SSM: Now Utah. How long for all?

Color me surprised at the judge’s decision disallowing the state’s ban on Same Sex Marriage.

Now, I realize this is by judicial fiat and not an action of the legislature but it’s Utah. Speaking as a political animal, Utah is one of the reddest states in the country. I thought they’d be one of the last to go - if they did. But if Utah can recognize SSM - or at least see them allowed by a judge - how long before all 50 states and various possessions legalize or otherwise allow same sex marriage?

I’m going to make some assumptions, here. Congress will not pass a law allowing SSM across the country. They’ll dodge and leave it to the states, where it sort of belongs in the first place. But will those states as a whole bring SSM to the table before the various courts - including SCOTUS - impose it.

Hell, even my own South Carolina, reddest state east of the Mississippi pretty much (too small for a nation, too large for a lunatic asylum), is leaning that way. A recent Winthrop poll place the South Carolina public’s opposition to SSM at only 52%. Less than 10 years ago a state amendment passed banning SSM 78-22! That’s a 26% swing in just a few years.

So what’s the end game? Will SCOTUS - in a year or two - just say ‘to hell with it’ and incorporate a right to SSM into existing constitutional law? Or will the states continue to fall, one by one?

I was surprised no thread on this when I logged on this AM, but too lazy to start one myself. Surely this will go to the SCOTUS, no? Is there any case ahead of it?

It seems strange that one judge can make such a sweeping pronouncement. Not an entire court, just one judge. I suspect there will be a stay for appeal.

According to the CNN article, the state plans to appeal but did not ask for a stay, which is why same-sex couples are already getting married.

how many states does it take before the fed must recognize a ‘majority’ such that imposition of a nationwide allowance must be made - basically telling the other states that SSM is now legal whether they like it or not?

well - I was thinking of it more along the majority vote to change/add an ammendment - at what point (how many states - I guess that would be 2/3) before the Federal Govt sees it as the needed ‘national majority’ to pass/change the wording in the amendment/etc.

Secondly - at what point do they have to step in in order to insure that the marriage recognized in UT is legal in SC should the couple move there? (or is that already in place for SSM?)

Lastly - how does this work for Federal items - taxes? Are SSM recognized for “married - filing jointly” ? (I ask in ignorance as I have not kept up with the changes)

I can’t imagine amending the constitution to include gays. But the feds don’t “have” to do anything. The SCOTUS might feel obliged to act, if asked, but again they don’t “have” to.

Well here in Texas as in some other States, we amended the State Constitution to ban SSM and we do not recognize SSMs from other States. If you same sex marry, say in Utah and move here, poof, you are now un-married.

Sometimes it is hard to live here.


An amendment would have to be ratified by 3/4ths of the states and get a 2/3rds vote in each House of Congress. That would be every state that went for Obama in 2008 plus 10 more. It’s not going to happen, and neither is a federal law: Republicans in the House wouldn’t do it under any circumstance. This is going to happen through the courts and through laws at the state level. I can imagine the Supreme Court deciding it can’t stem the tide anymore, but otherwise it’ll be one state at a time.

Well, it requires 3/4 of states to pass a constitutional amendment. There is of course no particular number that would trigger the Supreme Court to do something, but for comparison, when Loving v. Virginia was decided 16 states still banned interracial marriages, and when Lawrence v. Texas was decided 14 states still had sodomy laws.

At the moment, section 2 of the Defence of Marriage Act specifically allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The recent decision by the Supreme Court in US v. Windsor only struck down section 3 which dealt with federal recognition. So, a same-sex couple that marries in UT will find that their marriage is not recognized by the SC state government, though it will be recognized for most federal purposes - see below.

Since the Windsor decision, the federal government has for most purposes adopted a “place of celebration” rule for recognizing same-sex marriages, meaning that a marriage that was legal where it took place will be recognized by the feds even if it is not recognized in the state where the spouses are resident. However, for some purposes the feds will only recognize marriages that are recognized in the spouses’ state of residence. So yes, for tax purposes, immigration purposes, etc., the federal government now recognizes same-sex marriages.

I almost started a thread yesterday myself, but was lazy and waiting for more information to come in. I was (pleasantly) shocked at the ruling. But make no mistake about it, Utah plans to fight this tooth and nail with Judge Shelby portrayed as an ‘evil liberal Obama plant’. Which is ironic since it was Utah’s own GOP Senator Orrin Hatch who submitted Shelby’s name to President Obama for nomination to court.

Shelby was also supported wholeheartedly by Utah’s Jr. GOP Senator, Mike Lee, who said that Judge Shelby is a “‘pre-eminently qualified lawyer’ who will be an ‘outstanding judge.’”

Hardly a ‘liberal activist’ Judge.

From what I heard the state is planning on asking for ‘emergency stay’ pending their appeal. I believe the majority of counties in Utah are refusing to issue marriage licences until the ruling is analyzed by their county attorney’s office. However, the SLC District Attorney, Sim Gill, advised the SLC county clerk to start issuing marriage licenses after reviewing the ruling. My understanding is that Davis county followed suit.

Or more here from SL Tribune:Federal judge strikes down Utah ban on same-sex marriage

There is a thread in MPSIMS, by the way.

I predict it will never happen. By the time places like Oklahoma pass gay marriage, places like New York and New Jersey will be ready to repeal it at the behest of their exploding ultra-religious populations.

How long before the Fundamentalist Mormons challenge anti-polygamy laws in court?

Does this mean gay polygamy, now?

Polygamy isn’t legally recognized anywhere, including Utah. The Mormon church disavowed it before Utah became a state. So no, absolutely not.

The Mormon’s HAD to disavow it to BE recognized as a state. There was a very clear quid pro quo at the time.

It would be interesting to see whether the spate of SSM civil liberties cases leads to a challenge of anti-polygamy laws.

Still, 3 years maybe? For SCOTUS to settle it once and for all?

It just happened. Brown v Buhman. The family on that show “Sister Wives” sued and won in District Court, the court overturning Utah’s cohabitation law as unconstitutional.

That’s not the same thing. He’s not legally married to all his wives, and overturning that law does not change that.

I always thought that law would be overturned, if challenged, with or without any ruling on SSM.

Federal judge, wasn’t he? Utah’s demographics, traditions, leanings, etc. have nothing to do with that.