Oral arguments have concluded and the Huffington Post is reporting that during the SCOTUS hearing justices seemed skeptical of arguments being presented. The Post reported the judges questioned whether now was the right time or not for marriage equality, allowing same gender couples to marry. To many GLBT community members that paints a picture of a possible defeat in the quest for equality in the United States
Before the court were two questions. The first whether states would be required to issue a marriage license to two people of the same second; and secondly, would a state be required to recognize a marriage of two people of the same sex performed in another state where legal in their state where it is not legal.
Testimony from todays SCOTUS hearing can be heard at
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a key figure in overturning sections of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, suggested that he might be worried about the court moving too quickly to force states to marry gay couples.
“This definition has been with us for millennia,” Kennedy said of male-female marriages. The justice also said it would be very difficult for the court to say it knows better than the public on the issue.
Nevadans would be effected if the court rules against states being required to issue licenses to a couple of the same sex as the state’s constitutional ban was over turned by the 9th District Court of Appeals in October 2014. Should the SCOTUS decision say states are not required, any state where bans were over turned by court decision would revert to being banned.
Nevada had been on a path to remove the language from the state’s constitution through SJR13 which passed both houses of the legislature in 2013 along party lines. During the 2015 legislative session the bill was buried in committee and never brought to a vote effectively killing it by the Republican controlled 2015 legislature. Changes to Nevada’s constitution are a long road either through legislative action of a people’s initiate. Legislative action takes passage in two consecutive sessions and a vote of the people. People’s initiative takes collection of signatures and two consecutive votes of the people.
Republicans have long stood against marriage equality and will have battles on their hands as they try to take the White House in 2016. Many of the current Republican presidential contenders have expressed their opposition to marriage equality. If the SCOTUS decision does not make it the law of the land, it will be a major issue for Republicans to defend during the 2016 presidential campaign. The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 63% of Americans Favor same gender marriage while 35% oppose it.
Tonight, those is support of equality and marriage equality are being asked to join #Unite4Marriage in Reno City Plaza at 7 pm for a rally and march to Reno’s historic arch