Clarence Thomas Pens Controversial Dissent on Same-Sex Marriage

Clarence Thomas Pens Controversial Dissent on Same-Sex Marriage

Supreme Court justice said U.S. government unable to "take away dignity" from its citizens.

Published June 26, 2015

The most recent Supreme Court decision has declared same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional in a 5-4 decision.

Justice Clarence Thomas was one of the four judges that voted against the invalidation of marriage restrictions. In his dissent, Thomas expressed that government does not have the ability to “take away or bestow dignity.” He calls out historically marginalized people to make his point.

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In his opposition, he states:

“The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”

Thomas has also made headlines for dissenting in the Fair Housing Act case as well as previous affirmative action cases.

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(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Written by by Isabelle Thenor-Louis

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