Thursday, October 12, 2006

Supremes Pass on SSM, This Time

Bay Windows has good coverage over the recent U.S. Supreme Court refusal to hear a same-sex marriage case. We had been away and unable to get to it. Now we don't have to...thanks.

Just this Tuesday, the court said it would not touch an appeal by two men to whom California denied a marriage license in 2004. The court declined without comment.

The related case is wending its way through California courts. The case, Smelt v. Orange County, lost at district and state levels. The courts ruled that they did not have standing to challenge the federal DOMA statute and withheld consideration of state law challenges pending the outcome of other suits.

The BW piece goes into detail about how several gay-rights and marriage-equality leaders and groups would not support this suit. Some figure this is the wrong case and the wrong time for the high court. "Bringing the wrong suit in the wrong way, even for the right objective, could do serious injury not only to our right to marry, but also to the broader range of lesbian and gay rights," they quote Evan Wolfson, founder and executive director of the Freedom to Marry organization.

However, they also quote the plaintiffs' attorney, Richard C. Gilbert, as thinking that the gay-rights folk are overly cautious. He sees such suits are the most expedient way to get action. He added that Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer may well refile their suit in the state Supreme Court.

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