For two days in March, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments regarding landmark cases about same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, March 26, U.S. Supreme Court justices heard arguments regarding California’s Proposition 8, which was approved by voters in 2008 and bans same-sex marriage. A day later, justices heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages.
FIU News sat down with two university professors to learn more about the issues being debated.
Rebecca Mae Salokar JD ’09, chair and associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations, has published articles and book chapters on state constitutional change, state judicial elections and campaign speech, judicial selection, and legal representation for Congress. While her teaching interests center on law and courts, her research interests bridge the disciplines of law and political science. Most recently, her research has been in the area of gay and lesbian families and the law, and she has worked on cases involving same-sex adoptions in Florida. She is quoted in media on issues of judicial politics; constitutional law and politics; gender and law; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) politics.
College of Law professor Jose Gabilondo has published extensively on how law and legal institutions promote heterosexual supremacy at the expense of equal rights for gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities. His articles have critiqued straight supremacy in marriage, legal education, religious expression and the treatment of young people. He has chaired the Association of American Law Schools’ Section of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues and the Law School Admissions Council Subcommittee on GLBT issues. His work on heterosexual identity has been used in court-ordered diversity training for Florida judges and judicial staff. He regularly lectures on the issues, comments in the Spanish-language media and debates opponents of gay marriage in a variety of fora.
It is expected that the justices will not render rulings on the cases until late June 2013.