States Urge Final Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality

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States Urge Final Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality

"Every loving and committed couple in the U.S. should have the freedom to marry, protect their loved ones, and have their commitment honored by our legal system."

The rainbow flag waving in the wind at San Francisco's Castro District San Francisco, California. (Photo: Benson Kua / Creative Commons)

Thirty-two states have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to make an over-arching decision on whether same-sex marriage is legally recognized.

According to a report released Thursday by the Associated Press:

Fifteen states that allow gay marriage, led by Massachusetts, filed a brief asking the justices to take up three cases from Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma and overturn bans. And 17 other states, led by Colorado, that have banned the practice asked the court to hear cases from Utah and Oklahoma to clear up a "morass" of lawsuits, but didn't urge the court to rule one way or another.

...Colorado's brief argued that the definition of marriage faces legal challenges only the Supreme Court can resolve, and that without a Supreme Court decision, states defending bans could be liable for huge legal bills from future lawsuits if they are overturned.

The filing was announced the same day that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago unanimously upheld the overturning, by district courts, of same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin — in what was heralded as a significant victory by proponents of marriage equality.

“Every loving and committed couple in the U.S. should have the freedom to marry, protect their loved ones, and have their commitment honored by our legal system," said John Knight, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, in a statement issued Thursday in response to the Indiana and Wisconsin decisions. "We celebrate and tomorrow we continue the fight to make marriage equality the law of the land, not just in certain states.”

However, this week has also seen marriage equality set-backs, including a Louisiana court's affirmation of a state ban on same-sex marriage, which follows the decision by a Tennessee judge last month that the prohibition of same-sex marriages is constitutional.

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