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Attaining marriage equality: Marriage by same-sex couples (SSM)

Part 2: 2014-OCT-06: U.S. Supreme Court
refuses to hear appeals from 4th, 7th, and 10th
Circuit Courts of Appeal
This decision will bring marriage equality to 11
states, and perhaps to 5 more in the near future!

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This topic is a continuation of the previous essay

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LGBT symbol Responses to the Supreme Court's decision (Cont'd):

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said:

"Any time same-sex couples are extended, marriage equality is something to celebrate. Today is a joyous day for thousands of couples across America who will [almost] immediately feel the impact of today's Supreme Court action. But ... the complex and discriminatory patchwork of marriage laws that was prolonged today by the Supreme Court is unsustainable. The only acceptable solution is nationwide marriage equality." 7

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote:

"The Supreme Court decision to not take up these lower court rulings, which  undermine natural marriage and the rule of law, for now, puts the issue of marriage back before the US Congress.  This decision, in part, is an indication that those on the Court who desire to redefine natural marriage recognize the country will not accept a Roe v. Wade type decision on marriage.

"Unfortunately, by failing to take up these marriage cases, the High Court will allow rogue lower court judges who have ignored history and true legal precedent to silence the elected representatives of the people and the voice of the people themselves by overturning state provisions on marriage.   Even more alarming, lower court judges are undermining our form of government and the rights and freedoms of citizens to govern themselves.  This judicially led effort to force same sex 'marriage' on people will have negative consequences for our Republic, not only as it relates to natural marriage but also undermining the rule of and respect for law." 6

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Probable future status of same-sex marriage across the U.S.:

It will take some time to go through the legal steps necessary to start same-sex marriages in the five states directly involved in the Circuit Court lawsuits, and the six states indirectly involved. When these steps are completed the availability of marriage to same-sex couples should look like this:

Status of SSM 2014-OCT 7

In the above graphic:

  • Dark blue: 19 states with marriage equality in place as of 2014-OCT-05.
  • Light blue: 11 states with marriage equality expected in the near future because of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision.
  • Light gray: 20 states where same-sex couples cannot marry, but where lawsuits are active to attain marriage equality:

When the necessary court activity is completed and all of the eleven new states attain marriage equality, same-sex married couples would be able to drive from coast to coast and experience only three short gaps in their route where they will be unprotected by state laws in the event of a medical emergency, etc.

There will still remain 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 towards the U.S. Supreme Court. Presumably the Supreme Court will also refuse to grant certiorari in these lawsuits as long as the lower federal courts continue to uniformly rule in favor of marriage equality.

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The possibility of adding five more marriage equality states:

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has heard lawsuits concerning marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada. Their decision can be handed down at any time. This is generally regarded as the most liberal Circuit Court in the U.S. and is almost certain to uphold the principle of marriage equality. If and when that happens, and if the cases are appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and if the latter refuses to hear the appeal, then marriage equality will come quickly to both Idaho and Nevada. Later it would come to other states under the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit Court that currently ban marriage by same-sex couples: Alaska, Arizona and Montana. That would bring marriage equality to a total of 35 states and the District of Columbia. Only 15 states then would continue to ban same-sex marriages.

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More developments are certain to come

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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. Michelle Cottle, "What Is ‘Natural Marriage?’, " The Daily Beast, 2014-MAR-27, at:
  2. The Family Research Council and "Americans for Truth About Homosexuality" are conservative Christian para-church organizations, which have been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-gay hate groups. See: Evelyn Schlatter, "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda," Southern Poverty Law Center, 2010-Winter issue of SPLC's Intelligence Report, at:
  3. Robert Barnes, "Supreme Court: Was gay marriage settled in 1972 case?," Washington Post, 2014-AUG-17, at:
  4. "History and timeline of the freedom to marry in the United States," Freedom to Marry, 2014-SEP-19, at:
  5. Richard Wolf, "Supreme Court paves way for gay marriage in Indiana," IndyStar, 2014-OCT-06, at:
  6. Brian S. Brown, "National Organization for Marriage Condemns US Supreme Court for Not Reviewing Lower Court Rulings Imposing the Redefinition of Marriage," National Organization for Marriage, 2014-OCT-06, at:
  7. "High court ruling may lead to gay marriage in 30 states," USA Today, 2014-OCT-06, at:
  8. Tony Perkins, "Supreme Court Refuses to Take Up Marriage Cases, Knowing Nation Will Not Accept Nationwide Redefinition of Marriage," Family Research Council, 2014-OCT-06, at:
  9. "Same-sex marriages begin in Virginia," The Washington Post, 2014-OCT-06, at:
  10. Louis Crompton, "Homosexuals and the Death Penalty in Colonial America," Journal of Homosexuality, Volume 1, Issue 3, 1976, at:

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Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > SSM menu > here

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

Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 2014-OCT-06
Last updated 2014-OCT-07
Author: Bruce A Robinson
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