Friday, November 30, 2012

No word yet from Supreme Court on hearing DOMA, Prop 8; Nevada judge condones indirect prejudice in marriage law

First, let’s cover the obvious.  Friday afternoon, Nov. 30, a conference day at the Supreme Court, without indication as to whether the Court will take up any one of the ten cases involving same-sex marriage. The most likely to be taken are DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) and California Proposition 8.  But we could learn something Monday morning, December 3.

Lyle Denniston’s comments on the Supreme Court blog are here.

Pete Williams, of NBC, gives some analysis.

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Yesterday, a federal judge (a Bush appointee), Robert Jones, upheld Nevada’s law against recognizing same-sex marriage.  The Washington Blade story by Chris Johnson is here.  The story quotes the opinion, which has some interesting language.  The judge recognizes that same-sex families exist, and may be necessary when “traditional biological families fail”.  Question, is “failure” just part of natural diversity?  Moreover, when a same-sex partner is raising children (because, perhaps, of this “failure”) why not give it the same benefits for the sake of the kids.   In my own first “Do Ask Do Tell” book in 1997, I had even proposed recognizing marriage only when there are actual dependents in the family to raise or take care of.

The second quote gives a bald-faced statement that heterosexual couples may be less likely to get or stay married if the legal preference for maintaining the procreative model is removed.  It talks about out-of-wedlock children, but isn’t a child of a “common law” (not formally sealed) couple still effectively being raised in a conventional family?  (I know of  “libertarian” heterosexual couples with kids who do not want formal recognition for philosophical reasons.)   The judge seems to be suggesting that most men probably won’t make and keep the emotional commitment of heterosexual marriage unless some power and social perks come with it. 

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