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Alabama Marriage Equality Update 2/10/15

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

AlabamaAnother day, more controversy in Alabama as the marriage equality fight continues.

At least three counties have relented and started to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples:

It’s possible that these counties are reacting to a statement made last night by the governor. Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican and a Southern Baptist, said he believes strongly that marriage is between one man and one woman, but that the issue should be “worked out through the proper legal channels” and not through defiance of the law. The governor noted that Alabama is about to be in the spotlight again with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was passed after civil rights marchers were attacked and beaten in Selma, Alabama — events chronicled in the Oscar-nominated movie “Selma.” “I don’t want Alabama to be seen as it was 50 years ago when a federal law was defied. I’m not going to do that,” Bentley said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. The three counties (Limestone, Morgan, and Elmore) have a combined population of 280,000. That still leaves more than 50 counties who are not serving gay couples.

Attorney General Luther Strange filed his response to the plaintiffs’ amended complaint.

Equality on Trial reports:

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has filed his response to yesterday’s request from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), who’s representing the plaintiffs in Strawser v. Strange, to amend their complaint, add new plaintiffs and defendants, and request a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order against the Mobile County Probate Judge. The filing notes that the attorney general can’t issue marriage licenses, nor can he order county probate judges to take any actions or open their offices. Because of that, he doesn’t oppose the addition of plaintiffs who are seeking marriage licenses from Mobile County, and the probate judge of the county as a defendant.

The judge in the case has scheduled a hearing for Friday.

Equality on Trial reports:

The federal district court judge who overturned Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, February 12 on the request in Strawser for an injunction requiring Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis. The county is still refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and they’re see

Some straight couples have been caught in the crossfire:

Meanwhile, Governor Bentley made some conciliatory noises.

Equality on Trial reports:

The governor noted that Alabama is about to be in the spotlight again with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was passed after civil rights marchers were attacked and beaten in Selma, Alabama — events chronicled in the Oscar-nominated movie “Selma.” “I don’t want Alabama to be seen as it was 50 years ago when a federal law was defied. I’m not going to do that,” Bentley said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

“I’m trying to move this state forward.”

Chief Justice Roy Moore mouthed off again.

The Dallas Voice reports:

…on Monday, Feb. 9, Moore explained to ABC News that he has to stop same-sex marriage, because if loving, committed adult couples of the same gender are allowed to legally marry, then all hell is gonna break loose and then “men and their daughters or women and their sons” would be insisting they be allowed to get married too.

In a fitting tribute, the Klu Klux Klan came out in support of Moore today.

Joe.My.God reports:

From the website of the United Dixie White Knights: The Mississippi Klan salutes Alabama’s chief justice Roy Moore, for refusing to bow to the yoke of Federal tyranny. The Feds have no authority over individual States marriage laws. The fudgepackers from Hollywood and all major news networks are in shock that the good people from the heart of Dixie are resisting their Imperialist, Communist Homosexual agenda!

Lambda Legal is urging probate judges to ignore Moore.

SDGLN reports:

Lambda Legal today sent an open letter to the president of the Alabama Probate Judges Association and probate judges of counties that are not issuing licenses to same-sex couples urging them to disregard Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s legally incorrect and unfounded Administrative Order and instead issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and different-sex couples alike, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the state’s request for a stay.

A woman in Autauga County was arrested after trying to perform a same sex wedding ceremony in the probate judge’s office.

Joe.My.God reports:

An Autauga County woman was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct Tuesday morning after offering to perform a same sex marriage inside the probate judge’s office. Anne Susan Diprizio, of the 300 block of Cambridge Street, is charged with disorderly conduct, said Dave Hill, chief deputy of the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office. She was being processed in the Autauga Metro Jail after her arrest and was unavailable for comment. Courthouse records show she doesn’t have an attorney. She was being held on a bond of $1,000, Hill said.

The state has put up the biggest fight against marriage equality so far.

AL.com reports:

Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond School of Law professor who has tracked same-sex marriage litigation across the country, said he does not believe any other state has resisted the federal court system as aggressively as Alabama. He said the closest analogy probably is Florida, where clerks across the state initially insisted that a judge’s order striking down that state’s ban applied only in one county. “It never really culminated in this situation,” he said, referring to Monday’s wild day in Alabama. “The day came, and they were ready and everything went OK.”

US Senator Jeff Sessions jumped into the fray today.

Towleroad.com reports:

Sessions told CQ Roll Call that he believes judges’ rulings in favor of marriage equality have more to do with sentiment that an accurate interpretation of the U.S. Constitution: “I think it’s an unhealthy trend that judges feel that they’re somehow reflecting popular opinion when first of all, it’s not popular opinion, and secondly, who are they to be ruling on cases based on how they feel.”

Nate Cohn at the New York Times looks at the depth of opposition to gay marriage in Alabama:

…Those results suggest that Alabama would have voted overwhelmingly against same-sex marriage if it had been on the ballot there in 2012. I estimate the vote would have been roughly 73 percent to 27 percent against same-sex marriage. The estimate is based on the relationship between support for same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington; educational attainment; population density; the number of evangelical Christians and African-Americans; and support for Mr. Obama. Support for same-sex marriage has increased further over the last two years, rising to about 54 percent last year from 49 percent in 2012, according to Pew and Gallup national polls. Nonetheless, a majority — and probably two-thirds — of Alabama voters most likely remain opposed.

Now we wait for Friday’s hearing and the judge’s ruling.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

Minnesota, USA: Recall Attempts Over Marriage Equality Bill Rejected

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Minnesota mapSome fresh marriage equality news out of Minnesota today. The Chief Justice has thrown out a couple of attempted recalls against DFLers who voted for the marriage equality bill. TwinCities.com reports:

On the last day of the legislative session, the chief justice of the state Supreme Court has thrown out recall petitions filed against two DFL House members over their support for legalizing gay marriage. Chief Justice Lorie Gildea on Monday, May 20, dismissed the proposed petitions against Reps. Joe Radinovich of Crosby and John Ward of Baxter “for failure to allege specific facts that, if proven, would constitute grounds for recall.” Minnesota law sets a high bar for recalling elected officials.

Designer Isaac Mizrahi is thrilled that the bill passed. On Top Magazine reports:

During an appearance on HuffPost Live, Mizrahi gave Minnesota a big cheer and said that gay people need to be vocal about their rights. “You do have to be vocal about these things,” he said. “You have to keep talking about it. I am at this point where I’m proud to come out and fight that good fight. I’m not defensive anymore, I’m proactive about it.”

USA: Adopted 12 Year Old Writes Justice Roberts A Video Letter About Marriage Equality

Monday, March 18th, 2013

you tube bigOut of the mouths of babes. After hearing about Justice Roberts’ adopted children, the adopted son of a gay couple sent the Chief Justice a video letter. AmericaBlog reports:

Daniel and his sister are adopted, and Daniel was struck by the similarity of his situation (being one of two adopted kids) and Justice Roberts’ two adopted kids. He wanted to tell Roberts that “my family is just as valuable and worthwhile as any other.” One thing that’s particularly striking about Daniel’s letter is that he talks about the fact that he has a genetic disorder, Goldenhar Syndrome, that affects the entire left side of his body (watching the video, it almost appears as if Daniel is recovering from a stroke).

See the full video here:

Bahamas: Chief Justice Thinks Marriage Equality Will Be Addressed Soon

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Now that marriage equality has a foothold in the Caribbean, the Chief Justice of the courts in the Bahamas thinks its only a matter of time before the issue is addressed in the Caribbean nation’s courts, Pink News reports:

In an optimistic address, Sir Michael Barnett predicted that the issue would come to the courts in the Bahamas, and said that he would be looking to other countries for reference when considering the issue. “I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time when the courts of The Bahamas will address the issue of same sex marriage,” he said on Friday. “I also have no doubt that in deciding the issue we will have respect for the decisions that emanate not only from the Commonwealth countries like Canada and Australia, but also from decisions of the courts of the Unites States of America.

The Caribbean has long been a desert when it comes to LGBT rights, but that may be changing, albeit slowly.

USA: How Will Chief Justice Roberts Rule in Marriage Equality Cases?

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Chief Justice John RobertsGay marriage may well be the defining social and legal issue of our time. After receiving the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, President Obama delivered a monumental speech in which he became the first President in history to use the word “gay” in an inaugural address. In unveiling an unmistakably progressive agenda, he proclaimed that, “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

Much has been written about the ideological divide between Obama and the Chief Justice. Author Jeffrey Toobin devotes to the subject an entire book entitled The Oath. There, Toobin boils down the differing views that each has of the Constitution, the Supreme Court and the country. Toobin writes that,

“Both men gave considerable thought to the Constitution, and they reached different conclusions about its current trajectory:

Authored By Jim Zirin – See the Full Story at Forbes

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Alabama, USA: Anti Gay Chief Justice Wins Re-Election

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Anti Gay Chief Justice Wins Re-Election in AlabamaIf you think Tuesday’s election was a national endorsement of equality, that memo escaped Alabama’s voters: they reelected a former state Supreme Court chief justice who was previously fired for refusing to take down a monument to the Ten Commandments and who believes “gay marriage will destroy the nation.”

After being fired in 2003, Roy Moore handily won reelection on Tuesday as Alabama’s most powerful judge. Moore bested two other opponents and received over 50% of the vote.

Since he was removed from his position nine years ago after refusing federal orders to take down his religious monument, Moore hasn’t had a change of heart about the separation of church and state. His victory party on Tuesday featured a cake shaped like the tablets of the Ten Commandments, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Authored By Neal Broverman – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

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Alabama, USA: Chief Justice Candidate Says Marriage Equality Will Destroy America

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Roy Moore, fired from his job as Alabama’s most powerful judge in 2003, is scapegoating gays in an effort to get his old job back.

Running to once again be the chief justice of Alabama’s supreme court, Moore told a group of Tea Party supporters on Saturday that “same-sex marriage will lead to the ultimate destruction of our country” (no explanation on why that hasn’t already happened since marriage equality is legal in six states and Washington, D.C.). His statement received applause. Moore also denigrated the Democratic party for supporting LGBT rights.

Authored By Neal Broverman – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook. We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

IA: Supreme Court Justice to Meet With Marriage Equality Foe

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

The chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court has agreed to meet with one of the state’s leading critics of the court’s gay marriage ruling. Chuck Hurley of a group that recently changed its name to The FAMiLY Leader says he’ll ask the chief justice to “pray and search his heart” and Hurley says he’s confident the justice will then resign.

“This court thinks they’re smarter than nature,” Hurley says. “…In the opinion, the justices said that they’re holding the constitution up to an evolving standard and our view is that some things, like marriage, are transcendent.”

Hurley says the judiciary needs to be “subordinate” to not only the other branches of government and to the people, but to the laws of nature. “Sodomy was called a crime against nature for centuries,” Hurley says.

Full Story from Radio Iowa

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IA: Chief Justice Has No Regrets About Marriage Equality Ruling

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Iowa Chief Justice on Gay MarriageThe chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court says he has no regrets about the court’s 2009 ruling on gay marriage which has sparked controversy and led to the defeat of three justices in this fall’s retention election.

Chief Justice Mark Cady wrote the opinion and during a television interview that will air tonight on Iowa Public Television, Cady was asked if he regretted issuing that decision.

“Absolutely not. That decision was crafted with all of the energy, all of the strength – everything that we do as judges is in that opinion,” Cady said. “Everything that Iowa is about is in that opinion.”

Full Story from Radio Iowa

Click here for gay marriage resources in Iowa.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.