So this is probably how it’s going to be from now on: a new marriage lawsuit somewhere in the country every couple of days.
This week it’s Colorado and Ohio with new litigation. Ohio already had some lawsuits in the works, but the Colorado case is the first of its kind in that state. Civil unions only just passed the legislature a few years ago, so equality advocates really aren’t wasting any time.
And there’s another emerging trend in the first for equality. Multiple attorneys general have been declaring their state marriage bans unconstitutional, and refusing to defend them from lawsuits. This week it was Oregon that basically said, “you know what? Go ahead and sue us. Please. We’re not going to defend this ban, because we hate it as much as you do.”
Now this is both a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand: yay, thanks, supportive government officials! You are rad. On the other hand: if there’s no one to defend the law, and it’s overturned by a federal district court, then that means that there will be no one to appeal the ruling up to the US Supreme Court. So the furthest that litigation could go is the state level. That’s certainly better than nothing — just a year or two ago, it was was a huge unknown whether any court would overturn a marriage ban. But as far as a permanent whole-country solution goes, it’s obviously not far enough.