General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

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General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2014-02-26 02:33pm

This thread has been converted to a general gay marriage issues thread. Post all articles related to gay marriage legalization here. ~Edi



http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/ ... tely.html/
Federal judge voids Texas’ gay marriage ban, though he delays order from taking effect immediately
By Robert T. Garrett
rtgarrett@dallasnews.com
1:20 pm on February 26, 2014 | Permalink

Mark Phariss of Plano, left, held the hand of partner Victor Holmes, center, as they left the U.S. Federal Courthouse in San Antonio after a hearing earlier this month. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia ruled Texas' gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. He ruled after the two men from Plano filed a civil rights lawsuit seeking permission to marry, and a lesbian couple sued to have their marriage recognized. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

A federal judge in San Antonio ruled Wednesday that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutionally deprives some citizens of due process and equal protection under the law by stigmatizing their relationships and treating them differently from opposite-sex couples.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia cited recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings as having trumped Texas’ moves to ban gay marriage.

“Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” he said in his order. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.”

But Garcia’s ruling, while a major victory for groups seeking to make marriage legal for gay and lesbian couples nationwide, will not win them Texas marriage licenses anytime soon.

Although Garcia issued a preliminary injunction against the state’s enforcing its 2003 law and 2005 constitutional amendment that limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, he stayed it from taking effect until his ruling can be reviewed on appeal.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor, is almost certain to appeal. Most legal experts expect Garcia’s ruling, or similar ones by federal judges in other states, to eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case he ruled on was brought by two gay men from Plano who want to get married and two Austin lesbians who want Texas to recognize their out-of-state marriage. It is one of three federal lawsuits challenging the Texas ban — and the furthest along. Nationally, similar battles are underway in federal courts in 23 states.

After a hearing earlier this month, Garcia, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, acknowledged that his ruling would be far from the final say on the matter. He predicted the case, or one of 22 similar ones in other states, “will make its way to the Supreme Court.”

In June, the justices ruled, 5-4, that married same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits.

Seventeen states have broadened the definition of marriage to include gay couples. On Monday, a group called Freedom to Marry announced it has begun a new $1 million campaign to win support for similar measures in the South.

But the region offers entrenched resistance, especially in Texas.

Abbott strongly opposes legalizing gay marriage, as do four of his fellow Republicans in next week’s GOP primary for lieutenant governor. So do three GOP candidates in the race to succeed Abbott as attorney general. It’s been 20 years since a Democrat won a statewide race. The GOP controls the Legislature. In November’s elections, it’s expected to easily retain control.

Arguing the case before Garcia, Mike Murphy, an assistant solicitor general in Abbott’s office, said the four plaintiffs were trying to “rewrite over 150 years of Texas law” by asking courts to intervene in the democratic process.

Voters passed the 2005 amendment banning gay marriage by better than 3-to-1.

In states such as Texas, “legislators and citizens have concluded that the better course is to preserve the traditional definition of marriage,” Murphy told Garcia.

Lawyer Mark Phariss and physician’s assistant Victor Holmes of Plano, who’ve been domestic partners for more than 16 years, brought the suit, along with Austin residents Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman. De Leon and Dimetman got married in Massachusetts in 2009. They have a young son.

Their lawyers, Barry Chasnoff and Neel Lane, argued at the Feb. 12 hearing that it’s only a matter of time before the Supreme Court strikes down gay-marriage bans in Texas and 32 other states.

Chasnoff said the states have violated the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by denying a privilege — the ability to marry — for reasons mostly of hostility or “animus” toward gay men and lesbians.

Nodding at his clients seated behind him, Chasnoff said, “They are honorable, productive members of society. And yet they are here today because the state of Texas chooses to deny them the right to marry the one they love.”
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Re: Texas Gay marriage ban struck down

Post by Ahriman238 » 2014-02-26 02:35pm

I always figured they'd be the last state dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

Which might still happen with counter-rulings or a reworking of the ban. But for now, for today, this is a great and unexpected victory.
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Re: Texas Gay marriage ban struck down

Post by Borgholio » 2014-02-26 02:45pm

First Utah and then Texas. Those were supposed to be the two biggest hold-outs. If they're going down this soon, what hope do the other red states have?
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Re: Texas Gay marriage ban struck down

Post by Alyeska » 2014-02-26 08:19pm

The state constitutional bans were deliberately enacted as a roadblock to make gay marriage as difficult as possible. But with no Federal ban, the courts are free to use the recent SCOTUS ruling to crush these state bans with absolute ease. This news is thrilling.

My uncle lives in Dallas and soon his marriage will be legal.
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Re: Texas Gay marriage ban struck down

Post by Lagmonster » 2014-02-27 09:20am

Ahriman238 wrote:I always figured they'd be the last state dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

Which might still happen with counter-rulings or a reworking of the ban. But for now, for today, this is a great and unexpected victory.
Strangely, I got the impression that Texas was progressive in many ways and regions compared to the poorer south, such as Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and such. I expected Texas traditionalism to be defeated by the same kind of thing that won in Arizona, namely money and tourism. And immigration, both from within and without; I seem to recall Texas is way at the top (along with more progressive California and New York) in terms of numbers of people moving in, which can bring with it a greater diversity of ideas.

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Re: Texas Gay marriage ban struck down

Post by Prannon » 2014-02-27 01:20pm

Lagmonster wrote:
Ahriman238 wrote:I always figured they'd be the last state dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

Which might still happen with counter-rulings or a reworking of the ban. But for now, for today, this is a great and unexpected victory.
Strangely, I got the impression that Texas was progressive in many ways and regions compared to the poorer south, such as Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and such. I expected Texas traditionalism to be defeated by the same kind of thing that won in Arizona, namely money and tourism. And immigration, both from within and without; I seem to recall Texas is way at the top (along with more progressive California and New York) in terms of numbers of people moving in, which can bring with it a greater diversity of ideas.
Pretty much this. I've lived in Texas most of my life, and while most of the people I know will tend to be fairly conservative and libertarian in their views, for the most part they really don't care about the gay marriage issue. As long as it doesn't hurt other people, let them do what they want. My mother, for crying out loud, used to say that homosexuality was the family curse (her brother is gay), and has now accepted gay people as normal and thinks that it's absolutely ok.

There are far less progressive and more backward places than Texas.

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Gay marriage officially recognized in Kentucky

Post by Borgholio » 2014-02-27 02:54pm

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... e/5864639/
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge on Thursday ordered Kentucky officials to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed out of state.

U.S. District Court Judge John Heyburn ruled that Kentucky's Constitution and laws banning recognition of such marriages "violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and they are void and unenforceable."

The decision amounted to a final ruling of his Feb. 12 opinion in the case.

Attorney Dan Canon, a lawyer for the four gay and lesbian couples who won the case, said: "We are cautiously optimistic. The order has been granted without qualification and without a stay."

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway had asked the judge on Thursday to delay his order by 90 days to give him the chance to decide whether to appeal.

STORY: Federal judge strikes down Texas gay marriage ban

STORY: Ky. ban on gay marriages from other states struck down

The motion says Gov. Steve Beshear, also a defendant, needed time as well to decide how to implement the order if it is not appealed.

The motion suggests that Conway is at least considering joining six other state attorneys general who have decided not to appeal rulings throwing out marriage bans. Those officials, all Democrats, said the laws are discriminatory and violate the right to equal protection under the law.

Conway has said he is legally bound to defend Kentucky statutes and its marriage amendment, but U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. declared Monday that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws they believe are discriminatory. In an interview with The New York Times, Holder said officials who have carefully studied bans on gay marriage could refuse to defend them.

In the motion filed Thursday, assistant attorneys general Clay Barkley and Brian Judy say they reserve the right to request a stay of the order pending a possible appeal.

In his 23-page opinion earlier this month, Heyburn said Kentucky's ban, which has been in place since 2004, deprives gays and lesbians of numerous legal protections that are available to opposite-sex couples and violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Heyburn's ruling doesn't affect a related lawsuit seeking to force the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The decision in the socially conservative state comes against the backdrop of similar rulings or actions in other states where same-sex couples have long fought for the right to marry. Kentucky's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2004 and included the out-of-state clause.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Texas struck down that state's gay marriage ban but immediately delayed the implementation of his ruling pending appeals by the state.

The Kentucky ruling came in lawsuits brought by four gay and lesbian couples seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.

The proposed order only requires Kentucky to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed in other states or countries. It does not deal with whether the state can be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, an existing ban that two gay couples have asked Heburn to strike down.

Martin Cothran, a senior policy analyst for the Family Foundation of Kentucky, criticized Conway's handling of the case, accusing him of "spiking" the state's defense by not making persuasive arguments to keep the ban in place.

"If this were a private case, it would be legal malpractice," Cothran said. "The longer the attorney general drags his feet on this case, the worse it is for Kentucky voters."

Laura Landenwich, an attorney representing several of the couples who sued, said a delay in implementing the ruling leaves state employees in legal limbo.

"Basically, you are the state officer and employee and you need to know what you can and can't do," Landenwich said. "It'll be interesting to see what happens."
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Re: Gay marriage officially recognized in Kentucky

Post by Borgholio » 2014-02-27 04:22pm

It IS going faster than anybody here thought, isn't it?
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Re: Gay marriage officially recognized in Kentucky

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-02-27 04:42pm

Well, if a bunch of cases are filed all at once all over the country, and the courts process them all in parallel, something like this is bound to happen.
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Re: Gay marriage officially recognized in Kentucky

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2014-02-27 07:55pm

And the lower federal courts are expected to cite and follow each others precedent when the supreme court has already made applicable rulings. Striking down the DOMA was enough to make it untenable to uphold any of these laws. Had that not happened we might still see some of the more conservative judges and appeals court districts kicking the cases all the way up to SCOTUS, but that train has pretty well passed.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Edi » 2014-02-28 02:00am

Texas and Kentucky gay marriage ban revocation threads merged and converted to a general gay marriage issue thread.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-03-04 11:03am

Breaking from CNN - Kentucky will not appeal order to recognize gay marriage.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-03-04 12:04pm

Scratch that, the Governor of KY decided to be a douche and backtrack. They're going to appeal now.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by TimothyC » 2014-03-04 12:52pm

Borgholio wrote:Scratch that, the Governor of KY decided to be a douche and backtrack. They're going to appeal now.
Technically, the Kentucky ruling was that they had to recognize out of state same-sex marriages. Just to be clear.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-03-04 01:01pm

Right, not that they will perform gay marriages, just that they'd recognize out-of-state gay marriage. A step in the right direction, but even that is being fought now.
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Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state

Post by LaCroix » 2014-04-29 09:54am

[plot twist]For the right to perform same-sex marriages[/plot twist]

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Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state for right to perform same-sex marriages
By Tom Boggioni
Monday, April 28, 2014 10:52 EDT

In a twist on the conservative argument over the separation of church and state, a group of clergymen filed suit in North Carolina today challenging state laws that make it illegal for them to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples within their congregations.

The clergymen, representing the United Church of Christ, as well as Lutheran, Baptist, and Unitarian congregations jointly filed a federal challenge to Amendment One – recently passed by voters – in Western District of North Carolina.

The addition to the North Carolina Constitution prohibited the state from recognizing or performing same-sex marriages or civil unions.

The 2012 initiative was approved by voters 61% to 39%.

According to a plaintiff in the case, Rev. Joe Hoffman, Senior Minister of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville, NC, “As senior minister, I am often asked to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples in my congregation. My denomination – the United Church of Christ – authorizes me to perform these ceremonies. But Amendment One denies my religious freedom by prohibiting me from exercising this right.”
www.amendmentonelawsuit.com

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Re: Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state

Post by Grumman » 2014-04-29 10:43am

LaCroix wrote:Cue republican lawmakers asking "Can they do this?"
No, they can't. The right to religious freedom does not and should not place the particulars of religious doctrine above secular law. You cannot ban something because it is religious doctrine, but something does not have to be legal just because your imaginary friend says it should be.

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Re: Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state

Post by Kitsune » 2014-04-29 10:46am

I believe Virginia and North Carolina are in the same court district
When Virginia's appeal goes through, North Carolina's will then be overturned at the same time.
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Re: Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-04-29 11:03am

I think the logical counter to the North Carolina clergymen is that while they have the right to perform whatever marriage ceremony they wish, the marriage has no legal force unless it is recognized (and licensed) by the state. Thus, their freedom of religion is unimpaired, and they can unite anyone they wish in the eyes of God (according to their own church's doctrine).

They just can't unite anyone in the eyes of the state, without the state's authorization. Which is not a freedom of religion issue, it's a secular legal issue.
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Re: Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state

Post by Alferd Packer » 2014-04-29 11:54am

According to the UCC website:
In 2012, North Carolina voters approved Amendment One, which limited a domestic legal union to a covenant between a man and woman. Under state laws consistent with Amendment One, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a minister to perform a marriage ceremony for a couple that hasn’t obtained a license, and such a license may not be issued to same-gender couples.
So while I doubt someone invited to such an event would rat out a UCC minister for performing a private gay marriage ceremony, it appears that they are possibly at risk of such a thing happening.
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Re: Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state

Post by Broomstick » 2014-04-29 12:26pm

Yes, if they're at risk of arrest/prosecution for performing a religious ceremony within their own church that would, indeed, be a restriction of religion. There are a few instances where that's allowed - no human sacrifice, for example - since no one is physically harmed here I think it can be argued Amendment One overreached.
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Re: Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state

Post by Borgholio » 2014-04-29 12:55pm

Broomstick wrote:since no one is physically harmed here I think it can be argued Amendment One overreached.
But...it harms the sanctity of traditional marriage...
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Re: Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state

Post by Broomstick » 2014-04-29 01:35pm

What the bigots call "traditional marriage" isn't as traditional as they think it is, and is restricted to a definition originating in just one religion of the multitude in the world. So they're full of shit.
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Re: Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state

Post by Elheru Aran » 2014-04-29 01:38pm

The religious objection to gay marriage, while logical within its own context, collapses within that of the civic sphere. I have never really seen why there has been such opposition to allowing civil marriages between gay couples while also allowing churches to prohibit gay unions within their congregations if they are so inclined. It would seem the ideal compromise...
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