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Marriage Equality Round-Up – Supreme Court Edition – June 27th

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

OVERVIEW:

MAP: The last US marriage equality map. full story

marriage equality map

MAP: Well, not quite – we also have this beautiful, simple time lapse map. full story

Marriage Equality time lapse map

FULL TEXT: Read the full text of yesterday’s US Supreme Court Ruling. full story

GUIDE: Six LGBT advocacy organizations launched a joint website http://MarriageEqualityFacts.org to provide answers to same-sex couples and their families as they navigate accessing the rights, benefits, and protections that marriage affords. full story

POP CULTURE:

CARTOONS: Joe.My.God rounds up some of the best political cartoons full story

political cartoon - flags

CORPORATIONS: Joe also wraps up some of the best corporate responses. full story

Jello Love

CELEBRITIES: The Huffington Post rounds up some of the celebrity reactions. full story

FASHION: The Observer rounds up the response from the fashion world. full story

ICE CREAM: Ben & Jerry’s is renaming one of its ice cream flavors, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, to “I Dough, I Dough” at participating stores. full story

I Dough I Dough

MEMES: Queerty rounds up some of the best marriage equality memes of the day. full story

Obama meme

FACEBOOK: You can now rainbow your profile pic on the social media giant. full story

IN THE STATES:

NATIONWIDE: The Advocate gathers some of the places that went rainbow yesterday to celebrate marriage equality. full story

Rainbow Niagara Falls

ALABAMA: The state’s Chief Justice has vowed to block US Supreme Court’s ‘illegitimate’ marriage equality ruling. full story

ALABAMA: All couples in Mobile were allowed to pick up marriage licenses once again on Friday when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. full story

ARKANSAS: Marriage equality has returned to the state as the first new same sex marriage license was issued. full story

ARKANSAS: Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the state will obey the ruling. full story

COLORADO: Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol to celebrate the Supreme Court decision, full story

GEORGIA: Same sex couples married in a mass ceremony in Fulton County. full story

INDIANA: Indiana celebrates the ruling. full story

LOUISIANA: Arch-conservative Governor Bobby Jindal and GOP presidential candidate is doing what he can to stop same-sex weddings in his state. full story

MICHIGAN: See the reaction of the Michigan plaintiffs. ” target=”_blank”>full story

MICHIGAN: The Kent county clerk started taking applications for same-sex marriage licenses. full story

MISSISSIPPI: Attorney General Jim Hood is in no hurry to allow marriages in his state, preferring instead to wait until he absolutely has to. full story

NEW YORK: NYC celebrates the ruling. full story

NEW YORK: Celebration at the Stonewall Inn, where it all began. full story

PENNSYLVANIA: Great meme from Brian Simms. full story

Simsquote

PENNSYLVANIA: In Philadelphia’s gayborhood, there was elation over the US Supreme Court ruling. full story

TEXAS: The Dallas Voice liveblogs the various counties as they start to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples (or don’t). full story

TEXAS: Dallas County issued 170 marriage licenses on Day 1 of marriage equality in Texas, according to Dallas County Clerk John Warren. full story

TEXAS: Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said he will continue to defend religious freedom after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage. full story

TEXAS: Chad Mantooth took photos at the rally and march in Dallas celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding marriage equality nationwide. full story

TENNESSEE: The first gay marriage license was issued in Shelby County around 11:30 Friday morning. full story

WASHINGTON DC: Watch the crowd the moment they heard the news outside the US Supreme Court. full story

WASHINGTON DC: The White House lit up with the rainbow. full story

Rainbow White House

WASHINGTON DC: President Obama called Ohio paintiff Jim Obergefell to congratulate him. full story

USA: The Advocate gathers some of the best photos from DC on Decision Day. full story

Obergefell_decision_day_at_Supreme_Court_insert_4_c_Washington_Blade_by_Michael_Key

ANALYSIS

MATT BAUME: Matt Baume has a new video out – what you need to know full story

SUNNIVIE BRYDUM: The Advocate reporter looks at what the ruling actually says. full story

JORDAN WEISSMAN: Justice Anthony Kennedy closes his opinion with one of the most beautiful passages you’ll likely read in a court case. full story

ZACK FORD AND JUDD LEGUM: Think Progress looks at some of the more ridiculous arguments in the Supreme Court dissents. full story

TARA CULP-RESSLER: There’s still work to be done. full story

ZACK FORD: No, the Supreme Court did not just ‘redefine’ marriage. full story

SUPPORTERS

PRESIDENT OBAMA: President Obama spoke passionately on Friday morning about the Supreme Court ruling legalizing national marriage equality. full story

HILLARY CLINTON: Hillary Clinton has reflected on the just-issued opinion by the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage, saying she is “proud” of the “historic victory” for the country. full story

TIM COOK: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do,” the Apple CEO wrote on Twitter. full story

JOE BIDEN: According to his wife: “Joe is running through the halls with a rainbow flagged tied on like a cape high fiving everyone.” full story

OPPONENTS

JOHN ROBERTS: The Chief Justice’s dissent said that the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states completely undermined America’s democratic process. full story

ANTONIN SCALIA: The Supreme Court Justice compared the ruling to a fortune cookie. full story

CLARENCE THOMAS: The right-wing justice denied that gays had their dignity taken away by anti gay marriage laws, making offensive statements about slaves and those in internment camps. full story

BOBBY JINDAL: The Louisiana Governor and presidential candidate: “I will never stop fighting.” full story

MIKE HUCKABEE: Governor Mike Huckabee didn’t waste any time in attempting to put a downer on the Supreme Court’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage across the US, branding it “tyranny”. full story

LINDSEY GRAHAM: The presidential candidate struck a conciliatory note, calling for everyone to move on. full story

RICK SANTORUM: “…leaders don’t accept bad decisions….” full story

TED CRUZ: Sen. Cruz proposed a constitutional amendment that would subject members of the Supreme Court to a retention election every eight years. full story

TONY PERKINS: The leader of the FRC says it ain’t over yet. full story

KEN PAXTON: The Texas Attorney General says the ruling will lead to more “displays of hate and intolerance against people of faith.” full story

ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM: The badly mis-named group reacts. full story

JONATHAN SAENZ: He thanks the totally unnecessary “Pastor Protection Law” for stopping the Federal Government from forcing pastors and churches to perform same sex weddings. full story

BRYAN FISCHER: The AFA’s radio host says he “saw Satan dancing with delight” and “the twin towers of truth and righteousness were blown up by moral jihadists.” full story

BRIAN BROWN: The head of NOM called the decision “completely illegitimate.” full story

JIM GARLOW: California pastor Jim Garlow on Wednesday equated reversing gay marriage gains to ending slavery full story

JOSH ROBINSON: The Minnesota Vikings player compared marriage equality to pedophilia and incest. full story

Breaking News: US Supreme Court Issues Historic Marriage Equality Ruling

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Freedom to Marry - Marriage Equality

Today, on the anniversaries of the Windsor and Lawrence V. Texas rulings that advanced LGBT equality, the US Supreme Court issued its long expected ruling on marriage equality.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court found that sexual orientation is covered under the 14th amendment. Justice Kennedy was the swing vote, as many expected.

The ruling means that marriage equality is basically legal immediately in all 50 states, including the 13 stragglers. While there will inevitably be some foot dragging in some states, the fight is basically over.

Marriage equality events will be held across the country today to celebrate. Our partner Marriage Equality USA has a list:

http://www.marriageequality.org/scotus_decision_day_events

wedding dayMark and I stood together at the top of the stairs on city hall to get married on March 11th, 2005, only to see the state Supreme Court wipe away our marriage.

We married again on November 1st, 2008, just three days before the passage of Prop 8. This time, things were different – it was the anti-gay law that was wiped away, not our marriage.

Now couples like us in every state in the nation now have the freedom to marry.

It’s a beautiful day.

Guam Marriage Equality Ban Struck Down

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Guam - NASA

A federal judge has struck down a Guam law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Pacific Daily News reported that U.S. District Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood’s ruling will take effect on Monday at 8 a.m. local time (6 p.m. EST on Sunday.)

Kathleen Aguero and Loretta Pangelinan filed a lawsuit against the marriage ban in April after the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services denied them a license that would allow them to tie the knot in the U.S. territory.

The Pacific Daily News reported that Aguero and Pangelinan plan to apply for a marriage license on Monday.

Authored By Michael K. Lavers – See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Image via NASA

Federal Judge Strikes Down Nebraska Marriage Equality Ban

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

A Federal Judge struck down Nebraska’s marriage equality ban, with an effective date in one week.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

A federal judge blocked Nebraska’s same-sex marriage ban on Monday… The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska sued the state in November on behalf of seven same-sex couples challenging the ban, which passed with the approval of 70 percent of voters in 2000. In addition to prohibiting gay marriage, the ban also forbids civil unions and legalized domestic partnerships. Same-sex couples miss out on medical and financial benefits that are available to heterosexual married couples, U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon said in issuing the injunction, which takes effect March 9.

The state immediately appealed the decision to the 8th circuit.

Zack Ford at Think Progress says the Eighth Circuit may be inclined to issue a stay:

Marriage equality would thus take effect on March 9, provided the Eighth Circuit doesn’t institute a longer stay. Unlike in other circuits, the Eighth Circuit might be inclined to do just that. Battalion has actually ruled against Nebraska’s ban before, way back in a 2005 case called Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning. The state appealed, and a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit unanimously overturned his decision, ruling that the ban did not violate same-sex couples’ equal protection under the law. The Eighth Circuit is the only appeals court that has a precedent for upholding marriage bans.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts denounced the ruling.

The Republican governor said Monday that the issue should be left to Nebraskans, and not an “activist judge” subverting their will. Ricketts say he will work with Attorney General Doug Peterson, a fellow Republican, to uphold the current constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2000.

Meanwhile, LGBT couples celebrated:

As it stands now, the ban on gay marriage has been lifted and is set to go into effect March 9th. It’s a day Roby and Tubach have been waiting for, for nearly 30 years. “This is our home. I’m not going to go somewhere else. I’m going to stay here and work through the process so that we can do this here,” said Roby. “I am most interested in being able to move this ring from my right hand ring finger to my left hand ring finger,” said an emotional Tubach.

And Rep. Brad Ashford (D) released a statement in support of the decision.

Discrimination against anyone based on their sexual orientation has no place in this country. Courts across the country are demanding equal treatment under the law, and today, Nebraska took a major stand against inequality in this country. This decision does not ask individuals to abandon their principles on the issue, but rather, to accept that this country is overwhelmingly diverse, and we must embrace those who might not hold our same beliefs. The many differences of individuals are what make this a great nation, and today’s decision recognizes that same-sex couples deserve equal rights under the law. I applaud this decision and commit to continue working for equality for all Nebraskans in the future.

In related news, the state’s welfare officials have been ignoring a ban on gay foster parents:

The state’s Department of Health and Human Services established a policy in 1995 that prohibited the placement of foster children with gay and lesbian couples or unmarried couples unless they are related to the children. During a review of state agencies, Ricketts’ office learned that the DHHS has been ignoring the policy, his spokesman Taylor Gage said. He said he didn’t know when the state began placing children with such couples or how many children had been placed in such homes.

The Dallas Voice has a new marriage equality map:

Dallas Voice marriage equality map

So does Wikipedia:

Wikipedia Marriage Equality Map

Texas Marriage Equality Update – February 20th

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Texas mapSo much going on in Texas after a Travis County judge overturned the state’s ban on marriage equality the other day.

First off, there was a legal same sex wedding in Austin.

On Top Magazine reports:

A lesbian couple together more than 30 years married Thursday in Texas. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant exchanged vows outside the Travis County Clerk’s Office. The ceremony was presided over by Rabbi Kerry Baker. The women were denied a marriage license eight years ago.

The Dallas Voice has more on the couple:

Sarah Goodfriend is a unpaid policy advisor to Austin state Rep. Celia Israel. She advises primarily on environmental and energy issues. Suzanne Bryant is an attorney in private practice in Austin. The two have been a couple for 31 years, and they exchanged their wedding vows in front of the Travis County Clerk’s office this morning with Rabbi Kerry Baker officiating.

The Dallas Voice also points out that probate court rulings in the state only apply to a single county:

According to the Dallas County Clerk’s office, probate rulings do not carry from one county to another, so a ruling in Travis County earlier this week does not apply in Dallas… Dallas County Clerk John Warren has said he hoped to be the first county clerk to issue marriage licenses in the state. His office has advised that nothing would prevent a Dallas County couple from following the same path as Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant in Travis County and filing suit in probate court here. In this case, they’d have two Travis County opinions to cite in their petition to the court.

Meanwhile, Attorney general Ken Paxton blasted the judge’s ruling and asked the state Supreme Court to issue a stay.

Towleroad.com reports:

“Texas law is clear on the definition of marriage, and I will fight to protect this sacred institution and uphold the will of Texans, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment defining the union as between one man and one woman. The probate judge’s misguided ruling does not change Texas law or allow the issuance of a marriage license to anyone other than one man and one woman.”

The Supreme Court wasted no time in shutting things down, but avoided voiding the first wedding that took place.

The Dallas Voice reports:

The Texas Supreme Court has issued a stay in the marriage between a Travis County couple following Attorney General Ken Paxton’s appeal. The order can be found here. However, this order apparently does not void Sarah Goodfriend’s and Suzanne Bryant’s marriage. Barbara Rosenberg, an attorney who works in the Dallas City Attorney’s Office, said her understanding is that the ruling can only stop future licenses from being issued.

The AG is arguing that the wedding should be voided.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Within hours, the Texas Supreme Court had blocked other gay couples from getting married under similar special exceptions – but didn’t address the women’s marriage, which Paxton said he considered void. But that remains in dispute, and Paxton’s spokeswoman, Cynthia Meyer, said their office will file additional paperwork with the state Supreme Court on Friday to argue their case. “Activist judges don’t change Texas law and we will continue to aggressively defend the laws of our state,” Paxton said in a statement.

In other state marriage equality news, the plaintiffs in a federal case are asking the court to lift a stay.

Equality on Trial reports:

In the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals case DeLeon v. Perry, which has been submitted for decision since arguments have been heard, the plaintiffs are asking the appeals court to lift the stay, or at least to do so for the plaintiffs who have children. The state has filed its opposition, and they claim in part that even if the stay is lifted, the preliminary injunction wouldn’t affect the couple who wants their names listed on their child’s birth certificate.

And in Eastern Texas, other same sex couples celebrated the ruling, but were left waiting yet again.

KYTX reports:

It’s been back and forth all day between a Travis County clerk and the Texas Attorney General after the clerk issued the state’s first same sex marriage license. However, that one license doesn’t change the situation for many other same sex couples in Texas. Karen Wilkerson and her partner have been ready to get married for a year now in Tyler. “I can’t plan a wedding, I can’t send out invitations, I cant book a place for our reception, I can’t start talking to a travel agent to plan a honeymoon because I don’t know when the decision will come down to make it legal for me to marry,” Wilkerson said. She’s happy for Austin couple Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, but says unfortunately that won’t help her case.

The state Supreme Court has only issued a stay, and hasn’t ruled on the merits of the case. We’re also waiting to see what the Fifth Circuit does in regards to its stay.

Nevertheless, it’s a crack in the dam in texas.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Alabama Marriage Equality Update – 2/13/15

Friday, February 13th, 2015

AlabamaMore counties got on board the marriage equality bandwagon today, and opponents gnashed their teeth. Hey, haters gonna hate.

As of this morning, the number of counties issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples had jumped again, in response to the Federal Judge’s chastising of Mobile County.

Joe.My.God reports:

“With 40 counties confirmed to be issuing #marriage licenses, 75% of #Alabama population lives in county with freedom to marry.” Yesterday’s ruling in Mobile County is having the predicted effect and more than a dozen other counties have relented this morning.

A little later in the day, that number had jumped to 47.

ABC News reports:

About 20 of Alabama’s 67 counties allowed gays and lesbians to wed on Monday. By Friday that number had jumped to at least 47, the Human Rights Campaign said. Other counties said they would revisit the decision next week.

HRC expects that to grow by next week.

The Advocate reports:

As of 4 p.m. local time on Friday, 47 counties in Alabama were issuing marriage licenses to all couples, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which has been tracking the situation since U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade’s pro-equality rulings took effect Monday. Those 47 counties contain 82 percent of the state’s population, and by next week, a full 50 counties will allow same-sex couples to legally marry, reports HRC.

LGBT has the details county by county:

Issuing to all couples: Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Blount, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chilton, Coffee, Colbert, Conecuh, Coosa, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, Dekalb, Elmore, Escambia, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Green, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Russell, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox and Winston. 82 % of population; 47 counties

Will start next week: Hale, Marion, Marshall, 3%; 3

Issuing to only straight couples: Chambers, Choctaw, Clay, Cleburne. Covington, Houston, Marengo, Pickens, Shelby, Washington. 10%; 10

Not issuing licenses to any couples: Bibb, Clarke, Geneva, Pike, Randolph, Tallapoosa, Walker. 5%; 7

Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court is asking probate judges to respond in a lawsuit brought by the anti-gay Liberty Counsel.

Equality on Trial reports:

The Alabama Supreme Court has issued an order requiring the probate judges in counties who are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and named as defendants in a pending action filed by Liberty Counsel to “file answers and,if they choose to do so, briefs, addressing issues raised by the petition, including, but not limited to, any issue relating to standing or otherwise relating to this Court’s subject-matter jurisdiction, and any issue relating to the showing necessary for temporary relief as requested in the petition.” The order is addressing the petition filed by Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT organization, attempting to force county probate judges who are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples to stop issuing them.

Speaking of haters, here’s our first one.

Joe.My.God reports:

Cedric Hatcher, an outspoken street evangelist and regular at Birmingham City Hall, took to the lectern during the public comment portion of today’s meeting to express his disapproval of the marriages that took place just across Linn Park and around the state Monday. “To me yesterday was one of the most bizarre scenes I’ve ever seen in the city,” Hatcher said. “It was one of the most comedic scenes I’ve ever seen in public when I witnessed men with size 13 and 14 shoes out there kissing each other in the mouth in front of little kids. It was like a freak scene going on, that’s what I call it.” Like his previous statements on social issues, Hatcher didn’t soften his approach when criticizing the legalization of same-sex marriage. He delivered an abrasive critique instead. Hatcher cited several Bible passages and decried the presence of children in ceremonies he believed were abominable. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But the worst part? There are no batteries to be found on the shelves of Birmingham stores. Because gay marriage.

And Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s drama queen, was ranting about “slavery” and the “gay gestapo”.

Joe.My.God reports:

“When you are ordered by an agent of the government to violate your own conscience in something that you do, that is slavery. If you are forced to violate your conscience to do work, that is slavery. If you are forced to violate your conscience that is tyranny…that is the gay gestapo at work, ‘you either do what we tell you or you’re gonna get punished.'”

And the chair of the state GOP is NOT HAPPY.

The Dallas Voice reports:

The chair of Alabama’s Republican Party thinks God is pissed because same-sex couples can marry in his state. “The state of Alabama and the United States of America will reap God’s wrath if we embrace and condone things that are abhorrent to God, such as redefining marriage as anything other than a union between one man and one woman,” Alabama Republican Party Chair Bill Armistead wrote this week.

To take the sour taste out of your mouth, check out this great celebratory video from Freedom to Marry, including moments from the first day of Alabama same sex weddings.

Italy’s High Court Rejects Marriage Equality

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Italy - Google MapsIn a disappointing move, the highest court in Italy found no right to marriage equality in the country’s constitution.

Gay Star News reports:

The Cassation Court has said there is nothing in the Constitution that requires the government to extend marriage rights to LGBTI people. However, it did say same-sex couples should have the same rights as unmarried Italian opposite-sex couples. The Constitution states: ‘All citizens have equal social dignity and are equal before the law, without distinction of sex, race, language, religion, political opinion, personal and social conditions.’

So, civil unions, maybe?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Italy.

Image via Google Maps

Alabama: Judge Rules in Favor of Second Couple

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Alabama mapThe same judge that ruled in favor of marriage equality in a case where the plaintiffs married out-of-state just issued a second ruling for a couple denied a marriage license in Alabama.

SDGLN reports:

This case was filed by James Strawser, 51, and John Humphrey, 38, who live in Mobile. They met on Facebook and have lived together in Alabama since last year. After they applied for a marriage license and were turned down, they filed their case without the aid of lawyers, according to news reports…

The first case involved a lesbian couple who had a valid wedding ceremony in California and who sued for that marriage to be recognized in Alabama. In the second case, the gay couple were refused a marriage license. “Although the Plaintiffs in this case seek to marry in Alabama, rather than have their marriage in another state recognized, the court adopts the reasoning expressed in the Searcy case and finds that Alabama’s laws violate the Plaintiffs’ rights for the same reasons,” she wrote.

It’s a banner week for marriage equality in Alabama.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Alabama Marriage Equality Ban With No Stay

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Alabama mapThe number of states with marriage equality just jumped to 37.

The Washington Blade reports:

A federal judge in Alabama has become the latest to strike down a state ban on same-sex marriage, ruling against the Yellowhammer State’s prohibition on gay nuptials on the basis that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment. In a 10-page decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade, an appointee of George W. Bush, issued summary judgement in favor of a plaintiff same-sex couple, finding Alabama marriage laws violate the couple’s right to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.

“There has been no evidence presented that these marriage laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether they are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples,” Granade writes. “In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama.”

We’re guessing that, absent a stay, couples will start Monday morning, unless a county clerk decides to open on the weekend. AG Luther Strange has asked the judge for a stay.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

Marriage Equality Ruling in South Dakota

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

South Dakota mapA Federal Judge struck down South Dakota’s marriage equality ban yesterday.

The Washington Blade reports:

In a 28-page decision, U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier, a Clinton appointee, grants summary judgement to plaintiff same-sex couples in the case, saying the South Dakota’s marriage ban runs contrary to their rights to equal protection and due process under the U.S. Constitution. “In Loving, the Supreme Court addressed a traditionally accepted definition of marriage that prohibited Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving from marrying,” Schreier writes. “Because Virginia’s laws deprived that couple of their fundamental right to marriage, the Court struck down those laws. Little distinguishes this case from Loving. Plaintiffs have a fundamental right to marry. South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification.”

Unfortunately, the judge stayed her own decision, so same sex couples in South Dakota will have to wait to get married.

Ari Ezra Waldman argues that there should have been no stay:

It no longer makes any sense, not after the Supreme Court refused to grant a stay in Florida pending appeal. As I argued previously, the Court’s refusal to extend the stay beyond January 5, 2015 was special because it was the first time the Court let stand a pro-marriage equality decision in a jurisdiction where the appellate court (11th Circuit, in this case) had not yet spoken. Everywhere else, in South Carolina, for example, or in Idaho, the Court let marriage equality go into effect because the Fourth and Ninth Circuits, respectively, had spoken.

South Dakota is in the Eighth Circuit, which has not had occasion to decide a marriage equality case in the post-Windsor world. Therefore, with respect to the stay, South Dakota is just like Florida: a state with a pro-equality federal district court decision that should not be stayed even though the superior circuit court has not yet spoken. It is a shame the stay was put into effect. The judge was probably just being cautious. But her caution extends the hours of discrimination and second-class citizenship for thousands of gay men and women.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in South Dakota.