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Marriage Equality Is A Modern Concept For Both Women And Homosexual Couples Says Notorious RBG

April 30, 2015

Gotta love the Notorious RBG. Whenever I want some tough legal concept broken down, I read her opinions. Antonin Scalia says the same old thing: marriage equality never existed before so why should it exist now?

“for millennia, not a single society” [provided marriage equality]

The Notorious RBG says that since no society ever gave women equality, and that has changed, essentially, historical models can’t be used as today’s blueprint for defining marriage.

[Same-sex couples] wouldn’t be asking for this relief if the law of marriage was what it was a millennium ago. I mean, it wasn’t possible. Same-sex unions would not have opted into the pattern of marriage, which was a relationship, a dominant and a subordinate relationship. Yes, it was marriage between a man and a woman, but the man decided where the couple would be domiciled; it was her obligation to follow him.

There was a change in the institution of marriage to make it egalitarian when it wasn’t egalitarian. And same-sex unions wouldn’t — wouldn’t fit into what marriage was once.

Basically: Get with the times, Scalia. Since marriage has changed between men and women, you can’t argue that it’s the same as it always was and then use that as a basis to deny other definitions  of marriage. Women are no longer men’s property, and therefore, the definition of marriage in America changed a long time ago, or haven’t you noticed Scalia?

According to a Think Progress article, the gender roles were what defined marriage, and declared women to be property of their husbands. Once those gender roles broke down, then so does the case for the old definition of marriage:

So American marriage law, and the English law that it was derived from, presumed that the wife was both financially and sexual subservient to the husband. In a world where marriage is defined as a union between a dominant man and a submissive woman, each fulfilling unique gender roles, the case for marriage discrimination is clear. How can both the dominant male role and the submissive female role be carried out in a marital union if the union does not include one man and one woman? This, according to Justice Ginsburg, is why marriage was understood to exclude same-sex couples for so many centuries.

But marriage is no longer bound to antiquated gender roles. And when those gender roles are removed, the case for marriage discrimination breaks down.

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