Precedence Equals Power

Chad W. Lutz
The reports started coming in around 1p.m. Facebook, CNN, Yahoo News, and Google all began running stories about the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California. The headlines were unanimous: “Court Rejects Gay Marriage Ban.”

Within a few hours, thousands of same-sex marriage supporters began celebrating an apparent victory. Ruled unconstitutional, the California Proposition would have outlawed couples of the same sex from entering into a legal domestic partnership. After months of appeal, the 9th Circuit Court found the 2008 proposition unconstitutional because it deprived American citizens a right with, “significant societal consequences,” and said the proposition, “enacts nothing more or less than a judgment about the worth and dignity of gays and lesbians as a class.”

The three judges presiding over Perry vs Brown stated no further implications after the ruling was made. Many political and legal analysts say the ruling may serve as landmark precedence in the fight for equal rights. Federal law still defines marriage as the union between, “one man and one woman.”

Ohio law features no provisions for same-sex marriage or civil unions. Ohio banned same-sex marriage by vote in 2004. 17 states prohibit legal partnerships between same-sex couples. 10 countries worldwide legally promote same-sex marriage, including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. California becomes only the 7th state to legally allow same-sex marriage by state law. The District of Columbia also legally honors same-sex marriages.