Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Gay Thing: 6th Circuit Rules FOR Gay Marriage Bans (Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan)

For an atheist, I have an unusual amount of things that are so intuitive and coincidental, that it makes me wonder if agnosticism might not be more my speed. Almost daily I have an odd occurrence, the repetition of an unusual word in disparate places, talking about an obscure celebrity, only to have them die the next day. Things like that. I had another one today. I thought, "What's going on with the 6th Circuit?"  They'd heard cases on marriage equality quite a while ago. The election is over, so I figured the timing was ripe. When were they going to rule? This was right before lunch. I did a quick couple of Google searches, and no news.

After lunch, boom, the news hit. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the gay marriage bans in their jurisdiction can stand. This is quite the departure, and provides a Circuit split, as every other Circuit Court that has ruled on the subject has ruled against such bans. In a week of bad political news (from my perspective), this was just the rancid icing on the moldy cake. I suppose it shouldn't bother me so badly, since we're on the edge of 34 states having marriage equality. Even my current state has me in the legal column.

But Ohio is my home state. We've talked about moving back there. If we moved tomorrow, in most of the states in our path, our marriage would be intact. It would wink off in the Texas panhandle, wink back on in Oklahoma, and remain so until we got to our destination. Where we'd promptly become roommates in Ohio. Clearly, this is no way to run a country. And I'm hoping, that's what the Supreme Court will think as well. The question is, when will the case even get there? If things move quickly, it could be decided by June of next year. Or maybe June of 2016. And there's no guarantee we'll win.

But I think we have a much better than even chance. Let's start with the 6th's decision. While I'm no lawyer or judge, I don't think this decision would pass in high school debate class. There's very little in the way of legal reasoning at all. It's mostly appeals to tradition, and--very oddly--an effort to duck responsibility. The court is actually saying it's not their place to decide. Not their place to decide a constitutional issue! It's absurd.

Actually, the entire battle from the anti-gay side has been absurd. I've been arguing this subject for years online and elsewhere, and there is literally nothing new to their arguments. The things that this court did latch onto have been argued down and defeated in dozens of previous decisions. These retread arguments would only sway judges who were groping for reasoning. And rather than answer the questions before them: a) can a state constitutionally ban gay people from getting married and b) can a state refuse to recognize a legal marriage from another state, were largely responded to with a, "What? Who? Us? You're asking us? It's not up to us." Crazy man. Crazy.


Supreme Court Gay Marriage Showdown Looms After Appeals Court Upholds Bans
The march toward gay marriage across the U.S. hit a roadblock Thursday when a federal appeals court upheld laws against the practice in four states, creating a split in the legal system that increases the chances the Supreme Court will step in to decide the issue once and for all. The cases decided were from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

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