A Supreme Court response to multiple states’ appeals of overturned gay marriage bans was announced earlier this week, and it did indeed provide guidance long sought by millions of people across the country … sort of.
Here’s what has been going on over the past couple years. Although a clearly emerging trend indicates growing support for same-sex marriage in many states across the country, officials in Arkansas and a number of other states have filed judicial challenges to court rulings that have struck down state bans on same-sex unions.
Appeals from multiple states recently reached the nation’s highest court. Those appeals understandably brought heightened anticipation among many gay marriage advocates, family law commentators, legal scholars, public officials, church groups and other parties that the court would offer up a tight and definitive legal opinion on gay marriage.
It didn’t. What justices did, instead, was to essentially skirt any discussion of the issue at all. Earlier this week, the court simply rejected the appeals without comment. That action virtually ensures further litigation on the matter, in light of the continuing lack of a national ruling on the seminal subject.
Notwithstanding the absence of a so-called “bright line” announced by the court, however, many gay marriage advocates celebrated the outcome, given that it leaves lower-court bans on same-sex unions undisturbed. Moreover, the court’s rejection of states’ appeals arguably sends a signal to judges across the country that their rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage are firmly grounded in constitutional precepts.
Gay marriage continues to be a lightning-rod subject throughout much of the country, and certainly in Arkansas. State residents with questions or concerns regarding the status of gay marriage in Arkansas and the rights of same-sex couples can receive timely and accurate guidance from a Little Rock family law attorney well-versed in matters regarding domestic partnerships.
Source: Reuters, “Supreme Court dodges gay marriage, allowing weddings in five more states,” Lawrence Hurley, Oct. 6, 2014