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Marriage Equality Round-Up – Supreme Court Hearing

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

The US Supreme Court held hearings on marriage equality cases from four states yesterday. Here’s our round-up of what happened, how we got here, and what people are saying about it.

Background:

Record Number of Briefs: This week’s same-sex-marriage cases at the Supreme Court brought in a record number of friend-of-the-court briefs — 148 of them, according to the court, beating the previous record of 136 in the 2013 Obamacare case. full story

Ginsburg’s Role: MSNBC looks at how Ruth Bader Ginsburg helped pave the way for marriage equality. full story

Ohio Plaintiff Speaks Out: The Advocate has the video from Jim Obergefell, one of the plaintiffs who lost his husband after they married. full story

Americans Split on Ruling: Americans are evenly split on whether the Supreme Court should rule that same-sex marriage must be legal nationwide, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. full story

Outside the Court

Nine Signs Show Love is Winning: ThinkProgress was on hand to document the spectacle, including the many signs on display. full story

Nine Signs

More Photos from Outside: Joe.My.God has more photos from outside the Court and around the country, taken by Father Tony. full story

Photo by Father Tony

Even More Photos: Towleroad.com collected a bunch of photos from outside the Courthouse off of Twitter feeds. full story

Elizabeth Warren

Gay Men’s Chorus Sings: Adding to the circus-like atmosphere a Gay Men’s Chorus showed up to serenade the crowd. Hiot the link for the video. full story

GOP Senator Joins Marriage Equality Rally: Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.) joined the rally yesterday, publically throwing his support behind marriage equality. full story

Same Sex Couples Take on Haters: If same-sex couples were stuck in an elevator with Justice Scalia, here is what they’d say to him. full story

Opponents Outside Ranted Non-Stop: Joe.My.God collects some of the videos of marriage equality opponents outside the Court. full story

Kochs fund Group Protesting at Court: Concerned Women for America, an organization that hosted an anti-gay marriage rally outside the Supreme Court this morning, has received the great majority of its funding in recent years from Freedom Partners, the “secret bank” of Charles and David Koch. full story

What the Protesters Said: A massive crowd appeared on the steps of the Supreme Court for Tuesday’s historic oral arguments over nationwide same-sex marriage. Here’s what some of them had to say. full story

The Hearing

What Happened Inside: The Advocate has a great rundown of what happened behind the closed doors of the Court today. full story

What Happened Inside II: SDGLN also has a run-down of the hearings. full story

Quotes from the Hearing: US News and World Report has gathered a bunch of quotes from the hearing. full story=

Protester Disrupts Hearing: An anti-gay protester interrupted the start of the U.S. Supreme Court hearings on marriage equality today, shouting “Homosexuality is an abomination!” full story

protester

Scalia Loves Lopez: @briantashman says that Scalia loved the brief from four children of same sex marriage opposing marriage equality. full story

Kennedy’s Telling Statements: Erin Fuchs looks art two telling statements Justice Kennedy made, one about how the current definition of marriage has been with us for millennia, and the other about affording dignity to same sex couples. full story

Surprising Questions from Roberts, Scalia: Erin Fuchs also looks at some of the tough questions two of the Courts’ conservatives had for opponents of marriage equality. full story

Ginsburg Takes Down Millennium Argument: During the hearing, Justice Ginsburg tackled the idea that because something has been around for so long, it should never be changed. full story

You Can’t “Un-Marry” Us: States would never try to ‘unmarry’ couples past childbearing age — so they shouldn’t be able to do the same to same-sex couples, argued pro-equality attorneys. full story

Early Reports: Chris Johnson tweeted a series of reports from the hearing ebncapsulating the Justices’ questions and thoughts. full story

Bonauto’s Closing Statement: Queerty flags Mary Bonauto’s “eloquent closing statement.” full story

Nine Most Awkward Moments: Politico rounds up the most awkward moments from the hearing. full story

Audio of Question One: Here is audio from Question 1 of the marriage arguments before the Supreme Court today: ” Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?” full story

Audio of Question Two: Here’s the audio from Question 2″ “Does the Fourteenth Amendment allow a state to refuse to recognize valid marriages performed out of state?” full story

Analyses:

Will We Become a Protected Class?: John Gallagher at Queerty looks at how the Justices might arrive at their decision. full story

Will John Roberts Vote Yes?: Trudy Ring at the Advocate asks the question. full story

Will John Roberts Vote Yes? II: In a telling moment at Tuesday’s Supreme Court arguments over same-sex marriage, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. suggested that he may have found a way to cast a vote in favor of the gay and lesbian couples in the case. full story

Inside Kennedy’s Head: Neal Broverman at The Advocate tries to figure out what Justice Kennedy is really thinking. full story

Expanded 14th Amendment?: Stephen Henderson at Detroit Free Press asks if the Court will expand the 14th Amendment? full story

Ari’s Analysis, Part One: Towleroad.com legal editor Ari Ezra Waldman listened to the hearing as the audio became available and issued a great series of analyses. Here’s the first one, on Question 1. full story

Ari’s Analysis, Part Two: Some additional notes on Question 1. full story

Ari’s Analysis, Part Three: Ari looks at the states’ arguments. full story

Ari’s Analysis, Part Four: Ari looks at the arguments on Question 2 – whether states must recognize valid marriages from other states. full story

Did State Lawyer Screw Up?: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress thinks one of the defense lawyers may have talked himself out of a victory. full story

Experts Predict the Outcome: The Detroit Free Press rounded up a number of expert views on the coming rulings. full story

From a Transgender Perspective: Stephanie Mott looks at the hearings from a transgender woman’s perspective. full story

Don’t Panic Over Kennedy’s Questions: Legal expert Anthony Michael Kreis says we shouldn’t freak out over Justice Kennedy’s questions about marriage equality and tradition. full story

Supporters’ Responses:

USA: Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has changed her 2016 presidential logo on social media outlets to rainbow ahead of the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling on same-sex marriage. full story

Hillary Logo

17 Stars Tweeting for Marriage Equality: The Advocate profiles a bunch of celebrities who tweeted in support of marriage equality. full story

Queen Latifah for Marriage Equality: Queen Latifah spoke out for marriage equality and against homophobia in the black community. full story

AG Lynch Chimes In: Newly sworn-in Attorney General Loretta Lynch said “I am committed – as is this department – to ensuring equal dignity and equal treatment for all members of society, regardless of sexual orientation. As we argued today before the Supreme Court, same-sex couples deserve that treatment now.” full story

Opponents’ Responses:

This Will Never Be Over: FRC staffer Cathy Ruse says the fight will never be over, despite what the Court may say. full story

Christians Will Be Sent to Jail: Right wing anti-gay activist Janet Porter says marriage equality will send Christians to jail. full story

NOM Encouraged About Kennedy: NOM chairman John Eastman says he ius encouraged by the questioning from Justice Kennedy, especially his comment about marriage being the same for “millennia”. full story

Heritage Foundation Smells a Win: Ryan T. Anderson tweets “oral arguments at Supreme Court suggest Court will uphold man-woman marriage laws.” full story

Liberty Counsel Pledge to Disobey SCOTUS: Mat Staver at the Liberty Counsel wants all GOP presidential candidates to sign a pledge to disobey the Court’s ruling. Huckabee and Santorum have already signed. full story

Tweets from the Opponents: Queerty gathers a bunch of tweets from opponents of marriage equality, and they’re pretty out there. full story

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.

Fifth Circuit Marriage Equality Hearing Recap

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Fifth Circuit New Orleans

The Fifth Circuit took on marriage equality cases from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi yesterday, and things look promising:

Hearing Times: Louisiana’s case was heard at 9 a.m., followed by Mississippi at 10 a.m. and Texas at 11 a.m full story

Photos from Outside: The Dallas Voice has some photos as people gathered for the trial outside the courthouse. full story

No Protests: Despite predictions, no one should up to protest against marriage equality outside the hearings. full story

Swing Vote Skeptical: From the tone and questions during the Louisiana hearing, it appears that Judge Higginbotham, considered the swing vote, will likely strike down the ban. full story

Second Judge Also Skeptical: Judge James Graves, an Obama appointee, also expressed skepticism about Louisiana’s ban. full story

Third Judge Cites 40 Year Old Case: Judge Smith, during the hearings, tried to justify the bans based on Baker, a Supreme Court decision from 1971 that many legal experts say has become outdated. full story

Marriage Equality “Novel” and “Risky”: Louisiana’s case to uphold its ban came down to calling same sex marriage “novel” and “risky”. full story

Louisiana Oral Arguments: Joe.My.God has the oral arguments from the Louisiana hearing. full story

150 Rally for Marriage Equality: About 150 people braved sub-freezing temperatures in Dallas to demand the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals srike down the bans. full story

Now we wait for the rulings in the three states.

Mississippi Marriage Equality Hearing Held

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Mississippi MapA federal judge in Mississippi heard a marriage equality case yesterday.

WAPT reports:

One of the couples involved in the lawsuit, Carla Webb and Joce Pritchett, married in Maine last year and are raising their children in Jackson. They want legal recognition and protection for their family… The lawsuit, which was filed Oct. 20 by Webb and Pritchett; Rebecca Bickett and her longtime partner, Andrea Sanders, who were denied a Mississippi marriage license earlier this year; and a gay-rights group, Campaign for Southern Equality, alleges that Mississippi violates constitutional rights of gays and lesbians and denies same-sex couples the “rights, benefits and duties that automatically come with marriage.” The attorney general and governor said Mississippi’s marriage laws don’t discriminate.

Apparently, the hearing did not go well for the state.

Joe.My.God reports:

Via the Clarion-Ledger: New York-based attorney Roberta Kaplan presented a rapid-fire case for her clients, which include two Mississippi same-sex couples with children: Carla Webb and Joce Pritchett; and Rebecca Bickett and Andrea Sanders. At times excusing herself for speaking too quickly, Kaplan rattled off her reasons why she believes the state’s gay-marriage ban violates the constitution and her clients’ rights and padded her arguments with documented case law. Kaplan’s style was sharply contrasted by that of lead counsel for the state, Justin Matheny, who at times seemed to stumble through his arguments and admitted an unfamiliarity with many of the issues at hand. “When I found out I would be the one to come to court and argue this case, I had to do some research,” Matheny said near the opening of his remarks, eliciting a chuckle or two from the packed courtroom.

Judge: “What is the state’s rational basis that same-sex couples can’t marry and its prohibition of same sex couples from adopting children when all a child wants is to be loved, and they don’t care by whom?” Matheny: “Responsible procreation.” Judge: “You allow people in prison to be married, and there are no more conjugal visits. Old people can marry and they can’t bear children.” Yeah, we’ve got this one.

Although the judge expedited the hearing in the case, he gave no indication how soon he would rule.

The Clarion Ledger reports:

After hearing both sides, Reeves told the court he would take the matter under advisement and rule as soon as possible, but he gave no indication about how soon that would be. If he grants the injunction without a stay, gay marriage in Mississippi immediately would be legal — at least temporarily. If Reeves also issues a stay, it would cancel out the injunction for a period of time to be determined in the court order. Reeves could set a specific time line for the stay, like three days, or could pin its expiration on the outcome of another court decision, like the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling on the pending Texas and Louisiana same-sex marriage ban cases.

So now, once again, we wait.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Mississippi.

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

Analysis of the Ninth Circuit Hearing for Idaho, Nevada and Hawaii

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Ninth Circuit, San Francisco - Apple MaosA soft-spoken attorney representing Idaho started his state’s anti-marriage equality argument by suggesting that allowing gays to marry violates the “bonding right” of children that they will be raised by their biological mothers and fathers. It took Judge Marsha Berzon just 15 seconds to ask her first question: “What is that word you’re using before ‘right'”? Judge Berzon can hear just fine; it’s just that she had never heard anyone make such a ridiculous claim before today. The rest of the hearing followed similarly.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a Carter-appointee and liberal leader of the appellate courts, was joined by Judge Berzon, a sharp-minded progressive appointed by President Clinton, and Judge Robert Gould, another Clinton appointee, in a nearly two-hour long interrogation of attorneys from Idaho and Nevada that may not have been as bombastic as Judge Posner’s treatment of attorneys from Wisconsin and Indiana in the Seventh Circuit, a hearing which resulted in a marvelous unanimous victory (“Go figure!”), but was every bit as damaging to the forces opposed to marriage equality.

It also brought marriage equality full circle. Judge Reinhardt was the judge that wrote the first decision from a federal appellate court on marriage equality, affirming District Judge Vaughn Walker’s pioneering rejection of California’s Prop 8. We all know how that case turned out.

Authored By Ari Ezra Waldman – See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Third Circuit Upholds New Jersey Ban on Conversion Therapy

Friday, September 12th, 2014

New Jersey mapAnother court has upheld New Jersey’s ban on so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors.

Towleroad.com reports:

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld New Jersey’s ban on ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy for minors, which was being challenged by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and other ‘ex-gay’ activists. Last year, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the bill into law banning the dangerous practice.

So far, these bans have survived all their court hearings. It’s time for some more states to block this practice.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Jersey.

Ninth Circuit Panel Hears Marriage Equality Cases from Idaho, Hawaii, and Nevada

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Ninth Circuit, San Francisco - Apple MaosYesterday, a three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit heard marriage equality cases from Idaho, Hawaii, Nevada.

Equality on Trial reports:

Much discussion was made of the proper level of constitutional scrutiny which should be applied to the laws. Judge Berzon suggested that marriage equality proponents would be in trouble if the court resorted to traditional rational basis scrutiny, but all three judges entertained arguments that the Ninth Circuit’s earlier decision in SmithKline—which ruled that sexual orientation discrimination merits heightened scrutiny—requires a similar holding in these cases. Judge Berzon also expressed an interest in a possible ruling on sex discrimination grounds, which most other courts have been hesitant to do.

In short, it seems quite likely that the judges were unimpressed by [Attorney Monte] Stewart’s arguments and will invalidate the state marriage bans on heightened scrutiny. The real question at this point is whether the case will hinge only on sexual orientation discrimination claims or will instead include sex discrimination claims. Another question is whether the judges’ opinion will invalidate the laws as impermissible restrictions on same-sex couples’ fundamental right to marry, or if they will simply rely on equal protection to make their decision.

The Washington Blade points out that this case is unique, in that the Ninth Circuit has already held that laws dealing with gays and lesbians should be subject to heightened scrutiny in an earlier case:

The Ninth Circuit is uniques among other circuit that have heard marriage cases following the DOMA decision because the jurisdiction — along with the First Circuit — has precedent for subjecting laws related to sexual orientation to heightened scrutiny, or a greater assumption they’re unconstitutional. The precedent came about in June as a result of the decision in SmithKline v. Abbott, a case involving a gay juror who was excluded from deciding a case because of his sexual orientation. [Judge] Reinhardt — who also wrote the Ninth Circuit decision against California’s Proposition 8 — wrote the SmithKline decisio and was joined by Berzon. Meanwhile, Gould delivered a favorable ruling for gay people in the Ninth Circuit decision of Witt v. Air Force, which challenged “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

SDGLN says the defense used the same tired old arguments:

It was clear that Stewart had no real evidence to show the harm that is caused by gay marriage. All he could do is predict horrible things will happen if Idaho has gay marriage, such as the state will see a rise in “dad-less” or “mom-less” families. When Judge Berzon challenged him to cite evidence, Stewart fumbled through that question, citing numbers that showed that only about 58% of the state’s children came from a mom-dad family unit. Judge Gould grew weary of the “child’s bonding right” argument, and asked Stewart where that “bonding right” came from since it was not in the Bill of Rights. Stewart then admitted that he made up the phrase to collectively describe his argument that a child does best when it has a mother and a father who are married. Judge Reinholdt said if the state was so worried about marriage, shouldn’t it ban divorce? Stewart then launched into a diatribe against no-fault divorce, again veering far off the issue at hand. Judge Berzon summed it up best when she told Stewart that the “train has already left the station” on marriage being redefined, using historical milestones to rebut his argument.

If you want to watch for yourself, here’s the video stream from the court:

It’s about 2 hours and 33 minutes long.

These decisions seem to becoming faster and faster these days – hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the results of this one.

Authored By – See the Full Story at

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality USA Community Call Tonight After Ninth District Hearing

Monday, September 8th, 2014

MEUSA Conference CallJoin Marriage Equality USA and partners for a national COMMUNITY CALL to be held tonight to discuss the day’s events surrounding the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals marriage equality cases.

TIME OF CALL: 6pm PT /
7pm MT / 8pm CT / 9pm ET

Sign up for the call now!

On 8 September 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will hear oral arguments in marriage equality cases Natasha Jackson v. Neil Abercrombie from Hawai’i, Beverly Sevcik v. Brian Sandoval from Nevada, and Susan Latta v. C. Otter from Idaho. The hearing will begin at 1:00pm PDT.

You are invited to our Community Call to discuss what happened in the courtroom, to hear community reaction, and to ask questions about where we go from here. This call is open to all supporters of marriage equality and allies — feel free to share this info! Media are welcome to attend, however, the call is off-the-record.

Participants on the call will include: host John Lewis, Marriage Equality USA’s Legal and Public Policy Director: panelist Kathleen Perrin, nationally recognized legal expert, EQCF; and moderator Thom Watson, MEUSA’s Social Media Manager and Court Watcher.

To receive the call in information, sign up at http://bit.ly/1rTHtFn.

Another Marriage Equality Appeals Court Hearing Monday

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Ninth Circuit, San Francisco - Apple MaosWow, we’re really in the thick of it. There’s yet another circuit court hearing on marriage equality coming up on Monday.

HRC reports:

On Monday, September 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments in marriage equality court cases from Hawaii, Idaho and Nevada after federal district court rulings were appealed. Jackson v. Abercrombie of Hawaii, Latta v. Otter of Idaho, and Sevcik v. Sandoval of Nevada are slated to go before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit at 1:00pm PT. This will be the first time this federal appeals court will hear cases challenging state bans on marriage equality since it struck down California’s Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Schwarzenegger) – a case that ultimately reached the Supreme Court of the United States.

District court judges ruled in Jackson and Sevcik to uphold Hawaii and Nevada’s bans on same-sex marriage, but those decisions arrived before the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in United States v. Windsor striking down key sections of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). That decision that has been cited in virtually all of the 22 federal court rulings since that have ruled state bans on marriage equality unconstitutional, including Latta out of Idaho.

As we reported earlier, the three-judge panel that will hear the case is very liberal, even as compared to the Ninth Circuit as a whole.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

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