American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Marriage equality momentum: 24 victories in 11 months and counting

(Updated July 9)

Since the United States Supreme Court’s decisions in Perry and Windsor in June 2013, twenty-four consecutive pro-equality court orders have been issued from coast to coast.

Those opinions have been made in the last eleven months, at least one per month, and each continuing the momentum toward federal marriage equality.

August 26, 2013: New Mexico, Griego v. Oliver
New Mexico’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.  

 “For the reasons set forth…the operative facts being undisputed, Plaintiffs have demonstrated a significant likelihood of success on the merits of their claim.”

September 27, 2013: New Jersey, Garden State Equality v. Dow
New Jersey’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

 “Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution.”         

October 18, 2013: New Jersey, Garden State Equality v. Dow
Affirms New Jersey’s marriage ban is unconstitutional, marriage stay denied.

 “We conclude that the State has not made the necessary showing to prevail on any of the Crowe factors and that the public interest does not favor a stay.”

November 25, 2013: Illinois, Gray v. Orr
Illinois must grant marriage license to one plaintiff couple.

“Defendant is ordered to register their solemnized marriage as is presently required for all other marriages.”

December 19, 2013: New Mexico, Griego v. Oliver
Affirms New Mexico’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“We conclude that the purpose of New Mexico marriage laws is to bring stability and order to the legal relationship of committed couples by defining their rights and responsibilities as to one another, their children if they choose to raise children together, and their property. Prohibiting same-gender marriages is not substantially related to the governmental interests advanced by the parties opposing same-gender marriage or to the purposes we have identified.”

December 20, 2013: Utah, Kitchen v. Herbert
Utah’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“The State’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason. Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”

December 23, 2013: Ohio, Obergefell v. Wymyslo
Ohio must recognize lawful marriages on death certificates.

“…Once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot summarily take your marriage away, because the right to remain married is properly recognized as a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.”

January 14, 2014: Oklahoma, Bishop v. US
Oklahoma’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed. It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions. Therefore, the majority view in Oklahoma must give way to individual constitutional rights.”

February 13, 2014: Kentucky, Bourke v. Beshear
Kentucky must recognize lawful marriages.

“What this opinion does…is make real the promise of equal protection under the law. It will profoundly affect validly married same-sex couples’ experience of living in the Commonwealth and elevate their marriage to an equal status in the eyes of state law.”

February 13, 2014: Virginia, Bostic v. Rainey
Virginia’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“We have arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect.”

February 16, 2014: Texas, DeLeon v. Perry
Texas’ marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“Equal treatment of all individuals under the law is not merely an aspiration – it is a constitutional mandate.”

February 21, 2014: Illinois, Lee v. Orr
Cook County, Illinois, must issue marriage licenses immediately.

“There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry.”

March 14, 2014: Tennessee, Tanco v. Haslam
Tennessee must recognize the lawful marriages of three plaintiff couples.

“The state’s refusal to recognize the plaintiffs’ marriages de-legitimizes their relationships, degrades them in their interactions with the state, causes them to suffer public indignity, and invites public and private discrimination and stigmatization.”

March 21, 2014: Michigan, DeBoer v. Snyder
Michigan’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“Today’s decision…affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail.”

April 14, 2014: Ohio, Henry v. Himes
Ohio must recognize lawful marriages.

“The fact that a form of discrimination has been “traditional” is a reason to be more skeptical of its rationality and cause for courts to be especially vigilant.”

April 18, 2014: Indiana, Baskin v. Bogan
Indiana must recognize the lawful marriage of one plaintiff couple.

“The court finds Plaintiffs suffer a cognizable and irreparable harm stemming from the violation of their constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.”

April 23, 2014: Texas, Flood-Lesh
Texas’ marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“The best interest of the child is always the primary consideration of the court. By denying their parents the right to marry, Texas has created a suspect classification of children who are denied equal protection of the law under the 14th Amendment.”

May 9, 2014: Arkansas, Wright v. Arkansas
Arkansas’ marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“It has been over forty years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice. The hatred and fears have long since vanished and she and her husband lived full lives together; so it will be for the same-sex couples. It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it.”

May 13, 2014: Idaho, Latta v. Otter
Idaho’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“Slow as the march toward equality may seem, it is never in vain.”

May 19, 2014: Oregon, Geiger v. Kitzhaber
Oregon’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other…and rise.”

May 20, 2014: Pennsylvania, Whitewood v. Wolf
Pennsylvania’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“In the sixty years since Brown was decided, ‘separate’ has thankfully faded into history, an only ‘equal’ remains. Similarly, in future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage.”

June 6, 2014: Wisconsin, Wolf v. Walker
Wisconsin’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution.”

June 25, 2014: Indiana, Baskin, Lee, Fujii
Indiana’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“It is clear that the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals based solely on the person they choose to love. In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as a marriage – not a same- sex marriage.”

June 25, 2014: Utah, Kitchen v. Herbert
10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirms Utah’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.

 “Our commitment as Americans to the principles of liberty, due process of law, and equal protection of the laws is made live by our adherence to the Constitution of the United States of America.”

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