Supreme Court justices broke along familiar ideological lines Tuesday as they considered whether same-sex couples enjoy a constitutional right to marry, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in a familiar role as the apparent decider in a landmark gay rights case.
Kennedy asked tough questions of both sides.
Why should nine unelected justices change the definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman when that definition has existed for “millennia?” Kennedy asked attorney Mary L. Bonauto, who is representing gay couples in the case.
On the other end, he questioned John Bursch, representing Michigan and other states with same-sex marriage bans, about their procreation-centered view of marriage. Why do same-sex couples not deserve the “same ennoblement” of their relationships that others receive? he asked.
The solemn, hushed nature of the proceeding was shattered by a protester who shouted that the Bible teaches that those who engage in homosexuality will “burn in hell for eternity.” He could be heard shouting for minutes even after security dragged him from the courtroom.
Source: Robert Barnes, www.washingtonpost.com