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News Surprise from the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage

  1. Oct 6, 2014 #1

    jtbell

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    Five states appealed to the Supreme Court to reverse federal appeals court rulings that declared their state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. A lot of people expected the Court to take up at least one of those cases and make a definitive ruling that would apply nationally.

    However, the Court has declined to hear any of those appeals.

    Supreme Court refuses to rule on same-sex marriage (CNN.com)

    This makes same-sex marriage legal in those states: Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana. Six other states covered by those appeals courts may also be forced to lift their bans: West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

    This will set off a lot of fireworks in South Carolina, for sure. Maybe even another bombardment of Fort Sumter? :rolleyes:

    [added] Actually, I expect our state officials will simply bluster and stonewall until the appeals court orders them to lift the ban in SC. It's a state constitutional amendment which was passed by a 78% popular vote in 2006.

    [more] Yep, I thought so:

    http://www.wyff4.com/news/sc-attorney-general-makes-statement-on-gay-marriage/28973922

     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
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  3. Oct 6, 2014 #2

    lisab

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    I'm disappointed that the Supreme Court chose to "punt" on this issue. There is really no good, sound, Constitutional argument against gay marriage that I have heard (and no, I'm not a lawyer).

    IMO, they're just delaying the inevitable.
     
  4. Oct 7, 2014 #3

    Astronuc

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    It would seem that the Supreme Court left the matter at the level of the Appeals Courts, which so far ruled it the State bans unconstitutional, therefore it would seem the Federal government has deemed such a restriction as unconstitutional.

    I believe the States were arguing that whatever powers were not explicitly granted to or reserved by the Federal government, were thus the purview of the States and the People. So therefore, a State (or even local government) can theoretically regulate certain relationships among certain people, as long as it does not violate equal protection.

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  5. Oct 7, 2014 #4

    jtbell

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    http://www.thestate.com/2014/10/06/3728666_us-supreme-court-gay-marriage.html?rh=1 [Broken] (The State, Columbia SC)

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  6. Oct 8, 2014 #5
    I also think that in long run such unions are going to be legal. However, also for me Astronuc's point seems very reasonable. The US constitution was written mostly a while ago, at times when there was no need to have any statement concerning marriage. In consequence it was not mentioned as an issue regulated by federal government, what leaves it by default as a state right, what provides states with big leeway that work in both ways.
     
  7. Oct 8, 2014 #6

    Astronuc

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  8. Oct 8, 2014 #7

    jtbell

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    Things are getting interesting here:

    http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20141008/PC1603/141009465/1031/first-same-sex-marriage-license-to-be-granted-in-charleston-county [Broken] (Charleston Post and Courier)

    Richland, Charleston counties issuing marriage license applications to same-sex couples (The State, Columbia)

    Charleston Co. to issue same-sex marriage licenses; Couples denied licenses in Upstate (WYFF-TV, Greenville; with lively discussion in the comment section)

    This fits the usual pattern of the Charleston and Columbia areas being more liberal/tolerant than the Upstate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  9. Oct 9, 2014 #8

    mheslep

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    For the court to act, they need an infringement of the rights guaranteed by the constitution. This time, prohibitions of gay marriage seem to fall under a failure to render due process of law (5th, 14th amendments). But otherwise, the court is obliged by the same constitution to stay out of the way.
     
  10. Oct 10, 2014 #9

    jtbell

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    The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that no licenses for same-sex marriages will be issued until a federal district judge rules on a case that is currently pending. Two women who were married in Washington sued the state a year ago to allow their marriage to be recognized in South Carolina. The district judge has asked the plaintiffs and the state to tell her by next Wednesday when they will file briefs in the case. Then will come the actual filings, and then her decision. Given the ruling of the appeals court above her in a case in Virginia, which the US Supreme Court let stand, she will surely have to rule for the plaintiffs and declare SC's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Nevertheless, expect the state to drag this out as long as possible. :rolleyes:

    http://www.thestate.com/2014/10/09/3733962_breaking-sc-supreme-court-tells.html?rh=1 [Broken] (The State, Columbia)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  11. Nov 7, 2014 #10

    jtbell

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    A federal appeals court has upheld same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky. This ruling directly conflicts with the rulings that other appeals courts have made against such bans, which the Supreme Court declined to consider last month. Therefore the Supreme Court will probably have to rule on the issue after all.

    Court upholds 4 same-sex marriage bans; will Supreme Court review? (cnn.com)

    Here in South Carolina, a federal district judge was expected to rule any day now on this state's same-sex marriage ban, as described in the preceding post. Now the state will surely argue that the ban should continue until the Supreme Court decides the issue. Meanwhile, next door in North Carolina, same-sex couples have been getting married for the last month because the state decided not to stretch things out in the courts following the appeals court ruling. I wonder if someone will now file suit to halt those marriages.
     
  12. Nov 7, 2014 #11

    PeroK

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    In a world where violence and war are all too common, it seems to me strange to take such exception to two people loving each other. Whoever they may be.

    Would it be illegal for two people to take a vow of hatred towards each other?
     
  13. Nov 7, 2014 #12

    BobG

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    One of the other problems with gay marriage bans is Article 4 of the Constitution.

    Section 1 requires states to give "full faith and credit" to public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of other states. This means if a couple marries in a state where gay marriage is legal, other states have to consider it valid.... or does it mean states have to respect the laws of their neighbors and not marry visitors that travel from states that ban gay marriage solely for the purpose of getting married.

    Section 2, Clause 1 gives US citizens the right to pass through, and to reside in any state in the US. In today's mobile society, it's pretty common for a gay married couple to move to a new state.

    A state might be able to ban gay marriages within their state, but they still have to account for gay marriages, somehow. To do otherwise is chaos. A gay couple can be married in one state, move to another state, and find it's impossible for them to divorce because the state they now live in doesn't recognize gay marriage. If they're lucky, since the new state they live in doesn't recognize gay marriages, they can legally go on to marry someone of the opposite sex.... until the day their state finally does recognize gay marriages and wake to the realization that they've now committed bigamy.

    If reluctant states take a hard line and refuse to deal with gay marriages at all, I think they're pretty much guaranteeing their laws will be struck down.....

    .... maybe. Rejecting cases so far because there's no disagreement between the lower federal appeals courts is valid, but I still wonder if there's more to it.
     
  14. Nov 7, 2014 #13

    SteamKing

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    IMO, no. It's done all the time. It becomes a problem for the law only when the parties decide to take overt action against one another which might cause bodily harm or result in slanderous or libelous statements being made.
     
  15. Nov 10, 2014 #14

    jtbell

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    It appears that's exactly what has happened:

    [Governor] Haley, [attorney general] Wilson file motion to stop gay couple from marrying in Charleston (The State newspaper)

    Four other circuits' courts of appeal (including the one that covers South Carolina!) have rejected bans on same-sex marriage; these were the decisions that the Supreme Court declined to consider last month.
     
  16. Nov 13, 2014 #15

    Imager

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    Probably a lot cheaper the government would get out of the marriage business completely and leave it to the churches...
     
  17. Nov 13, 2014 #16

    Evo

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    Then marriages wouldn't be legal, they would just be ceremonial, there would be nothing legally binding.
     
  18. Nov 13, 2014 #17

    dlgoff

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    Just heard on KCTV5 that Johnson Counties(ens) are coming to Douglas County for marriage license.
     
  19. Nov 13, 2014 #18

    Imager

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    With a 50% divorce rate in the US, I'd suggest it's just binding for the attorneys.

    670px-Marriage_and_Divorce_Rates_in_the_US_1990-20071.png
     
  20. Nov 13, 2014 #19

    Evo

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    Imager, the point of this thread is gay people wanting to be legally married for the legal benefits afforded to married couples. Please stay on topic.
     
  21. Nov 13, 2014 #20

    russ_watters

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    Aside from the statement itself being wrong, you're not understanding what the issue is about. Marriage (for the government) is a legally binding contract that carries with it certain rights and responsibilities. That's what the gay marriage issue is about: getting gay couples those rights and responsibilities via the government-recognized contract.

    True, the government doesn't have to call it "marriage", but the name change doesn't really impact what the issue is about.
     
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