GOP governors vow to ignore Supreme Court on gay marriage

Now that the Supreme Court has refused to consider appeals of gay marriage victories from five states, effectively giving gay couples the right to marry in those states, and six others, several Republican governors, but not all, are putting up roadblocks.

As background, these are the states in which the Supreme Court refused to hear appeals of cases where gays won:  Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah.

And, because these were appellate court decisions, their rulings apply in all the states within their jurisdiction. That means these additional states will also now have to recognize gay nuptials: North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming.

Marriages have begun in Utah.

Marriages have begun in Oklahoma.

Marriages have begun in Virginia.

Marriages can begin immediately in Indiana.

West Virginia is still pending.


When marriages of gay couples were legalized for a short while last Christmas.

North Carolina is stalling. (The governor is a Republican.)

Republican governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, vows to ignore Supreme Court on a civil rights decision. Just like old times.

Wyoming’s Republican governor is going to ignore the Supreme Court too.

Kansas is ignoring the Supreme Court too — the governor is GOP former congressional neanderthal Sam Brownback:

“You can’t do that in the state of Kansas,” said Nancy Escalante, supervisor for marriage licenses at the court. “Our application says ‘man and woman.’ The Legislature has not changed it.”

In contrast, here’s how a Democratic governor handled today’s move by the Supreme Court, even though none of the decisions in question even applied to Missouri:

Attorney General Chris Koster today released the following statement:

“The circuit court’s judgment in Barrier v. Vasterling held that Missouri must recognize marriages lawfully entered into in other states. We will not appeal that judgment. Our national government is founded upon principles of federalism – a system that empowers Missouri to set policy for itself, but also obligates us to honor contracts entered into in other states.

A consequence of this morning’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court is that gay marriage will soon be legal in as many as 30 states. At a time when Missouri is competing to attract the nation’s premier businesses and most talented employees, we should not demand that certain individuals surrender their marriage licenses in order to live and work among us.

Missouri’s future will be one of inclusion, not exclusion.”

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

Share This Post

38 Responses to “GOP governors vow to ignore Supreme Court on gay marriage”

  1. Ninja0980 says:

    Your dream has no chance of happening.
    The clock isn’t getting turned back on this one.

  2. therling says:

    So those states who are going to defy the Supreme Court are going to end up wasting tax dollars defending against lawsuits which they will surely lose once they get above the state level. With many states facing difficulties paying for all sorts of things, is this really something they want to waste resources on?

  3. David Benkof says:

    Actually, this announcement is great news for queer people like me who support only man-woman marriage.

  4. Mike F says:

    “I’m only surprised that they didn’t throw in Illegal aliens, Blacks and Jews.”

    Don’t fret too much. It’s just an oversight that they’ll get to in editing. Oh, and Catholics. Those papists, well, you know…

  5. KathFriendafi says:

    my best frends uncle just got an awesome 9 month old Subaru Impreza WRX just by some parttime working online… see this page HOME EARNINGS REPORT

  6. LeftleaningTx says:

    I don’t think there were not 4 votes.
    I think that the other Justices made it clear to Roberts how they were going to vote and Roberts decided not to take up a losing battle.

  7. Michael Parido says:

    “Others are being “forced” to accept SSM by the gays, liberals, atheists, communists.”

    Wow, maybe I should look into communism. I’ve got all of the other bases covered. Naaaaaa! :)

    I’m only surprised that they didn’t throw in Illegal aliens, Blacks and Jews.

  8. LeftleaningTx says:

    Yes you are right and Hobby Lobby was the perfect for that kind of discrimination against gays. I believe that it was the intention of the right leaning SCOTUS

  9. timncguy says:

    It wasn’t decided at the “state” level. It was decided by “federal” circuit courts.

  10. goulo says:

    Ah, there are too many plausible candidate dates and events to answer that question… :/

  11. BeccaM says:

    By the way, I wanted to mention this is a particularly big deal in states like Virginia which, just a few years ago, went out of their way not only to pass bans on same-sex marriage, but also against any legal agreement or construct intended to provide rights associated with heterosexual civil marriage.

    What this meant for gay and lesbian couples was they could not even count on their backstopped legal paperwork — wills, power of attorney, power of medical authority — to stand up if challenged in court. It was the basis of my “list of states my wife and I dare not visit or travel through”, with Virginia as the first charter member on that list. Remember all the jokes we used to tell about Virginia being for ‘heterosexual lovers only’? They referred to all such legal paperwork for same-sex couples as “void and unenforceable.”

    For them to go from that to this — their AG Mark Herring (D) saying marriages would start immediately — is huge.

  12. Badgerite says:

    Hue-Man is right. This will not play out like Roe v Wade. Because what is being asked is to honor families and marriages and it is very, very, very hard, try as they might, to portray that in a bad light.

  13. Jim Olson says:


  14. Bob Munck says:

    When do we decide that the “United States” as an idea no longer works?


  15. Bob Munck says:

    “Our application says ‘man and woman.’

    So scratch out one or the other and write in the correct word. What’s hard about that? Government workers do stuff like that all the time. The County Clerk in South Dakota updated my name on my birth certificate when my step-father adopted me when I was three.

  16. Hue-Man says:

    I think this will not play out like Roe v. Wade. The TeaParty/GOP states will grumble “SCOTUS made me do it” and “I don’t agree” and there will be token resistance but the result will be more like Loving vs. Virginia. For 90+% of the population, the issue is totally irrelevant and has no consequence in their daily existence. Plus state politicians read the same polls as everyone else.

    From 2012, here’s another far-right evangelical government leader (who voted against marriage equality in 2005) with a majority government which had the votes to repeal marriage equality which is a Federal issue:

    “However, while speaking in Halifax on Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government has no plans of revisiting the issue of same-sex marriage.

    “We have no intention of further opening or reopening this issue,” he said.”

    The polls have spoken.

  17. MyrddinWilt says:

    I am pretty sure it will happen anyway. Just like when they renamed the KKK the Concerned Citizens Council and shut down the swimming pool rather than integrate.

    If SCOTUS had taken the case it would have introduced another year of delay in the states affected. Refusing to hear the cases means that the question is now settled in 30 states. And it won’t be very long till it is settled in the other 20.

    Rather more interesting is that there aren’t 4 votes to hear the case. Which suggests that if they hear a case it might go 6:3 rather than 5:4. Scalia and Thomas are just trolls looking to troll but Roberts seems to care about his place in history more than toeing the wingnut line all the time.

  18. Thom Allen says:

    I looked at some right wing sites and some others (Yahoo, etc.) Some RWNJs are calling for armed rebellion to prevent marriage equality. “We’re not letting the courts take away what we voted for.” Others are being “forced” to accept SSM by the gays, liberals, atheists, communists. Some are doing the “Now God will punish us for breaking his commandments” (you know, commandment XI that says, “Thou shalt not have same-sex marriage!”) And there are those who maintain that we’ll also have man-on-dog marriage, dads marrying daughters, etc. So not surprising that these few governors want to protect their states against being struck dumb by God (oh, wait, the dumb part already happened), inundated by waves of bestiality, endless incest, and having their citizens be forced to respect the rights of others. Can’t have that.

    BTW, I haven’t heard Westboro Baptist making headlines, screeching about Marriage Equality coming to Kansas. I wonder if there was a wave of exploding heads in their church compound today?

  19. John Masters says:

    “You can’t do that in the state of Kansas,” said Nancy Escalante, supervisor for marriage licenses at the court. “Our application says ‘man and woman.’ The Legislature has not changed it.”

    I’d be curious to know if the legislature ever previously prescribed what the marriage application says. That would normally be the kind of details left to some state department or agency, and not by the legislature (but this is Kansas). So she could be full of shit…legislature doesn’t have to change it, if they didn’t prescribe it to begin with.

  20. John Masters says:

    But BeccaM, that is going to happen regardless of any ruling by SCOTUS. Even if SCOTUS took up one or all of the cases, and ruled on them in our favor, that’s all they could rule on. They wouldn’t rule (because the question isn’t before the court) on whether or not people with deeply held religious beliefs can refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. (And given Hobby Lobby, I’m guessing they would let them get away with it.) So, that’s where the grifters like NOM and Tony Perkins will next turn their attention, and try to keep the money flowing. But that would happen, regardless of any ruling specifically on same sex marriage.

  21. Holy Ronald Reagan! i was thinking the same. Will they stand in the marriage license door? What an idea for a political cartoon!

  22. Indigo says:

    Scary? That’s who they are.

  23. Indigo says:

    Shades of Governor Wallace!

  24. Jim Olson says:

    IMHO, that is a realistic question to ask. Should Massachusetts and Texas continue to be under the same Federal government? When do we decide that the “United States” as an idea no longer works?

  25. BeccaM says:

    Aye, but the one problem I see in this strategy is we’re leaning into situations where same-sex marriage is made legal — only to have the individual states start passing what I like to call homophobia-enabling laws. The kinds of laws the racists would have loved to have had back in the 1950s and 60s, where they could just say, “I don’t approve of the races mixing — it’s against my religion, so no colored are welcome to shop or eat here.”

    Only now it’s, “I don’t want to have to do business with gay people. It’s against my religion not to shun and humiliate them for living in a way I disapprove of.” Believe me, the fight is far from over.

    It’s going to happen. These GOP-controlled states are sure to rack up a bunch of laws that attempt to take these legal marriages and remove as many of the basic civil rights associated with them as possible.

  26. BeccaM says:

    I think you overestimate the intelligence of the average mouth-breathing, Fox News-addicted American wing-nut/Tea-Bagger moron.

    These are the same people who can’t make the connection between a virtually unlimited military budget and no money for education, medical care, highways, or basic infrastructure. To them, spending money supporting discrimination cases they’ll eventually, inevitably lose is irrelevant; what’s important is the symbol of hating gay people.

    In other words, the same wingnut GOP elected officials standing in the way of equality and progress are exactly the ones their radicalized wingnut base want in office. Hell, a woman who thinks federal officials implementing the legally-enacted Affordable Care Act (aka ‘Obamacare’) can be arrested and charged with crimes — Joni Earnst — is a serious and likely winning GOP candidate for the Senate. She also is a conspiracy theory kook who believes in ‘Agenda 21.’ And millions of Iowa voters have no problem with her support of violating established federal law and the Constitution of the U.S.

  27. Blogvader says:

    This pretty much settles it.

    We’ll see marriage equality at the federal level within our lifetimes, folks. (But, as in Lawrence Vs Texas, you’ll see some of these redneck states down south keeping their unenforceable laws on the books out of protest.)

  28. Naja pallida says:

    Indeed, but it’s a double-edged sword that we will be fighting into the foreseeable future. But then, even a clear ruling doesn’t seem to matter to them; they’re still fighting Roe v. Wade 40 years on. What it does do though, is make sure that Americans are not treated equally. Not just in a bigoted way, but simply that people who live in Massachusetts do not have the same rights as people who live in Texas. They might as well live in different countries.

  29. Strepsi says:

    I think it was smarter than you do. Because it uses the “States Rights” teabaggers’ logic against them. It was decided at the local level that the bans were unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court is simply letting that stand. Plus, they avoid a lightning-rod ruling like Roe v. Wade that can be attacked directly, letting the 11 dominoes fall one by one. States Rights: it’s a double edge sword!

    And look at Missouri: today the AG notes a separate Missouri law to honor marriages from Out-of-State, so they have to recognize SSM as well. SO as soon as couples from the legal states move to the illegal ones for work, ther will be more lawsuits, which they will win. It’s a done deal.

  30. Naja pallida says:

    This is exactly why the Supreme Court took the cowardly way out by not taking up any of the cases, instead of making a clear Loving v. Virginia-style ruling on the issue. To let the fight continue in the states. The Roberts court just loves being on the wrong side of history. They simply cannot be forced to side with the American people on anything.

  31. perljammer says:

    No, of course it’s not okay, as they will discover. And by the way, the Constitution is “actual” law.

  32. David Hamburger says:

    So much for the party of law and order, eh?

    Could these governors be charged with anything for violating the US Supreme Court and Circuit courts?

  33. Guytano Parks says:

    …*EQUALITY* for *ALL* will soon be a *REALITY!!!*…

  34. FLL says:

    Except that the timetable is more like “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation for maybe another month or so… after that… meh, I just want some campaign donations from Evangelical Xtians.”

  35. Betty says:

    They’re soundin like “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”.

  36. FLL says:

    So here comes the second wave of court cases (relatively high-speed) specifically aimed at forcing a few GOP state administrations to allow marriage equality. Those court cases will be based on the appellate decisions and today’s Supreme Court decision to deny review to the appellate decisions. These last-ditch GOP efforts are just getting so kindergarten-level. What a way to waste taxpayer money. Some of these GOP state administrations might even be shooting themselves in the foot concerning the midterm elections.

  37. Nicholas A Kocal says:

    So when a black Democratic President does what every president before him did he is ignoring the constitution, but when a white republican governor ignores an actual law, its okay.

  38. bkmn says:

    They can ignore SCOTUS all they like but they will have to explain to the people that voted for them why they are subjecting the state to expensive litigation they WILL NOT win in any court in the land.

© 2021 AMERICAblog Media, LLC. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS