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Religious Tolerance logo

Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.

2014-OCT, Part 2:
OCT-09: Accelerating change
involving same-sex marriage, LGBT equality, etc.

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We use the acronym "SSM" to represent "same-sex marriage."
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

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Events during the first week of 2013-OCT are described in in the previous essay.

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Developments on 2014-OCT-09:

  • star NBC News commented on the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to take no action on the appeals in four same-sex marriage lawsuits from three Circuit Courts of Appeals:


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  • About the Circuit Courts of Appeals rulings:

The three Circuit Courts of Appeal all based their rulings on their belief that the U.S. Constitution is the highest law in the land, and that the due process and/or equal protection clauses in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution require federal, state, and local governments to treat the marriages of same-sex couples and of opposite-sex couples equally.

It would have been necessary for defendants in these, and about 30 similar cases to put forth very convincing arguments why the 14th Amendment clauses should not be applicable to same-sex marriage. The defendants tried to do this, arguing that marriage equality would:

  • cause children of same-sex married parents to not thrive as well as children of opposite-sex married couples.
  • cause the marriage rate to drop.
  • cause the birth rate to drop.
  • radically change how the institution of marriage had always been defined in America.
  • deny children their right to have a mom and dad.
  • etc.

The vast majority of courts rejected these arguments as being invalid or of no significant merit compared to the importance of the human right for all couples to marry the person that they love and to whom they wish to give a lifetime commitment. These are persons who are -- or will discover that they are in the future -- lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

Many religious and social conservatives complained that each same-sex marriage ban contained in a state constitution was passed by a majority of voters. Thus, in their opinion, the bans in state Constitutions have an authority above that of the U.S. Constitution. That is, many conservatives appear to believe that the United States is a pure democracy where the vote of the public -- sometimes called the tyranny of the majority -- is the highest authority. Essentially all liberals appear believe that the United States is a constitutional democracy where the federal Constitution is the highest authority. Unfortunately, little or no dialog appears to be taking place to resolve this conflict. There remain serious conflicting views on the type of democracy active in the United States

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As the NBC News video states, the high court decision will probably bring marriage equality indirectly to six additional states that are also served by the 4th, 7th, and 10th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. These states were not involved in any of the four lawsuits. However, because each of these three Circuit Courts of Appeal has overturned one or two state bans on same-sex marriage, and their rulings are now final, then their decisions are expected to be applied to all the other states under their jurisdiction that have bans in place. These states are: Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming, This would bring the total number of states where same-sex couples can freely marry to 30!

That includes:

  • The 19 states that had attained marriage equality as of 2014-OCT-05.

  • The 5 states that had legalized same-sex marriage directly as a result of the Supreme Court's decision to not accept appeals on OCT-06.

  • The 6 states whose same-sex marriage bans were overturned because they were under the jurisdiction of a Circuit Court of Appeals whose decision in a same-sex marriage case had become final.

When all the details resulting from the decision by the high court are worked out, about 60% of Americans will live in the District of Columbia or in one of the 30 states where same-sex couples can marry.

There would still remain up to 20 states where marriage inequality is the law of the land. However, there are one or more active lawsuits in each of these states working their way up through the federal court system towards the U.S. Supreme Court. Presumably the Supreme Court will refuse to grant certiorari in these lawsuits as well, as long as the Circuit Courts uniformly rule in favor of marriage equality. This is expected to add additional states to in the future. More details.

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  • A graphic showing the geographic boundaries of the U.S. Courts of Appeals:

This map clearly shows which states and territories are under the jurisdiction of each of the 11 U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals:

  • Courts of appeal: geographic boundaries 2

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    This topic continues in the next essay with information about events later in October.

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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. " 'We're Walking on Clouds': Gay Marriages Begin in Nevada." NBC News, 2014-OCT-09, at:
    2. "Geographical boundaries of U.S. Courts of Appeals was extracted from a federal government web site at: It appears to be in the public domain.

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    How you may have arrived here:

    Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu > here

    Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu > Tipping point > here

    Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Agenda & news > LGBT News > here

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    Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
    First posted: 2014-OCT-01
    Latest update: 2014-OCT-19
    Author: B.A. Robinson
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    Go to the previous page, or to the Gay - lesbian news menu, , or go to the LGBT "Tipping point" menu, or go to the "Same-sex marriage" menu, or choose:

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