Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Gay Thing: SCOTUS Halts Utah Gay Marriages

I ain't gonna lie to you, this is irritating. After having gotten "gay married" myself in 2008 in California, I went through the legal limbo after Proposition 8 was passed, and it was a long five years before it was legal again. My actual marriage was grandfathered, but it didn't feel 100% "safe," either, until the Supreme Court kicked out Prop 8's supporters' appeal for lack of standing. Edie Windsor's win on the DOMA case was icing on the cake (and money in the bank, frankly).

Marriage map from source, Washington Post.
(Click to embiggen)
I didn't want to see LGBT Utahans go through that. It's pointless. It's a waste of time, and it's a waste of money. Virtually no one expects that marriage equality won't one day be the law of the land in all 50 states. It's just a question of how long groups like the (badly named) National Organization for Marriage fights to delay it, and how many months and years the various cases around the country take to wind their way through the courts.

I understand what Justice Sonia Sotomayor was doing here. By referring the decision to the full court, she didn't have to be the "lone voice" responsible for either allowing marriages to continue (risking a perceived backlash), nor personally block marriages herself (damaging her reputation with liberals). And as a judicial "pause button," there has been no damage, other than to delay, except perhaps to any potential brides and grooms who might--you know--die in the interim.

I have very little doubt that one day, this will be a non-issue, and same-sex marriages will be just another fact of life. The Utah case might stall at the 10th Circuit, it might go to SCOTUS, or the high court might just refuse the case, preferring for this to play out a state at a time for now. I keep hearing that SCOTUS doesn't like to "get ahead" of public opinion on hot button issues like this. They like for the wave of public opinion to much bigger than it is on this issue (though this one has picked up momentum like gangbusters over the last year). And while I understand the point, I disagree with its premise. Justice shouldn't depend on public opinion. Equality shouldn't be delayed because Mississippi or Alabama or Utah isn't "ready."


Supreme Court halts same-sex marriages in Utah pending appeal
The Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages in Utah on Monday, returning to center stage the question of whether there is a constitutional right to marry that states may not withhold from gay men and lesbians. The court’s two-sentence order stayed a decision from a federal judge in Salt Lake City that had cleared the way for same-sex marriages. About 1,000 such weddings were performed in the 17 days that followed — unions that the state’s attorney general said are now in “legal limbo. . .”

Read more at: Washington Post

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have something to say to us? Post it here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...