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It is because state-recognized marriage legally possesses and communicates such a status that over a thousand state benefits flow to it, and myriad obligations attach to it as well.Advocates for same-sex marriage relied heavily upon the fact that marriage is a public, expressive status in arguing for a constitutionally recognized right.This proposition is clearly true based upon common knowledge about the processes involved in wedding cake design and decoration.
And a wedding cake in every case celebrates what the state-licensed marriage expresses. But the Constitution forbids the state from compelling a citizen to endorse what he or she does not believe, by “word or act.” As the Supreme Court held in , “[i]f there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” This principle has been upheld in cases (such as ) in which the complainant was not being asked personally to endorse the expression at issue.Cohabitation, dating and nonmarital sexual partnerships, on the other hand, confer almost no such benefits and are not legally or socially linked with any of these advantages.This is why same-sex marriage advocates were not satisfied to remain at the level of cohabitants or unmarried intimate partners.Please try using our search function to find your content.Are you looking for a Bay Guardian story that was published before 2015? The print and online articles from the Bay Guardian newspaper and from 2006–2014 are back online at the Bay Guardian archives, and you can search the archive at this link. Also, take a look at our Issuu account for searchable PDFs of our most recent issues.
It serves as a means by which gay and lesbian persons “define and express their identity” to the larger society.