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Foes and Proponents of Gay Marriage Demonstrate Outside Court

“I believe that everyone has the right to make their husband as miserable as I do,” read one poster held by a woman.

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

Bio

March 26, 2013 - 6:42 pm

WASHINGTON – Throngs of protesters gathered on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, while the U.S. justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 – the ballot initiative passed in 2008 that prohibits same-sex marriage.

Thousands of people representing diverse views on same-sex marriage rallied outside of the Supreme Court. Police were there to keep things under control in case anything happened between the separate rallies. But the heavy police presence seemed an unnecessary precaution, as the vast majority of the people there were in support of the repeal of Proposition 8.

Most of the groups in favor of Proposition 8 held a counter-rally on the National Mall.

“I’m proud today to represent the District of Columbia which along with nine states did not wait for the Supreme Court to do the right thing and simply pass a marriage equality law,” said Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the District’s delegate to the U.S. Congress. “This is one nation indivisible and the court must recognize all. There are no second-class citizens in America and there are no second-class marriages in America.”

Currently, nine states and Washington, D.C., permit same-sex marriage. Eight other states allow civil unions or domestic partnerships that offer all state marriage benefits.

The rally had an eclectic lineup of speakers, all using the opportunity to voice their support for marriage equality, including many political activists, representatives from civil rights organizations, and ordinary people sharing their stories on why the U.S. should recognize same-sex marriage.

Many of the people in attendance came prepared with signs, banners and chants that they would sing in unison in between speeches. Priests, lawyers, journalists, and drag queens provided a colorful and, for the most part, friendly atmosphere for the thousands assembled in front of the Supreme Court.

“I believe that everyone has the right to make their husband as miserable as I do,” read one poster held by a woman, while her husband stood next to her with a big grin on his face. Another interracial couple held a sign that said, “Not long ago our marriage was illegal. Be on the right side of history. Marriage equality for all.”

David Frum, a Republican strategist and commentator, was one of the few conservatives speaking at the rally. Frum, who was one of the more than 130 Republicans and conservatives that signed the amicus brief in favor of equal marriage rights, told the crowd that the freedom to pursue happiness is coming true in their time.

“There are many issues that are the property of no one party. For a conservative, the remarkable thing about the movement for same-sex marriage is that it is a civil rights movement that is less about claiming rights than it is about accepting responsibilities,” said Frum. “No agency of government can do for anyone what loving spouses do for each other.”

Shortly after the first speaker took the stage, a faint sound of bagpipes could be heard in the background. A few minutes later a procession from the National Mall rally, led by kilted bagpipers and people holding large American flags and banners, cut across those gathered outside the Supreme Court.

The rally, officially called “The March for Marriage,” passed in front of the Supreme Court before making its way down Constitution Avenue toward the National Mall. At one point, there was a loud exchange of chants between the two groups, which ended after those marching made their way past the rally in favor of marriage equality.

Some of those participating in the counter-rally stayed behind and held their signs quietly while some people would occasionally notice them and begin a debate on the issue.

Susan Bly of West Virginia, one of the few people from the counter-rally that stayed behind, said that she hopes that the Supreme Court upholds Proposition 8 because she believes that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

“Once you start a downward slope you have to think about polygamy and marriage between close relatives…you have to take a stand somewhere and say this is as far as it goes,” said Bly. “If you were to support gay marriage then you have to support other types of marriages as well.”

Inside the court, the justices questioned the meaning of marriage and the government’s role in defining it. They also discussed whether the ability to procreate was relevant to the legal definition of marriage.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a swing vote between the four liberal and four conservative justices, suggested that children of same-sex marriages would suffer an “immediate legal injury” under the ban.

“There are some 40,000 children in California, according to the Red [State] Brief, that live with same-sex parents, and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status,” said Kennedy.

But Kennedy also said the court is being asked to head “into unchartered waters” because they have “only five years of information to pose against 2,000 years of history.”

The justices may be eager to dismiss the appeal on jurisdictional grounds to avoid any sweeping ruling on the issue.

Kennedy raised concerns about whether the possible legalization of same-sex marriage was enough to establish that those in favor of the ban could suffer harm. If no harm can be proven, it would allow the justices to dismiss the appeal without any ruling at all.

“I just wondered if the case was property granted,” said Kennedy.

If the court dismisses the appeal, it may mean lower federal court rulings declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional would stand in California.

Rodrigo is a freelance writer living in Washington, D.C.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I don't know why we are making this so hard. Marriage is actually a license, and it is for a bride and groom. The homosexuals wanting to marry is like someone with a car license demanding to pilot a plane with that same license. Different license, folks. This is not about love - I know two sisters who live more happily together in their love than most married people. This is about the children, who deserve a mom and dad.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (16)
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Here is what I wanna know; If its two guys then who sucks off who first on the honeymoon? And if two women, then who licks who first and why? And should the LGBT society give special consideration to Trannies who marry women instead of men? It's very confusing with these lovely folks on this stuff.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't know why we are making this so hard. Marriage is actually a license, and it is for a bride and groom. The homosexuals wanting to marry is like someone with a car license demanding to pilot a plane with that same license. Different license, folks. This is not about love - I know two sisters who live more happily together in their love than most married people. This is about the children, who deserve a mom and dad.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is what it's come to, petitioning the court. The court is a legal and not a political body, you petition your representative, not the court. The only thing to tell the court is to apply the law.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Personally, I don't give a rat's *** about this whole non-issue. If two people of the same sex want to get married, let 'em. Do not equate that with support of gay marriage. I simply support their right to make the same mistakes that heterosexual partners make. Marriage, as it stands today, is a joke. Heterosexual marriages dissolve with such regularity it's little more than a business agreement/partnership. This country faces far more important issues than "gay marriage" today.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Agreed. I fail to see where the constitution authorizes the feds to be involved in the issue, with the exception of the separation of Church (where the concept of monogamous heterosexual marriage is rooted) and state. I feel that the 10th A applies here -- this should be a state or individual matter. Christians (like myself) and Jews who feel that monogamous heterosexual marriage is the only valid type are free to practice as such but have no business forcing other, non-believers to observe that doctrine as well.

I feel that we have a whole lot of more important issues to be solved than this. We are wasting our time, resources and political capital here. It is a sideshow, a diversion. Let's move on to more important matters.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The comparison of SSM to slavery as justification for SSM is one of the silliest self-serving straw man arguments I've ever heard.

That said there is an easy way to cure the whole dang thing, easy that is if not for the the big gubmint left.

Simply remove all advanatges to traditional marriage in federal law by not using the income tax code for social engineering of any kind. Make it a straight tax, establish a baseline poverty level for INDIVIDUALS, levy 15% on every individual or corporation for every dime in income over the baseline, and voila, 90% of the SSM argument goes away.

To solve the remaining 10% create a civil couples contract and allow all signees to receive any federal benefits that now accrue to spouses.

If the prohibition on SSM is declared unconstitutional, Jerry Lee Lewis should sue the hell out of a bunch of people.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Federal law on marriage covers a lot more ground besides income taxes.

U.S. laws dealing with marriage include:

Medicaid and SSI disability benefits
Social Security pension benefits
joint filing for bankruptcy
spousal visitation rights in hospitals and prisons
laws against spousal abuse
bereavement benefits upon death of spouse
making medical decisions for incapacitated spouse
conflict-of-interest laws
and others.

Over a thousand laws in all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_and_responsibilities_of_marriages_in_the_United_States

And that does not include state laws and local laws involving marriage.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Discrimination is the law applied differently for one group than another, I can use this facility, you can't as an example.

It is equally illegal in most states for a heterosexual to marry someone of the same sex as it is for a homosexual to marry someone of the same sex. That seems a pretty evenly applied law, its the same for everyone.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That argument was refuted when laws against interracial marriage were shot down.

Proponents of anti-miscegenation laws had the same argument: Everybody--white or black--has the equal right to marry someone of their own race.

The obvious rejoinder was that no citizen should be banned from marrying the person to whom he is attracted. It's no consolation to tell a white man that he can't marry the black woman he fell in love with, but he can marry some white woman he doesn't care about.

Since the Renaissance, a major component of marriage has been *romantic love*. You can't be banned from marrying the one you love.

Your argument made more sense long ago when marriages were arranged by the parents or even by the tribes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
But homosexuality is not ethnicity, it's a choice or preference that like an eating disorder and disorders is the result of sexual abuse or severe parental issues. The APA decided to "normalize" homosexuality based on the premise that the stigma attached to the mental disorder was emotionally harmful to people with the disorder. That smacks of money talking to me, that or enough homosexuals joined the APA to change their stance.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How do parinas take on injured animals,alligators and other large game,,,they organize.
Same sex marriage was designed to proceed, not reproduce, and pass away quietly into old age.God's mistakes,leaving no offspring.But who am i,they already know.We are all a cocktail of fluids,chemicals and bones all an experimental home brew.
As any divorced father already knows,when one door closes,another opens.For me,i was glad for it as I'm now free to travel the world with my children.
My deepest sympathies for those who cannot conceive children of their own.
This march can be considered a minority report,3% at best.My heart goes out to them,those who cannot continue their genetic family.Their celebration of their end of too short life,complete with bag pipes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"My heart goes out to them,those who cannot continue their genetic family."

Guess no one gave you the memo on surrogacy, sperm banking, etc.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow! Priests! lawyers and journalists! 130 GOP "Traitors" Drag Queens!
Women admitting they enjoy making their husbands miserable!
Yikes!
I admit I was very happy looking at the three Islands on Holy Mary Lake and seeing the trinity. Now I see the three Abraham faiths. I was very happy with just three heavens. Life was far more simple and more time to sunbath next to my private lake but now I sun bath next to my private lake in the 7th heaven
Now I have 13 heavens and this is good Egypt is ready to stamp out the gang rapes going on why Sodom was nuked Can you believe it ? 30 men raping one woman.
"Mark C. Taylor’s summary of deconstruction: “The guiding insight of deconstruction is that every structure—be it literary, psychological, social, economic, political or religious—that organizes our experience is constituted and maintained through acts of exclusion.’ [What is excluded does not disappear but always returns to unsettle every construction, no matter how secure it seems.”
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
footnote
2000 years ago Saint Paul's vision of there being 3 heavens was very confusing and but still time moves on
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Everyone in America has marriage equality.
Everyone of majority age can marry.

What's love got to do with it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Frum Dumb
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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