Supreme Court takes no action on marriage cases; every day of denial hurts families
October 02, 2014
Today, October 2, the United States Supreme Court announced its orders from its September 29 "long conference" - its first day back from summer recess, where it considers hundreds of petitions seeking certiorari, or requests for review by the nation's highest court. Among the cases distributed to the conference yesterday were 7 petitions from 5 different marriage cases, emanating from Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin.
The Court's order list today did not include any of the cases seeking the freedom to marry. Just because the Court took no action on the marriage cases today does not mean that the marriage cases will not be considered during the 2014-2015 session; often, petitions are redistributed to the Court for multiple conferences, giving the nine Justices several chances to discuss the various cases.
A list of petitions from the September 29 conference that have been rejected by the Court will likely be published on Monday, October 6.
Despite the fact that the Supreme Court will have several other chances to decide to take a marriage case, it is disappointing that the Court did not act as soon as possible and take the first giant step toward bringing the country to national resolution on the question of whether same-sex couples have the freedom to marry. With five different cases before them - and in the glow of an exciting 15 months where a momentous chorus of 40 rulings in state and federal court have struck down anti-marriage laws as unconstitutional - there's never been a clearer indication that America is ready for the freedom to marry nationwide.
After all, every day that same-sex couples are denied the freedom to marry is a day of indignity, injustice, and harm for real American families. Anti-marriage laws prevent same-sex couples from fairly accessing Social Security protections, interfere with parenting rights, and can result in tragic situations - like the loss of a partner or spouse - becoming even worse without the protections of marriage. Read more about the harms of marriage denial here.
In the coming months, supporters of the freedom to marry must continue to raise their voices in support of ending the denial of marriage to same-sex couples. By amplifying the voices of a bipartisan, multigenerational, geographically diverse array of messengers, we can make the case that America - all of America - is ready for the freedom to marry.
Future conferences this month where the marriage cases may come before the Supreme Court are scheduled for October 10, October 17, October 31.
Learn all about the freedom to marry at the U.S. Supreme Court - including information on each of the five cases seeking certiorari, vital resources, and the schedule for this fall's SCOTUS conferences - with our Supreme Court resource.
As the fall presses on, you can leave your mark on this crucial moment for the freedom to marry by donating to Freedom to Marry HERE.