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Opening Arguments

The red state front lines

While we've been duking it out in Indiana over whether to move our gay marriage ban from the law to the state constitution, judges in Utah and Oklahoma have ruled those states' limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violates the U.S. Constitution on equal protection grounds. The language and the reasoning used have become pretty standard in eliminating "moral disapproval" as a rationale for laws:

 The only real novelty is that, between this ruling and the ruling in Utah last month, the new legal battlefield over gay marriage lies in America’s reddest states. That may be an extra inducement for SCOTUS to deal with this sooner rather than later.

I think that's true, and the judge in Oklahoma has some thoughts on that, too:


"Rhetorical shift" indeed, although I might take issue with his implication that the Supreme Court will ultimately strike down gay marriage laws everywhere, at least given the current makeup of the court.

But he is right that his is never going to go away until the court does something. That brings up the question of whether we should continue to devote so much time and energy to the issue here when it is ultimately going to be out of our hands.