Since the Supreme Court overturned DOMA a year ago, state after state has seen its gay marriage ban struck down at the hands of federal judges. Some rulings are measured and dry, but some are shot through with eloquence and passion—or, on occasion, emotional bombast. As I’ve written before, these judges know this is their shot at a very specific kind of immortality, and they seem to be in subtle competition with each other to write the one marriage equality opinion that history remembers.
Now Outward is offering a chance to create the ultimate gay marriage opinion. We’ve taken the most notable portions from a number of these opinions; just choose the style and substance of your ruling, and we’ll give you an opinion to match. Every sentence is taken from a real gay marriage opinion, though some are lightly edited.
Interactive by Chris Kirk
Sentences, phrases, and concepts taken from rulings by Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court, Judge John E. Jones III of Pennsylvania, Judge Michael McShane of Oregon, Judge Candy Dale of Idaho,* Judge Orlando Garcia of Texas, Judge Timothy Black of Ohio, and Judge Richard Young of Indiana.
*Correction, July 1, 2014: This article originally misstated the state in which Judge Candy Dale serves. It is Idaho, not Iowa.
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