Monday, October 06, 2014

SCOTUS turns back on marriage bans

SCOTUS shocks must be good for me, at least keeping me alert and flexible. They did it again today, refusing without comment the requests by five states to review federal courts overturning their gay-marriage bans.

WaPo has its usual thorough coverage of this here. Also, The NYTimes has deeper history here.

Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin are in this batch. In Virginia, for example, that commonwealth will begin issuing licenses this afternoon and will recognize the same-sex marriages from other states where they are legal already.

It is almost certain that this will quickly expand to six more states — Colorado,  Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia — where federal appeals courts have ruled such bans unconstitutional. That would bring to 30 the number of states with marriage equality.

States that has piled on both constitutional amendments and laws banning marriage equality are the legal equivalent of oldsters whose Depend diapers fail them, with lots of soiled clothing involved.

How now what they manage to hurt, harm, hamper and hinder homosexuals? We can be sure the plug nasties will keep at it. They've done that with abortion and contraception rights, voting laws and more. When they hate a group, they plug away.

Meanwhile, this morning's SCOTUS announcement hints strongly that the high court will duck nationwide case this term to settle this. Despite the crazy conservative decisions of late, it seems the justices can't deny that marriage is a fundamental right, hence worthy of legal protection.

A clear case or set of cases would almost certainly come down favoring marriage equality. The justices are particularly loath to mandate where individual states have traditionally set their rules. Of course, they did just that in Loving v. Virginia, but that was 57 years ago.

I say it's time to do it again.

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