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If I Must Accept the Hobby Lobby Decision, You Must Accept Marriage Equality

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

US Supreme Court Color

June 2014: the Supreme Court hands down its opinion in a controversial case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. In a 5-4 vote, the court allows corporations to claim religious exemptions from federal laws. Opponents are angered but accept the court’s decision as the final word on the subject.

June 2015, the Supreme Court hands down its opinion in a controversial case, Obergefell v. Hodges. In a 5-4 vote, the court grants same-sex couples the right to marry in all 50 states. Opponents are angered and do not accept the court’s decision as the final word on the subject. With excessive pouting, they demand an end to the Supreme Court as we know it.

Texas senator Ted Cruz, self-appointed leader of the outraged, convened a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting titled, ‘With Prejudice: Supreme Court Activism and Possible Solutions.’ He spoke gravely with lots of heavy sighs and theatrical turns of phrase: “Much to my great disappointment, this past term, the court crossed a line. Continued its long descent into lawlessness. To a level that I believe demands action. [dramatic pause] The court today is not a body of jurists. It is not a body of judges following the law, but rather it has declared itself, in effect, a super-legislature.” A musical stab would have worked wonderfully here to punctuate his point. He continued in a supremely serious tone: “Five unelected judges declared that the marriage laws of all 50 states were now, somehow, transformed into being unconstitutional … That’s not law. That’s not judging. That’s policy-making.”

By Domenick Scudera – Full Story at the Huffington Post

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.

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

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

US Supreme Court Won’t Intervene In Alabama Marriage Equality Case

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Alabama mapOnce again, the US Supreme Court has declined to step in to halt same sex weddings in a Southern State.

Equality on Trial reports:

This morning, the Supreme Court denied Alabama’s request to put same-sex marriages on hold pending the appeal of two cases. Justice Thomas and Justice Scalia dissented, writing, “Today’s decision represents yet another example of this Court’s increasingly cavalier attitude toward the States. Over the past few months, the Court has repeatedly denied stays of lower court judgments enjoining the enforcement of state laws on questionable constitutional grounds.

This means weddings will begin in the state today, and some counties are already marrying same sex couples.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

The Marriage Equality Cases Before the US Supreme Court

Friday, January 30th, 2015

US Supreme Court ColorLast time, we spoke about the importance of framing the case through the Questions Presented. I argued that despite some concern, the two questions posed in the Supreme Court’s order do not indicate that the justices are looking for a way out. They are ready to rule. Before we discuss the substance on which the justices will rule, let’s review the four cases that will decide the marriage equality question.

This matters because not all cases are fungible. Some come with better facts, others come with messy complications; some come with sympathetic plaintiffs, others have unfortunate optics. Especially when it comes to appellate review, the record on appeal can even tilt the outcome of the case. Plus, the cases are fun to talk about at nerdy cocktail parties.

Bourke v. Beshear is the Kentucky case and it was one of the earlier (though not the earliest) post-Windsor pro-equality decisions from a federal district court. It is about both the right to have a valid out-of-state marriage recognized in a home state and Kentucky’s own in-state ban. The judge, the Honorable John G. Heyburn, relied heavily on Windsor and found that Kentucky’s marriage laws discriminated against gay persons in violation of the Equal Protection Clause as applied to the states. Using rational basis review — the lowest form of scrutiny that only requires a rational connection between a law and a legitimate government objective — the court said there was no rational reason to treat gays this way. He struck down the anti-recognition law.

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

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

A Best-Case, Worst-Case Look at the Supreme Court’s Options

Monday, January 26th, 2015

US Supreme Court Color

In just a few months, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in four marriage equality cases, and while it’s impossible to accurately predict how the nine justices may rule, it’s also impossible to avoid speculating. This much is certain: Whatever the court decides will be the most important turning point ever seen in the marriage equality battle — and will radically alter the lives of millions of people.

What Exactly Will the Court Decide?

The court is going to focus on two questions, asking attorneys on both sides to address the inquiries with the merits of their individual cases. Those questions are:

Does the Constitution require states to issue licenses to same-sex couples?

Does the Constitution require states to recognize out-of-state marriage licenses from jurisdictions with marriage equality?

These questions may seem straightforward, but the court’s answer could be (and probably will be) more than just a yes or no. When the justices rule, a complex decision could settle those questions while also providing detailed guidance for future litigation. That’s one reason why it’s so hard to predict: there are an infinite number of ways the justices can answer even the simplest of questions.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – US Supreme Court Edition

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

US Supreme Court Color

There’s a lot going on around the US Supreme Court’s decision to take five marriage equality cases from the Sixth Circuit. Here’s a wrap-up of the current news and analysis

USA: The hearing will be held in April. full story

USA: The ACLU looks at where we’re at and how we got here. full story

USA: Time Magazine looks at the court’s options in the case. full story

USA: Lambda Legal asks “what happens if we lose?” full story

USA: New Now Next profiles the couples in the four cases. full story

USA: Just like the last time, it probably all comes down to Justice Kennedy. full story

USA: Not so fast, says the New Republic – Chief Justice Roberts may have a role to play too. full story

USA: Time also looks at the Supreme Court’s own history with the issue. full story

USA: Garrett Epps at The Atlantic looks at the odds. full story

USA: Time recaps what five of the Justices have written or said about marriage equality in the past. full story

USA: Prop 8 attorney David Boies thinks marriage equality will win out at the Court. full story

USA: Attorney General Eric Holder says he will file a brief with the Court in favor of marriage equality. full story

USA: While announcing the Court’s decision to take the cases, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith slammed the “continuing discrimination” by states that are still fighting same-sex marriage full story

USA: Steve Sanders at ScotusBlog looks at the issue of “animus” in the state bans and the upcoming decisions. full story

USA, Michigan: The plaintiffs here say they are in awe that the Court has decided to take up their case. full story

USA, Texas: Neel Lane, attorney the plaintiffs in the Texas marriage equality case, is calling on the three judge panel to issue a ruling even though the Supremes have now taken four marriage equality cases. full story

USA, Alaska: Attorney General Craig Richards said he would suspend his hopeless appeal of the decision striking down the state’s ban while the Supremes consider the issue. full story

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!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.