I have a gay friend who insists this ruling will be the start of a civil war with the religious right. What do you all think?
Early Monday morning, the Supreme Court refused to stay a federal judge’s order invalidating Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage. In doing so, the justices immediately set up a constitutional crisis between the state’s lawless chief justice and the federal judiciary. They also effectively admitted what court-watchers have suspected for months: The court is preparing to rule in favor of nationwide marriage equality at the end of this term.
Here’s how Monday’s decision reveals the justices’ intention to strike down gay marriage bans across the country. Typically, the justices will stay any federal court ruling whose merits are currently under consideration by the Supreme Court. Under normal circumstances, that is precisely what the court would have done here: The justices will rule on the constitutionality of state-level marriage bans this summer, so they might as well put any federal court rulings on hold until they’ve had a chance to say the last word. After all, if the court ultimately ruled against marriage equality, the Alabama district court’s order would be effectively reversed, and those gay couples who wed in the coming months would find their unions trapped in legal limbo.