Oral arguments in the latest same-sex marriage Supreme Court case begin this week. Same-sex marriage is now legal in 36 states, due to the previous 2014 Supreme Court case Windsor v. United States, in which the federal Defense of Marriage Act was invalidated. That case repealed the ban on the federal level, but left things ambiguous on the state level. The constitutionality of state bans is what the Supreme Court will be taking up this week in the Obergefell v. Hodges case.
The case consolidates four cases dealing with same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Tennesee, Kentucky, and Michigan. The case will focus on two questions:
- Must all states issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?
- If not, does a state that does not issue same-sex marriage licenses still have to honor and recognize same-sex marriage licenses issued by other states?
From a doing the right thing / let’s all be on the correct side of history standpoint, it seems pretty clear that the answer to both questions should be a simple “yes.” From a legal standpoint, however, the issue is trickier. The case will argue, for example, if there is a federally guaranteed right to marriage at all (for straight or same-sex couples).
Conservatives are attempting to frame the argument that marriage itself is defined as a heterosexual union, and making the issue about adding it about the adding of a new right of “gay marriage.” Liberals are arguing that there is nothing inherent in the definition of marriage to imply heterosexuality, and therefore marriage should be defined as the legal union of two people, regardless of their sex.
Determining who is right (again, not from a moral standpoint, but from a legal one) is a matter of interpretation. To read more about the nuances of the case, I recommend checking out this explainer from Vox.
But, inspired by the hashtag campaign promoting marriage equality, #lovemustwin, let’s turn to several match-ups to see if love will win tomorrow.
Love vs. ______: A Look At Various Match-Ups That Ask The Question “Will Love Win?”
Love vs. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is arguably the most talented all-around basketball player of all time. He changed the way we play the game, led his Chicago Bulls to a year-spanning championship-winning dynasty, and transformed himself from a great player to an icon, his form in flight becoming synonymous with the game being played at its highest level. But love is the most powerful emotion a human can feel, transferring us to heights of ecstasy we can’t know in any other way. Love wins.
Love vs. Burritos
I love burritos. I love burritos more than anyone I know. I eat burritos one or two meals a day. I’ll eat at the Chipotle near my office for lunch, at a local taqueria for dinner with my girlfriend, and have no qualms at stopping by Taco Bell for a late-night 7-Layer Burrito after having a few drinks. Then I’ll do it all again tomorrow. I hunt out burritos like my ancestors hunted buffalo or scavenged for berries. But are burritos better than love? Love is a real chemical experience in the brain, a powerful neurological condition involving the release of chemicals and longterm attachment bonding, involving pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin. Love wins.
Love vs. The Horror Movie It Follows
Have you guys seen this new indie horror film It Follows that people are talking about? Holy shit, this movie rules. I don’t usually like horror films that much, but this one transcends the genre. I don’t want to spoil it by giving away the premise. Just go see it. It is beautifully shot and has a killer soundtrack. But if you’re not convinced, check out the trailer here. But is It Follows better than love? Love can take on many forms - love for parents, love for children, love for friends. But the love of a longterm intimate romantic partner is a special time of love because it is about a passionate commitment that requires work, nourishment, and development, taking the powerful feeling of infatuation or even lust, but then turning that into something more through dedication and work. Love wins.
Love vs. The Pop Song “Timber” By Pitbull Ft. Ke$ha
Man, this song fucking rules. It is easily the best pop song of the last decade. It’s got country, it’s got rap, it’s got sick-ass sicking. It’s the best possible karaoke duet. Try it if you don’t believe me. Here, just watch and listen:
Clearly, we can all agree that song is the best. But is it better than love? Love is the most powerful driving force in humanity. All our great stories, both personal and grand, involve love. Being deprived of love can be the greatest loss possible. It can be an obsession. As the Benedictine nun Catherine Wybourne put it, “The paradox of love is that it is supremely free yet attaches us with bonds stronger than death. It cannot be bought or sold. There is nothing it cannot face. Love is life’s greatest blessing.” Love wins.
Love vs. Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies In The Freezer
This is a confusing one, because I love eating Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies after they’ve been chilling in the freezer. So it seems like that the cookies here have love tied up inside them somehow, so that they might be able to beat love that way. But no. Love is even better than a freshly opened bag of frozen Thin Mints. That’s how great love is. Love wins
So there you have it. Love wins. Love must win. You can show your support for marriage equality by using the hashtag #lovemustwin when you post to social media, if you’re so inclined.