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JAHS

Federal Judge Strikes Down Utah’S Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

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And yet the great ultimate turning point and propellant was when California passed Prop 8.  I doubt that without the backlash that occurred as a result of Prop 8 that you would see the situation we now find ourselves in.  If there was ever something that lacked inspiration, it was the Church supporting Prop 8.

 

Or maybe God works in mysterious ways ...

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 If there was ever something that lacked inspiration, it was the Church supporting Prop 8.

 

Be sure to tell that to your Creator when you see Him.  

 

"You really really made a mistake on that one. You should have talked to me first!"

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Be sure to tell that to your Creator when you see Him.  

 

"You really really made a mistake on that one. You should have talked to me first!"

Probably will, but don't think am wrong on it. I somehow doubt the Savior would have approved of an action that actually accelerated the movement towards acceptance of SSM, and it's pretty much beyond doubt that is exactly what Prop 8 did, coupled with the outpouring of news reports that it was funded by Mormons.

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Another ruling from Missouri:

MISSOURI: County Judge Rules State Must Recognize Out-Of-State Gay Marriages

The ACLU of Missouri writes on its Facebook page: "IT'S OFFICIAL! Judge J. Dale Youngs rules in landmark ACLU of Missouri case (Barrier v. Vasterling) that out-of-state same-sex marriages MUST be recognized in Missouri."

Here's the ruling:

http://www.aclu-mo.org/files/8914/1236/6028/doc01494520141003145102.pdf

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And yet the great ultimate turning point and propellant was when California passed Prop 8.  I doubt that without the backlash that occurred as a result of Prop 8 that you would see the situation we now find ourselves in.  If there was ever something that lacked inspiration, it was the Church supporting Prop 8.

On the other hand, it may have been very important that the LDS Church not appear to have upheld non-traditional marriage of any kind.  The Mormons do not gain anything if they are seen as favoring a return to polygyny, which is what the SSM decision brings to all of us as it moves inexorably closer.

 

Aside from the fact that a majority of Californians voted for Prop 8 (this is a democracy, after all), there are Constitutional rights, which must be maintained against the will of the majority -- as they were not maintained in Reynolds v USA.  All of which will be revisited, and no one will be able to claim that the Mormons were the fly in the ointment.  Inspiration?  Perhaps.

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Probably will, but don't think am wrong on it. I somehow doubt the Savior would have approved of an action that actually accelerated the movement towards acceptance of SSM, and it's pretty much beyond doubt that is exactly what Prop 8 did, coupled with the outpouring of news reports that it was funded by Mormons.

Mormons were only a small part of the huge push to pass Prop 8.  Roman Catholic priests and bishops preached about it from the pulpit, the Black and evangelical churches heavily supported it with demonstrations on the streets.  I saw it up close, and most drivers in cars going by gave thumbs up.

 

You might want to hesitate to declare WJWD in such an instance.  No one I know saw it as accelerating the acceptance of SSM, even though that has been the result.  Indeed, I did not realize at the time that this would also mean the fall of laws restricting other forms of non-traditional marriage.  You are looking at this too narrowly.

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Aside from the fact that a majority of Californians voted for Prop 8 (this is a democracy, after all),

Sigh.... Really? Really......? Has our educational system failed so badly that we have to keep reminding people that we are NOT "a democracy", or explain the difference between a democracy and a republic...?

there are Constitutional rights, which must be maintained against the will of the majority -- as they were not maintained in Reynolds v USA.  All of which will be revisited, and no one will be able to claim that the Mormons were the fly in the ointment.  Inspiration?  Perhaps.

OK. You slightly redeemed your "democracy" comment by acknowledging constitutional rights... almost. ;-)

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Supreme Court Declines to Intervene in Gay Marriage Cases

 

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up the hotly contested issue of gay marriage, a surprise move that will allow gay men and women to marry in five states where same-sex weddings were previously banned.

 

By rejecting appeals in cases involving Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana, the court left intact lower-court rulings that struck down bans in those states. In each case, a stay was put in place pending Supreme Court action. By denying to hear the appeals, the stays will be lifted.

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/supreme-court-declines-intervene-gay-marriage-cases-n219276

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Daniel, here's wishing you and your family the very best. 

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Sigh.... Really? Really......? Has our educational system failed so badly that we have to keep reminding people that we are NOT "a democracy", or explain the difference between a democracy and a republic...?

OK. You slightly redeemed your "democracy" comment by acknowledging constitutional rights... almost. ;-)

 

To be accurate we're neither a absolute republic nor a absolute democracy. We have a system of checks and balances that, at least in theory, puts constraints of law on the  excesses of both.

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Daniel, here's wishing you and your family the very best. 

 

Holy wow................

 

Thank you, Buckeye.

 

Wow.

 

We honestly thought it wouldn't be till next summer....!!! We may have to revise our plans... ;)

 

I appreciated Elder Oaks' talk over the weekend.  May we all continue to be kind, even when we disagree, and find ways to still live agreeably.

 

From what I understand, this immediatley takes the number of states that authorize marriage for gay couples from 19 to 30.  Stays are lifted all around.  And the rest of the bans will likely fall soon.

 

Many predicted by the end of 2015.  I think few saw such a large majority by October 2014....

 

Wow...  This year's Thanksgiving will be the most profound ever.....!!!

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On a sad note, it may also turn out that this thread has to end earlier than anyone thought.  :acute:

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From The Deseret News:

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker celebrated the decision.

"Today is a historic day for equal rights in Utah. I wish to congratulate all of the married couples in Salt Lake City who will now have their relationships legally recognized. This is a momentous occasion for civil rights in our state and nation," Becker said.

Becker officiated at many of the marriages of same-sex couples immediately after U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby's December ruling that overturned a voter-approved amendment to the Utah Constitution that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. His ruling was eventually stayed and the status of the same-sex marriages performed put on hold pending the appeal.

Among those couples were Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake, and his longtime partner. Dabakis said the high court's decision allows lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families "to no longer be second-class families. This is good for them and for Utah. Equality fo fairness have always been Utah values."

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles referred to the "the strong tide that is legalizing same-sex marriage" Saturday in an address during the semi-annual conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He called for followers to "learn to live peacefully with others who do not share their values or accept the teachings upon which they are based.”

Elder Oaks said: “We should love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs. Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. Our stands and communications on controversial topics should not be contentious."

Dabakis cited that address Monday, saying the LDS Church leader's words "heartened" the state's LGBT community. "It is in that spirit of civility, cooperation and respect for diversity that we as Utahns should seek to move forward together and build and even greater state," he said.

http://m.deseretnews.com/article/865612533/Calls-for-civility-accompany-same-sex-marriage-action.html

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To be accurate we're neither a absolute republic nor a absolute democracy. We have a system of checks and balances that, at least in theory, puts constraints of law on the excesses of both.

True indeed. And I have never been more personally appreciative for that system of checks and balances than I am, today.

Of course, there is more work to be done. But I am finally beginning to taste the sweetness of that old saying, "Free at last... Free at last.... Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last..."

Today I know patriotism in a way I've never known. This is now truly my country, too. I remember singing, as a child in military schools, a song: "This is my country, land of my birth... This is my country, grandest on earth! I pledge thee my allegiance, America, the Bold! For this is my country, to have, and to hold!"

If tomorrow I lost all I'd owned in one foul scourge of doom,

And I had to start again with just my children and my groom.

I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today,

‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away.

And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.

And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.

And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.

‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,

across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,

From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,

Well, there's pride in every American heart,

and it's time to stand and say:

I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.

And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.

And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.

‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

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From the Salt Lake Trib, marriage equality is now effective, immediately:

Utah clerks issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58492286-78/court-utah-marriage-sex.html.csp

By Marissa Lang

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published 5 hours ago • Updated 1 minute ago

Same-sex marriages in Utah began again Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from five states trying to revive their same-sex marriage bans, effectively legalizing gay and lesbian union in eleven new states.

A mandate from the 10th Circuit issued about 10:10 a.m. Monday lifted a hold the court had put in place on any movement toward the legalization of gay and lesbian unions as a way to allow Utah time to appeal its case an attempt to reinstate a voter-approved ban on such marriages.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said marriage licenses would be immediately issued to same-sex couples.

"Not to issue one would be a violation of the 10th Circuit’s mandate and a violation of these couples’ constitutional rights," Gill told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We’ve given the go-ahead to begin issuing [marriage] licenses right away."

Gov. Gary Herbert said at a news conference that he sent a letter to his cabinet ordering them to recognize all legally performed marriages, and that gay couples can follow same process as everyone else to get benefits.

"We are a nation of laws and we here in Utah, we’ll uphold the law," Herbert said.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said he hadn’t had chance to "review the impact of this case" but says it lends clarity to issues of adoption and marriage recognition.

"It’s time for people of goodwill on both sides of the issue to come together now and heal any rifts. We are all Utahns," Reyes said.

Gill later issued a statement saying he had conferred with Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen, advising her she may immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.

"We are excited and pleased that we now have clarity from the courts and the fundamental rights of all Utahns are honored and protected," Gill said. "The legal analysis of Judge Shelby has been affirmed to the benefit of all."

"We will now begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples," Swensen said at about 10:20 a.m. "Definitely it’s historic."

At 11 a.m., the first same-sex couple arrived to obtain a license, Kelli Frame and Suzanne Marelius. "I’m gonna be the groom?" Kelli asked.

"Growing up, I never thought it would happen," Kelli said. "I never put myself in the category of people who would get married."

Utah legislator Jim Dabakis, who is openly gay and was married during the brief time in December when same-sex marriage in Utah was legal, hugged the two women, saying, "What an emotional day this is!"

It was not immediately clear when other states would begin to comply with the order. The Utah attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a inquiries about what this means for the rest of the state.

The nation’s nine justices did not comment after rejecting appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. No other states had cases addressing same-sex marriage before the high court, whose decision stopped short of resolving the question of whether or not states can constitutionally limit marriage to one man and one woman.

It takes just four of the nine justices to vote to grant a case certiorari and allow it to be heard by the high court. Monday’s order did not indicate how the justices voted on the question of these appeals.

Experts and advocates on both sides had believed the Supreme Court would take up one — or several — of the same-sex marriage cases and settle the issue once and for all.

The Supreme Court’s denial put an end to Utah’s battle to defend its voter-approved ban, Amendment 3.

"It’s a big day," said Utah plaintiff Derek Kitchen immediately after the court’s refusal to hear Utah’s case was announced.

At a news conference held at the offices of their legal team, Magleby & Greenwood, the plaintiffs recounted the shock and joy they felt after learning about the court’s decision early Monday.

"This is a day of celebration and victory for all of Utah, for all families," plaintiff Kody Partridge said, as her wife Laurie Wood stood behind her, rubbing her shoulders and squeezing her hands.

"Now it’s not ‘maybe — well kind of. We are married," Partridge added. "The state will recognize our marriage and the community will, as well."

"We’re delighted that we don’t’ have to wait any longer," said plaintiff Karen Call, whose wife Karen Archer has been struggling with a terminal illness. "We’re getting married, folks!"

More than 1,200 Utah same-sex couples wed in the immediate aftermath of the December ruling, during a 17-day window when such marriages were legal and before the Supreme Court stayed Shelby’s ruling. Those couples have been in a self-described state of legal-limbo since January, waiting to see if the state would recognize their unions and extend benefits.

Peggy Tomisc, the Salt Lake City-based lawyer representing the three couples in the Kitchen case, said Monday that her marriage is one of them.

"I was married to my wife in December," Tomsic said. "What it means is that, you know what? We’re citizens just like everybody else. What a surprise. That’s what the 14th Amendment says."

She thanked and commended the Supreme Court for their action Monday, and said with same-sex marriages are being performed and honored in 30 states as of the Supreme Court’s decision, it’s too late for them to "put the toothpaste back in the tube."

"It would be very difficult for the Supreme Court to say, ‘We were just kidding in letting all these decisions stand,’ " Tomsic said. "That’s something, from a constitutional perspective, I don’t believe can happen."

John Mejía, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who is representing four plaintiff couples suing the state for spousal benefits, had said the lawsuit would go forward unless the state drops it in light of the Supreme Court’s decision.

"As a practical matter, today’s decision probably means that the couples should have their benefits as soon as possible," Mejía had said earlier Monday.

The appeal of the Evans v. Utah case, in which U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball ruled Utah should treat same-sex marriages performed in the state the same as all opposite-sex unions, is pending before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Meanwhile, across the nation, other cases are still underway. Two federal appeals courts could issue decisions any time in same-sex marriage cases. Judges in the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit were weighing pro-gay marriage rulings in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennesee, while judges in the 9th Circuit in San Francisco were considering Idaho and Nevada restrictions on marriage.

The state’s most prominent conservative think tank, the Sutherland Institute, issued a statement Monday bemoaning the high court’s decision.

"Children are entitled to be raised by a married mother and father," the statement read. "Sutherland Institute is deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court has failed to correct the lawlessness of lower courts that have deprived the people of Utah and other states their ability to protect that entitlement. While it appears that Utah is being forced by the federal courts to recognize same-sex marriages, there are still other states whose laws the courts have not yet disrupted."

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, who performed a number of marriages during the 17-day window during which marriages were legal, issued this statement Monday: "Today is a historic day for equal rights in Utah. I wish to congratulate all of the married couples in Salt Lake City who will now have their relationships legally recognized. This is a momentous occasion for civil rights in our state and nation."

— Tribune reporters Annie Knox and Erin Alberty contributed to this story.

[email protected]

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Very odd way to resolve the issue, by not resolving the issue.  Not sure, I understand why they would have left a conflict in the Circuits stand, wasn't there a Southern Circuit which decided against SSM?

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Very odd way to resolve the issue, by not resolving the issue. Not sure, I understand why they would have left a conflict in the Circuits stand, wasn't there a Southern Circuit which decided against SSM?

Nope. No Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of the marriage bans--they've been unanimous in favor of striking the bans down.

Declining to take up any of these cases does resolve the issue; it allows the rulings to stand, and the stays are immediately lifted.

SCOTUS brilliantly avoided another Roe. Vs. Wade by allowing the lower courts to continue to roll out marriage equality.

SCOTUS may never actually have to rule, at all. The issue may be settled by all the unanimous appellate rulings, if the same trend continues.

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The LDS church releases a statement on its website:

Church Responds to Supreme Court Announcement

Court Chooses Not to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases

SALT LAKE CITY —  6 OCTOBER 2014

The succession of federal court decisions in recent months, culminating in today’s announcement by the Supreme Court, will have no effect on the doctrinal position or practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God. In prizing freedom of conscience and Constitutional guarantees of the free exercise of religion, we will continue to teach that standard and uphold it in our religious practices.

Nevertheless, respectful coexistence is possible with those with differing values. As far as the civil law is concerned, the courts have spoken. Church leaders will continue to encourage our people to be persons of good will toward all, rejecting persecution of any kind based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or non-belief, and differences in sexual orientation.

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Nope. No Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of the marriage bans--they've been unanimous in favor of striking the bans down.

Declining to take up any of these cases does resolve the issue; it allows the rulings to stand, and the stays are immediately lifted.

SCOTUS brilliantly avoided another Roe. Vs. Wade by allowing the lower courts to continue to roll out marriage equality.

SCOTUS may never actually have to rule, at all. The issue may be settled by all the unanimous appellate rulings, if the same trend continues.

 

I'll be very interested to see how the high court handles the next circuit decision. If the circuit follows suit and strikes down a ban, does SCOTUS stay the ruling as it did with Utah, Virginia, etc.?  If not, then it seems clear that the Court considers the issue decided until there is a circuit split.  But if so, why?  Why stay just to deny cert?

 

On the other hand, what happens if a circuit upholds a ban?  If that happens it seems that SCOTUS must take up the issue.  There must be a final word sometime.

 

The more I've thought about this since yesterday the more I've come to believe that all/most of SCOTUS (including a majority of both the liberal wing and the conservative wing) have concluded that it is in the Court's best interest to wait as long as possible.  Remember that it only takes 4 votes to grant cert, so either wing could have force a hearing. 

 

Why would the liberal wing wait? Because, as Scalia indicated in Windsor, they care about the public perception and feel acceptance of SSM will only increase with time.  This tact can viewed cynically.  Or it can be viewed as a way to limit public contention and a possible Roe event.  Also, the liberal wing may believe that they may never need to rule if all the circuits align in favor of SSM.

 

Why would the conservative wing wait?  Because they know they would lose if pushed at this time, but there is a possibility that a liberal judge (Ginsberg) could pass away or retire, thereby opening the possibility to the court's composition changing while the issue is still (somewhat) alive. If that is correct, the most direct impact of yesterday's (in)decision may be that it forces Ginsberg to stay on the court through the end of Obama's term.

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And the dominos begin to fall... Breaking :

Gay Marriage Bans in Idaho, Nevada struck down

http://m.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobile3/58497474-219/gay-bans-court-marriage.html.csp

The Associated Press

First Published 8 minutes ago

Updated 6 minutes ago

San Francisco • A federal appeals court has struck down gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco made the ruling Tuesday. It did not decide on a similar case in Hawaii, which legalized gay marriage in December.

State and federal court judges have been striking down bans at a rapid rate since a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year. The 9th Circuit ruling comes a day after the Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage in Utah and 10 other states, for a total of 30, when it rejected a set of appeals.

The appeals court ruled that gay couples’ equal protection rights were violated by the bans. Judge Stephen Reinhardt said during oral arguments in September that he expects the Supreme Court ultimately will decide whether gay marriage bans are constitutional.

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And things move forward in West Virginia:

Judge lifts stay in W.Va. marriage suit, withholds final ruling

http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/briefs/x1827256058/Judge-lifts-stay-in-W-Va-marriage-suit-withholds-final-ruling#.VDQlJhj3X_U.facebook

Oct. 07, 2014 @ 04:14 PM

CURTIS JOHNSON

HUNTINGTON — U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers has lifted his stay, clearing the way for arguments and proceedings to resume in a federal lawsuit targeting West Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The order delivers a partial victory three, same-sex couples who urged Chambers to lift the stay Monday in light of a Supreme Court decision rendering such marriage bans unconstitutional.

But Chambers’ early afternoon order does not rule in the plaintiff’s favor as to the final outcome. Instead, the judge noted the couples’ arguments and asked attorneys for West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole and her counterpart in Kanawha County to file a response within 14 days.

It then provides a brief time for the couples’ attorney to file a final response before oral arguments ensue, if needed. That all could set up a final decision within weeks.

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 1, 2013, argues clerks in Kanawha and Cabell counties violated the 14th Amendment right to due process and equal protection in denying a request for marriage licenses brought by three same-sex couples.

The case involves plaintiffs William Glavaris with fiance Justin Murdock and Casie McGee with fiancee Sarah Adkins, all of Huntington, along with lesbian couple Nancy Michael and Jane Fenton with their child of St. Albans, W.Va.

Same-sex advocacy groups have called upon Chambers to make an immediate ruling, striking down West Virginia’s band as unconstitutional.

...and Florida...

FLORIDA: ACLU Asks Federal Judge To Lift Stay On Same-Sex Marriages

http://aclufl.org/?p=5753

Via press release: 

The decision by the Supreme Court not to hear arguments in the marriage cases before it is a huge win for all families across the nation, including in Florida. Because Judge Hinkle tied the stay in the ACLU’s case to the lifting of the stays in the very cases which the Supreme Court today refused to hear, we are now one step closer to the day when every Florida family can have the respect, protection and responsibilities that come with marriage. Given that the justices of our nation’s highest court just sent a strong message that they are content to let equality in marriage happen, we hope that Governor Scott and Attorney General Bondi will give up their dead-end campaign to resist what is now clear historical inevitability by treating same-sex couples who wish to solemnize their love for one another in marriage as legal strangers.

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Again, I'm very interested to see if SCOTUS grants a stay to the 9th Circuit decision.  If not, consider the writing on the wall.

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I don't see how they'll stay the Nevada and Idaho rulings, now that they've declined to hear the other cases.  This ruling isn't substantively different from all the others that the just rejected.

 

I don't think they'll hear a case unless/until an Appellate Court upholds the bans--perhaps the 6th Circuit...

 

By then, it will be impossible, really, to ever go back.

 

I think Monday's decision was a very calculated decision by SCOTUS.

 

If they had taken up any of the cases on Monday, the ruling would likely have come down as a 5-4 decision in FAVOR of marriage equality for same-sex couples.  Such a ruling would have created what many considered to be "another Roe v. Wade," and perpetuated the conservative lament that same-sex marriage would have been decided by "a single activist judge"--focusing soley on the one judge that cast the determining vote (while ignoring the dozens of appellate judges' rulings).

 

By declining to hear the case, for wont of a substantial federal question (since no discord has yet been found), the judges avoided the possibility of accusations that "a single, solitary activist judge" determined the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.... instead, a network of 50+ judges (including the members of SCOTUS, themselves) share the judgments and rulings and logic that lead to our current standing, today.

 

Pretty smart.... and more than what supporters of marriage equality could have hoped for.

 

Yes.... it delays the decision in the remaining 18-20 states.... which really stinks for those couples and families still waiting... but chances are that as marriage equality spreads throughout those remaining states, the patchwork approach will ultimately benefit same-sex couples from all 50 states, as hearts and minds change and accept marriage equality as no threat.

 

In so declining, SCOTUS has created the same circumstances that lead up to "Loving vs. Virginia."  By the time that they have to take a case for the final handful of states holding out against gay marriage, it will have become a total non-issue for the rest of the country, and if SCOTUS finally has to step in and mandate it for those last hold-outs, then it will be a non-issue, and likely another unanimous vote, aka. "Loving."

 

Brilliant.

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But then why even hear the case except to say there is a fundamental right to marriage?  There's no other realistic outcome.  Can you imagine a scenario where, say, the 6th Circuit upholds a ban, SCOTUS grants cert, the court hears the case in the following term, and then at the end of the term the court says "yep, states have a right to define marriage."  Utah, Indiana, etc. would go completely bonkers. 

 

What yesterday's denial of cert did was to effectively say to the 6th and other circuits, "don't even think about it."

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