A Dozen States Making Marriage Equality Progress
2014 has seen great progress for the LGBT community, positive news for bi-national couples.
Those interested in sponsoring their same-sex partners for green cards might soon have more places to marry. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will recognize marriages as long as they are legal where they take place (including in foreign nations such as Canada and Spain).
Guest Post by Daniel Bean, Paralegal.
The good news about the state of marriage equality here is that last month, the U.S. court of Appeals for the 10th circuit announced their in favor; the bad news is that that ruling is on hold and will make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Then they will decide whether or not to take up the case. But there is a silver lining: a Boulder County Judge ruled today that marriage licenses will continue to be granted despite the hold on the ruling. Go Utah!
Indiana will be joining Utah in its appeal to the highest court after last month a federal judge there ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. What’s more, yesterday a memo the governor’s office sent a memo to Indiana’s executive branch affirming that the state refuses to recognize same-sex marriage and that the ban would be in “full force and effect.” A reason was not made clear for that decision.
Colorado also took a leap toward equality yesterday when a federal judge ruled its own ban of same-sex marriage “bears no rational relationship to any conceivable government.” The same judge has placed an immediate hold on the decision pending an anticipating an appeal to the Supreme Court.
On May 9, 2014, Judge Chris Piazza decreed: “Let them eat wedding cake!” and we would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for that meddling Attorney General—who won’t be named here. It’s interesting that the number of marriage licenses reportedly given was around 400: they must have acted fast because just 6 days later all same-sex marriages were put on hold.
In May, a county circuit ruled Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Just days later, the Supreme Court did put a sort of hold on issuing marriage licenses to happy couples, citing that the ruling didn’t have implications for that process, but not before over 450 licenses were issued. There is currently a hold on the ruling.
Texas’ state ban on same-sex marriage was tossed out by a federal judge in late February, and that same judge stayed his own decision in anticipation of an appeal by opponents of dignity and equality for same-sex couples.
Saw slightly fewer days of equality when a judge there said “potato, potatto” and decided that same-sex couples deserved the right to get married same as their heterosexual counterparts on May 13th; not before a hold was put on the ruling on May 16th.
A judge in Michigan had some powerful words when he struck down their state ban. He had this to say: “”Today’s decision… affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail.” As you can guess, there is currently a hold on this ruling pending an anticipated appeal.” But in good news, in response to the hold, US Attorney General put out the word that “these families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages.”
It looks like Judge Terrence C. Kern had the good sense to recognize that Oklahoma’s state ban on marriage was “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit;” however, as you may have guessed by now, that decision is on hold, pending an appeal.
Virginians almost celebrated a Happy Valentine’s Day when their ban on same-sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional on February 13th, but that decision was placed on hold, in anticipation of an appeal. Here’s hoping that any couples who decided to get married on a day we celebrate love had a happy holiday with their special someones anyhow; and to those still looking for “the one,” keep your hopes up, because LGBT rights seem to have picked up steam in spite of the temporary stays on these decisions.
June 6, 2014 was Wisconsin’s day to ring in marriage equality, and it looks like over 400 shiny new marriage licenses were granted to happy couples. This time it took 7 days before an official hold was placed on the ruling—which, after reading about the other cases, seems like a long time.
The sun shone bright on the Sunshine State on July 17th, 2014 in light of the news that a judge had ruled a ban on same-sex marriage unconscionable. An immediate stay was placed on the ruling. I guess our day in the sun will come sooner or later, but that’s okay, Florida, you’re still beautiful.