My 100th Post!
I was going to make this a reflective post about “look how far I’ve come” and how wonderful my experience as a blogger has been… but something happened today, and it greatly affects me, and I need to talk about it.
Now, for those of you reading from outside of the States, let me explain really quick how the government works. I’m not really sure how our country functions sometimes. We have so much government that even our own citizens sometimes gets confused. Each state has it’s own cities and counties. They all have their own government. The states then have a government that rules over the cities and counties. Then, the states are grouped into circuits, and those circuits have a government that rules over all the different states in that circuit. After that, our nation has a government, and at the top of that government is the Supreme Court. Their word is law. They have the absolute final say in all things.
There was a nationwide ban on same-sex marriage all across the country. Little by little, each state was overthrowing these bans, but it was unequal everywhere. People could be married in one state, move for job reasons, and suddenly not be married anymore. Last year, SCOTUS overthrew part of DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act), which said that the federal government wouldn’t discriminate against married people, no matter if it was same-sex or not. Since that ruling last year, there has been a wide sweeping of states overthrowing their bans on same-sex marriage.
The case that affects me directly is Virginia. I live in South Carolina, but Virginia and South Carolina share a commonality: We are both part of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. There was a same-sex couple in SC who filed a law suit to have the ban overthrown. That lawsuit was put on hold until the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a case in Virginia.
The same thing that has happened everywhere happened in Virginia: a couple filed a lawsuit to get rid of the ban on same-sex marriage. This ban was overthrown by a federal judge in Virginia. Then it got appealed. It went to the 4th Circuit where everyone watched and waited. The 4th circuit said gay-marriage bans were unconstitutional, so you would think that marriage would start, right? Wrong. Virginia took it to SCOTUS.
In the mean time, SC is sitting back and waiting to see how all this unfolds. Whatever the 4th Circuit says applies to us too. If they say to get rid of the ban, we have to get rid of the ban… but with everything on hold, we just sat around and waited.
Until SCOTUS came back and said, “Shut up, sit down, and listen to what you’ve already been told. We’re not taking these cases, and the rulings on them stand. Get over it.”
This means that marriage is immediately legal in Virginia. It means that it’s immediately legal in the other four states. It means that the 4th Circuit’s ruling stands.
It means that South Carolina can’t say no. It means that the same-sex marriage ban in South Carolina has a time limit on it and it’s about to expire.
It means “I might be able to get legally married at my wedding” just became “I will be able to get legally married at my wedding.”