While a federal appeals court ruled the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in three states, opposing forces were ready to defend the ban to the United States Supreme Court and Americans were anxious to hear what they would rule. Legalization of same-sex marriage has been creeping into the U.S. since May of 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state to allow it, but now, over ten years later, we’re still fighting to bring it to the rest of the country. On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals, effectively denying eleven states the allowance to uphold the ban.
Some of the affected states are fighting anyway, trying to stop gay marriage from happening, but it’s a fight they seem predestined to lose and some of the states have already begun performing marriages and embracing marriage equality. The official number as of Monday of states allowing gay marriage was bumped up from nineteen to twenty-four, and though it’s hard to tell with the resistant states and the couple of non-affected states who are now eager to join in on the legalization, the number could be up to thirty-five before long. That means that finally, after a decade of slow progress, over half of the country’s fifty states will have legalized gay marriage.
However, Justice Kennedy of the supreme court has just blocked two states, Nevada and Idaho, from implementing same-sex marriage legalization until further review has been done by the court. This is not uncommon, nor is it something to read too much into, but it does seem to indicate that the Supreme Court’s intention was not to allow gay marriage in too many states at once.
The progress has been slow, but effective, and it’s possible that gradual change is the answer to winning a fight with heavy opposition. The unreasonable arguments that many opposers of gay marriage have made have been proven untrue by the slow legalization process and the states which are willing to legalize seem to be doing so in small waves rather than one at a time. Still, the sudden halt in what looked like a sprint forward is a little disheartening. Hopefully the pause will be very temporary and the states will continue to legalize and the remaining fifteen to twenty states will be marrying indiscriminately as well.