Why Marriage is the Ultimate Battle for Gays

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Edith Windsor, left, and her lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who argued her DOMA lawsuit before the Supreme Court. (Colby Hamilton/WNYC)

Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who argued Edie Windsor's challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act in front of the Supreme Court, talks about the current gay rights cases making their way through the legal system and why she thinks the next big Supreme Court decisions about same-sex marriage may come from cases in states like Ohio, Virginia and Utah. “Because being gay is about who you love, and being married in our legal system is the representation or manifestation of that, I think that in a lot of ways, marriage is the ultimate battle,” Kaplan said. Hear whether she thinks the Supreme Court will decide soon whether Americans have a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

TONIGHT: Roberta Kaplan will be speaking with Edie Windsor and comedian and actress Judy Gold at the 92Y at 8:15 p.m.


Roberta Kaplan

Comments [13] from pelham bay park

Children can arrive biologically or via adoption. That's where they come from, and anyone who wants a kid and can afford/love/educate the little nipper should have one.

Jan. 08 2014 11:08 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

@Team from New jersey

"Isn't marriage a religious institution and isn't government regulation a violation..."

Nope. The law of matrimony - much of it based in common law - is very long and varied. It may have religious history but here in the U.S., couples are not married when they say "I do' before witnesses. They are married when they sign a marriage contract before witnesses. All of the other stuff is just theater. Why should gays have to re-litigate dozens and dozens of cases to see if civil unions are to be treated the same as marriages are? Just cut the knot. The same procedure and vocabulary that is used to make a legal contract of marriage between any two non-related people ought to apply regardless of sex preference.

@John A

"Somebody forgot about children in marriage and where they come from."

Huh? There are many single sex marriages that bring in the children from previous relationships and there are millions of straight marriages that don't (or no longer) include children.

Jan. 07 2014 07:18 PM
John A

Normalize a privilege and or becomes a "right" that everyone then has to have. Costs then go up, thus is the economic argument, and it's impossible to miss.

Jan. 07 2014 03:27 PM
Martin from Kearny, NJ

The question of the 'Economic Argument' for same-sex marriage and whether it was demeaning of the human rights argument was briefly discussed this morning.

As a steadfast supporter of same-sex rights, I have always understood this as a pitch to individuals who fundamentally do not understand or reject a human rights argument same-sex marriage.

In a legislative arena, the Economic Argument might be used to sway predisposed opponents of same-sex marriage due to fundamental religious beliefs. A judicial arena, particularly SCOTUS, is designed specifically to handle issues of constitutionality, which go hand-in-hand with civil and human rights. The Economic Argument becomes much less compelling when arguing in front of a body that is open to a civil and/or human rights approach.

Jan. 07 2014 12:17 PM
T.K. from Brooklyn Heights

The first paragraph of the link below:
"When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities."

Jan. 07 2014 12:07 PM

Kaplan's distinction between gay marriage and polygamy was weak.

Jan. 07 2014 11:45 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Marriage should never have been a State function! The State should never have had anything to do with it. The State should only be involved in recognizing civil unions. Marriage should have remained a religious function performed by the clerics. But in any case, marriage has no future. It's an institutional relic from the past which has a very dim future, if at all. Especially once it becomes technically possible to produce babies outside the female womb.

Jan. 07 2014 11:41 AM
Team from New jersey

Isn't marriage a religious institution and isn't government regulation a violation of of the 1st amendment
Why can't the government be responsible for domestic partnerships, people who have combined their economic resources for what a ever personal reasons. Wouldn't that make everyone happy?

Jan. 07 2014 11:40 AM
John A

OnAir: "There's an absolute difference between rights and benefits."
Right, society loads itself with entitlements until it sinks itself with the cost of those benefits.

Jan. 07 2014 11:40 AM
Christine from Westchester

I disagree with the caller on benefits. I dont think gay marriage is going to add to the cost of benefits significantly. And I also don't think we want to incent people to have more kids. Personally, I think marriage is a religious thing: all couples, gay or straight should just be given a license to be domestic partners. If your relgion offers you marriage, that's up to you. Just because you make this a law (gay marriage) doesn't mean everyone will accept it, as the guest suggests.

Jan. 07 2014 11:38 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Thomas should check with the Centers for Independence of the Disabled of New York, advice.

Jan. 07 2014 11:36 AM
John A

Somebody forgot about children in marriage and where they come from.

Jan. 07 2014 11:32 AM
Robert from NYC

Then it's a double irony because why is the US Supreme Court getting involved? Why didn't the US Supreme Court refuse to take the case? Scalia, to nam one, always complains about having to deal with states' rights but then allows some cases to come to the court. Well Roberts is he who decides but I'm sure with advice from his colleagues, so why don't the believers in states' rights justices talk him out of taking such a case!

Jan. 07 2014 11:31 AM

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