Supreme Court Halts Utah Same-Sex Marriages

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The October term for the U.S. Supreme Court brings a varied caseload concerning religious freedom in prison and First Amendment rights on the Internet. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty)

The U.S. Supreme Court has hit the pause button on same-sex marriage in Utah.

Federal Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban back in December, but yesterday the Supreme Court issued a stay on the decision, blocking same-sex marriages in Utah pending the state's appeal, which is scheduled for January 27th.

Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School, considers whether this latest move is an indication that the Supreme Court is heavily focused on states rights issues.


Suzanne Goldberg

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger


T.J. Raphael

Comments [3]


Equal human rights often present angles that don't sit well with everyone. Some people think they know what is best for everyone, but that is never the case. So it is with same-sex marriage, and Defense of Marriage Act.

It seemed to me that Goldberg was stating observations about the Supreme Court of the United States weighing whether states rights will be upheld over a Federal ruling. Yet, a complete ruling has not been made, but rather states were left to their own debate on one part of DOMA.

Here's what the ruling was June 2013:

"WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday and declared that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve equal rights to the benefits under federal law that go to all other married couples.

The decision is a landmark win for the gay rights movement. It voids a section of the law known as DOMA, which was adopted with bipartisan support in Congress in 1996 to deny all benefits and recognition to same-sex couples."

It seems to me, Goldberg's feeling is that the Supreme Court of the US will now have to tackle this point of debate where Utah has departed on their part, from seeing discrimination as many other states who see discrimination in all parts of DOMA.

Jan. 07 2014 12:46 PM

The ol' "slavery" comparison. I have news for Professor Goldberg. The way that we made slavery illegal, and gave women the right to vote was the honest way. We amended the constitution. The nation coalesced around those changes as having been reflective of the national consensus.

Of course, the way we made national policy on abortion was the dishonest way; a sweeping and baseless ruling by federal courts, starting with Roe v. Wade, which led inexorably to never ending conflict, dispute, and legislative uncertainty.

It is fundamentally dishonest for The Takeaway to represent itself as a news organization within public broadcasting, and to instruct the audience on a contested public issue, through the voice of just one advocate. You introduced Suzanne Goldberg as a law school professor; as if she were a neutral observer with only an academic interest.

That's just not true in the case of Professor Goldberg. She is an advocate; a former Lambda Legal attorney who worked on Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas. And she continues as an advocate now. You could hardly find a more determined and one-sided pro-gay marriage advocate.

You could have had Professor Goldberg, along with some other representative of the side of Utah's popular vote on the issue. You know, both sides. You didn't do that.

Or you could have introduced Professor Goldberg as an advocate, and John Hockenberry could have questioned her as such an advocate. The way that Hockenberry would question someone holding a controversial view. You didn't do that, either.

Instead, you led your audience to understand that the Utah case is just a minor bump in the road toward nationalized gay marriage. You missed the significant legal-procedure story about how Judge Shelby gamed the process (it would have been customary and routine for him to have granted a stay of his order striking down the Utah marriage law, but he refused), because Professor Goldberg was led to talk about the great arc of history.

Today's program is such a perfect example of public radio's left wing bias.

A story about cold weather? Get an activist global-warmist academic to talk about "climate change," weather or not there is any real scientific evidence linking a single weather event and carbon emissions.

A story about a Utah gay marriage ruling? Get a Lambda Legal alumnae to explain it all from the perspective of gay marriage inevitability.

Every story that can be slanted, gets slanted, and always to the left.

Jan. 07 2014 09:47 AM

Since the question of the wider impact of this was ignored with a fatuous comparison to slavery; does this pave the way for polygamy which unlike same-sex marriage does have a tradition in Utah and the wider world?

Jan. 07 2014 09:21 AM

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