September 5th, 2014
Following decisions made by several states this week, 32 states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule upon the legality of same-sex marriage.
Massachusetts filed a brief Thursday, along with fourteen states that allow gay marriage, asking the justices to overturn bans in Utah and Oklahoma. Colorado, along with sixteen states, requested justices to resolve several lawsuits in Virginia, Oklahoma and Utah. They did not push the court to rule upon the ban.
The filing followed a ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Wisconsin’s and Indiana’s same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional. The decision was made by a unanimously opinioned three-judge panel, stating that the bans were “discriminatory” and “totally implausible.”
Wisconsin and Indiana had argued that allowing same-sex marriage would damage the safety of children in heterosexual marriage. In a 40-page decision, the court stated the claim is “so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously.”
Wisconsin and Indiana will be appealing the decision.
The brief also follows Wednesday’s decision in Louisiana upholding the state’s same-sex marriage ban.
Judge Martin L.C. Feldman’s ruling is the first to support a state’s decision to bar same-sex marriage since the Supreme Court’s denial of part of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. He also upheld Louisiana’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages formed in other states.
In his judgment, Feldman maintains that the laws of marriage should be determined by the individual state. He asserts the ban does not violate any fundamental rights and that Louisiana had a “legitimate interest…whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others…in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents,” as reported by the New York Times.
Next week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will hear arguments in same-sex marriage cases from Hawaii, Nevada and Idaho. Additionally, the Fifth Circuit Court awaits an appellate case regarding Texas’ same-sex marriage ban.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia currently allow same-sex marriage, resulting from court decisions, judicial action or election.
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