SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

December 8, 2012

Gay marriage to get review from high court for 1st time

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

By Jan. 1, same-sex couples will have the right to marry in nine states and the District of Columbia, and President Obama has said he backs that right.

Previous Supreme Court cases provide few hints as to how the court will rule. Although Justice Anthony Kennedy, who may cast the deciding vote, backed gay rights in 1996 and 2003 rulings, neither case involved marriage.

California voters approved Proposition 8, banning gay marriages, in 2008. The ballot initiative reversed a decision by the California Supreme Court, which five months earlier had said the state constitution guaranteed the right to gay marriage.

In challenging the law, Olson joined forces with David Boies, his opponent from Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court case that resolved the 2000 presidential election deadlock. The pair set out to win a Supreme Court ruling establishing same-sex marriage as a constitutional right.

At the appeals court level, they instead won a narrower ruling with limited applicability beyond California's borders. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Proposition 8 violated the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by stripping same-sex couples of a right they once had — and that heterosexual couples would continue to possess.

Writing for the majority on the 2-1 court, Judge Stephen Reinhardt said the measure "serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples."

Supporters of Proposition 8, led by former state Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, appealed to the Supreme Court. They argued that the lower court's reasoning was a "suggestion that any experiment with the definition of marriage is irrevocable."

The group also contended in court papers that Proposition 8 "furthers society's interest in responsible procreation and child-rearing."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Ex-Market Basket boss wants to buy company

    July 24, 2014

  • Court finds Danvers nursing home at fault DANVERS -- The estate of an elderly woman who died after a fall and weeks of neglect at a Danvers nursing home has won a $14.5 million verdict in a wrongful death and negligence case. A Middlesex Superior Court jury awarded the estate of Genevieve Ca

    July 24, 2014

  • chism2 [Duplicate] Chism arraigned in second attack

    BOSTON -- When the woman came out of the bathroom, accused murderer Philip Chism was standing a foot in front of her. He put his hands around the clinician's neck, started choking her and pushed her up against a cinder block wall, a prosecutor said.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos 7 Stories

  • 140723_SN_DLE_PROTESTERS4 Danvers Market Basket forced to toss food

    DANVERS -- Cars peppered the Market Basket intersection Wednesday afternoon with honks supporting grocery chain workers, who held signs calling for the reinstatement of fired CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. But the latest development in the grocery chain spe

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos 6 Stories

  • Scuba diver found off Marblehead identified MARBLEHEAD -- The scuba diver who died in an apparent drowning Tuesday off the coast of Marblehead was identified Wednesday as 58-year-old Gregory Cole of Westfield. The Essex District Attorney's Office said the state medical examiner's office will c

    July 24, 2014