LGBT RIGHTS: THE TREND IS CHANGED?

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“A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union”, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver stated on June 25th, 2014.

This decision was given as appeal on the sentence of the District Court of Utah that has declared unconstitutional Amendment 3 of Utah State Constitution, that portraited marriages only as legal unions between man and woman, stating  that “no other domestic union may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect”.

On the ground of the 14th amendment of US Constitution, judges of the Appeal Court of Denver affirmed that have to be ensured “the fundamental right to marry, establish a family raise children and enjoy the full protection of state’s marital laws” predicting that states cannot prevent gay couples from marrying.

Currently, the legal basis exploited by federated states in order to ban same sex marriages is the DOMA (Federal Defense of Marriage Act).

Nevertheless, one year ago the US Supreme Court started to tackle this mentioned legitimacy: in the ruling United States v. Windsor judges struck down the provision of DOMA that denies federal benefits to gay couples legally married .

However, Court didn’t solve the core issue, clarifying if the right of same-sex couples to get married is a fundamental right whose respect shall be warranted by US Constitution. Without solving the problem of legallity of the status of these unions, the application of Windsor’s ruling remains problematic in the 31 states that don’t allow homosexual marriages, considering that the access to social benefits is basically connected with residence.

Simultaneously the Supreme Court had the opportunity to put an end to this dilemma: the 9th Court of Appeal invalidated the so named Proposal 8 –California’s same-sex marriages ban- in the case Hollingsworth v. Perry. Supporters of the mentioned proposal brought the case to the higher court but California’s governor and attorney general declined to defend it, giving the chance to the supreme court to dismiss the case on procedural grounds avoiding a decisive statement.

Following these rulings, 22 lower courts have found that state bans on same-sex marriages did not complie with the Constitution of US and five other appellate courts are considering similar cases: last wednesday Denver Court of appeals was the highest court to decide in this sense since the supreme court, in front of which the case is expected to be brought by the State of Utah.

Often the supreme court waits for the achievement of a global orientation of appeal courts before considering an issue, however LGBT activists and a large part  of US public opinion –recent pooling by Washington Post/ABC News shows that 59% of Americans support marriage- claim for a fast process.

Finally, the improvement of LGBT rights seems to be a priority in the political agenda of President Obama, that plans to sign an executive order to protect federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender: a strong endorsement that the trend is changed

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