Proponents of marriage equality have been on quite a winning streak, which continued yesterday with a state court victory in Colorado.
An Adams County District Court judge on Wednesday declared Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional, but he immediately stayed his ruling.Judge C. Scott Crabtree pulled no punches in his 49-page ruling, saying the state’s voter-approved ban “bears no rational relationship to any conceivable government interest.”
The state judge in this case put a stay on his ruling, leaving the existing state law in place while the appeals process continues. That said, as msnbc’s Emma Margolin reported, two county clerks in Colorado have successfully fought to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
On Thursday, a district judge told Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall she could continue issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples because the law forbidding it was “hanging on by a thread.” Less than an hour later, Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson announced she would be doing the same.
As for the larger context, let’s return to looking at the scope of recent court rulings, because it really is extraordinary.
Yesterday’s ruling in Colorado comes just a week after a federal court victory over a gay-marriage ban in Kentucky. That ruling followed two wins the week prior in Utah and Indiana. Those rulings came two weeks after a big win in Wisconsin, which came two weeks after a separate federal court struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on marriage equality – a court ruling that will not be appealed.
The ruling in the Keystone State came just one day after a similar ruling in Oregon.
Which came just a week after a federal court struck down Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Which came just a week after a court ruled against Arkansas’ anti-gay constitutional amendment.
This came a month after a federal judge ordered Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The month before that, a federal judge struck down Michigan’s ban on marriage equality.
Civil-rights proponents have scored related victories in Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas, just over the last half-year or so.
For the right, that’s quite a losing streak. Indeed, as we discussed recently, how many cases have anti-gay forces won on the merits since the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling? Zero.
Following up on our conversations after one of the recent rulings, what’s especially heartening for proponents of civil rights and equality is how routine success is becoming. It wasn’t long ago that these cases were nerve wracking – a gut-wrenching test of whether basic human decency would prevail – with countless families afraid to hope for fear of bitter disappointment.
Now, every case seems to end with the same celebratory result: watching the arc of history bend closer to justice.
This msnbc map looks more and more encouraging all the time.