Could a State Judge Ignore a Supreme Court Decision Upholding Gay Marriage?
I won’t make you wait: the answer is no. But Article IV, section 2 of the Constitution, which spells that out, is apparently no obstacle for Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. On Tuesday, Judge Moore wrote a letter to the Alabama governor saying he would thumb his nose at last week’s federal court ruling that overturned his state’s ban on same-sex marriage. He pledged to do the same if the United States Supreme Court recognizes marriage equality for gays and lesbians when it rules on the issue this June.
Judge Moore’s letter has already drawn an ethics complaint. This isn’t unfamiliar territory for the stubborn jurist. In 2003, Moore was dismissed from the bench after he refused to follow a federal judge’s order to remove a two-and-a-half-ton Ten Commandments monument he had erected in the state courthouse. "To acknowledge God cannot be a violation of the Canons of Ethics,” Moore insisted at the time. “Without God there can be no ethics.” Undeterred, Moore waged two unsuccessful campaigns for governor before running for chief justice again in 2012. The people of Alabama reinstated him to his old seat.
In his latest bout of judicial civil disobedience, Moore opened the letter this way:
“The laws of this state,” Moore went on to write, “have always recognized the Biblical admonition stated by our Lord” that only men and women should “cleave” together as “one flesh.” And Moore cites a secular source for his position as well:
That’s right: Moore cited a Supreme Court case decided over a century ago to solidify his belief that gay marriage is anathema to the Constitution. No mention of United States v Windsor, the 2013 decision striking down the core of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law defining marriage along heterosexual lines. And no acknowledgement that the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses he pooh-poohed as a source of the right to marriage equality are the exact constitutional phrases the Supreme Court turned to in 1967 when it decided that laws against inter-racial marriage were invalid.
But the real problem with Judge Moore's adolescent stance has nothing to do with his position on same-sex marriage. The trouble with his letter is, as the Southern Poverty Law Center puts it in its complaint, one of basic insubordination:
Chief Justice Moore has himself taken an oath to uphold the federal constitution, even if there are other sources of authority he agrees with or prefers. This is simply “Constitutional Law 101”—a principle that every first-year law student at every law school in every state in the Union would grasp instantly. Chief Justice Moore’s express rejection of this foundational principle evidences either a lack of faithfulness to a principle of law that is beyond dispute or an utter lack of competence that renders him subject to discipline.
If Moore's reaction to the federal court ruling is an early taste of how conservative states will respond to a possible Supreme Court decision this summer providing gays and lesbians across the country with a right to wed, we are in for some tumult in the years ahead. Judge Moore may have more chutzpah than the average cranky state official, but he is not, apparently, the only one with plans to try to scuttle a gay-friendly Supreme Court ruling. One would hope that however the justices rule in June, everyone will keep a copy of the Constitution close at hand.
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Researchers have just discovered the remains of a hybrid human.
90,000 years ago, a young girl lived in a cave in the Altai mountains in southern Siberia. Her life was short; she died in her early teens, but she stands at a unique point in human evolution. She is the first known hybrid of two different kinds of ancient humans: the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.
These thought leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs are propelling the kind of future we want to be a part of.
- The tech industry may be dominated by men in terms of numbers, but there are lots of brilliant women in leadership positions that are changing the landscape.
- The women on this list are founders of companies dedicated to teaching girls to code, innovators in the fields of AI, VR, and machine learning, leading tech writers and podcasters, and CEOs of companies like YouTube and Project Include.
- This list is by no means all-encompassing. There are many more influential women in tech that you should seek out and follow.
Most said they want to act on their desire someday. But do open relationships actually work?
- The study involved 822 Americans who were in monogamous relationships at the time.
- Participants answered questions about their personalities, sexual fantasies, and intentions to act on those fantasies.
- Research suggests practicing consent, comfort, and communication makes open relationships more likely to succeed.
Consensual non-monogamy fantasies<p>For the new study, published in <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-020-01788-7" target="_blank">Archives of Sexual Behavior</a>, researchers asked 822 people in monogamous relationships to:</p><ul><li>Describe their favorite sexual fantasy, defined as "mental images you have while you are awake that you find to be sexually arousing or erotic."</li><li>Select which themes apply to that fantasy, such as having sex with multiple people at the same time, experimenting with taboos, or engaging in a sexually open relationship.</li><li>Answer whether they intended to carry out these fantasies, and discuss them with their partner.</li><li>Complete assessments on relationship satisfaction, erotophilia and personality, as measured by the Big Five Personality inventory.</li></ul><p>The results showed that 32.6 percent of participants said being part of a sexually open relationship was "part of their favorite sexual fantasy of all time." More surprising is that, of that one-third, 80 percent said they want to act on this fantasy in the future.</p>
Pretzelpaws via Wikipedia Commons<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The present research confirms the important distinction between sexual fantasy and sexual desire in that not everyone wanted to act on their favorite sexual fantasy of all time," study author Justin J. Lehmiller told <a href="https://www.psypost.org/2020/09/one-third-of-people-in-monogamous-relationships-fantasize-about-being-in-some-type-of-open-relationship-study-suggests-58102" target="_blank">PsyPost</a>. "This suggests that fantasies may serve different functions for different people."</p><p>Even though most participants said they want to act out their fantasy in the future, far fewer reported acting out sexual fantasies in the past. Other findings included:</p><ul><li>Men were more likely to fantasize about CNMRs.</li><li>So were people who scored high in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotophilia#:~:text=Erotophilia%20is%20a%20personality%20trait,ranging%20from%20erotophobia%20to%20erotophilia." target="_blank">erotophilia</a> and sociosexual orientation.</li><li>The psychological predictors of fantasizing about CNMRs differed from predictors about infidelity fantasies.</li></ul>
Do open relationships work?<p>A <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2019.1669133" target="_blank">2019 study</a> from psychologists at the University of Rochester suggests it <em>is </em>possible<em>, </em>but especially when both partners practice a trio of behaviors: consent, communication, and comfort — or, the Triple-C Model.<br></p>But the study also suggests not all forms of open relationships are equally viable. For example, people in one-sided CNMRs — where one partner stays monogamous, the other seeks outside sexual relationships — were nearly three times more dissatisfied in their relationships than the monogamous group <em>and </em>the consensual non-monogamous group.
The results of this study showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence, declining in early adulthood and then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.