Facing the clerk are Sara Michelle Yarbrough and Lauren Marie Tidwell, the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license in Oklahoma County, after the Supreme Court let stand federal appeals-court rulings that struck down bans in several states, including Oklahoma.
I’m willing to bet they’re smiling.
With not a single dependable hint of its own constitutional view of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court in one fell swoop on Monday cleared the way for gays and lesbians to wed in a batch of new states starting first in five more states, and probably adding six more in the coming weeks. If that happens in all eleven, it will mean that same-sex marriages would then be legal in thirty states and Washington, D.C.
In seven one-line orders, released without explanation and with no report on how any Justice voted, the Court surprisingly refused to review any same-sex marriage case now before it and, in the process, prepared to lift a series of orders that had delayed such marriages while the issue remained in the Court. Almost no one had expected that to happen.
It may take a few weeks for the Court’s action to take effect in real-world terms, in the geographic areas where federal appeals courts have struck down bans in five states the decisions that the Justices have now left intact.
For “a few weeks,” read “an hour or so,” at least in the case of Oklahoma.
(Photo by Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman.)