Lawsuits challenging the banning of same-sex marriage by states or the non-recognition of those marriages that were performed in states where they are legal, have been cropping up all over the place and every one of them has been successful so far. Georgia has now become the last Southern state to be sued.
Seven people filed a federal class-action lawsuit Tuesday (April 22) challenging Georgia’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The suit, by three gay couples and a woman who was unable to get recognized on the state death certificate when her same-sex spouse died, makes Georgia the last Southern state, and one of the last in the nation, to face a challenge to its ban on gay marriage.
There are 65 pending lawsuits in federal courts of appeal, federal district courts and state courts challenging marriage laws in 30 states and Puerto Rico, according to Lambda Legal’s analysis.
Georgia is also a good example of how rapidly views are changing on this issue.
Georgia, where 76 percent of voters ratified a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriages in 2004, was late to the table because “there’s been an attempt to make strategic decisions about the places where we’d have the best chance of success,” Borelli said. “But it became clear as time went on that Georgia should be on that list.”
Views on the matter seem to be shifting: A poll in September by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that 48 percent of Georgians favor gay marriage and 43 percent oppose it.
It will be interesting to see what will happen if every case at the lower level results in same-sex marriage becoming legal in all fifty states. Will the US Supreme Court simply duck the issue and let the lower court verdicts stand, so that same-sex marriage becomes the law in this piecemeal way? Or will they feel obliged to make a final decision?