I took great delight in reading both of these passages from the recent Supreme Court decision overturning state bans on same-sex marriage.
Justice Kennedy’s opinion:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They as for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
Justice Scalia’s dissent:
‘The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality,’ “Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie.
…The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.
Would any of my hippie friends like to comment on the abridgment of the Freedom of Intimacy? Justice Scalia is one of the most brilliant men i have ever met. I find myself disagreeing with his conclusions as often as not, but his clarity of thought is often undeniable. As is his acerbic wit.