And there has also been lots of confusion about what, practically speaking, a ruling that stopped short of legalizing gay marriage in 50 states would mean. Or is it relatively obvious which couples will receive federal benefits? The answer is somewhere in between. If the court strikes down DOMA, the federal courts will have to settle serious, hard legal questions about which same-sex couples are married for purposes of federal law. After all, states have had different marriage laws for centuries, and their definitions can conflict when people marry in one state and live in or move to another. And so states also have longstanding practices for resolving the conflicts created by these differing laws.
How many same-sex marriages in the U.S.? At least 71,165, probably more
How many same-sex marriages in the U.S.? At least 71,, probably more | Pew Research Center
What limitations does the Constitution place on ability of states to treat people differently because of their sexual orientation? The Court first considered the matter in the case of Bowers v Hardwick , a challenge to a Georgia law authorizing criminal penalties for persons found guilty of sodomy. Although the Georgia law applied both to heterosexual and homosexual sodomy, the Supreme Court chose to consider only the constitutionality of applying the law to homosexual sodomy. Michael Hardwick, who sought to enjoin enforcement of the Georgia law, had been charged with sodomy after a police officer discovered him in bed with another man. Charges were later dropped.
'Good governance' or 'protecting homophobia'? Alabama mulls nixing marriage licenses altogether
The movement to open civil marriage to same-sex couples achieved its first temporary success in with the decision of the Hawaii Supreme Court that the restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples would be presumed unconstitutional unless the state could demonstrate that it furthered a compelling state interest. In response to this decision the state constitution was amended to allow the legislature to preserve that restriction. A similar court decision in Alaska in led to an even stronger constitutional amendment, itself defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Alabama Republican State Sen. That's why Albritton said he introduced a bill in Alabama — one of several states that has encountered trouble adopting same-sex marriage following the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling — that would get rid of marriage licenses in the state altogether. But the jury is still out on whether his proposed solution is smart policy or a way to shield homophobic judges who refuse to issue these licenses to LGBTQ couples.