Shortly after learning a California judge overturned that state's same-sex marriage ban, we wondered how Georgia's odious piece of similar legislation — overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2004 — might be impacted.
In the short term, says Robert Schapiro, a professor at Emory University's School of Law who reviewed the judge's 138-page opinion? Not at all.
"It's just one judge's decision's in a federal district court in California," he says. "It will be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. It will be likely be appealed from there to the U.S. Supreme Court."
That's not to say Schapiro downplays the decision. "The ruling is certainly a strong affirmation of the constitutional protection of the right to same-sex marriage," he says. "We'd seen these kinds of opinions in state courts before. But with regard to a federal court directly dealing with this issue, it certainly is a significant opinion."
For years, gay marriage proponents preferred to challenge bans in state court rather than on the federal level. The reasoning, Schapiro says: State courts would be more open to entertaining such challenges under state constitutions.
Plus, he says, going to federal court could create a kind of public backlash and make state courts less willing to pursue [the issue] — a concern that didn't escape advocates before the California case began.
Schapiro says advocates' challenges to bans in state courts have been met with some success and will likely continue to be pursued.
But even more importantly, he thinks today's ruling marks "the beginning of the federal stage of the [gay marriage] debate."
The last time anyone challenged Georgia's gay marriage ban was in 2006. It was unsuccessful. Makes ya wonder if today's ruling has given anyone any ideas.
Also Burroughston Broch can't tell when when people are being sarcastic
Hahaha look at me I'm white and I'm being flippant about racism
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