As the news broke everyone worldwide are transfixed on this development and not to be outdone are the opposing sides locally although no definitive response have come from either the Lawyer's Christian Fellowship, LCF, The Jamaica Coalition for Healthy Families who just last Sunday opposed gay marriage and the idea of a gay family to be unhealthy and relegating gay men as doomed to getting HIV the long and short of the discussion on a Christian radio station.
Chris Geidner of the Buzz Feed has provided an edited set of possibilities for the deliberations to follow.
"The Supreme Court’s decisions on which marriage cases to hear, expected as soon as Friday, likely will set the course of the national debate about gay and lesbian couples' marriage rights for the coming months and years.
The same-sex couples who filed the cases, some of which date to early 2009, are asking courts to rule that laws like the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 are unconstitutional. The decision of which cases to hear — involving all three branches of government — will set up several months of action on the issue at the Supreme Court.
The portion of DOMA being challenged, known as Section 3, requires that the words “marriage” and “spouse” in all federal laws and regulations apply only to marriages between one man and one woman. In 2008, voters in California adopted Proposition 8 to amend the state’s constitution to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. Because two different appeals courts have struck down DOMA, at least one of the several DOMA challenges is almost certain to be accepted by the court. It is less certain whether the court will hear the challenge to Proposition 8.
The court, after several false alarms, now appears to have settled on deciding this Friday which of the cases it will hear. Along with the DOMA and Proposition 8 cases, the court also will be considering a request brought by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who is asking the court to overturn a court order halting enforcement of a state law that ended same-sex couples’ domestic partner health insurance benefits while making no changes to opposite-sex couples’ health insurance benefits.
In Friday’s conference, four of the justices need to vote in favor of hearing a case for the court to accept it, a process called a writ of certiorari.
Although there are numerous possible outcomes of the justices’ Friday conference, four results look most likely:
• The court takes multiple DOMA cases and the Proposition 8 case. This outcome would be the “all in” option, and it would make clear that at least four justices want the court to resolve the legal questions surrounding these issues, from what level of scrutiny that laws classifying people based on sexual orientation should be given (see more about this here) to whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry. (The DOMA cases also feature the unusual circumstances, in place since February 2011, of the Obama administration opposing the law's constitutionality and the House Republican leadership defending the law.)
• The court takes one DOMA case, while holding the other DOMA cases pending that decision, and takes the Proposition 8 case as well. This is not very different from the first possibility, although the choice of one DOMA case over another could be seen as narrowing the type of argument about the law that the court would like to hear. More likely though, it would simply be a sign of the justices having picked a case in which Justice Elena Kagan, who served as the top appellate lawyer in the Obama administration before joining the court and may choose to recuse herself from one or more of the DOMA cases because of that, can participate.
• The court takes a DOMA case (or multiple DOMA cases) and holds the rest of the cases, including Proposition 8, pending the outcome of the DOMA case. This prospect, advanced as a possibility by Georgetown law professor Nan Hunter, could be taken by a cautious court, wanting first to resolve some general questions — including the level of scrutiny to be applied to sexual orientation classifications — before acting on the other, more direct, question about whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry that is raised in the Proposition 8 challenge. This, as with taking the Proposition 8 case, would delay when same-sex couples in California might be able to marry.
• The court takes a DOMA case (or multiple DOMA cases), but denies certiorari in the Proposition 8 case. This option, once considered by advocates to be the most likely possibility, would lead to same-sex couples being able to marry in California within days. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling in the case did not broadly resolve the marriage question, instead holding that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional because it took back rights formerly held by Californians. As there are other cases in the legal pipeline about same-sex couples marriage rights that could make their way to the Supreme Court, the court could decide to let the narrow Ninth Circuit decision stand.
The court also will do something with the Arizona case, but — even though it is not a case about marriage rights — that outcome is likely to be linked, in one way or another, to the way the other cases are handled. If the court takes both DOMA and Proposition 8 challenges, they might hold the Arizona case or deny certiorari. If they deny certiorari in the Proposition 8 case, the justices would almost definitely deny certiorari in the Arizona case. If they accept certiorari in the Arizona case, that would be a surprise and could signal an ambitious agenda by the more conservative justices on the court to reverse the recent trend of court decisions favoring same-sex couples.
Following the conference, the court could announce which new cases it has taken as early as Friday afternoon. The latest an announcement would be expected is 9:30 a.m. Monday, when the court is expected to issue an order list, reporting its actions from the conference. If the justices deny certiorari in the Proposition 8 or Arizona cases, that decision most likely will not be announced until the order list is issued Monday morning — regardless of whether the accepted cases are announced Friday or not.
Once the court accepts a case, the petitioner — generally, the party seeking reversal of the lower court’s opinion — has 45 days to file its opening brief. (This could be slightly adjusted due to the unusual procedural circumstances of the parties in the DOMA cases.) The opposing party or parties have 30 days to respond, and the petitioner then has 30 days to reply to that. During that time, other groups and individuals will submit filings — called amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs — expressing their views on the case.
Then, the court will hold an oral argument on the case — in spring 2013 — and, in the following days, a conference to vote on the case. Although the justices can change their votes, the initial vote sets up the opinion-drafting process, in which one justice in the majority begins crafting the court’s tentative opinion and other justices begin crafting dissenting opinions or, later, opinions concurring in the court’s decision but using somewhat different reasoning. Drafts are circulated and, once the justices are done writing, the opinions are issued — likely in late June 2013."
Meanwhile the paranoia of sorts that has set in regarding the feared gay marriage agitation locally is real as it comes, President of the LCF for example has repeatedly hinted to it linking the expected thrust as a part of the "gay agenda" below is a video clip I put together taken from a recent documentary she appeared in.
see an old Feb 15th 2006 Gleaner article here:
'Unholy union' - Charter could sanction gay marriage in Jamaica - Christian lawyers check out the panic from Miss Shirley Richards a member of the LCF on the then Charter of Rights deliberations:
"Our concern," said Richards, "is that these words, as innocuously sounding as they are, can be interpreted to allow for adult consensual homosexual conduct in private," said Richards. She added that once homosexual acts are decriminalised, there would be no basis to bar to gay marriage. Mrs. Richards added that the concept of privacy also deals with abortion rights.
"If the government wants to decriminalise either homosexuality or abortion then it must do so squarely. Don't tell us that this will never happen under your watch and then allow for a few choice words in the charter which you know are capable of having this meaning," said Mrs. Richards.
also see: Shirley Richards support Uganda “Kill Gays Bill?”
Also see a recent news item as well where church leaders supposedly oppose gay marriage when in Jamaica it was never asked for when we can't even get passed just basic rights, recognition and freedoms granted.
also see the following:
MoBay Church Fraternity Says No To Buggery Review
Vatican vows to fight gay marriage after gains made on sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica
Group braces for costly fight against gays
Gay Parenting (a view on the ground) (an oldie)
No Same Sex Marriage says Prime Minister in Charter of rights (Bruce Golding)
Same-Sex Marriage A Misnomer, Fraud (Gleaner Letter) and my response to it.
Church angry, gays happy PNP on collision course with Christians ………………. but some of us are not impressed
Buggery law backlash – Blair: The church has been sleeping – Blair warns review could lead to same-sex marriages
In a recent radio discussion one theologian Reverend Everett Allen said gay marriage is radically against the teachings of Christ while another used Genesis 2:24 to back his position and also said that's the biblical text for marriage on the premise of procreation. Another theologian the Reverend Earl Thames said "If same sex marriage becomes a normal institution of society it is the end of the human race ....in itself contains the seed of destruction" (May 11, 2012 on Morning Watch Love 101 FM) but I wonder who had all these gay children in the first place wasn't it heterosexuals in their versions of unions for guess what? Procreation!!!!!!!! some intellectuals do not think sometimes before they speak and just pontificate on absolutism. When it was suggested by the host that gay marriage be another form of relationship accorded the same rights and state benefits as heterosexual unions he responded that one can't say it's an additional as one does not know who will be involved in it. Rev Thames feared gay marriage may become the preferred union (he did not say by whom) and as for raising children it may become an issue. He also said that the Greek and Roman empires were brought to their end due to homosexuality. Civil unions however are being considered by the Rev Allen as an option for now but not marriage in its true form. Theological and physical dimensions of concerns raised by the men in the interview.
Others surmise that the gay community is trying to use same sex marriage as a front to desire respectability for the "homosexual lifestyle" (some can't bring themselves to see it as sexual orientation so they continuously use that term) and to legitimise the protection of their beloved by the law.
Gay marriage rights not just marriage in and of itself does in fact gives it social respectability but in my eyes it's about the equal footing of rights and state recognition with activates benefits for the parties involved such as pension, death and housing (NHT). Both men had predicted doom for Obama at the time in the US election as they claimed his support for gay marriage would have been his downfall. Rev Allen said "......it may be a significant nail in his presidential coffin......." but ironically the opposite occurred and it became the flower in the vase on the centre table instead.
PM Miller said on October 20th 2009 in parliament - "Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the joint select committee that were looking at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and like relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should be specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity ………. yes one man one woman (laughter in the house) and if you are Jamaican and go overseas the same applies ………."
also see: UNAIDS Director says the PNP offers hope for the repealing of the buggery law …… but some concerns exist
it read in part: “There is no intention whatsoever on the part of the Government or the Joint Select Committee of Parliament that any door should be opened by provisions in the proposed Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or otherwise, to decriminalise homosexuality or to pave the way for same-sex marriages to be accepted as lawful in Jamaica."
.........and now first time MP Lambert Brown (Dec 2011 vote) who opposed condoms in prisons saying it was homosexuality being snuck through the back door? Mr. Brown said. “Those who are promoting condoms in prison are using the back door to promote homosexuality which is illegal.” he has since been hinting his position on the issue which is definitely not in the affirmative. See: Male Rape .... nobody wants to talk about it
We have to keep a close eye on this one. Here also is a very old podcast from my now defunct 2009 blogtalk radio show but I captured the clip for you:
Peace and tolerance
XXXTTRRRAA Clovis cartoon from the Observer following Obama's "evolving" position on the matter in the US, you be the judge.
UPDATE June 26, 2013 DOMA IS DEAD:
The US Supreme Court DOMA Decision