For years, it has become a tradition that marriage be the union of a man and a woman as committed lifelong partners. According to the Bible, marriage is “An intimate and complementing union between a man and a woman in which the two become one physically, in the whole of life.” However according to the law, marriage only needs to satisfy three requirements: the parties' legal ability to marry each other, mutual consent of the parties, and a marriage contract as required by law. The practice of same-sex relationships dates all the way back to the times of ancient Greece, yet still is not a fully recognized and accepted practice.
Likewise, Supreme Court justices are also quite mixed on the issue at hand as well. More conservative justices such as Scalia and Alito are hesitant on breaking tradition , whereas more liberal justices such as Breyer have come to recognize same-sex relationships as a growing part of society.
“As far as I’m aware, until the end of the 20th century, there never was a nation or a culture that recognized marriage between two people of the same sex,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.
“The answer we get is, well, people have always done it. You know, you could have answered that one the same way we talk about racial segregation.” -Justice Stephen G. Breyer
The first question that comes up for the issue at hand is the accountability of the Supreme Court justices. The result of the decision would most likely change America forever, as the official definition of marriage itself could possibly be altered for future generations to come. Should merely nine appointed individuals really make a decision on behalf of the thousands of same sex couples in the United States? Since Supreme Court justices are not elected, they are sometimes viewed to be not very representative of the public. Likewise, in order to stay impartial, the Supreme Court's decisions do not always take in public opinion, no matter how sensitive and widespread the case.
Currently, support for same-sex marriage has increased from the initial nine states to thirty-six, with many states accepting and legalizing same-sex marriage. It's here where the federal and state governments may clash. Whereas of right now, marriage is currently held in the states' boundary of control, each one able to decide the legality of same-sex marriage. However, once the Supreme Court makes its decision, state law will be overridden, creating a great deal of outbreak and opposition in the public if same-sex marriage fails to be legalized.
In order to make the proper decision, the Supreme Court must choose how to approach the issue at hand first. What method should the Supreme Court use when formulating conclusions? Should the justices hold back and make the decision based more on previous precedents and traditional values? Or should the justices actively interpret any implied parts of the Constitution and make stretches? It's nonetheless a battle between judicial restraint and judicial activism. While judicial activism in this case would favor same-sex couples more, it would also mean drifting off from the Supreme Court's ability to be impartial and unbiased since more personal interpretation and opinion from the justices would be required.
However, in my personal opinion, marriage is not gender-binding. In the social sense, love doesn't necessarily have to stem from the opposite sex, it can develop in multiple ways. Love develops from romantic and affections feelings for another individual, and this person does not necessarily have to be someone of the opposite sex. By human nature, the range of romance can vary from person to person. Other than the exception of being unable to produce offspring, same-sex marriage shares many of the same elements as traditional opposite-sex marriage.
In the constitutional sense, same-sex couples deserve to have the right and freedom to pursue love like any other couple in the United States. After the ruling in Grisworld v. Connecticut, the implied right to privacy in the 4th amendment was established. Intimate relationships between couples were included in an individual's sphere of privacy, giving them the right to use any birth control devices or medicine in their relationship. Similarly, the “who” a person chooses to be his or her lifelong spouse is also under this sphere of privacy. In addition, the 14th amendment guarantees all U.S citizens the natural rights aforementioned in the Constitution. Back during America's segregation era, interracial marriage between colored and whites was not allowed. Today's situation with same-sex couples is related in the exact same sense. Colored men have been given the natural rights to marriage just like any other American, and it would only seem constitutional to given same-sex couples the same right as well.