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奥伯格菲尔诉霍奇斯(节选)  

2017-01-25 17:36:28|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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OBERGEFELL v. HODGESabridged

奥伯格菲尔诉霍奇(节选)

 SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

联邦最高法院

 

 

JUDGES: Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, JJ., joined. Roberts, C. J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Scalia and Thomas, JJ., joined. Scalia, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Thomas, J., joined. Thomas, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Scalia, J., joined. Alito, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Scalia and Thomas, JJ., joined.

 

OPINION BY: Kennedy

 

The petitioners sought certiorari. This Court granted review, limited to two questions……The first……is whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. The second……is whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to recognize a same-sex marriage licensed and performed in a State which does grant that right.

 

上诉人申请调卷令。本院准许,但仅限审查两问题……第一……从宪法第十四修正案,联邦之州应否许可两同性人结婚。第二……从宪法第十四修正案,联邦之州应否承认,在赋予同性结婚权之州历经许可且已然完婚的同性婚姻。

 

II

 Before addressing the principles and precedents that govern these cases, it is appropriate to note the history of the subject now before the Court.

 

     在梳理适用此类案件的规则和先例前,不妨先回顾讼争主题在本院走过的历程。

 

A

From their beginning to their most recent page, the annals of human history reveal the transcendent importance of marriage. The lifelong union of a man and a woman always has promised nobility and dignity to all persons, without regard to their station in life. Marriage is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm. Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations.

 

    从人类诞生到最近,人类编年史显示,婚姻具有无可比拟的重要性。不论身份地位,男人和女人的终身结合,始终予人以高贵和尊严。对教徒而言是神圣的,对世俗人士则意味着特殊的慰藉。远大于两人的简单相加,婚姻中的两人可以找到光有一人无法找到的生活。尽管来源于人类最基本的需求,婚姻是人类意义最深远的希望和期盼所必需。

The centrality of marriage to the human condition makes it unsurprising that the institution has existed for millennia and across civilizations. Since the dawn of history, marriage has transformed strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together. Confucius taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government. 2 Li Chi: Book of Rites 266 (C. Chai & W. Chai eds., J. Legge transl. 1967). This wisdom was echoed centuries later and half a world away by Cicero, who wrote, "The first bond of society is marriage; next, children; and then the family." See De Officiis 57 (W. Miller transl. 1913). There are untold references to the beauty of marriage in religious and philosophical texts spanning time, cultures, and faiths, as well as in art and literature in all their forms. It is fair and necessary to say these references were based on the understanding that marriage is a union between two persons of the opposite sex.

 

    人类情形下时时处于中心的婚姻,成延续千年跨越文明的制度,自不足奇。从人类伊始,陌生人因婚姻成亲人,进而组建家庭和社会。孔子曾曰“礼,其政之本与2 Li Chi: Book of Rites 266 (C. Chai & W. Chai eds., J. Legge transl. 1967).几个世纪之后居另一半球的西塞罗,和之以同样的智慧:“社会的第一纽带是婚姻,其次是儿女,再者是家庭。”See De Officiis 57 (W. Miller transl. 1913).凡论及婚姻之美好者尚不计其数,跨越时间、文化和信仰的宗教与哲学中的,各种形式的艺术与文学中的。特别需要指出的是,这些讨论尽皆预设,婚姻乃异性之婚。

That history is the beginning of these cases. The respondents say it should be the end as well. To them, it would demean a timeless institution if the concept and lawful status of marriage were extended to two persons of the same sex. Marriage, in their view, is by its nature a gender-differentiated union of man and woman. This view long has been held--and continues to be held--in good faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world.

 

    前述历史是此类案件的开始。被上诉人认为同一历史也该在此终结。对被上诉人来说,如若婚姻概念和婚姻地位可以拓展到两同性之人,则为亵渎长久以来的婚姻制度。在被上诉人看来,婚姻本质上就是一男和女的异性结合。美国或世上其它国家大凡理性真诚之人,之已久,并永久保持。

The petitioners acknowledge this history but contend that these cases cannot end there. Were their intent to demean the revered idea and reality of marriage, the petitioners' claims would be of a different order. But that is neither their purpose nor their submission. To the contrary, it is the enduring importance of marriage that underlies the petitioners' contentions. This, they say, is their whole point. Far from seeking to devalue marriage, the petitioners seek it for themselves because of their respect--and need--for its privileges and responsibilities. And their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment.

 

    上诉人承认前述历史,但主张此类案件不应就此止步。如若意在亵渎异性婚姻概念或婚姻现状,上诉人的诉讼请求一定写成另外一个样子。这既非其本愿,也不在其诉讼请求之列。相反,婚姻具有的经久不衰的重要性是其讼争的基础。这才是,按照上诉人的说法,他们抱有的全部观点。绝不是为了亵渎婚姻,上诉人决计诉讼,是因为敬重婚姻特权和责任,并追求之。他们无法改变的本性向其指明,同性婚姻是他们得以相互许身的唯一通途。

Recounting the circumstances of three of these cases illustrates the urgency of the petitioners' cause from their perspective. Petitioner James Obergefell, a plaintiff in the Ohio case, met John Arthur over two decades ago. They fell in love and started a life together, establishing a lasting, committed relation. In 2011, however, Arthur was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. This debilitating disease is progressive, with no known cure. Two years ago, Obergefell and Arthur decided to commit to one another, resolving to marry before Arthur died. To fulfill their mutual promise, they traveled from Ohio to Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal. It was difficult for Arthur to move, and so the couple were wed inside a medical transport plane as it remained on the tarmac in Baltimore. Three months later, Arthur died. Ohio law does not permit Obergefell to be listed as the surviving spouse on Arthur's death certificate. By statute, they must remain strangers even in death, a state-imposed separation Obergefell deems "hurtful for the rest of time." App. in No. 14-556 etc., p. 38. He brought suit to be shown as the surviving spouse on Arthur's death certificate.

 

三上诉案的案情细述,足以显示各个诉因的紧迫性。上诉人詹姆 奥伯格菲尔(“伯格菲尔”),俄亥俄州上诉案原告,二十年前遇见约翰 (“亚瑟”)。他俩坠入爱河,开始新的生活,并建立持久如一的关系。2011年,诊断得知,亚不幸患有肌萎缩性脊髓侧索硬化症(“ALS”)。ALS致人渐进趋弱,尚无治愈之方。两年前,奥伯格菲尔和亚决定以身相许,决计在亚去世之前完婚。为此,他们从俄亥俄州前往同性婚姻已合法化的马里兰州。亚行动困难,这对情侣就在一架停在巴尔的摩停机坪内的医疗运输机里举行婚礼。三个月后,亚离世。俄亥俄州法律并不允许,奥伯格菲尔以未亡配偶身份入列的死亡证明。依照法律,甚至在死亡之后他俩仍然是陌生人;州法强加的隔离意味着,奥伯格菲尔的“余生在痛苦中度过”。App. in No. 14-556 etc., p. 38。他提起诉讼,请求以配偶身份入列亚的死亡证明。

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are co-plaintiffs in the case from Michigan. They celebrated a commitment ceremony to honor their permanent relation in 2007. They both work as nurses, DeBoer in a neonatal unit and Rowse in an emergency unit. In 2009, DeBoer and Rowse fostered and then adopted a baby boy. Later that same year, they welcomed another son into their family. The new baby, born prematurely and abandoned by his biological mother, required around-the-clock care. The next year, a baby girl with special needs joined their family. Michigan, however, permits only opposite-sex married couples or single individuals to adopt, so each child can have only one woman as his or her legal parent. If an emergency were to arise, schools and hospitals may treat the three children as if they had only one parent. And, were tragedy to befall either DeBoer or Rowse, the other would have no legal rights over the children she had not been permitted to adopt. This couple seeks relief from the continuing uncertainty their unmarried status creates in their lives.

 

    艾普瑞尔 德波尔(“德波尔”)和杰恩 罗斯(“罗斯”),密歇根州上诉案的共同原告。曾在2007年举行以身相许仪式,夯实她们之间的永久关系。她们都是在职护士,德波尔在新生儿看护病房,罗斯在急症室。2009年,德波尔罗斯先收留并领养一名男婴。同年晚些时候,他们家又迎来另一个儿子。这个生母亲抛弃的早产儿,需要24小时不间断照顾。第二年,另一名有特殊需求的女婴,加入她们家庭。密歇根州只允许异性夫妻或者单身人士领养,因此她们家每一位孩子只容有一名女性成为法律上的母亲。如若发生紧急情况,学校或者医院视若,每一位孩子有且只有名家长。如若悲剧降临德波尔罗斯,另一人并没有照顾她未曾也不可领养的孩子的权利。这对伴侣,诉请消除其未婚地位给生活造成的持久的不确定性。

Army Reserve Sergeant First Class Ijpe DeKoe and his partner Thomas Kostura, co-plaintiffs in the Tennessee case, fell in love. In 2011, DeKoe received orders to deploy to Afghanistan. Before leaving, he and Kostura married in New York. A week later, DeKoe began his deployment, which lasted for almost a year. When he returned, the two settled in Tennessee, where DeKoe works full-time for the Army Reserve. Their lawful marriage is stripped from them whenever they reside in Tennessee, returning and disappearing as they travel across state lines. DeKoe, who served this Nation to preserve the freedom the Constitution protects, must endure a substantial burden.

 

    陆军预备役三级军士伊佩 德科(“德科”)和与其同涉爱河的托马斯 科斯图拉(“科斯图拉”),田纳西州上诉案的共同原告。2011年,德科接到派令前向阿富汗。行前他和科斯图拉在纽约结婚。一周后他命前往阿富汗,奉调任务延续近年。他回来后,两人在田纳西州定居全职为陆军预备役工作。只要他们的旅途跨越州界,其合法婚姻要么消失要么复显;每当他们落脚田纳西州,其合法婚姻消失了。献身报国以捍卫宪法赋予的自由的他,不得不承受如此沉重的负担。

B

The ancient origins of marriage confirm its centrality, but it has not stood in isolation from developments in law and society. The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. That institution--even as confined to opposite-sex relations--has evolved over time.

 

    现今的婚姻起源于远古之时这一事实,足以证实婚姻在人类生活中占据的中心位置,但婚姻并非游离于法律或者社会发展之外。婚姻的历史就是兼具沿袭和变革的历史。婚姻制度,哪怕仅限于异性关系的,也一直随时间变化而变化

For example, marriage was once viewed as an arrangement by the couple's parents based on political, religious, and financial concerns; but by the time of the Nation's founding it was understood to be a voluntary contract between a man and a woman. See N. Cott, Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation 9-17 (2000); S. Coontz, Marriage, A History 15-16 (2005). As the role and status of women changed, the institution further evolved. Under the centuries-old doctrine of coverture, a married man and woman were treated by the State as a single, male-dominated legal entity. See 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 430 (1765). As women gained legal, political, and property rights, and as society began to understand that women have their own equal dignity, the law of coverture was abandoned. See Brief for Historians of Marriage et al. as Amici Curiae 16-19. These and other developments in the institution of marriage over the past centuries were not mere superficial changes. Rather, they worked deep transformations in its structure, affecting aspects of marriage long viewed by many as essential. See generally N. Cott, Public Vows; S. Coontz, Marriage; H. Hartog, Man & Wife in America: A History (2000).

 

    例如,昔日的婚姻看成是双方父母基于政治、宗教和财务考虑而做的安排,但到美利坚合众国建成之时,又视为一个男人和一个女人之间出于自愿的契约。See N. Cott, Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation 9-17 (2000); S. Coontz, Marriage, A History 15-16 (2005). 随着女性角色和社会地位的变化,这一制度又有进一步发展。按照历史悠久的“庇护所”学说,一对已婚的男女,国家待若一个男性主导的法律实体。See 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 430 (1765).女性获得法律、政治和财产权,社会认识到女性有着自己的平等的尊严,有关“庇护所”的法律才废除。See Brief for Historians of Marriage et al. as Amici Curiae 16-19. 几世纪以来或若上述或属其他的发展变化,不仅在表面上,而且从结构上改变了婚姻制度,以至于有伤筋动骨之感。See generally N. Cott, Public Vows; S. Coontz, Marriage; H. Hartog, Man & Wife in America: A History (2000)

These new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution of marriage. Indeed, changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations, often through perspectives that begin in pleas or protests and then are considered in the political sphere and the judicial process.

 

这一类新见解,并没有削弱反倒强化了婚姻制度。事实上,婚姻概念之流变,是美利坚合众国的特点。自由屡获新意,新一代据为诉求,先显形为请愿或抗议,后演变为政治党争,甚至是法院庭决。

This dynamic can be seen in the Nation's experiences with the rights of gays and lesbians. Until the mid-20th century, same-sex intimacy long had been condemned as immoral by the state itself in most Western nations, a belief often embodied in the criminal law. For this reason, among others, many persons did not deem homosexuals to have dignity in their own distinct identity. A truthful declaration by same-sex couples of what was in their hearts had to remain unspoken. Even when a greater awareness of the humanity and integrity of homosexual persons came in the period after World War II, the argument that gays and lesbians had a just claim to dignity was in conflict with both law and widespread social conventions. Same-sex intimacy remained a crime in many States. Gays and lesbians were prohibited from most government employment, barred from military service, excluded under immigration laws, targeted by police, and burdened in their rights to associate. See Brief for Organization of American Historians as Amicus Curiae 5-28.

 

    美国对待同性恋男权和同性恋女权的经历即见证上述变迁。直至20世纪中期,大多数西方国家一直斥同性亲密为不道德行为,不道德之信念时常植入刑法。出于这个原因,间杂其他原因,多数人未曾视同性恋者为他们享有之尊严的享有者。同性伴侣只能相互倾慕但不可公开表达。即便二战之后进一步意识到同性恋者的人性和人格尊严,同性恋男女可以公平主张尊严之论道,依然和法律或社会沿袭已久的习俗相冲突。同性亲密在许多州仍然视为犯罪。同性恋男女无缘大多数政府部门的招聘,不可参军,不可从移民法移民,警方视为目标,结社障碍重重。See Brief for Organization of American Historians as Amicus Curiae 5-28.

For much of the 20th century, moreover, homosexuality was treated as an illness. When the American Psychiatric Association published the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1952, homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder, a position adhered to until 1973. See Position Statement on Homosexuality and Civil Rights, 1973, in 131 Am. J. Psychiatry 497 (1974). Only in more recent years have psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable. See Brief for American Psychological Association et al. as Amici Curiae 7-17.

 

此外,在20世纪的大多数时间里,同性恋视为疾病。美国精神病协会于1952发表第一本《精神疾病诊断和统计手册》时,同性恋归为精神障碍,这一立场延续到1973年。See Position Statement on Homosexuality and Civil Rights, 1973, in 131 Am. J. Psychiatry 497 (1974).最近几年精神病学家和其他人士才承认, 人类性倾向是正常的性表达,且不可改变。See Brief for American Psychological Association et al. as Amici Curiae 7-17.

In the late 20th century, following substantial cultural and political developments, same-sex couples began to lead more open and public lives and to establish families. This development was followed by a quite extensive discussion of the issue in both governmental and private sectors and by a shift in public attitudes toward greater tolerance. As a result, questions about the rights of gays and lesbians soon reached the courts, where the issue could be discussed in the formal discourse of the law.

 

    20世纪后期,随着文化和政治的重大发展,同性伴侣开始以更加开放和更加公开的方式生活,并组建家庭。这一发展是因为,政府和民间曾广泛讨论这类议题,公众的包容态度更加明显。结果是,同性恋男权和同性恋女权议题直达法院,得以以正式的法律讨论方式讨论。

This Court first gave detailed consideration to the legal status of homosexuals in Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186, 106 S. Ct. 2841, 92 L. Ed. 2d 140 (1986). There it upheld the constitutionality of a Georgia law deemed to criminalize certain homosexual acts. Ten years later, in Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620, 116 S. Ct. 1620, 134 L. Ed. 2d 855 (1996), the Court invalidated an amendment to Colorado's Constitution that sought to foreclose any branch or political subdivision of the State from protecting persons against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Then, in 2003, the Court overruled Bowers, holding that laws making same-sex intimacy a crime "demea[n] the lives of homosexual persons." Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 575, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508.

 

本院在Bowers v. Hardwick一案中,第一次详尽讨论同性恋男女的法律地位。Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186, 106 S. Ct. 2841, 92 L. Ed. 2d 140 (1986).乔治亚州法将某些同性恋行为定为犯罪,本院裁决其合宪。10年后,在Romer v. Evans一案中,Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620, 116 S. Ct. 1620, 134 L. Ed. 2d 855 (1996), 本院裁决科罗拉多州宪法修正案无效。该宪法修正案试图阻止,任何州机构或其下级行政组织保护个人免受基于性取向的歧视。2003年,本院推翻Bowers v. Hardwick一案的裁判,如若法律规定同性亲密为犯罪,实乃“亵渎同性恋男女的生活”。Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 575, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508.

Against this background, the legal question of same-sex marriage arose. In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court held Hawaii's law restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples constituted a classification on the basis of sex and was therefore subject to strict scrutiny under the Hawaii Constitution. Baehr v. Lewin, 74 Haw. 530, 852 P. 2d 44. Although this decision did not mandate that same-sex marriage be allowed, some States were concerned by its implications and reaffirmed in their laws that marriage is defined as a union between opposite-sex partners. So too in 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), 110 Stat. 2419, defining marriage for all federal-law purposes as "only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." 1 U.S.C. §7.

 

在这样的背景下,同性婚姻争议题现身。1993年,夏威夷州最高法院裁判,夏威夷州法明定婚姻仅限于异性间,此属基于性别做出的分类,按照夏威夷州宪法,应受严格审查。Baehr v. Lewin, 74 Haw. 530, 852 P. 2d 44.尽管这一裁判并未断定仅得容许同性婚姻,但一些州担心其蕴含之意,故在各自立法中重申,婚姻是异性之间的结合。同样,1996年,国会通过《婚姻保护法》,110 Stat. 2419,凡为联邦法律目的计,婚姻仅仅是“一个作为丈夫的男人和一个作为妻子的女人之间的法律结合。” 1 U.S.C. §7.

The new and widespread discussion of the subject led other States to a different conclusion. In 2003, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held the State's Constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry. See Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 440 Mass. 309, 798 N. E. 2d 941 (2003). After that ruling, some additional States granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, either through judicial or legislative processes…….Two Terms ago, in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d 808 (2013), this Court invalidated DOMA to the extent it barred the Federal Government from treating same-sex marriages as valid even when they were lawful in the State where they were licensed. DOMA, the Court held, impermissibly disparaged those same-sex couples "who wanted to affirm their commitment to one another before their children, their family, their friends, and their community." Id., at ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 823.

 

围绕这一争议题的新的广泛的讨论,导致其他州得出不一样的结论。2003年,马萨诸塞州最高法院裁决,州宪法保障同性伴侣结婚自由。See Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 440 Mass. 309, 798 N. E. 2d 941 (2003).在此裁决之后,另有数州赋予同性伴侣结婚自由,不论是通过司法程序还是立法程序……两任之前,在United States v. Windsor 一案中,United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d 808 (2013),本院在此等禁止限度内裁决《婚姻保护法》无效,即,禁止联邦政府将同性婚姻作为有效处理,即便在个别获得许可的州是有效的。本院裁判,《婚姻保护法》极度亵渎那些同性伴侣,“那些打算在孩子、家人、朋友和社区面前,宣布相互许身的人”。Id., at ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 823.

Numerous cases about same-sex marriage have reached the United States Courts of Appeals in recent years. In accordance with the judicial duty to base their decisions on principled reasons and neutral discussions, without scornful or disparaging commentary, courts have written a substantial body of law considering all sides of these issues. That case law helps to explain and formulate the underlying principles this Court now must consider. With the exception of the opinion here under review and one other, see Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, 455 F. 3d 859, 864-868 (CA8 2006), the Courts of Appeals have held that excluding same-sex couples from marriage violates the Constitution. There also have been many thoughtful District Court decisions addressing same-sex marriage--and most of them, too, have concluded same-sex couples must be allowed to marry. In addition the highest courts of many States have contributed to this ongoing dialogue in decisions interpreting their own State Constitutions……

 

近年来有许多同性婚姻案上诉到联邦上诉法院。司法的职责是,进行有原则的推理和中立的讨论,并不附带轻蔑或鄙视言论;考虑争议题方方面面问题后,联邦上诉法院从上述要求梳理阐明大部分法律。这些判例法,有助于阐明或者梳理本院正需要考虑的立法政策。除于此待出裁判的本案和另一案,see Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, 455 F. 3d 859, 864-868 (CA8 2006)联邦上诉法院都裁决,排除同性伴侣于婚姻之外是违宪的。还有很多经过深思熟虑的地方法院裁决同性婚姻的裁判,其中多数裁判允许同性伴侣结婚。此外,许多州最高法院也曾在解释本州宪法的裁判中,戮力加入这一讨论在途的讨论……

After years of litigation, legislation, referenda, and the discussions that attended these public acts, the States are now divided on the issue of same-sex marriage. See Office of the Atty. Gen. of Maryland, The State of Marriage Equality in America, State-by-State Supp. (2015).

 

历经多年的诉讼、立法和公投以及随其而至的公开辩论,在同性婚姻议题上,各州分歧仍然如沟壑。See Office of the Atty. Gen. of Maryland, The State of Marriage Equality in America, State-by-State Supp. (2015).

III

 Under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, no State shall "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The fundamental liberties protected by this Clause include most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. See Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145, 147-149, 88 S. Ct. 1444, 20 L. Ed. 2d 491 (1968). In addition these liberties extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices that define personal identity and beliefs. See, e.g., Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438, 453, 92 S. Ct. 1029, 31 L. Ed. 2d  349 (1972); Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 484-486, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510 (1965).

 

第十四修正案正当程序条款,“在未经正当的法律程序的前提下”,无州可以“剥夺任何人的生命、自由或财产。”这一条款保护的基本自由,包括大部分已由权利法案列示的权利。See Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145, 147-149, 88 S. Ct. 1444, 20 L. Ed. 2d 491 (1968) .此外,这一类自由还扩展到,居于个人尊严和意思自治之核心的个人选择,包括界定个人身份和个人信仰的亲密关系之选择。See, e.g., Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438, 453, 92 S. Ct. 1029, 31 L. Ed. 2d  349 (1972); Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 484-486, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510 (1965).

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." Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 542, 81 S. Ct. 1752, 6 L. Ed. 2d 989 (1961) (Harlan, J., dissenting). Rather, it requires courts to exercise reasoned judgment in identifying interests of the person so fundamental that the State must accord them its respect. See  ibid. That process is guided by many of the same considerations relevant to analysis of other constitutional provisions that set forth broad principles rather than specific requirements. History and tradition guide and discipline this inquiry but do not set its outer boundaries. See Lawrence, supra, at 572, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508. That method respects our history and learns from it without allowing the past alone to rule the present.

 

识别并保护基本权利,是法院解释宪法时负有的永恒职责之一。然而这一职责并未“蜕化为任公式者”。Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 542, 81 S. Ct. 1752, 6 L. Ed. 2d 989 (1961) (Harlan, J., dissenting).相反,法院应尽合理判断识别出个体利益,个体利益如此之重要以至于各州应予以尊重。See  ibid.法院分析其他宪法条款时启用的相关考虑因素,在上述流程中起引导作用,提供宽泛的原则,不做具体的要求。历史和传统引导法院的审查并教化之,但绝不划定审查的外在边界。See Lawrence, supra, at 572, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508. 这一方法,既尊重我们的历史并时时学习之,但绝不让昨日的黄花左右今日的时事。

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution's central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.

 

    “不公正”的本质在于,我们总不能于当下看出“不公正”。起草和批准权利法案和第十四修正案的那一代,并不预设他们尽知自由的方方面面;因此许可下一代,在获知自由的新含义时,保护人人享受自由的权利。当新见解揭示宪法赋予的核心保护和既有的苛刻法律之间的冲突,对新自由的诉求势必得裁决。

Applying these established tenets, the Court has long held the right to marry is protected by the Constitution. In Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010 (1967), which invalidated bans on interracial unions, a unanimous Court held marriage is "one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men." The Court reaffirmed that holding in Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374, 384, 98 S. Ct. 673, 54 L. Ed. 2d 618 (1978), which held the right to marry was burdened by a law prohibiting fathers who were behind on child support from marrying. The Court again applied this principle in Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 95, 107 S. Ct. 2254, 96 L. Ed. 2d 64 (1987), which held the right to marry was abridged by regulations limiting the privilege of prison inmates to marry. Over time and in other contexts, the Court has reiterated that the right to marry is fundamental under the Due Process Clause. See, e.g., M. L. B. v. S. L. J., 519 U.S. 102, 116, 117 S. Ct. 555, 136 L. Ed. 2d 473 (1996); Cleveland Bd. of Ed. v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632, 639-640, 94 S. Ct. 791, 39 L. Ed. 2d 52 (1974); Griswold, supra, at 486, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510; Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S. Ct. 1110, 86 L. Ed. 1655 (1942); Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399, 43 S. Ct. 625, 67 L. Ed. 1042 (1923).

 

基于这一些现成的原则,长久以来本院一直裁判,结婚权受宪法保护。在Loving v. Virgina一案中,Loving v. Virgina, 388 U.S. 1, 12, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010 (1967),本院裁决,禁止不同种族之间通婚的禁令是无效的;本院合议庭以一致意见裁判,婚姻是“重要的个人权利之一,对自由人有序追求幸福至关重要。”本院Zablocki v. Redhail中维持上述裁决,Zablocki v. Redhail434 U.S. 374, 384, 98 S. Ct. 673, 54 L. Ed. 2d 618 (1978)本院裁判,禁止未尽抚养子女义务的父母结婚的禁令,乃结婚权的无端负担。本院在Turner v. Safley一案中再次使用这一原则,Turner v. Safley,482 U.S. 78, 95, 107 S. Ct. 2254, 96 L. Ed. 2d 64 (1987),本院裁判,限制囚犯结婚特权的管制,剥夺了结婚权。尽管时过境迁,本院一再重申正当程序条款下的结婚权是基本自由。See, e.g., M. L. B. v. S. L. J., 519 U.S. 102, 116, 117 S. Ct. 555, 136 L. Ed. 2d 473 (1996); Cleveland Bd. of Ed. v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632, 639-640, 94 S. Ct. 791, 39 L. Ed. 2d 52 (1974); Griswold, supra, at 486, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510; Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S. Ct. 1110, 86 L. Ed. 1655 (1942); Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399, 43 S. Ct. 625, 67 L. Ed. 1042 (1923).

It cannot be denied that this Court's cases describing the right to marry presumed a relationship involving opposite-sex partners. The Court, like many institutions, has made assumptions defined by the world and time of which it is a part. This was evident in Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810, 93 S. Ct. 37, 34 L. Ed. 2d 65, a one-line summary decision issued in 1972, holding the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage did not present a substantial federal question.

 

    不可否认,本院这一系列案例提及的结婚权皆预设,婚姻关系是异性伴侣之间的关系。本院,和众多机构一样,预设难免局限于所处时代和所属局势的预设。这在Baker v. Nelson一案中尤为明显,Baker v. Nelson409 U.S. 810, 93 S. Ct. 37, 34 L. Ed. 2d 651972年篇幅只有一行的裁判摘要提及,同性伴侣不得结婚之禁令并未成为联邦重大讼争。

Still, there are other, more instructive precedents. This Court's cases have expressed constitutional principles of broader reach. In defining the right to marry these cases have identified essential attributes of that right based in history, tradition, and other constitutional liberties inherent in this intimate bond. See, e.g., Lawrence, 539 U.S., at 574, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508; Turner, supra, at 95, 107 S. Ct. 2254, 96 L. Ed. 2d 64; Zablocki, supra, at 384, 98 S. Ct. 673, 54 L. Ed. 2d 618; Loving, supra, at 12, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010; Griswold, supra, at 486, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510. And in assessing whether the force and rationale of its cases apply to same-sex couples, the Court must respect the basic reasons why the right to marry has been long protected. See, e.g., Eisenstadt, supra, at 453-454, 92 S. Ct. 1029, 31 L. Ed. 2d 349; Poe, supra, at 542-553, 81 S. Ct. 1752, 6 L. Ed. 2d 989 (Harlan, J., dissenting).

 

    不过,还有其他更有指导意义的先例。本院案例已阐明涉猎更广的宪法原则。为了厘清结婚权,这些案例识别出结婚权的基本特征,或者从历史,或者从传统,或者从婚姻这一关系固有的宪法上的其他自由。See, e.g., Lawrence, 539 U.S., at 574, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508; Turner, supra, at 95, 107 S. Ct. 2254, 96 L. Ed. 2d 64; Zablocki, supra, at 384, 98 S. Ct. 673, 54 L. Ed. 2d 618; Loving, supra, at 12, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010; Griswold, supra, at 486, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510.在评估这些案例适用于同性伴侣而言的效力和理由时,本院必须尊重结婚权历来受到保护的核心理由。See, e.g., Eisenstadt, supra, at 453-454, 92 S. Ct. 1029, 31 L. Ed. 2d 349; Poe, supra, at 542-553, 81 S. Ct. 1752, 6 L. Ed. 2d 989 (Harlan, J., dissenting).

This analysis compels the conclusion that same-sex couples may exercise the right to marry. The four principles and traditions to be discussed demonstrate that the reasons marriage is fundamental under the Constitution apply with equal force to same-sex couples.

 

    这类分析势必得出,同性伴侣可以行使结婚权。以下讨论的四原则和传统足资证明,婚姻之所以成为宪法上的基本自由的理由,同样有效地适用于同性伴侣。

A first premise of the Court's relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy. This abiding connection between marriage and liberty is why Loving invalidated interracial marriage bans under the Due Process Clause. See 388 U.S., at 12, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010; see also Zablocki, supra, at 384, 98 S. Ct. 673, 54 L. Ed. 2d 618 (observing Loving held "the right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals"). Like choices concerning contraception, family relationships, procreation, and childrearing, all of which are protected by the Constitution, decisions concerning marriage are among the most intimate that an individual can make. See Lawrence, supra, at 574, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508. Indeed, the Court has noted it would be contradictory "to recognize a right of privacy with respect to other matters of family life and not with respect to the decision to enter the relationship that is the foundation of the family in our society." Zablocki, supra, at 386, 98 S. Ct. 673, 54 L. Ed. 2d 618.

 

本院相关先例的第一个前提是,有关婚姻的个人选择权,是意思自治所固有。正因为婚姻和自由之间这种由来已久的关系,在Loving v. Virgina一案中,从正当程序条款,裁决禁止异族通婚之禁令无效。See 388 U.S., at 12, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010; see also Zablocki, supra, at 384, 98 S. Ct. 673, 54 L. Ed. 2d 618(注意,此案裁判“结婚的权利对所有人来说都是至关重要的”).就像决定避孕、家庭关系、生育和抚养一样,所有选择都受到宪法保护,婚姻之决定,是人可选择的最亲密者之一。See Lawrence, supra, at 574, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508.实际上,本院特意指明“承认有关家庭生活的其他方面的隐私权,但忽略作为现代家庭之基石的决定进入这一段关系的权利”是矛盾的。Zablocki, supra, at 386, 98 S. Ct. 673, 54 L. Ed. 2d 618.

Choices about marriage shape an individual's destiny. As the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has explained, because "it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition." Goodridge, 440 Mass., at 322, 798 N. E. 2d, at 955.

 

有关婚姻的选择左右人的命运。马萨诸塞州最高法院曾言,因为“它满足了有关人身安全的渴望,有关安全港的渴望,有关体现共同人性的姻亲的渴望;民事婚姻是一桩令人尊敬的制度,决定是否结婚和决定与谁结婚,是人的生命中自我决定的重要一环。”Goodridge, 440 Mass., at 322, 798 N. E. 2d, at 955.

The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation. See Windsor, 570 U.S., at ___- ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 828. There is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices. Cf. Loving, supra, at 12, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010 ("[T]he freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State").

 

    婚姻的本质是,因为经久结合,两人可以结对觅得其他自由,例如感情、亲密和灵性。所有人都一样,不管他们的性取向。See Windsor, 570 U.S., at ___- ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 828.两个男人或者两个女人决定结婚,出于意思自治做出这样庄重的选择,他们之间的结合是有尊严的。Cf. Loving, supra, at 12, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010(“嫁或者不嫁给异族之人,个人享有这样的自由,各州不可侵犯”).

A second principle in this Court's jurisprudence is that the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals. This point was central to Griswold v. Connecticut, which held the Constitution protects the right of married couples to use contraception. 381 U.S., at 485, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510. Suggesting that marriage is a right "older than the Bill of Rights," Griswold described marriage this way:

 

    本院法理学上的第二原则是结婚权属基本权利,仅就结婚权之于个人的重要性而言,结婚权支持的是两人结合而非其他。这也是Griswold v. Connecticut案的核心观点,宪法保护已婚夫妇决定避孕一事的自由。Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S., at 485, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510。裁判提醒,有关婚姻的权利“远比权利法案历史悠久”,裁判刻画婚姻如下:

"Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Yet it is an association for as noble a purpose as any involved in our prior decisions. " Id., at 486, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510.

 

    “婚姻是祸福与共的结合,希望持久,不啻神圣的亲密。它是推行某种方式的生活的组织推行事业;和谐的生活,而非政治信仰;相互的忠诚,而非商业或社会的目的。不过,其目的的高尚程度,并不亚于此前裁判当中涉及任何一种目的。Id., at 486, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510.

And in Turner, the Court again acknowledged the intimate association protected by this right, holding prisoners could not be denied the right to marry because their committed relationships satisfied the basic reasons why marriage is a fundamental right. See 482 U.S., at 95-96, 107 S. Ct. 2254, 96 L. Ed. 2d 64. The right to marry thus dignifies couples who "wish to define themselves by their commitment to each other." Windsor, supra, at ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 823. Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there. It offers the hope of companionship and understanding and assurance that while both still live there will be someone to care for the other.

 

    Turner v. Safley中,本院再次确认,前述亲密组织受结婚权保护,据此裁判,不应裁决剥夺囚犯结婚权,婚姻之所以称作基本权利的紧要理由,在他们的关系无不存在。See 482 U.S., at 95-96, 107 S. Ct. 2254, 96 L. Ed. 2d 64.彼此以身相许借以成就彼此伴侣,因结婚权而倍显高贵。Windsor, supra, at ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 823.婚姻回应一个人呼救但没有人在场的普遍担心。给人以陪伴或者理解的期望,亦保证,两人在世之日,必有一人照顾另一人。

As this Court held in Lawrence, same-sex couples have the same right as opposite-sex couples to enjoy intimate association. Lawrence invalidated laws that made same-sex intimacy a criminal act. And it acknowledged that "[w]hen sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring." 539 U.S., at 567, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508. But while Lawrence confirmed a dimension of freedom that allows individuals to engage in intimate association without criminal liability, it does not follow that freedom stops there. Outlaw to outcast may be a step forward, but it does not achieve the full promise of liberty.

 

    正如Lawrence v. Texas案裁判的,前述亲密组织,异性伴侣有权染指,同性伴侣也有同样的权利。Lawrence v. Texas案裁决规定同性亲密关系为犯罪的法律无效。同时,也提及“在人际的亲密接触中,性获得公开表达,则此类接触正是人际纽带中可存久远的因素。”539 U.S., at 567, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508.尽管Lawrence v. Texas一案确认,一个维度的自由容许,个体创建亲密组织,但无须考虑刑事责任;这不意味着自由就此歇脚。从刑事罪犯到流浪汉算是前进一步,但这并没有全揽自由的允诺。

A third basis for protecting the right to marry is that it safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education. See Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 45 S. Ct. 571, 69 L. Ed. 1070 (1925); Meyer, 262 U.S., at 399, 43 S. Ct. 625, 67 L. Ed. 1042. The Court has recognized these connections by describing the varied rights as a unified whole: "[T]he right to 'marry, establish a home and bring up children' is a central part of the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause." Zablocki, 434 U.S., at 384, 98 S. Ct. 673, 54 L. Ed. 2d 618 (quoting Meyer, supra, at 399, 43 S. Ct. 625, 67 L. Ed. 1042). Under the laws of the several States, some of marriage's protections for children and families are material. But marriage also confers more profound benefits. By giving recognition and legal structure to their parents' relationship, marriage allows children "to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives." Windsor, supra, at ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 828. Marriage also affords the permanency and stability important to children's best interests. See Brief for Scholars of the Constitutional Rights of Children as Amici Curiae 22-27.

 

    捍卫结婚权的第三基础,是结婚权保障儿童和家庭,因此结婚权可从抚养权、生育权和教育权获取意义。See Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 45 S. Ct. 571, 69 L. Ed. 1070 (1925); Meyer, 262 U.S., at 399, 43 S. Ct. 625, 67 L. Ed. 1042.结婚、组建家庭和抚养子女的权利,是正当程序条款保护的自由的核心部分。”将数种权利刻画成一个统一的整体,本院即已认识到权利之间的关系。Zablocki, 434 U.S., at 384, 98 S. Ct. 673, 54 L. Ed. 2d 618 (quoting Meyer, supra, at 399, 43 S. Ct. 625, 67 L. Ed. 1042).在某些州的法律规定下,婚姻给予儿童和家人的保护多属物质上的。不过,婚姻也提供远为深远的益处。认可父母关系给予法律架构,婚姻足使子女“理解家庭的完整和亲密,在日常生活中和所属社区中与其他家庭和谐相处。” Windsor, supra, at ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 828.婚姻亦提供子女最佳利益所至需的持久性和稳定性。See Brief for Scholars of the Constitutional Rights of Children as Amici Curiae 22-27.

As all parties agree, many same-sex couples provide loving and nurturing homes to their children, whether biological or adopted. And hundreds of thousands of children are presently being raised by such couples. See Brief for Gary J. Gates as Amicus Curiae 4. Most States have allowed gays and lesbians to adopt, either as individuals or as couples, and many adopted and foster children have same-sex parents, see id., at 5. This provides powerful confirmation from the law itself that gays and lesbians can create loving, supportive families.

 

不论是亲生的,还是领养的,众多同性伴侣向其子提供充满关爱和有助养育的家庭,各方诉讼当事人皆知之。成千上万的儿童正由这样的伴侣抚养。See Brief for Gary J. Gates as Amicus Curiae 4.大多数州允许同性恋男女收养子女,个人为之也罢或者成对伴侣为之也罢,很多领养和收留儿童都拥有同性双亲,see id., at 5.这从法律本身提供强有力的证明,同性恋男女可以创造充满关爱和有助养育的家庭。

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 their families 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 here thus harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples. See Windsor, supra, at ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 828.

 

    将同性伴侣排除在婚姻之外,和结婚权这一核心前提相冲突。没有婚姻可以提供的认可、稳定性和预测性,其子女获知其家庭为少数派家庭势必倍受屈辱。他们也要承受非结婚父母抚养招致的不菲的物质成本。本无过错却降级为一个更困难且不确定的家庭。在这件事上婚姻法伤害和羞辱了同性伴侣的子女。See Windsor, supra, at ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 828.

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.

 

    这并不意味着那些没有或不能生育的人的结婚权没有那么重要。在任何一个州,生育能力、生育愿望和生育承诺不是或者不再是一个有效婚姻的先决条件。从保护已婚伴侣不生育权利的先例不能推出,本院或者各州将结婚权限制在有能力或者承诺生育的人的范围内。宪法上的结婚权涉及方方面面,生育仅属其一。

Fourth and finally, this Court's cases and the Nation's traditions make clear that marriage is a keystone of our social order. Alexis de Tocqueville recognized this truth on his travels through the United States almost two centuries ago:

 

第四也是最后一点,本院的案例和美国的传统,昭然显示,婚姻是社会秩序的基石。近两世纪前游经美国的阿列克西  托克维尔(“托克维尔”),即认识这一真理:

 

   "There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is so much respected as in America . . . [W]hen the American retires from the turmoil of public life to the bosom of his family, he finds in it the image of order and of peace . . . . [H]e afterwards carries [that image] with him into public affairs." 1 Democracy in America 309 (H. Reeve transl., rev. ed. 1990).

 

   “世界上绝不存在这样一个国家,像美国这样尊重婚姻这一纽带……当美国人退出公共生活的混乱回归家庭的怀抱,他眼见是秩序和和平之祥和……接着,他头顶祥和,再揽公共事务。” 1 Democracy in America 309 (H. Reeve transl., rev. ed. 1990).

In Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 211, 8 S. Ct. 723, 31 L. Ed. 654 (1888), the Court echoed de Tocqueville, explaining that marriage is "the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress." Marriage, the Maynard Court said, has long been "'a great public institution, giving character to our whole civil polity.'" Id., at 213, 8 S. Ct. 723, 31 L. Ed. 654. This idea has been reiterated even as the institution has evolved in substantial ways over time, superseding rules related to parental consent, gender, and race once thought by many to be essential. See generally N. Cott, Public Vows. Marriage remains a building block of our national community.

 

Maynard v. Hill一案中,Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 211, 8 S. Ct. 723, 31 L. Ed. 654 (1888)本院应和托克维尔,婚姻是“家庭和社会的基础,没有它就没有文明,也不会有进步。”本院提到,婚姻,久已是“‘伟大的公共制度,在我们整个市民政体上打自己烙印。’” Id., at 213, 8 S. Ct. 723, 31 L. Ed. 654.随着时间的推移,这一制度历经巨大发展,父母之命的规则替换了,性别规则替换了,种族规则替换了,纵使替换之前多数人认为相应规则是核心部分。尽管如此,本院一再重申前述概念。See generally N. Cott, Public Vows.在我国婚姻依旧是构建共同体的积木块。

For that reason, just as a couple vows to support each other, so does society pledge to support the couple, offering symbolic recognition and material benefits to protect and nourish the union. Indeed, while the States are in general free to vary the benefits they confer on all married couples, they have throughout our history made marriage the basis for an expanding list of governmental rights, benefits, and responsibilities. These aspects of marital status include: taxation; inheritance and property rights; rules of intestate succession; spousal privilege in the law of evidence; hospital access; medical decisionmaking authority; adoption rights; the rights and benefits of survivors; birth and death certificates; professional ethics rules; campaign finance restrictions; workers' compensation benefits; health insurance; and child custody, support, and visitation rules. See Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 6-9; Brief for American Bar Association as Amicus Curiae 8-29. Valid marriage under state law is also a significant status for over a thousand provisions of federal law. See Windsor, 570 U.S., at ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 824. The States have contributed to the fundamental character of the marriage right by placing that institution at the center of so many facets of the legal and social order.

 

出于前述原因,就好像一对伴侣发誓互相扶持,社会也应该保证支持这对伴侣,提供符号认同和物质利益,来保护和培育这一结合。事实上,各州通常可以自由赋予已婚伴侣种种利益,但在历史上各州始终把婚姻作为政府权利、利益和责任一揽子事项的扩展基础。有关婚姻状况的方方面面包括:税收、继承和财产权、无遗嘱继承的规则、配偶的证据法特权、医院问诊、医疗决策权、领养权、幸存者权利和福利、出生和死亡证明、职业道德规则、竞选财务限制、工伤补贴、医疗保险、孩子监护权、抚养和探视权。See Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 6-9; Brief for American Bar Association as Amicus Curiae 8-29.州法下的有效婚姻这一重要婚姻状况,是联邦法一千多个条款所依赖的。See Windsor, 570 U.S., at ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 186 L. Ed. 2d at 824.将这一制度置于法律和社会方方面面秩序的中心,这是各州对结婚权这一基本权利的贡献。

There is no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle. Yet by virtue of their exclusion from that institution, same-sex couples are denied the constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage. This harm results in more than just material burdens. Same-sex couples are consigned to an instability many opposite-sex couples would deem intolerable in their own lives. As the State itself makes marriage all the more precious by the significance it attaches to it, exclusion from that status has the effect of teaching that gays and lesbians are unequal in important respects. It demeans gays and lesbians for the State to lock them out of a central institution of the Nation's society. Same-sex couples, too, may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage and seek fulfillment in its highest meaning.

 

就前述原则而言,同性伴侣和异性伴侣并没有区别。因同性伴侣排除于制度之外,同性伴侣不能享受各州赋予的与婚姻关联的一揽子益处。这一伤害远远超过物质上的负担。将同性伴侣置于,在生活中诸多异性伴侣皆无法忍受的不稳定状态。随着各州赋予婚姻更多意义以显其珍贵,将同性恋男女排除在外,形同传播这样的观点,同性恋男女在重要方面尽不如人。这亵渎了同性恋男女,因各州将其隔离在社会核心制度之外。同性伴侣,也追求婚姻至高无上的目的,实现婚姻最高的意义。

The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest. With that knowledge must come the recognition that laws excluding same-sex couples from the marriage right impose stigma and injury of the kind prohibited by our basic charter.

 

长久以来,婚姻以异性伴侣为限之说,视为自然和合理;此种说法和结婚这一基本权利的意思相左,于今至为明显。从此可以推知,结婚权并不青睐同性伴侣的法律,势必招致美国宪法并不容许的伤害和羞辱。

Objecting that this does not reflect an appropriate framing of the issue, the respondents refer to Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721, 117 S. Ct. 2258, 138 L. Ed. 2d 772 (1997), which called for a "'careful description'" of fundamental rights. They assert the petitioners do not seek to exercise the right to marry but rather a new and nonexistent "right to same-sex marriage." Brief for Respondent in No. 14-556, p. 8. Glucksberg did insist that liberty under the Due Process Clause must be defined in a most circumscribed manner, with central reference to specific historical practices. Yet while that approach may have been appropriate for the asserted right there involved (physician-assisted suicide), it is inconsistent with the approach this Court has used in discussing other fundamental rights, including marriage and intimacy. Loving did not ask about a "right to interracial marriage"; Turner did not ask about a "right of inmates to marry"; and Zablocki did not ask about a "right of fathers with unpaid child support duties to marry." Rather, each case inquired about the right to marry in its comprehensive sense, asking if there was a sufficient justification for excluding the relevant class from the right. See also Glucksberg, 521 U.S., at 752-773, 117 S. Ct. 2258, 138 L. Ed. 2d 772 (Souter, J., concurring in judgment); id., at 789-792, 117 S. Ct. 2258, 138 L. Ed. 2d 772 (Breyer, J., concurring in judgments).

 

Washington v. Glucksberg曾要求,Washington v. Glucksberg521 U.S. 702, 721, 117 S. Ct. 2258, 138 L. Ed. 2d 772 (1997)“‘详尽刻画’”基本权利;被上诉人以此为据反击,前述说法并没有梳理出有关讼争议题的正确框架。他们主张,上诉人并不是力求行使结婚权,而是寻求个新的本不存在的“同性与同性结婚的权利”。Brief for Respondent in No. 14-556, p. 8. Washington v. Glucksberg案的确坚持,司法定义正当程序条款下的自由,应从限定最严格的方式为之,并慎重参考特定历史时期的实践。尽管上述方式对某些当事人主张的权利是合适,比如,医师帮助自杀案牵涉的,但和本院讨论其他基本权利时使用的方法并不一致,包括婚姻和亲密关系案牵涉的。Loving v. Virgina一案并非追问“异族通婚的权利”Turner v. Safley案并非追问“囚犯结婚的权利”Zablocki v. Redhail案并非追问“没有尽抚养义务的父亲结婚的权利。”相反,每一个案例都追问最广泛意义上的结婚权,追问是否有足够的理由将某个群体从权利中排除出去。See also Glucksberg, 521 U.S., at 752-773, 117 S. Ct. 2258, 138 L. Ed. 2d 772 (Souter, J., concurring in judgment); id., at 789-792, 117 S. Ct. 2258, 138 L. Ed. 2d 772 (Breyer, J., concurring in judgments).

That principle applies here. If rights were defined by who exercised them in the past, then received practices could serve as their own continued justification and new groups could not invoke rights once denied. This Court has rejected that approach, both with respect to the right to marry and the rights of gays and lesbians. See Loving 388 U.S., at 12, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010; Lawrence, 539 U.S., at 566-567, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508.

 

上述原则适用于这里。如若权利是由过去行使权利的人定义的,则过往的实践可以作为他们继续论证的理由;新的人群不可主张过往即已否决的权利。本院拒绝这一种思路,不论是应对结婚权,还是应对同性恋男权或者同性恋女See Loving 388 U.S., at 12, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010; Lawrence, 539 U.S., at 566-567, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508

The right to marry is fundamental as a matter of history and tradition, but rights come not from ancient sources alone. They rise, too, from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era. Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here. But when that sincere, personal opposition becomes enacted law and public policy, the necessary consequence is to put the imprimatur of the State itself on an exclusion that soon demeans or stigmatizes those whose own liberty is then denied. Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.

 

或者论历史或者论传统,结婚权是一项基本权利,但此类权利并非仅来源于远古律令。宪法律令时不时定义作为基本权利的自由,至今仍为迫切;深入细致领会如何定义之道,则同类权利自然涌现。许多人视同性婚姻为恶,这一结论的前提是体面高尚的宗教或哲学命题,但其本人未遭亵渎,其信念亦然。这一类真诚的反对声音变为法律和公共政策,则必然的结果是各州本身为前述排除背书,进而亵渎或者玷污本人的自由由此否决的者。在宪法之下,就婚姻一节,同性伴侣寻求和异性伴侣一样的法律待遇;如若否决他们主张的权利,势必亵渎其选择,泯灭其人格。

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