A look ahead at the year ahead in marriage equality

Ricki Mason and Susana Raphael Wellbourne wed after Washington passed Referendum 74 last year (Photo: Nate Gowdy)

Ricki Mason and Susana Raphael Wellbourne wed after Washington passed Referendum 74 last year (Photo: Nate Gowdy)

BY MORGAN WELCH
dot429

To begin with, the surprise ruling for marriage equality in Utah may extend to other states; the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which made and upheld the decision, also has jurisdiction over the likely battlegrounds of Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, and Colorado. Both Oklahoma and Kansas have anti-equality amendments written into their constitutions—but until December 20, so did Utah.

According to the Washington Post, “Judges in 17 states are considering at least 31 cases seeking to allow gays and lesbians to marry, according to a private count kept by one LGBT group and shared with The Washington Post.” Same-sex couples across the nation are turning to the court system to demand their rights: “in states ranging from deep red Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi to purple North Carolina, Nevada and Virginia are suing, many citing this year’s Supreme Court decisions, which other federal judges have recognized.” Most significant of all could be the Respect for Marriage Act; if it passes, the state-by-state fight for equality would become effectively moot.

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