- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Gay-marriage backers see public behind them as the Supreme Court weighs the arguments
Lines form early to hear arguments
Question of the Day
After more than two decades of legal battles, rallies, protests and campaigns, proponents of gay marriage say they are increasingly confident as they await their day in court.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday begins two days of oral arguments that will at heart determine if efforts at the state and federal level to block the recognition of same-sex marriages can pass constitutional muster. With opinion polls moving their way and with nine states and the District of Columbia now recognizing gay unions, same-sex marriage advocates say momentum is clearly on their side.
“I think the direction of the country is clear,” Theodore Boutrous, an attorney with the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is representing two California gay couples in Hollingsworth v. Perry, one of the two cases that come before the high court this week. The case centers on whether the state’s voter-approved Proposition 8 against gay marriage should stand.
Not only is there growing support for gay marriage, Mr. Boutrous said — citing the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new support for gay marriage as being “in the best interest” of children announced last week — but the legal arguments “directly support and point in one direction, and that’s that Proposition 8 must be struck down.”
While the Supreme Court justices could opt for a more narrowly crafted decision, the goal is full legalization of gay marriage throughout America, Mr. Boutrous and other marriage-equality supporters said in a recent briefing with reporters.
Supporters of traditional marriage, however, say the high court can — and should — uphold Proposition 8 and the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, arguing both reflect the nation’s historical meaning of marriage and serve the vital social purpose of connecting children to their mothers and fathers.
Marriage — i.e., the legal union of one man and one woman — “is the cornerstone of Western civilization,” Austin R. Nimocks, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is helping defend Proposition 8, said during a Tuesday briefing hosted by the Heritage Foundation.
“There’s no such thing as ‘parenting’ in the abstract,” said Heritage Foundation scholar Ryan T. Anderson. There is “mothering” and there is “fathering,” and “children do best with both,” he said.
Major rallies to be held
On Tuesday, major pro- and anti-gay marriage demonstrations are expected as the Supreme Court hears 60 minutes of oral arguments about whether Proposition 8 is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In one sign of the intense interest the case has sparked, Supreme Court officials confirmed to The Associated Press that lines had begun forming Thursday for the few public seats available to watch the arguments — five full days before the court convenes.
Proposition 8, passed by voters in November 2008, says “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” It was approved by voters to trump the California Supreme Court, which in May 2008 legalized gay marriage; in the few months between the court’s ruling and Election Day, some 18,000 gay couples married in California.
Former George W. Bush administration Solicitor General Theodore Olson, representing gay couples Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, will ask the high court to uphold two lower-court rulings that struck down Proposition 8. With President Obama last year announcing his own switch in favor of gay marriage, Obama administration Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. will also argue that the proposition is unconstitutional.
Proposition 8 is defended by Washington, D.C., lawyer Charles J. Cooper, who represents Dennis Hollingsworth and others associated with ProtectMarriage.com, which backed the voter initiative.
On Wednesday, the high court will hear nearly two hours of arguments — an unusually long time for a single case — on a lawsuit on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Mississippi abortion law can't be enforced
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- Events honoring 20th National Parents' Day reaffirm family
- '50 Shades' movie trailer outrages anti-porn groups
- Tougher clinic rules lead to drop in Texas abortions
Latest Blog Entries
- Gay therapy ban author seeks Calif. House seat
- Transgender 'bathroom law' gets 5,000 more signatures
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Inside the Beltway: Immigration rage festers on all sides
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Hillary Clinton: I was indeed 'dead broke,' but shouldn't have said so
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world