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North Carolina Judge OK’s GOP Intervention, Says It’s a Waste of Time

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

North Carolina MapThe GOP and NOM have been granted the standing to intervene in a marriage equality case in North Carolina. Joe.My.God reports:

United States District Court Judge William Osteen today ruled that the GOP/NOM legal team has the standing to appeal North Carolina’s marriage equality case… But check out this smackdown towards the end of the ruling: Notwithstanding some of the ongoing cases on a national level, this discussion is merely academic in this court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued its ruling in Bostic. As recognized by the district court in General Synod, this district court, sitting in North Carolina and the Fourth Circuit, is bound to apply that law. The parties to this case have the right to expect nothing less, whether they agree with the law or not. The issue presently before this court is solely whether to permit intervention for the purpose of preserving and taking an appeal. Although it is a very close issue, this court concludes that the motion to intervene should be granted, but only for the purpose of lodging an objection and preserving that objection to this court’s application of Bostic.

In otherwords, you’ll get your day in court, but at this point you’re just wasting everyone’s time and money.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in North Carolina.

Marriage Equality: What’s Going On in North Carolina

Friday, October 10th, 2014

North Carolina MapAnd in North Carolina, the march toward marriage equality in the wake of the non-decision continues. Here’s what happened yesterday.

The state’s GOP leaders hired the Chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, of all people, to head up their attempt to intervene in the case. LGBTQ Nation reports:

House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger filed a motion seeking to intervene in legal challenges to the state’s gay marriage ban approved by voters in 2012. They also asked for a one-week delay to file additional documents. The GOP legislators have hired California lawyer John C. Eastman, chairman of the conservative National Organization for Marriage. Berger spokeswoman Shelly Carver said Eastman has agreed to forgo his first $10,000 in legal fees. After that, he will be paid $400 an hour.

Seriously. I guess they couldn’t find an impartial lawyer to take the case? The state asked for an 8 day delay to prepare their case, but a judge shot the request down. Joe.My.God reports:

…the attorneys requested an extension of eight days to make their arguments against same-sex marriage. Late Thursday evening, U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen issued an order denying their request. “In light of the stage of this litigation, and the arguments and positions previously asserted by both parties to this case, this court does not find good cause to extend the time for filing a proposed Answer,” Osteen’s order read. The judge gave them until noon tomorrow to file their motion to intervene.

In the meantime, church leaders and court officials were preparing for same sex weddings. The News Observer reports:

As the legal machinations grind on, prospective spouses, church leaders and court officials are preparing for the unprecedented change in North Carolina’s legal definition of marriage that could arrive any day. There were no lines of hopeful couples at the Wake County Justice Center on Thursday, but court employees cased the lobby, planning for potentially large crowds and trying to keep TV camera crews out of the way. In the office of the register of deeds, Laura Riddick, employees prepared to modify hundreds of marriage documents by hand. The state hasn’t yet given much guidance, according to Riddick.

Gay and lesbian couples are waiting, too. LGBTQ Nation reports:

Same-sex couples in North Carolina are eagerly awaiting federal court rulings they hope will allow them to get married. Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina filed a request late Wednesday asking Chief U.S. District Court Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. to strike down the state’s gay marriage ban.

And the Asheville City Hall flew a huge rainbow flag to celebrate the coming of marriage equality. Joe.My.God reports:

The Campaign for Southern Equality reports that gay couples are camping out at county clerk offices across North Carolina in anticipation of a ruling to enact same-sex marriage.

Expect a ruling in North Carolina SOON.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in North Carolina.

Asheville Rainbow Flag

Republicans Should Pray The Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage

Monday, August 18th, 2014

GOProudOne of the most widely discussed issues on the political right is the danger supposedly posed by judicial “activism,” when judges are said to substitute their personal preferences for the clear intent of the law and the Constitution. The Supreme Court in particular has been a target of those who oppose judicial overreach.

Overlooked by these critics, however, is the fact that many of the Supreme Court decisions the right loves to hate (from Roe v Wade to Lawrence v Texas) have actually expanded individual rights and limited government power, making them entirely consistent with the presumption of liberty found in the Constitution.

The latest issue to spark outrage on the right is gay marriage. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, for example, railed against it at a rally for traditional marriage this past spring in Washington, D.C. “Judicial supremacy is a curse upon this great Republic,” he screamed, calling last year’s Supreme Court rulings in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 cases the “greatest heresy of our time.” In the DOMA case, the court overturned that part of DOMA that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman for the purpose of awarding federal benefits and legal privileges.

By David Lampo – Full Story at Daily Caller

Would Portman’s Presidential Candidacy Create a Nightmare Scenario for the GOP?

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Ohio Senator Rob PortmanSo Ohio Senator Rob Portman is considering a run for president, and he claims his support for gay marriage would be a plus in a general election, allowing Republicans to make an economic case to key demographics that are culturally resistant to the GOP. “You can’t become a national party unless you do a better job reaching those between 18 and 30,” Portman says.

This raises the possibility of a scenario that Republicans who agree with Portman — and believe the party must evolve on gay marriage to stay in step with the country’s cultural and demographic shifts — might want to start worrying about right about now.

It’s not hard to imagine that Senator Ted Cruz might make precisely the opposite case from Portman, making the case that the party must reaffirm its support for “traditional marriage” key to his GOP presidential primary run. This could come after the Supreme Court has declared a Constitutional right to gay marriage — which Cruz would then be vociferously calling on Republicans to help roll back.

Authored By Greg Sargent – See the Full Story at The Washington Post

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Michigan Marriage Equality Lawsuit Gets a Boost – From the GOP

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

MichiganA group of republicans, including the former House leader who pushed for a ban on Michigan marriage equality, has submitted a brief in favor of it.

The Macomb Daily reports:

An unlikely coalition of Republicans, business executives, military officials, religious leaders and the former Michigan Speaker of the House who initially pushed for a ban on gay marriage has filed briefs in federal court supporting the March 21 ruling that briefly struck down Michigan’s restrictions on same-sex couples’ right to marry… “As conservatives, moderates and libertarians we embrace the individual freedoms protected by our Constitution,” said Rick Johnson, the former GOP speaker who paved the way for the gay marriage issue to make its way to the 2004 statewide ballot. “We embrace Ronald Reagan’s belief that the Republican Party must be a ‘big tent.’ We believe in the importance of limited government, individual freedom and stable families. We believe that these values are advanced by recognizing civil marriage rights for same-sex couples.”

Ever so slowly, Republicans are coming around to marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Michigan.

Republicans Not Likely to Embrace Marriage Equality Anytime Soon

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Homosexuality morally acceprable?

This week featured a major event in the Republican Party’s still-ongoing evolution on gay marriage, with Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) becoming the latest of a handful of congressional Republicans to say he supports it.

But while Democrats have come out en masse for gay marriage in the last couple of years, don’t expect a similar onslaught from the GOP any time soon.

The reason? The GOP is still struggling with the morality issue.

While Democrats have moved quickly away from the idea that gay and lesbian relations are morally wrong, Republicans are moving much more slowly. In fact, they’re barely more accepting of homosexuality today than they were a decade ago, according to Gallup, which has been asking Americans every year whether various behaviors are “morally acceptable” to them.

Authored By Aaron Blake – See the Full Story at The Washington Post

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Will Marriage Equality Destroy the GOP?

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Gay WeddingSince last year, the progress toward marriage equality has been nothing less than stunning. Nearly a year ago, the Supreme Court granted full federal recognition of married same-sex couples in declaring the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. In rapid succession since then, federal judges in 13 states have overturned their state’s respective bans on same sex unions. The latest was last week in Pennsylvania, when Judge John E. Jones III, a G. W. Bush appointee, overturned the ban, writing, “We are a better people than what these laws represent.” Because Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has declined to appeal the judge’s decision, Pennsylvania is now the 19th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Federal judges have ruled against the bans as diverse as Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Gay marriage isn’t just for blue states anymore.

One of the most eloquent statements against the bans was issued earlier this month by Arkansas federal judge Chris Piazza, who argued that state’s ban violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “Procreation is not a prerequisite in Arkansas for a marriage license,” he said. “Opposite-sex couples may choose not to have children or they may be infertile, and certainly we are beyond trying to protect the gene pool. A marriage license is a civil document and is not, nor can it be, based upon any particular faith. Same-sex couples are a morally disliked minority and the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages is driven by animus rather than a rational basis. This violates the U.S. Constitution.”

Authored By David Lampo – See the Full Story at Politico

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USA, Nevada: GOP Drops Opposition to Marriage Equality

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Nevada mapThe Nevada GOP just voted to drop opposition to abortion and marriage equality from its party platform.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The Nevada Republican Party stripped opposition to abortion and gay marriage from its platform Saturday as state convention delegates instead focused on judging fellow Republicans on their worthiness to serve in office and adherence to GOP values. The platform, with few changes, was adopted overwhelmingly as the Las Vegas convention stretched late into the evening. The vote mirrors that of the Clark County GOP, which voted earlier to remove platform language defining marriage as between a man and a woman and statements opposing abortion.

Is it a fluke, or are conservatives slowly moving to support marriage equality? Will we see this replicated in other states in time for 2016?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Nevada.

The Coming Marriage Equality Earthquake

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

GOPIn recent months, one court after another — in Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky — has either ruled a state ban illegal or said the state must recognize legal marriages performed in other states. It now seems all but inevitable that sooner rather than later, the Supreme Court will answer the question of whether or not a state can ban same-sex marriage.

Yesterday was another bad day in court for advocates of “traditional” marriage, this time in Utah, where a three-judge panel of federal appeals court heard a challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. It wasn’t a total rout — one judge plainly wanted to uphold the ban, one judge plainly wanted to strike it down, and the third seemed torn.

But a SCOTUS ruling is plainly coming, and by this time next year, we could have a final answer on the law. If and when that happens, the political fallout will be enormous.

Authored By Greg Sargent – See the Full Story at The Washington Post

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Will the Iowa GOP Be the Last to Accept Marriage Equality?

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

IowaAs stealthily as it reared its ugly head, the power to harness prejudice against gay people to win national elections is shriveling up and dying a well-deserved death. Republicans see that, even if they won’t all say it out loud, and even if presidential hopefuls keep trying to get traction equating being gay with moral failure or disobedience to God.

“A lot of people I talk to understand if we don’t change our position, we won’t win elections,” said GOP political strategist David Kochel, Mitt Romney’s chief Iowa adviser in 2012. He said it at a sold-out Des Moines celebration Saturday marking five years of same-sex marriage in Iowa, an event that underscored how mainstream the issue has become. The U.S. vice president sent a letter of congratulations. A major insurance corporation in an industry that is by nature conservative placed an ad with a rainbow flag logo in the program book.

In the same state where, it was noted Saturday, an emcee once wouldn’t introduce the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus by name, it’s now common for a man to introduce another as his husband. With nearly 40 percent of Americans now living in states (17) that recognize marriage equality, and young people overwhelmingly considering it as a non-issue, it’s hard to imagine anyone who beats the drum against gay marriage winning the presidency. The parties won’t nominate one, unless they’re self-sabotaging or in denial about the massive shift in attitudes around the country. If they do, such a candidate won’t win.

Authored By Rekha Basu – See the Full Story at The Des Moines Register

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