As a newspaper headline might have read back in the day: A gay time is had by all today in front of the Supreme Court.
That was back when “gay” meant happy. But of course now I’m talking about the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority decision to make gay (same-sex) marriage legal nationwide, meaning that states or jurisdictions that still ban it can no longer do so (at least that is what I am reading in this morning’s interpretations about the ruling just made).
Ultra conservatives and reactionaries must be perplexed. What is their predominantly conservative supreme court doing, upholding Obamacare yesterday (for the second time) and now this?
Interestingly, yesterday it was the conservative Chief Justice John Roberts delivering the majority opinion, but today he was with the dissent, and it was the more usual swing vote of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who also authored the majority opinion.
I’m not going to go into the law on this now, if ever, but as I have noted in the past when a favorable ruling was made by the high court majority on the issue of same-sex marriage, the court is just following a change in public opinion and culture and maybe just being practical. I mean same-sex marriage seems so much more acceptable nowadays, so why get in the way?
And how practical would it have been to put a wrench into the whole health care delivery system by effectively gutting Obamacare had the court held against a major provision in it?
What is my own opinion or feeling on today’s high court ruling? I’m ambivalent on it, except that maybe it is good to get this wedge issue out of the way so the reactionaries have one less weapon in their arsenal and that political debate can move onto other subjects, such as economics, defense and war policy, employment, and improving rather than destroying Obamacare.
I don’t mean to dismiss the importance of the same-sex marriage ruling to those same-sex partners who either want to be able to enjoy the benefits of marriage or want to preserve what they already have. At one time I might have thought separate civil unions would have sufficed, but since then I have seen that might not always guarantee equal protection. And the high court ruled long ago now that separate is not equal.
Reactionaries go crazy when liberals use the high court to effectively make law that cannot be made through the legislative process at the time but they run to the court to tear down law that has been passed — go figure.