7 responses to “Could victory in court mean loss in public support?”

  1. Chuck Anziulewicz

    Granted, polls find that most Americans are uncomfortable with “marriage” for Gay couples. Yet ask Americans how they feel about the same benefits of marriage for Gay couples, except under a different term like “civil unions,” and support goes way up, especially among younger voters.

    So where do we strike the balance?

    Let’s say that the Supreme Court ruled that there was no Constitutional justification for denying Gay couples the same legal benefits and responsibilities that Straight couples have always taken for granted, but that those benefits and responsibilities could be granted to Gay couples under a different term … such as “civil unions.” The rights under tax law, Social Security, etc. would be EXACTLY the same for Gay and Straight couples; only the terminology would be different. Opposite-sex couples would be allowed the option to “marry,” and same-sex couples would be allowed the option to enter into “civil unions.” Social conservatives could keep the term “marriage” for themselves, and Gay couples would be granted equal protection as specified by the 14th Amendment.

    Frankly, I could live with that. How about YOU?

    Fact is, the federal government has complicated the issue more than anyone. While it is true that the Constitution says nothing about marriage, there are 1,138 legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities (according to the Government Accounting Office) that the federal government automatically bestows on married couples. Much of this has to do with tax law and Social Security. So it simply wouldn’t do for a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa to suddenly become UN-married if they move someplace else.

    Straight couples have never had to jump through these kinds of hoops. Thanks to the “Full Faith & Credit” clause, if any Straight couple flies off to Las Vegas for a drunken weekend and gets married by an Elvis impersonator, that marriage is automatically honored in all 50 states. Gay couples, however, are held to a different (and hence unconstitutional) legal standard.

    The only way marriage can be a “States Rights” issue is for the federal government to get out of the marriage business completely, and do away with the 1,138 benefits it grants to married couples. Tell me how thrilled most married couples would be with THAT.

  2. Bill Wenham

    And actually, Chuck, domestic partnership laws in California are not the same. If it was, a same-sex couple would not have to live together to be in a domestic partnership whereas a married couple doesn’t even have to live together. People can act like everything is the same, but it still isn’t. If it was, it would be called marriage, plain and simple.

  3. John

    This article has nothing relevant to offer.

    Public opinion always follows the courts and NOT the other way around.

    When California was the first state to strike down Jim Crow anti-miscegenation laws in Perez v. Sharp (1948) the nation was in shock. Over 90 of Americans were appalled. Twenty years later when the U.S. Supreme Court struck them all down in Loving v. Virginia (1967) as to the 17 remaining states things had not changed. Still over 90% of the American public was outraged – and that was AFTER the vast majority of states and already struck them down or repealed them! Today, few object. Why? Because public opinion follows the Court.

  4. John

    Chuck wrote:

    “Thanks to the “Full Faith & Credit” clause, if any Straight couple flies off to Las Vegas for a drunken weekend and gets married by an Elvis impersonator, that marriage is automatically honored in all 50 states.”


    No state has to recognize a marriage that is against state policy. E.g. If legally married in a state where the ‘wife’ is under 16 (permitted in some states) but, moves to California this state will not only not recognized because it’s against public policy. In addition the purported husband may be prosecuted for statutory rape. As a matter of ‘states rights,’ no state is required to recognize a marriage that is against its public policy – but conversely said policy can not run afoul of the U. S. Constitution because the Constitution trumps ‘states’ right. State’s rights are a limited concept.

    Second, interstate marriages are not recognize under the FF&C clause which applies to judgments and decrees (like a divorce decree) but honored under the doctrine of Comity as contained in the Privileges and immunities clause of the same article. This is one of the two reasons why DOMA is defective. First it hangs on a clause that has nothing to do with marriage and (2) since marriage is a federal ‘fundamental’ right, Congress has no more right than a state legislature to abrogate that right absent the ‘strict scrutiny’ which is almost always a ‘kiss of death’ and will be struck down. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line (no pun intended). Rather than undo state gay Jim Crow marriage laws one my one, the most effective course if to strike them all down as once – which is what we hope Perry will do. Likewise, the fastet and most direct means of getting rid of DOMA is not to waste time and money in a lengthy acrimonious debate on repealing it, but simply strike the law down as an overreaching Congressional legislative violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Striking down Prop 8 Jim Crow laws as well as DOMA in court is the fastest, cleanest, surest, and least messy way to end the dispute across the land and the fastest way to avoid and relieve suffering and hardship. The Court. The Court. The Court.

  5. John

    And P.S. When editors redact speech because they disagree with the syntax or form of expression they act as critics. But when they redact ‘free speech’ merely because the expression of informed opinion exposes ignorance or inconvenient hypocrisies they then act not as critics but as censors. In such case they are not arbiters of good taste but autocrats who refuse to allow any challenge to or exposure of their own provincial prejudices. This is as inappropriate as it is intellectually dishonest.

  6. MAC

    I just don’t think it is everyone’s business that I am gay. If I must use the term “civil union,” all people with access to my paperwork will automatically know I am gay. If I use the term “married,” my person sexual preference is still my own business. I am not in the closet, but I feel uncomfortable with this lack of personal privacy. I am a high school teacher and I like to keep my personal life personal. This is a factor that is rarely discussed. We should all be treated the same.

  7. Lisa Keen

    “Posting comments: Keen News Service welcomes relevant comments on its news articles. Lisa Keen has no duty to monitor and delete inappropriate comments but will, in her sole discretion, delete any comment she considers slanderous, hateful, threatening, too far off topic, aimed at promoting a commercial venture, disrespectful, or otherwise inappropriate.”
    This includes comments that use disparaging terms for reporters, activists, and other commenters.
    PS: John, I’ve tried several times to contact you via your email to convey this, but your email is always returned as undeliverable. Please feel free to contact me via email at

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