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HomeNewsKimberly Ross: In America judges decide the meaning of marriage

Kimberly Ross: In America judges decide the meaning of marriage


On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States listened to arguments regarding same-sex marriage. As reported: “The justices are considering two simple-sounding questions: whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and, if not, whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where they are legal.” The country has 37 states already allowing same-sex marriage, and growing support nationwide. Regardless of the final decision, which is expected in late June, this is a watershed moment.

Before the case was presented to the justices, a show of support for traditional marriage was seen on Saturday, April 25 with the “March for Marriage”. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the driving force behind the cause, joined with other groups to give a unified voice to the arguably less vocal counter to the gay marriage push. Too often, bullying tactics are used by those supporting same-sex marriage, and, since raucous behaviour receives more publicity, the traditional marriage movement seems to have more of a quiet pulse. According to the marriage march  website, Saturday’s event was the third annual such march for marriage, and certainly the most important, in light of what the Supreme Court would be considering a few days later.

Despite the demonstration being entitled “March for Marriage”, the media was quick to brand it an “Anti-Gay Marriage Demonstration”. Of course, any similar type event for a gay marriage group would never be called an “anti-traditional marriage” event, but the lopsided liberal media isn’t really concerned with equal treatment. Organisers estimated 10,000 people attended Saturday’s rally, although official numbers were not received from law enforcement. According to The Washington Times, “The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said on its blog that the ‘beleaguered’ marriage rally did not represent the views of some 200 million Americans, and NOM and its allies were ‘on the wrong side of history’ “. The site Think Progress, also calling the march anti-gay, posted an article which first mentioned they believed only 6,000 showed up, and second, shared 29 photos of the event. These so-called “revealing photos” were intent on depicting Saturday’s rally as insignificant, sparse, and filled with extreme thinkers.

Although a march for marriage is considered extreme and hateful to many promoting same-sex marriage, justices on the Supreme Court shared some truths about marriage as a foundational element in American society, as well as the impact their decision might make during arguments on Tuesday:

“This definition [of traditional marriage] has been with us for millennia,”  Justice Kennedy said. “And it’s very difficult for the court to say, ‘Oh, well, we know better.’ ”

“You’re not seeking to join the institution — you’re seeking to change what the institution is,”  Chief Justice Roberts told gay rights lawyer Bonauto. “The fundamental core of the institution is the opposite-sex relationship, and you want to introduce into it a same-sex relationship.”

Roberts added later: “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.”

There is an upside-down quality to this discussion, where the established is extreme and the newer should never be questioned. That quality was apparent in reaction to Saturday’s march and will continue through to the day in June when the high court’s decision is revealed. Regardless of the final outcome, I don’t believe marriage is defined by anything the government has control over. We fool ourselves to believe laws can touch that which is divine. However, we will discover what the earthly determination is in two months time. It is guaranteed to be groundbreaking.

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Kimberly Ross
Kimberly Ross
Kimberly Ross is a history graduate who writes for

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