As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments today and tomorrow on the matter of gay marriage, I am called to reflect upon Hillary Clinton’s words as she declared her endorsement of the rights of LGBT citizens to marry. She said she “supported it personally and as a matter of policy and of law” in all fifty states. I couldn’t agree more. We are one nation, and are supposed to be equal in all things. Just as gender or race should never be a block to any advancement in achievement or in rights, one’s sexual preference and choice of partner should not be blocked from the same recognition or rights anyone else would receive. At the beginning of her tenure as Secretary of State four years ago, Hillary Clinton extended benefits to the gay/lesbian partners of those in the foreign service. An important shot across the bow. If you’ve not yet heard it, please listen to her moving statement here:
Hillary Clinton’s endorsement via the Human Rights Campaign
Over the next two days, the Supreme Court is specifically considering two cases, one which strikes down Prop. 8 in California and a second which seeks to overturn DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. From an article in the Chicago Tribune today, there are already reservations being expressed in re plaintiffs’ “standing” to bring the California case from Justices Kennedy and Alito and Supreme Court Justice Roberts:
Supreme Court justices signaled on Tuesday that they are reluctant to embrace a broad ruling finding a fundamental right to marriage for gays and lesbians across the United States.
As sign-waving demonstrators massed outside, the court completed 80 minutes of oral argument on whether to let stand a California ban on same-sex marriage without indicating a clear path forward.
The cases come before the high court at a time when more states have legalized gay marriage. Last year three more – Maryland, Maine and Washington – did so, bringing the total to nine plus the District of Columbia.
“Never before in our history has a major civil rights issue landed on the doorstep of the Supreme Court with this wave of public support,” said Theodore Boutrous, a lawyer for opponents of Proposition 8.
Rulings are expected by the end of June and there is no guarantee the high court will act here. Yet, via some recent, surprising Republican endorsements from Senator Rob Portman and others, including a more neutral stance from obvious 2016 presidential hopeful Senator Rand Paul, it is growing more likely by the day that gay marriage will no longer be used as the hot button wedge issue it once was. Finally.