Is a Ban on SSM a “gender-based classification”?

March 26th, 2013

Cooper says no to AMK:

10 JUSTICE KENNEDY: Do you believe this can be 11 treated as a gender-based classification?

MR. COOPER: Your Honor, I —

JUSTICE KENNEDY: It’s a difficult question 14 that I’ve been trying to wrestle with it.

MR. COOPER: Yes, Your Honor. And we do 16 not. We do not think it is properly viewed as a 17 gender-based classification. Virtually every appellate 18 court, State and Federal, with one exception, Hawaii, in 19 a superseded opinion, has agreed that it is not a 20 gender-based classification, but I guess it is 21 gender-based in the sense that marriage itself is a 22 gendered institution, a gendered term, and so in the 23 same way that fatherhood is gendered more motherhood is 24 gendered, it’s gendered in that sense. 25 But we — we agree that to the extent that the classification impacts, as it clearly does, same-sex 2 couples, that — that classification can be viewed as 3 being one of sexual orientation rather than —

I’ve never heard the word “gendered” used in this context, especially by someone arguingĀ against SSM.