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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - Will Indiana be the last state to vote on putting a ban against marriage equality into its constitution?

A lengthy, front-page story by Jon Murray in today's Sunday Indianapolis Star discusses that possibility. A few quotes:

Activists say Indiana is the only state currently considering joining the 30 others that have constitutional bans on gay marriage. * * *

[Advocates] see Indiana as possibly the last state to put a constitutional ban on gay marriage to a statewide vote.

“What we want is for Indiana citizens to look at this and think really hard about the question of whether they want to be the last state in the country to pass a constitutional amendment that would take away freedoms from gay and lesbian people,” said Marc Solomon, national campaign director for New York City-based Freedom to Marry.

Another interesting report today is from NE Indiana Public Radio. A few quotes from the story by Emma Jacobs, titled "Holdout Pennsylvania Pelted With Gay Marriage Lawsuits":
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act said that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages from states that allow them. Since the decision, couples in states which do not recognize same-sex marriages have filed a flurry of lawsuits.

Conditions are ripe for litigation in those states, like Pennsylvania. In July, a rogue county clerk outside Philadelphia started granting marriage licenses to gays and lesbians, defying the state's ban. * * *

Since the Supreme Court's decision, couples have filed dozens of constitutional challenges to state laws around the country, says Brian Moulton, legal director of Human Rights Campaign.

"It's less about identifying a particular state where it's the right argument, but a state where there's perhaps the greatest likelihood of success before the courts," he says.

The American Civil Liberties Union has thrown its weight behind suits in Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina in efforts to set precedents that would legalize same-sex marriage throughout the country. It expects federal judges in these regions will be receptive.

And a long story Sept. 30th in the Washington Post, reported by Robert Barnes, begins:
The legal team that overturned California’s ban on same-sex marriage is targeting Virginia to launch another challenge aimed at convincing the Supreme Court that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry no matter where they live.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights — with its attention-getting political odd couple of conservative Republican lawyer Theodore Olson and liberal Democrat David Boies — will announce Monday it is joining a lawsuit against what the lawyers called Virginia’s “draconian” laws prohibiting same-sex marriages, the recognition of such marriages performed where they are legal, and civil unions.

It is one of dozens of lawsuits filed across the nation by same-sex marriage activists who say they feel emboldened by the Supreme Court’s decisions in June that overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that forbade recognition of same-sex marriages and separately allowed such unions to resume in California.

Despite the victories, the justices stopped short of finding that the Constitution requires that gays and lesbians be allowed to marry and left the matter, for now, to the states.

There are dozens of lawsuits filed in state and federal courts in 18 states, according to the Human Rights Campaign, and on Friday, a state judge in New Jersey ruled same-sex marriages must be allowed there. Gov. Chris Christie (R) is appealing.

But the ultimate goal is the recognition of a constitutional right, such as when the Supreme Court struck down Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages in the 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 6, 2013 08:49 PM
Posted to Indiana Government