With Justice Kennedy's retirement, same-sex marriage is back in the news. It was a hot issue 10 years ago. Who won?
Gays certainly won in the sense that they got Justice Kennedy to write an opinion that rich gays and lesbians could be considered married for the purpose of taking advantage of an inheritance tax exemption.
But was that what the dispute was really about? No. More than anything else, gays wants the public acceptance that goes with marriage.
California is the USA's most liberal state, but its constitution still says: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The US Supreme Court heard arguments on the federal constitutionality of this sentence, but it refused to rule.
Only a couple of states adopted same-sex marriage thru some legislative process.
Lot's of people consider marriage to be primarily a religious ceremony and commitment. The major religions have rejected same-sex marriage.
So apparently our society has reached a sort of compromise, where same-sex couples can call themselves married, and get certain financial advantages from doing so, but attempts to get acceptance from political institutions, legislatures, religions, and popular votes have largely failed.