They eventually may win, but Tuesday’s Supreme Court arguments on same-sex marriage revealed it’s too soon for gay and lesbian couples to celebrate.
After months of a one-sided public debate between a powerful gay rights movement and its less organized opponents, the justices peppered the movement’s top lawyers with tough questions that showed they are wary of moving too fast.
There was Chief Justice John Roberts, questioning gay marriage pioneer Mary Bonauto on why the court should change the “basic definition” of marriage.
There was Justice Anthony Kennedy, the one gay rights advocates are counting on to write the decision affirming a constitutional right to marriage, noting that definition “has been with us for millennia.”
There was Justice Samuel Alito, reminding that through the end of the 20th century, “there never was a nation or a culture that recognized marriage between two people of the same sex.”
And there was Justice Antonin Scalia, echoing the federal appeals court judge who upheld the gay marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky. The question, he said, is who should decide — judges or voters.
“You’re asking us to to decide it for this society, when no other society until 2001 ever had it,” Scalia said, and only 11 states have approved it through the democratic process.
Source: USA Today