The US Supreme Court has heard arguments about both DOMA and Prop H8 and could issue a ruling any day now. DOMA denies same-gender marriages recognition at the national level and has been very problematic, including for members of the US military and immigrants. Prop H8 took away the same-gender freedom to marry in California. Cases about both laws had been making their way through the courts and are now at the Supreme Court. There are many possible outcomes, some seen as more likely than others. It is possible that the Court could end up ruling next month, in June, to strike down DOMA so that same-gender marriages granted in states that currently have them will be recognized by the federal government, and letting lower court decisions striking down Prop H8 stand, so that California will again have the limited same-gender freedom to marry. It is also possible the Court may rule in a way that brings about the limited same-gender freedom to marry nationwide.
We want the US Supreme Court to make the best possible ruling, which is to recognize relationship rights, including full marriage equality, for all adults nationwide.
The Court should rule that…
An adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any and all consenting adults, without prosecution, harassment, or discrimination.
There are many reasons why the Court should do this.
1. There are American adults, and in some cases their children, suffering right now because of discriminatory laws preventing them from marrying or even just being together. If we really care about children, equality, stability, security, and valuing family, we will let people decide for themselves what kind of relationships they will have, including marriage, if they want to marry.
2. As Court precedent states, marriage is a fundamental civil right.
3. As Court precedent states, consensual sex is part of the liberty protected by due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.
4. As Court precedent states, when the government intrudes on choices concerning family living arrangements, the usual deference to the legislature is inappropriate, and the Court must examine carefully the importance of the governmental interests advanced and the extent to which they are served by the challenged regulation.
5. Freedom of association for consenting adults is a basic Constitutional right. Just as there is no good reason to ban interracial relationships or marriage, there is no good reason to ban same-gender relationships or marriages, polyamorous relationships or polygamous marriages, or consanguinamorous relationships or consanguineous marriages. There is no good reason to limit marriage to narrowly exogamous heterosexual couples.
6. Freedom of religion is a basic Constitutional right. One group’s religion should not deny the rights of other consenting adults to be together or marry. Conversely, some religions recognize or promote marriages currently banned under laws in most or all fifty states, depending on the marriages.
8. The momentum within the US, neighboring countries, and the modern world is for marriage equality. Full marriage equality is inevitable, as even many opponents of equality admit. So it is pointless to drag the fight out. The Court can end the uncertainties and inconsistencies, and end the hateful, destructive, confusing, costly state-by-state fights that often pit older generations against younger generations, by putting the US on the right side of history sooner rather than later and recognizing relationship rights for all adults. More and more US states are adopting the limited same-gender freedom to marry. Many others have domestic partnerships or civil unions. Utah criminalizes polyamory while other states allow polyamory but do not protect polyamorists and deny the polygamous and polyamorous freedom to marry. Some states allow first cousins to marry monogamously without restriction, other states allow them to marry with restrictions, some states ban this freedom to marry entirely, and a couple of states even criminalize sex between first cousins. Some states allowing any adults who are closer relatives their sexual rights with each other while other states ban those rights.
9. Full marriage equality will end inequalities and confusion in immigration policies.
10. Recognizing relationships rights, including full marriage equality, for all adults is good for business, as many businesses have publicly stated. Their employees will no longer be treated as second-class citizens, their human resources departments will not have to deal with state-by-state conflicts, and employees will be free to move (temporarily or permanently) from one location to another without facing different restrictions on their relationships.
11. Government employees, including the men and women serving in our military, will not have to face different restrictions on their relationships from place to place.
Nobody should be denied the freedom to marry other consenting adults.
There are people who love each other, who have been living as spouses, even have children together, who are denied their rights, who need and want full marriage equality.
Let’s get on the right side of history sooner rather than later, and put the hate, bigotry, and bullying behind us. The US Supreme Court should protect the rights of all adults in all states.