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Oregon Marriage Equality Upheld as Supreme Court Turns NOM Away

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

US Supreme CourtThe US Supreme Court sent NOM packing yesterday, denying the group’s request to halt Oregon marriage equality in its tracks.

The Oregonian reports:

In a terse, one-sentence order, the court rejected a request by the National Organization for Marriage to stay the May 19 federal court ruling allowing gays and lesbians to marry in Oregon. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who rules on emergency cases in the western region of Oregon, referred the issue to the full court, which then declined to get involved in the Oregon case. “Love is the law in Oregon,” said a statement from Amy Ruiz, deputy campaign manager for Oregon United for Marriage, a group supporting gay marriage. “Try as they might, the opposition cannot take that away.”

I was a little shocked that the Court had even agreed to entertain the idea – NOM had already been blocked from intervening at the federal court and the appeals court. But it’s surely a good sign for the battles to come that Kennedy let the decision stand.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

Oregon Marriage Equality Ballot Initiative Still in Play?

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Oregon Marriage EqualityConcerned that the US Supreme Court could honor NOM’s request and intervene in the Oregon marriage equality case, Oregon United for Marriage might still go ahead with the ballot initiative for November.

Oregon Live reports:

Oregon United For Marriage, the group formed to put a same-sex marriage initiative on the November ballot, had planned to formally decide Monday whether to drop the measure in light of the May 19 federal court ruling allowing gays and lesbians to marry in Oregon. But that’s been put on hold while the group watches to see how the U.S. Supreme Court handles a request by the National Organization for Marriage for an emergency stay of the ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael McShane… Peter Zuckerman, a spokesman for Oregon United for Marriage, said his group remains confident that the court will reject the request from NOM, which was filed last Tuesday. But, he added, leaders of his group “are not going to make a decision [on the initiative] until they know what the court is going to do.” “We have the signatures” to qualify for the ballot, Zuckerman added, “and we’ll turn them in if that’s what we need to do to win.”

Kennedy has asked for briefs by today. No word yet on when he will decide the issue.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

California, USA: ScotusBlog on the Prop 8 Hearing – Court Will Likely Ditch Case, Invalidating Prop 8

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Prop 8Over at ScotusBlog, Tom Goldstein thinks the Court will either find that the Prop 8 defendants have no standing, or will just decline to rule on the case. Either would invalidate Prop 8:

The Justices seem divided on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 on ideological lines, four to four – i.e., all the members other than Justice Kennedy. For the more liberal members of the Court, there was no clarity on how broadly they would rule…

If those features of the oral argument hold up – and I think they will – then the Court’s ruling will take one of two forms. First, a majority (the Chief Justice plus the liberal members of the Court) could decide that the petitioners lack standing. That would vacate the Ninth Circuit’s decision but leave in place the district court decision invalidating Proposition 8… Second, the Court may dismiss the case because of an inability to reach a majority. Justice Kennedy takes that view, and Justice Sotomayor indicated that she might join him. Others on the left may agree. That ruling would leave in place the Ninth Circuit’s decision…The upshot of either scenario is a modest step forward for gay rights advocates, but not a dramatic one.

Although having Prop 8 invalidated would be a great step, we can’t help but wish that the Court was more in step with society on this issue. It’s painful to thin we may have to wait another 2 or 3 or 5 years to get a yes ruling on marriage equality in another case.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.

USA: Prop 8 Hearing Over – “I Have No Idea” How It’s Going to Go

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Prop 8The first of two US Supreme Court hearings – the one for Prop 8 – is officially over. Pro marriage equality attorney Ten Olson tweeted:

“Based on the questions the justices asked, I have no idea.”

SDGLN has more details:

The nine justices who make up the U.S. Supreme Court grilled the lead attorney for anti-gay supporters of California’s Proposition 8, displaying skepticism about upholding the law that took away marriage rights from gay and lesbian couples. At the same time, the justices seemed united against making any ruling that would have national implications. Charles Cooper, lead attorney for ProtectMarriage.com – Yes on 8 proponents of Prop 8, was widely criticized for his legal performance at the district court and appeals court. He did not fare much better in front of the high court.

More:

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wondered whether the group Cooper represents even had legal standing to defend the law, which was declared unconstitutional in federal court and upheld on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Denying the group legal standing is the high court’s escape clause from making any decision that would have national implications. The frequent swing voter, Justice Anthony Kennedy, seemed uncomfortable with the thought of striking down Prop 8, saying it was too soon to rule on same-sex marriage, but suggested dismissing the case and allowing the lower court ruling to stand. That would bring back same-sex marriage in California.

LGBTQ Nation has more on Justice Kennedy:

Justice Anthony Kennedy, the potentially decisive vote on a closely divided court, suggested that the court could dismiss the case with no ruling at all. Such an outcome would almost certainly allow gay marriages to resume in California but would have no impact elsewhere. Kennedy said he feared the court would go into “uncharted waters” if it embraced arguments advanced by gay marriage supporters. But lawyer Theodore Olson, representing two same-sex couples, said that the court similarly ventured into the unknown in 1967 when it struck down bans on interracial marriage in 16 states.

Now the waiting game begins. Tomorrow – the DOMA hearing.

Marriage Equality and the Supreme Court – Where Does Kennedy Stand?

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Marriage Equality and the Supreme Court - Where Does Kennedy Stand?The pending arguments over the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 in the Supreme Court once again thrust the views of Justice Anthony Kennedy into the spotlight while revealing sharp distinctions with his fellow conservative, Justice Antonin Scalia.

This past Friday, the high court announced it would hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act from New York and the challenge to the California marriage ban. Oral arguments are expected in March, with a decision to be issued before the court ends its session in June.

Kennedy, a libertarian conservative, and Scalia, a social conservative, will likely be on opposite sides of the issue, the Los Angeles Times reports. Whereas Scalia, the more senior of the two, believes the law can enforce moral standards, Kennedy believes the Constitution protects the freedom of individuals where personal relationships are concerned.

Authored By Julie Bolcer – See the Full Story at The Advocate

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USA: Prop 8 Case & The Supreme Court – It’s All About the Math

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

USA: Prop 8 Case & The Supreme Court - It's All About the MatSupporters of California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in the state, finally asked the U.S. Supreme Court last week to reverse a lower-court ruling that struck it down.

More than half of a 90-day stay on the lower-court ruling had drifted by before the petition filed by ProtectMarriage.com arrived at the high court. No California officials joined in the request for review.

California voters approved Prop 8, the California Marriage Protection Act, in 2008. The vote was slightly more than 52 percent for, nearly 48 percent against. It overturned a ruling by the California Supreme Court, which itself had overturned an earlier but similar proposition as unconstitutional.

Authored By Michael Kirkland – See the Full Story at UPI

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Will the Supreme Court Use Prop 8 Case to Redefine Gay Rights?

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Prop 8 CaseNine years ago, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who may soon decide the fate of same-sex marriage in California, pondered the case of two Texas men who had been arrested in an apartment at gunpoint and charged with sodomy.

Seventeen years earlier, and two years before President Ronald Reagan appointed Kennedy to the court, the justices had upheld a law against gay sex in Georgia. One member of the majority, Chief Justice Warren Burger, wrote that the court would have to “cast aside millennia of moral teaching” to find that “homosexual sodomy is somehow protected as a fundamental right.”

But by 2003, Kennedy said, most Americans, and a majority of the justices, had come to realize that gays and lesbians deserve “respect for their private lives” and freedom from government intrusion in their bedrooms.

Full Story from SFGate

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