The Supreme Court announced today that it will hear cases dealing with the definition of marriage during its current term.
The Court will consider challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress and signed by President Clinton, and Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
After lower courts ruled against these marriage laws, the Supreme Court now has the opportunity to return authority to citizens in answering questions about marriage policy.
Every marriage policy draws lines, leaving out some types of relationships. But equality forbids arbitrary line-drawing. Determining which lines are arbitrary requires us to answer two questions:
1.What is marriage?
2.Why does it matter for policy?