We have just made another big step towards this: A few weeks ago, a three-judge panel of the 9th circuit court ruled in a patent case that it is illegal for an attorney to reject a juror just because he is gay, and today Abbott Laboratories announced that they will not appeal this case to the full court, or the supreme court. On the surface of it, this may seem inconsequential for marriage equality, but it has huge implications for the states covered by the 9th circuit, that is CA, AZ, NV, OR, WA and ID. To reach their conclusion, the court had to find that discrimination based on sexual orientation merits heightened scrutiny, overturning an old precedent that only rational basis is required. Practically, this means whenever an anti-gay law is challenged in those states, the states have to show that that law is substantially related to furthering an important government interest. Up to now, the plaintiffs had to sow that no conceivable rational exists for the law, which is of course way harder. Under the new standard, that all federal court in those states now have to apply, it should be virtually impossible to defend any gay marriage ban, so wins for us at the district court and appellate level in those states are now virtually guaranteed. Those can of course be appealed to the supreme court when the time comes, but in the meantime, important legal decisions in our favor will be made on the ground.