Religion and law round-up – 12th October

A very mixed bag: the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage and prisoners’ beards (but not at the same time), abortion in NI, statistics on sexuality in the UK, the future of the C of E parish system, performing right…

Same-sex marriage and the US Supreme Court

We normally keep well away from US law because there are lots of US law & religion experts out there (which we are emphatically not) and even more US law & religion cases; but we can’t ignore Monday’s decision of the US Supreme Court.

In June 2013, in United States v Windsor 570 US (2013) (Docket No. 12-307) a divided Supreme Court struck down s 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act 1996, which defined “marriage” as a union between a man and a woman. Lower federal courts then started to rely on the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor to strike down five states’ bans on same-sex marriage – in Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Wisconsin – and on Monday, again by five to four, the Court turned down seven petitions for certiorari seeking review of those decisions of the lower courts. Continue reading