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Tags: Barack Obama | Exclusive Interviews | Gay Marriage | Newsmax TV | Steve Malzberg Show | Supreme Court | Alan Dershowitz

Dershowitz: Obama Has 'Chutzpah' to Take Credit For Marriage Ruling

By    |   Friday, 26 June 2015 04:05 PM

President Barack Obama has "chutzpah" to claim some credit for the Supreme Court's landmark endorsement of same-sex marriage, renowned civil rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV.

"I wasn't surprised [at the ruling]. What surprises me is that President Obama is taking any credit for this," Dershowitz said Friday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" following the court's 5-4 ruling.

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"He ran twice against gay marriage and it was only when he was not running for re-election, when the polls showed the vast majority of Americans supported gay marriage, that he had the courage of his convictions to come out and support it.

"So it takes a little bit of chutzpah for him to get on the radio and claim some credit … His Justice Department supported it, but for years they did not support it but that's true of most politicians. They blow with the wind."

In a speech at the White House Rose Garden, the president said, "There's so much more work to be done to extend the full promise of America to every American. But today we can say, in no uncertain terms, that we've made our union a little more perfect."

On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. Gay and lesbian couples already could wed in 36 states and the District of Columbia — but the 5-4 ruling means the other 14 states must lift their bans on same-sex marriage.

Dershowitz — a Harvard Law School professor emeritus and author of "Terror Tunnels: The Case for Israel's Just War Against Hamas," published by RosettaBooks — said that the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage is "something that was inevitable."

"Even if the Supreme Court had not ruled in favor of gay marriage, within five or 10 years, every state would have legislated gay marriage because it's the trend," Dershowitz said.

"And so the question really is, is this the role of the courts or is this the role of the legislator? This was inevitable. It was going to happen, but is it better to come through the judiciary or is it better to come from the people? And that's an argument reasonable people can disagree about."

Dershowitz, a Newsmax contributor, said he believes that issues such as same-sex marriage are better decided by the people.

"Roe v. Wade — it would've been much better if the right of a woman to choose an abortion came from the legislatures instead from on high," he said.

He noted that the tides have dramatically turned from when America was founded.

"If you asked the framers of our Constitution 225 years ago, they would've laughed at you. Thomas Jefferson thought that gay people should get the death penalty," Dershowitz told Steve Malzberg.

"If you asked any justices in the Supreme Court 20 years ago, they would've laughed at you. Fifty years ago, if a lawyer had raised this question, he probably would've been subjected to sanctions. This is the quickest turnaround ever in constitutional history ... It's a great victory for those of us who realized that we have a living Constitution, that you can't treat the Constitution as if the words were there, to be interpreted as they were intended back in the 1800s."

Dershowitz said the Supreme Court's ruling will in no way trample on religious freedoms.

"No priest is going to have to marry two men or rabbis are going to have to marry two men. Nobody is going to have to violate their religious rights," he said.

"People who say that they have a religious right not to sell flowers to gay people, that's absurd. There's no religion that says you can't sell flowers to gay people or you can't cater their wedding. But you can't be forced to perform a rabbinical or a priestly function.

"We try very hard to balance liberty, equality, religious freedom, religious views and it's a work in progress. It's never perfect, but we're getting it right for the most part."

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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President Barack Obama has chutzpah to claim some credit for the Supreme Court's landmark endorsement of same-sex marriage, renowned civil rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV.
Alan Dershowitz, Same-Sex Marriage, Marriage Equality, Gay Rights
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2015-05-26
Friday, 26 June 2015 04:05 PM
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