States push for Supreme Court to reach same-sex marriage decision

Beth Elderkin --- The Daily Dot 

Supporters of same-sex marriage and its opponents may be on different sides of the issue, but there’s one thing many of them can agree on: It’s time for an answer.

Three legal briefs were filed last week to address the rise in lawsuits that have been filed since the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Attorney generals from 15 states that allow same-sex marriage and 17 that don’t filed legal briefs with the Supreme Court on Thursday. They’re asking the justices to address cases from Virginia, Utah, and Oklahoma. According to the Associated Press, state attorney generals have asked the Supreme Court to issue a ruling specifically about state bans on gay marriage, because the bans have been ruled unconstitutional in the federal and appeals courts.

“The argument that the debate over legal recognition of marriages between same-sex couples should be allowed to continue in state legislatures and popular elections ignores the fundamental nature of the right at issue,” the Massachusetts brief states.

Even some religious groups, a driving force in keeping gay marriage illegal, are throwing their hats in the ring. A coalition of five faith-based groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Mormon church, also filed a joint brief late late week. The coalition wants the Supreme Court to take on Utah’s case to affirm that state’s right, and thereby other states’ rights, to ban same-sex marriage.

According to the brief, the increase in lawsuits has created “legal uncertainty for religious organizations,” mainly in not wanting to perform or recognize same-sex marriages.

“Is their right to refrain from participating in, recognizing or facilitating marriages between persons of the same sex, contrary to their religious convictions, adequately shielded by the First Amendment?” the brief asks. “Only a prompt decision by this court can reduce the mounting tension surrounding such unresolved questions by removing the threat of judicially imposed same-sex marriage.”

Click here to read more.