The Supreme Court will inevitably have a lot of haters after Friday's same-sex marriage decision. Hey, if everybody loves you, you aren't doing right, amirite? But luckily, SCOTUS has a response to naysayers written into Anthony Kennedy's opinion. And yes, that includes four of its own — I'm looking at you, Scalia — but it works for the rest of the angry Americans (read: conservatives), too.
Perhaps Kennedy rightfully predicted that almost half of his fellow justices and that a slice of America would want an explanation as to why same-sex couples should enjoy the same freedoms as straight married folk. An explanation as to why this wasn't an assault on the institution of marriage. At all. So he met the four dissents and thousands of angry tweets with some pretty solid truth bombs.
But even if you're perfectly happy with Friday's decision, Kennedy's words are worth reading. It's one of the more beautifully crafted decisions from this crop of SCOTUS opines. I mean, hey, this one was pretty juicy. So whether you're reading for pleasure or arming yourself for Thanksgiving with your Republican uncle (trust me, he'll still be talking about it), here are some of Kennedy's best takedowns:
To the people who believe that same-sex marriage will ruin everything for straight couples (emphasis added was my own, because GAH):
The respondents also argue allowing same-sex couples to wed will harm marriage as an institution by leading to fewer opposite-sex marriages. This may occur, the respondents contend, because licensing same-sex marriage severs the connection between natural procreation and marriage. That argument, however, rests on a counterintuitive view of opposite-sex couple’s decision making processes regarding marriage and parenthood. Decisions about whether to marry and raise children are based on many personal, romantic, and practical considerations; and it is unrealistic to conclude that an opposite-sex couple would choose not to marry simply because same-sex couples may do so.
As it turns out, everyone, you won't automatically start loving or hating the institution of marriage just because gay couples are a part of it. Really. I promise.
To the people whining about states' rights:
There may be an initial inclination in these cases to proceed with caution—to await further legislation, litigation, and debate. The respondents warn there has been insufficient democratic discourse before deciding an issue so basic as the definition of marriage. [...] Yet there has been far more deliberation than this argument acknowledges. There have been referenda, legislative debates, and grassroots campaigns, as well as countless studies, papers, books, and other popular and scholarly writings. There has been extensive litigation in state and federal courts.
As it turns out, most states had already legalized same-sex marriage! Did you know that?! I'm sure you did. So don't act like this is some radical new idea. Trust me and my new friend Justice Kennedy — this has been a long time coming.
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