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Should individual states still be able to decide on same-sex marriages?

by AirTalk®

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People queue to enter the Supreme Court in Washington in March 2013. The justices were hearing arguments on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage and on the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Today, The Supreme Court blocked further same-sex marriages in Utah while state officials appeal a decision allowing such unions. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday stepped in to block more same-sex marriages from being performed in Utah while state officials appeal a decision allowing the unions. It's the latest in a series of back and forth decisions that has allowed, then retracted, same-sex marriage rights in the state. Utah's path to legalizing same-sex marriage is starting to look very similar to the drawn out legal battle over California's marriage rights that ultimately went to the Supreme Court.

As more and more states become embroiled in legislative action over same-sex marriage, at what point should the federal government step in? Would a federal decision on same-sex marriage relieve a lot of uncertainty and turmoil over the patchwork of state laws? Or would that strip necessary rights from individual states? Where is the tipping point? Will we be left with a split nation where half of the states allow same-sex marriage and the others don't? How will that work when couples move across state lines?


Brad Dacus, lawyer and President of Pacific Justice Institute

David Codell, Gay rights lawyer and co-counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights


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