Tags: Gay Marriage | Supreme Court | Roy Moore | Defense of Marriage Act

States Push Back on Federal Gay Marriage Rulings

By    |   Wednesday, 28 January 2015 03:57 PM

Lawmakers in several states are circumventing court rulings that have overturned bans on gay marriage by introducing bills in legislatures prohibiting local government employees from offering marriage licenses to gay couples seeking to wed, The New York Times reported.

Bills have been introduced in the state legislatures of Texas, South Carolina and Oklahoma by Republican leaders that also cut salaries to those government workers who issue marriage licenses to gay couples, the Times said.

Some states have included "opt-out" clauses in their legislation, giving government employees a decision on whether they want to work with same-sex couples seeking to marry, or prefer not to participate, the Times noted.

The actions come as the U.S. Supreme Court moves to debate whether same-sex marriage is constitutional.

The high court announced in 2014 that it would review gay marriage cases from four states, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, likely putting to rest once and for all the issue when it convenes to announce decisions in June, the Los Angeles Times reported. The move to take on the cases came after the court struck down a key provision in the Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013.

Some, however, have boldly asserted that federal courts do not hold sway on the matter.

In Alabama, the state's outspoken Chief Justice Roy Moore, a gay marriage opponent, is defying a federal decision by U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade, who approved a gay couple's petition to have their California marriage recognized there, NPR noted of the backlash. The couple now lives in Mobile and are parents to a son.

Moore wrote Alabama's governor to argue that Granade's decision "has raised serious, legitimate concerns about the propriety of federal court jurisdiction over the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment," NPR said, noting Granade put her decision in the case on hold for two weeks as the state considered an appeal.

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Lawmakers in several states are circumventing court rulings that have overturned bans on gay marriage by introducing bills in legislatures prohibiting local government employees from offering marriage licenses to gay couples seeking to wed, The New York Times reported.
Supreme Court, Roy Moore, Defense of Marriage Act
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2015-57-28
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 03:57 PM
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