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The time may come, far in the future, when contracts and arrangements between persons of the same sex who abide together will be recognized and enforced under state law. When that time comes, property rights and perhaps even mutual obligations of support may well be held to flow from such relationships. But in my opinion, even such a substantial change in the prevailing mores would not reach the point where such relationships would be characterized as "marriages". At most, they would become personal relationships having some, but not all, of the legal attributes of marriage. And even when and if that day arrives, two persons of the same sex, like those before the Court today, will not be thought of as being "spouses" to each other within the meaning of the immigration laws. For that result to obtain, an affirmative enactment of Congress will be required.


Originally published in the Whittier Law Review.