US high court set for his­toric gay mar­riage case

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY CHAN­TAL VALERY

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear ar­gu­ments Tues­day on whether same-sex cou­ples have a con­sti­tu­tional right to wed — a po­ten­tially his­toric de­ci­sion that could see same-sex mar­riage rec­og­nized na­tion­wide.

Hun­dreds of ac­tivists from both sides of the de­bate were ex­pected to rally in front of the Supreme Court build­ing as the nine jus­tices hear a case on one of the most di­vi­sive so­cial is­sues in the United States.

Al­ready, thou­sands of Ameri- cans protested over the week­end in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. with some camp­ing out in front of the court to en­sure a seat in the court­room come Tues­day.

Ex­perts say recog­ni­tion of same-sex mar­riage — al­ready legal in 37 of the coun­try’s 50 states and in the cap­i­tal Wash­ing­ton, D.C. — seems in­evitable.

The court will hear from plain­tiffs from four states — Ohio, Michi­gan, Ten­nessee and Ken­tucky — where gay mar­riage is still barred.

Sup­ported by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, the 16 plain­tiffs want to legally marry. But their home states de­fine mar­riage as be­ing be­tween a man and a woman, and do not rec­og­nize gay mar­riages car­ried out else­where in the coun­try.

If the Supreme Court rules on th­ese four states, it will be mak­ing a de facto de­ci­sion on all 13 states ban­ning gay mar­riage.

At is­sue is the Supreme Court’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the 14th Amend­ment of the U. S. Con­sti­tu­tion, which pro­vides equal pro­tec­tion un­der the law.

Jus­tices must de­cide if this amend­ment means states must al­low gay mar­riage, and whether states are re­quired to rec­og­nize same- sex mar­riages that were con­ducted in other states.

In a land­mark de­ci­sion in June 2013, the court struck down a law deny­ing fed­eral benefits to ho­mo­sex­ual cou­ples.

But it stopped short of le­gal­iz­ing same-sex mar­riage na­tion­wide, leav­ing that ques­tion to the states — even though the court tra­di­tion­ally protects fed­er­al­ist prin­ci­ples.

The four states in­volved, which are backed by re­li­gious and con­ser­va­tive or­ga­ni­za­tions, ar­gue that mar­riage is based on the bi­o­log­i­cal com­pat­i­bil­ity of a man and woman.

But the Michi­gan plain­tiffs ar­gue that “what­ever lim­its may be im­posed on the right to marry, the gen­der of the part­ners can­not be one of them.”

They also main­tain that the four states in ques­tion vi­o­late their free­dom to travel by re­fus­ing to rec­og­nize their legal mar­riages car­ried out in other states.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.