Supreme Court releases Fall schedule, no mention of same-sex marriage cases
With five cases in front of the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) and 70 cases in lower courts nation wide, the question of ‘if the highest court in the land will take up the same-sex marriage fight’ has shifted to ‘when.’
But yesterday SCOTUSBlog released the first of their 2014/15 term schedule and there is no sign of any of the pending same-sex marriage cases.
There hasn’t been a lack of effort to expedite the issue here in Virginia, both those supporting and against the ban have asked for a response from SCOTUS as soon as possible.
“Throughout this process we have fought for equality while also recognizing the need for an orderly process,” said Attorney General Herring back in August after the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was struck down by the Fourth Circuit Court. “I’ve worked to move the case along quickly and asked the Supreme Court to take this extraordinary step because I don’t want this discriminatory ban to stay in place one day longer than necessary.”
The defendants in the case have echoed Herrings request for a speedy response from SCOTUS. Lawyers for George E. Schaefer, one of the Virginia court clerks being sued, petitioned for a writ of certiorari in late August saying the question of legal same-sex marriage is “of urgent National importance that only [SCOTUS] can resolve.”
SCOTUS still has time, and probably will, add a number of cases to their term in the coming days. Norfolk attorney described the situation saying the highest court in the land has court cases ‘stacked to the ceiling’ and it can take days to plan the session.
But some activists are tired of waiting.
“It’s easy to forget that all of these cases challenging state marriage bans across the country are about real people and real families,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin in a release sent out today. “And while we usually think of love and celebration when talking about weddings, the truth is there are essential legal protections and safeguards that come with marriage. Until we have nationwide legal marriage equality, unwed same-sex couples and their families are at risk of devastating hardships that married couples don’t face if the unthinkable happens. It’s difficult enough for families to deal with crisis without the added layer of hardship from legal marriage inequality that gay and lesbian Americans face.”
Because of the appeals process, Hamar said SCOTUS really has no choice but to act in some way on the issue of same-sex marriage. Either the court will hear the case and a date will be set for the hearing, or they will deny the appeal and the ruling will be bounced back to the lower courts, effectively ending same-sex marriage bans in the rest of the country.
GayRVA will stay up-to-date as this story develops.
BREAKING: Bill to allow a “person” to deny services for same-sex weddings passes Virginia House subcommittee
BREAKING: A bill aiming to protect religious organizations when they deny services related to a same-sex wedding was passed by a voice in a House subcommittee today. Submitted by Delegate Nicholas J. Freitas (top image right, R-30, Culpepper) proposed to shield any person from punishment from the state, civil or otherwise, if they deny services [...]January 19, 2017
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