By Kendall Downing
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The state of Indiana is now taking its ban on same-sex marriage all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The state filed their appeal to the High Court on Tuesday. It comes just days after a federal appeals court struck down the ban as unconstitutional.
Cases are piling up as states across the country are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step in. The justices could decide to take Indiana’s case or any of the others at the end of September for their fall term, which starts in October.
“We went into it with our eyes open. We knew there was going to be a challenge,” said Mickey Rogers.
Rogers said he and his now-husband Mike Barclay knew their marriage would wind up in question. The two tied the knot in downtown Indianapolis on June 25th. That’s the day a federal judge first ruled Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.
“I think the question now is in the timing and how quickly they will hear it and how quickly they will rule upon it,” said Rogers.
Rogers knows the legality of his marriage is in the hands of the High Court, and Indiana’s case, along with cases across the country, are moving at record speed, according to legal analysts.
“Everybody expects the Court to put same-sex marriage on its calendar,” said David Orentlicher, Samuel Rosen Professor of Law at Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law.
Orentlicher said the Justices will likely take on the case this fall and could hear arguments as early as January, with Indiana’s case in the mix. The process, though it may seem slow to some, is moving rapidly in Supreme Court terms.
“We can expect the Supreme Court to combine Wisconsin, Utah, Indiana, and Virginia, and the other states,” he said.
Orentlicher said the Court usually combines cases on one particular issue. The ACLU released a graphic on its Twitter page on Tuesday, showing the petitions waiting for the Court.
“All the justices could probably write their opinion today, so we can expect things to continue to move very quickly and get a resolution on an important issue,” he said.
For Mickey Rogers, time is of the essence. He knows he’s married but wants the state to sign off and recognize it, too.
“You never feel comfortable until it’s legal and final and determined,” said Rogers, “We can say we’re husbands, but until somebody recognizes it legally I don’t know that it makes a whole lot of difference.”
For Rogers and other couples the waiting is expensive. There are married benefits to insurance programs they qualify for but can’t take advantage of because the state does not recognize their marriage.
Professor Orentlicher said we could expect a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on same-sex marriage sometime between March and June of next year.