Arguments close in landmark gay ‘marriage’ case, justices divided


WASHINGTON (TAB) — A divided U.S. Supreme Court closed arguments today in Obergefell v. Hodges with Justice Anthony Kennedy appearing to be deciding vote as he led questions against both sides of the argument.

The first question was whether same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry.

“The issue is not whether there should be same-sex ‘marriage’ but who should decide the point. You’re asking us to decide it for this society when no other society until 2001 has ever had it,” Kennedy said, referring to the Netherlands’ legalization of same-sex “marriage” in April 2001.

A few of the arguments made in the fight for traditional marriage are the fundamental definition of marriage being between a man and a woman, whether marriage is a fundamental right, the biological aspect of parenthood and the potential harms of both sides of a marriage definition.

In his arguments John J. Bursch, attorney on behalf of the states, said, “There are long-term harms to our country … if [the definition of marriage] a court-imposed definition as opposed to one enacted by the people through the democratic process.”

The arguments of the second question of the case addressed whether states must recognize same-sex “marriages” from elsewhere.

“The non-recognition laws [in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee] are a stark departure from the states traditional practice of recognizing out of state marriages even though they could not have been celebrated inside the state. … That’s where the issue arises,” said Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, attorney on the side of same-sex “marriage.”

The two and a half hours of oral arguments are the next step toward a decision to be handed down in late June or early July.

To read the full story, go to

To listen to the full opening arguments, visit

To read Editor Bob Terry’s editorial on religious freedom, visit

About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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