It's been an exciting and eventful month for marriage equality in the courts, with a number of cases brewing. Here's a wrap-up.
The ACLU officially filed suit in Utah, demanding that the state recognize the 1300+ marriages that took place between December 20, 2013 and January 6, 2014. As long as Utah keeps these legal marriages "on hold," married same-sex Utah couples and their families will lack the security and protections they need.
Click here to read more.
Another suit was filed in Florida by Equality Florida on behalf of six South Florida same-sex couples. It seeks to overturn the ban which prevents gay couples from marrying in the Sunshine State.
Read this story on tampabay.com.
Meanwhile, Virginia is emerging more and more as a critical state in the next phase of the movement. Two federal lawsuits challenging that state's ban are going forward, one led by David Boies and Ted Olson, the powerhouse legal team behind the Prop. 8 case. With a pro-gay governor, Terry McAuliffe, now in office (he defeated the very anti-gay Ken Cuccinelli), along with an equality-supportive Attorney General, Mark Herring, the political climate is certainly more favorable in the state than it was a year ago. AG Herring announced he will not defend the state's ban on marriage equality in court, believing it unconstitutional.
Click here for more on all that's going on in Virginia.
Another case making the news this week isn't a marriage case at all, but it could have significant implications for the marriage cases going forward. A federal appeals court ruled that potential jurors cannot be excluded from a jury solely because of their sexual orientation. Not only is the ruling good news in itself; because "heightened scrutiny" was applied in the decision, it could bode well for marriage equality in Nevada and elsewhere because heightened scrutiny makes it more difficult for a state to justify excluding gay couples from marriage.
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is reconsidering her defense of the state's discriminatory ban that excludes same-sex couples from marriage in light of the ruling in this case. We hope she will join the other Attorneys General who have decided they cannot defend marriage bans that deprive gay couples of their constitutional rights.
Read why the jury-duty decision could be significant for marriage cases here.
Last but not least, a new poll shows that a majority of voters supports marriage equality even in non-equality states. An even stronger majority believes that marriage equality is "inevitable."
Click here for more about these poll results.
"Inevitable" sure has a nice ring to it! And it shows that all the grassroots freedom-to-marry work over the past couple of decades is paying off, not only in the courts but in the hearts and minds of a greater and greater number of U.S. citizens.