Kansas marriages begin

Timothy Kincaid

November 12th, 2014

marriage 2014

Dark purple – marriages now may occur
Light Purple – states are in circuits which have found for marriage equality
Red – the Sixth Circuit has upheld the bans on equality in these states

The state of Kansas has run out of measures by which to prevent the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Supreme Court just chose to deny stay in their latest appeal. Only two justices, Scalia and Thomas indicated a desire to have the judicial ruling overturning Kansas’ anti-gay marriage ban put on hold until heard by the highest court.

There are many ways to read this decision. Perhaps the likeliest is that seven justices agree that the court is unlikely to rule with the Sixth Circuit that states may prohibit gay citizens from sharing the same access to civil proceedings as heterosexual citizens. Also, that only two justices are so vehemently anti-gay as to spitefully wish to force gay Kansans to wait for their day of equality.

Personally, I think it also suggests that this may not be a 5-4 decision when it is finally decided.

Meanwhile, also today a federal judge ruled that South Carolina’s anti-gay ban violates the constitution. He has placed a temporary stay until the 20th for that state to request a more permanent stay from either the Fourth Circuit or the Supreme Court. Based on the Kansas decision, it is safe to assume that such a stay will not be granted.

Richard Rush

November 12th, 2014

If it were not for the Sixth Circuit, we would now be able to drive coast-to-coast without experiencing the anxiety of passing through a hate-state.

Stefano A

November 12th, 2014

Personally, I think it also suggests that this may not be a 5-4 decision when it is finally decided.

That was my initial reaction as well. I thought it was somewhat revealing that Chief Justice John Roberts had voted to lift the stay.

Sir Andrew

November 12th, 2014

I have never thought this would be a 5-4 decision in our favour. Because of the clear language of the Constitution, I’ve always felt this would be a matter that even the conservative judges would have no trouble deciding for us. I think a 7-2 vote is quite probable, and has been indicated for quite a while.

It’s obvious that even were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Monroe to walk into chambers and explain that All means All (not their amendment, but even so…), Scalia would never vote for anything positive for the gay community. And of course his lapdog Thomas would follow along.

A 6-3 vote is possible, but I don’t think it will be even that close. One would hope Roberts would be able to whip up a unanimous vote, but he’s not god.

Ben in oakland

November 12th, 2014

I’m still going fo. 5-4 9 our favor.

I never underestimate to what depths homohatred will debase and abase itselft.


November 13th, 2014

I’d been figuring Roberts for a vote in our favor when the issue is finally taken up by the Court. Interesting that Alito voted against a stay, but I’m not counting on his vote when the chips are down, although both he and Roberts seem much more interested in establishing a plutocracy than in social issues.


November 13th, 2014

One shouldn’t assume that the SCOTUS denial of the Kansas stay was 7-2. There could have been as many as 2 unrecorded votes in favor of a stay, apart from Scalia and Thomas’ recorded dissents.

This SCOTUS denial of the Kansas stay is a very encouraging sign. It means that at least 5 SCOTUS justices will grant cert of at least one case in the 6th or 9th circuits and will find that marriage bans are unconstitutional; they would have stayed the Kansas marriages if they thought that the bans were constitutional and the marriages could be put in limbo.

I still think SCOTUS will overturn the 6th circuit, 5-4, not 6-3.

Paul Douglas

November 13th, 2014

I can see no reason why Alito (Scalia/Thomas clone) would support marriage equality! We will be lucky to make 5-4 IMHO.


November 13th, 2014

I’m inclined to agree with Paul. If overturning DOMA3 only mustered a 5-4 split, it seems even less likely that more than 5 Justices would side against state-enacted bans. At least, with DOMA3, they could have employed 10th amendment arguments to suggest that the Federal government overstepped its bounds. Such an argument would actually favor the state-enacted bans. So if none of the 4 conservative Justices dared to favor equality with the DOMA ruling, they are even less likely to do so with a state marriage case.


November 13th, 2014

Oh, and Richard, even when all the states have marriage equality, there will still be quite a few “hate states.” They may have to honor our marriages, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it, or us.


November 15th, 2014

“Personally, I think it also suggests that this may not be a 5-4 decision when it is finally decided.”

Coyly, Tim does not say which side he thinks will win.

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