This week the United States Supreme Court will hand down landmark decisions on whether or not citizens of this country can define marriage as the union of one man and one woman through the legitimate legislative and state constitutional amendment process.
There are two cases, both on appeal at the same time. The first case is Hollingsworth v. Perry – which is a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as one man and one woman in their state constitution. California passed this on the same day that Florida passed Amendment 2, which also defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman in its state constitution.
Florida Amendment 2 is an amendment made to the Constitution of Florida in 2008. It added Article I, Section 27 to the constitution, which defines marriage as a union only between one man and one woman, and thus bans the creation of similar unions, such as civil unions or same-sex marriage.
The second case is U.S. v Windsor – which is a challenge of the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) passed by congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, which defines marriage in all areas of federal law.
The primary legal question that will be answered is: Does a law that defines marriage to be only between a man and a woman deny homosexual couples the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of “Equal Protection of the Law?”
Some, like the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) say that would “take a raw act of judicial activism to find an affirmative answer to such a question requiring the creation of new rights out of thin air.”
While American have different opinions on how far the court might go, no one knows how the court will rule.
John Stemberger, President of FFPC, in an email states, “As a nation, we are at a critical point in history, very similar in magnitude to the weekend before the Roe v Wade decision was announced, which declared that an unfettered right to abortion was somehow constitutional.”
All are awaiting the SCOTUS decision and its impact on the state of Florida and of marriage.