Gay Marriage Laws: States Want Supreme Court to Put Same-Sex Marriage Issue to Rest
A federal court in Chicago ruled Thursday against marriage equality bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, but all eyes are now on the Supreme Court, according to The Associated Press.
Wisconsin's attorney general told AP he will appeal to the Supreme Court to reverse the ruling by the federal appellate court, at the same time about 32 states asked the highest U.S. court to settle the issue once and for all.
There are about 1.5 million estimated LGBT Latinos in the country with more than 100,000 of them in same-sex relationships, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA.
The Supreme Court struck down the 1996 DOMA, Defense of Marriage Act, which had originally supported bans on homosexual marriages, in 2013.
Since then, federal courts across the country have been striking down bans on marriage equality in more than 20 states, with only one exception as of Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, a President Reagan appointee, did not side with the LGBT community in a court ruling Wednesday, opting to uphold the same-sex marriage ban, MSNBC reported.
"[It] is not for this Court to resolve the wisdom of same-sex marriage," Feldman said in a 32-page opinion, according to MSNBC. "Federalism is not extinct. Federalism remains a vibrant and essential component of our nation's constitutional structure."
The Supreme Court has received two separate filings in order to settle the issue, AP reported.
Fifteen states led by Massachusetts, which allow same-sex marriage, asked the seven justices to hear three cases from Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma and overturn the marriage bans, while 17 states led by Colorado asked for cases from Utah and Oklahoma -- but they did not request a specific ruling.
But the latest victory in Indiana and Wisconsin put the tally at 22, including the District of Columbia, and was determined in just nine days, compared to a usual months-long hearing, AP reported.
The opinion by judge in the Chicago court mentioned the states' defenses of marriage traditionally being between a man and woman, but said that traditions can be harmful.
"If no social benefit is conferred by a tradition and it is written into law and it discriminates against a number of people and does them harm beyond just offending them, it is not just a harmless anachronism; it is a violation of the equal protection clause," the opinion said, according to AP.