National Jeweler Network

7 new pieces from JA New York Winter

Diamond Eternity Stack Ring 14K Yellow Gold $495 Also Available in Sterling Silver With 14K Yellow Gold Plating $275
Diamond Eternity Stack Ring 14K Yellow Gold $495 Also Available in Sterling Silver With 14K Yellow Gold Plating

January 21, 2015

This 14-karat gold and diamond ring from Proposition Love was just one of a number of jewels that were new at the JA New York show this week.
Click through the slideshow to see seven pieces of jewelry that debuted at the JA New York Winter show this week.
New York–The JA New York Winter Show took place Sunday through Tuesday, providing brands and designers the opportunity to show off their new jewelry designs and capitalize on some of the trends for the year.

The pieces on the show floor also gave some idea what stores will be stocking and consumers will be buying in 2015.

If the show was any indication, stacking will continue to be in, ear pieces are still having their day, and colored gemstones will dazzle in the year to come. Gold jewelry and bold metal pieces also made a strong showing.

The Year of Marriage Equality

JANUARY 18, 2015
The Year of Marriage Equality
On Friday, at the start of a long weekend celebrating our most famous civil-rights leader, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear four new cases this term in which it will almost certainly decide whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage. The cases, from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, are all appeals of a ruling last November by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the same-sex-marriage bans in those states. Since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, in 2013, all other federal circuit courts have ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

As I wrote at the time of the Sixth Circuit Court decision, many expected that it would cause the Supreme Court to take a same-sex-marriage case this term. Marriage-equality activists have been confident that if the Court were to accept such a case, the outcome would be in their favor. The language of the Windsor decision made clear where the Supreme Court was headed. The decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the key fifth vote, who is not usually associated with liberal causes but is a gay-rights supporter nonetheless, said that DOMA in effect “demeans” the plaintiff, “whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, and whose relationship the State has sought to dignify.”

Last October, the Court declined to hear appeals from five states where circuit courts had struck down bans on same-sex marriage. Those cases, and the Supreme Court’s decision not to review them, not only sent a powerful message to the federal judiciary but also increased the number of states where same-sex marriage is legal. Marriage equality is now the law in thirty-six states, which are home to more than seventy per cent of the population. Previously, some had expressed concern that a Supreme Court mandate for same-sex marriage would get out ahead of public acceptance. (Margaret Talbot wrote about this issue five years ago.) Thirty-six states would seem to be a large enough majority to assuage these fears.

In its order Friday, the Court said that it will focus on two questions: “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?” and “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?” Two of the four cases that the Court has agreed to hear are about whether states must recognize same-sex marriages from other states. However, if the Court answers the first question in the affirmative, the second is beside the point. On Saturday, there was some speculation that, with the phrasing of the second question, the Court may have reserved for itself the option of a more limited ruling, one that stops short of requiring every state to perform same-sex marriage. This appears to be an unlikely outcome at this point.

United States Supreme Court at TwilightThese questions are similar to the ones considered by the Court two years ago, when, along with United States v. Windsor, it heard Hollingsworth v. Perry, which involved California’s Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies, who had been opponents in Bush v. Gore, in 2000, worked together on an ambitious attempt to make marriage equality the law of the land, even as marriage-equality activists argued over whether the Court was ready for a broad ruling. In fact, the Court avoided one, ruling on procedural grounds that the party appealing the case lacked the legal standing to pursue it. (When the State of California declined to defend Proposition 8, the original ballot sponsors stepped in to do so.) The new cases do not present a similar procedural way out of the question of whether states must allow same-sex marriage.

Marriage-equality advocates will argue that the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution requires that all Americans be afforded the right to marry the person they love. The four Justices on the liberal wing of the Court are expected to embrace some version of that argument, and to be joined by Justice Kennedy. There is even some speculation that Chief Justice John Roberts could join in such a ruling, and write the historic opinion himself, while limiting its scope.

Shortly after the Supreme Court’s announcement, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement that the Justice Department would file a brief “that will urge the Supreme Court to make marriage equality a reality for all Americans.” For the Hollingsworth case, the Justice Department made a nuanced argument in favor of same-sex marriage but stopped short of advocating that it be required in all states. This year is different. “It is time for our nation to take another critical step forward to ensure the fundamental equality of all Americans—no matter who they are, where they come from, or whom they love,” Holder’s statement concluded.
It’s not unreasonable to expect that the Supreme Court will make same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states. The question, for longtime marriage-equality activists, is what exactly will this achieve, and what will happen next? Will nationwide marriage equality lead in time to full nationwide acceptance, or will they discover, like many civil-rights activists before them, that there is a big gap between legal rights and true equality? This is a big moment for the gay-rights movement, and an important one in which to remember that there is likely more struggle ahead.