monday, 6 april of 2015

15 states urge US Supreme Court to uphold same-sex marriage bans

Fifteen states, led by Louisiana, urged the US Supreme Court on Thursday to uphold same-sex marriage bans. The brief asserts that voters should decide for themselves whether to allow same-sex marriages in their respective states. Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah and West Virginia joined the brief, even though courts have struck down same-sex marriage bans in these states. Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas, which have not legalized same-sex marriage, were the other states that took part in the brief. The Supreme Court agreed in January to rule on same-sex marriage, and oral arguments are scheduled for April 28.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia but continues to be a controversial issue. In March Puerto Rican officials announced that Puerto Rico is ending its defense of a same-sex marriage ban. Last month a federal court stayed a ruling of the US District Court for the District of Nebraska, which would have allowed same-sex couples in Nebraska to marry. The Supreme Court of Texas granted an emergency stay of two trial court decisions in Travis County in February, which held that an amendment to Texas's constitution banning same-sex marriage violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Michigan's governor said in February that his state will not challenge a decision by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ordering the state to recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages. In January Miami-Dade became the first county in Florida to allow same-sex marriage, hours ahead of statewide legalization.

(Published by Jurist – April 3, 2015)

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