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10 Times Women Owned This Week's SCOTUS Hearing on Marriage

10 Times Women Owned This Week's SCOTUS Hearing on Marriage

10 Times Women Owned This Week's SCOTUS Hearing on Marriage

No need to worry--the ladies have this one.

On Tuesday, April 28, the Supreme Court of the United States began hearing arguments in favor of and against a federal same-sex marriage ruling, which is expected to be decided in late June. Mary L. Bonauto, an extremely dedicated and accomplished civil rights lawyer opened up her argument and answered questions in favor of marriage equality. Her foil, John Bursch, answered questions on behalf of states wishing to uphold their bans on gay marriage. 
Here are some key quotes that will not only help us understand what’s going on in the courtroom, but offer some comfort that our women in the Supreme Court have this whole equality thing taken care of! 
1. “The intimate and committed relationships of same - sex couples, just like those of heterosexual couples, provide mutual support and are the foundation of family life in our society.  If a legal commitment, responsibility and protection that is marriage is off limits to gay people as a class, the stain of unworthiness that follows on individuals and families contravenes the basic constitutional commitment to equal dignity.” –Mary L. Bonauto
2. “I mean, for 5 centuries we had ... we had and ... and Europe had this coverture system where a woman's legal identity was absorbed into that of her husband and men and women had different prescribed legal roles.  And again, because of equality and changing social circumstances, all of those gender differences in the rights and responsibilities of the married pair have been eliminated.  And that, of course, is a system in which committed, same¬sex couples fit quite well.” –Mary L. Bonauto
3. “And I will say before I sit down, if I may reserve my time, Your Honor, that in terms of the question of who decides, it's not about the Court versus the States.  It's about the individual making the choice to marry and with whom to marry, or the government.” –Mary L. Bonauto 
4. “It’s hard to see how permitting same-sex marriage discourages people from being bonded with their biological children.” –Justice Elena Kagan, in response to John Bursch asserting that same-sex marriage could cause straight couples to divorce and abandon their children
5. “Suppose a couple, a 70-year-old couple comes in and they want to get married. You don’t have to ask them any questions. You know they are not going to have any children.” –Justice Ginsburg, in response to John Bursch’s assertion (on behalf of states wishing to ban gay marriage) of a procreation-centered definition of marriage

6. “Mr Bursch, suppose suppose this:  Suppose that there's a State with a very procreation-centered view of marriage of the kind that you're talking about.  And it ... you know, so emotional commitment and support, all of these, the State thinks are not the purpose of marriage and they want their marriage licenses to be addressed only to the things which serve this procreation purpose.  And so they say, Well, we're not giving marriage licenses to any—to anybody who doesn't want children.  So when people come in and ask for a marriage license, they just ask a simple question:  Do you want children?  And if the answer is no, the State says, no marriage license for you.  Would that be constitutional?” –Justice Elena Kagan 
7. “The issue is you can't narrow it down to say, but is gay marriage fundamental?  Has black ... and-white marriage been treated fundamentally? The issue was starting from the proposition of, is the right to marry fundamental?  And then is it compelling for a State to exclude a group of people?” –Justice Sonia Sotomayor
8. “Marriage today is not what it was under the common law tradition, under the civil law tradition…Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female…That ended as a result of this court’s decision in 1982 when Louisiana’s Head and Master Rule was struck down … Would that be a choice that state should [still] be allowed to have? To cling to marriage the way it once was?” –Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
9. “Now, the right to marry. We've had ... we had Loving.  We had Zablocki.  We had Turner.  In all of these cases what we've talked about is a right to marry.  We didn't try to define the right more particularly:  Is there a right to interracial marriage?  Is there a right to marry if you're a prisoner?  We just said there's a right to marry, that is fundamental and that everybody is entitled to it unless there's some good reason for the State to exclude it ... exclude them.  So why shouldn't we adopt the exact same understanding here?” –Justice Kagan
10. “And then, if I may, my ... last point is that the only way I can really understand Michigan's points about procreation and biology and so on is when Ilook, for example, at page 31 of their brief.  And they say that what they care about is people who have children together staying together and providing a long-term, stable situation for their children. That interest applies full force in this context, because by denying marriage to same-sex couples, you are denying not only the protection for the adults, which is independently important, you are denying those protections and that security that would come from having married parents.” - Mary L. Bonauto
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Stuart Mcdonald