The absurd Supreme court dissent against same-sex marriage

The heated rhetoric around the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision allowing same-sex marriages in all 50 states is showing no signs of cooling off. Reactions to the court’s 5-4 decision range from clever analyses to officials in some states declaring they will not honor the ruling.
Same-sex couples in Hoboken and Hudson County have had the right to marry for nearly two years, and for six years before that had civil unions under New Jersey law.
While Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority that the history of marriage is “one of both continuity and change,” the dissenters clung to what they termed a more “traditional” view of marriage. Only Justice Clarence Thomas specifically mentioned God. But the justices voting in the minority seemed to cling to a Judeo-Christian view of marriage as a religious institution.
To have said so would have crossed the line between separation of church and state. But it is clear that the dissenting justices – all devout Catholics – were greatly influenced by their religious beliefs. Thomas, a former seminarian, took issue with the ideas of “liberty” and “dignity” as stated in the majority opinion, arguing that the primary plaintiffs in the case were not deprived of liberty because they could travel and settle freely without government intervention.
He oddly argued that slaves and those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity either because the government allowed their confinement or held them. It’s an interesting, if nonsensical, argument that ignores the fact that the majority also said same-sex couples were afforded the same Fourteenth Amendment protections as any other couple.
Thomas’ argument that liberty and dignity should be shielded from the government rather than provided by it is also interesting in that based on his rationale the court erred in the landmark 1967 case Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws banning interracial marriage. Thomas himself is coupled in an interracial marriage and lives in Virginia.

Contact Information