...the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?
It's not quite clear to WorldViews why Roberts decided to implicate these four particular cultures in his opposition to the legalizing of gay marriage. But we can suggest reasons why they are hardly exemplars of "traditional" unions between men and women.
The Kalahari Bushmen
These hunter-gatherers in sub-Saharan Africa have long been the world's stock image of "primitive man," and presumably that's why Roberts referenced them -- as the stereotype of an atavistic people, whether it's fair or not. (It's not, but let's move on.) The Kalahari Bushmen don't have very strong wedding practices, and don't pay much attention to ceremonies around mating.
For centuries, the Carthaginians were Rome's greatest rival, and sparred for preeminence in the ancient Mediterranean. The great Hannibal, general of Carthage's legions, famously crossed the Alps with war elephants in 218 B.C. and almost snuffed out the world-conquering empire before it bloomed. Sadly for him, things went the other way.
Now, some right-wing Italian scholars of Roman history see in Carthage the seeds of Rome's eventual fall. Why? Well, according to Roberto De Mattei, formerly the deputy head of Italy's National Research Council, Carthage "was a paradise for homosexuals." After it was conquered by Rome, said De Mattei in 2011, "the abhorrent presence of a few [Carthaginian] gays infected a good part of the [Roman] people."
De Mattei's remarks led to a heated backlash, but one imagines Roberts was not that aware of the debate.
Here's an excerpt from a discussion of Aztec customary law on the Web site of the University of Texas at Austin. It hardly presents a picture-perfect snapshot of conservative family values:
Marriage was conditional in that the parties could decide to separate or stay together after they had their first son. Marriages could also be unconditional and last for an indefinite period of time. Polygamy and concubines were permitted, though this was more common in noble households and marriage rites were only observed with the first, or principal, wife. Aztec families could live in single family homes, though many opted to live in joint family households for economic reasons.