Tuesday, Feb. 10, CNN reported that Alabama has allowed the marriages of same-sex couples, the thirty-seventh state in the US to do so. For the past several decades, 12 states have not allowed for same-sex marriages on the basis of Constitutional amendments and state laws, while another does not allow it because of a Constitutional amendment. Though the United States has come far in regards to issues of gay marriage, not everyone is on board with it.
On May 9, 2014, Arkansas’ ban on gay marriage was ruled unconstitutional by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza. Arkansas had previously banned same-sex marriage by both state law and voter-approved constitutional amendment. Some counties in Arkansas began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on May 10, 2014, while other counties refused to issue licenses.
In early July of last year, US District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled that Kentucky’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage violates the equal protection clause in the US Constitution. Judge Heyburn stated that the ban serves “no conceivable legitimate purpose.”
Supporting states of same-sex marriages include: Alabama, California, Florida, Kansas, Montana, North and South Carolina, and Wisconsin, all by court decisions. Within the last 24 hours a two-page opinion by an Alabama Supreme Court justice was released, containing an ominous warning: if marriage equality remains the law in Alabama, Justice Glenn Murdock may vote to abolish marriage in his state altogether. Murdock suggest that, had the state legislature known that its decision to exclude gay couples from the right to marry was unconstitutional, it might have preferred not to permit anyone to be married in the state of Alabama.
Unfortunately, Ohio is not one of the states that allows same-sex marriage. In fact, Ohio bans gay marriage by Constitutional amendment and state law. Since 2004 couples of the same sex have not been able to celebrate their love for each other through wedding ceremonies, and it is unclear whether that will change anytime soon.