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Idaho Governor Continues to Fight Marriage Equality

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Idaho Governor Butch OtterAfter having said he would not appeal the recent marriage equality decision, Idaho’s Governor Butch Otter has apparently had a change of heart.

SDGLN reports:

Idaho failed to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay that would have halted gay marriages in that state, so the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved its temporary stay and allowed gay weddings to resume a week ago. But instead of following the law, Gov. Otter is determined to try and try again. For a second time, he will file a petition with the Ninth Circuit seeking an en banc review of its ruling that went 3-0 in favor of marriage equality. En banc means that a larger panel of 11 judges would re-hear Idaho’s case. Legal observers said Idaho’s defense of the ban on gay marriage was lame at best. As of 4 pm PDT on Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit website makes no mention of Otter’s request.

Know the phrase “a snowball’s chance in hell”?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Idaho.

Almost Everything You’ve Been Told About The Idaho Wedding Chapel Story Is A Lie

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

IdahoTwo ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, own a for-profit wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, but say they cannot marry same-sex couples because of their faith. Now that same-sex couples can legally marry in Idaho, the Knapps face a possible issue.

Earlier this year, as you can see in this video, Donald Knapp (photo, above,) said he’d close the chapel rather than violate his faith. At the center of the controversy is their small town’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

Bottom line, depending on how they’ve licensed their business, they likely would be exempt from the ordinance, but that hasn’t stopped the maniacal anti-gay religious right who have hitched their wagons to the Hitching Post’s story and are profiting from it — because that’s just what they do.

Authored By David Badash – See the Full Story at The New Civil Rights Movement

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Analysis: Marriage Equality Has No Impact on Rate of Straight Marriages

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

titleA new survey done by the Reno Gazette-Journal found no impact on straight weddings after marriage equality was introduced in a given state or country.

The Advocate reports:

A recent analysis by Fact Checker at the Reno Gazette-Journal looked into the marriage rate of countries abroad that have legalized same-sex marriage and compared the marriage rate over time. The findings show that same-sex marriage has not had any impact on the rate of different-sex marriages. So Nevada need not be worried about marriage equality recently coming to the state. The ongoing decline in different-sex marriages is actually a trend started decades before same-sex marriage became an issue. Fact Checker looked at Eurostat data and compared marriage rates in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands over the decades. Although they have differing laws about marriage, all three countries had the same trend, according to Fact Checker, and showed declines in marriages since the 1970s.

Think it will make any difference?

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Federal Judge in Puerto Rico Upholds Marriage Equality Ban

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Puerto RicoA second Federal Judge has upheld a marriage equality ban (the first was in Louisiana).

LGBTQ Nation reports:

U.S. District Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez, cited Baker v. Nelson, a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld Minnesota’s ban on same-sex marriage, and said that allowing same-sex marriage raises the question of a constitutional right to polygamous and incestuous marriages. The case, Conde-Vidal v. Garcia-Padilla, was filed in March by Lambda Legal on behalf of five gay and lesbian couples and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, an organization that represents LGBT Puerto Ricans and their families.

Think Progress points out that the decision reads like a National Organization for Marriage press release:

Recent affirmances of same-gender marriage seem to suffer from a peculiar inability to recall the principles embodied in existing marriage law. Traditional marriage is “exclusively [an] opposite-sex institution . . . inextricably linked to procreation and biological kinship,” Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2718 (Alito, J., dissenting). Traditional marriage is the fundamental unit of the political order. And ultimately the very survival of the political order depends upon the procreative potential embodied in traditional marriage. Those are the well-tested, well-proven principles on which we have relied for centuries.

Lambda Legal plans to appeal:

“The court’s ruling directly conflicts with the wave of recent decisions finding these marriage bans unconstitutional and perpetuates the discrimination and harm done to same-sex Puerto Rican couples and their families,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. “It defies the unmistakable import of the Windsor decision and flies in the face of the blizzard of rulings of the last year, the reasoned rulings of the Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits, and the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand the rulings striking down five bans similar to Puerto Rico’s. One struggles to understand how this judge came to a different conclusion. We will, of course, appeal this ruling to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals,” Gonzalez-Pagan said. “All families in Puerto Rico need the protections of marriage.”

The Judge was apparently a democratic appointee.

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New US Marriage Equality Maps

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

We have three new US marriage equality maps for you. For the first time (at least for me) it really looks like the marriage equality states are dominant on the map:

Pew Forum has a great interactive map (with a slider) showing marriage equality by state over time. See the Interactive Map

Pew Map

Think Progress also has a new marriage equality map. full story

Think Progress Map

Wikipedia has a new marriage equality map too. full story

Wikipedia Map

Enjoy!

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Marriage Equality Round-Up October 22nd

Wednesday, October 22nd, 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: Hotel Hyatt Canberra is taking heat for hosting the national conference of a notoriously anti-gay group. full story

Costa Rica: A new survey shows 20% of cops think it’s ok to harass gay people. full story

Jamaica: A report by Human Rights Watch shows there is widespread discrimination and violence against the LGBT community in the country. full story

Mexico: Hundreds of activists will attend an LGBT rights conference in Mexico City next week. full story

Russia: LGBT rights rights activists lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights after being prohibited from holding a marriage equality rally in Moscow.
full story

Singapore: A gay blogger has been charged with contempt for implying that the courts are ‘systemically biased’ against homosexuality. full story

UK: Singer Annie Lenox says she’s so happy that transgender people can now come out of the shadows. full story

USA: Singer/actress Jennifer Hudson has joined W Hotels and HRC in a new campaign for marriage equality. full story

USA, Florida: October 24th is a key deadline on the state – it’s possible couples there will be able to marry, if a judge lifts his stay. full story

USA, Florida: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Miami Beach jointly filed an amicus brief in favor of marriage equality. full story

USA, Hawaii: The lawsuit against the state for marriage equality has been wrapped up by the Ninth Circuit. full story

USA, New Jersey: The state just celebrated 1 year of marriage equality. full story

USA, North Carolina: The Columbus County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution opposing marriage equality. full story

USA, North Carolina: Senate Leader Phil Berger Sr. (R) will introduce “right to discriminate” legislation to allow magistrates to refuse to issue marriage licenses or perform weddings for same sex couples. full story

USA, North Carolina: Raleigh became the sixth statewide to protect transgender workers from employment discrimination, passing the ordinance unanimously. full story

USA, Texas: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary hosted a debate on marriage equality last week. full story

USA, Texas: Michael sam has ben cut from the Dallas Cowboys. full story

USA, Wisconsin: Governor Walker proudly re-iterated his opposition to marriage equality in a letter to a conservative group. full story

USA, Wyoming: Same sex couples began to marry in Wyoming yesterday. full story

President Obama: “I Think The Equal Protection Clause Does Guarantee Same-Sex Marriage” In All 50 States

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

President Barack ObamaPresident Obama’s evolution on marriage equality continues, as he discusses in an interview with the New Yorker.

The New Yorker reports:

Obama opposed marriage equality until May of 2012. He told me that he now believes the Constitution requires all states to allow same-sex marriage, an argument that his Administration has not yet made before the Supreme Court. “Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states,” he said. “But, as you know, courts have always been strategic. There have been times where the stars were aligned and the Court, like a thunderbolt, issues a ruling like Brown v. Board of Education, but that’s pretty rare. And, given the direction of society, for the Court to have allowed the process to play out the way it has may make the shift less controversial and more lasting.”

How many other Americans are now shifting their views on the subject, now that things are moving so quickly?

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A Procedural Rule Could Keep Any Future Marriage Equality Case From the US Supreme Court

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

US Supreme Court ColorOne of the great benefits of the marriage equality debate is that it has forced Americans to learn way more about constitutional law than they probably ever wanted to. In just a few years, terms like “heightened scrutiny” and “liberty interest” have wriggled their way into the demotic parlance, to my unceasing delight. But the schooling, it seems, will not end at the 14th Amendment, because Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne just cited a rule of civil procedure in refusing to defend his state’s ban on same-sex marriage. And if his theory is correct, opponents of marriage equality may be procedurally barred from ever getting a gay marriage case to the Supreme Court again.

Here’s the thrust of Horne’s unexpected argument: Under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, attorneys must certify that any motions they file are “nonfrivolous” and aren’t designed to “cause unnecessary delay.” If you violate that rule, you might face sanctions–a pretty embarrassing and sometimes expensive penalty. For months, the conventional wisdom dictated that states could appeal gay marriage rulings without stumbling on Rule 11; the Supreme Court, after all, has yet to issue a definitive ruling on the matter.

But all that changed over the last few weeks, as the justices have swatted away every single request to rule on gay marriage bans. So extreme is the court’s laissez-faire attitude that it refuses to stay lower courts’ pro-gay rulings, allowing couples to wed immediately. After a district court struck down Arizona’s gay marriage ban last Friday, Horne seems to have surveyed this trend and decided that, by not speaking, the court had spoken–and any appeal would be utterly useless. The judicial expansion of marriage equality, Horne suggested, is so emphatic and irreversible that an appeal of the district court’s judgment might be seen as a frivolous delaying tactic, in direct violation of Rule 11.

Authored By Mark Joseph Stern – See the Full Story at Slate

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Wyoming Weddings Begin Today!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

WyomingThe State Attorney General has given the go-ahead for same sex couples to start marrying there as of today.

Reuters reports:

Gay marriages can begin in Wyoming on Tuesday after the state files a formal notice that it will not appeal a judge’s order overturning a ban on same-sex matrimony, the state’s attorney general said on Monday… “After reviewing the law and the judge’s decision that binding precedent requires recognition of same-sex marriage, I have concluded that further legal process will result in delay but not a different result,” Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael said in a statement. Michael said that the nuptials can begin immediately after the state files a formal notice with the court stating that it would not seek that appeal. The move will bring to 32 the number of states that allow gay marriage.

The LGBT community in the state that became infamous for the death of Matthew Shepard now has reason to celebrate.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Wyoming.

Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Tuesday, October 21st, 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.


We’re Making Shitloads of Money off this Idaho Lie

Tony Perkins is flogging the Idaho story of a couple who own a Christian wedding chapel like his life (or more accurately, his bank accounts) depended on it:

“If homosexuals get their way, Pastor Donald Knapp won’t be behind the pulpit — he’ll be behind bars. That’s the stunning development in Idaho, where the day liberals promised would never come is already here. Two ministers — a husband and wife team — have been told by their city government that refusing to ‘marry’ a same-sex couple will send them straight to jail. FRC warned this moment was coming, but even we didn’t expect the government to move this quickly.”

Unfortunately for the religious right, the whole story turns out to be a lie:

City officials in Coeur d’Alene say they have not received any formal complaints that the Hitching Post wedding chapel has violated the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance by refusing to solemnize same-sex marriages. A lawsuit filed in federal court Friday on behalf of Don and Lynn Knapp, ordained ministers and owners of the Hitching Post, claims the couple’s constitutional rights to religious freedom are being violated by the city, through the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance, because it compels them to officiate over gay marriages. The law, adopted in 2013, prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity to be used as a basis for discrimination in housing, employment and other public accommodations. News of the lawsuit sparked national headlines over the weekend, primarily from conservative media, claiming that the city is threatening to arrest the Knapps. “We have never threatened to jail them, or take legal action of any kind,” said city spokesman Keith Erickson. [snip] Gridley wrote that the city will not prosecute legitimate nonprofit religious corporations, associations, educational institutions, or societies or other exempt organizations or anyone else as a result of their lawful exercise of their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion. When contacted by The Press for comment, Don Knapp said the Hitching Post is not operating as a not-for-profit religious corporation. He also said he does not know ADF Attorney David Cortman.

But don’t expect these guys to let the truth get in the way of a good fundraising effort.

full story

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Christians Should Run for the Border

Pat Robertson is suggesting that Christians in states that now have marriage equality need to get the hell out:

“If I were that couple I’d get ahead of the curve. Get on an airplane and leave Idaho or get in your car and drive across the border into Montana. Get out of that state and if need be close your chapel down. Get ahead of it because this is outrageous. But I was afraid this would happen. The next thing you know it’ll be a church, a church is going to be forced to do things like that. You can see some Catholic church being forced to perform a gay marriage.”

And of course, as soon as “Christians” do run for the border under this spurious threat, Robertson and his ilk will claim that they had been driven out.

full story


Gay Mariage Is Destroying the US

Rush Limbaugh has launched one of his trademark diatribes against marriage equality and the left:

“Standards have deteriorated, morality is no longer allowed to be defined or used. Nobody is allowed to pass judgement on what’s obviously right or wrong. There’s no foundation, there aren’t any guardrails anymore…it’s no wonder people who are rooted in the great traditions and institutions of this country may think they are crumbling, because they’re routinely assaulted – they, the people, and the institutions.”

Or maybe what you so narrowly define as “right and wrong” was based on a lie in the first place… that gay people choose to be that way and so are inherently sinful?

full story


Gay Marriage is a Pestilence of Gay Gremlins

That’s what Anthony Culler, Republican candidate for South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, apparently thinks of the gays and marriage equality:

“Same-sex “marriage” is a pestilence that has descended on our society, against our will, by those in the courts and government that do not value the traditional family… Same-sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are NOT cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life.””

Let me set you straight here. Gay people are not gremlins. They are people – your neighbors, teachers, doctors, and yes, constituents – people who just want to live a normal life with the person they love. Allowing them to marry changes exactly nothing for you or your “way of life”.

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