Friday, October 10, 2014

Marriage Equality in Twenty-Nine States!

If not outdated, it will be soon
Now I’m playing games with the data; I’m just giddy. With twenty-nine states with marriage equality, we’ve got three groups of states. In the Northeast, we have Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina (Massachusetts goes first and gets bolded because it was first. And bold). In the Midwest, we have Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Iowa. And in the West, we have Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah (never thought that would happen this early), Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

If we want to link them all together, we could go with Montana, North Dakota, and Ohio. Starting with Montana, we could substitute in South Dakota and Kentucky. Or we could go for Wyoming, South Dakota, and (as before) either Ohio or Kentucky. I’d like to believe that Ohio was more likely, but the map at Wikipedia says otherwise.

You could also go with a Southern divide, with Kansas, Missouri, and (again) Kentucky (Ohio works too, but it’s hardly southern by anyone’s imagination). Kentucky and Ohio keep coming up in these scenarios as they are the only states between the Eastern and Midwestern groups of states.

But a moment sympathy for the people in the four states that not only do not have marriage equality, but do not border any states with marriage equality: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. While there are twenty-one states without marriage equality, seventeen of those border states with marriage equality (two of them, Michigan and Arizona only have neighbors with marriage equality).

And of those twenty-one states, the New York Times reports that six of those (Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Kansas, Arizona, and South Carolina) are in circuits that have already said that bans on marriage are unconstitutional. The Times also reports that when Idaho petitioned the Supreme Court they said that
If the court wishes to signal that its recent denials of various marriage-related petitions was intended to finally and conclusively resolve the constitutionality of state laws defining marriage as a union of man and a woman, the court should deny Idaho’s application.
The court has denied Idaho’s application. Does this mean that we can take this series of (in)actions by the court to mean, as Idaho surmised, that the constitutionality of marriage equality has been determined by the courts? Does their silence speak volumes?

I don’t know. Stay tuned. I know I will.
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