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There will be those among you (including some I count as friends) who are shocked and dismayed by this decision, based on their religious convictions, the "marriage is between one man and one woman" school of thought that relies on status quo extant at the time the Old and New Testaments were written and included in what we now consider the Bible. It likely won't change your mind for me to point out that the Bible condoned slavery, stoning, and sacrificial offerings. . . none of which we justify today, Old Testament notwithstanding. Our understanding of right and wrong, acceptable and intolerable, evolves over time I agree with the Court's decision in this case, which should come as no surprise if you know me. I'm (by education and bar membership) a lawyer, even though no longer actively practicing. I once was the chair of Women's Legal Defense Fund's employment discrimination counseling committee. I went to law school to gain tools to fight discrimination and improve women and children's access to the American court system. In case you were wondering, I'm not a lesbian and none of my children are lesbian or gay. There's no one currently in my marital future, man or woman or transgender. I have no personal stake riding on this decision.
It's just that social justice matters to me. And I consider the matter of same-sex marriage to be an issue of social justice. Legal justice, too.
So did the majority of U.S. Supreme Court justices. Here's an excerpt from the 27 page opinion written by conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy:
Four principles and traditions demonstrate that the reasons
marriage is fundamental under the Constitution apply with
equal force to same-sex couples. The first premise of this Court’s relevant
precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage
is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy. This abiding
connection between marriage and liberty is why Loving invalidated
interracial marriage bans under the Due Process Clause. See 388
U. S., at 12. Decisions about marriage are among the most intimate
that an individual can make. See Lawrence, supra, at 574. This is
true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation.
A second principle in this Court’s jurisprudence is that the right to
marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike
any other in its importance to the committed individuals. The intimate
association protected by this right was central to Griswold v.
Connecticut, which held the Constitution protects the right of married
couples to use contraception, 381 U. S., at 485, and was acknowledged
in Turner, supra, at 95. Same-sex couples have the same right
as opposite-sex couples to enjoy intimate association, a right extending
beyond mere freedom from laws making same-sex intimacy a
criminal offense. See Lawrence, supra, at 567.
A third basis for protecting the right to marry is that it safeguards
children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of
childrearing, procreation, and education. See, e.g., Pierce v. Society of
Sisters, 268 U. S. 510. Without the recognition, stability, and predictability
marriage offers, children suffer the stigma of knowing
their families are somehow lesser. They also suffer the significant
material costs of being raised by unmarried parents, relegated to a
more difficult and uncertain family life. The marriage laws at issue
thus harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples. See
Windsor, supra, at ___. This does not mean that the right to marry is
less meaningful for those who do not or cannot have children. Precedent
protects the right of a married couple not to procreate, so the
right to marry cannot be conditioned on the capacity or commitment
Finally, this Court’s cases and the Nation’s traditions make clear
that marriage is a keystone of the Nation’s social order. See
Maynard v. Hill, 125 U. S. 190, 211. States have contributed to the
fundamental character of marriage by placing it at the center of
many facets of the legal and social order. There is no difference between
same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle,
yet same-sex couples are denied the constellation of benefits that the
States have linked to marriage and are consigned to an instability
many opposite-sex couples would find intolerable. It is demeaning to
lock same-sex couples out of a central institution of the Nation’s society,
for they too may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage.
The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have
seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning
of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest. Pp. 12–18.
The Court goes on to talk about the Fourteenth Amendment's
equal protection and due process protections.
The right of same-sex couples to marry is also derived from
the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. The Due
Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause are connected in a
profound way. Rights implicit in liberty and rights secured by equal
protection may rest on different precepts and are not always coextensive,
yet each may be instructive as to the meaning and reach of
the other. This dynamic is reflected in Loving, where the Court invoked
both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause;
and in Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U. S. 374, where the Court invalidated
a law barring fathers delinquent on child-support payments from
marrying. Indeed, recognizing that new insights and societal understandings
can reveal unjustified inequality within fundamental institutions
that once passed unnoticed and unchallenged, this Court has
invoked equal protection principles to invalidate laws imposing sex-based
inequality on marriage, see, e.g., Kirchberg v. Feenstra, 450
U. S. 455, 460–461, and confirmed the relation between liberty and
equality, see, e.g., M. L. B. v. S. L. J., 519 U. S. 102, 120–121.
The Court has acknowledged the interlocking nature of these constitutional
safeguards in the context of the legal treatment of gays
and lesbians. See Lawrence, 539 U. S., at 575. This dynamic also
applies to same-sex marriage. The challenged laws burden the liberty
of same-sex couples, and they abridge central precepts of equality.
The marriage laws at issue are in essence unequal: Same-sex couples
are denied benefits afforded opposite-sex couples and are barred from
exercising a fundamental right. Especially against a long history of
disapproval of their relationships, this denial works a grave and continuing
harm, serving to disrespect and subordinate gays and lesbians.
Some of you may never have read a Court opinion before. Most of us rely on what our chosen news-outlets tell us a court decision says. In this case, it seems important to me to share the reasoning. It may not promote agreement, but perhaps there might be a better understanding of why the decision came out the way it did. All three women on the Court (Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagen, and Sonia Sotomayor) aligned with the majority opinion. Each was appointed by a Democratic President with Congressional approval. I don't think that being a woman makes one more aligned with social justice or balancing equities, but perhaps it attunes one a bit more to the nuances of discrimination.
If turquoise is your favorite color, you are friendly and approachable, easy to communicate with.
You are compassionate, empathetic and caring.
You have a heightened sense of creativity and sensitivity.
You speak from the heart and love sharing your inner most thoughts.
As a personality color turquoise you usually have highly developed intuitive abilities.
You seek spiritual fulfillment, and you are often an evolved or 'old' soul.
You are trying to create balance in your life as you swing emotionally from one direction to the other. Although presenting a cool and calm exterior, and appearing to be stable and balanced, beneath the surface you may be in chaos, on an emotional roller coaster ride.
With a personality color turquoise, you are self-sufficient, with good self esteem and an ability to love and care for yourself.
You are a clear thinker and good decision maker.
You have good organizational and management skills.
With a personality color turquoise, you make a good boss, as you tend to influence others rather than be bossy and demanding.
You are confident and find public speaking to be easy - with your ability to focus and concentrate on the most important things and your capacity for clarity of thought, communication comes easy to you.
You are good at multi-tasking - focusing on one thing at a time bores you.
You have strong powers of perception and can be selective and discerning, balancing the pros and cons of any situation, then identifying the best way forward.
Your thinking can become scattered at times, particularly when you try to accomplish too much at once. This can overtire you and you become emotionally out of balance.
You can be self-centered, tuning in to your own needs to the exclusion of the needs of others.
Your deepest need is to create emotional balance in your life, to be able express your hopes and dreams no matter how idealistic they may be and to make your own way in the world under your own terms.
So a lot of it seems pretty accurate,
at least as much as say
a sun sign reading
(I'm a Virgo sun, Scorpio moon, Aries ascendant)
The one thing I'd quibble over
is the multi-tasking bit. . . .
I prefer uni-focus at this point,
though I was pretty adept at multi-tasking
when my children were small.
What mother isn't?
At first I was a little incensed about
the self-centered thing,
and how I can focus on my needs
to the exclusion of the needs of others,
but then I realized. . .
I've focused on the needs of others all my darn life.
Seattle-Tacoma area, Pacific Northwest, United States
life artistry and transition mastery coach * soul healer * dream weaver* writer* photographer * outside-the-box thinker * spiritual seeker * curious, questioning woman * life artist * midwife of meaningful change * mediator and trained in collaborative law process