Here’s Why the Supreme Court’s 2013 Gay Marriage Ruling Created a Mess
The state of Idaho had its marriage ban overturned as of Tuesday, making it the most recent U.S. state to see its same-sex marriage legislation challenged successfully — pending an appeal, of course, as an appeal was filed before the decision was even announced. Idaho is just the latest reminder of how complex state rulings are becoming across the U.S. — and why the 2013 Supreme Court rulings may not have gone far enough to prevent a storm of legal complexities.
Idaho’s ban was struck down by U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale, who found the ban to be unconstitutional and ruled that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry as of 9 a.m. Friday, May 16. Dale calls the ruling a matter of minority rights, saying that, “Idaho’s marriage laws deny same-sex couples the economic, practical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of marriage, relegating each couple to a stigmatized, second-class status. Plaintiffs suffer these injuries not because they are unqualified to marry, to start a family, or grow old together, but because of who they are and whom they love.”
Idaho Governor Butch Otter was quick to file a stay, doing so prior to the ruling, in fact, demanding that no marriages be allowed until after the appeals were complete, and saying that, “In 2006, the people of Idaho exercised their fundamental right, reaffirming that marriage is the union of a man and a women.” He called the ruling a “small setback in a long battle that will end at the U.S. Supreme Court,” according to The Idaho Statesman.
With Idaho added to the list, only two states are left that have yet to challenge the ban — Montana and North Dakota. Every other state in the U.S. either has a pending case, has already challenged the ban, or has ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriage. New Mexico, California, Washington, Minnesota, Iowa, New York, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, and Illinois all presently allow gay marriage, and the rest, with the exception of South Dakota where the ban’s challenge is pending, have challenged the ban, according to The Washington Post.