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Which Marriage Equality Case Will the US Supreme Court Choose?

Friday, August 29th, 2014

US Supreme Court bw

It’s getting so you can’t tell the potential Supreme Court cases on same-sex marriage without a scorecard.

When the justices sit down for their first fall conference Sept. 29, they will consider the initial requests from states to review decisions striking down gay-marriage bans. Unless they quickly agree to hear one or more cases, those petitions won’t be the last.

Lawyers on both sides predict the justices will act soon to decide the issue by next June. That makes it likely they will choose from among the three cases pending. Some of the nation’s premier Supreme Court advocates, sensing history in the making, have signed on to represent gay couples or state officials.

“The issue is moving so fast,” says John Bursch, a former Michigan solicitor general defending Utah’s gay-marriage ban. “People want an answer soon, and I think the court is going to want to give it to them.”

Authored By Richard Wolf – See the Full Story at USA Today

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Another Big Circuit Court Hearing For Marriage Equality September 8th

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Ninth Circuit, San Francisco - Apple MaosThe hits just keep coming. We’ve got another big Circuit Court hearing coming up, this one in the Ninth Circuit, covering cases from Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii.

Passport Magazine reports:

On September 8th the 9th Circuit Court will hear oral arguments beginning at the James R Browning US Courthouse, 95 7th Street, San Francisco. The arguments concern laws banning marriage equality in Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii. This announcement comes just days after the 7th Circuit Court agreed to hear cases concerning Indiana and Wisconsin. Since the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Seventh, Sixth, Tenth, and Fourth Circuits have heard oral arguments in marriage equality cases. The Tenth Circuit issued rulings on June 25th and July 17th in cases from Utah and Oklahoma. The Fourth Circuit issued a ruling on July 28th in a case from Virginia. All three decisions held that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry.

Things are really coming to a boiling point, aren’t they? Anyone want to take odds on the US Supreme Court taking a case is next session?

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North Carolina Marriage Equality Stayed Until Virginia Decision

Friday, August 29th, 2014

North Carolina MapA federal judge just put the brakes on North Carolina marriage equality until the US Supreme Court either takes up or passes on the Virginia case.

Joe.My.God reports:

Yesterday a federal court stayed any further action on North Carolina’s same-sex marriage battle until SCOTUS rules on Virginia’s Bostic case. According to the order, should SCOTUS decline to hear Virginia’s case, the stay will be lifted. Also yesterday AFER followed Virginia AG Mark Herring and the Alliance Defending Freedom in asking SCOTUS to hear Bostic.

If the Supremes take up the case, this means no marriage equality North Carolina until next year. If it doesn’t, the stay will be lifted shortly thereafter.

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Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Seriously?Here’s the the latest in our ongoing series of some of the crazy things the anti-gay marriage equality opponents are saying and doing around the world.

All Gays Need is a Heart and Brain Transplant

Anti-gay “Christian” conservative radio host Linda Harvey picked up that old, sad, tired, stupid argument about there being no “ban” on same-sex marriage because gays can marry anyone a want, as long as that anyone is a woman. But she gave it a surprising new twist:

“They talk about laws on natural marriage as being ‘bans’ on same-sex so-called marriage. And that’s incorrect because people who are male can still marry people who are female. The only obstacle for a few people is the presence of unnatural desires. Those desires can change with a different mind and heart.”

Of course, we know that Linda Harvey wasn’t actually advocating for surgery, but even so, she’s basically saying that gays need to be brainwashed to be straight.

She also goes on to complain that retailer Target is not being inclusive of people like her:

“So where’s the inclusivity for traditional values families? Target also thinks there’s an LGBT community, but what about a Christian morals community? Do they get the fact that most people have had it up to here with pushing deviance and perversion into everyone’s lives in America? That most Americans don’t accept the idea of two men or two women being married when they are obviously not?”

Ms. Harvey has a strange idea of inclusivity, which apparently means to her that Target should turn away everyone that doesn’t believe the same thing she does. Target, on the other hand, seems to believe it should welcome everyone despite who they are what they believe.

full story

A Europe of F@ggots

Nikos Nikopoulos, the president of the conservative Christian-Democratic party in Greece, Is not happy about Luxembourg’s Prime Minister getting engaged to his partner. He tweeted his displeasure:

From a Europe of nation states to a Europe of…faggots!! The prime minister of Luxembourg is engaged with his darling!

Just going to show that homophobia is alive and well in Europe.

full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up 8/29/14

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Gay Wedding - HandsHere’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Australia: The Senate has formally condemned the World Congress of Families as the anti-gay group is about to hold its annual conference in Melbourne. Protesters have vowed to block the convention. full story

Australia: All but one Australian lawmaker have pulled out a participation in the anti-gay World Congress of Families conference in Melbourne this week. full story

Chile: Navy officer Mauricio Ruiz just became the first military officer in the country to come out as gay full story

Colombia: A judge is allowing the lesbian partner of a woman with two children to adopt them. full story

France: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who once famously said they would wait to get married until marriage equality was a reality, tied the knot in France this last week. full story

Jersey: The island of Jersey, in the Channel Islands, is launching a consultation on the possibility of marriage equality. full story

Switzerland: In an historic first, a Swiss court has recognized two men as legal fathers of their child. full story

Uganda: Thomas Mainz at Slate takes a look at queer life in Uganda. full story

USA: Actress and activist Sophia Bush has released a limited edition T-shirt for LGBT equality. full story

USA: The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, and the Railroad Retirement Board Still don’t recognize marriage equality. full story

USA: A former manager Little Caesars Pizza is suing the company for failing to provide benefits for spouses of gay and lesbian employees. full story

USA, California: A bill that would ban the so-called “gay panic” defense is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. full story

USA, Georgia: A new study says marriage quality without almost $80 million to Georgia’s economy over the next several years. full story

USA, Indiana: Gov. Mike Pence says he’s grateful that the state’s Atty. Gen. is continuing to defend the ban on marriage equality. full story

USA, Missouri: The Ozark Fire Department’s attorney is advising the board against extending benefits to spouses of LGBT employees, saying the state’s Constitution will not allow it. full story

USA, Texas: Dallas County Schools has decided to update its policies to include protections for LGBT employees and students. full story

USA, Washington DC: Allyson Robinson, a transgender woman, was just ordained as the pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in DC. full story

The Hidden Message in the Supreme Court’s Recent Marriage Rulings

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

US Supreme Court Color

When it comes to forecasting what the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are going to do, there are only two kinds of prediction: vague ones and wrong ones.

That’s because it’s simply impossible to guess how the highest court in the land will rule — no matter how clear the tea leaves seem, there will always be a surprise or two tucked in to any decision. Nevertheless, there is still meaning and import to be found in the court’s recent decisions around the freedom to marry.

It was in June of 2013 that the court ruled in the Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases, effectively relegalizing marriage in California and gutting the federal marriage ban. Since then, the court has issued five very sparse rulings. None of those rulings has explicitly addressed the constitutionality of marriage, but each one contains a hint of the court’s attitude on the issue.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at The Advocate

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Seven Great Moments From Tuesday’s Indiana / Wisconsin Marriage Equality Hearing

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Judge Rochard Posner

Sean Mandell has collected seven great moments from Judge Posner’s questioning in the Wisconsin and Indiana cases this week. reports:

Yesterday, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard two cases challenging same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin. There was a lot of speculation as to who would be on the three judge panel that would hear the case. Not long before the hearing began, we found out: Judges Ann Claire Williams, David Hamilton and Richard Posner. Williams and Hamilton were Clinton and Obama nominees respectively and were widely thought to be favorable to pro-equality arguments. Judge Posner, a Reagan nominee, was something of a wild-card. Though as our own Ari Ezra Waldman pointed out in his pre-hearing analysis, Judge Posner does not always “toe a socially conservative line,” having “been sympathetic to the pro-choice movement.” However, few could have imagined how incredible Judge Posner’s performance during the hearing would be. And while the 7th Circuit still has to deliver its decision, it is safe to say that Judge Posner has won his way into many a gay’s heart.

See the full list here, and enjoy!

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Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality Round-Up 8/27/14

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Here’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Australia: The World Congress of Families is having a hard time finding a venue in Melbourne willing to host their annual conference of homophobia. full story

Australia: Australian Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews booked the main room of the country’s parliament house to the anti-gay Australian Families Association. full story

Cameroon: A new undercover video shows the abuses the LGBT community undergoes in the African country. full story

Kazakhstan: An ad promoting a gay club in Almaty, featuring Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing, has set off a firestorm of controversy. full story


UK: The Tory member of Parliament who called same-sex marriage “arrogant” has defected to the UKIP. full story

UK: A London venue hosting a Uganda conference next month is taking heat because the conference features politicians who supported the country’s anti-gay legislation. full story

USA: A new study says that 19% of foster kids are LGBTQ. full story

USA: Lambda Legal is launching a new campaign, “Know Your Rights at Work”, for LGBT and HIV+ people. full story

USA: Plaintiffs in three states that have appealed their marriage equality lawsuits to the US Supreme Court are asking the court once and for all to decide the marriage equality issue. full story

USA, Arkansas: The Fayetteville City Council approved an LGBT rights ordinance this week. full story

USA, DC: Monica Helms, who designed the transgender flag, says the Smithsonian’s acceptance of the flag alomg with a number of other LGBT rights artifacts is a “huge step” for transgender people. full story

USA, Florida: Watermark chronicles the journey of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs to support marriage equality. full story

USA, Michigan: A gay couple says their mailman won’t deliver to them because they are gay. full story

USA, New Mexico: Homeschoolers in the state are campaigning to defeat Rep. Bill McCamley, one of the key legislators who pushed for marriage equality. full story

USA, North Carolina: After receiving 12,000 signatures asking him to stop defending the marriage equality ban, Gov. Pat McCrory said the process should continue, and the US Supreme Court will make the final decision. full story

USA, Utah: Top civil rights lawyer for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders Mary Bonauto will be joining the legal team challenging Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. full story

National Organization for Marriage Knocked Down Again in Oregon

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

NOM LogoThe National Organization for Marriage faced another setback in their fight against marriage equality.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

A federal appeals court has dismissed the National Organization for Marriage’s effort to appeal an Oregon court ruling that allows same sex marriage. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision on Wednesday. Several same-sex couples sued the state of Oregon last year arguing the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Who even knew they were still fighting Oregon marriage equality? It’s just sad.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

Florida Marriage Equality Case Bounced Up to State Supreme Court

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Florida From SpaceA state appeals court is asking the Florida Supreme Court to rule on a Florida marriage equality case.

SDGLN reports:

Florida’s highest court is being asked to decide whether or not the state’s ban on gay marriage is constitutional. In an unusual decision, the state’s 2nd District Court of Appeal on Wednesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to settle the question due to “great public importance.” If the high court takes up the case, it could result in having the issue settled even before the U.S. Supreme Court acts. The ruling is connected to a Hillsborough County divorce case involving a same-sex couple who had been married in Massachusetts but since relocated to the Tampa area.

Will the court take the case, or bounce it back down?

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