“That sort of quick change has been a characteristic of this debate,” [Chief Justice John Roberts] told proponents. “But if you prevail here, there will be no more debate. I mean, closing of debate can close minds, and it will have a consequence on how this new institution is accepted. People feel very differently about something if they have a chance to vote on it than if it’s imposed on them by the courts.”
―‘Millennia’ of Marriage Being Between Man and Woman Weigh on Justices, The New York Times
Minds are already closed, and on this contentious issue, more discussion won’t change that.
Few who hold strong opinions on this issue, who care enough to be upset by it, who march in protest and file legal challenges, will be swayed by further debate. There’s already so much emotion and energy involved in any mention of same-sex marriage, any discussion of its merits just leads to more vitriol, and ultimately, hurt. The Courts need to make this decision because while the majority of Americans support the right, 13 states still either ban or refuse to recognize our unions.
The need for debate aside, I don’t really care how opponents feel about my right to marry. I care that I have the same legal rights my parents and grandparents have. I care that we can build a life together without constantly worrying over how the status of our relationship might impact us. I care that when my partner of many years is sick, I can be there for him, without onerous legal requirements. My father didn’t need power of attorney to make decisions for my mother when she had a stroke, why should it be any different for me and my partner?