Obama’s Got A Feeling That SCOTUS Is Ready To End The Marriage Equality Debate Forevermore

Feature image via White House’s official Twitter

While Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore continues to dig in his heels to try to keep marriage equality from becoming a reality in every county in his state, President Obama said in an interview with BuzzFeed News that he believes the Supreme Court of the United States is getting ready to intervene and end to this debate, on a national level, once and for all.

“My sense is that the Supreme Court is about to make a shift, one that I welcome, which is to recognize that — having hit a critical mass of states that have recognized same-sex marriage — it doesn’t make sense for us to now have this patchwork system … It’s time to recognize that under the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution, same-sex couples should have the same rights as anybody else.”

As we mentioned yesterday, since October, SCOTUS has refused to hear any cases from states that were seeking stays after their same-sex marriage bans were struck down by district judges. Instead, it has decided to hear cases from the Sixth Circuit — which includes Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee — because it is the only district court in the country that has upheld same-sex marriage bans after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013.

Many people have likened Roy Moore to Alabama governor George Wallace, who of course tried to stop racial integration at the University of Alabama in 1963. And while President Obama told BuzzFeed news it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, there are certainly some similarities, the major one being that their actions are futile political posturing.

“When federal law is in conflict with state law, federal law wins out […] My recollection is that Judge Moore had a similar problem with a federal court ruling that you couldn’t put a huge Ten Commandments statue in the middle of your courthouse and, ultimately, federal law was obeyed, and I think that the same thing will end up happening here.”

The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments from states in the Sixth Circuit starting in April. In the meantime, a federal judge will hear arguments on Thursday to determine whether or not President Obama is correct in his all Alabama probate judges are required to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 855 articles for us.

9 Comments

  1. So, my kid has to do a weekly update on a current-events topic in her social studies class. Monday, the teacher assigned her a new topic – marriage equality! I’ll be sending her a link to this article, natch. She’s pretty jazzed that she gets to talk about this. I’m pretty proud that she’s jazzed about it.

  2. Sometimes I wonder whether the world is becoming a worse or better place. And then I hear stuff like this and I think “yeah, we’re moving forward.” We’re not there yet, and there’s still a lot of inequality and discrimination, but we’re making progress.

    Full marriage equality in the US is inevitable. It’s just a matter of how soon. This is such an exciting time.

  3. I’m Canadian, but I took an American Constitutional Law class my second year of law school, and when talking about the 1st Amendment, our prof specifically referenced Roy Moore and the Ten Commandments thing. A few weeks later, the 2012 elections happened, and our entire class was utterly blown away by the fact that he was actually re-elected.

    Not to get all superior, because obviously Canada has a lot of problems too, but luckily for us, elected judges are not one of them.

    Who votes for this idiot!?

  4. What’s interesting is that this (good) soundbite came in response to an entirely different question: why does the Obama Administration still choose to discriminate against transgender Federal employees in our health insurance by discriminating against transition-related care?

    Watch in a BuzzFeed News exclusive: President Obama answers a reader submitted question on discrimination against transgender federal employees and their health insurance.

    Posted by BuzzFeed News on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    Here’s the context of the question – OPM has been dodging it for almost a year.
    http://www.emily-esque.com/wp/?p=583

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