Tags: Gay Marriage | Supreme Court | Ruth Bader Ginsberg | liberal | justice | gay | same-sex marriage

Justice Ginsberg Spars With Gay Marriage Opponents

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 08:29 PM

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took on gay marriage opponents Tuesday, asserting same-sex unions can't weaken centuries of tradition because "you’re not taking away anything from heterosexual couples."

"All of the incentives, all of the benefits that marriage affords would still be available," the 82-year-old leader of the Supreme Court’s minority liberal wing said in a spirited defense of gay marriage during arguments in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, The Guardian reports.

"So you’re not taking away anything from heterosexual couples. They would have the very same incentive to marry, all the benefits that come with marriage that they do now."

The court is expected to rule at the end of June whether states will still be allowed to ban same-sex marriage and refuse to recognize the rights of couples married in other states.

But in her liberal stance, Ginsburg is going up against the Supreme Court's increasingly conservative consensus, the Guardian notes.

Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch argued the one man/one woman definition of marriage has existed "for millennia," echoing a statement made earlier by Justice Anthony Kennedy, Business Insider reports.

Changing that definition could hurt America's children, Bursch said.

Ginsburg shot back the country has already "changed our idea about marriage."

"Marriage today is not what it was under the common law tradition, under the civil law tradition," Ginsburg declared.

“Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female,” she pointed out. "That ended as a result of this court’s decision in 1982 when Louisiana’s Head and Master Rule was struck down … Would that be a choice that state should [still] be allowed to have? To cling to marriage the way it once was?"

"No," Bursch replied.

Ginsburg also needled Bursch's argument that the sole purpose of marriage was to ensure a stable relationship for procreation.

"Suppose a couple, 70-year-old couple, comes in and they want to get married?" she asked after a debate on whether it was fair to ask couples if they wanted children before allowing them to wed.

"You don’t have to ask them any questions. You know they are not going to have any children."

The Guardian reports Ginsburg also helped out a lawyer for petitioners seeking equal rights for same-sex marriages when he seemed overwhelmed on the question of whether states banning gay marriage should have to recognize those carried out in other states.

Would they be allowed to refuse recognition in cases where another state allowed the marriages of children after puberty, for example, Justice Samuel Alito wanted to know.

"I think, the presumption would be in such a state that someone age 13 can’t consent," Ginsburg interjected.

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took on gay marriage opponents Tuesday, asserting same-sex unions can't weaken centuries of tradition because you're not taking away anything from heterosexual couples. All of the incentives, all of the benefits that marriage...
Ruth Bader Ginsberg, liberal, justice, gay, same-sex marriage, supreme court
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2015-29-28
Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 08:29 PM
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