The U.S. Supreme Court has begun hearing arguments in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, a consolidation of four cases that could force states to recognize same-sex marriages issued in other states.
U.S. Rep. James Himes, D-4th District, released a statement Tuesday, calling for national recognition of same-sex marriages.
“Discriminatory state marriage bans still prevent thousands of committed same-sex couples from enjoying the same rights and benefits as their fellow Americans,” Himes said in a release. “And states with these laws continue to ignore legal marriages that were performed in places like Connecticut, which has helped lead the way on equality.”
Oral arguments included a discussion on the definition of marriage, with attorney Mary L. Bonauto arguing that marriage in any form is the “foundation” of family life.
“The intimate and committed relationships of same-sex couples, just like those of heterosexual couples, provide mutual support and are the foundation of family life in our society,” she said. “If a legal commitment, responsibility and protection that is marriage is off limits to gay people as a class, the stain of unworthiness that follows on individuals and families contravenes the basic constitutional commitment to equal dignity.”
Chief Justice John Roberts asked Bonauto if she was attempting to change the fundamental meaning of marriage.
“My question is, you’re not seeking to join the institution, you’re seeking to change what the institution is,” Roberts said. “The fundamental core of the institution is the opposite sex relationship and you want to introduce into it a same-sex relationship.”
Back in March, Himes was one of 210 Democrats in the House and Senate to file an amicus brief with the high court arguing in favor of same-sex marriage.
“I am hopeful the court will both rule in favor of countless loving couples across the United States and be on the right side of history by recognizing full marriage equality nationally,” he said.
—Related briefs filed with the SCOTUS
Jordan Fenster lives with his family in Fairfield County. He can be reached by or @JordanFenster on Twitter.
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