J is for Judgment

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how things might fall out, and after reading the oral arguments, I’m not sure I can rightfully make any predictions. However, with what I know from studying political science, and what I did reap from my readings, I believe I can at least make an intelligent argument for how I think things will turn out.

In Hollingworth v. Perry, I predict Proposition 8 will be upheld.

First, marriage is a state’s issue, and therefore I feel the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the state’s rights and let it stand.

Second, the ramifications of a broad ruling could be unprecedented–anything could be decided, from full marriage rights nationwide, to leaving things as they are. That said, seizing our rights by force through the judicial system is generally frowned upon by those outside the GLBT community, and as such, I’m afraid it could harm the efforts we’ve made to make true social progress, not only in laws, but in cultural attitudes. Then again, when Loving v. Virginia was ruled, striking down anti-miscegenation laws, the United States most certainly was not in favor of interracial marriage, but the court saw it’s legality and enforced it.

There is, I feel, also a chance of a narrow ruling, such that Proposition 8 would be struck down, but the matter would proceed no further than California. Although this would be a victory to many, I feel in truth it would be but a small victory in the quest for full and equal rights. However, it would make a very clear statement to encourage full marriage rights in other states currently offering civil unions and domestic partnerships, and also perhaps overwrite some of the dreadful propaganda that enabled Prop 8 to pass in the first place.

Finally, I’d like to add that the child-bearing argument is woefully outdated, and I’d argue that nowhere has any legitimate study shown any harm could come of same-sex marriage as it’s intended today.

When it comes to the US v. Windsor, I have no doubt the court will rule against the constitutionality of Section III.

I don’t think either side made an compelling argument, but I believe there’s not a substantial enough argument to uphold Section III any longer, and I will be incredibly surprised if it’s not officially struck down. However, this still leaves Section II on the books, so DOMA would not be fully defeated–indeed, it would be but the first step of many to ensure full marriage equality in the United States.

The Supreme Court is supposed to make their final ruling sometime this month, so any day now the news could come forth and the state of same-sex marriage in the United States could be fundamentally rewritten–for better or for worse.

How do you think they’ll decide?

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