The Supreme Court and same-sex “marriage”

From a June 7th National Catholic Register piece by Brian Fraga:

Two recent legal court rulings may increase the likelihood that the issue of same-sex “marriage” will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

On June 5, the Alliance Defense Fund, a coalition of Christian attorneys, asked the Supreme Court to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision to not reconsider a February ruling by a federal three-judge panel that struck down Proposition 8.

In 2008, 52% of Californians voted to approve Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that legally defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In 2010, a U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco said the law was unconstitutional, a ruling that was later backed by the three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit. The parties have 90 days to ask the Supreme Court to intervene.

The circuit’s refusal to review Proposition 8 occurred just days after a May 31 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Massachusetts, which said the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because the law discriminates against same-sex couples by not granting them access to federal benefits.

Meanwhile, during the World Meeting of Families in Milan, which was held June 1-3, Pope Benedict XVI called on legislators to ensure that “the legislation and activities of state institutions” are always at the service of individuals. This begins, he said, with the right to life, but should also include upholding the “specific identity of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman.”


People on both sides of the issue say two cases are milestones on the path to deciding whether same-sex “marriage” will be nationally recognized.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a nonprofit that advocates for homosexual rights, said in a prepared statement that the Ninth Circuit’s refusal to take up the Proposition 8 case “is another significant step on a path that we all know leads to equality.”

“With [the Prop. 8] announcement, we are one step closer to ensuring that gay and lesbian Californians — and, one day, our entire community nationwide — are able to join the institution of marriage and have their love and commitment respected equally,” Solmonese said.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which advocates for natural/traditional marriage, said the appeals courts have made it highly likely that the Supreme Court will have to step in and determine whether there is a rational basis for defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“It is clear that the U.S. Supreme Court is going to have to resolve this issue once and for all,” Brown concluded.

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About Carl E. Olson 1220 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.