Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: The Road to the Supreme Court and Beyond

Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: The Road to the Supreme Court and Beyond

Jason Pierceson

Language: English

Pages: 280

ISBN: 1442212055

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Same-sex marriage has become one of the defining social issues in contemporary U.S. politics. State court decisions finding in favor of same-sex relationship equality claims have been central to the issue’s ascent from nowhere to near the top of the national political agenda. Same Sex Marriage in the United States tells the story of the legal and cultural shift, its backlash, and how it has evolved over the past 15 years.

This book aids in a classroom examination of the legal, political, and social developments surrounding the issue of same-sex marriage in the United States. While books about same-sex marriage have proliferated in recent years, few, if any, have provided a clear and comprehensive account of the litigation for same-sex marriage, and its successes and failures, as this book does.

Updated through 2013, this edition details the watershed rulings in favor of same-sex marriage: the Supreme Court's June 26th repeal of DOMA, and of Proposition 8 in California, as well as the many states (New Jersey, Illinois, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Nevada among others) where activists and public leaders have made recent strides to ensure that gay couples have an equal right to marry.

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Constitutional Court has given the legislature two years (from 2011) to resolve the constitutional violation stemming from the denial of full equality for same-sex couples. This approach mirrors that of South Africa, with a series of court decisions expanding rights and protections for same-sex couples, followed by a finding that prohibitions on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, but with a legislative mandate to correct the problem. Also, the jurisprudential “hook” for the Constitutional

quo–oriented. For instance, civil union legislation was first introduced in the National Congress in 1995 but repeatedly has stalled. Second, the LGBT activist community in Brazil has not been as focused as movements in other Latin American countries, instead focusing on issues such as violence against sexual minorities. 70 Legal factors also facilitated the judicialization of the issue. The Citizen Constitution, put into effect in 1988 after the end of the military dictatorship in 1985, contains

voted against it, but strong lobbying and the support of President Kirchner revived the bill. Kirchner took a strongly secular position, stating in a speech that the actions of the Catholic Church were in opposition to the “times of the Crusades.” Indeed, the success of the bill can be partially explained by antipathy toward the church in Argentina and its history of siding with authoritarian rule. As well, public support for same-sex marriage in Argentina is the highest in Latin America.

Michigan are limiting recognition and protections for same-sex couples in a manner inconsistent with public sentiment in the state. Ohio The situation in Ohio mirrors that of Wisconsin. A super-DOMA was enacted in 2004, but domestic partnerships for same-sex couples have escaped the reach of the amendment. Immediately after the amendment was passed, judges invalidated the state’s domestic violence law as it applied to unmarried couples, but the state supreme court overruled this approach. 120

from Rhode Island married in Massachusetts, thus reflecting a lack of innovation on the part of courts in the state. 31 Despite being a heavily Democratic state, Rhode Island politics have exhibited a high level of traditionalist attitudes toward sexual minorities, with particularly strong influence from the Catholic Church. Indeed, while courts in much more conservative states were invalidating anti-sodomy statutes in the 1990s, the Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld its law in State v. Lopes

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