I had had the great good fortune to have argued the case three months earlier and was present when Justice Kennedy announced the decision 13 years ago.
Opponents of marriage equality have long been charging supporters of equality of 'changing the definition of marriage', often adding that they are doing a dangerous thing by meddling with a long-standing definition.
To this, I answer that yes, we are campaigning to change the way the marriage laws are written.
However, this is because the law is rigid as it always is, and hasn't been able to fairly accommodate a minority in our society, gay and lesbian couples. Marriage itself, however, is defined in culture, rather than law. Different cultural and religious groups may have slightly different definitions of marriage, but they generally do agree on fidelity, family formation and raising the next generation as important elements.
Still, not all of these concepts appear in the marriage laws. The marriage laws of a secular state, thus, has never been the cultural authority on marriage.
Does marriage equality 'change the definition of marriage'? I don't believe it does. Whilst not stated in the marriage laws, marriage is generally for a lifelong cohabiting, exclusive sexual relationship.
It does not include close friends, for example, indeed any pair of close friends trying to get married without intending a cohabiting, exclusive sexual relationship would generally be met with disapproval culturally.
Whilst the law states that marriage 'is a union between a man and a woman' without referencing what I just touched on, you would find that a cohabiting, exclusive sexual relationship would be expected. I believe the actual outcome of enshrining marriage equality will change the situation from 'marriage is between a man and a woman as a rule with no exceptions' to 'marriage is between a man and a woman as a rule, but for a small minority who cannot follow this rule we have accommodated their needs compassionately'.
That means it's not like the definition of marriage has been changed, we have just compassionately allowed exceptions. This confusion about the legal vs cultural definition of marriage is a good reason why we need marriage privatization - but let's leave that for another discussion.
We have indeed changed the definition of marriage in the past, as a society.
And some of those changes, like no-fault divorce for example, haven't been pretty. But that's a separate issue. Every time we changed the definition of marriage in the past it applied to every couple.
For example, legalising interracial marriage meant that every person could choose a spouse of a different race, which is a new choice that is open to every person. Legislating for no-fault divorce meant that every married couple could divorce more easily - again it affected every couple.
How is that called changing the definition, except technically?• Marriage equality would lead to a net gain for state and federal government budgets. • Marriage equality would reduce the number of uninsured people in the United States, which could reduce pressure on health care costs for the government and employers.
Jun 27, · WASHINGTON — In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.
Before same-sex marriage became the hot-button marriage controversy, laws banning interracial marriage dominated the national conversation, especially in the American South.
One British colonial law in Maryland declared interracial marriages between white women and . Marriage Equality Statement. This societal view is evidenced by a number of important changes in the last few decades that enshrine protection against discrimination in Australian law, including the.
of other Australian anti-discrimination laws. Page 3. Australians voted for fairness and equality, not discrimination and division. We will continue to stand against any attempts to strip back Australia’s anti-discrimination laws and oppose laws designed to target LGBTIQ communities.
Fear of past changes in marriage laws have brought up age-old predictions of ruination, criminality and worse.
History and Timeline of the Freedom to Marry in the United States - Freedom to Marry, updated 19 September ; Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) was the grassroots movement to win marriage in the United States.
With the U.S. Supreme.