Mapping the winds of marital change

October 7, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court did a whole lot by doing nothing yesterday. In declining to hear petitions challenging three federal appellate courts’ decisions regarding gay marriage, the Court granted tacit approval for gay couples to wed in five more states: Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin.

The reaction from same-sex marriage supporters was swift and jubilant, with many couples in those states exchanging vows immediately.

As this Reuters map shows, 24 states and the District of Columbia—better than 52 percent of the U.S. population—now freely allow marriage among same-sex couples.

And since the rulings of the 4th, 7th and 10th Circuit Courts stand, all of the states in those jurisdictions are bound by those decisions, which means that legal gay marriage is only a matter of time and procedure in Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

For the time being, gay marriage bans in Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky and Texas remain in effect pending appellate court decisions, but as many Court watchers have pointed out, the implications of yesterday’s inaction sent a pretty strong message to the lower courts.

If only Congress could accomplish so much by doing so little.

 

2 comments

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It was more than that, saying nothing sent the loudest possible message to the groups and people fighting marriage equality, it said “YOU HAVE NOTHING NEW TO SAY SO STOP WASTING OUR TIME.” Every argument tested in the courts so far has failed because at the base of each was pure and simple animus towards gay people. Look back in ten years and read the arguments put forth, those who wrote them will be horrified that could ever have written anything so empty of logic and sense, embarrassed to have been connected to the anti gay movement. And they should be because they are hurting real people with their hate.

Posted by pokjbv | Report as abusive

Well, 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. This makes it 32 and counting.

Posted by bryanric | Report as abusive