Friday, November 07, 2014

Sixth Circuit upholds gay marriage bans, setting up probable Supreme Court airing in spring of 2015

For the first time, a circuit court has upheld a gay marriage ban. That is to say, the Sixth Circuit has upheld a gay marriage ban in four states: Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Robert Barnes has the detailed story in the Washington Post, front page, on Friday morning here.  The decision went 2-1, with Judge Jeffry S. Sutton writing the majority opinion.

The Supreme Court had declined to hear a gay marriage case, but now with one opinion upholding the bans, there is disagreement among the circuits, raising the likelihood that SCOTUS will hear it.
The decision said that the matter should be left to the political process.  But one time in the 90s, the Fourth Circuit in Richmond had said the same thing about gays in the military.
The text for the opinion on Scribd is here
Again, marriage used to be viewed as equivalent to “having a lifelong relationship that demands sexual and personal complementarity” and that is, in form, open to the responsibilities and shared risk of procreation.  The “polarity theory” of Paul Rosenfels, as it developed in the 1970s when I visited the Ninth Street Center in NYC, rather extends the idea of complementarity, so the moral debate has three or more sides, not just two.  The opposing pole is the libertarian idea of hyperindividualism, that denies that legal privileges for marriage are necessary because others have to subsidize them.  (Oh, Ayn Rand was very pro heterosexual marriage, though!) 

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