Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Now There Are 32! Wyoming Becomes Marriage Equality State

Just a few days after Arizona became the 31st state with marriage equality, another red state has joined the throng of marriage equality states today when Wyoming abandoned its fruitless legal battle in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's October 6 decision to not hear an appeal of two appellate circuits (the 4th and the 10th)  rulings that the federal constitution requires marriage equality.

What this means is that in 32 states (see map), same-sex couples can get married while there are three more states (Kansas, Montana and South Carolina) where federal appellate court rulings indicate that laws banning marriage equality are presumed unconstitutional, since a federal appellate court has said so about a sister state's laws in the same circuit.

This also means that there are for more states where same-sex couples can get married than where there are LGBT-based civil rights laws. This means that a couple can get married, and if their boss finds out about it, they can be fired from their job due to their sexual orientation and there is no state or federal legal recourse.

I suspect that this dispute will be the next phase of the LGBT equality movement, but it will take an affirmative change in public policy in a lot of these states where same-sex couples are brave enough to take advantage of their right to marry has been recognized by federal judges to change the state's laws.

Hat/tip to Joe Jervis

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