High court and gay marriage: A 'major event in American history'
December 7th, 2012
07:04 PM ET

High court and gay marriage: A 'major event in American history'

[Updated at 7:04 p.m. ET] The U.S. Supreme Court's announcement Friday that it will soon tackle the contentious issue of same-sex marriage is "a major event in American history, not just in Supreme Court history," CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said.

"The Supreme Court is not just going to decide whether the Defense of Marriage Act is constitutional, they are also going to decide whether Proposition 8 in California - whether the ban on same-sex marriage there is unconstitutional, and that could affect all 50 states," Toobin said.

The court says it will hear two appeals: one involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples legally married in their own state; and one involving a challenge to California's Proposition 8, a voter-approved referendum that took away the right of same sex-marriage that previously had been approved by the state's courts. Read more about these cases.

Oral arguments in the high court appeal will likely be held in March, with a ruling by late June.

Here's some of what's being said about Friday afternoon's announcement:

Edith Windsor, who had a 42-year partnership with Thea Clara Spyer and is behind the DOMA case, told the Guardian's Adam Gabbat that she is "delirious with joy."

"I think it's wonderful," Windsor, 83, of New York, told the UK publication. "I think it's the beginning of justice like I imagined in fourth-grade civics. I'm thrilled at how it's gone."

In October, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found, in Windsor's favor, that DOMA violates the Constitution's equal protection clause and thus she shouldn't have had to pay an inheritance tax after her partner's death.

Some opponents of same-sex marriage also welcomed the high court's intervention. The National Organization for Marriage, a group that helped lead the effort to pass Proposition 8 in California, said it was confident of prevailing.

In February, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled the measure unconstitutional.

"We believe (the Supreme Court's decision to take the case) is a strong signal that the court will reverse the lower courts and uphold Proposition 8," said John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage. "That is the right outcome based on the law and based on the principle that voters hold the ultimate power over basic policy judgments and their decisions are entitled to respect."

Salvatore Cordileone, archbishop of San Francisco and the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' marriage defense subcommittee, said the high court's decision to consider the cases "is a significant moment for our nation."

"I pray the Court will affirm the fact that the institution of marriage, which is as old as humanity and written in our very nature, is the union of one man and one woman," Cordileone said in a statement from the conference. "Marriage is the foundation of a just society, as it protects the most vulnerable among us, children.

"It is the only institution that unites children with their mothers and fathers together. We pray for the court, that its deliberations may be guided by truth and justice so as to uphold marriage's true meaning and purpose."

More reaction from politicians, organizations and others:

[tweet https://twitter.com/JeffreyToobin/status/277152673369821185%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/HRC/status/277149744814501888%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/277148416499392512%5D

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson:

[tweet https://twitter.com/GovGaryJohnson/status/277149561624080384%5D

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.:

[tweet https://twitter.com/SenGillibrand/status/277156512634380288%5D

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom:

[tweet https://twitter.com/GavinNewsom/status/277144818147262464%5D

Justin Mikita, co-founder of TieTheKnot.org, which advocates "for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans":

[tweet https://twitter.com/JustinMikita/status/277150108347404288%5D

Jessie Tyler Ferguson, another TieTheKnot.org co-founder and Mikita's finance:

[tweet https://twitter.com/jessetyler/status/277162169475416064%5D

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

[tweet https://twitter.com/NancyPelosi/status/277164317714034688%5D

Gay-marriage case: Financial benefits at stake

Same-sex couple sues federal government in DOMA case

Catholic Notre Dame announces services for gay students

Victory for lesbian, years after her longtime partner's death

Filed under: Same-sex marriage • Supreme Court
soundoff (534 Responses)
  1. Name*aloshe

    In the beggining God created Adam And Eve
    Not Adam and Steve they can't produce Babies.
    Is diabolic what the goverment doing. But if they don't repent they all going to hell. I don't said that, But the BIBLE Does.

    December 7, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • LinCA


      You said, "In the beggining God created Adam And Eve
      Not Adam and Steve they can't produce Babies.
      Actually, since Eve was supposedly formed from one of Adam's ribs she is a biological male and transgender. According to christian lore, the entire human race was started with a same-sex and trans-gender union.

      December 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hamsta

      The reason Eve was created from one of Adam's ribs is because woman is man's subordinant. Eve was not the first woman. Lilith was born of dirt just like Adam. Lilith denounced Adam and God so God banished Lilith from the garden of Eden and created Eve from one of Adam's ribs to show that man has superiority over woman and that Women are to forst obey God then man.

      December 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Lilith was made from the same mud Adam was.
      Lilith wanted to be treated equally to Adam, since they originated from the same mud.
      THAT'S why she was thrown out of 'Eden'; because she refused to be subjugated...and rightly so.
      This has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with denying a segment of society equal rights to wed who they love.

      December 7, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Lilith was made from the same mud as Adam.
      Lilith wanted to be treated as Adam's equal since she was made from the same mud.
      She was thrown out of Eden for wanting to be treated equally.
      See any parallels there?
      I do.
      Keep religion out of civil law.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      You amuse me no end, Hamsta.
      We are not a theocracy.

      Why did Lot off up his daughters to the crowd?
      What did Lot do after S&G was destroyed?
      Who did he sleep with?
      Keep religion out of civil law.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Is that what you think is going to happen is a segment of society is granted equal rights, Hamsta?
      Nope, don't think so.
      Keep religion out of civil law.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • urouttolunch

      And THEN, hamsta, Adam and Eve got thrown out, just like Lilith (who, as far as I remember, doesn't appear in the King James version of Genesis). And don't bother to point out that the Fall was Eve's fault. Apparently Adam established the male tradition of thinking with one's go nads (or not at all).

      December 8, 2012 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. LogicalThinker

    ... said John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage. "That is the right outcome based on the law and based on the principle that voters hold the ultimate power over basic policy judgments and their decisions are entitled to respect."

    The voters do not, of course. The ultimate power is in the US Constitution. If the courts find that the Prop 8 proponents fail in either their arguments or in not having standing to appeal in the first place, then the appellate court ruling will stand.

    Just because something is popular does not mean it passes the test of law. Case in point is that of Terri Schiavo that went all the way to Congress and the President, and all their power did not prevail over law.

    December 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Portland tony

    Aside from the moral aspects of same sex marriage that some cling to...I see a large legal problem arising from this issue. Suppose a couple of say single or devorced middle age straight buds or gal pals, decide to marry, not so much for love, but to take advantage of tax, medical coverage and inheritance laws. What's to stop them.....with pre-nups, they would be free to
    divorce if they so choose and pursue a "normal" marriage of sorts...so same sex marriage could open up a Pandora's box of unorthodox unions!

    December 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gabe

      Apparently Tony you haven’t realized that a dude and chick that are friends could do the same thing. Stop looking for a reason to be a bigot.

      December 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      You don't think the elderly do that same thing now?
      They have been, and for years.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rascal Rabble

    yuckatee-yuck-yuck...soooo gross! lgtb has dibs on the supreme court???

    December 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. eric swanson

    Great news!

    December 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hamsta

    If meteorites start raining down on Washington D.C. pick up your bible and read Sodom and Gammorha. They call it sodomy for a reason. God has a word for LGBT – SODOMITE.

    December 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • saking

      actually, it's called LOVE

      December 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John Diomitron

    Psalm 2:10-12 – "Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear,
    And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him."

    It is clear...He expected government to rule, govern, and judge in a godly manner...not without Him but with Him!

    December 8, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      There is no official religion in the United States; no religion should find its way into our laws.
      We have many diverse faiths here; this is another reason it makes little sense to try and legislate one belief system into our civil laws...religion has no business being there.

      December 8, 2012 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. FWC

    Thats great! finally some freedom for everyone.
    who are we to judge who can and can not marriege if the love is present?
    About the fact of taking advantages... how many of the ¨traditional marrieges¨are for only some kind of interest?

    Ropa al por mayor

    December 8, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. --Rick

    It's well past time for those cowards in black robes did their job and began tackling some of the leading political issues of the day instead of dodging their responsibility and hiding under their desks.

    December 8, 2012 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Hide Behindp

    Love is all there is, it was here before man was made, it is not of physical realms that it exist, and will be there after he no longer exist

    Love itself does not exist; It just is!

    All your laws, rules, regulations and taboos have no bearing on what it is.

    December 8, 2012 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      ....that's not love...you don't know what LOVE is....

      December 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      love does no evil....

      December 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • pliberato

      Yes! It is Love that binds people, families together, binds children with their loved ones, marriage between a man and a woman is just one branch in the tree of Love.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. Chedar

    Wonder why the Christian fundamentalist did not push their "Intelligent Design" vs Evolution all the way to the Supreme Court. With the advent of Genetics. Chromosome Fusion will bit the heck out of those Funfamentalist. That's why they did not pursue.

    December 8, 2012 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. Abraham

    Well. What's the use of even trolling anymore? They just delete all our post. Bunch of spoil sports.

    December 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hide Behindp

    There is no defined RIGHT of Marriage in any Constitutional papers and what ever marriage form taken is a Civil right.
    It has no place being anything more than a law of contract and property.
    The tax codes and property laws have always reflected that.
    Civil rights have always depended upon the. Societys prevalent ethics.

    December 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rascal Rabble's Definition of Love

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    December 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pillow Talk

    In India, a citizen has successfully and legally married his own pillow. (true, no joke)
    For a certainty, America is moving in the direction towords legalized bestiality, where a man could legally marry his goat or a woman legally marry her donkey.
    FOR A CERTAINTY we citizens AREN'T headed in the other direction.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • kelleyboo

      No, America is realizing that two adults can decide for themselves who they love. This will never devolve into marrying animals or objects. Sound like more fear mongering by someone who isn't close to the subject. Maybe you should get to know a few gay people before you decide whether they should marry or not.

      December 9, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
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