Not only has the tide changed on the issue of same-sex marriage, last year's US Supreme Court's pair of decisions has caused a tsunami to sweep across the shores and Midlands of this country.
Just last week, a federal appeals court in Denver ruled that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry. If there is an appeal, the issue will head to the Supreme Court where justices will be forced to tackle the issue head-on.
The 10th Circuit Appeals Court that made the decision about Utah's ban on gay marriage also governs Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and New Mexico, where it is already legal for gay couples to marry.
Last Wednesday, the justices found little justification under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution to bar same-sex couples from marrying. In fact, the justices found the opposition's arguments based on procreation and parenting skills lacking in merit.
Indiana Same-Sex Couples Also Have a Reason to Celebrate
On the same day justices in Denver revealed her decision about the Utah case, a US District Court also ruled that an Indiana law banning gay marriage was unconstitutional as was the state's refusal to recognize marriages performed in other states.
In that case Chief Judge Richard Young wrote, "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 his lengthy ruling he agreed with the plaintiffs that the 1997 marriage code violated gay couples' constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. Furthermore, he ordered officials to start issuing marriage licenses.
Despite the court's directive, the attorney general for that state promises to appeal the ruling.
USA Today has reported that many of the states that ban gay marriage coincidentally also fail to have laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace or bullying.
Presently, there are appellate court cases involving marriage bans in Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, and Wisconsin.
It is now legal for same-sex couples to marry in 20 states and the District of Columbia.
Do you have questions about custody, guardianships, children's issues, spousal support or same-sex unions? If so, call me or schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of James V. Sansone at 707-623-1875 or contact me by email. You can find additional information on family law, children's issues, spousal support,domestic violence as well as a list of resources you'll find helpful on our website.