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Marriage Equality: Coming To A State Near You

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Marriage Equality: Coming To A State Near You


United States v. Windsor was a landmark decision. The U.S. Supreme Court’s momentous ruling, which found the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, opened the door for states across the country to set out on their own in advancing marriage equality for all Americans.

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

Windsor quickly became the catalyst for 20 additional marriage equality cases around the country, all of which have resulted in victories for proponents of gay rights.

Today, same-sex couples are able to marry legally in 19 states; 10 of those states legalized same-sex marriage in either 2013 or 2014, demonstrating just how quickly the movement is advancing. It took a decade for the previous nine to recognize marriage equality.

In an additional 11 states, courts have struck down bans on same-sex marriage, but appeals are pending.

Bans still exist in 20 states — an overwhelming number that proves only that the fight for marriage equality is far from over. All 20 bans are currently being challenged in court, however.

The last unchallenged same-sex marriage ban existed in North Dakota, but on June 6, Minneapolis-based civil rights attorney Joshua Newville — who previously challenged South Dakota’s ban — challenged it as unconstitutional.

This means that the fight for marriage equality has now reached every single U.S. state.

While the issue is just beginning to gain traction in states like the Dakotas, same-sex marriage already seems headed for victory in other states.

Wisconsin residents may witness the next win, despite the inevitable bumps ahead: Earlier this month, a federal judge struck down Wisconsin’s 2006 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, but the decision is on hold pending an appeal.

Considering that since Windsor, not a single challenged ban on same-sex nuptials has survived in a federal court, the most recent rulings on hold in six other states — Idaho, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan and Virginia — will most likely stand once appeals make it to the top court.

Photo: Susan Melkisethian via Flickr

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  1. FireBaron June 24, 2014

    You know what happens when gay people are allowed to marry, right? They stay together longer than most heterosexual couples, forming a more stable family environment for their children! And those children are raised to be tolerant of others! Aren’t those scary thoughts for the average Conservative?
    You know – the average conservatives of whom 50% of their marriages fail within 10 years. The average conservatives who try to raise their children to believe the First Amendment only applies to them. The average conservative who believes the government should not help those in need until a natural disaster strikes where they live. The average conservatives who do not want government to interfere with their lives, but wants them to limit a woman’s right to choose.

  2. howa4x June 24, 2014

    next up plural marriages!! Better to have more people to pay the bills and afford more consumer goods since there is more disposal income. Great way to spur economic growth. Once the door is open and marriage is decided by love and need instead of religion then sensible arraignments will be the norm.
    Think about it. in the age cohort of 55-75 women outnumber men so why should anyone be a lone? You don’t even have to say the M word, civil union’s would be fine

    1. kenndeb June 24, 2014

      Don’t forget about those that prefer our barnyard friends. They, too, should be allowed to marry the love of their lives, no matter what species they are. We have to have total equality, even though it is still wrong. Welcome to the new liberal utopia.

      1. johninPCFL June 24, 2014

        Why stop there? If you’re going off the deep end, why not rocks, trees, and hula-hoops? Social conservative delusions should know no bounds.

        1. kenndeb June 24, 2014

          The liberal agenda is to do away with family values, just as Lenin and Stalin did.

          1. johninPCFL June 24, 2014

            Just more conservative delusions. The big conservative plan is to put a cop in every bedroom to ensure that only the ‘proper’ sex occurs, and another in every doctor’s office to ensure that only the ‘proper’ topics are discussed between the doctor and patient, and another in every hospital room to ensure that only the ‘proper’ procedures were performed. Stalin only wished he had the ability to do what the GOP has already proposed.
            Now, whose ‘utopia’ do you prefer? The one where you are free to live and love how YOU choose, or the one where the government decides how you need to run your life?

          2. charleo1 June 24, 2014

            We could always let the Christian Right enforce their
            so called family values, at the point of a gun. Now name one dictator who did not try that? Why don’t you get in touch with your inner Libertarian. And
            see if you can determine who, in Right Wing Utopia,
            would be given the final say about how everyone
            lived their personal lives, and made their personal decisions? Would it be people like Ralph Reed, or a
            committee, or how do you suppose, all this deciding
            for other people would actually workout? When it came to your decisions? The hat in hand, permission you might need to get one of these days from some unelected Theocrat, or Family Values Committee. It would sure make those barnyard comments sound pretty silly, now wouldn’t it? Because they are!!! They don’t call us Liberals for nothing. What’s the opposite of Liberal? Anal retentive.

          3. ps0rjl June 24, 2014

            Yeah, that’s right. Good old family values. Just what the heck is family values? Are they what I say they are or you say they are? Please explain these family values you are so fond of espousing.

      2. howa4x June 24, 2014

        wow I never thought I would get a post from Phil Robertson of duck dynasty. Gooool ly ain’t that sumpton
        Now if you were a person of scripture you would know that king Solomon had 140 wives. He was a biblical hero and was never known to lie down with sheep. Better go back and read the good book again friend

      3. paulyz June 24, 2014

        LMAO, but that is what eventually this will lead to. Once you open the door there will be those that claim it is their CIVIL RIGHT to marry their dog, have 7 wives or husbands, and get attorneys to fight it. They will scream discrimination.

        Just a thought, if God created 2 men, or 2 women, that would have been the end of humans. None of us would be here today!

        1. ps0rjl June 24, 2014

          One point Paulz.. According to your Bible Adam and Eve had two sons. Cain and Abel who then married wives. Just where did these wives come from because Adam and Eve were the only two people on earth until they had Cain and Abel? By that logic if God wanted to start with two women or two men it appears he still could have created a civilization.

        2. johninPCFL June 24, 2014

          Why is it only you kooks who fantasize about sex with animals? Why is only the conservatives who immediately go there? Why don’t you keep your perverse fantasies to yourself?
          If God created only Adam and Eve, then incest was fine with God, right? Why do you guys preach that incest is OK? You’re the worst perverts ever.

        3. sigrid28 June 25, 2014

          Wait a minute–I draw the line at attorneys!

        4. Ocho June 25, 2014

          You know, if a guy wants to have 4 wives, why the heck not? Who are we to turn around and tell them that they can’t. After all, all 4 wives would have to agree to it, as well as the man. Everyone would have to make the decision that yes, that is what they want, and that is what makes them all happy. Who are we to tell them no?

          Also, pretty sure God is alright with it, polygamy being the defacto standard for centuries and all.

          But marrying one’s dog? Really? Man, you on the right sure have some perverted sense of morals if that’s where you think it’s leading to. Pretty sure when the topic of the degradation of morality comes up, the right is mostly to blame for it.

  3. Lovefacts June 24, 2014

    Interestingly, the prohibition against same-sex marriage violates SCOTUS’s ruling on DOMA and both the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause and Article IV, Section 1 of the US Constitution: “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state….” This provides that all legal contracts in a state, territory, or possession are honored throughout the United States.

    Contrary to what the religious right says, marriage is a state-sanctioned,
    legally-binding contract entitling spouses and children to specific legal benefits and privileges, what is recognized in one state is recognized throughout the land. While a religious ceremony is wonderful, it will NOT confer full legal benefits and privileges until registered with the required
    governmental agency.

    In addition, due to the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, religions will NOT have to marry or acknowledge the marriages of same-sex couples. However, because the US Constitution clearly provides that all legal marriages in a state, territory, or possession MUST be recognized
    throughout the land, same-sex marriages. I fear the outrage by the right over the issue of same-sex marriage will devolve into the same one that’s taken place re abortion, further dividing the county until the percentage of youth voting is greater.

    1. EdJack June 24, 2014

      Killing of the unborn and unions that cant provide for reproduction are the downhill trend toward the destruction of America and the takeover by minorities from other parts of the world that see this opportunity. Failure to observe God’s laws has destroyed many a civilization. Too bad for us!

      1. johninPCFL June 24, 2014

        Which civilizations? God seems to be pretty circumspect about who gets the data necessary to survive, killing millions who don’t obey (our interpretation of) His laws, even when they’ve NEVER HEARD OF THEM.

      2. charleo1 June 24, 2014

        Boy, where have you been lately? You sound like you’ve been
        under a rock since 1955. And why do you tie the abortion issue to Gay Marriage? It’s like tying hang gliding with chess,
        Gay couples don’t have accidental unwanted pregnancies,
        straight couples do. And Christians of all Nationalities often
        follow their Church’s Law, abstain from using contraception,
        and yes, have a passel of kids. You can’t have this debate
        both ways. God’s law, or no God’s law. One or the other.
        And don’t tell me, you’ve never noticed any discrepancy
        before, between the Bible, and the Constitution.

  4. ps0rjl June 24, 2014

    Yes, we should all follow God’s Law whatever the hell that is. What exactly is God’s Law? Is it the New Testament, the Old Testament, the Koran, or is it something else that no one has a flying frick about. I say if your church, mosque, or temple doesn’t want to marry same sex couples then don’t, but don’t attempt to get the rest of us to abide by your religion’s fantasy rules. I say live and let live. If same sex couples want to get married and enjoy the same legal rights as heterosexual couples then every state should allow it. Besides from the news we get now it appears you have enough trouble making you own followers to follow your rules.


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