Sonia Sotomayor Question On Gay Marriage Leaves Lawyer Stumped (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor left the lawyer defending California’s Proposition 8 grasping for words Tuesday with a question about whether the state law banning gay marriage amounts to discrimination.

Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits? Or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other decision-making that the government could make -- denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?

Charles Cooper, the attorney arguing against gay marriage for the state of California, struggled to find a response.

“Your Honor, I cannot,” Cooper said. “I, I do not have, uh, uh, any, uh, anything to offer you in that regard.”

“If they’re a class that makes any other discrimination improper, irrational, then why aren’t we treating them as a class for this one benefit?” Sotomayor then asked.

Cooper answered that marriage needed to be protected because of “responsible procreation” is a “vital” interest to the state and society and because “same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples are simply not similarly situated.”

Observers view Sotomayor as one of the more liberal of the Court’s nine justices. Though she hadn’t ruled on civil union or same-sex marriage cases before rising to the Supreme Court in 2009, her questioning indicated that she is critical of barring gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

The Court considered the question of gay marriage again on Wednesday, hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Listen to the back-and-forth between Sotomayor and Cooper in the video above.

Also on The Huffington Post

Close
100 Independent Latinas In Hollywood!
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Gay Rights

Sotomayor: What's the Interest in Banning Gay Marriage? - Law Blog ...

Excerpts of Calif. gay marriage case at high court

Key quotes from Tuesday's gay marriage hearing

No, Sonia Sotomayor Isn't Gay. But Is She Gay Friendly? / Queerty

Supreme Court justices conflicted on same-sex marriage case - The ...

13 key moments in the Supreme Court argument over gay marriage

Justice Sonia Sotomayor: If Gay Marriage Is Legal, What About Polygamy?

High court hears case on federal benefits for gays