quasi in rem

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Blogger eye on the married guy... Lots of gay marriage news today...

Reuter reports that "Four gay couples sued in a Florida federal court on Wednesday for the right to marry, saying the U.S. Constitution forbids "the creation of second-class citizens" through bans on same-sex marriage. " They are actually challenging the DOMA. I think there are likely standing issues here, unless these couples were married in California or Canada, but depending on the court, these may be ignored.

The Miami Herald notes that the road will be difficult for these couples: Constitutional-law scholar Susan Low Bloch, a professor at Georgetown University Law School, said the federal suit may not be winnable. ... 'I think that states may have some justification for denying those rights,' she said. 'States could say there is a government interest in the traditional nuclear family of a [heterosexual] man, woman and children because it has been historically recognized by society and they want to maintain that.'"

Well, that may be true if the Court applies rational basis review or even rational review with teeth. But after Lawrence, anything is possible. It seems like those reasons would not stand up to intermediate scrutiny, similar ones failed in VMI, or strict scrutiny.

Meanwhile in Massachusetts USATODAY.com reports that: "On Monday, Massachusetts will become the first state where it will be legal for a man to marry a man, or a woman to marry a woman. And the rush to marry is evident in this longtime vacation haven for gay men and lesbians." Only for in staters though, at least in Boston.: "The City of Boston decided on Wednesday that it would not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples from other states when gay marriage becomes legal in Massachusetts next week."

Meanwhile "Conservative groups pleaded with a federal judge Wednesday in an eleventh-hour bid to stop the nation's first state-sanctioned gay marriages from taking place next week in Massachusetts. " "U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro said he would issue a decision Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. Both sides said they will take their case to a federal appeals court if necessary."

I doubt he will take any foray into this historically state controlled issue.

Referendums to ban gay marriage have recently been faced with defeat (Virginia notwithstanding) in several state legislatures. The most recent example is Louisiana.: "A proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages in Louisiana fell one vote shy of passage Wednesday in the state Senate"

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