In the singular legal system of the United States, where federalism sometimes dictates a strong national law on one subject and where wide latitude among the states is seen in their regulation of other matters, gay marriage is a notably interesting topic.
That is for myriad reasons, of course, perhaps most fundamentally because same-sex marriage is an issue that touches deeply on basic notions of fairness, equality and undifferentiated treatment before the law.
As many of our readers likely know, there is wide variance among the states regarding how same-sex marriage is legally construed. On the one hand, there is a strong and progressively growing movement in many parts of the country that favors absolute equality between heterosexual and same-sex marriages. Currently, 19 states recognize gay marriage, with Pennsylvania and Oregon becoming new members on that list just earlier this month.
On the other hand, bans on same-sex legal unions still exist in a clear majority of states, including Georgia.
Interestingly, though, there has been a strong uptick of activity in those states that is centrally marked by legal challenges to bans. In other words, litigants are asking both state and federal judges to weigh in on the matter and to declare existing laws that disfavor gay unions unconstitutional.
A recent media article on the subject indicates that courts are presently considering same-sex marriage bans in 30 states, with Georgia being one of those states.
Notably, attorneys general across the country are reacting in different ways to court rulings that strike down the laws of their states. Some officials say they won’t challenge those rulings, while other strike an aggressive tone and note that they will appeal.
It remains to be seen how Georgia officials will react in the event that a court strikes down the state’s gay marriage ban. We will keep readers duly informed.
Source: Quincy Herald-Whig, “Legal fight over gay marriage spreads to 30 states,” Carson Walker and Brady McCombs (Associated Press), May 22, 2014