May a State of the Union constitutionally deny a citizen the benefit or protection of the laws of the State based solely upon the sex of the person that citizen chooses to marry?Because the Supreme Court previously stayed the lower court's ruling, the appeals court is maintaining that stay while (it expects) defendants appeal yet again, so this new ruling has not yet gone into effect. But it's been clear for some time now which way the winds of change are blowing, and all of these cases (including a brand-new one also decided today in Indiana) will make their way to the Supreme Court very soon. With the justices joining school kids in taking their annual summer break, it won't be soon enough, but the end is finally in sight.
Having heard and carefully considered the argument of the litigants, we conclude that, consistent with the United States Constitution, the State of Utah may not do so. We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.
11:18 AM PT: The judge in Indiana, however, did not issue a stay, so same-sex marriages are already underway. However, Republican state Attorney General Greg Zoeller said his office plans to appeal and seek a stay.