Friday, June 7, 2013

reason to deny?

Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor is one of the High Court's more liberal justices, and also one of its newer ones. She is also the first Hispanic justice on the Court, and only its third female. Along with the other nine justices, she earlier this year heard two cases involving same-sex marriage.

There has been a lot of speculation about how the Court will decide on those cases. Most of what I have hear suggests that gay couples will once again be able to wed in California, and if that is true, it would certainly be a good thing. Discrimination is never good and denying a class of people something that is available to others most certainly is discrimination. Within the next week or so I expect we will have a decision, and I'm not going to predict here what it is.

I'd like to go back though to the hearing before the High Court and share with you a brief exchange between Justice Sotomayor and Proposition 8 attorney Charles Cooper (arguing in support of Prop 8 and against same-sex marriage).

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Outside of the - outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other rational decision ... that the Government could make? Denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?

MR. COOPER: Your Honor, I cannot. I do not have any - anything to offer you in that regard.

Madame Justice makes a very good point. How about you? Can you think of any reason for a state to use sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits?

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