Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Updated Status of Same-Sex Marriage and Aftermath

by Brig Bagley

8 October 2014

As seen above, 30 states can now practicing legal same-sex marriage. Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are in the process of issuing the licenses. The remaining states still have a ban in tact, but there are cases in all of them challenging the bans. 

If the circuit districts still awaiting appeals and decisions do strike down the bans, the respective states should expect immediate legalization since the US Supreme Court likely won't take the appeal.

If a ban is upheld, SSM will pend on the SCOTUS taking the case (which will likely happen with dissent in the lower courts.)

Since the SCOTUS decision, Utah has started issuing same-sex marriage licences again, and Sean Reyes sent a memo saying that all institutions that require marriage licenses to provide benefits need to make all necessary changes to abide by the new law. This includes health, legal, and adoption institutions. Gov. Herbert and AG Reyes disagree with the decision, but held true to their promise to follow the law. They have also decided to drop the appeal to recognize previous marriages in December since that case is now moot with the Supreme Court rejection.

Adoptions in Utah are still not allowed for same-sex couples IF none of the parents are biologically related to the child. This shows that there are still steps to take for full equality. Many Utahns have conceded (albeit disappointed) to the same-sex marriage issue, but fervently oppose the adoption and raising of children by gay couples. 

Finally, there are now more steps taken to prevent discrimination against LGBT in the state of Utah in housing and the workplace. It will likely be heard in January at the next session. On the bill might be exemptions for clergy and government officials that perform marriages and have religious objection to the marriage. But legal specialists argue that a personal religious view is not an excuse to reject civil duties, nor does it give a right to reject services to gay people. Clergy will almost certainly be given that exemption if they so choose. Some argue that this anti-discrimination bill is a slippery slope to other exceptions, but that argument is recycled and holds little weight in the eyes of legal experts.

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