Opinions: Supreme Court Action by Inaction

Jordan Walker, Contributing Writer

On Oct. 6, 2014, the Supreme Court lifted its iron fist once again and let stand the appeals court ruling allowing same-sex marriage in five states: Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin, joining 19 others in the race for the freedom to marry.

“The will of the people has now been overridden by unelected federal justices, accountable to no one,” Republican Mary Fallin said, who represents many of the opponents of same-sex marriage who are unhappy with the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear cases against gay marriage. The increasing support for gay marriage across the nation has triggered a bandwagon effect on the Supreme Court, resulting in its inaction with intent of resolving the gaping split emerging in the lower federal appeals courts.

The current movement gained its initial drive in the case United States v. Windsor, which ruled that Congress has no legitimate purpose for undermining legal same-sex marriage, rendering it unconstitutional to deny federal benefits to same-sex married couples. The movement has picked up momentum with the refusal to reinstate prohibitions on gay marriage in these five states and the previous 19 states that have legalized gay marriage.

The court’s liberal justices are more reluctant to press the issue to a straight up or down vote until there is more national support, which is only a matter of time. Popular opinion will be the key factor in winning the courts on same-sex marriage and will nudge federal implementation state by state through a large network of support.

Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, was quoted in The New York Times stating, “the court’s delay in affirming the freedom to marry nationwide prolongs the patchwork of state-to-state discrimination and the harms and indignity that the denial of marriage still inflicts on too many couples in too many places.”

Discrimination and fear of the unknown will continue to present roadblocks along the path to single-sex couples attempting to fully exercise their fundamental right to love their partner unless the Supreme Court puts its foot down and takes firm action nationwide.

Once again, an evolving system of modernized morals and unorthodox beliefs in an advancing world makes it harder to achieve the far-fetched American Dream as long as discrimination, hatred, and fear exist toward those who are intrinsically different.


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