Do I Hear Wedding Bells? SCOTUS Puts Marriage Equality on the Agenda

The U.S. Supreme Court must have noticed those passive-aggressive love notes and ring hints we’ve been leaving all over the house, because it looks like SCOTUS is ready to take up marriage again.

I am trying to drop a hint here, SCOTUS. (via Shutterstock)

I am trying to drop a hint here, SCOTUS. (via Shutterstock)

The justices have scheduled same-sex marriage cases from five states for consideration at their September 29th private conference, the first conference of the 2014 term. The cases are from Utah (Herbert v. Kitchen), Oklahoma (Smith v. Bishop), Virginia (Rainey v. Bostic, Schaefer v. Bostic, & McQuigg v. Bostic), Indiana (Bogan v. Baskin), and Wisconsin (Walker v. Wolf), all regarding state marriage bans.

What happens now? The Supreme Court could choose to hear any number of the cases, all of the cases, none, or to delay the decision. They could add more cases to the agenda, too, since state marriage ban challenges are gaining traction all over the country.

This past week, the 9th Circuit heard oral arguments in cases from Idaho and Nevada. The 6th Circuit is expected to rule on cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Cases in Texas and Florida are currently at the appellate court level.

If the Supreme Court takes up the state marriage ban issue, as they are expected to, it’s likely they will finally rule on the constitutionality of state marriage bans. We could finally have an answer to the big question: Will states have to allow and recognize legal same-sex marriage? We may have a decision as early as June 2015.

KaeLyn is a 37-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, over-caffeinating herself, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 219 articles for us.

9 Comments

    • BTW the eye roll was for SCOTUS and the ridiculous amount of time being taken up by this debate. By this point it’s sort of obvious that they’ll pass it, I think.

      Both the supreme court and gay rights orgs have more important things to focus on.

      That being said, I will forget my current frustration and celebrate my ass off if/when this is passed.

  1. With this court, yes, I think it IS a given. Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan are guaranteed yes votes, and Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts are guaranteed no votes. As usual, it all comes down to Kennedy, and he has VERY firmly been on the side of allowing same sex marriage for many years now. He wouldn’t overturn his own precedent in Windsor. So yes, with this makeup of the court, I think the outcome is very likely to be favorable, and I’m glad SCOTUS is finally going to address the issue once and for all while this is the makeup of the court. There is no way of knowing how a different justice (or a different President) could affect the balance.

  2. Especially with the recent disappointing decision about Louisiana’s marriage ban, the Supreme Court NEEDS to weigh in on this soon.

    Not to take away from the importance of this decision, but I’m ready for LGBT activists to focus our national attention on more dire matters, like employment/housing discrimination, the huge number of LGBT homeless youth, violence against trans individuals, etc. Don’t get me wrong, as a lesbian in the middle of Kansas who would like to get married someday I think this is an important issue, but a definitive decision is long overdue and we desperately need to tackle some of these other pressing issues.

    • I agree with your second point 110%. I even wrote about it a couple weeks back. I have lots of complicated feelings about marriage, so can we just settle this and move on to other equally important issues affecting our communities?!

      Ugh. I’m ready for SCOTUS to do right on this one. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it if they punt again or come out with a bad ruling. Mainly because I’m so exhausted with the marriage fight taking center stage ALL THE TIME.

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