfism .

  • *infact