Episode 314 Scott Adams: The New and Hilarious Climate Change Report, Schumer’s SCOTUS tweet


  • Dire report from Government on climate change…isn’t
    • Financially and science challenged CNN
  • “80 years from now” projections for economy and climate change
  • Remediating hurricanes by reforesting the Sahara
  • President Trump vs. Chief Justice Roberts
    • President says judges are politically influenced left or right
    • Justice Roberts says judges are neutral
    • Schumer tweets about partisan decisions by Justice Roberts
    • Schumer’s “cognitive blindness”, as he agrees with Trump
  • 3 components of government?
    • Reality: Supreme Court is now a component of Presidency
    • Left/Right tally pre-determines outcomes
  • Rate of 9th circuit court decisions overturned by Supreme Court 
    • Is that misleading because of “selection bias”?
    • What’s the influence of “court shopping”?
  • Hillary’s take on European immigration handling
    • Did she agree with Trump on European immigration…
    • …so she doesn’t have to agree with him on US immigration?
    • What RATE of immigration causes social unrest?
  • Chinese Muslim population (the Uyghur) internment camps
    • They’re treating Islam like a virus needing isolation
    • Are thoughts and ideas dangerous, like a virus?
  • Assimilating immigrants into your society without social unrest

I fund my Periscopes and podcasts via audience micro-donations on Patreon. I prefer this method over accepting advertisements or working for a “boss” somewhere because it keeps my voice independent. No one owns me, and that is rare. I’m trying in my own way to make the world a better place, and your contributions help me stay inspired to do that.

See all of my Periscope videos here.

Find my WhenHub Interface app here.

The post Episode 314 Scott Adams: The New and Hilarious Climate Change Report, Schumer’s SCOTUS tweet appeared first on Dilbert Blog.

Dilbert Blog

Episode 133: The Epidemic of Trapped Children, SCOTUS, and Coffee


  • Strategy for dealing with personal attacks: “I block all Nazis, goodby”
  • Supreme Court nomination tonight…likely to include one or two bonus topics
  • Experts said: MUST avoid trade wars, have opinions changed?
  • Reticular activation – Noticing something everywhere once it’s on your mind
  • Kids in cages, kids in caves, kids in mental cages (Democrats)
  • President Trump’s persuasion play and the importance of HONOR
  • Elon Musk’s team creating tube for cave kids rescue


I fund my Periscopes and podcasts via audience micro-donations on Patreon. I prefer this method over accepting advertisements or working for a “boss” somewhere because it keeps my voice independent. No one owns me, and that is rare. I’m trying in my own way to make the world a better place, and your contributions help me stay inspired to do that.

See all of my Periscope videos here.

Find my WhenHub Interface app here.


The post Episode 133: The Epidemic of Trapped Children, SCOTUS, and Coffee appeared first on Dilbert Blog.

Dilbert Blog

A Letter To My Uncle Who Isn’t Dealing Well With SCOTUS’ Marriage Equality Decision

Last week, a relative reached out on his own accord to assure me that although he disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, he still loved and respected me as a gay family member. Drawing on my own experiences growing up in the Church, our collective family history, and my eventual coming out in a conservative religious culture, I sent the following response to him.

Dear Uncle G,

Your letter expressing your love and respect for me even though you disagree with the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling speaks to the heart of our current national dialogue regarding marriage equality and civil rights, specifically within religious communities and families. Please indulge me as I respond.

Within the Church, we are taught that we can (and should) “love the sinner and hate the sin.” In doing so, people of faith disassociate themselves from any harm or accountability to those whose identity is deemed inherently “sinful,” specifically: gay people. My understanding when I attended church was as follows:

If we can accept someone and yet not accept their “sin,” we’re effectively demonstrating love while still not condoning sinful behavior. Any confusion or hard feelings from outsiders due to this practice are misplaced. We’re merely maintaining God’s will on earth and adhering to His instructions as to how we should live. If our actions translate to prohibitive politics, reformative therapy, or the repression and rejection of someone’s identity, the church bears no responsibility for simply carrying out what we’ve been instructed to do. Furthermore, as sinners ourselves, we recognize that we all have to work to achieve salvation and it’s not on us to water down what is required of us as followers of Christ. Any dissension from those on the outside is often an instance of persecution for our faith.

Here’s the truth: that’s not the case. To ascribe to as much essentially passes the buck for some severely damaging policies and attitudes. Whatever the genuine, faith-based intentions of the church have been over the last five decades, their actions through anti-gay marriage campaigning and legislation have been inarguably prohibitive, discriminatory, and scathing to the American gay community.

During the decades in which churches have claimed to uphold a “standard” by campaigning and asserting the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman (even regardless of sexual persuasion), countless gay men, women, and couples have been shut out and left federally unrecognized. They’ve paid higher taxes than married couples with comparable assets, have been denied medical benefits, willfully withheld from visiting their partners in the hospital due to the fact that they aren’t “family,” and experienced countless inequalities on a consistent and massive scale.

Furthermore, the gay community has suffered an extraordinary amount of persecution and violence towards them in a country that bears responsibility for as much by consistently denying gays rights and, therefore, basic human value. Compounding that violence, churches have passionately preached and characterized gay folk as harmful, synonymous with pedophiles, and in danger of hell no matter what their personal actions demonstrate. Lastly, churches have ruthlessly preached the fearful ideology that legalizing gay marriage will rob America of its morals and values and fundamentally compromise the American family structure.

I alternately witnessed and felt every one of these examples in my childhood. When my parents told me at the age of eight that Uncle John was gay and had AIDS, it was intensely confusing and traumatizing to try to experience John’s love, affection, gifted nature, and presence in my life, yet have the legitimacy of that called immediately into question because of what I had been negatively taught about gay people as a child in church. Thankfully, my parents chose to keep my brother and I close to John until the end, as tragic as it was. However, after John’s death, you can imagine my sheer terror when my first substantial attractions leaned towards the other boys at school. This is not okay, I told myself. What have I done wrong? I felt betrayed by my own body, worthless, that I had done something terrible to cause these feelings which had to be rectified, and, of course, that I was in danger of hell. I hadn’t yet turned thirteen.

To make matters worse, just a few months after John’s passing our church began holding intensely emotional and distraught “Town Hall” meetings during Sunday night services in response to local petitions from gay men and women seeking legal recognition as couples (not even marriage, at that point). During these meetings, our leaders vehemently warned the congregation that this petition heralded the church’s darkest hour: that the passage of such laws would bring an assault on the church, hail the end of morals and values, and that the church MUST stand in the way of such destructive legislation. This only struck further terror into me and intensified my self-loathing.

School was no better: Taunted for being artistic and effeminate (the latter I effectively beat out of myself by high school), I received consistent harassment both physically and verbally for being “gay.” Truly, from school, to church, to John’s horrific death, there was no worse thing to be called or to be. And even, John, I wondered, did he bring this on himself? Was his death God’s punishment for being gay? Did his extraordinary mind, talent, his noteworthy contributions to the computer industry, generosity, love, and struggle with his identity not count for something in the eyes of God…?

Guess not.

After a painful and confused adolescence with some pretty self-destructive behavior, I moved into the present. The world finally opened up to me as I came out. To say “opened up” does not mean that life became easier, but gradually became clearer as I eventually found the integrity and honesty I thought I could never possess due to my attractions. The precept that I was doomed to a life without integrity because I was gay was the most insidious lie taught to me as a teenager, relentlessly communicated over and over again through church and church-influenced culture.

Much to my relief (and theirs), my immediate family didn’t pull away when I came out. Though we’ve moved through a few issues over time, they’ve got my back. There’s not merely an understanding between us, but a joyful acceptance of my identity. Something I know they’ve been longing for since they felt their own internal struggles with Uncle John when he came out to them in the ’70s. Being gay has become a welcome and celebrated part of me and my nuclear family.

Over time, I witnessed firsthand the frustrations, inequalities, and discriminations fced by my gay friends who were partnered. Gradually, marriage equality passed into legislation state by state and granted the couples in those states with equal rights regardless of their orientation. Few of these gay couples who benefited were religious. They sought a purely legal recognition of their partnership, even refusing to accept “civil unions” which still denied gay couples in certain benefits and rights afforded to those straight couples who were married.

As conservative opposition increasingly mounted from the naysayers in California, and in every state where this swiftly came to the forefront of the political stage, the overriding sentiment among my current community was one of befuddlement and incredulity. “What is their PROBLEM?” we asked. “The majority of us don’t WANT to get married in a church and aren’t TRYING to infringe on anyone else’s rights! MY rights have been infringed upon for the last 10/30/50 years! I want equal standing!”

So finally, after a battle spanning several generations, the Supreme Court cited the Constitution to recognize gay married couples as federally legitimate in all 50 states. Every marriage, regardless of orientation, now receives equal treatment under the law, granting victory to those who have worked tirelessly for their own benefit and the benefit of others for decades. As I walked jubilantly to work that Friday morning, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders that I hadn’t realized was there: I was finally an equal citizen in this country and no longer needed to fear that equality being threatened or taken away.

I took a moment to reflect on Uncle John and his legacy. I thought about the terror and uncertainty he had experienced growing up all the way until his death and considered my own traumatic history. Taking a breath, I reached toward John to share the hope and promise that this landmark decision would eradicate from the experiences of future generations of gay men and women the fears and abuses he had suffered. Nor did those fears hold a part in my story any longer. This ruling not only guarantees us equality, it dignifies and legitimizes us in a way we have not been prior to this moment. Whether marriage is a prospect for any one gay individual or not (and though there are certainly still battles to fight) we are equal and we are free. I thanked John for his and his generation’s part in that.

I know, and have known for some time, that you have not sided with gay Americans on this issue and further, your church has actively campaigned against marriage equality. Knowing this has not affected how I’ve interacted with you or the warmth I’ve shared when seeing you over the last few years. While I’ve not wholly ignored your stance on this issue, I figured a conversation regarding it would happen at the right time. Until such time, I didn’t feel we should hold back any of the love and affection we feel toward each other in the so few times we’re able to visit. I hope none of this will change.

However, I also hope this letter gives light to my confusion when you express that you love and respect me even though you disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision. The SCOTUS ruling, as I’ve detailed it, gives my community and I legal recognition and validation in a way we have never had. It extends my rights, legitimizes me and a prospective partner should we choose to marry, and affords me equal standing with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, likely my nephew, and you.

To hear you say you love me and yet disagree with that is confusing. In fact, as frustrating as it may be to hear, to say as much is discriminatory. That’s not an accusation, it’s a clear-cut fact. You can’t say you love someone (which assumes you want the best for them) and then disagree with a positive movement for their civil rights.

I love you. Sometimes when I visit with extended family on either side, there’s a distance from one or two people that’s never articulated. I can sense they feel awkward due to my sexuality and yet, they want to be warm. As a result, much to their own bewilderment, when they share that they’re proud of me and love me they’re also keeping an emotional distance.

This annoys me. Not because I think less of them for not having it all figured out or because I think they’re stupid, but because they don’t have to feel that way. Their confusion is completely fear-based and obstructs the positive energy they’re naturally trying to express. I’m guessing they’re annoyed, too. Not to mention fearful and sad.

That’s a crime. I should never have felt sweat-inducing fear for Uncle John’s soul at the age of eight and no one should feel fear for me (and you can be sure my nephew won’t feel any such fear, even if I have to strong-arm it). These fears only cause distance, which is needless and tragic. If you hold any of these fears within you, I hope you can find a way to process and move through them because distance isn’t fun, it’s not family, and it’s not necessary. Let me know how I can help.

Thank you for reading. I hope this provides an avenue for further dialogue.

All my love,


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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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Love Wins Again – SCOTUS’ Marriage Equality Case Movie On Its Way

Hollywood will adapt the true story of Jim Obergefell, whose fight for equal marital rights changed the nation.

Polyamorous Attorney Agrees SCOTUS Decision Could Lead To Group Marriage

One of the conservative right’s favorite arguments against legalized same-sex marriage nationwide is that it’s a slippery slope that could lead to polygamy — and if you’re Justice Anthony Scalia or Ben Carson, it could even lead to beastiality. Others argue that drawing a connection between gay marriage and plural marriage is both an irrelevant and unfounded argument. However, one attorney argued on HuffPost Live on earlier this week that polygamy could have legal precedent.

Andy Izenson, an attorney with Diana Adams Law and Mediation who also identifies as polyamorous, explained to host Nancy Redd that the same legal reasoning to protect same-sex marriage under the 14th Amendment “could plausibly” be extended to protect group marriages, presuming it’s consensual.

“The idea that a three-person or four-person union between consenting adults is not fundamentally different from a two-person union between consenting adults is absolutely legit,” Izenson said.

But she added that the conservative “slippery slope” rhetoric that somehow leads to “beastiality and then people marrying their toasters” is baseless because it negates the need for consent. Izenson said Scalia invokes these presumptions as a means of scaring people because he’s perturbed by the country’s current socio-political climate.

“He’s just trying to scare people. It’s not actually a thing to be concerned about. It discounts the fact that as individuals, and as a society, we actually have the capacity to make rational reasoned choices about what we do,” she said, later adding, “But as long as you’ve got a consensual union between adults who know what they’re doing, then I think the logic is sound.”

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about marriage law here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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Meet The Evangelicals Who Cheered The SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling

After the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage last week, the heavyweights of evangelical Christianity — like Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention — charged forward to voice their discontent.

Yet a smaller but equally impassioned group of evangelicals celebrated the fact that marriage equality is no longer just a dream for LGBT couples across America. And it’s these leaders who may be pointing to the future of the movement.

About 100 evangelical pastors and leaders signed an online letter published Friday supporting the ruling, and then went one step further by calling on Christians around the country to continue to work for LGBT rights in other areas — like bullying in schools and employment and housing discrimination.

“As Evangelical pastors and leaders, we believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of good news for all people,” the letter read. “For far too long, we have been silent and complicit in the discrimination and marginalization of LGBTQ people around the world. Today, we commit to no longer stand by while discrimination and inequity flourish, but to lift our voices on behalf of all of God’s children.”

The letter, released by the evangelical RISE Network, included signatures from Richard Cizik, a former leader within the National Association of Evangelicals, Dr. David Gushee, a Christian ethicist, and Randy Thomas, a former leader of the defunct ex-gay ministry Exodus International.

Many of the pastors who signed the letter have faced backlash for showing their support for gay marriage, including Rev. Danny Cortez, the pastor for California’s New Heart Community Church. The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America, kicked the church out of its fellowship after Cortez changed his views on marriage equality.

“I believed for years that marriage should only be between one man and one woman,” Cortez said. “But as I began relationships with LGBT persons, I saw that my beliefs had been destructive and not in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ. The church doesn’t have to fear the positive changes happening in our nation.”

On the same day RISE released its letter, more than 100 evangelical leaders signed their own letter defending the idea that God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman.

Evangelicals are the largest religious group in America, making up 25.4 percent of the country, according to The Pew Research Center. They have been relatively slow to support same-sex marriage compared to members of other religious traditions. But that doesn’t mean their views haven’t changed — about 27 percent of white evangelical Protestants support same-sex marriage in 2015, compared to 11 percent in 2004.

This change in tone towards LGBT people appears to be resonating the most with younger evangelicals. White evangelical millennials are much more accepting of LGBT couples than older generations. About 43 percent of white evangelical Protestants between ages 18 and 33 support same-sex marriage, compared to 19 percent of those who are 68 and older, according to a 2014 Public Religion Research Institute survey.

Still, Rev. Stan Mitchell, pastor of Nashville’s GracePointe church, lost about one-third of his weekly attendees after he announced in January that he would fully affirm LGBT members. But he’s refused to budge.

The response Mitchell received from fellow evangelicals falls in line with comments from Rob Schwarzwalder, the Family Research Council’s vice president. In a piece written for Real Clear Religion, he suggested that evangelicals who support same-sex marriage no longer have a claim to that name.

“Those professed Evangelicals who are willing to jettison the Bible’s teaching regarding homosexuality can no longer claim to be persons of the Gospel — Evangelicals,” Schwarzwalder wrote. “They are diminishing what God’s Word teaches about sin.”

But according to Time magazine, Mitchell has traced his change of heart back to the four basic tenets of the evangelical tradition — scriptural authority, a focus on the cross, personal conviction and conversion, and finally, activism.

“As Christians who believe in the resurrection, we see that our LGBT friends have long suffered,” Mitchell said. “It’s my Christian and evangelical tradition that reminds me that suffering is always joined to the suffering of God, and will not only be overcome, but redeemed. This is just the beginning, and we have a long way to go.”

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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SCOTUS Legalizes Gay Marriage: Fashion Folks React on Social Media

Jeremy Scott, Cara Delevingne and Rachel Zoe are among fashion’s biggest names sharing their support for SCOTUS’ decision with an outpouring of love on social media.

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The White House Went Rainbow To Celebrate SCOTUS Decision

The White House was bathed in a rainbow of lights to celebrate the SCOTUS’ legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Same-Sex Marriage: Will SCOTUS Make It Official?

This post was originally published on Truthdig.com

When I use the word “unthinkable” in connection with the Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, I typically have in mind the long line of unthinkably bad decisions the court has issued since Roberts assumed office in 2005.

Topping the list are such abominations of constitutional law and statutory interpretation as the 2010 Citizens United case, which opened the floodgates on campaign spending in federal elections; the 2012 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the Voting Rights Act; and last year’s decree in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which recognized the religious personhood of closely held corporations.

When it comes to the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, the opposite, shockingly, may prove to be true. If Tuesday’s oral arguments in the four appeals from Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio that have been consolidated under the name of Obergefell v. Hodges are any indication, the court’s historic decision on the issue will be close. But I believe that when the dust finally settles, a majority of the justices — consisting of Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and perhaps Roberts himself — will hold that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed that no state may deny.

The day’s festivities included a raucous protest, with security guards escorting an anti-marriage-equality heckler from the courtroom, his shouts of “burn in hell” echoing as he departed.

Once underway, the hearing lasted two and a half hours. The questions the justices asked — with the exception of Clarence Thomas, who, as usual, invoked his right to remain silent — stayed true to form.

Justice Kennedy, the court’s most frequent “swing” vote in hotly contested cases, voiced apprehension over changing a conception of marriage that had “lasted millennia,” but he also worried aloud about the fairness of excluding gay families from the “sacredness and nobility” of marriage.

Chief Justice Roberts raised similar concerns, noting that the petitioners in the case were “not seeking to join the institution [of marriage]…but to change” it. The chief also asked pointedly why same-sex marriage bans don’t amount to sex discrimination.

The panel’s liberals, on the other hand, expressed no equivocation about their support for marriage equality. Justice Breyer referred to marriage as a “fundamental liberty,” lamenting that only same-sex couples “have no possibility to participate in that fundamental liberty.” Endorsing Breyer’s observations, Justices Kagan, Ginsburg and Sotomayor emphasized that a ruling granting recognition of same-sex marriage would harm no one — least of all heterosexuals, whose rights would remain fully intact.

Expressing the opposite outlook, Justice Samuel Alito raised the specter of polygamy, asking that if the petitioners prevailed, what would prevent a group of two men and two women from obtaining a marriage license. Justice Antonin Scalia, long renowned for his homophobic diatribes, warned that a pro-equality ruling would force clergy to perform same-sex ceremonies in violation of their religious beliefs.

Given the Roberts court’s overall track record and in view of where the nation as a whole stood until very recently, if the liberals joined by either Kennedy or the chief prevail, the court’s final decision will still be “unthinkable” — but in the most enlightened sense of the word.

Now, I’m not saying that victory is assured. It is entirely possible that a majority of the justices will align once again with the enemies of progress and deliver a repugnant surprise. Oral arguments can be deceiving. So before we pop the champagne or pen any epitaphs on anti-gay bigotry, let’s consider a little background:

The Obergefell caseswere brought by over 30 litigants to topple same-sex marriage bans in the four states that comprise the territorial jurisdiction of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Some, including plaintiffs April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse of Michigan, have yet to wed. Others, including Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon of Kentucky and Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty of Tennessee, were legally married elsewhere, but their unions have not been accepted in their new locations.

The lead party, real estate broker James Obergefell of Ohio, presents yet another factual scenario. In July 2013, Obergefell married his longtime and gravely ill companion, John Arthur, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, in Maryland, which recognizes same-sex marriage. When they returned to Ohio, they filed a federal lawsuit to compel the state to acknowledge their nuptials, but Arthur died a few months later. Obergefell wants Ohio to list him as a surviving spouse on Arthur’s official death certificate.

In each of the consolidated cases, federal district judges ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Last November, however, in a ponderous 2-1 opinion written by Judge Jeffrey Sutton, the 6th Circuit reversed. Sutton, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, asserted that his hands were tied by an obscure 1972 Supreme Court decision — Baker v. Nelson — that consisted of a one-sentence order, dismissing a same-sex couple’s petition for “want of a substantial federal question.”

Citing Baker, Sutton admonished that the definition of marriage has traditionally been left to the states and is best decided by voters and legislatures.

But he didn’t stop there. Assuming for argument’s sake that Baker actually isn’t binding precedent, Sutton concluded the marriage bans under his review are lawful because same-sex marriage — as distinct from heterosexual marriage — is not a fundamental constitutional right. The bans, he continued, rationally further states’ legitimate interests in regulating sex, specifically “male-female intercourse.” In Sutton’s view, the bans also legitimately reflect the states’ rational policy decisions to “wait and see [how gay marriage plays out in other locations] before changing a norm that our society (like all others) has accepted for centuries.”

With Sutton clinging to the past, the 6th Circuit became the first — and thus far only — federal appellate panel since the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor to uphold state restrictions on marriage equality. The 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits have gone the other way.

By a vote of 5-4, Windsor invalidated Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and compelled the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages approved by the states. Windsor did not, however, resolve the constitutionality of state laws that continue to limit marriage to heterosexual pairings. According to Lambda Legal, same-sex marriages currently are recognized in 36 states, the District of Columbia and parts of Kansas and Missouri but not in the rest of the country.

To clear up the double standards and settle the split among the federal circuits created by Sutton’s opinion, the Supreme Court agreed in January to hear the Obergefell cases, directing the parties to address two key points:

1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Before Tuesday’s hearing, few commentators predicted that same-sex marriage opponents would win on both counts. Still, some cautioned that we could be looking at a split decision–that in a nod to federalism and states’ rights, the court would allow recalcitrant jurisdictions not to issue their own gay-marriage licenses but require them to accept out-of-state ceremonies.

I think not. After much hand-wringing and deliberation, a majority of the justices, either by a margin of 6-3 or 5-4, will brush aside Baker v. Nelson and answer “yes” to both key constitutional questions.

It’s not just the civil rights and gay communities that are asking the court to do so. In what is surely an unprecedented step, 379 of the world’s largest employers and employer organizations — including corporate giants Apple, Alcoa, Aetna, Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, American Express, Google and Facebook — have filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief advising that same-sex marriage restrictions are bad for business.

The court’s decision is due by the end of June. Until then, the biggest element of suspense won’t be whether the high tribunal will declare same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional, but how far –from a constitutional perspective — it will go to define and protect marriage equality.

Both the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment will figure prominently in any final ruling, as they did in Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 landmark crafted by Chief Justice Earl Warren that overturned prohibitions on interracial marriage.

Under equal protection principles, laws that treat (or in constitutional parlance, “classify”) people differently are subjected to varying degrees of judicial scrutiny to test their legality. The tests range from what is called the “rational-basis” standard, which is highly deferential to the judgment of legislatures and electorates (and was used by Judge Sutton) to the “strict scrutiny” test, which is the least deferential and the hardest to satisfy.

Frequently used to review economic regulations, the rational-basis model requires only that a statute be logically related to a legitimate governmental purpose.

By contrast, laws that classify people on the basis of race, religion, alienage or national origin (so-called “suspect” classifications), and those that impair fundamental rights, trigger strict scrutiny. To withstand equal-protection discrimination challenges, such laws must further a “compelling state interest” and be narrowly tailored to achieve that interest. Strict scrutiny is also applied to due process claims when fundamental rights are implicated.

In Loving, the Supreme Court proclaimed that “marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man” and evaluated Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage–and those then in effect in 15 other states –under strict scrutiny. Applying that benchmark, the court determined that the bans ran afoul of both equal protection and due process.

In their briefs, the lawyers representing Obergefell and his co-petitioners urged the court to follow Loving’s teachings and regard same-sex marriage as another iteration or subset of the fundamental right to marry. As such, they were not asking the court to carve out a new constitutional entitlement but to expand one that has long been established.

As a fallback, they argued that same-sex marriage bans are so illogical and founded in animus and prejudice that they can’t even withstand rational-basis review. This was the approach taken by Justice Kennedy in his majority Windsor opinion, as well as by former District Judge Vaughn Walker in his blockbuster 2010 decision declaring California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

Clearly, it would be best if our most powerful judicial body accorded same-sex marriage the greatest degree of constitutional protection possible. But the Roberts court remains an essentially conservative panel that has been dragged into an epic battle by an overwhelming sea change in public opinion and the steadfast militancy of the gay-rights movement. Nonetheless, even if the court chooses some intermediate legal theory on which to ground its opinion, it is poised to discard the country’s last same-sex marriage bans, dispatching them to the proverbial dustbin of history.

The once-unthinkable is about to happen. Get ready. Marriage equality is the future.

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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SCOTUS Marriage Equality


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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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