A political update with implications for family law
Since the mid-2000s, the issue of same-sex marriage has been in and out of the political arena. Although it’s a contentious issue that arouses strong feelings on both sides of the debate, it’s important for the general public to track and understand. As family law lawyers who practice in Indiana, we’re particularly keen on informing our current and prospective clients about the status of the issue in our state.
Earlier in the summer, a court ruling effectively legalized same-sex marriage in the state of Indiana. This prompted a flurry of ceremonies for couples that had waited for such a moment. However, the court put a stay on the decision after lawyers for the state indicated that they would appeal it. This created a somewhat confusing legal situation that threatens to leave some couples in limbo.
Where Does the Issue Stand Now?
As of the last week of August, the case has been argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The three judges on the panel that heard the case will assess the arguments made by each side and should issue a ruling by the end of September. If the court rules in favor of same-sex marriage in Indiana, it’s possible that lawyers for the state will appeal the case to the Supreme Court. However, this doesn’t guarantee that the Supreme Court will actually hear the appeal. If the justices choose not to hear it, the appellate court’s decision will remain in force.
Who Ultimately Decides?
Ultimately, the issue of same-sex marriage is a matter for voters and judges to decide. Regardless of whether the Supreme Court ever hears arguments on Indiana’s statute, the state’s lawmakers have the power to enact laws on the matter. No matter how they feel about this and other political issues, voters need to understand that their Election Day choices have ramifications.
Whether you’re personally affected by this important issue or merely wish to explore your options as you pursue a child custody claim, divorce, or other family law matter, we stand ready to provide unmatched assistance and cutting legal advice. To learn more about what we can do for your family law case, give us a call or fill out our online contact form.