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Kim Davis – Let me show you what persecution looks like

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

KimDavisABClargeON US TV today (Sept. 22), the clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to ANY couple because she didn’t believe in same sex marriage has said what hurts her most about how she has been treated since she defied the Supreme Court ruling on marriage in June – being called ‘a hypocrite’.

Kim Davis of Rowan County, Kentucky, has been jailed, received a ‘Religious Liberty’ award for fighting ‘legal tyranny’, been called ‘the bravest woman in America‘ and compared to Abraham Lincoln by her lawyer. She has also been called a martyr and a victim of anti-Christian persecutionShe even admitted denying marriage licences to friends, and receiving death threats.

All because she believes in her Christian duty to break the oath she took as a US Government official to uphold the law, in a country whose constitution explicitly forbids the primacy of any religion. The First Amendment clearly states that the US government cannot make any law ‘respecting an establishment of religion.’ In the words of the Supreme Court, this generally means that the government can’t “pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another,” or otherwise become entangled in religious affairs.

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Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Ludwig Photo & Video, Cincinnati, Ohio

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Ludwig Photos

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Around 1980 I was just starting my photography career when my cousin, who is gay, ask me to photograph a commitment ceremony. I was raised to be very accepting of people so I happily said yes. I borrowed some camera equipment from the photo studio I worked for so I could get some great images. When the photos came back through the studio I almost lost my job because my boss said I shouldn’t have used his cameras for such an event. It was difficult for me to understand why he was upset.

See the Ludwig Photo & Video Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Ohio

The Four Worst Supreme Court Arguments on Marriage

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Matt BaumeMichigan says that they don’t want to let gay people get married because that would be demeaning to gay people.

Kentucky says that their marriage ban isn’t discriminatory, since LGBTs are free to get straight-married.

Ohio wants to maintain its marriage ban out of concern for the people who voted for it. And Tennessee is just fixated on sex.

By Matt Baume – Full Story at AFER

57% Oppose Marriage Equality in Kentucky

Friday, March 13th, 2015

titleWhile only 33% support it.

On Top Magazine reports:

A majority of Kentuckians remain opposed to allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. According to a Bluegrass Poll of 1,917 registered voters conducted March 3 through 8 and released Thursday, 33 percent of respondents support marriage equality, while 57 percent remain opposed. Fifty percent of Kentucky voters under the age of 34 favor equal marriage rights.

At least the youth numbers are encouraging.

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US Supreme Court Takes Four Marriage Equality Cases

Friday, January 16th, 2015

US Supreme Court Color

This is huge – the Supremes just took all four cases from the Sixth Circuit:

The Supreme Court has just granted certiorari — i.e. agreed to hear oral arguments — in the Sixth Circuit marriage cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. They were consolidated. This means that the question of whether or not the United States Constitution protects the freedom of same-sex couples to marry is likely to be decided by the end of June. The Supreme Court order, issued this afternoon at approximately 3:30 PM, contains the following instructions: The cases are consolidated and the petitions for writs of certiorari are granted.

We should know by June if the whole US has marriage equality!

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In-Depth Analysis of the Sixth Circuit Hearing

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Sixth CircuitSitting in the federal courtroom in Cincinnati, listening to the Sixth Circuit arguments in six same-sex marriage cases, one theme seemed especially prevalent: state defenders of same-sex marriage bans argued that the issue should be left up to “the democratic process”, and their concerns were shared by Judge Jeffrey Sutton.

Judge Sutton asked the plaintiffs’ lawyer in one case, “assuming you win,” isn’t it better and more honest to win by way of the democratic process? Sutton, whose background is in leading litigation that promoted federalism, alternatively wondered aloud whether LGBT people should win their rights by changing every person’s mind, and whether states are permitted to move one step at a time, addressing issues incrementally, even though their approach may leave some groups without protection for long periods of time.

A short and rhetorical answer to this problem is Justice Jackson’s opinion in West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, in which he said that “fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” That was one answer given by the plaintiffs. Judge Sutton seemed to suggest in his comments that the “dignity” that Justice Kennedy addressed in United States v. Windsor was tied to the fact that in New York, there was a decision by the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Without the state’s approval, he seemed to be saying, the win is less legitimate.

There are several problems with this line of thinking, and ultimately the Sixth Circuit may not adopt it because of those problems.

Authored By Scottie Thompson – See the Full Story at Equality on Trial

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Sixth Circuit Hears Marriage Equality Cases From Four States

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Sixth Circuit

The Sixth Circuit heard marriage equality cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee yesterday.

Freedom to Marry has a nice collection of quotes from the decisions that got the cases here:

“Once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot take your marriage away, because the right t remain married is properly recognized as a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.” –Obergefell v. Wymyslo ruling, Ohio

“No one has offered any evidence that recognizing same-sex marriages will harm opposite-sex marriages, individually or collectively. One’s belief to the contrary, however sincerely held, cannot alone justify denying a selected group their constitutional rights.” Bourke v. Beshear ruling, Kentucky

“In attempting to define this case as a challenge to “the will of the people,” state defendants lost sight of what this case is truly about: people. Today’s decision affirms the enduring principle that regardless of who finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail.” Deboer v Snyder ruling, Michigan

Joe.My.God also has a couple videos from the marriage equality rally before the hearing:

During the hearing, at least one of the judges, Martha Daughtrey, openly mocked Mark Regnerus, author of a discredited study on gay parenting (from a reporter’s tweet and notes):

“Even the Texas professor’s University doesn’t believe anything this man says… What harm comes? It doesn’t look like the sky has fallen in other cases.”

Judge Daughtrey also pressed a Michigan Attorney on the comparison between bans on same sex marriage and interracial marriage.

She also pressed him to differentiate between banning same-sex marriage and prohibiting interracial marriage, which was prevalent in many states until a 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia. “That was a vote by the people of many states against interracial marriage,” she said. Lindstrom countered that race doesn’t play a role in the fundamental definition of marriage.

The two GOP appointees on the panel appeared to give some weight to the “will of the people” argument, while the Democratic appointee appeared to clearly favor marriage equality:

Republican appointee Judge Jeffrey Sutton repeatedly questioned whether voters rather than courts should decide whether gay marriage is legal. Sutton is respected within legal circles and his views could help sway the five conservative members of the Supreme Court. The panel’s sole Democratic appointee, Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, was the only member who clearly signaled support for plaintiffs seeking recognition for gay marriage. The third judge, Deborah Cook, gave fewer indications of where she stood. But like Sutton, Cook indicated that deference should be given to voters.

The New York Times has their own take on the three judges:

Judge Sutton did suggest that the arguments offered against marriage equality were weak, saying that marriage bans would be hard to defend if subjected to the intense “heightened scrutiny” that courts apply when fundamental civil rights are at stake. But he also wondered whether legal precedents in the Sixth Circuit and the Supreme Court should prevent the panel from declaring same-sex marriage to be a fundamental right deserving court intervention.

In often caustic questions, Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, the Clinton appointee, left no doubt where she stood. When the lawyer for Michigan said that the courts should not tamper with an institution as deeply rooted as marriage, she replied that bans on interracial marriage were also deeply rooted before the Supreme Court found them unconstitutional. “That was the law across a huge swath of the Southern states,” she said.

The third judge, Deborah L. Cook, another Bush appointee, spoke little during the unusual proceeding in which one state’s case followed another without any breaks. But she seemed to favor the right of states to ban same-sex marriage.

The audio files for the hearings have now been posted.

So now we wait for a few months for the rulings. Yes, two judges were GOP appointees, but there are a number of GOP-appointed judges among those who have ruled for marriage equality over the last year.

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Sixth Circuit to Hear Six Marriage Equality Cases From Four States Today

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Sixth Circuit

The Cincinnati-based Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a series of marriage equality cases today from the jurisdiction’s four constituent states: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. It is an unprecedented coming together of marriage equality litigation that has the potential to change the destiny of marriage in the federal courts for several reasons:

First, these cases cover the entire Sixth Circuit and any decision could affect all of them directly, even if a decision is stayed pending appeal to the Supreme Court. We have seen this happen in the Fourth Circuit, where the appellate court overturns a ban on marriage equality and other states in the circuit, North Carolina and West Virginia, either stop defending their own bans or take other pro-equality actions because they see the writing on the wall even though the decision is stayed pending appeal.

Second, the three-judge panel reflects the right-of-center tilt of the circuit, consisting of a Clinton appointee and two George W. Bush appointees, one of whom has made his fiercely conservative views public.

And, third, as the third federal appeals court to hear a post-Windsor marriage case — after the Tenth (the Utah case) and the Fourth (the Virginia case), but before the Seventh (on August 26), the Ninth (on September 8), and at some point, the Fifth — the Sixth Circuit is being watched to determine if a pattern is emerging among the circuits or if there will be a split among the panels.

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

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Kentucky Marriage Equality Poll Shows Opposition Dropped 22% in 10 Years

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

titleWhile we’ve still got a ways to go in the state, according to a new Kentucky marriage equality poll, the numbers are encouraging.

USA Today reports:

Results from the latest Bluegrass Poll, released Tuesday, show 50 percent of registered voters in Kentucky oppose same-sex marriage, while 37 percent favor it and 12 percent remain unsure. That’s a drop from the 55 percent who said they opposed gay marriage in February and a sharp decline from the 72 percent that voted in favor of a ban in 2004 — when the state constitution was amended to define marriage as between a man and a woman. “We’ve hit a bit of a threshold, and I think the tipping point is soon to follow,” said Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign. “The opposition has been teetering on the edge of having a majority for a long time, and that ground is rapidly slipping out from under them.”

Wow – opposition is down 22 points since 2004, and 5 points just since February! Amazing.

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Kentucky Marriage Equality Advances as Judge Strikes Down Ban

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

KentuckyKentucky marriage equality took a huge step forward yesterday as a federal judge struck down the state’s ban.

The Courier-Journal reports:

In striking down Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage, a federal judge Tuesday rejected Gov. Steve Beshear’s argument that the ban is needed because only opposite sex couples can procreate and maintain the state’s birth rate and economy. “These arguments are not those of serious people,” wrote Senior U.S. District Court Judge John G. Heyburn II. “Even assuming the state has a legitimate interest in promoting procreation,” Heyburn wrote in a 19-page opinion, its lawyers never explained how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has “any effect whatsoever on procreation among heterosexual spouses.”

The ruling was immediately stayed, so there will be no same sex weddings in Kentucky for now.

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