Gay Marriage Cases in 5 States Offer Broad View
Within the past month, federal judges in Oklahoma and Utah have ruled that states, and their voters, cannot bar same-sex couples from getting married. As battles over gay-marriage rights move through the courts across the country, here are cases to watch in five states:
A federal judge in November ruled against eight same-sex couples who were turned away when they attempted to obtain marriage licenses. The judge, appointed by President George W. Bush, said Nevada state law does not violate the equal-protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. The case, Sevcik v. Sandoval, is on appeal before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Two cases pending in Virginia seek freedom to marry for all gay couples and recognition for same-sex couples married outside the state. Bostic v. Rainey, filed by a same-sex couple that was denied a marriage license, is set for a hearing Jan. 30. A couple married in California has joined the lawsuit, seeking recognition in Virginia of their union. A separate case, Harris v. McDonnell, was filed as a class-action lawsuit and could go to trial this spring. The federal judges in both pending cases were appointed by President Barack Obama.