A U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday to not hear an appeal challenging same-sex marriage in Massachusetts has sparked a familiar debate on campus.
Several conservative groups asked the Supreme Court to overturn a Massachusetts high court’s decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case without comment.
The groups said elected officials, not judges, should be making decisions involving same-sex marriage.
Edward Schiappa, a University communications studies professor, said the decision did not surprise him because it is a state issue, not a federal issue.
“The interpretation here is based on the (Massachusetts) court’s understanding of the state’s constitution,” he said.
But Schiappa said he thinks the Supreme Court will make a decision dealing with same-sex marriage within the next five years.
“It’s a tough issue,” he said.
Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, said the courts are overstepping their boundaries by deciding what constitutes a marriage.
Legislators should make those decisions because they represent the people, he said. Instead, justices are basing their rulings on their own beliefs and values, he said.
“That’s where people will feel frustrated,” Prichard said.
B David Galt, director for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Programs Office, said that the decision thrilled him because it affirmed states’ rights.
When looking at the history of social movements, the courts have made important decisions to ensure all people are treated equally, Galt said.
“It has ultimately come down to the courts to do the right thing,” he said.
Brian Edstrom, president of Students for Family Values, called the decision a “bump in the road” for groups that want the government to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
But he said the Supreme Court will eventually have to decide where it stands on the issue.
Miriam Schimunek, a biology sophomore, said she agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“The government has no right to take part in people’s lives,” she said.
Fabiana Lima Verde, a fisheries and wildlife junior, said that she doesn’t agree with same-sex marriage because it goes against biblical principles and she was disappointed in the court’s conclusion.
“Someone needs to step up and make a decision,” she said.
– The Associated Press contributed to this article.