« Indiana Law - More on: Indiana one of states featured in NYT article today on guns and the mentally ill | Main | Courts - "Judge fines Kentucky cabinet $756,000 for making 'mockery' of state Open Records Act " »

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Courts - "An Eventful Day in Court for Same-Sex Marriage "

That is the heading of this article in the WSJ Law Blog (which I think is again freely available), written by Jacob Gershman. Some quotes:

From Ohio to Utah, it was busy day in court on the gay marriage front. Here’s a roundup of the latest developments: [the story talks about the developments in Utah and Ohio, plus a new development in Oklahoma, then ends with a ruling from the previous week]

Meanwhile, a state appeals court in Indiana on Friday ruled that a marriage between a man and a woman wasn’t voided after the husband, who was diagnosed with gender identity disorder, legally changed his gender to female. Reversing a lower-court ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals said the marriage wasn’t dissolved even though Indiana prohibits same-sex couples from getting married.

“[A] marriage between a man and a woman that was valid when it was entered into does not automatically become void when one of the parties has his or her birth certificate amended to indicate a change of gender,” the court said. “The statute prohibiting same-sex marriages does not apply to the particular set of circumstances in this case because the parties did not enter into a same-sex marriage in Indiana or into a same-sex marriage that was solemnized in another state.”

Today's LA Times has a story (with a great photo) reported by Matt Pearce, headed "Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling ripples through lower courts: Gay marriage activists are winning more cases in lower courts since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act." The stroy begins:
Same-sex marriage is picking up steam in the courts. A federal judge ordered Ohio on Monday to recognize gay marriages on death certificates, but used broad language that could be cited to mount a broader challenge to the law barring such unions.

It was the third judicial decision in the last week favoring same-sex marriage rights. In Utah, a federal judge struck down a gay marriage ban Friday and refused to suspend his decision Monday. A federal appellate court also rejected Utah's plea to put his ruling on hold.

And on Thursday, the New Mexico Supreme Court formally recognized same-sex marriage, which is now legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

The scenarios must have sounded all too familiar to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. In June, when the court issued a landmark decision ordering the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they were legal, Scalia warned of what could come next.

"How easy it is, indeed how inevitable, to reach the same conclusion with regard to state laws denying same-sex couples marital status," Scalia wrote in a scathing dissent in United States vs. Windsor, which struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act but left state laws intact. "No one should be fooled; it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe" to drop.

Now, for opponents of same-sex marriage, the other shoe is dropping.

The NY Times today has a story, with the same great photo, headed "Same-Sex-Marriage Supporters Applaud Ohio and Utah Rulings ."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 24, 2013 09:15 AM
Posted to Courts in general