What's next?

For nationwide gay marriage, more battles ahead
Associated Press
Jun 26, 2013

Even as they celebrate a momentous legal victory, supporters of gay marriage already are anticipating a return trip to the Supreme Court in a few years, sensing that no other option but a broader court ruling will legalize same-sex unions in all 50 states.

In the meantime, as one gay-rights leader said, there will be "two Americas" — and a host of legal complications for many gay couples moving between them.

Wednesday's twin rulings from the high court will extend federal recognition to same-sex marriages in the states where they are legal, and will add California — the most populous state — to the 12 others in that category. That will mean about 30 percent of Americans live in states recognizing same-sex marriage.

But the court's rulings have no direct effect on the constitutional amendments in 29 states that limit marriage to heterosexual couples. In a handful of politically moderate states such as Oregon, Nevada and Colorado those amendments could be overturned by ballot measures, but that's considered highly unlikely in more conservative states.

"It would be inefficient to try to pick off 30 constitutional amendments one by one," said Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights group. "Eventually this will have to be settled by the Supreme Court."

The Human Rights Campaign's president, Chad Griffin, told supporters outside the Supreme Court building that the goal would be to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide within five years.

To sway the justices in such a time frame, activists plan a multipronged strategy. In addition to possible ballot measures in a few states, they hope lawmakers will legalize same-sex marriage in states which now offer civil unions to gay couples, notably New Jersey, Illinois and Hawaii.

There also will be advocacy efforts in more conservative states, ranging from expansion of anti-discrimination laws to possible litigation on behalf of sex-couples there who are denied state recognition even though they married legally in some other jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court's decisions "underscore the emergence of two Americas," Griffin said. "In one, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) citizens are nearing full equality. In the other, our community lacks even the most basic protections."

Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, suggested that efforts to end that division would not be easy, given that many states have electorates that seem solidly opposed to gay marriage.

"The fight is far from over," Rauch wrote in a commentary. "By refusing to override those majorities, the court green-lighted the continuation, probably for a decade or more, of state-by-state battles over marriage."

In Florida, where voters approved a ban on gay marriage with 62 percent support in 2008, the gay-rights group Equality Florida called on its supporters to "get engaged and fight" for recognition of same-sex marriage.

The high court rulings "are a major step forward for the country, but for Floridians they fall far short of justice," said the group's executive director, Nadine Smith. "The Supreme Court has said we can go states like Minnesota or Iowa and get married, but we return to Florida legal strangers in our home state."

Florida State Rep. Joe Saunders, a Democrat from Orlando and one of the state's first openly gay lawmakers, said "every strategy is on the table" as activists ponder ways to eliminate the 2008 ban, including warnings of economic consequences.

"If 13 other states provide protections to gay and lesbian families, what does that mean for our ability to keep those families here in Florida?" he said. "Until we can promise them the same basic protections, we're going to be economically disadvantaged."

Increasingly, political swing states like Florida, as well as more solidly Republican states, could become gay-marriage battlegrounds.

One example of the forthcoming strategy: The American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday that it has hired Steve Schmidt, former communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee and adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to build support among GOP state politicians for striking down gay-marriage bans.

"For a full civil liberties victory, we need broad-based support from coast to coast," the ACLU's executive director, Anthony Romero, said.

On the conservative side, there was deep dismay over the Supreme Court rulings, but little indication of any new strategies or initiatives.

"The debate over marriage has only just begun," said Austin Nimocks, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which staunchly opposes same-sex marriage, called upon Americans "to stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life."

Lee Badgett, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts, predicted that the ruling on federal recognition would prompt thousands of gay couples to get married, now that there were additional financial incentives to so.

This group could include couples in states which don't recognize same-sex marriage but who are willing to travel to a state that does recognize such unions.

However, Rea Carey of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said many gay couples either would be hard pressed to afford such trips or would forgo them out of principle.

"Many people in this country, straight or gay, want to get married in their own state, their own backyard," she said.

While gay-rights activists pursue their ultimate goal of nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage, the short-term legal situation for many gay couples could be complicated.

Peter Sprigg of the conservative Family Research Council said the court ruling on federal recognition "raises as many questions as it answers."

"Will recognition be based on the law in the state where the marriage was celebrated or the state in which the couple resides?" he said. "The doors may now be wide open for whole new rounds of litigation."

The National Conference of State Legislatures said the situation was clear for married gay couples in the 13 states recognizing same-sex marriage: They will be eligible for all federal marriage benefits.

"Outside of these states, federal marriage benefits become more complicated, as many commonly thought-of federal benefits, such as jointly filing on federal income taxes, are tied to a married couple's place of residence," the conference said.

Gay-rights activists immediately began lobbying the Obama administration and other federal officials to extend as many benefits as possible on the basis of where a gay couple's wedding took place, not on the state where they live.

"The Obama administration can make clear, through regulation, that the federal government will recognize those marriages and not participate in state-sponsored discrimination," said Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School.

Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, one of the groups most active in building support for same-sex marriage, urged the administration to adopt a "clear and consistent" standard that would apply equally to all married gay couples, regardless of their state of residence.

"Marriage should not flutter in and out like cellphone service," he said. "When it comes to federal programs, even if states are discriminating, the federal government should not."

Wolfson, like many of his allies, was already looking ahead to another rendezvous with the Supreme Court, confident that public support for same-sex marriage would continue to increase.

"We have the winning strategy," he said. "We win more states, we win more hearts and minds, and we go back to the Supreme Court in a matter of years, not decades, to win the freedom to marry nationwide."

___

Follow David Crary on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/craryap

 

Comments

shucks

The Hero Zone
Sat, 06/29/2013 - 1:22am
"I have (presuming we are generally talking about the same Jesus - Protestant Jesus? Or Catholic Jesus? Mormon Jesus? Jesus from the point of view from a Messianic Jew? Jesus as a prophet as described in the Quran?),"
...The Jesus as revealed in the Bible.

"how do you think I have come to these realizations?"
...Do you think that you are the ONLY person who realizes that there are many Jesus's? Or rather, opinions of Jesus?

"My eyes are opened quite widely as are my arms and thoughts to those teachings,"
... ok

" but it isn't about just being able to see or even experience new worlds"
... ok

" it is the ability to comprehend them, understand them."
...Yes , that's true.

shucks

: |

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Why the long face?

shucks

You think that's a long face?

Now THIS is a long face : (

A horse walks into a bar, the bartender asks, “Why the long face?”

shucks

PS
But seriously-
According to the Bible:
If you die without getting it right with Jesus, you will be in Hell for eternity, and you get NO second chances.
I'm just giving you a friendly warning.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I was thinking the same joke as above. I feel that I have things pretty squared away with Jesus, personally. I am not sure if you feel that anything I said was sacrilegious as I was advocating people to read various scripture and ask questions and look at the broader picture than what is contained in the stories.

If you don't mind my asking, what do you believe sets humans apart from the other animals? This isn't a trap or "gotcha" question. I don't have a witty retort. I am simply curious.

shucks

"I am not sure if you feel that anything I said was sacrilegious as I was advocating people to read various scripture and ask questions and look at the broader picture than what is contained in the stories."
...One question you should probably ask yourself is: "Is this for real?"

"look at the broader picture than what is contained in the stories."
...what broader picture? What's more important than knowing if you're going into the presence of God or into Hell?

Matthew 16:26
New International Version (NIV)

26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Here's the short answer to your animal question:

The primary difference between human beings and animals is that humanity is made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27), while animals are not.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/pets...

shucks

PS

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21
New Living Translation (NLT)
I also thought about the human condition—how God proves to people that they are like animals.
For people and animals share the same fate—both breathe and both must die.
So people have no real advantage over the animals.
How meaningless!
Both go to the same place—they came from dust and they return to dust.
For who can prove that the human spirit goes up and the spirit of animals goes down into the earth?

Raoul Duke

That's because there is no God.

Blues

Symbolize all you want 4shiz. Make a mountain out of a mole hill with words. It changes nothing. we have the Constitution, The Bill of Rights and The Declaration of Independence. Right now today, they may as well be toilet paper. Our gov't has no rules.

coasterfan

Not sure what you mean, Blues. The Constitution exists, in part, to provide equal opportunity for all Americans. And that's exactly what this Supreme Court decision provides for. If you don't agree with it, then you're basically saying that you are "for equal rights for only SOME people", correct?

shucks

Symbolize what?

"Make a mountain out of a mole hill with words"...
Who has the most words?

shucks

I was challenging The Hero Zone on his interpretation of the Bible.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

It's appreciated and responded to in good fun.

shucks

This isn't "fun". This is troubling.

Contango

Re: "If someone wants to have a 'legal best friend' who is given first dibs to property and decisions,"

Eliminate estate taxes. Why should death be a taxable event???? IMO, adding more pain to a loss.

Interestingly, an estate tax argument was the one the SCOTUS used:

"She sued to challenge a $363,000 federal estate tax bill after her partner of 44 years died in 2009."

http://seattletimes.com/html/nat...

Perusual: The central planners working on the wrong end of the problem.

Public and private costs will increase as the number of federal, state and local benefit recipients grow.

What-the-heck, Uncle Ben can just "print" a few trillion more. It's all FREE anyway. :)

Contango

Re: "...the story of Cain and Abel!"

The dialog between God & Cain after the murder also helps to demonstrate the legal concept of:

Innocent until proven guilty.

If you like viewing the Bible through a metaphorical prism, here's an interesting book:

http://www.amazon.com/Metaphysic...

The Big Dog's back

Sounds like Capitalism in it's early form.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thanks, I am always open to books like these!

Contango

Re: Estate taxes.

Ever heard or read the saying: Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations?

Most family fortunes do not survive, as each succeeding generation has the work ethic bred out of it.

Society absorbs the accumulated wealth eventually. The central planning kleptocrats just want it quicker.

The Big Dog's back

Not to worry, if they work hard they will build their own fortune right?

Contango

The majority of fortunes in the U.S. are self made.

http://www.nytimes.com/books/fir...

The Big Dog's back

So you should have no problem with the estate tax then since most of what's being taxed was never taxed in the 1st place.

Contango

Re: "what's being taxed was never taxed in the 1st place."

DERP!

Fed, state and local income taxes in addition to FICA and Medicare taxes????

The Big Dog's back

The exemption from federal estate taxes has increased significantly since 1997 while the estate tax rate has significantly decreased. Below is a chart that shows the changes in the estate tax exemption and estate tax rate from 1997 through 2013.
http://wills.about.com/od/unders...

Contango

Many states have estate taxes as well.

Better tell the wealthy liberal trustfundie hypocrites like the Kennedys to share with the poor.

If you think fed. estate taxes are good, then why not disagree with the SCOTUS' ruling on which this ruling is based?

And why is it that 7 of the 10 richest members of Congress are Democrats?

The Big Dog's back

I don't know, why?

Contango

Re: "I don't know,"

DERPTY DERP DERP! :)

coasterfan

I disagree, Contango. I don't have statistics, but I think we can all agree that a sizeable percentage of today's millionaires got rich the old-fashioned way: they INHERITED it.

Contango

Re: "I don't have statistics,"

Then why bother to disagree?

The majority of "high net worth individuals" in this country are/were sm. business owners and are/were self-made.

If you want "INHERITED" try socio-economically stratified Europe.

See what you can find:

http://www.capgemini.com/worldwe...

Pages