Supreme Court Justice John Roberts and the imaginary "gay lobby"
After yesterday's landmark challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the pro-equality crowd is hopeful that the Supreme Court will strike down the discriminatory law. During the oral arguments, the majority of the Justices seemed ready to strike down DOMAs key provision, which denies same-sex couples the right to all the federal benefits of marriage.
The liberal justices expressed obvious concerns over DOMA's impact on same-sex couples, and the typical swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, seemed to conclude that the law infringed on state's rights to legalize gay marriage. The Court's most conservative justice, Antonin Scalia, apparently focused more on the fact that the President and the Attorney General refused to defend the law, and less on the law's constitutionality.
The most notable moment of yesterday's arguments came from Chief Justice John Roberts, when he attempted to make the case that the “gay lobby” was too politically powerful to warrant constitutional protection. Roberts suggested that lawmakers are “falling all over themselves” to legalize gay marriage, as if to imply the LGBT community doesn't meet the “heightened scrutiny” requirement to be considered a protected class. But the fact is, more than 30 states in our nation have laws on the books barring same-sex marriage. LGBT families still have a long fight ahead to achieve full equality.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue their ruling on DOMA, and Tuesday's Prop 8 case, later this year. Let's hope that they strike down both discriminatory laws, and pave the way for same-sex couples to marry in any state in our nation.