Legal Tangles Loom in Gay Marriage Ruling

Challenges will come quickly as newlyweds return to home states
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2008 6:53 PM CDT
In this Dec. 17, 2004 file photo, Phyllis Lyon, left, and her partner Del Martin, right, sit for a photograph at their home in San Francisco, Friday Dec. 17, 2004.    (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – Gay newlyweds coming home from California this week will likely spark legal battles in their home states, the Arizona Republic reports. California is sure to hitch up more than Massachusetts did 4 years ago, and many will return to states that prohibit gay marriage, some by constitutional amendment. "It's uncharted legal territory," law professor Nancy Hunter said.

A couple in a car crash driving home could even face legal issues: Will that state grant hospital visitations? What about key medical decisions? The Republic breaks it down by state law, looking at 41 states that prohibit gay marriage—24 by constitutional bans—and nine that allow same-sex marriage alternatives. "Each state is going to have to address these issues as they come up," Hunter said.