“I’ve watched Americans beat back adversity from the Gulf Coast to the Great Plains; from Midwest assembly lines to the Mid-Atlantic seaboard. I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home.”
Let's hope that the Supreme Court agrees as it hears 4 same-sex marriage cases in the spring. I am a bit nervous about the outcome. If positive, we will likely see marriage equality in all 50 states. If SCOTUS rules that states can decide the fate of same-sex marriage, a number of things could happen.
Here's some speculation via NewNowNext:
Well there’s no simple answer, but Lambda Legal has parsed out the possibilities:
With respect to same-sex couples who already have legally married, Lambda Legal strongly believes that those marriages will remain valid and will need to continue to be respected by the states in which those marriages were entered. Just this past week, a federal district court in Michigan ruled along the same lines with respect to the marriages 300 same-sex couples entered in that state before the 6th Circuit’s adverse ruling…
With respect to whether same-sex couples would be able to marry and would have their marriages respected in other states, that would vary from state to state. States in which marriage equality was achieved by a ruling under the state’s constitution, by legislative reform or at the ballot box would be unaffected.
States in which a final judgment has been obtained in federal court would be required to continue to allow same-sex couples to marry and to respect out-of-state marriages entered by same-sex couples unless and until someone with standing makes a motion to reopen the judgment and that motion is granted (unless stays are properly obtained before then). In some states, there may be no one with standing interested in seeking to set aside the existing judgment.
Same-sex couples in states in which a judgment is on appeal or can still be appealed, where the judgment has not been stayed, should be able to continue to marry and to have their out-of-state marriages honored by the state unless and until the existing judgment is stayed or reversed. Depending on how the Supreme Court rules, there may be other arguments that can be advanced to defend these judgments.
In short, it will create a labyrinth that the LGBT community and our allies will have to navigate—one where the exit keeps moving.
2015 will prove to be an interesting year for LGBT rights. Stay tuned.
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