Saturday, July 05, 2014

165.1 - Good News: marriage justice continues to advance

Good News: marriage justice continues to advance

Starting off, as I do when I can, with good news, the good news this week is that they're dropping like flies.

On June 25, US District Judge Richard Young threw out Indiana's legal ban on same-sex marriage along with its ban on recognizing such marriages legally performed in other states.

I've said that in each of this whole long string of decisions on this, there seems to be one line worthy of note. In Judge Young's case, it was this:
In less than a year, every federal district court to consider the issue has reached the same conclusion in thoughtful and thorough opinions - laws prohibiting the celebration and recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, back in February, District Judge John Heyburn ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal. On July 1, he followed that up with a ruling declaring Kentucky's own ban on such marriage was itself unconstitutional because, he wrote, "In America, even sincere and long-held religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted."

Heyburn actually had a second great line: He rejected the only argument that Kentucky offered for the ban, which was that traditional marriages contribute to a stable birth rate and the state's long-term economic stability. "These arguments," Heyburn said, "are not those of serious people."

And in what got less notice than I thought it should, on June 25 the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of a District Court that had held that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage violated rights of due process and equal treatment under the 14th Amendment.

What's particularly important is that this was the first time an Appeals Court had ruled on the issue, and it came down on the side of marriage justice.

What's more, it probably spells doom for Oklahoma's ban, which had also been struck down at the district level and is now on appeal - to the 10th Circuit.

The appeals court dismissed arguments from Utah officials that allowing same-sex marriages would have a destabilizing effect on opposite-sex marriages:
We cannot imagine a scenario under which recognizing same-sex marriages would affect the decision of a member of an opposite-sex couple to have a child, to marry or stay married to a partner, or to make personal sacrifices for a child.

And so it goes. And goes. Justice is coming.

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