Fate of Gay Marriage May Rest With Kennedy
Being on the 'right side of history' may be too tempting to resist: Law professor
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2012 11:43 AM CST
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy presides over a representation of "The Trial of Hamlet" at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in 2011.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court has agreed to take up two cases related to gay marriage, and one is much easier to predict than the other, writes Harvard Law professor Michael Klarman in the Los Angeles Times. The Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples, is almost certainly doomed. "Conservative justices who prize federalism and liberal justices who endorse marriage equality may combine to invalidate DOMA by a sizable margin," writes Klarman.

The other, on California's Prop 8, has bigger stakes—it "could clearly establish or deny a constitutional right to same-sex marriage"—and it's much tougher to call. Anthony Kennedy will likely be the deciding vote, and Klarman can make the case, based on prior rulings, of the justice going in either direction. But Klarman ends the column by drawing a parallel to Brown vs. the Board of Education in 1954, which invalidated school segregation. It, too, split the nation at the time, but public opinion on race evolved, just as it is doing now on homosexuality. "What justice would not be tempted to author the opinion that within a few short years likely would become known as the Brown vs. Board of Education of the gay rights movement?" Full column here.

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Showing 3 of 86 comments
Daniel-from-TN
Dec 10, 2012 10:52 AM CST
These court challenges are occuring because there is no "legal" definition of marriage. The traditional one man-one woman was the only recognized form of marriage, until recently. The time has come to establish a legal definition of marriage. This will have to be done by Constitutional amendment because if it is done any other way court challenges based on Constitutional issues will continue indefinately.
Coda500
Dec 9, 2012 8:36 PM CST
You all obviously do not know what you are talking about. This is not an issue of wheather or not they can get "married", it is weather or not it can be called marrige. Homosexuals already have numerous documents, such as a Civil Union, that give them the same legal benefits as a "marrige". Homosexuals don't want it to be called a "Civil Union" or what have you, they want it to be called a "marrige". This is where i draw the line. I have no issue with homosexuals getting the same legal benefits and what have you as a married couple, its the fact that it is called a marrige is wrong. The word "marrige" is defined by the church and the Holy Bible, not the constitution, as a union of a man and a woman under the eyes of God. A "marrige" is a procedure preformed by a man of God in the house of God, if it is not then it is not a marrige. Since homosexuality is a sin then a "marrige" as defined by the Bible cannot happen between homosexuals in the eys of God. There fore it also cannot be called a marrige. There fore all of your arguments are also proven invalid. Should homosexuals get "married"? No. Should homosexuals get the same legal rights as a "married" couple and have it be called something else such as a "Civil Union"? Yes. By the way i am only sixteen and it saddens me to find the adult population so ignorant and comformist, as proven by all of you. Next time i beg that you all actually do reasearch before you blab your mouth and make yourself look like an idiot, not for my sake but for yours.
HANKHILL
Dec 9, 2012 8:57 AM CST
so why should gays not have the same problems as the rest of us! uncle sam will screw us all the same way after all!