18.劃時代意義的美國聯邦最高法院決定～About Same-Sex Marriage
美國時間 2015 年 6 月 26 日上午，美國最高法院以五比四的極接近表決數，通過承認同性婚姻在美國的合法性。這個足以憾動家庭及婚姻制度的美國最高法院決定，明台大老師當然是想趕快和各位分享。
雖是長達 100 多頁，但真的值得各位利用週末假日，好好研讀，除了可以提升英語能力之外，這則判決內容，邏輯嚴謹、說理清楚、用字精確，尤其是 Chief Justice Roberts 的反對意見書，絕對是值得列入教科書的必讀教材。
The identification and protection of fundamental rights is an enduring part of the judicial duty to interpret the Constitution. That responsibility, however, "has not been reduced to any formula." Rather, it requires courts to exercise reasoned judgment in identifying interests of the person so fundamental that the State must accord them its respect. That process is guided by many of the same considerations relevant to analysis of other constitutional provisions that set for broad principles rather than specific requirements. History and tradition guide and discipline this inquiry but do not set its outer boundaries. That method respects our history and learns from it without allowing the past alone to rule the present.
It must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, many continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have lone revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. In turn, those who believe allowing same-sex marriage is proper or indeed sensual, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate. The Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same term as accorded to couples of the opposite sex.
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, dignity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a martial 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 of find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. The ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.