At a 4th of July block party with some neighbors, including the lesbian couple legally married in CA before the Prop 8 case went to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the conversation turned to recent Supreme Court events.
What the SCOTUS decisions mean is pretty simple. Basically, federal and state laws defining marriage as one man and one woman violate the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. Translation, gay people have a right to be married.
Some states may wish to argue their law is legal still, but why waste taxpayer money and state attorney general and federal court time?
In the 9th Cir Court’s territory (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon) all states have laws exactly like California’s Prop 8. Those states would all be appealing to the same 9th Cir Court California did. They’d use the same arguments. They’d get the same answer: not legal.
And then what? A state’s Attorney General would take it to the Supreme Court? The same court that just ruled the same definition built into a federal law is illegal? It’s just folly for any state to pursue such a course.
Even more ridiculous? Putting gay marriage on a state ballot. The courts have effectively decided the issue.
Asking people to vote on gay marriage state by state in 2013 is like asking people to vote on reinstituting slavery state by state in 2013. Slavery was outlawed by the 13th Amendment. It’s decided already. There’s no option to reinstituting slavery now just because 51% of voters in a state think it’s a good idea.
Smart states will vacate their illegal amendments immediately, saving time, money and fruitless labor. And they’d do well to finish their work, by restoring democracy to marriage. Remember democracy? It’s where one US citizen equal with all other US citizens.