J is for Judgment

J is for Judgment

I want to be in love someday. I want to be weak in the knees, come undone at the seams. The world should tremble beneath us, the skies fall as starlight pours around us. I want to be married under the open sky as birds sing and rainbows break amongst the clouds and cling to the last daylight as Anar sails into the west.

Except none of this could ever happen, and for many still it can’t happen, and it won’t happen if not for the forthcoming words of the nine judges deciding now in silence our shared fate.

Their judgment is a of heightened kind, and although I could spend many words discussing the merits and ethical arguments of interpersonal judgment, today I choose to focus on the two cases currently being decided by the Supreme Court. I’ll also be experimenting with the pagination feature on WordPress, so a short table of contents is required before we proceed:

Page 1: Hollingsworth v. Perry
Page 2: United States v. Windsor
Page 3: My predictions

So, as we wait for the ruling, I’ve taken some time to read through the oral arguments presented in March. The first of the two cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry, is the case against California’s Proposition 8.

In 2010, Californian judges ruled that barring same-sex couples from marriage was unconstitutional, especially given that same-sex couples in the state had equal rights via civil unions at the state level.

Exactly 140 days later, however, after a campaign fraught with slanderous propaganda, the state of California passed a referendum amending their state constitution to exclude same-sex marriage.

Immediately, the action was brought to court, and almost as quickly, it was ruled unconstitutional and Prop 8 was struck down. However, the case was appealed, and then appealed again, and now it rests before the Supreme Court.

The biggest argument in favor of Proposition 8 was that same-sex couples do not procreate, therefore they do not constitute a true marriage, and since same-sex marriage is a fairly new concept, this “social experiment” should not be allowed to continue until further studies have determined its effect upon society.

In favor of repeal was the argument that same-sex couples in California already have equal rights to marriage at the state level, so they deserve equal standing and recognition with straight couples. I personally thought the argument was rather weak, and it opened an interesting debate: Does this mean that marriage is all or nothing–either you go all the way (no “separate but equal” civil unions) or you outlaw it entirely? Or does it only apply to California in which it was already legalized before the constitution was amended? There were no definite answers, at least not in my reading, and the defense seemed sadly inadequate and awfully debatable.

The day after these argument, the Court turned to the United States v. Windsor–and using the buttons below, you can turn there, too.

(Look beneath the sharing and like buttons to find them.)

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