As state and federal courts continue to issue marriage rulings, one question remains – when will marriage equality head back to the Supreme Court?
We’re getting closer to the answer.
Late last month, a ruling by a three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit concluded that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause (by denying a fundamental right to marry) and Equal Protection Clause (by making that right depend on a classification – the sex of the couple – that bears little if any relation to the state’s purported goals).
Then yesterday we heard from the Utah Attorney General’s office that the state will forego an appeal to the full Tenth Circuit and instead proceed to the US Supreme Court:
The U.S. Supreme Court is not obligated to hear Utah’s appeal — or any case regarding state same-sex marriage bans.
Should the justices decline to hear such a case, the rulings of lower courts, like that of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, would stand as the law of the land.
“We don’t really know if the Supreme Court will take this up or they won’t,” said Equality Utah Executive Director Brandie Balken, who attended Wednesday’s march. “Unfortunately, today we have families, couples, children who are living in legal limbo.”