The Great Debate

How Chief Justice John Roberts made himself a footnote to history

By Elizabeth B. Wydra
June 29, 2015
Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts is pictured on the front plaza of the Supreme Court in Washington

Chief Justice John Roberts on the front plaza of the Supreme Court in Washington, October 1, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

Even Christian Evangelicals are warming to gay marriage

By Matthew Vines
June 26, 2015
Casey Kend of New York and a supporter of gay marriage holds a sign in front of the Supreme Court in Washington

Casey Kend, a supporter of gay marriage, holds a sign in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, June 26, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

How do you change the deeply held beliefs of a nation? Here’s one strategy.

By Evan Wolfson
April 17, 2015

Updated 6/25/2015 at 10:15 a.m. EDT A box of cupcakes are seen topped with icons of same-sex couples at City Hall in San Francisco

A box of cupcakes topped with icons of same-sex couples at City Hall in San Francisco, June 29, 2013. . REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Gay marriage: One judge fights the weight of history

By Julian E. Zelizer
February 12, 2015
Donna and Tina exchange rings during their marriage ceremony outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham

Donna and Tina exchange rings during their marriage ceremony outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama, February 9, 2015. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry

ENDA: Next step forward in march for equality

By Winnie Stachelberg
November 7, 2013

Hanging in my office is the vote tally for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, sent to me by Senator Edward Kennedy soon after September 10, 1996. That day, I had watched from the Senate gallery as a bill to protect gay and lesbian workers from on-the-job discrimination based on their sexual orientation failed to pass by one vote.

Court due to make second trip down the aisle

By Richard L. Hasen
July 16, 2013

Near the end of his engaging and informative e-book on the Supreme Court’s recent same-sex marriage decisions, To Have and To Uphold, New York Times reporter Adam Liptak makes a prediction: “The day will come when the constitutional question [over the constitutionality of a ban on same-sex marriage] will return to the Supreme Court for some final mopping up, perhaps when the number of states still banning same-sex marriage has dwindled to a score or fewer.”

Republicans won’t embrace same-sex marriage anytime soon

By Ben Adler
March 26, 2013

In the wake of Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s  announcement that his son is gay, and his son’s coming out prompting  the senator to support gay marriage, it has become  commonplace to assert that Republicans are about to flip-flop on the gay marriage issue. Activists on both sides seem to agree. The Log Cabin Republicans triumphantly declared: “If there was any doubt that the conservative logjam on the issue of civil marriage for committed gay and lesbian couples has broken, Senator Portman’s support for the freedom to marry has erased it.” On Sunday, Karl Rove appeared to take leave of his senses when he said he could imagine the 2016 Republican presidential nominee supporting legal same-sex marriage. And with the Supreme Court set to hear a challenge to gay marriage bans this week, many observers are predicting that one or more conservative justices will join with the Court’s liberal wing to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, and possibly California’s Proposition 8 as well.

Same-sex marriage: Court on the couch

By Richard L. Hasen
March 26, 2013

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy’s support for a constitutional right to gay marriage doom the constitutionality of affirmative action and a key provision of the Voting Rights Act?  To answer this question, legal scholars need to know less about constitutional law and more about human psychology.

Same-sex marriage does not threaten birth rates or child-rearing

By Carlos A. Ball
March 25, 2013

Several years ago the trial judge presiding over the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8 asked Charles J. Cooper, the lead lawyer defending the voter-approved measure, how the recognition of same-sex marriages affected heterosexual couples. Apparently caught by surprise, Cooper, a former assistant attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, candidly answered that he did not know.

Republicans could join Obama on same-sex marriage

By Sally Kohn
May 9, 2012

In finally evolving to support marriage equality, President Obama has not only placed himself firmly on the right side of history with respect to an issue of fundamental rights and justice but he has also thrown down the gauntlet for Republicans, especially his presumed challenger, Mitt Romney.