The same-sex marriage steamroller continues rolling over the opposition, largely through the aid of our out-of-control judges, which the congressional GOP seems uninterested in reining in. The states of Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas are currently being mopped up, and being southern states, their racial pasts can't be left out of it. From the AP's Will Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas gay marriage bans survive legal challenge?
(January 10th, 2015):
Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas took their stands against same-sex marriage Friday before a federal appellate court with a legacy of pushing Deep South conservatives out of their comfort zones on civil rights.
Notice they've got to include that little dig from the first paragraph.
Lawyers for gays and lesbians urged the judges to summon the courage of their predecessors. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals systematically struck down racial segregation laws in the 1960s, at a time when Southern states were refusing to change and the U.S. Supreme Court seemed reluctant to lead the way.
Staying stuck in the 1960s seems to be a successful strategy, though it shouldn't be.
"This board has a proud tradition in that regard," said Roberta Kaplan, representing gay and lesbian couples challenging Mississippi's marriage ban. "Times have blinded this country about African-Americans, times have blinded this country about women and times have blinded this country about gay people," she said.
Here we go again.
Same-sex marriage is now legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia, where 70 percent of the nation's population lives.
In most of these states, it was foisted upon the population by the kritarchy which the congressional GOP refuses to rein in.
But gay and lesbian marriage rights are new in terms of recorded history, and these Southern states must be allowed to protect their citizens from unforeseen consequences even if the rest of the country goes a different direction, their lawyers argued. "The law is moving, but it is not there yet," said attorney Justin Matheny, urging a three-judge panel to give Mississippi more time to consider whether it's ready for change. Two of the judges — James Graves and Patrick Higginbotham — frequently interrupted and challenged the states' arguments. Graves asked how many more years Texans would need before deciding whether gay marriage is acceptable or not — 20? Five?
What if Texans never decide it's acceptable?
"The people of Texas have the right to proceed with caution and see how this social experiment plays out," Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell responded. Higginbotham suggested that similar arguments were made in the 1960s, when the 5th Circuit heard cases from Texas to Florida, repeatedly overcoming state support for laws that maintained a racially discriminatory society. "Those words, 'will Mississippi change its mind?' have resonated in this hall before," Higginbotham said.
Once again, dredging up the 1960s. And they accuse conservatives of living in the past! Later the AP article tells us who appointed these judges:
Higginbotham and Smith were appointed to the court by President Ronald Reagan; Graves was appointed by President Barack Obama.
A split among the appellate courts makes an eventual intervention by the Supreme Court very likely. Anti-gay-marriage laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee were upheld in November by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. But four other appeals courts — based in Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and Richmond, Virginia — have ruled in favor of gay and lesbian couples. And with only 14 states still prohibiting same-sex unions, the justices may be more likely to consider a nationwide change.
How about this? Why not let each state choose its own circuit court? States could go court-shopping. If they didn't want same-sex marriage, for example, they could join the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The 5th Circuit also is considering a split decision. Texas and Mississippi's bans were ruled unconstitutional, while U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman upheld Louisiana's ban, bucking a trend of 20 consecutive rulings overturning bans in other states. Feldman's ruling was the first to uphold a state ban since the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. Other states still enforcing same-sex marriage bans are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri (except in Kansas City and St. Louis), Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.