Marriage Lawsuits Keep Piling Up

What’s the hot new marriage trend for 2013? Litigation!

Following a decade(ish) of mostly-successful marriage lawsuits, more equality organizers than ever seem to be pinning their hopes on lawyers. In Pennsylvania alone, we’re up to three new suits: Governor Tom Corbett is suing pro-equality Montgomery County Clerk D. Bruce Hanes; one of the couples that Hanes married is suing Pennsylvania; and the ACLU is suing the state as well.

There’s never been a better time to rack up billable hours!

Meanwhile, things are heating up across the county as well: New Mexico will have its day in court in late October, at which point the state Supreme Court may grant marriage equality for the entire state (rather than for just eight counties, as it is now). And just a few days later, Hawaii will host a special legislative session, at which point they’ll have an opportunity to pass a marriage bill.

And with marriage equality working its way across the more liberal northern states, it’s time to start focusing on the redder areas: Kentucky now has a marriage lawsuit of its own.

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  • Mike

    The Texas Supreme Court in November will rule on whether a gay divorce is legal in Texas, potentially paving the way for gay marriage in that state. All eyes are on that case too.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Ah smells me some rich lawyers in the makin’. Keep it up, red states… y’all are making fools of yerselves!

  • damon459

    I see trip is trolling all the comments sections. Oh well that’s life in Queerty. As to those red states we may have some issues a simple lawsuit won’t fix in at least some of them. Take Montana for instance, we have a constitutional amendment which passed the voters and was upheld by state supreme court. The only way to overturn it at this point is either by ballot, or by federal law.

  • jwrappaport

    @damon459: Au contraire, good sir. A federal court could find that the Montana amendment (or really in any state) is in violation of the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection, and subsequently enjoin its enforcement. Not all hope is lost!

  • jwrappaport

    @damon459: Also, a federal law would not likely help. The Perry case reinforced the principle that marriage laws are the province of the states, not the federal government – that’s one small reason why the Supreme Court struck down DOMA. A federal law supporting marriage equality would violate that federalism principle in the same way, I think.

    Practically speaking, it doesn’t matter, because Congress will not conceivably support a marriage equality bill in the foreseeable future. This fight will go down in the judiciary.

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