Today the court refused to hear cases from the states — Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin — seeking to keep their same-sex marriage bans in place. Today’s decision may very well bring equality to people in all states faster than if the justices took up the case. If they granted cert today, it is 99% certain that a decision would not be issued until the last day of the term in late June. That is how the Supreme Court treats high profile cases. Challenges to bans are currently working their way through all circuits right now. Two of the circuits, the 6th and 9th, can rule any day now. Those judges, seeing what the Supreme Court did today and with the precedent set by the circuits that have already decided the issue will likely result in all circuits issuing rulings in favor or equality before June. I think it was smart what the justices did.
Experts say its refusal to hear the cases from those five states also means that six more states — Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, West Virginia, and Wyoming — could soon have to lift their bans on same-sex marriage, because they are covered by the same circuit appeals courts that initially struck down the prohibitions. Once that happens, the number of states permitting same-sex marriage would jump from 19 to 30.
Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal who I tend to agree with more often than not seems to think this was a setback. In his piece Supreme Court prolongs legal limbo for gay Americans he stated “Nobody knows why the justices have taken this position, and they don’t seem inclined to explain it to the rest of us. It’s most likely the result of some political gamesmanship among the court’s nine members, but in doing so, they’re playing with the lives of real people and leaving them in limbo. It’s irresponsible and unnecessarily cruel.”
I partially agree with the gamemanship but as I stated above it might have also been a tactic by SCOTUS to move faster than had they agreed to hear the cases. The Supreme Court’s refusal to take up challenges to laws legalizing gay marriage in five states has an immediate impact: Gay couples in those states can now wed. Politically speaking, this has been true for some time — a reality largely due to a massive shift in public opinion on the issue.
Republicans that try and fight against families and marriage equality will have a hard time reconciling this with their “family values” platform. Unless of course they want to argue that gay people aren’t families as well which seems rather ridiculous to all but the most cold-hearted bigots.
What does this mean for Georgia? Well nothing at the moment. Bit with both North Carolina and South Carolina soon allowing gay marriage as a result of this decision, it would be futile to attempt to delay the inevitable. Sam Olens would be foolish to waste money defending the dated ban.
I will let this video speak for itself. I would dare anyone to offer cogent reasons as to why his family should not be allowed to be recognized as a legal family under the law of any state.