After a ten-day postponement, the Supreme Court will this week decide whether or not to address marriage equality in its new term. The Court was originally scheduled to make its decision on November 20, but later changed the date to Friday, November 30.
The judges have before them the opportunity to rule on the overturning of California’s Proposition 8, which limits marriage to between a man and a woman. There are also several appellate-court rulings questioning the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
But is now the right time to rule?
More than half of Americans support same-sex marriage, and marriage-equality ballot initiatives just won in Maine, Maryland and Washington. There’s momentum on the ground, and a poll on the L.A. Times website indicates 77% of respondents believe the Court should rule on marriage equality now, while only 23% don’t.
But are we rushing it? The Supreme Court is not a court of public opinion and, as the Times suggests, if conservative justices like Antonin Scalia want to revisit Perry v. Brown, it can only be to overturn the federal-court ruling thatdeclared it discriminatory.
Two of the most important civil-rights cases of the past half-century were Loving v. Virginia and Roe v. Wade. The first has been (almost) universally embraced as common sense. The second has sparked a decades-long battle that’s seen women’s reproductive rights under constant threat.
It’s not just whether the justices pick up the gauntlet on Friday and then rule for equality. It’s that America sees the wisdom in their verdict.
Do you want the Supreme Court to tackle marriage equality this term? Do you think we’ll win? Render your verdict in the comments section.