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Expansion of Same-sex marriage in the U.S.

Part 3: Predictions by Linda Feldman of the
Christian Science Monitor (Cont'd), by this
web site, and by Future Timeline.net

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This topic is continued from a previous essay

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States that Linda Feldman of the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) believes may legalize SSM in 2014 and later are:

  • Oregon: A referendum is being promoted for 2013-NOV. A 2012-DEC poll by Public Policy Polling showed that 54% of adults in the state support SSM while 40% oppose it.

  • Michigan: A 2012-NOV survey by the Michigan State University showed that 56% of adults in the state support SSM. A state referendum has been proposed to repeal the constitutional amendment in 2004 that banned SSM. Meanwhile a judge at the federal District Court has ordered a trial in the case involving two women trying to adopt each other's children which could overturn the state's same-sex marriage legislative ban. A bill to conduct a referendum on SSM has been introduced into the state legislature.
  • Arizona: A referendum has been proposed for 2014-NOV to repeal the 2008 constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in the state.

  • Colorado: An effort is being mounted to repeal the 2006 amendment to the state constitution that banned SSM. A 2012-APR poll by Public Policy Polling found 53% of adults in the state favored SSM.

  • Ohio: A Public Religion Research Institute poll in 2013-MAR showed 52% support for SSM. Freedom Ohio, a coalition of groups supporting SSM, is collecting signatures for a referendum in 2014-NOV to repeal the 2004 constitutional ban of SSM. During 2013-JUL, a federal District Court in Ohio established a temporary injunction to have the out-of-state marriage of a Cincinnati same-sex couple recognized. Although there were special circumstances involved in this case, the judge's arguments could be applied to any same-sex couple married in another state whose marriage was not recognized in Ohio.

  • Nevada: During 2013-MAY, the legislature took the first step to repeal the constitutional ban on SSM. The earliest data that a referendum could be held to repeal the ban is 2016-NOV. A poll by the Retail Association of Nevada showed that 54% of adults in the state favor repeal. By 2016, this should rise to at least 60%. Meanwhile, a lawsuit to legalize SSM -- Sevcik v. Sandoval has been appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- the same court that supported SSM in California's Proposition 8 case. It is based on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

  • New Mexico: There is nothing in the state's marriage act or state constitution to bar SSM. Two same-sex couples have filed a lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry. Bills to legalize SSM have been introduced to the Legislature, but are stalled.

  • Indiana: Advocates promoting marriage inequality are attempting to get a referendum on the 2014-NOV ballot in an attempt to amend the state Constitution to ban SSM. Adults in the state are evenly divided in favor and opposed to SSM itself. But. according to a Ball State University, 54% of adults oppose changing the Constitution to ban SSM while only 34% support a such an amendment. Presumably the majority of adults do not want to write discrimination into the Constitution.

  • Pennsylvania: A 2013-MAR poll by Franklin & Marshall College found that 52% of voters favor SSM. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in 2013-JUL on behalf of ten same-sex couples, two children, and a lesbian widow to legalize SSM in the state and to have the state recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane will not defend the state law. However the lawsuit's primary defendant, Governor Tom Corbett (R), who opposes gay marriage, is expected to have his general counsel defend the law. 5

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This web site's webmaster's predictions about the future of same-sex marriage:

I am guessing that:

  • By the end of 2014, another 6 states will have legalized same-sex marriage, bringing the total to 20 states and the District of Columbia. The new states will include Illinois, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico and two others.
  • During 2015 and beyond, additional states will legalize SSM. However, the rate will be much slower because all of the liberal states by this time would have legalized SSM, leaving only the conservative states. Also, most of the remaining states will have already discriminatory clauses in their constitution which sometimes take many years to repeal. Finally one of many of the lawsuits currently progressing through the federal courts to legalize SSM -- or perhaps a new lawsuit -- will be fought at the District Court level, be appealed to a U.S. Circut Court of Appeals, and be accepted for review by the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuit will be based on one or both of the following two principles contained in the U.S. Constitution:

    • A violation of Article IV: The U.S. Constitution requires that all states must give "full faith and credit" to legal documents from other states. That is why a person with a New Jersey driver license does not have to apply for a California license if they are visiting the latter state. That is why an opposite-sex couple who was married in Florida and who later move to Oregon don't have to get married again. The state of Oregon automatically accepts their marriage as valid in their new state. The lawsuit will be based on the principle that the "full faith and credit" clause of the U.S. Constitution applies to all marriages: those by same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

      If the lawsuit based on the "full faith and credit" clause is successful, then it would probably also declare Section 2 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. Section 2 states:

      "No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship."

      The state of Ohio -- and probably many other states -- already recognizes this principle in part:

      • An underaged opposite-sex couple cannot marry in Ohio, but can take a trip to another state where they are allowed to marry. They can then return to Ohio, and have their marriage recognized.

      • First cousins of opposite sex cannot marry in Ohio, but can take a trip to another state where they can marry, return to Ohio and have their marriage recognized.

      • However, Ohio refuses to recognize a same-sex marriage solemnized in another state that allows SSMs, with the temporary exception of one couple in an unusual circumstance.

    • A violation of the 5th and/or 14th Amendment: These amendments to the U.S. Constitution place constraints on both the federal and state governments who wish to pass legislation that treat groups of individuals differently by discriminating against some. According to Find US Law:

      • "The Fifth Amendment has an explicit requirement that the Federal Government not deprive individuals of 'life, liberty, or property,' without due process of the law and an implicit guarantee that each person receive equal protection of the laws."

      • The Fourteenth Amendment explicitly prohibits states from violating an individual's rights of due process and equal protection."

    The Supreme Court's ruling that will eventually legalize same-sex marriage across all of states in the U.S. will be argued similarly to the majority decision in United States v. Wilson, released on 2013-JUN-25. The latter was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who is often considered a swing vote on the Supreme Court. 3 He said that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the Fifth Amendment's guarantee of equal liberty, and wrote inequality into federal law. He wrote:

    "DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal." 4

    Justice Kennedy wrote that the purpose of the law was to impose a disadvantage and:

    "... a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the states."

    This new ruling will declare a state's marriage law and/or constitution to have violated the U.S. Constitution and thus be invalid. The Court may find a way to rule narrowly, in order to affect only one state. Alternately, they may rule broadly to affect all of the states that do not allow same-sex marriage. If it is the former, then a similar lawsuit will come along later and legalize SSM across the entire country.

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FutureTimeline.net predicts same-sex marriage will be available across all 50 states in 2024:

Future Timeline is a fascinating web site by Will Fox. He attempts to predict medical, social, computer, environmental, transportation, and other changes, achievements, and developments during the rest of the 21st century! His 2014 essay contains a prediction that "Gay marriage is legal in every US state." 6 He predicted that by 2015, most Americans would support same-sex marriage for the first time. This prophecy seems inaccurate, because parity was apparently reached in 2011/2012. He prediced that Mississippi would be the last state to legalize SSM, and that it would do so in 2024.

This prediction about Mississippi might well prove to be accurate if one possibility is discounted. The author assumed that the current practice of state-by-state SSM battles in legislatures, courts and/or citizen initiatives would continue until 2024. We suspect that universal access to marriage by same-sex couples will happen much earlier -- say about 2019 -- when we expect that:

  • Most of the states in the Northeast, West, and many states in the Midwest would have already legalized SSM.

  • Only about a dozen states -- mainly in the deep South -- would still ban SSMs, mostly by amendments to their constitutions.

  • A lawsuit launched in one of the states where SSM was still forbidden would be accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court will issue a ruling like it did in Loving v. Virginia during 1967 when it legalized interracial marriages across the entire country. At that time, the ruling declared marriage laws banning interracial marriage in 16 contigous states in the Southeast to be unconstitutional.

Note to Webmaster: Try to remember to check back here periodically to see how the predictions pan out. 2019 is still within your life expectancy. So is 2024, but only barely.

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New York Times article predicts a gradual increase in states with SSM leading to a major decision by the U.S. Supreme Court:

Erik Eckholm, writing in the Politics section of the New York Times concludes:

  • The current main effort of pro-equality groups is to continue the state-by-state battles to legalize SSM. They are expecting victory in the Legislatures of Illinois and perhaps New Jersey and Hawaii by early 2014. In the 2014-NOV elections, state constitutional amendments banning SSM might be repealed in Ohio and Oregon, leading to marriage equality in those states. Also the ambiguous status in New Mexico towards SSM might be resolved in the courts. They expect that if national public support for SSM continues to increase, and if a sufficient number of states attain marriage equality, then the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually make SSM a civil right for all same-sex couples across the country, as it did in 1967 in the case Loving v. Virginia over interracial marriage.

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More predictions are expected

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Robert Barnes, "Kennedy’s opinion may predict the future for same-sex marriage," Washington Post, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/
  2. Debra Weiss, "Scalia predicts the future, once again, in gay-marriage dissent," ABA Journal, 2012-JUN-27, at: http://www.abajournal.com/
  3. Asawin Suebsaeng, "The Best (or Worst) Lines From Scalia's Angry Dissent on the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act Ruling," Mother Jones, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.motherjones.com/
  4. Steven Nelson, "Gay Marriage Will Go Nationwide in 10 Years, Lawrence v. Texas Attorney Predicts," US News and World Report, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.usnews.com/
  5. Linda Feldmann,"Gay marriage battlegrounds: 12 states to watch," Christian Science Monitor, 2013-JUL-02, at: http://www.csmonitor.com/
  6. Will Fox, "Gay marriage is legal in every US state," undated, at: http://www.futuretimeline.net/
  7. "US Constitution - 5th and 14th Amendments," FindUSLaw, undated, at: http://finduslaw.com/

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Site navigation:

Home page > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Couples > SSM > Future > here

Home page > Homosexuality > SSM > SSM menu > Future > here

Home page >>SSM > SSM menu > Future > here

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Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance 
Originally written: 2013-JUL-15
Latest update: 2013-JUL-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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