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The Legal Logic Of Same-Sex Marriage46:34
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The Supreme Court may soon rule up or down on same-sex marriage for the whole nation. We’ll look at the legal battle shaping up before the high court.

Rebekah Monson, left, 34, and her partner of nine years, Andrea Vigil, right, 37, participate in a wedding ceremony at the marriage license bureau, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, in Miami. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel presided over Florida's first legally recognized same-sex marriages Monday afternoon. Still, most counties held off on official ceremonies until early Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle's ruling that Florida's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional took effect in all 67 counties. (AP)
Rebekah Monson, left, 34, and her partner of nine years, Andrea Vigil, right, 37, participate in a wedding ceremony at the marriage license bureau, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, in Miami. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel presided over Florida's first legally recognized same-sex marriages Monday afternoon. Still, most counties held off on official ceremonies until early Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle's ruling that Florida's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional took effect in all 67 counties. (AP)

Gay marriage, as everyone knows, has come out of the taboo corner of American life and rolled across the country, state by state, with amazing speed.  It is now the law – legal – in 36 states and the District of Columbia.  Last week, the US Supreme Court said it will, this spring, get into the gay marriage issue in a big way.  The high court could propel gay marriage right on across the country.  Or it could stop it in its tracks.  Its decision will be the most focused, national statement yet on the change.  This hour On Point:  we look at the Constitution and the legal arguments on same-sex marriage, pro and con, that will be made before the high court.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Savage, US Supreme Court correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. (@davidgsavage)

Camilla Taylor, marriage project director at Lambda Legal.

Teresa Stanton Collett, professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times: On gay marriage, Supreme Court to weigh equal rights and states' rights — "If this year's decision on gay marriage turned only on court precedents and legal logic, it would look to be a toss-up. The justices, all of whom were appointed after the Roe vs. Wade abortion decision, have been wary of forcing major changes in social policy. They also believe in deferring to the states."

The Week: The Supreme Court takes on gay marriage: How each justice will (probably) vote -- "The big question is whether the court will make gay marriage legal in all 50 states. We cannot be entirely certain, but supporters of same-sex marriage have reason to be optimistic. Let’s look at the various factions of the court, and how they will likely vote."

The Atlantic: On Same-Sex Marriage, the Supreme Court Will Have to Tackle the Question of Rights — "Since the Supreme Court’s order Friday agreeing to hear four same-sex marriage cases, some professors and reporters have raised a troubling possibility: Could the Court have 'stacked the deck' against full marriage equality by the way it phrased the 'questions presented' by the cases? These are framed in terms of the states’ powers rather than of individual rights. These court watchers have suggested that they may point to a “compromise” that would mean less than full marriage equality—that is, a holding that states must recognize marriages performed by other states but may continue to refuse to marry same-sex couples themselves."

This program aired on January 22, 2015.

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