Federal Judges Reverse Gay-Marriage Bans In Utah, Indiana
This post updated at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Utah and Indiana are the latest states to see their bans on same-sex marriage struck down by a federal court, following rulings in both states Wednesday that found the prohibition unconstitutional.
In Utah, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld a lower court ruling striking down the state's gay-marriage ban. And in Indiana, U.S. District Judge Richard Young made a similar ruling.
"It is wholly illogical to believe that state recognition of love and commitment of same-sex couples will alter the most intimate and personal decisions of opposite-sex couples," the three-judge panel in the Utah case said. The panel immediately put the ruling on hold pending its appeal, either to the entire 10th Circuit or directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to The Associated Press.
In Indiana, Young wrote: "Same-sex couples, who would otherwise qualify to marry in Indiana, have the right to marry in Indiana. ... These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such."
Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, writes NPR in an email that the Utah decision "is very significant, as [it is] the first appellate court to address the marriage equality issue.
"The 4th Circuit [in Virginia] may well apply the reasoning of the 10th Circuit opinion, as will numerous district courts that have yet to rule," he says.
"The Indiana ruling invalidating its ban today also used similar reasoning," Tobias says. "All courts are finding that the bans violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th amendment."
Here's some of our recent coverage on this issue:
-- Virginia's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Ruled Unconstitutional
-- Court To Hear Utah's Appeal In Same-Sex Marriage Case
-- Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania's Gay-Marriage Ban
-- Gay Marriage Around The Country: Not All Judges Say 'I Do'
-- Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Keep Up Their Winning Streak
-- Married Same-Sex Couples To Receive More Federal Benefits