The Supreme Court of the United States today denied review of seven lower court decisions striking down Defense of Marriage acts or marriage amendments. The decisions striking down these laws and amendments will clear the way for same-sex marriage in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Virginia, as well as, states that have a similar law in the jurisdiction of those circuit courts such as Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Currently Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas have pending appeals after their laws/amendments defining marriage to be between a man and a woman were struck down by a lower court.
Prior to this decision by the Supreme Court same-sex marriage licenses were granted in California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
The Court denied review (without any comment) of the seven petitions: Bogan v. Baskin (Indiana); Walker v. Wolf (Wisconsin); Herbert v. Kitchen (Utah); McQuigg v. Bostic (Virginia); Rainey v. Bostic (Virginia); Schaefer v. Bostic (Virginia); and Smith v. Bishop (Oklahoma).
Defenders of traditional marriage vowed to fight on.
“The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue. Several federal courts – including those in the 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th circuits – still have cases working their way to the Supreme Court. ADF will continue to remain a leader in the critical effort for the freedom of the people. The people should decide this issue, not the courts,” said Bryon Baboine, a senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, who filed in defense of Oklahoma’s and Virginia’s marriage laws.
Update: Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance released the following statement:
It is important to note that the Supreme Court has not ruled on the constitutionality of same-sex ‘marriage.’ They have merely declined to address the issue at this point in time, and that is actually better than imposing their view of marriage on the whole country. Americans are having a robust debate on this important issue, and for the Supreme Court to interrupt that debate and decide the issue for the country would be disastrous.
This is exactly what they did in the case of abortion in the Roe v. Wade decision, and we have seen the damage that their judiciary overreach has had on the country.
The problem we have in this case is that some lower courts have overstepped their bounds and ruled several state marriage amendments unconstitutional. That judicial activism, overturning the will of millions of Americans who went to the polls to say they wanted marriage to remain as the union between one man and one woman, will stand. But also other decisions and marriage amendments supporting natural marriage will also stand. That means the battle to protect God’s model for marriage will continue, and the Supreme Court will have to take the case at some point. We must continue to stand boldly for freedom of conscience and for natural marriage.
In that sense, we cannot overemphasize the importance of the upcoming elections. President Obama and the Democratic leadership have done historic damage to marriage in their time in office, both with their appointment of judges and with their administrative policies. Conservatives must come out to the polls in the upcoming elections in overwhelming numbers and make sure that our elected officials and the next President of the United States respect and appreciate the right of the people to define marriage as it has always been throughout our history – the union between one man and one woman.
The FAMiLY Leader issues their statement this afternoon:
This morning’s disappointing SCOTUS non-ruling amounts to a handful of appointed, virtually non-accountable Judges punting on their duty. SCOTUS had the opportunity to correct numerous, legally and morally twisted lower court decisions. Those judges’ opinions fly in the face of 6000 years of human history, they disregard our Nation’s founding legal principles of “…the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” and they disrespect tens of millions of voters in many States, who passed Constitutional Amendments declaring what God, Nature, history and common sense all know: marriage can only truly be between one man and one woman.
The political ramifications of today’s “punt” should be obvious. “We the People” are under attack regarding our rights of conscience, our religious liberty, and our very religious/moral beliefs which were shared by the Founders. This overt, post-modern arrogance has led to much pent up frustration by the voters. It should motivate and necessitate our thorough vetting of candidates for public office, and of current officeholders, by pressuring them to tell us, “What are you going to do about this? What is your leadership strategy to right this ship? What’s your remedy to this leftist takeover by judges, who are flying in the face of ‘the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God’?”
Furthermore, why would any governor or state legislature capitulate to these Judges? As Jefferson and Lincoln noted, judges aren’t the most powerful branch of government. The other two branches have as much say constitutionally, and more say practically, than the judiciary. Where are the Lincolns and the Jeffersons of our era?