Australians voted in favor of legalizing marriage equality as part of a non-binding national postal survey yesterday.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 61.6 percent of Australians voted to make same-sex marriage the law of the land, and 79.5 percent of Australian voters took part in the voluntary vote––a massive turnout.
Yesterday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that lawsuits against Kim Davis could proceed. The decision overturned a lower court that had thrown out three lawsuits filed by same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses by the county clerk.
Kim Davis became a right-wing figurehead when she refused to issue marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky in 2015 after the Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage legal. Davis opposes same-sex marriage for religious reasons. She was jailed for contempt of court after refusing to follow a judge's orders.
In an effort to appease opponents of same-sex marriage, the Kentucky state senate has passed a bill creating two separate marriage license forms: one for straight couples and another for gays.
Editor's Note: Updated with citations from the justices and reactions from those in attendance.
After decades of struggle, marriage equality is now the law of the land. Millions of Americans have been waiting for our nation’s highest court to recognize marriage equality--and it just did in a 5-4 opinion, issued by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Ever since the tide turned sharply in 2013, when the Court found that the federal government had to recognize same-sex married couples under federal law, case after case pointed toward what seemed an inevitable national consensus--at least until the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a contrary decision, setting up a showdown at the Supreme Court.
Ireland is poised to become the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage by popular vote. On Friday, May 22, voters in Ireland will be asked to consider whether “[m]arriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinctions as to their sex.” If the polls are correct, Ireland is very likely to vote “yes”—making marriage equality the law of the land.
The “Yes” campaign is polling so well, in fact, that it has led some commentators to wonder if the polls are an accurate prediction of the vote to come. Right now, marriage equality in Ireland seems almost inevitable. According to recent polling data, the measure will win—and it will win by a landslide—with as many as 69% of Irish voters prepared to vote yes.
In just a few days, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in one of the most important civil rights cases in a generation: Obergefell v. Hodges. After more than 20 years of struggle for marriage equality in the US, gay rights advocates are hopeful that, one way or another, Obergefell will legalize same-sex marriage in all fifty states.
And indicators suggest there's a very good chance.
The Battle of the Supremes: Alabama State Supreme Court Goes Rogue, Thumbs Its Nose at SCOTUS over Marriage Equality
The Alabama Supreme Court fired a shot across the bow of the U.S. Supreme Court, defiantly challenging that court's earlier decision to let same-sex marriages proceed in the state. The Tuesday opinion ordered probate judges in that state to stop issuing marriage licenses, setting up a rare legal showdown that pits state power against federal, leaving hopeful couples in a giant legal limbo and state probate judges scratching their heads at the competing directives.
The ruling effectively undoes a federal district court ruling, reviewed and passed on by both the 11th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, that had ordered state probate judges to issue same-sex marriage licenses. But whether the Alabama Supreme Court has the authority to deem itself the arbiter of the U.S. Constitution, when the federal courts already have weighed in, remains to be seen.