Rice U expert available to discuss US Supreme Court ruling on legality

first_imgShareRice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs/News & Media RelationsEXPERT ALERTDavid [email protected] [email protected] U. expert available to discuss US Supreme Court ruling on legality of same-sex marriageHOUSTON – (June 25, 2015) – In the next few days, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its much-anticipated decision on the legality of same-sex marriage. Brian Riedel, assistant director of Rice University’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, is available to discuss this timely issue.BRIAN RIEDELThe decision will address two questions: Does the 14th Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state?“If the court says no to both questions, and especially if they do so explicitly on the basis that voters or legislators – not judges – should make such decisions, it will clarify the path forward for marriage equality in the few remaining states that specifically bar same-sex marriages,” Riedel said. “Given the success of marriage equality at the polls since 2012 (Maryland, Maine and Washington legalized gay marriage by popular vote), the question for states like Texas will be how long we wish to be seen as trailing the rest of the nation.”Riedel said that if the court says yes to the first question, he sees no logical way they can say no to the second question. However, he noted that they could say yes to the second question and no to the first question. He called this potential scenario “an awkward compromise” honoring the will of voters and legislators.“Framed as positively as possible, it would refrain from so-called ‘judicial activism’ by leaving intact existing bans on same-sex marriages while honoring the intent of marriage-equality states,” Riedel said. “Framed realistically, marriage-ban states like Texas would lose out economically to marriage-equality states when same-sex couples go elsewhere to wed or perhaps even relocate. In marriage-equality states, the compromise would also leave open a door for those who wish to overturn these protections.”Riedel said that if the court says yes to both questions, the ruling will build on a long sequence of Supreme Court decisions and national conversations stretching back at least into the 1950s.“A ‘yes’ to both questions from the court would resoundingly affirm that those in same-sex relationships are worthy of full participation in the institutions of the state,” Riedel said. He noted, however, that “real marriage equality” would require federal protections against employment and housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.In addition to his involvement with the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, Riedel is a professor in the practice of humanities and has taught Introduction to LGBT Studies and Sexual Debates in the U.S. at Rice. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Rice and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Riedel’s research interests include international activism and the preservation of Houston’s LGBT history.To schedule an interview with Riedel, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at [email protected] or 713-348-6777.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Brian Riedel photo link: http://bit.ly/1JlogWaLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,888 undergraduates and 2,610 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked among some of the top schools for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” click here. AddThislast_img read more