This August, six different legal cases involving the freedom to marry will be heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. In each state, federal judges have ruled in favor of marriage for same-sex couples. One of these cases – or perhaps one of the more than 75 active lawsuits nationwide seeking the freedom to marry or respect of legal marriages – could be heard by the United States Supreme Court as early as 2015.
After a federal judge in Indiana struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday morning, couples rushed to county clerks’ offices across the state to get married.
Craig Bowen and Jake Miller were the first couple to wed in Indianapolis, according to The Indianapolis Star.
“Our parents don’t know yet, so they might be a little mad at us,” Miller told the Star. “I sent Craig a text and said ‘Hey, do you want to get married today?'”
Couples in other parts of the state, including Hamilton, Monroe, and Marion counties, are also exchanging vows as clerks there have announced they’re processing certificates for same-sex couples. The Indiana attorney general’s office has already indicated it will appeal today’s decision. But in other states, such as Utah, same-sex couples also got married during the window of time between a ruling and a stay while an appeal is taken up.
U.S. District Judge Richard Young is now one of 20 federal and state judges who have ruled state bans unconstitutional. The decision came after a judge ordered Indiana in April to respect the marriage of a terminally ill woman and her partner, who are parents to two daughters.
LGBT rights just got another big push from the president himself.
The White House on Friday issued a proclamation by President Barack Obama calling on Americans to eliminate prejudice “everywhere it exists,” declaring June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.
“As progress spreads from State to State, as justice is delivered in the courtroom, and as more of our fellow Americans are treated with dignity and respect – our Nation becomes not only more accepting, but more equal as well,” the proclamation begins.
Obama writes that although the gay rights movement saw a massive victory this month last year with Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, giving gay couples married in states where it’s legal the same federal benefits that straight couples receive, full equality is not yet here.
THE REID REPORT, 5/31/14, 8:17 PM ET
The next frontier in LGBT rights
“Despite this progress, LGBT workers in too many States can be fired just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; I continue to call on the Congress to correct this injustice by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act,” Obama states. “And in the years ahead, we will remain dedicated to addressing health disparities within the LGBT community by implementing the Affordable Care Act and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.”
Following the example of the bravery during the June 1969 riots that took place at the Stonewall Inn, now widely recognized as starting the gay rights movement, Obama writes “let each of us speak for tolerance, justice, and dignity – because if hearts and minds continue to change over time, laws will too.”
The Normal Heart is a powerful and important movie!
I love this song! Metric – Synthetica (Live at Sasquatch)