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Which States Are Next for Marriage Equality

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By Matt Baume

Big wins for marriage from coast to coast, and not just in the major battleground states. We’ll have a rundown of election results, including the states where marriage could be expanding next. Plus, major news is due in the case to overturn Prop 8. We could be looking at marriage resuming in California in as little as two weeks.

Last week’s election marks the start of a very busy few weeks for marriage equality. We’ll be getting a major Prop 8 decision from the Supreme Court before the end of the month. Subscribe now at AFER.org and here on YouTube to be the first to know when that news comes.

Meanwhile, we’ve had tremendous victories in all four states with marriage on the ballot. In addition, voters retained Justice David Wiggins, one of the judges who overturned Iowa’s anti-gay marriage ban. And we gained numerous supportive legislators in multiple states, which gives us new momentum for expanding the freedom to marry.

So, what comes next? Marriages can start in Maine and Washington on December 6th. In Maryland, they’ll start on January 1st. Visit AFER.org/election2012 for more info about marriage in each state.

As we saw in this election, public support for marriage equality continues to rise. We’re likely to see major advances in several states over the next few months.

The states to watch include Minnesota and Rhode Island, where legislatures picked up numerous supporters of marriage equality.

In Colorado, a legislator who blocked civil unions lost his re-election bid and will likely be replaced as Speaker by openly gay Representative Mark Ferrandino.

In Illinois and Delaware, bills are in the works for 2013. There’s a ballot measure in the works in Ohio. Public outreach and education continues in Oregon. There’s a lawsuit underway in Hawaii.

And depending on the outcome of a lawsuit in New Jersey, we may see marriage on the ballot or in the legislature, where it would need enough votes to override Governor Chris Christie’s veto.

Meanwhile, we’re just days away from the major news from the Supreme Court of the United States. The court meets on November 20th, two days before Thanksgiving, to consider whether to take cases to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.

If they decide to take the Prop 8 case, we’ll have briefings and oral arguments over the next few months, and then a decision by the end of June.

If they decide not to take the case, we’ll most likely get notification on Monday, November 26th. Weddings could potentially start as soon as the next day.

This is a crucial milestone in the case. No matter how the court rules, we’ll be ready to bring you the news and explain what it means. Subscribe at AFER.org and on YouTube to stay up-to-date and informed.

16 Comments

  • 1. Sagesse  |  November 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

    In today's New York Times, Brian Brown is after one last marriage amendment in Indiana. Probably won't get off the ground, but if it does, that's another battle to be fought.

  • 2. Steven  |  November 13, 2012 at 11:36 am

    hmm If Prop 8 case's appeal is rejected by SCOTUS it doesn't means that marriages can start right away. The case needs to go back to the 9th Circuit to lift the stay. It could take a couple weeks to a month, it depends on how fast 9th Circuit moves with this case.

  • 3. RAJ  |  November 13, 2012 at 11:39 am

    That would be an extraordinarily difficult state for us to win at this point, but –if/when– an Indiana ballot measure has to be fought by our side, I hope we're even smarter, more hard-working, more strategic and as sincere as we were this time around.

    I've had a great week letting it all sink in, but I definitely feel it's time to get back to work.

  • 4. Stefan  |  November 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Marriages would resume in a matter of days.

  • 5. Stefan  |  November 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    The amendment in Indiana would also ban civil unions. According to Nate Silver's previous analysis, such an amendment would be likely to fail even in Indiana at this point:
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/

  • 6. Robert West  |  November 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Based on what?

    Steven is right about the legal procedure – the 9th circuit would have to issue a ruling lifting the stay, and in so doing would probably give the state a couple of weeks to get its procedures in order.

  • 7. RAJ  |  November 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Now THAT would be something!

    If an amendment were to actually fail in a red state and not a "deep blue" state, pffft . . . there would go another NOM talking point.

  • 8. Mike in Baltimore  |  November 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Remember, Indiana is not just a red state, but a DEEP red state.

    I grew up there, and still have dozens of family members who live there, so I know quite a bit of the politics of the state.

    For instance, prior to 2008, the previous time Indiana voted for a Democratic Party nominee for President was 1964 (Johnson vs. Goldwater). Prior to that? 1936.

    And at least one county (Kosciusko) is so deep red, it regularly votes for the GOTP candidate year after year after year. The last time Kosciusko County voted for the Democratic Party Presidential nominee? Prior to 1952 (yes, the county voted for Goldwater in 1964).

    Yes, there have been scattered Democratic Party members voted in as Governor and/or Senator, but they are the exception, not the rule, for the state. But usually the 'fault' is not the D, but the R, candidate (see Mourdock [current treasurer of the state] vs. Donnelly).

    Also remember, Indiana gave the US (tomato is spelled with an 'e') Danny-boy Quayle.

  • 9. Mike in Baltimore  |  November 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I believe SCOTUS could order the stay to be removed if it decides to deny cert. If it doesn't, then the 9th Circuit is almost certainly prepared to remove the stay as soon as SCOTUS rules to deny cert.

  • 10. Bill S.  |  November 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Given the high profile of this case and the particular diligence courts give to cases implicating both fundamental rights claims and equal protection claims, I would be surprised if the 9th Circuit took more than one business day to issue its mandate (this is literally a one-sentence order).

    There is no burden on California in immediately complying with the ruling: I believe they already use gender-neutral forms for their marriage licenses.

  • 11. johnfromco  |  November 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Frank McNulty (the outgoing Colorado Speaker of the House) did not lose re-election. He was re-elected by a nearly 2 to 1 margin. However, his bull shoot that he did at the end of the last legislative session didn't go unnoticed and the house flipped from Republican to Democrat controlled. Thus, he's not going to be the 2013 Speaker of the House – an openly gay Democrat who cosponsored a civil union bill (that McNulty killed in a particularly ugly way last year) will be.

    McNulty has stated he won't be seeking leadership in the house this year – probably because his stunt even pissed off his own party. They lost a lot of power because of it.

  • 12. David Henderson  |  November 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    The Colorado House Republicans voted on their leadership for the next session on November 8th. The new Minority Leader is Mark Waller from Colorado Springs.

    Of the other Republican leadership next session, only one, Kathleen Conti (Caucus Chair), has a recorded vote on civil unions—against, in the finance committee. During the committee meeting, she asked about the provision in the civil unions bill that says that people who are related cannot enter into a civil union with one another, and why that was in the bill. She also asked whether an employer could be sued if they offer benefits to employee's spouses but do not offer them to civil union partners. The answer was no: they would be able to decide whether or not to extend benefits to civil union partners, but under existing Colorado law, if they do offer those benefits they would not be able to discriminate and only offer them to opposite-sex civil union partners.

  • 13. Steve  |  November 14, 2012 at 6:28 am

    That's just another reason why Civil Unions aren't equal

  • 14. fiona64  |  November 14, 2012 at 9:26 am

    That would be something indeed. I have never lived anywhere more ass-backward than Indiana. Seriously. I was never so happy as the day I graduated and got the hell out of there.

  • 15. Taboo Jive – A Wate&hellip  |  November 15, 2012 at 6:26 am

    [...] in states that do not recognize marriage equality.” That work is already in full swing, as several more states are initiating or continuing plans to get marriage equality onto their books. The next few years [...]

  • 16. Keiffer  |  November 26, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Does anyone know the New Jersey court case mentioned herein?

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