Yhdysvaltain Supreme Court: Samaa sukupuolta olevien avioliitot perustuslaissa taattu oikeus

26.6.2015 | Oikeusuutiset

Markku Fredman

Yhdysvaltain korkein oikeus (Supreme Court) on tänään antanut merkittävän ennakkopäätöksen, jossa se katsoi perustuslain 14 lisäyksessä (Amendment) taatun, että a) osavaltioiden tulee myöntää vihkitodistus samaa sukupuolta oleville ja b) osavaltioiden tulee hyväksyä toisessa osavaltiossa solmittu aviolitto samaa sukupuolta olevien kesken.

Ratkaisu on luonnollisesti tasa-arvoista avioliittoa kannattaville suuri voitto Yhdysvalloissa. Supreme Courtin ratkaisu syntyi äänin 5-4 ja on pituudeltaan eriävine mielipiteineen 103-sivuinen. Tyypilliseen Supreme Courtin tapaan kirjoittaa päätöksiä ratkaisussa käydään laajalti keskustelua niin filosofisista näkökulmista kuin Magna Cartasta lähtien.

Vähemmistön suurin ongelma asiassa on ollut se, että enemmistön päätös perustuu perustuslain 14 lisäykseen, ja ennen kaikkea siihen kohtaan, jossa puhutaan oikeudesta vapauteen. Alla otteita niin enemmistön kuin vähemmistönkin perusteluista.

Enemmistön perusteluista:

Excluding same-sex couples from marriage thus conflicts with a central premise of the right to marry. Without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing theirfamilies are somehow lesser. They also suffer the significant material costs of being raised by unmarried parents, relegated through no fault of their own to a more difficult and uncertain family life. The marriage laws at issue herethus harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples. See Windsor, supra, at ___ (slip op., at 23).

That is not to say the right to marry is less meaningful for those who do not or cannot have children. An ability,desire, or promise to procreate is not and has not been a prerequisite for a valid marriage in any State. In light of precedent protecting the right of a married couple not to procreate, it cannot be said the Court or the States have conditioned the right to marry on the capacity or commitment to procreate. The constitutional marriage right has many aspects, of which childbearing is only one.


These considerations lead to the conclusion that the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them. Baker v. Nelson must be and now is overruled, and the State laws challenged by Petitioners in these cases are now held invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.


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 once they 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 ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

Vähemmistön perusteluista:

Perhaps recognizing how its reasoning may be used, the majority attempts, toward the end of its opinion, to reassure those who oppose same-sex marriage that their rights of conscience will be protected. Ante, at 26–27. We will soon see whether this proves to be true. I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.


By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas. Recalling the harsh treatment of gays and lesbians in the past, some may think that turnabout is fair play. But if that sentiment prevails, the Nation will experience bitter and lasting wounds.

Today’s decision will also have a fundamental effect on this Court and its ability to uphold the rule of law. If a bare majority of Justices can invent a new right and impose that right on the rest of the country, the only real limit on what future majorities will be able to do is their own sense of what those with political power and cultural influence are willing to tolerate. Even enthusiastic supporters of same-sex marriage should worry about the scope of the power that today’s majority claims.

Today’s decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court’s abuse of its authority have failed. A lesson that some will take from today’s decision is that preaching about the proper method of interpreting the Constitution or the virtues of judicial self-restraint and humility cannot compete with the temptation to achieve what is viewed as a noble end by any practicable means. I do not doubt that my colleagues in the majority sincerely see in the Constitution a vision of liberty that happens to coincide with their own. But this sincerity is cause for concern, not comfort. What it evidences is the deep and perhaps irremediable corruption of our legal culture’s conception of constitutional interpretation.

Most Americans—understandably—will cheer or lament today’s decision because of their views on the issue of same-sex marriage. But all Americans, whatever their thinking on that issue, should worry about what the majority’s claim of power portends.

Koko ratkaisu löytyy täältä: 6/26/15 – Obergefell v. Hodges

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