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The Raider Voice

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Marriage Rights Gain Momentum

Map of U.S. same-sex marriage laws and rulings. TNS 2015
Map of U.S. same-sex marriage laws and rulings. TNS 2015

Both the federal and state courts have made large advancements towards equal marriage rights for the LGBT community.

On Oct. 6, the Supreme Court denied the appeals of five states to maintain bans on gay marriage. Although it may seem that the Supreme Court is simply avoiding the hot topic of gay marriage, this decision is monumental. When avoiding the appeal, the Supreme Court showed that, although it is not currently prepared to deal with the issue multiple Supreme Court Justices would likely lean towards pro-marriage when the case arrives.

The road to equal marriage rights throughout the United States is still a long one. There are still seventeen states that have direct bans on gay marriage. In a country where everyone is supposed to be created equal, such a statistic is shocking. These state bans violate the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and its clauses for due process and equal protection.

It was from this legal standpoint that multiple Florida judges overturned the state marriage ban. This was the first legal action towards legalizing gay marriage in Florida. The Florida State Court, as advised by attorney general Pam Bondi, will not hear these appeals until there is a Supreme Court decision. However, certain Florida state court cases have succeeded in making advances in Florida.

As of now, the two counties of Miami Dade and Monroe allow same-sex marriage and Florida now recognizes couples married in other states. Broward has a state court ruling pending that would legalize same-sex marriage in that county as well. These rulings contrast with a state amendment passed in 2008 that bans civil unions and same-sex marriage.

According to a recent poll from the Washington Post, 59% of people support gay marriage whereas 34% oppose it. President Obama has voiced his support and of the 17 states with bans of gay marriage, 10 of them are questioning these bans. Supporters around the nation are watching with crossed fingers, as crucial decisions towards human rights continue.

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