Unless you have been avoiding all news sources, you know that the United States Supreme Court recently legalized same sex marriage nationwide. Supreme Court rules states must allow same-sex marriage, by Ariane de Vogue and Jeremy Diamond, cnn.com, June 27, 2015. This means that same sex couples can now be married in all 50 states, and any state law banning same sex marriage is now invalid. Despite this broad ruling invalidating any ban on same sex marriage, some states, counties and lawmakers are still trying to prohibit their courts from issuing these marriage licenses, but without much success.
Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton told county clerks in his state to disregard the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding same sex marriage and “refuse to issue marriage license to same sex couples if they believed their religion prohibited them from doing so.” Houston senator asks DOJ to protect rights of gay Texans, by Lauren McGaughy, chron.com, June 29, 2015. Paxton acknowledged that this course of action by the clerks could result in litigation and fines. Despite Paxton’s “advice,” many Texas counties have issued marriage licenses to same sex couples.
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal said he would not issue any marriage licenses in New Orleans (where he controls issuance of marriage licenses) until he was ordered to by the state’s lower court. Conservatives still blocking gay marriage in the South, by Ben Levin, ajc.com, June 29, 2015. Apparently the other Louisiana parishes are also waiting, on order from the state’s Attorney General. Other southern, conservative states are also following orders from their Attorney General’s to hold off on issuing same sex marriage licenses until there is an explicit order from a federal court to do so.
These delay tactics and attempts at continuing to ban same sex marriages in their states will not be successful for long. Rulings of the United States Supreme Court are the supreme law of the land, and cannot be appealed. When the Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage nearly 50 years ago, there were also protests and refusals to abide by the ruling, but eventually everyone acquiesced. Hopefully in the near future we will be able to say the same about this recent ruling legalizing same sex marriage.