Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
2014-JUL: Accelerating steps towards
marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
We use the acronym "SSM" to represent "same-sex marriage"
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. The acronym "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
See also the previous essay describing events during 2013-JUN
2014-JUL-01: USA: Current status of same-sex marriage (SSM):
Marriage licenses are routinely available and marriages routinely registered for same-sex couples in 20 states. About 44% of Americans live in a political jurisdiction where same-sex couples can marry. The states are: CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MN, NJ, NM, NY, NH, RI, OR, PA, VT, & WA. With the District of Columbia, this makes a total of 21 political jurisdictions with marriage equality. However, SSM in Indiana may be stayed at any time.
- Same-sex marriage (SSM) remains forbidden by state constitutional amendments in 28 states and by state laws only in 3 states [IN, WV, WY]. The bans in all 31 states are currently being challenged by over 70 lawsuits in federal and state Courts. Every state with a ban has at least one lawsuit seeking to have that ban declared unconstitutional.
According to the Freedom to Marry web site, between 2014-JUN-26 and 2014-JUL-01, there have been 23 consecutive rulings by state courts, federal courts, and one federal Circuit Court of Appeals. All have upheld the right of same-sex couples to marry.
- Some of the more interesting recent developments were:
The Illinois legislature passed a same-sex marriage bill. It was signed into law on 2013-NOV-20.
The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled on 2013-DEC-19 that the state marriage laws were unconstitutional and that SSM was legal.
Many federal district courts have issued rulings legalizing marriages in their states or requiring their state to recognize marriages solemnized out of state. Almost all have been stayed pending appeal. See the current status.
A District Court in Pennsylvania declared that state's marriage ban is unconstitutional. Governor Tom Corbett (R) was very widely expected to ask for a stay of the ruling and to appeal the case to a U.S. Circuit of Appeals. However, recognizing that an appeal stood no chance of upholding the ban, he decided to do neither. Same-sex couples have since been able to be married in the state.
- About 45% of the American population lives in either the District of Columbia or in a state where same-sex couples can marry. Most of the population of North America -- here defined as the U.S. and Canada -- live in a district, state or province where SSM is legal. Most of the political jurisdictions in North America have legalized SSM.
2014-JUL-01: Kentucky: District Court Judge John G. Heyburn II, had ruled in early February that Kentucky had to recognize legal marriages by same-sex couples performed out-of-state. He made a second ruling on JUL-01 that Kentucky had to allow qualified same-sex couples to marry within the state. More details.
2014-JUL-10: Colorado Two state trial judges rule on same-sex marriage:
Adams County District Judge C. Scott Crabtree of Brighton, CO issued an opinion that declared the amendment to the state constitution, and the state statutes banning same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. He then stayed his ruling in the expectation of an appeal of his ruling by state officials to an appeals court, and later perhaps to the state Supreme Court. This ruling continues the unbroken series of state and federal court decisions overturning state SSM bans in numerous states since the famous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Windsor v. United States on 2013-JUN-26. Judge Crabtree's ruling is 49 pages long of which some 39 pages contain an extensive review of previous court rulings on SSM. More details.
During late June, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which covers Utah, Colorado and four additional states, had issued its ruling legalizing same-sex marriages in Utah. The court then stayed their decision expecting an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Within hours, Hillary Hall, the clerk of Boulder County in Colorado, started to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
On JUL-11, District Judge Andrew Hartman of Boulder, CO issued a ruling allowing Ms. Hall to continue issuing such licenses. However she must inform the couples in advance that "the validity of their marriages" cannot be assured, and depends upon future court rulings. More details.
2014-JUL-17: Florida: Ruling in Monroe County: Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia issued a ruling that struck down Florida's ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The ruling was only effective in Monroe County at the south-west corner of the state. He ordered that the issuance of marriage licenses begin within Monroe County on JUL-22. The state Attorney General, Pam Bondi, quickly appealed the case to the state's 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. This action automatically stayed Judge Garcia's ruling pending the outcome of the appeal. More details.
2014-JUL-20: Oklahoma: 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared Oklahoma marriage ban unconstitutional: A three-judge panel of the Court overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriages because the voter-approved state constitutional amendment violates the U.S. Constitution. More details.
2014-JUL-25: USA: The Center for the People & the Press at Pew Research sent us a political topology quiz because we were on their mailing list. It asked a bunch of questions offering both a liberal and a conservative answer. One question was whether "homosexuality" should be accepted by society. 62% of the public said yes. Unfortunately, Pew did not specify whether they were referring to homosexuality as a sexual orientation, or homosexuality as a behavior.
Among people who they identify as "Steadfast Conservatives" only 18% agree that "homosexuality should be accepted by society." Among "Solid Liberals" it is 93%! That difference goes a long way to explain why access to marriage by same-sex couples is such a hot topic today.
2014-JUL-25: Florida: Ruling in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court: Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel issued her ruling in the case Pareto v. Ruvin. She declared the state's same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional because they violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Attorney General appealed this case also to Florida's 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, thus staying the lower court's ruling. More details.
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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2014-JUL-01
Latest update: 2014-JUL-25
Author: B.A. Robinson