Indiana can do without marriage-ban battle
The U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings last week concerning same-sex marriage reflects the continuing evolution of American attitudes toward the subject. The court found the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional yet punted away the chance to establish further legal direction to a country still largely divided on the topic. Its subsequent ruling on the California same-sex marriage ban allows a lower court ruling striking down the ban to stand and should indirectly allow gay marriage to resume in the state.
The American people have been shifting in their views of same-sex marriage for some time now, and the shift is clearly moving toward more tolerance, even acceptance. It’s satisfying to see the nation’s high court shifting as well. Denying same-sex couples the legal opportunity to wed is not something with which our government should be involved.
Unfortunately, the court’s actions also allow states to continue to deal with same-sex marriage as they see fit, even if that means banning the practice.
An immediate consequence of the court’s action is that it allows an intense battle over the issue to resume in Indiana.
The state already has a law on the books banning same-sex couples from having the same legal rights as opposite-sex couples. Opponents of same-sex marriage aren’t satisfied with that, and last week’s rulings will embolden them to further seek to entrench their view into Indiana law by placing it in the state constitution.
An attempt to amend Indiana’s constitution has already passed the required first of two consecutive sessions of the Legislature. Lawmakers decided to delay pressing it this year pending the Supreme Court rulings. If they bring it back for the second required vote in the 2014 session and it passes, it will then go to voters in the fall of 2014 for approval or rejection.