Monday, October 06, 2014

Those Two Little Words May Be Coming To South Carolina

There I was, at home this morning, getting a list of things that we need for our trip to Washington; money for the license, money for the judge; money; something nice to wear when I say ‘I do.’

And I started thinking, again. Is this going to change our relationship? I mean, we’ve been chugging along really nicely for almost fourteen years without putting a ring on it, and so does this matter? Two little words?

They do; I do. Yes, I matter; and Carlos matters. And I want to be able to say to people “This is my husband Carlos” not “This is my partner/boyfriend/lover [ick]/domestic partner.”

Husband. So it does matter, and I am getting ready and I am getting excited, and then I check this interwebz thing and I see that just this morning the United States Supreme Court began its fall session, and in one of its first decisions, have announced it will not take up any of the same-sex marriage cases from the five states it was presented; not Utah; not Oklahoma; not Virginia, Indiana, or Wisconsin.

And this little announcement, this SCOTUS basically saying these cases don’t matter, and mean nothing, means that those lower court rulings will go into effect for all same-sex marriage cases, making same-sex marriage legal in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

I was stunned, and then I saw Virginia on that list. Virginia is huge for us in South Carolina because one of those appeals was filed by the Fourth Circuit Court, and that court also hears cases in South Carolina, including our own Will of the People Fund-raising case, Bradacs v. Nikki Haley.

So, it looks like same-sex marriage will become legal in eleven more states, by virtue of them being in federal circuit court regions, and one of those states is ours.

South-freaking-Carolina. Let me say that again: South-freaking-Carolina! 

And the other states under the jurisdiction of appeals courts that struck down the bans include North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado, meaning the number of states where marriage equality lives will likely jump from 19 to 30!


Now, there is a caveat, as always; SCOTUS could take up a same-sex marriage case in the future if a Court of Appeals rules a state’s marriage ban is constitutional, but no appeals court has ever made that ruling to date, so it appears cautiously unlikely that it will happen.

So, does this mean I’m unpacking? Am I gonna put the judges cash, and the licensing cash in the bank? No. We are still going to Washington because there is no word yet on when marriage becomes legal here, and we want to be married on what will be our fourteenth anniversary, October 17, and we want my Dad to be there, almost as much as he wants to be there himself.

But, but, this means that sometime, maybe before the end of the year, we can be married in our own backyard; or , if it’s cold outside, maybe under a Christmas tree.

I look fabulous wrapped in a bow!

I do!
PS Those are our wedding rings up there.


♫Musique♫ said...

As A fellow South Carolinian, I'm ready for the day I can say "my husband," and not "my partner." Change is coming whether the conservatives like it or not

Mark in DE said...

I'm still unclear about how NOT hearing the cases makes it legal in those states, but I trust you say "Hurray!!"

Bob Slatten said...

Mark, since the District Courts have ruled same-sex marriage legal in certain states [Virginia, for ex] SCOTUS will NOT hear those cases arguing for stays in the District Court rulings, meaning those rulings, making marriage legal, will stand in those states where cases were filed.

anne marie in philly said...

I saw SC in internet readings this morning and screamed SQUEEEEEEEEEE (to myself, lest my office mates think I am crazy) cause I know what that means for ALL of you. and I figured you were going to WA just because.

the rings are gorgeous and I want pix of both of you wearing them on 10/17!

it's just a matter of time before equality is THE LAW in all the USA!

the dogs' mother said...

Spotted SC in the list and also had a moment of squeeee!!

The Cool Cookie said...

Mark, in laymans terms, the Supreme Court would rather not meddle when there is broad "consensus" in giving people rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

So the Supreme Court of the Land, has declined to hear the matter because there is "unanimity" between the decisions that have been decided by the Seventh Circuit Court, the Tenth Circuit Court and Fourth Circuit. These courts have set a precedence in our favor. So the five states impacted today have no other option but to allow marriage equality happen. Six other states, located in these Circuit Court Districts are also bound by the decisions of the circuit court in the district where the matter has been settled.

So in turning down the cases today, the Supreme Court essentially said, for now, the Federal System seems to have "unanimity" (consensus) on the matter.

What could upend this string of victories for us? Well, Ohio is in the process of defending its DOMA law before the Sixth Circuit (Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee) which is located in uber Conservative Cincinnati, Ohio. It is believed that if any Circuit Court is going to upend this string of Federal Victories, its going to be in the Sixth District.

The Ohio case already has the precedent decided in Obergefell v. Himes in which a Federal Court ordered Ohio to recognize them marriage between two men because one of the men was close to death (ALS) and the couple wanted to be buried together in the family plot that one of men is entitled to have use of, along with his wife. The court ruled that Ohio could not infringe on the right of the heir to have his spouse buried in the plot.

While the ruling only applied to their situation, its existence of the decision that can be used in the 6th Circuit because it shows that Ohio had inequality of the laws.

Susan said...

Bob, when I saw the SCOTUS ruling today You were the first person I thought of. Even with you still getting married in Washington I am so, so happy that South Carolina is one of the affected states!

And thanks for sharing the glorious picture of your rings. I have seen a similar design worn by a male couple and they look so good on them. :)

Ron said...

Bill and I didn't think the official marriage would make much difference in our relationship when marriage equality became law in Delaware (after 48 years of living in sin) but I"m telling you, it makes a BIG FRIGGING DIFFERENCE. Wait until you experience the indescribable feeling of being OFFICIALLY married in your home state. IT.IS.A.WONDERFUL.FEELING. I never thought we would see it happen in our lifetime but when it did, pure happiness. it is literally the experience of a lifetime. It's going to happen Bob and I'm so happy for you.

Bob Slatten said...

Thanks Ron!

Frank said...

Best wishes on the 17th.

BloggerJoe said...

Bob, Tim and I are "doing the deed" here in MD (one of the reasons for moving back here) sometime in Nov. No firm dates yet. We're doing just a civil ceremony with two close friends and then a big reception on the anniversary of our commitment ceremony we had just a few mile from here on Chincoteague Island. We were talking about it this weekend, about yours and ours, and we decided to wear our kilts with a tuxedo top.

Ron said...

I'm so looking forward to seeing your wedding pictures Bob!

Bob Slatten said...

Carlos, whose paternal grandfather is English and so he loves all things British and Scotch and Irish, will be wearing a kilt for our ceremony.

And, if it happens soon enough, we may have another ceremony here at home for friends and such, too.

Will J said...

Congratulations! Now you can be married at home too!

PS Tell your Dad to wear something comfortable and simple. Mother of the Bride dresses make anyone look fat. ;-)

Helen Lashbrook said...

Here's to hoping it won't be long before everyone everywhere has equal rights