Tag Archives: states
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. Once they make a decision it is binding on all 50 states and there is little (if any) recourse for anyone opposed to the ruling. For this reason the pending decision regarding marriage is more than important, it is potentially historic.
The question everyone is wondering is whether or not the court will impose a sweeping decision on all 50 states that is – at best – controversial.
Let’s rewind a few years to the Roe v. Wade decision. This decision, which legalized abortion in all 50 states has been hailed as one of the most infamous decisions in U.S. history. This is primarily because it removed states’ rights to determine the issue within their borders. Rather than letting each state determine how to handle the issue, the court issued a sweeping ruling that was binding on all states.
To say that decision has been contested ever since would be a monumental understatement. The fact that pro-life laws are being passed on the state level at record rates is but one sign among many that the court made the wrong decision regarding abortion.
I’ve been following the judicial activism in states with traditional marriage laws as federal judges, acting alone, usurp the will of the people and enact sweeping changes unilaterally. For previous comments on states that have had marriage redefined for them within the past year or so, scroll down to see an earlier post. (Or click here for my first post on the subject.)
The first post centered around 13 states – conservative states – where marriage was being threatened by judicial activism. Since that first post, much has changed. Two more states were added, Georgia and Wisconsin. Of the original 13 both Utah and Indiana have now had marriage redefined for them – along with Wisconsin.
All in all this means that 15 conservative states where marriage laws protected natural, one man one woman marriage by a vote of the people have now had those laws wiped out by a single judge. That fact should trouble ever freedom loving American that believes our Constitution stands as a barrier to such radical activism.
For news regarding the decision in Indiana you can click here. For news on what is happening in Wisconsin you can click here. For news on what is happening in Utah you can click here.
What is striking about each of these cases is the similarities, or relative similarities in each state. If you look closely at the list you will notice these are all predominantly conservative states. Each of these states embraces more traditional values and beliefs regarding a wide range of issues, including marriage. Each of these states tends to elect conservative leaders for both federal and state office. While certain exceptions exist these states are similar in their values, beliefs, politics, and governance.
I predicted that West Virginia would soon be added to this list. There is currently a lawsuit in federal court challenging the legality of West Virginia’s DOMA law. West Virginia doesn’t even have a constitutional amendment defining marriage because our lawmakers would not allow such an amendment to be added to the ballot in 2010 when it was requested. So the only thing preventing marriage from being redefined in West Virginia is our DOMA law, which is currently being challenged by several homosexual couples from Kanawha and Putnam counties. It’s only a matter of time before a federal judge redefines marriage for all of West Virginia unless the people pressure our lawmakers to take action. (Although, don’t count on Gov. Tomblin to sign any laws protecting marriage even if he does profess to be “pro-traditional marriage.” We see how his “pro-life” conviction worked out.)
It would probably surprise most West Virginians to know that right now there is a challenge in federal court to our state’s DOMA laws. Several couples from Kanawha and Putnam counties have filed a lawsuit against West Virginia seeking to invalidate our DOMA laws and redefine marriage.
Before anyone gets too self-righteous thinking “that won’t ever happen in West Virginia,” lets remind ourselves that our lawmakers not only rejected a ballot measure to add a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman; but our “pro-life” governor just vetoed a life-saving abortion ban.
In light of the debacle that took place in Arizona last week, the question has been asked whether or not states already have religious freedom protections. The answer? Yes! At least 31 states have religious freedom protections that were either enacted by legislation or by state court decisions. The map below shows the breakdown of which states have what kind of protections.
Unfortunately, West Virginia has no such protections. I am currently unclear on what protections, if any, West Virginia has in place. According to this map our state doesn’t have any protections other than what is provided in the Constitution of the United States. It’s alarming to me how behind West Virginia is on critical issues like abortion limits, abortion funding, marriage protection laws, religious freedom laws, and more. It’s as if our state has been in the hands of liberal leadership for the past century. Oh wait…