Same-Sex Marriage Decision Indirectly Impacts AR Movement

Ar Local

LITTLE ROCK, AR–Local legal experts say the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to stay out of the fight over same-sex marriage bans happening across the nation, has an indirect impact on Arkansas.

Monday the nation’s highest court refused to hear cases from five states wanting to defend bans on same sex marriage. That opened the door for 11 states covered under the same circuit court of appeals to start issuing licenses, effectively making same-sex marriage legal in 30 states.

But Arkansas is part of the 8th circuit court of appeals along six other states with Iowa, and Missouri and not directly impacted. In Arkansas, the case is still waiting to be heard by the state supreme court where the state is appealing a judge’s decision to strike the ban on same-sex marriage.

While there is no direct impact from Monday’s announcement some legal experts say the U.S Supreme Court isn’t intervening because there is no conflict among circuit courts. At this time all federal courts that have heard these cases have also struck down bans on same sex marriage and many believe that bodes well for the marriage equality movement.

John DiPippa, Dean Emeritus at UALR Bowen School of Law says, “Still, certainly people can disagree and it’s going to continue to be a controversial topic but it seems after today after the supreme court’s decision not to take those cases that the outcome is fairly certain sooner rather than later gay marriage will be legal across the United States.”

DiPippa says courts may be influenced by the growing momentum across the nation to strike same-sex marriage bans. He also says the U.S. Supreme Court will likely wait until there are conflicting rulings on same-sex marriage cases from the circuit court of appeals. Until then he says, it’s unlikely they’ll intervene.

Couples challenging the ban on same-sex marriage before the Arkansas Supreme Court must have their briefs turned in by October 15th.

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