Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Indiana and Utah move towards equality

In Utah, the first appeals court to address a marriage case post-Windsor (the case last summer that put an end to part of DOMA), the 10th circuit,  has agreed with the district court judge  that gay couples should be allowed to marry.  The decision is stayed.

A Federal judge has also thrown out Indiana's anti-equality statute.  That decision is NOT stayed, and at least one county clerk has opened the doors today.

From the Indiana decision:
Defendants proffer no reason why excluding  same-sex couples from marriage benefits opposite-sex couples. The court concludes that  there simply is no rational link between the two. 

and concludes,

The court has never witnessed a phenomenon throughout the federal court system   as is presented with this issue. In less than a year, every federal district court to consider  the issue has reached the same conclusion in thoughtful and thorough opinions – laws   prohibiting the celebration and recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. It  is clear that the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals   based solely on the person they choose to love. In time, Americans will look at the   marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as a marriage – not a same-sex marriage. These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in   all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them   as such. Today, the “injustice that [we] had not earlier known or understood” ends.Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2689 (citing Marriage Equality Act, 2011 N.Y. Laws 749).   Because “[a]s the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its   principles in their own search for greater freedom.” Lawrence, 539 U.S. at 579.

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