CNN: “Candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination will be urged Thursday to sign a pledge promising to support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. The National Organization for Marriage’s request comes as the nation waits to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will rule this month to legalize same sex marriage across the country.”
North Carolina’s House “overrode the governor’s veto of the same-sex marriage bill that allows magistrates to decline to perform marriages,” the Raleigh News and Observer reports.
“The Senate overrode the veto earlier this month, and now it is law. As a result, magistrates and employees of registers of deeds can opt out of performing marriage duties if they cite a religious objection. County offices in North Carolina must have established hours for performing weddings, as well.”
Washington Post: “The incredibly swift public opinion battle on same-sex marriage appears to be over — even moreso than you might think. A new Pew Research Center survey released this week reinforced what we already know: That a clear and growing majority of Americans support same-sex marriage.”
“But here’s something perhaps even more telling: Even those who don’t support same-sex marriage (mainly, religious conservatives) also think it’s inevitable same-sex marriage will soon be legal across America.”
“With today’s vote, we have disclosed who we are: a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people.”
— Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny, quoted by the Washington Post, after Irish voters legalized same-sex marriage.
“Ireland appeared poised to become the world’s first nation to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote on Saturday, with early vote counts showing strong and broad support for a measure that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago in what had traditionally been a Roman Catholic stronghold,” the New York Times reports.
London Telegragh: “Votes still being counted but opponents of same sex marriage admit ‘disappointing’ results so far.”
“Turnout in the world’s first referendum on same sex marriage and on the age of candidates for the presidency is reported to be brisk,” the Irish Times reports.
“Over the weekend, less than a month after the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presided over the wedding of Shakespeare Theatre artistic director Michael Kahn and interior designer Charles Mitchem. According to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, a guest at the wedding, Ginsburg delivered her portion, including saying she was officiating by the power vested in her by the United States Constitution, ‘with a sly look and special emphasis on the word Constitution,;” MSNBC reports.
Wrote Dowd: “No one was sure if she was emphasizing her own beliefs or giving a hint to the outcome of the case the Supreme Court is considering whether to decide if same-sex marriage is constitutional.”
Jeb Bush reiterated that he doesn’t believe that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, the Washington Post reports.
Said Bush: “It’s at the core of the Catholic faith, and to imagine how we are going to succeed in our country unless we have committed family life, a committed child-centered family system, is hard to imagine. So, irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling — because they are going to decide whatever they decide, I don’t know what they are going to do — we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage.”
“I don’t usually go to weddings of people that I don’t know, OK? I don’t go to ‘em. But if somebody that I like is getting married in the traditional sense or in the non-traditional sense, I’m not hung up about it and I’ll be celebrating with them at that point.”
— Gov. John Kasich (R), quoted by the Wall Street Journal, declining to shed light on why he felt comfortable attending a gay wedding but was opposed to gay marriage.
Jeffrey Toobin: “There was a shocking, ugly moment during the argument of Obergefell v. Hodges, the same-sex marriage case, in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Right after Mary Bonauto, the lawyer challenging marriage bans in several states, completed her argument, a spectator rose from a back row and started screaming, ‘If you support gay marriage, you will burn in Hell!’ As the man yelled, ‘It’s an abomination!,’ guards carried him from the courtroom.”
“That wasn’t the ugly part, though. In the quiet moment after the man was removed, as his shouts vanished into the hallway, Justice Antonin Scalia filled the silence with a quip. ‘It was rather refreshing, actually,’ he said.”
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds a majority of Republicans would attend the same-sex wedding of a loved one, highlighting the political risks for Republican presidential candidates who stake out positions against gay marriage.
“The poll showed 56% of Republicans would attend the gay wedding of a loved one if invited. That compares with 80% of Democrats and 70% of independents, who said they would go. Overall, 68% of Americans would attend, the poll showed, while 19% would not and 13% were unsure.”
Washington Post: “As the gay marriage debate plays out on the national stage, it is also playing out in the Republican primary. And while at first glance the candidates seemed to be mostly aligned, some differences have emerged that could help or hurt them in the primary.”
“A divided and cautious Supreme Court on Tuesday probed whether states barring same-sex marriage are violating a right for gay couples, hearing extended arguments on one of the most direct constitutional issues to cross its docket in recent memory,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Justices questioned whether they should require all 50 states to recognize same-sex unions or allow state political processes to decide on a piecemeal basis. Court watchers were focused intently on Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was seen going into the case as the most crucial vote to the outcome. ”
New York Times: “The justices appeared to clash over not only what is the right answer but also over how to reach it. The questioning illuminated their conflicting views on history, tradition, biology, constitutional interpretation, the democratic process and the role of the courts in prodding social change.”
“Just under 30 years later, Powell’s seat on the Court is occupied by Anthony Kennedy, who is likely to provide the swing vote in the cases that will be heard today — and many observers expect him to declare that the Constitution confers a right to same-sex marriage in all 50 states.”
Wonk Wire: America can changes its mind quickly
Nate Cohn: “With the legality of same-sex marriage being argued on Tuesday, the court could allow Republicans to abandon an unpopular position without abandoning their principles or risking a primary challenge. History would effectively be bailing out the party.”
“Sometimes history helps Democrats, as when the Cold War ended and made the long-held view that they were weak on national security less salient. This year, if the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, the court could free Republicans from defending a policy that makes it far harder to confront their generational and demographic challenges.”
“The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments on whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The session, scheduled to last two and a half hours, is the last public step before a decision, expected in June, that will resolve one of the great open questions in modern constitutional law,” the New York Times reports.
“Until recently, the court has been cautious and halting in addressing same-sex marriage, signaling that it did not want to outpace public support and developments in the states. Now, though, a definitive decision will probably be handed down in about two months.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this week in a landmark gay marriage case that many legal experts believe will pave the way for same-sex couples to wed in all 50 states,” The Hill reports.
“Same sex-marriage has been the subject of fierce national debate for well more than a decade, with more than 30 states and the District of Columbia allowing same-sex couples to marry. More than a dozen other states, meanwhile, have approved bans on gay marriage, touching off a series of legal battles around the country.”
Wonk Wire: America can change its mind quickly
New York Times: “Rick Santorum said he would never attend a same-sex wedding. Marco Rubio said he might attend one. Scott Walker actually went to a same-sex wedding reception, not to be confused with an actual same-sex wedding ceremony. Ted Cruz said he is firmly opposed to gay marriage, but would be comfortable if his daughter were gay.”
“Republican presidential candidates are struggling to adjust to a rapidly changing legal, political and cultural landscape this primary season, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday on whether same-sex marriage is a constitutionally protected right.”