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Marriage Equality On The Rise

Olivia LaVoice |
October 14, 2014 | 11:21 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Marriage equality flag (Wikipedia).
Marriage equality flag (Wikipedia).
It’s certainly been an eventful week for anyone with an opinion on same-sex marriage. 

Just over a week ago, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin were all denied appeal hearings on same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s message is clear: If same-sex marriage is legal in your state, then for now, it’s staying that way. 

The Supreme Court’s decision has created a domino affect that has left anti-gay marriage activist Linda Harvey feeling “disturbed.” 

Harvey is the president of Mission:America, a Christian organization that advocates marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

“It’s certainly not looking good for the side of defending traditional marriage,” says Harvey. She’s right to feel concerned—the recent chain of events shows that marriage equality in the United States is closer than ever. 

Just one day after the Supreme Court denied hearing appeals on same sex marriage, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the ban on gay marriage in both Nevada and Idaho. A few days later a federal judge removed the ban on same-sex marriage in North Carolina. Two days following, the same was done within Alaska. 

With Arizona and Montana being the only states left within the 9th Circuit Court where gay marriage is illegal, it wouldn't be surprising to see their bans overturned soon. In Arizona, there are two lawsuits pending that will argue why the 9th Circuit Court decision on gay marriage should apply to their state as well. 

The Christian legal organization, Alliance Defending Freedom, is representing the state of Arizona in the lawsuits. Byron Baibone, the organization’s senior counsel says “people should decide this issue, not the courts,” in response to the supreme courts dismissal of state’s appeals regarding same-sex marriage. 

President of Freedom To Marry, Evan Wolfson, is thrilled with the progress of marriage equality in the U.S., but urges “we have to keep working.”

Freedom to Marry is the campaign to spread marriage equality nationwide. Wolfson says there fifteen states where a court has yet to rule in favor of same-sex marriage.“But I think the Supreme Court has made the message pretty clear to those states what the right answer is”, says Wolfson.

Wolfson feels that as a country with one Constitution “people shouldn’t have to move to another state in order to have the dignity and respect that americans should have everywhere”. 

On the other side of the issue, Linda Harvey believes people are being denied the right to oppose gay marriage. Harvey discussed her outrage that certain florists, bakers and photographers have been sued or gone out of business because they refused to provide services for a same-sex wedding. 

“You would think people wouldn’t be threatened if they decide ‘I really can’t bake your same sex wedding cake,’” says Harvey. She says the legalization of same-sex marriage is infringing on people’s right of opinion. “We are America—I assumed people wanted diversity. They don’t, they want one opinion and if you don’t have it you’ll get payback. It looks a lot like bullying.” 

Controversly, Wolfson says the continued spread of acceptance of same-sex marriage has left “families helped and no one hurt.” 

Wolfson has high hopes for complete marriage equality within the United States by 2015. If the recent sequence of events says anything; it’s that it’s certainly possible. 

Reach Staff Reporter Olivia LaVoice here or follow her on Twitter here



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