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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.

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Supports Idaho Marriage Equality

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Harley BrownYou gotta love this guy – Harley Brown supports gays and Idaho marriage equality, even though he’s a Republican running for governor in Idaho.

Towleroad.com reports:

Harley Brown is one of the most colorful contenders for Idaho governor, both in personality and appearance. The Republican biker showed up to the debates last Wednesday in leather gear and a crass attitude that was so over the top it was more entertaining than insulting. Despite frequent use of slurs and blue language (which appeared to stem from ignorance rather than hate, but still necessitated that the debate be on a 30 second delay), Brown shattered some misconceptions by coming out as very pro-gay and pro-gay marriage. When speaking about the striking down of Idaho’s gay marriage ban, Brown said:

I’ve picked up my fair share of the gay community [as a cab driver in Boise] and they have true love for one another. I’m telling you, they love each other more than I love my motorcycle. You know, they’re just as American as a Medal of Honor winner…I’m glad that judge made that decision…I know I’m not really talking like a Republican.

I love this guy – does he have a chance in hell of winning? Maybe not, but he sure is refreshing.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Idaho.

USA, Hawaii: Marriage Equality Bill Likely to Be Finalized by Senate Today

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

HawaiiThe Senate is likely to make it official in Hawaii today.

Towleroad reports:

Hawaii’s Senate addresses the marriage equality bill today and its House amendments. The bill is expected to easily pass and could be signed by Wednesday, Hawaii News Now reports: The jubilation is expected to continue for same sex marriage supporters. The Senate already voted 20 to 4 backing the bill and the amendments aren’t expected to change any minds in Tuesday’s final vote. Then it goes to the Governor for final approval. “We’re on the cusp of becoming one of the states that is going to be recognizing marriage equity,” said Blake Oshiro, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Hawaii is set to become the 16th state to allow marriage equality. Same-sex couples will begin marrying as of December 2. Who wants to go to Hawaii to get married?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, Nebraska: Gubernatorial Candidate Supports Marriage Equality

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Annette DubasNebraska State Senator and candidate for Governor Annette Duba just came out in support of marriage equality. In Nebraska. Let me repeat that. In Nebraska.

Towleroad.com reports:

The Democratic hopeful from Fullerton, Nebraska shared that it was her brother’s coming out 26 years ago that set her on the path towards embracing marriage equality: “I came to realize I support marriage equality awhile ago,” Annette Dubas says. “It’s not an abstract idea to me.” … She says she is talking about same-sex marriage because she wants to elevate the subject, because there is still fear about coming out in small Nebraska towns, because having a gay brother changed her.

She lives in Nebraska. In Nebraska.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Nebraska.

USA, South Carolina: Both Candidates for Governor Back Marriage Equality Ban

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

South Carolina MapBoth the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor threw gay and lesbian couples under the bus today.

The State reports:

South Carolina’s two announced candidates for governor in 2014 both think marriage “is between a man and a woman,” beliefs unaltered by a federal lawsuit filed by a gay couple challenging the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage. “I stand behind that constitutional amendment and will continue to fight to make sure that states have the ability to decide what they want marriage to be in their state,” Haley told reporters Tuesday, after a State Budget and Control Board meeting. “I was one of the people in 2006 that voted in the Legislature that said marriage should be between a man and a woman. So I’m going to continue to stand behind that.” Andrew Whalen, [Vincent] Sheheen’s campaign manager, said the Camden senator was unavailable to comment Tuesday. But Whalen said Sheheen “continues to personally believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.” Sheheen voted in favor of the gay-marriage ban in the state Senate in 2005 and 2007.

Vincent Shaheen is the Democratic candidate – anyone wanna primary him?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in South Carolina.

USA, Arkansas: Activists Want to Drop Governor, Atty. Gen. From Marriage Equality Lawsuit

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

ArkansasAttorneys represent in same-sex couples in an Arkansas marriage equality lawsuit decided to drop the attorney general and governor from the suit. Edge Boston reports:

Attorneys for the couples filed a notice of dismissal Thursday in Pulaski County Circuit Court. That notice says the plaintiffs dismiss Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel from the lawsuit. They’re asking the court to issue an order making it official. Jack Wagoner is one of the attorneys for the couples and says they don’t need to sue Beebe and McDaniel to get a review of the law before the state Supreme Court.

Anyone out there have a better idea what this is about?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Arkansas.

New Mexico, USA: Governor Martinez Happy AG Won’t Issue Opinion on Marriage Equality

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

New Mexico Governor Susana MartinezAfter New Mexico Attorney General Gary King declined to issue an opinion on whether marriage equality was legal in the state, Governor Susana Martinez praised his decision. LGBTQ Nation reports:

Gov. Susana Martinez says Attorney General Gary King was right in not issuing a formal opinion on whether same-sex marriage is legal in New Mexico and her office will not get involved in any challenges. Martinez told the Associated Press on Friday that she also believed the courts should decide if same-sex marriage is legal in the state.

There are three lawsuits working their way through the New Mexico courts.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Mexico.

Italy: Openly Gay Governor Who Advocated for Marriage Equality Makes Up With Church

Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Sicily Governor Rosario Crocetta

Photo by Gianfranco Galvano

The governor of Sicily, an openly gay man who was banned from church after saying the country should have a female pope and marriage equality, made up with the priest who banned him. Pink News reports:

The openly-gay Governor Rosario Crocetta, said that he met up with Father Luigi Petralia, a parish priest in Gela, and that they “embraced” after the spat. “This affair belongs to the debate over ideas and the case is closed,” said Crocetta. Last week, during a TV interview with L7, the centre-left governor compared himself to Galileo, the 17th century Italian astronomer who was forced by the church to deny his discovery that the earth revolved around the sun, reports Ansa. He said that the church should have ”a woman pope, married priests and even to celebrate gay marriage”.

We just hope he continues to stand up for marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Italy.

Louisiana, USA: Despite Talk of Change, Governor Jindal Doubles Down on Homophobia

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Louisiana Governor Bobby JindalLooks like the GOP’s not done yet beating the marriage equality dead horse. Despite his own calls for the GOP to stop being the stupid party, Louisiana’s governor Bobby Jindal just reaffirmed his opposition to gay marriage, Gay Star News reports:

‘Look, I believe in the traditional definition of marriage,’ Jindal said to host David Gregory. ‘We lost [the 2012 election] because we didn’t present a vision showing how we believe the entire economy can grow, how people can join the middle class. We’re an aspirational party and we need policies that are consistent with that aspirational private sector growth.’

In other words, yes, I’m still against the gays. Now can we talk about something else?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Louisiana.

Utah, USA: Former Governor and Presidential Candidate Huntsman Endorses Marriage Equality

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Jon HuntsmanYou may remember how then-presidential candidate Jon Huntsman endorsed civil unions back in August, 2011? Well, now he has done a full Obama and has decided to come out in support of marriage equality, Queerty reports:

“Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.”

The GOP wall of opposition to marriage equality is cracking, albeit ever so slowly.