32 States Ask Supreme Court to Settle Gay Marriage


Thirty-two states that either allow gay marriage or have banned it asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to settle the issue once and for all.

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.

The filing came as a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that same-sex marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana are unconstitutional. The unanimous decision Thursday criticized the justifications both states gave, several times singling out the argument that marriage between a man and a woman is tradition. There are, the court noted, good and bad traditions.

The experience of Massachusetts — the first state to legalize gay marriage — shows that allowing same-sex couples to wed has only benefited families and strengthened the institution of marriage, said Attorney General Martha Coakley.

“Laws that bar same-sex couples from marrying are discriminatory and unconstitutional,” she said. “The time has come for this critical issue to be resolved.”

Massachusetts was joined by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.


These are the cases addressed in the briefs:

— In Virginia, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July that the state’s voter-approved ban is unconstitutional. The state has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which hasn’t said whether it will accept the case. But the high court granted a request on Aug. 20 from a county clerk to delay implementation of the ruling, which would have allowed same-sex couples to marry beginning the next day.

— In Oklahoma, an appeals court tossed the state’s ban in July but put its ruling on hold pending an appeal, meaning same-sex couples can’t marry in Oklahoma for now. Attorneys representing the Tulsa County court clerk — who refused to issue a marriage license for a lesbian couple there — asked the Supreme Court this month to hear the case.

— In Utah, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled this summer that Utah must allow gay couples to marry, though it put the ruling on hold pending an appeal. The state has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the state’s ban.


Have we heard from Cardinal Dolan yet on this one? :o


This is very interesting particularly since tuebsupreme court just dedicated 7 pages of the DOMA decision to emphasise that marriage isbpurely abstate matter and the federal government cannot force states to define marriage. The supreme court for trying to not cause a problem indirectly created a bigger problem for their own. Of they accept to hear these cases and as mandated by law principles enforce the precedent they just set, then they have to uphold the ban on gay marriage and basically would be a slap on the face to the gay movement. If they rule against the ban it would be so clear that they are just shoving gay marriage on people’s throat and would be in clear contradiction to whatthey just wrote recently. That would be clear proof that they have their own agenda and just want to force things in society. So this will be very interesting for sure.


The American political system is far too complicated and inconsistent. How is some states banning it unconstitutional but others banning it perfectly constitutional? Why can’t the Federal Government just make a decision on whether it is constitutional or not and stop doing it inconsistently on a state by state basis. If they say that it is constitutional, states that want gay marriage and get it and states that don’t want it can ban it. If they say it’s unconstitutional then at least there is some closure to this long drawn out argument.


This is certainly interesting. I do not understand the particular or specific aspects of “gay marriage” going to the Supreme Court but I do hope and pray that if it does go to the Supreme Court that the justices would be wise and rule against “gay marriage” and at the very least, allow state bans on “gay marriage” to stand.


I’m not sure why anyone would particularly wish for the Supreme Court to make a decision on the matter. First, it has no expertise on the matter of marriage. Second, marriage is a State, not a Federal matter. Third, unless they decide to in effect write it in, the Constitution says nothing about the definition of marriage.


Exactly, it is a State matter, States have long legislated first cousins marriages, etc.


True. It is a vestige of the federal republic we once had. The federal government declared itself the absolute arbiter of all issues so this is what we get. The system is complicated and that means needlessly expensive. The legal system also takes forever to try cases and render decisions. This is great for the government and lawyers, but terrible for the vast majority.


It’s scary to think about what the future holds with so many of these kinds of decisions being made in favor of gay “marriage”


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church and four religious organizations are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and settle once and for all the question of whether states can outlaw gay marriage.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a statement Friday, said it joined a friend-of-the-court brief asking the high court to hear Utah’s marriage case.

Also taking part in the filing were The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Ethics & Religious Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

“The time has come to end the divisive national debate as to whether the Constitution mandates same-sex marriage,” the brief states.

Multiple organizations and governmental entities on both sides of the debate have filed similar briefs asking the court to take up the issue.

The religious groups urged the Supreme Court on the basis of tradition and religious freedom to uphold a state’s right to not allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.

“Legal uncertainty is especially burdensome for religious organizations and religious believers increasingly confronted with thorny questions,” the brief says. “Is their right to refrain from participating in, recognizing or facilitating marriages between persons of the same sex, contrary to their religious convictions, adequately shielded by the First Amendment and other legal protections? Or is further legislation needed to guard religious liberties in these and other sensitive areas?”


The question going to the Supreme Court to decide is** “Whether the 14th Amendment prohibits a state from defining or recognizing marriage only as the legal union between a man and a woman.”**

For those who don’t know, the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution includes the following:

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

If the Supreme court finds that indeed the 14th Amendment prohibits a state from defining or recognizing marriage only as the legal union between a man and a woman; then they will soon be presented with cases on polygamy (they are already in the system.)


I see where the Mormons are going with this. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the 14th amendment means that states can not limit marriage to one man and one woman, they can then proceed with suits to legalize polygamy. If the court rules that the 14th amendment did not intend to preclude states from so limiting marriage, then they might as well save their effort.

Of course, if the Court rules that no state can limit marriage to one man and one woman, then the floodgates are opened, not only for polygamy but other arrangements.

Too bad that no one thought to ask the authors of the 14th amendment this question. But I can pretty much guess what their answer would have been.


I agree. I think the most likely result of this would be legalized gay marriage across the board. I am no constitutional scholar, but you can bet it would be built around some form of civil rights argument. My guess though is that the Justices if they could would run from having to do this. Better to let the states decide. (I know of course that the states are unable to do that right now because of activist, unconstitutional judges.) I’ve always felt this is a largely symbolic issue anyway; in practicality very few people are involved. Just goes back to the increasing dominance of secularism and individualism as the fundamental values in American culture. That’s the real harm from a Christian “social justice” perspective.


Holly it is going to the Supreme Court because the question is whether the states have the power to define what is marriage. It is a Federal question I.e. what the state has the power to do. This technically shouldn’t be going to the court because the court already stated in DOMA that the definition of marriage is up to the state and thevfeseral government doesn’t have the power to impose those definitions. But when states started answering back doing their own definitions and banning gay marriage this affected the interest of gay activism so they started bringing suits and federal courts decided to play fools and started ruling in favor of gay activist. This is a perfect case in which they tried to shoot the enemy and it backfired on them.


Perhaps they will declare marriage a religious sacrament/rite, and that government must remove itself from any say in marriage. One can only wish.



I doubt that will happen. The fact is, marriage has been ubiquitous in all civilizations and it has always been between man and woman, whether religious or civil, even when polygamy was accepted.

However, if the SCOTUS decides that States do NOT have the authority to limit marriage to one man and one woman, they will open the floodgates to a slew of new cases, beginning with polygamy and going on from there.


Because that’s how our country was set up and organized and intended to be. People (including 32 states it appears) have been so poorly eduated on American civics that they fail to realize what federalism truly is, and what separation of powes means. Each state in THESE United States is a SOVEREIGN state. The federal govt has NO business making a declaration or ruling on the constitutionality of the marriage laws in the states. The states have the authority to set their own marriage laws and there is NOT ONE THING in the Constitution that gives the federal govt oversight or authority to rule on the matter. The federal govt is also free to set federal laws on marriage an the states have no authority to change them either.

This is a HUGE problem (which seems to exist in at last 32 states as well) where people look to “Mordor on the Potomac” as some authority in every aspect of our lives and our states. The TRUE authority of the federal govt is actually quite limited. And we would be wise, VERY wise, to return the federal govt to those limits and shrink the evil and corruption coming out of DC.


If the states ratified the 14th, then they must abide by decisions made under it, right?

There are a plethora of doctrines in Jurisprudence that are not in the Constitution.

Some of the Bill of Rights is still not applicable to the states, that is post Marbury.


Do you think the individual states should have the power to rule different races can not marry?


Simply because there is a wrong to be righted, does not mean that the Constitution has delegated the power of righting all such matters only to the Federal Judiciary.


There’s the rub. The Supreme Court has warped and twisted the 14th Amendment so that it has been interpreted 180 degrees out of phase from it’s meaning and intent.

When the amendment was being debated, the notion that this amendment would incorporate the Constitution and Bill of Rights to the states was SPECIFICALLY rejected and denied.

And yet 9 lawyers in black robes perverted justice and began the demolition of our constitutional republic.

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