When the Supreme Court last month declined to review seven lower court decisions against state laws and amendments defining marriage to be between a man and a woman it seemed as though the issue was settled (in court anyway). Their lack of action on cases in the 4th, 7th and 10th Circuit Courts paved the way for same-sex marriage licenses to be issued several states such as Colorado, Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Virginia and Wyoming. The Supreme Court later also allowed a 9th Circuit Court ruling striking down Idaho’s marriage law to stand.
Appellate courts across the nation are being asked to quickly affirm a ruling last week from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that states may ban same-sex marriage. If they do not, warns a Christian legal group, the perversion of gay marriage might soon extend to legal recognition that people may marry animals.
“If ‘marriage’ means fulfilling one’s personal choices regarding intimacy, as the appellants insist, it is difficult to see how states could regulate marriage on any basis,” said a friend-of-the-court brief filed in a Louisiana case by the Thomas More Law Center of Michigan. “If personal autonomy is the essence of marriage, then not only gender, but also number, familial relationship and even species are insupportable limits on that princip[le] and they all will fall.
“This is not just a slippery slope on which the appellants wish to set us, it is a bottomless pit into which they desire to throw us. It is clearly within a state’s right to define marriage between and man and a woman when that licensing restriction passes rational basis review.”
(The full text of the brief is here.)
Marriage issues are a hot issue at the moment. Polygamists in the United States are lobbying for their rights to marry according to their religious ideology.
United States District Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez handed down a ruling in a case upholding Puerto Rico’s law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
He wrote in his ruling:
A clear majority of courts have struck down statutes that affirm opposite-gender marriage only. In their ingenuity and imagination they have constructed a seemingly comprehensive legal structure for this new form of marriage. And yet what is lacking and unaccounted for remains: are laws barring polygamy, or, say the marriage of fathers and daughters, now of doubtful validity? Is ‘minimal marriage,’ where ‘individuals have legal marital relationships with more than one person, reciprocally or asymmetrically, themselves determining the sex and number of parties’ the blueprint for their design? […] It would seem so, if we follow the plaintiffs’ logic, that the fundamental right to marriage is based on ‘the constitutional liberty to select the partner of one’s choice.
The debate is sure to hit a fever pitch in 2015.
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