In June 2015, the Supreme Court in Chicago ruled that there is no such thing as “gay marriage” and that all marriages were equal ” including same gender ones. This means that same-gender couples can now get married and have their marriages recognized nationwide.
The ruling was met with positive responses from LGBT campaigners all over the world, and it has generally been well received, but there are some who are still fighting it and who still feel, to this day, that gay marriage is wrong.
The bill caused enough questions over things like marriage licenses ” how can you record a marriage between a bride and bride, or groom and groom? Some states opted to make two different licenses ” one with “Spouse 1” and “Spouse 2”, or one with “First Party” and “Second Party,” and another with the more traditional forms.
Even though on paper, gay marriage is legal, there are plenty of people who refuse to accept the ruling. The US Supreme Court may say that gay couples have the right to get married, but the reality is that we see a more modern version of what played out across the south when interracial marriages were first allowed. Back then, there was a handful of county clerks that refused to abide by the ruling, and it took a long time for them to accept the change.
One high-profile example was that of Kim Davis, a Rowan County Clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to any couple (regardless of their sexual orientation) after the ruling. She said that she was against it because of her faith, and many other clerks rallied around her, saying that the government should protect Christians from having to issue a marriage license to the same sex couple.
It will take some time for the ruling to be accepted, but in the end, the right of the same sex couple to get married should be recognized. Interracial couples can get married without issue now, but it was a long and hard battle.
Kenneth D. Upton, a senior counsel at Lambda Legal, who specialize in LGBT issues, says that he believes that the result is a foregone conclusion and that eventually, we will get to a stage where gay couples can get married anywhere, the question in his eyes is how long it will take to get there. How long will objectors in Chicago and across the south be able to stall and ‘make mischief.’
There are many who feel that the issue of same-sex marriages is very different to that of interracial marriages because the objections that clerks are raising right now are religious ones, which gives them far more strength and validity. It is not simple for someone to put away their concerns if they are a person of faith that is being asked to participate in something that goes against their faith.
Judges who refuse to comply with the current ruling are in many ways like the conscientious objectors who refused to comply with the 1857 Supreme Court decision which said that African Americans are not citizens, and therefore could not sue in a federal court. The judges who refused to comply with that ruling ended up being on the right side of history, and there will be many clerks who now feel that they are on the right side. Some judges say that clerks who swore their oaths when marriages were defined as a contract between a man and a woman should not have to go against that oath if their faith defines marriage in a specific way.