Like a slow-motion drinking game in which we all have to take a shot every time another state’s ban on same-sex marriage topples in court – two shots if it’s a red state – nationwide same-sex marriage is coming closer. Even staunch right-wingers concede it’s inevitable now. Justice Antonin Scalia, who’s kind of a horrible person, is also no dummy: he predicted this exact outcome. When the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) fell last year, it meant conclusively the federal government had no basis to discriminate against LGBT people. Therefore, states can’t either.
That’s why the movement has really gathered steam in the last 12 months. Yesterday, Indiana was the 20th state to legalize same-sex marriage, Utah followed only a few minutes later, and all the rest have lawsuits working their way up through the system. It’s looking good for the good side -- which is not to say that gay marriage and gay rights are synonymous, merely that the most talked-about facet of LGBT rights has forward momentum.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who deserves an expensive commemorative Franklin Mint piece for her decades of badassery on gender equality, has been vocally hesitant about this strategy. She’s justifiably scarred from the 40-year desert that abortion rights have been wandering in after Roe v Wade, and would prefer a softer approach to make sure gay rights don’t fall into a similar limbo. Hence why the Supreme Court did not use its rulings on either DOMA or Prop. 8 last year to just get the whole production over with and universalize marriage. But acceptance of gays is trending in only one direction, to the point where by 2020 there will be a clear majority in support of marriage equality in all but six states (all of them in the former Confederacy). Hey, Southern Queens and Deep-South Dykes: just keep coming out and living your lives, and you can prove Ginsburg wrong.
Oddly, as SF Gate points out, the one thing that’s keeping the Supreme Court from weighing in is that they usually wait for disagreements among the various Courts of Appeals, one step below them. Some are very liberal and some are very conservative but so far, they’ve all ruled the same way.
The delicious irony is how these decisions often come right around Pride. DOMA and Prop. 8 got tossed out last June 25, and in June 2011, New York became the most populous state to legalize same-sex marriage. Thank you again, Stonewall queens of 1969, for rioting right around the end of the legislative-judicial calendar!
[Via SFGate; image via Thinkstock]
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