USA: More Analysis on the Upcoming Marriage Equality Rulings

Written by scott on June 20th, 2013

Interactive Map New YorkerHere we are at yet another possible ruling day for the US Supreme Court. Once again we have a number of articles looking at the possible rulings.

Let’s start with Lisa Keen At Queerty, who continues her look at the individual Supreme Court justices. first off, Justice Elena Kagan:

Kagan still hasn’t publicly identified with one orientation or another, but she does appear to forceful enough to take down DOMA. Even before casting a vote on the marriage cases, the court’s newest member had an impact. During her brief stint as solicitor general, she had some conversations with Department of Justice officials about the two DOMA cases out of Massachusetts. In fact, it is possible that the Supreme Court took the DOMA case out of New York because taking the Massachusetts cases might have forced Kagan to recuse herself, setting the stage for a four to four tie on the issue.

Keen puts the odds of Kagan voting for repeal of both laws at 7 to 1.

Keen also takes a look at Justice Sonia Sotomayor:

During her four years now on the court, Sotomayor has proven to be a close ally to Ginsburg. Out of 64 decisions, they’ve disagreed three times. And during oral arguments on the DOMA and Prop 8 cases, she delivered frequent and tough scrutiny to the arguments of attorneys defending the laws that so disadvantage gay couples.

Keen puts her odds at 4 to 1.

The New Yorker has a new interactive map detailing how the court could rule:

In the next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide two landmark cases concerning same-sex marriage—Hollingsworth v. Perry (a challenge to Proposition 8, California’s same-sex-marriage ban) and United States v. Windsor (a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, or doma, which bars the federal government from recognizing state-sanctioned same-sex marriages). Click the buttons below to explore the possible results. (Note: there are a handful of other, legally complex but theoretically possible outcomes.

Stephanie Pappas at Yahoo News thinks the rulings may raise more questions for gay and lesbian couples than they answer.

Striking down DOMA would also do little to help gay couples navigate the patchwork of state laws, Infanti said. It’s not clear how the federal government would deal with married gay couples who move to a state that doesn’t recognize gay marriage, nor what would happen to couples who go out of state to get hitched. “If you’re married and you’re a same-sex couple, you can’t just rest assured that state law is going to protect you, because you’re not always going to be in your state,” Infanti said. In many cases, he said, married gay couples will still have to draw up legal paperwork, such as powers of attorney, just in case something happens to one of them while out of their home state.

The venerable Pam Spaulding at Pam’s House Blend wonders if, this time around, the LGBT community and the black community will be able to work together instead of fighting among themselves, as happened after Prop 8 passed:

Now fast forward a bit more — with SCOTUS rulings coming up that could 1) undermine affirmative action, and 2) overturn Prop 8, we will yet again face the possibility of communities that will be elated/in mourning, with those at the intersection of these paths left conflicting feelings. How will the media and respective affected communities deal with this? There’s a great piece by black gay legislative/political activist Charles Stewart at FrontiersLA that mulls the possibilities, given time and coalition-building since Prop 8 passed.

We’ll miss you, Pam!

And Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade reports on the limbo binational couples find themselves in awaiting the decision:

Heather, a marketing director for a global non-profit organization in New York, said the wait for the decision has been “kind of surreal” and what’s been on the couple’s minds in the days heading to the ruling. “We look at each other every night before we go to bed I would say for the last few weeks, where it’s been kind of like a month countdown, and we’ve said, “Oh my God, what is it going to really be like the day after?” she said. “How much is our life going to change when this issue isn’t a huge weight on our relationship and even on our everyday thought process.” Mar, who works in marketing for a Spanish-language newspaper in New York, said a ruling against DOMA would lift a considerable burden because they are unable to plan for the future as they fear separation.

binational gay and lesbian couples arguably have the most to gain here.


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