Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

On gay marriage, public ahead of high court

By
From page A10 | March 31, 2013 | 1 Comment

The issue: The justices can accelerate or delay the process, but widespread political and public acceptance appears inevitable

The Supreme Court last week heard oral arguments in two critical same-sex marriage cases: California’s Proposition 8, which in 2008 banned same-sex marriage shortly after the state Supreme Court granted gay couples that right, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which in 1996 denied legally married gay couples the tax breaks, health insurance and other federal benefits available to heterosexual married couples.

THE JUSTICES’ questions, at least on Tuesday, were sharp and often acerbic. But, as regular court observers warn, it is a fool’s errand to try to predict how the court will rule from the tone and direction of the questioning. Decisions in both cases are expected in late June.

Two outcomes seem highly unlikely: The court could rule that same-sex marriage is a constitutionally protected equal right, making such unions legal in all 50 states (they’re already legal in nine plus the District of Columbia). Or the court could finesse the issue entirely by ruling that, in both cases, the parties — the House Republican leadership, regarding DOMA — do not have the legal standing to challenge those laws.

This would pitch the question of legalizing same-sex unions back into the political arena of state legislatures and ballot initiatives, bringing no clarity to issues such as whether a state where gay marriage is illegal must recognize such unions and their associated rights from states where it’s legal.

Among the other possible outcomes: The justices could strike down Prop. 8 in California. Or, as the Associated Press explained, they could go for the “nine-state solution,” ruling that states that already treat gay and straight couples nearly the same through civil unions or domestic partnerships cannot deny the “marriage” label. That applies to California and eight other states: Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island. (Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, signed his state’s civil-unions law earlier this month.) This ruling would not implicate marriage bans in other states and would leave open the question of whether states could deprive gay couples of any rights at all.

Nine other states allow same-sex marriages: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington state, plus the District of Columbia.

THE OBAMA administration has refused to defend DOMA. Former President Bill Clinton, who signed the act, now says he’s a believer in same-sex marriage, as is once and perhaps future presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, who came out fully in favor of it this month.

Americans, including several high-ranking Republicans, have done a remarkable turnaround on gay marriage. A Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that nearly 60 percent of the public supports gay marriage; support reaches 81 percent among adults under age 30. The findings are consistent with other recent polls.

The Supreme Court can accelerate or delay the process, but widespread political and public acceptance of same-sex marriage appears inevitable.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Musawwir SpiegelMarch 31, 2013 - 10:39 pm

    I read through your editorial, but was disappointed. Although you set out an analysis of what are possible rulings that the Supreme Court might make, and you said that you thought that acceptance of same sex marriage was inevitable, you never stated what you think would be right for America. No matter what the Supreme Court does, equal protection of the laws, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to our Constitution, requires that same sex couples have the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. Until the Supreme Court demands that, this country will not live up to the ideals it claims to cherish.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Council votes to look at reducing water bills

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    New mosaic mural reflects Peña family history

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    UC Davis biodigester hungers for food scraps

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Hay bales burn east of Davis

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Woman killed by train ID’d

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist captive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Davis Arts Center: See ceramics, join the Big Day of Giving

    By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Fire damages Woodland home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Register to vote by May 19

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sign up for enviro organizations during Earth Week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Bible fun featured at Parents’ Night Out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Davis businesswoman presides over conference

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Birch Lane sells garden plants, veggies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Team Blend hosts fundraiser for Nicaragua project

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

    Fundraiser benefits Oakley campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fire crews gather for joint training

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Odd Fellows host culinary benefit for nonprofit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    400 bikes go up for bids at UCD auction

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sunder hosts campaign event for kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Church hosts discussion of mental health needs, services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    UCD to host premiere of autism documentary

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A4

    UFC hears from two local historians

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    UCD professor to talk about new book

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Fly Fishers talk to focus on healthy streams, rivers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Train to become a weather spotter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Learn survival skills at Cache Creek Preserve

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Veterans, internees may receive overdue diplomas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    UC Davis conference showcases undergraduate research

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Conservation District celebrates its stewardship efforts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Slow Food tour showcases area’s young farmers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Even a safe house needs boundaries

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    I support Sunder for board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Will anyone notice?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    My votes reflect city values

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    A plea on the Bard’s birthday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    DHS thunders back to win an epic DVC volleyball match

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DHS/Franklin I goes to the Blue Devil softballers

    By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Davis gets to Grant ace and rolls in DVC crucial

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Walchli is under par in another Devil victory

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Seniors send Blue Devil girls past Broncos in a lacrosse rout

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
     
    Baseball roundup: Rangers rally to beat A’s in the ninth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Sharks go up 3-0 with OT win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Field to fork: El Macero’s chef offers spring tastes

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

     
    Five Three Oh! featured at April Performers’ Circle

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Celebrate spring at I-House on Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Music, wine flow at Fourth Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Biscuits ‘n Honey will play at winery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Catharine ‘Kay’ Lathrop

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6