U.S. Supreme Court ‘Gay Marriage’ Arguments: What the Justices Revealed Quote by Quote

Supreme CourtWASHINGTON (Yahoo News)  In the same-sex-marriage oral arguments at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, eight of the justices revealed their personalities and their very different approaches to marriage equality in particular and the Constitution in general. What follows are the most revealing quotes, in order of seniority, from each of the justices who spoke at the argument (Justice Thomas was silent), along with their central concern and contribution to the debate.

“One of the things that’s truly extraordinary about this whole issue is how quickly has been the acceptance of your position across broad elements of society. … “If you prevail here, there will be no more debate. I mean, closing of debate can close minds, and it will have a consequence on how this new institution is accepted. People feel very differently about something if they have a chance to vote on it than if it’s imposed on them by the courts.”- Chief Justice John Roberts

Chief Justice Roberts has long been troubled by the idea that courts might short-circuit a democratic debate over marriage equality by imposing a constitutional right to marry by judicial fiat. In his dissent from the Windsor case in 2013, he wrote that he was reluctant to “tar the political branches with the brush of bigotry” without convincing evidence that a law’s “principal purpose was to codify malice.” He might vote to uphold same-sex-marriage bans on the grounds that the people, not judges, should decide the future of marriage.

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  • UmustBKiddinMe

    “I’m not sure it’s necessary to get into sexual orientation to resolve the case,” observed Chief Justice Roberts. “I mean, if Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue can marry him and Tom can’t. And the difference is based upon their different sex. Why isn’t that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?”

    Justice Breyer noted that gay couples are the only group that states exclude from the right to marry.

    “And so we ask, why? And the answer we get is, well, people have always done it,” observed Breyer. “You know, you could have answered that one the same way [when] we talk about racial segregation.”

    • Conservative seer

      It’s an abomination

      • UmustBKiddinMe

        You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

        • Richard

          That’s God’s opinion, too. Good luck trying to change his mind…and the consequences of sin.

          • UmustBKiddinMe

            While I certainly respect that is what you have chosen to believe, unless you are God you cannot say with 100% certainty what his opinion is. Are you God, Richard?

          • Willem Toerien

            Lev 18:22 says @disqus_hvgixbDtVN:disqus can say with 100% certainty.

          • UmustBKiddinMe

            The only thing that Lev 18:22 allows Richard to say with 100% certainly is that Lev 18:22 says what it says. He cannot say with certainty that Lev 18:22 is what God believes.

          • Willem Toerien

            And Yahuvah (Jesus) spoke unto Moses, saying … You will not not lie with a male, as with a female: it is an abomination. And do not have intercourse with any beast, to defile yourself with it. And a woman does not stand before a beast to mate with it, it is a perversion. – Lev 18:1,22-23

          • UmustBKiddinMe

            Yes, I’m familiar with that passage. Although Jesus wasn’t alive then Moses was alive. Did you have a point?

          • Willem Toerien

            Thank you for not disputing the highlighted statement “Yahuvah (Jesus) spoke to Moshe saying…” therefore acknowledging that is Jesus’ opinion.

            Jesus being alive and well before Moshe:

            The Yehudim (Jews) said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Yahushua (Jesus) said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I am.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him… – John 8:57-59a

            “And the Father who sent Me, He bore witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.” – John 5:37

            For your Maker is your Husband, Yahuvah (Jesus) of hosts is His Name, and the Holy One of Yisra’el is your Redeemer. – Isaiah 54:5

            I gave you in marriage to one Husband, to present you as an innocent maiden to Messiah (Jesus). – 2 Corinthians 11:2

          • UmustBKiddinMe

            That’s if you believe that Jesus is God and therefore existed prior to Jesus being born. I do not. Your believing it to be true does not make it so, nor does it being in the Bible make it definitively true.

          • Willem Toerien

            Well then, that is your problem…

          • UmustBKiddinMe

            Not a problem at all.

          • Willem Toerien

            I don’t believe you. 🙂

          • UmustBKiddinMe

            Certainly your choice.

          • James Von Borcke

            “That’s God’s opinion, too.”
            So goes the claim.

          • amostpolitedebate

            But I ask you this: Is an unjust God truly worth worshiping?

            I for one would waste no time on a deity that would threaten a man or woman with eternal torture just because they dared to love another consenting adult. And should such a God ultimately condemn me for feeling this way then I would ware that damnation with pride.

          • Willem Toerien

            Let’s take your reasoning and apply it to lying with an animal.

            I for one would waste no time on a deity that would threaten a man or woman with eternal torture just because they dared to love an animal. And should such a God ultimately condemn me for feeling this way then I would ware that damnation with pride.

            Let’s take your reasoning and apply it to pedophilia.

            I for one would waste no time on a deity that would threaten a man or woman with eternal torture just because they dared to love children. And should such a God ultimately condemn me for feeling this way then I would ware that damnation with pride.

            If I didn’t know any better, you would reject God because He doesn’t agree with your version of right and wrong?

          • amostpolitedebate

            You’re intentionally ignoring the “consenting adult” part of what said.

          • Willem Toerien

            Which part, the consenting or the adult?

          • amostpolitedebate

            Ok so let’s break down why advocates believe that there’s nothing wrong with being gay. It generally boils down to two points

            1) Living as who they are makes the vast majority of gay men and women happy.

            2) Allowing them to do so causes no harm so why not?

            Consent is key to this. Sex, when forced on someone, can be very damaging. As such there is a strong, objective, non-christian argument to be made for banning things like pedophilia.

            And yes, people with odd/dangerous sexualities may be hard-wired as well, which is kind of heartbreaking when you think about it. However as tragic as that is just letting them act on their desires does real damage and as such society has a legitimate interest in banning certain activities that they would engage in.

          • Willem Toerien

            Ok so let’s break down why advocates believe that there’s nothing wrong with having intercourse with animals. It generally boils down to two points

            1) Living as who they are makes the vast majority of animal loving men and women happy.

            2) Allowing them to do so causes no harm so why not?

            Consent is key to this. Sex, when forced on someone, can be very damaging. As such there is a strong, objective, non-christian argument to be made for banning things like pedophilia.

            And yes, people with odd/dangerous sexualities may be hard-wired as well, which is kind of heartbreaking when you think about it. However as tragic as that is just letting them act on their desires does real damage and as such society has a legitimate interest in banning certain activities that they would engage in.

            Right and wrong isn’t what you nor I think it is. That’s called self-righteousness. And as I have pointed out, it can’t be truth because you and I can’t be both right at the same time.

          • amostpolitedebate

            Wait. Wasn’t one of those people asking people “who are you to judge?” Jesus?

            Anyway, I would argue that questioning your faith isn’t self-righteousness but responsible self-conduct. Morality is a murky subject that often doesn’t have easy answers. You speak as if just doing what God wants is a no-brainer but it’s actually quite a challenging problem.

            Let’s take this from my (atheistic) point of view. Which God should I follow? Yours? The Arabic one? The Hindu pantheon? Odin the All-Father? What makes your holy book superior to the others? And even if I buy that the Bible is best, which translation/interpretation is correct? There are many churchgoers that are just fine with homosexuality and will give biblically-cited examples as to why. Do you wear mixed fabrics? If so then is it OK to ignore that rule but not the ones about being gay?

            The answers to these questions are very important. The choice I make (and it IS a choice) will reflect heavily on who I am as a person and If I choose poorly I could end up doing something I’d find reprehensible under normal circumstances. You wouldn’t want me going out and joining ISIS just because some guy on a forum said I’d go to hell otherwise would you? Well that same logic cuts both ways. ISIS would ask me to hurt innocent Christians, you would ask me to hurt innocent gay people. Neither is acceptable to me and so I reject you both.

            So yes, there IS a dimension to morality separate from God. Whether or not you choose to ignore that because you want easy answers/access to a particular social structure is up to you.

          • amostpolitedebate

            That got way longer than I intended… >_>’

          • Willem Toerien

            Let’s get something straight. I’m not going to “convert” you in answering some of your questions. The scriptures says I am obligated to warn you and to give an answer to the questions you ask. After that, you choose and I will respect that even if I don’t agree. Ironically, I have gay friends and they know what I believe and I do warn them and say it is wrong, but I respect their choice and be loving to them hoping they will turn from their sin. My Master was a friend of sinners, so I follow Him. You can disagree and still respect each other. So if you want to get gay married then get married, but don’t say it’s of Yahuvah or His Word, that’s where I draw the line.

            #1: “”Morality is a murky subject that often doesn’t have easy answers. “”

            Something cannot be both right and wrong at the same time. You can not, “do something” and then “not do anything” at the same time. Yes, there can be gray areas, but at the end of the day, a choice is to be made. There is no fence sitting. Not taking action is also an action taken.

            #2: “”You speak as if just doing what God wants is a no-brainer””

            Dictionaries today translate “God” to mean “supreme being” but the Scriptures shows that the word “God” comes from the Hebrew word “El” which literally means “the judge”. The one who judges your actions. It can also mean “Your Authority”. See #3 on you being a servant unto whom you obey. So yes, because Yahuvah is my El (God), it is no brainer that it is just doing as He says.

            #3: “”Let’s take this from my (atheistic) point of view. Which God should I follow? Yours? The Arabic one? The Hindu pantheon? Odin the All-Father? What makes your holy book superior to the others?””

            a)Which one of these gods humbled himself as a poor peasant instead of keeping himself exalted and up lifted?
            b)Which one of these gods made himself an example of keeping the laws instead of just declaring it?
            c)Which one of these gods gave judgement to his subjects at the end instead of doing all the judgement?
            d)Which one of these gods loves the sinner and wants them to turn from their sin by giving them a chance instead of hating them and allowing their torture?
            e)Which one of these gods says what is going to come next instead of just historical references?
            f)Which one of these gods has followers that knows what will happen in the future? Ask me, and I will tell you.

            Personally, I choose Yahuvah as I see all other gods lacking (a)-(f).

            #4: “”And even if I buy that the Bible is best, which translation/interpretation is correct?””

            Personally, I like “jewish bible” and the “the scriptures 1998” and the KJV version. But you should always have the concordance by your side just in case.

            #5: “”There are many churchgoers that are just fine with homosexuality and will give biblically-cited examples as to why””

            There are many churchgoers that uses the bible to excuse why they can swing with married couples or go to church naked, or churchgoers that starts doing grave sucking and will give biblically-cited examples as to why. You don’t cherry pick the scriptures.

            #6: “”Do you wear mixed fabrics?””

            Nope.

            #7: “”So yes, there IS a dimension to morality separate from God.””

            Again, that’s self righteousness. “I say what right and wrong.” This cannot be truth because you and I cannot be both right.

          • amostpolitedebate

            RE Point 6: Can’t fault you for inconsistency.

            RE Points A-F: I’m going to agree to disagree on most of what you said in the interests of keeping these posts a reasonable length. I do want to pick on your list here.

            Why those specific traits? They seem kind of arbitrary. Why should I as a neutral third party buy into your deity over the guy presenting me with this list:

            a)Which of these gods rewards strength and bravery while still seeing the value in knowledge and poetry?

            b)Which of these gods gave his own eye so that he may foresee the future and prevent calamity?

            c)Which of these gods sacrificed himself upon the walls of the world tree for nine days and nine nights so that we mere men may have the divine gift of the written word?

            d)Which of these gods founded the first families and gave them the magicks and sorceries of old?

            e)Which of these gods waits patiently in the halls of Valhalla, ever working to save us all from the coming Ragnarok?

            f) Which one of these gods has followers that knows what will happen in the future? Ask me, and I will tell you.

            Personally I choose Odin as I see all other gods lacking (a)-(f).

          • Willem Toerien

            That wasn’t put forth as an argument. It is just a personal choice. So if you want to choose Odin, then choose him! But don’t go into a house or a country that was build on Yahuvah’s laws to enforce Odin’s law. The same applies to me. This is exactly what Muslims are trying to do to America. Surely you don’t want to be called a hypocrite, do you? You can come into my domain and speak about Odin, and if I want obey Odin instead of Yahuvah, I should leave my domain and go obey Odin in yours. Ruth did that because she chose to obey Yahuvah. You will never see me going into, for example Thailand, and saying to
            everyone that being gay is wrong. But this topic is the other way
            around.

      • amostpolitedebate

        I…disagree?

  • Lexical Cannibal

    “If you prevail here, there will be no more debate. I mean, closing of debate can close minds,

    because nobody debates abortion since Roe v. Wade. Case closed, right guys?

    • Woodrow_Plant

      To continue with the quote by Justice Roberts, ” … and it will have a consequence on how this new institution is accepted. People feel very differently about something if they have a chance to vote on it than if it’s imposed on them by the courts.” California’s Prop 8 was passed by the voters of the state to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, then ruled unconstitutional by a judge later revealed to be gay.

      Should same-sex marriage become imposed by SCOTUS, the challenge will remain, as it is now, for gays to accept themselves rather than for others to accept same-sex marriage. Yet, you can be sure the militant gay minority (less than 1% of the population) will continue to impugn the messengers rather than accept the message and act accordingly.

      People act to overturn mans’ laws but they have and will never overcome G*d’s.

      • SFBruce

        Do you have a poll that shows approval of same sex marriage has dropped following a court decision permitting same sex marriage? Every poll I’ve seen shows among Californians, as well as Americans in general, support has only increased.

        • Woodrow_Plant

          Polls are not votes.

          • SFBruce

            So you have absolutely no evidence to refute my claim that support for same sex marriage is gaining, including in states where it’s been “imposed” by federal judges.

          • Woodrow_Plant

            And yet the original assertion remains regardless of people’s feelings as tallied by the polls.

          • James Von Borcke

            Votes are not the Constitution.

        • John Boyt

          It is no wonder why California is now having its biggest drought in history. More punishment is coming and will continue to get worst until the stiff necked people finally ‘get it.’

      • James Von Borcke

        “People act to overturn mans’ laws but they have and will never overcome G*d’s.”
        God doesn’t need the government to enforce His laws; he can do that just fine all on his own.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    denying homosexuals the opportunity to marry the same sex is not bigotry but telling them they are wrong

    • amostpolitedebate

      Why can’t they just be wrong in peace? Let them be happy and leave all the judgement to God.

      • Dr. Dee Tee

        do you want murderers and rapists roaming free and let them be happy? why should the sinful homosexual get a free pass/

        • amostpolitedebate

          …Really? Are you being serious right now?

          • Dr. Dee Tee

            homosexuality is sin, why should those practicing it get a better deal than other sinners?

          • amostpolitedebate

            Do you really not hear how insane you sound right now?

          • Dr. Dee Tee

            what a stupid thing to say.

          • RidgewayGirl

            You’ve not had the dubious pleasure of meeting this guy yet, have you? Well, his favorite things are hate, fear and arrogance. He especially hates and fears women, gays and scientists. He’s big on thinking everyone deserves eternal punishment, except his fine self. He loves a good rape joke.

            On the other hand, he’s not very bright, so it can be fun to confuse him. I’d advise flagging him and ignoring him.