General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-06-16 08:33am

And yet again, the religious right has failed to demonstrate how, in any way, shape, or form, they themselves are actually harmed by legalizing gay marriage.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2014-06-16 01:21pm

Borgholio wrote:And yet again, the religious right has failed to demonstrate how, in any way, shape, or form, they themselves are actually harmed by legalizing gay marriage.
It really does appear as though they have totally given up trying at this points.
At this point it should be painfully clear that judges are not considering religious arguments of ANY type whatsoever.

Most of what I see on right wing blogs seems to be them trying to change the gay marriage debate by basically teaching people to "hate" gays again. IE saying:

It IS a choice for gays, so everything that happens to them is their own fault.
BECAUSE it's a choice it means they are out to recruit your kids!
Gays and pedophiles are one and the same.
And finally, if gays can marry, it's only a matter of time before people are marrying animals and babies!!!

So in summary... They got nothing
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-06-25 12:58pm

Busy day for Gay Rights. Utah's ban is struck down (again) by the Supreme Court, and Indiana's ban is struck down as well.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... /11354831/
INDIANAPOLIS — A federal appeals court and a federal district court struck down two states' bans on same-sex marriage Wednesday, saying the laws violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

In Denver, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Utah must allow gay couples to marry, the first time an appeals court has made such a ruling. But the three-judge panel immediately put on its decision on hold so it could be appealed, either to the entire 10th Circuit or directly to the Supreme Court.

In Indiana, federal District Judge Richard Young did not issue a stay on his ruling, so couples can start marrying immediately. Marion County Clerk Beth White in the state's capital city said she is prepared to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in her office downtown.

"The clerk's office will be open until at least 4:30 p.m. this evening to issue licenses," White said in a news release. "I will also conduct short, civil ceremonies on a first-come, first-serve basis for a voluntary $50 contribution to the Indiana Youth Group," a nonprofit organization in Indianapolis that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning teens.

The Indiana attorney general's office said it will appeal and seek a stay.

Several couples had sued Indiana earlier this year to challenge Indiana's ban on gay marriage. In May, Young required the state to indefinitely recognize one same-sex couple's out-of-state marriage.

At that time, Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, both 37, were the only same-sex couple to have their marriage legally recognized in Indiana.

Sandler and Quasney were married last year in Massachusetts and have been together 13 years. Quasney has terminal ovarian cancer.

Most recently, both sides asked Young to rule on the broader constitutionality of the state law that states marriage is between only a man and a woman.

Last week, the state fired its salvo in that case, asking a federal appeals court to overturn Young's ruling that temporarily recognized Sandler and Quasney's marriage. Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for the attorney general, said state officials contend Young's May 8 ruling was incorrect.

Federal courts across the country have struck down gay marriage bans recently, but many of those rulings are on hold pending appeal. Lawyers on both sides of the issue expect the matter to land before the Supreme Court.

A movement to add a gay marriage ban to the Indiana constitution faltered during this legislative session when lawmakers removed language about civil unions from the amendment. That means the soonest the issue could appear on a ballot is 2016, unless federal court rulings scuttle the proposed amendment.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Broomstick » 2014-06-25 10:36pm

Apparently within minutes of the ruling being handed down phone lines at Indiana county offices started ringing with people wanting to come in and get married TODAY.

Hundreds of couples got married today in Indiana, not just getting licenses but getting married on the spot.

There will probably be additional legal challenges, but I suspect part of the rush today was not just pent-up demand but also prior instances where, even if gay marriage is overturned, the legality of already in place gay marriages was upheld.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-06-25 11:42pm

Looks like we're approaching the point where half the states allow full-on gay marriage and not just civil unions.

On a hilarious note, check out this flow chart:

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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Darth Lucifer » 2014-06-27 10:24pm

Re: Kitchen v. Herbert in the Tenth Circuit...I remembered earlier in this thread of topics that someone made a point about divorce and they also mentioned no-fault divorce laws. This part of the opinion just illustrates the kind of hypocrisy present in Utah's legislature.
pp. 52-53 wrote:Appellants liken the recognition of same-sex marriage to another change in marriage law, arguing that there is “a compelling parallel between the unintended consequences of no-fault divorce, which harmed children by weakening marriage and fatherhood, and the harms that will likely result” from permitting same-sex couples to marry. We cannot accept appellants’ claim that allowing same-sex couples to marry is analogous to a law that permits married couples to divorce. The former causes an increase in the number of married individuals, whereas the latter decreases the number of marriages in a state. See Wolf, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77125, at *117 (“[T]he no-fault divorce rules that defendants cite actually undermine their argument by showing that [the state] already supports an ‘adult-centric’ notion of marriage to some extent by allowing easy divorce even when the couple has children.” (emphasis omitted)).

Setting aside the implausibility of the comparison, we observe that Utah has adopted precisely the no-fault divorce regime that appellants decry in their briefing. See Thronson v. Thronson, 810 P.2d 428, 431 n.3 (Utah Ct. App. 1991) (“Utah added ‘irreconcilable differences’ to its list of nine fault-based grounds [for divorce] in 1987.”); Haumont v. Haumont, 793 P.2d 421, 427 (Utah Ct. App. 1990) (irreconcilable differences subsection “is intended to be a no-fault provision”); see also Utah Code § 30-3-1(3)(h) (current location of irreconcilable differences provision). Utah’s adoption of one provision that it considers problematic with respect to the communicative function of marriage (no-fault divorce), but not another (same-sex marriage), undermines its claim that Amendment 3 is narrowly tailored to its desired ends. Through its no-fault divorce statute, Utah allows a spouse—the bedrock component of the marital unit—to leave his family whenever he wants and for whatever reason moves him. It is difficult to imagine how the State’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage undercuts in any meaningful way a State message of support for marital constancy given its adoption of a divorce policy that conveys a message of indifference to marital longevity.**

(**Emphasis Mine)

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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Broomstick » 2014-06-28 12:09am

Late today there was a stay on the decision in Indiana, so SSM is at a halt for now. The state still has thousands of SSMarriages performed within that narrow window when it was permitted. They've got their foot in the door now, and the social conservatives are having a meltdown.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-06-28 12:21am

It is difficult to imagine how the State’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage undercuts in any meaningful way a State message of support for marital constancy given its adoption of a divorce policy that conveys a message of indifference to marital longevity
That...is fucking awesome. I wonder how the like the taste of crow?
Broomstick wrote:Late today there was a stay on the decision in Indiana, so SSM is at a halt for now. The state still has thousands of SSMarriages performed within that narrow window when it was permitted. They've got their foot in the door now, and the social conservatives are having a meltdown.
That seems to be the pattern isn't it? Court finding the ban unconstitutional, bigots apply for an emergency stay, upon review the stay is lifted and the state goes permanently gay.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by CaptJodan » 2014-07-02 11:33am

Today, Florida's case gets heard in Miami on whether our state constitutional amendment banning SSM is unconstitutional. Here's hoping Florida will get something right for a change.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-07-02 11:42am

CaptJodan wrote:Today, Florida's case gets heard in Miami on whether our state constitutional amendment banning SSM is unconstitutional. Here's hoping Florida will get something right for a change.
Well they DID vote to re-elect Obama so it's not unprecedented, but yeah it's quite rare when something good comes out of Florida.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-07-03 09:27am

And in other news:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/bus ... /11903861/
Burger King has concocted yet another way to have it your way: a gay pride burger.

The Proud Whopper, as it's called, comes wrapped in a rainbow colored wrapper with this inscription: "We are all the same inside." It will be sold through Thursday at one Burger King restaurant on San Francisco's Market Street, that was at the heart of the route for last weekend's 44th annual San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade.

Burger King on Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. EST plans to post a two-minute video about the Proud Whopper on its YouTube channel.

"It showcases who we are as a brand," says Fernando Machado, senior vice president of global brand management at Burger King. "It shows how we, as a brand, believe in self-expression."

The inspiration behind the unusual burger wrap and video, he says, is Burger King's localized efforts to put into motion actions that support its recently-tweaked slogan: "Be Your Way."

The move also demonstrates BK's desire to stay connected to its base of Millennial customers. Gay rights is an issue that reverberates strongly with many Millennials both inside and outside the U.S. Burger King also was a sponsor of San Francisco's gay pride parade. Machado says that's the first time Burger King has sponsored a gay pride parade in the U.S., though it may have sponsored some outside the country.

The downtown San Francisco Burger King sold "Proud Whoppers" last weekend, during the parade and also passed out some 50,000 rainbow Burger King crowns, that were worn by parade participants and spectators. The video, created by the Miami office of Burger King's ad agency David, captures customers discussing whether or not the burger, itself, is different. At $4.29 it costs the same as a conventional Whopper. And, indeed, customers ultimately discover the only difference is the rainbow wrap.

All Proud Whopper sandwich sales, Machado says, will be donated to the Burger King McLamore Foundation for scholarships benefiting LGBT high school seniors graduating in spring 2015.

One gay rights activist says BK is doing the right thing. "Whenever a company comes out in support of gay people, it makes a difference," says Jordan Bach, a consultant to corporations on gay rights issues and a GLAAD media partner. "But when it's done right—when it's done with a campaign that shows the company understands diversity and really believes in the profound acceptance of other people—that sort of marketing can change minds and hearts at the deepest level."

For the moment, Burger King has no plans to broaden the promotion, Machado says, but notes, "we may consider something even bigger later on."

As for the wrappers, he says, they've already become collectibles. "Customers were folding the wrappers and taking them home with them," he says. Pretty soon, he says, they'll probably show up on eBay.
I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere about gay pride represented by a piece of meat slathered in sauce and slipped between some buns...
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by CaptJodan » 2014-07-17 03:11pm

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/loc ... 6096.story
S. Florida judge declares state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional
print
By Rene Stutzman, Staff Writer
2:48 p.m. EDT, July 17, 2014

A judge in the Florida Keys today overturned Florida's ban on gay marriage.

Circuit Judge Luis Garcia in Monroe County made history, ruling that a provision in the Florida Constitution that outlaws same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

Once his ruling is enacted, Florida will become the 20th state to allow same-sex marriage.

It is a resounding victory for same-sex couples but only clears the way for gays to marry in a single Florida county: Monroe.

It is the only one over which he has jurisdiction.


On April 1, two Key West men, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, a couple for 11 years, applied for a marriage license at the Monroe County Clerk of Courts office and were denied.

They hired a Key Largo divorce lawyer, who sued Monroe County Clerk of Courts Amy Heavilin, demanding that she issue them a marriage license.

The case was assigned to Garcia, who today ruled in the couple's favor, ordering Heavilin to give them and "similarly situated same-sex couples" those licenses.

He concluded the ban violates the rights of gays and lesbians under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees due process and equal protection under the law.

Huntsman and Jones, he wrote, "seek to have their relationship accorded the dignity, respect and security as the relationships of other married couples in the State of Florida."

In anticipation of a possible run on the local clerk's marriage license bureau, Garcia ordered that his ruling not take effect until Tuesday.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, whose office defended the ban, was not immediatley available for comment. She could choose to appeal the decision. If that happens and Garcia's ruling is upheld, clerks in other Florida counties likely would then begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

It was not immediately clear whether Bondi will ask Garcia to issue a stay, giving her time to file an appeal before any same-sex marriages take place.

Garcia heard argument in the case July 7. Weighing on his mind, he wrote, was a 2008 election in which 62 percent of Florida voters approved a statewide ban on gay marriage.

Wrote Garcia, "This court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage, but it is our country's proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and the rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority.

"Whether it's the NRA protecting our right to bear arms when the City of Chicago attempted to ban handguns within its city limits; or when Nazi supremacists won the right to march in Skokie, Illinois, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood; or when a black woman wanted to marry a white man in Virginia; or when black children wanted to go to an all-white school, the Constitution guarantees and protects ALL of its citizens from government interference with those rights. All laws passed whether by the legislature or by popular support must pass the scrutiny of the United States Constitution, to do otherwise diminishes the Constitution to just a historic piece of paper."

Equality Florida, one of the groups leading the fight for gay marriage in Florida, planned a series of simultaneous rallies for 6 p.m. today in more than a dozen Florida cities, including Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.

Last year the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on a very narrow issue tied to gay marriage, ruling that same-sex couples were entitled to the same federal benefits as other married couples.

Today's decision in Monroe County is just the first of what may become a cascade or Florida court rulings in favor of gay marriage in the coming days.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel heard argument July 2 on the same issue – but involving six same-sex couples who live in that county and want to get married. Her ruling is expected any day.

The same is true in federal court in Tallahassee, where U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle is mulling whether to order Washington County's clerk of courts to issue two men a marriage license and whether to require Florida to grant the same rights that married couples have to same-sex couples who were wed in other states and Canada.

Lawyers representing gay couples have predicted any pro-same-sex rulings would be challenged on appeal.
So my home state may be on the cusp, barring the inevitable appeals.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2014-07-23 09:28am

FL Representative David Jolly (Republican) also became just the 8th? Republican in Congress to endorse gay marriage after this.

Though I'm not sure if that was 8th Republican in Congress, or 8th Republican period...
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2014-08-21 05:17pm

Virginia Supreme Court outlaws gay marriage: USA TODAY
Supreme Court blocks same-sex marriages in Virginia
Richard Wolf, USA TODAY 5:43 p.m. EDT August 20, 2014
Gay marriage Virginia

(Photo: H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)
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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court blocked gay and lesbian couples from marrying in Virginia Wednesday as it edges closer to deciding whether same-sex marriage should be legalized nationwide.

The ruling puts on hold a federal appeals court's verdict last month striking down the state's ban on gay marriage. That case, like others that ended similarly in Utah and Oklahoma, is being appealed to the Supreme Court.

While nearly all federal and state courts have ruled in favor of same-sex marriage since the high court issued two landmark decisions in June 2013, judges have blocked nearly all such marriages while the cases are appealed. The justices had stepped in once before, in Utah, to do just that.

If the court declines to hear the Virginia appeal, the stay would be lifted and couples could begin getting married. Otherwise, those marriages would have to wait until the case is ultimately decided.

"The Supreme Court is making clear, as it already did in the Utah marriage case, that it believes a dignified process is better than disorder," said Byron Babione, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the Virginia court clerk opposed to same-sex marriage.

In six states — Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Utah and Wisconsin — several thousand couples married before the process was interrupted by judges' subsequent rulings. That leaves those marriages in legal limbo.

Tim Bostic, the lead plaintiff in the case, said waiting for a final verdict is preferable.

"While we are disappointed that marriages will have to wait, this was not unexpected," he said. "We feel that this case deserves to be heard by the Supreme Court and be finally decided for all Americans."

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage. It remains illegal in the remaining 31 states, although Colorado, Nevada and Wisconsin allow domestic partnerships or civil unions.

The first petitions seeking Supreme Court review were filed earlier this month in what appears to be a race to the nation's highest court. While Virginia's appeal has yet to be filed, proponents of gay marriage there -- including the state itself -- asked the justices to treat opponents' request to block marriages as an appeal of the case, which would speed up the process.

The justices will get their first crack at the broader issue in late September, when they meet privately to consider petitions that accumulated through the summer. They could grant one or more gay marriage cases for the 2014 term or wait for additional appeals.

More cases could arrive at the court this fall from the 6th Circuit appeals court, which heard cases earlier this month from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee; from the 7th Circuit, which will hear Indiana and Wisconsin cases next week; and from the 9th Circuit, which will hear Idaho and Nevada cases early next month.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond ruled 2-1 last month that gay men and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry. The ruling affirmed a district judge's decision rendered in February.

"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable," said Judge Henry Floyd, originally appointed a district judge by George W. Bush and elevated to the circuit court by President Obama. "However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws."

While state Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, had sided with proponents, he urged the Supreme Court to block same-sex marriages until the issue is ultimately decided.

"A stay is warranted in light of the negative impact on Virginia children, families, and businesses if the Supreme Court eventually rules against marriage equality and forces an unwinding of Virginians' marriages, adoptions, inheritances, or workplace benefits," Herring said.

Lawyers for gay and lesbian couples contend that marriages performed in six other states during interim periods ultimately must be recognized. Those include:

Arkansas: More than 500 couples married in May before the state Supreme Court stayed a judge's ruling.

Colorado: Clerks in three counties issued marriage licenses to more than 350 couples in June and July before the state Supreme Court stopped them.

Indiana: More than 800 couples married in June before the 7th Circuit appeals court blocked a district judge's ruling. One marriage remained recognized, however, because of a terminal illness.

Michigan: More than 300 couples married on a single day in March before the 6th Circuit appeals court blocked a district court ruling.

Utah: More than 1,000 couples married in December and January before the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and issued a stay of a district judge's ruling. The 10th Circuit federal appeals court affirmed the judge's ruling.

In May, District Judge Dale Kimball ruled that the state must recognize those 1,000-plus marriages, just as the federal government has done in most states that have legalized gay marriage. Recognition can affect issues ranging from adoption to state benefits. But the state successfully challenged that ruling at the Supreme Court, arguing that if it eventually wins its broader case, the marriages will be nullified.

Wisconsin: More than 500 couples married in June before a federal district judge put a stop to them.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-08-22 08:06am

I'm not sure it's fair to say they outlaw gay marriages. It reads as if they are blocking it until the US Supreme Court rules on the matter once and for all.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Darth Lucifer » 2014-08-28 03:57pm

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014 ... riage.html
Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court is a moderate conservative with an unapologetic bias toward reality and logic. This bias makes him an ideal Slate columnist. It has also turned him into something of an iconoclast among his conservative colleagues, who frequently jettison prudence and precedent in order to achieve results that just happen to align with the Republican Party’s platform.

On Tuesday, Posner put his judicial independence front and center during marriage equality oral arguments at the 7th Circuit. While lawyers for Wisconsin and Indiana attempted to defend their state’s marriage bans, Posner issued a series of withering bench slaps that unmasked anti-gay arguments as the silly nonsense that they are. Reading this string of brutal retorts is fun enough—but it’s even better to listen to them delivered in Posner’s own distinctive cadence. With the help of my Slate colleague Jeff Friedrich, I’ve collected the most exhilarating, satisfying, and hilarious of the bunch.
The rest of this page has embedded audio links which I cannot reproduce here. Listening to Judge Posner smacking down the opposition is just fucking awesome.

A Seventh Circuit panel consisting of Judge Richard Posner, Judge Ann Claire Williams, and Judge David F. Hamilton heard argument on Tuesday in two cases: Baskin v. Bogan, a challenge to Indiana’s statutory ban on same-sex marriage, and Wolf v. Walker, a challenge to Wisconsin’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. You can listen to the arguments below (special thanks to abovethelaw.com for the links):

Wolf v. Walker (full case audio)

Baskin v. Bogan (full case audio)

I loved how all the judges, especially Posner, were engaging the opposition lawyers in both cases front and center with their own ideas and arguments. These "pro marriage" lawyers didn't even bring a knife to this gunfight, they arrived empty handed and butt-@$$ nekkid.

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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2014-09-03 06:48am

Following from Slate

Posting the text but I REALLY Recommend clicking on the link to listen to the Audio clips recorded... This old 'conservative' judge doesn't just confront the Anti Gay marriage lawyer, he DESTROYS him! It's almost sad to listen to!

Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court is a moderate conservative with an unapologetic bias toward reality and logic. This bias makes him an ideal Slate columnist. It has also turned him into something of an iconoclast among his conservative colleagues, who frequently jettison prudence and precedent in order to achieve results that just happen to align with the Republican Party’s platform.

Mark Joseph Stern
MARK JOSEPH STERN
Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.

On Tuesday, Posner put his judicial independence front and center during marriage equality oral arguments at the 7th Circuit. While lawyers for Wisconsin and Indiana attempted to defend their state’s marriage bans, Posner issued a series of withering bench slaps that unmasked anti-gay arguments as the silly nonsense that they are. Reading this string of brutal retorts is fun enough—but it’s even better to listen to them delivered in Posner’s own distinctive cadence. With the help of my Slate colleague Jeff Friedrich, I’ve collected the most exhilarating, satisfying, and hilarious of the bunch.

Round 1: Posner vs. Indiana

“It’s a matter of indifference to you?”


Many of Posner’s sharpest inquiries revolved around the question of same-sex adoption. Thousands of gay couples in both Indiana and Wisconsin are raising children, which the state permits them to do. Given this reality, Posner asks Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher, isn’t allowing gay marriage “better for the psychological health or the welfare” of gay people’s kids? Allowing same-sex parents to get married, after all, would bring them and their children a plethora of benefits. Fisher’s noncommittal answer, which bordered on callousness, brought out one of Posner’s harshest rebukes.

“Would you criminalize fornication?”


After asking Fisher why Indiana shouldn’t just “criminalize fornication” in order to deal with its “unintended child problem,” Posner returned to the child question, demanding of Fisher, “Why do you prefer heterosexual adoption to homosexual adoption?” When Fisher struggles to respond, Posner sighs, “Come on now. You’re going in circles.” He then asks why Indiana wants to punish children because “their parents happen to be homosexual.”

“Why does Indiana let sterile people marry?”


Posner points out that Indiana allows both sterile people and first cousins (over the age of 65) to marry. If marriage is all about biological reproduction, Posner wonders, aren’t these policies irrational? Fisher errs at first, claiming, “We don’t allow incest.” When corrected, he founders.

“You should be wanting to enlist people as adopters.”


Returning to the question of adoption, Posner asks Fisher: “Isn’t it much better for kids to be adopted? But if you allow same-sex marriage, you’re going to have more adopters, right? … You should be wanting to enlist people as adopters.” He then calls Indiana’s arguments “pathetic.”

“You haven’t read this? You don’t remember it? It didn’t make an impression?”


Toward the end of Posner’s colloquy with Fisher, he discusses an amicus brief by the Family Equality Council that discusses the demeaning effects of gay marriage bans on same-sex families. Posner asks Fisher whether he’s read the brief, noting that “it has a great deal of rather harrowing information.” Fisher waffles; Posner brings down the hammer.

Round 2: Posner vs. Wisconsin

“You have no idea.”


Posner’s first question to Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson is simple: Why doesn’t Wisconsin permit joint adoption by same-sex couples? Samuelson has no answer. Posner is not pleased.

“How can tradition be a reason for anything?”


Samuelson attempts to argue that Wisconsin’s tradition of allowing only opposite-sex marriage is a rational basis for barring same-sex couples from the institution. Posner sinks in his claws, drawing painful, direct parallels between the current case and Loving v. Virginia. The racists who opposed interracial marriage, Posner notes, “make the same arguments you would make.” What’s the difference? When Samuelson releases a bizarre string of nonsense about common law, Posner audibly mutters, “Oh no.”

“That’s feeble.”


Posner refuses to let Samuelson wiggle out of his Loving problem. “You argue that democracy insulates legislation from constitutional invalidation,” he chides Samuelson. “You have to have something better. ... That’s the tradition argument.” Sure, America has a tradition of blocking certain people from marriage. But “experience based on hate” is not a constitutionally valid argument.

“Who’s being harmed? Answer my question!”


In the day’s testiest exchange, Posner pushes Samuelson to identify a single rational basis for his state’s anti-gay-marriage law. Who is being helped, Posner wonders, by gay marriage bans? When Samuelson claims that “society” is helped by gay marriage bans, Posner pushes back: “How is it being helped? You’re not trying to force homosexuals into heterosexual marriage. So what is the harm of allowing these people to marry? Does it hurt heterosexual marriage? Does it hurt children?”

When Samuelson’s yellow light flashes, signaling that he’s running out of time, Posner encourages him to continue. Judge Ann Claire Williams jumps in, informing Samuelson that the light “won’t save you.” The courtroom erupts in laughter. A defeated Samuelson responds, “It was worth a shot.”


“You have no idea?”


Samuelson’s argument is centered around the idea that gay marriage harms … someone. But whom? Posner demands an answer. Samuelson suggests that gay marriage would harm society at large. But how? Samuelson shrugs; he just doesn’t know. It’s a painful conclusion to a judicial bloodbath, a cringing moment of bathos that reveals the state’s argument for the intellectual joke that it is. Let’s hope the Supreme Court is listening.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by applejack » 2014-09-03 11:37pm

Federal Judge upholds gay marriage ban in Louisiana.

NPR
Bucking a long judicial trend, federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Louisiana's ban on gay marriage is constitutional.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman acknowledged that his ruling "runs counter to all but two other federal decisions," but he goes on to say that other judges went too far in their opinions.

As we've reported, the legal thinking has by and large been that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional because they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Feldman makes two major points: first, that the Supreme Court has never ruled that sexual orientation enjoys federal protected class status, and second, that while the precedent bans states from passing laws that are born out of animosity toward homosexuals, that's not what is going on here.

Louisiana, the judge says, has a legitimate interest in defining marriage to be between a man and a woman. Feldman explains:
"So, is there even any rational basis for Louisiana's resistance to recognize same-sex marriages entered into in other states, or to authorize same-sex marriages in Louisiana? Plaintiffs contend not, and conclude that Louisiana's laws and Constitution can only be supported by a hateful animus.

"Defendants rejoin that the laws serve a central state interest of linking children to an intact family formed by their biological parents. Of even more consequence, in this Court's judgment, defendants assert a legitimate state interest in safeguarding that fundamental social change, in this instance, is better cultivated through democratic consensus. This Court agrees."

"Louisiana's laws and Constitution are directly related to achieving marriage's historically preeminent purpose of linking children to their biological parents. Louisiana's regime pays respect to the democratic process; to vigorous debate. To predictable controversy, of course. The fact that marriage has many differing, even perhaps unproved dimensions, does not render Louisiana's decision irrational. Nor does the opinion of a set of social scientists (ardently disputed by many others, it should benoted) that other associative forms may be equally stable, or the view that such judgments vilify a group (even though one finds them in a majority of the states, but not in all states). Even the fact that the state's precepts work to one group's disadvantage does not mandate that they serve no rational basis. The Court is persuaded that a meaning of what is marriage that has endured in history for thousands of years, and prevails in a majority of states today, is not universally irrational on the constitutional grid."
Of course, all of this ultimately will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to, at some point, pick a case or a group of cases that will settle the issue for the country as a whole.
And another article from Al Jazeera.
A federal judge upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriages on Wednesday, a rare loss for gay marriage supporters who had won more than 20 consecutive rulings overturning bans in other states.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman also upheld the state's refusal to recognize same-sex marriagesperformed legally in other states. His ruling was the first to uphold a state ban since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

Feldman himself acknowledged that his won't be the final word. "Clearly, many other courts will have an opportunity to take up the issue of same-sex marriage; courts of appeals and, at some point, the U.S. Supreme Court," he wrote. "The decision of this Court is but one studied decision among many."

Gay rights advocates said they would carry the case to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which already has before it an appeal by the state of Texas of another federal judge's ruling that struck down that state's gay marriage ban.

In 2004, 78 percent of Louisiana voters approved an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. Gay marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Isabel Medina, a professor at the Loyola University New Orleans law school, said she didn't see the ruling as a significant roadblock for gay marriage advocates. Even a 5th Circuit decision upholding Feldman's ruling would affect only three states: Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, she noted.

It's likely the Texas case will be the first to go to the 5th Circuit, and cases elsewhere likely will reach the Supreme Court before Louisiana's, said Professor Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia. Nevertheless, he said, Feldman's ruling is significant.

"It is important, because Feldman is a very experienced federal district judge, and no other federal judge has ruled that way at the trial level," Tobias said in a telephone interview. Feldman was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

Feldman said gay marriage supporters failed to prove that the ban violates equal protection or due process provisions of the U.S. Constitution. He also rejected an argument that the ban violated the First Amendment by effectively forcing legally married gay couples to state that they are single on Louisiana income tax returns.

Feldman sided with the state, which had argued that the nation's high court, in the Defense of Marriage Act decision, recognized the rights of state voters and legislatures to define marriage.

"Although opinions about same-sex marriage will understandably vary among the states, and other states in free and open debate will and have chosen differently, that does not mandate that Louisiana has overstepped its sovereign authority," he wrote.

The conservative Louisiana Family Forum praised the ruling.

"This ruling confirms that the people of Louisiana - not the federal courts - have the constitutional right to decide how marriage is defined in this state," Gene Mills, the group's president, said in a news release.

Gay marriage advocates argued that the ban violated constitutional due process and equal-protection rights.

"Every citizen of the United States deserves protection of their rights, uphill climb or not," said Mary Griggs, chairwoman of Forum for Equality Louisiana.

Feldman said the Supreme Court decision "correctly discredited" the Defense of Marriage Act's effect on New York law legalizing same-sex unions. But he also noted language in the decision outlining the states' historic authority to recognize and define marriage.

He also said that neither the Supreme Court nor the 5th Circuit has defined gay people as a protected class in discrimination cases.

"In light of still-binding precedent, this Court declines to fashion a new suspect class. To do so would distort precedent and demean the democratic process," Feldman wrote.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is currently considering arguments over six gay marriage cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Two other appellate courts, the 10th Circuit in Denver and the 4th Circuit in Virginia, have overturned statewide gay marriage bans in Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia. However, those rulings and others overturning gay marriage bans have been put on hold while appeals are considered.

The Associated Press
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2014-09-04 06:42am

"Louisiana's laws and Constitution are directly related to achieving marriage's historically preeminent purpose of linking children to their biological parents. Louisiana's regime pays respect to the democratic process; to vigorous debate. To predictable controversy, of course. The fact that marriage has many differing, even perhaps unproved dimensions, does not render Louisiana's decision irrational. Nor does the opinion of a set of social scientists (ardently disputed by many others, it should benoted) that other associative forms may be equally stable, or the view that such judgments vilify a group (even though one finds them in a majority of the states, but not in all states). Even the fact that the state's precepts work to one group's disadvantage does not mandate that they serve no rational basis. The Court is persuaded that a meaning of what is marriage that has endured in history for thousands of years, and prevails in a majority of states today, is not universally irrational on the constitutional grid."
SO in other words we have finally come across a judge Right Wing enough that he's basing his ruling on "Traditional Family Values" instead of the rule of law? Because that is the ONLY thing that makes sense here.

I think this statement by an NPR commentator sums up my feelings best:
The judge ignored the standard of heightened scrutiny established by Windsor, which requires more than a rational basis.

Even if we concede that the state's purported goal of family unity is a legitimate interest, banning same sex marriage bears no rational relationship whatsoever to that goal. Nowhere has any legal argument successfully articulated how banning same sex marriage improves the cohesiveness of straight families.

What this decision does accomplish, however, is conflict between federal circuits, all but guaranteeing that the Supreme Court will take up the case as soon as possible
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by applejack » 2014-09-04 10:12pm

Marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin go down.

Reuters
(Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court judge known for his outspoken views described arguments by Wisconsin and Indiana defending bans on gay marriage as "totally implausible" on Thursday, in a ruling in favor of same-sex couples.

Judge Richard Posner, appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1981, wrote the unanimous decision on behalf of a three-judge panel of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled against the bans.

The unusually swift decision, issued just over a week after the court heard oral arguments in two different cases, does not take immediate effect and is unlikely do so until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in during its coming term.

The arguments advanced by both states in defense of the bans were "totally implausible," wrote Posner, 75 and the panel's lone Republican appointee.

"Heterosexuals get drunk and pregnant, producing unwanted children; their reward is to be allowed to marry. Homosexual couples do not produce unwanted children; their reward is to be denied the right to marry. Go figure," Posner said.

Posner has written dozens of books, including one about economics and intellectual property law. He also is a founding author of a blog on law and economics.

Two years ago he engaged in an unusual public spat with Justice Antonin Scalia, a leading conservative on the Supreme Court. In a review of Scalia's new book, Posner wrote the justice's judicial opinions deviated from the strict, text-based approach to interpreting law espoused in his book. Scalia, also appointed by Reagan, publicly disagreed.

EQUAL PROTECTION

The ruling said the bans on gay marriage in the two states violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law. Two other federal appeals courts have ruled the same way, striking down bans in Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma.

The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on the gay marriage issue during its coming term, which starts in October and ends in June 2015.

More than 30 courts overall have ruled in favor of gay marriage since a Supreme Court ruling in June 2013 struck down a key part of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act under which states could refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. A federal judge in Louisiana bucked the trend on Wednesday when he upheld that state's ban.

Gay marriage is legal in 19 of the 50 states and in Washington, D.C.

Wisconsin will appeal the ruling, said a spokeswoman for the state's attorney general, J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican. “The attorney general has always believed that this case will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court," spokeswoman Dana Brueck said.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement that he will seek a suspension of the appeals court ruling and hopes for a quick decision from the Supreme Court.

Hoosiers Unite for Marriage, a gay rights group that backed the challenge to Indiana's ban, said in a statement that its members were "incredibly grateful" that the court ruled so quickly in favor of couples who want to get married.

Larry Dupuis, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, who has helped litigate the case, said he hoped state officials would "see the light on this" and end their defense of the ban.

(Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Frances Kerry, Grant McCool and Howard Goller)
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Borgholio » 2014-09-04 10:24pm

So far it appears to be a case of ten steps forward and one step back. Not a bad rate of progress, tbh. And of course it's only a matter of time until the SCOTUS steps in and makes the final decision anyways.
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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by Darth Lucifer » 2014-09-10 08:50am

In case anyone is interested, I managed to locate a transcript of the full opinion for the Indiana and Wisconsin cases. Of all the marriage opinions I have read, this one is one of the best, penned by none other than The Man himself. I also loved his snarky comment at the very end directed at the lawyers representing Wisconsin. Go Judge Posner!

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Re: General Gay Marriage Issues Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2014-09-17 03:07pm

So, even law enforcement is getting in on the action in Texas:

Texas Tribune
Law Enforcement Groups Come Out for Gay Marriage

by Edgar Walters
Sept. 16, 2014
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Two prominent county sheriffs and a group of law enforcement officers filed a brief in federal court Tuesday in support of gay marriage, saying the state has failed to give gay and lesbian first responders “the equal dignity and respect they deserve.”

“Gay and lesbian law enforcement officers and other first responders put on their uniforms, place themselves in harm’s way to protect and defend our communities, and swear to uphold our laws without prejudice or bias,” said the letter, filed by Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, more than 50 other Texans working in law enforcement and a coalition of city police departments from around the country.

The brief was filed in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear arguments over Texas’ constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in the coming months. Lawyers for the state appealed the case after District Judge Orlando Garcia struck down the ban in February.

In multiple cases before federal and state courts, gay and lesbian Texans are hoping to force the state to recognize same-sex marriages, including those granted outside of Texas and in instances of divorce. Opponents of gay marriage, meanwhile, are defending the state's constitutional ban and challenging local governments that have legally recognized same-sex couples, such as the city of Houston's recent expansion of benefits to cover same-sex spouses of city employees.

Jonathan Saenz, president of the conservative group Texas Values, said he is “thankful for the service of first responders” but that marriage should remain between a man and a woman. His group filed a friend-of-the-court brief in August in favor of the state ban.

“Strong families are founded on the ideal of a lifelong marriage of one man and one woman, and are firmly committed to preserving marriage as an institution inherently linked to procreation and childrearing, one that connects children to their mothers and fathers, for the good of children and society as a whole,” the brief said.

Popular opinion has shifted rapidly in favor of gay marriage in recent years, perhaps most visibly reflected in the outcome of last year's U.S. Supreme Court case U.S. v. Windsor, which required the federal government — but not states — to recognize same-sex marriages.

As gay rights activists have gained momentum, their opponents have taken a more moderate tone on the issue. Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is defending the state ban while running for governor, said earlier this year "there are good, well-meaning people on both sides" of the gay-marriage debate, and that it "will ultimately be resolved by a higher court."

Legal experts say the Texas case might make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to take up the question of same-sex marriage’s legality and issue a decision with national implications. Nineteen states plus the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to get married, and five gay marriage cases are now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Freedom to Marry, a gay rights group.

Lower courts have issued conflicting rulings. Nineteen federal judges this year alone have ruled against gay-marriage bans, while a judge in Louisiana earlier this month bucked that trend, saying there is “simply no fundamental right, historically or traditionally, to same-sex marriage.”

Texas opponents of same-sex marriage say the issue is best left to voters and point to the overwhelming public vote that allowed the gay marriage ban to be added to the state constitution. In 2005, 76 percent of Texas voters approved an amendment that limited marriage in Texas to one man and one woman.

The suit before the 5th Circuit, which was brought by two couples, sought to overturn that ban on the basis of discrimination. Plaintiffs Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon, who were married in Massachusetts in 2009, argued that the state had caused them undue hardship that heterosexual couples do not face. For example, Dimetman and De Leon have a child together, but only one parent's name was allowed on the birth certificate.

A coalition of clergy members and faith leaders also filed a brief on Tuesday in support of gay marriage.
Here's the link to the PDF of the brief if you're interested in legal reading.
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Supreme Court Justice performs first same sex marriage

Post by dragon » 2014-09-23 08:15am

Well you know how she's going to vote when same sex marriage matter reaches the US Supreme Court.
Justice Elena Kagan has officiated for the first time at a same-sex wedding, a Maryland ceremony for her former law clerk and his husband.

Kagan presided on Sunday over the wedding of former clerk Mitchell Reich and Patrick Pearsall in the Washington suburb of Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Monday that the same-sex ceremony was the first at which Kagan officiated.

Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have previously officiated at the wedding of gay and lesbian couples, including at the Supreme Court. Ginsburg most recently performed the wedding of Washington theater director Molly Smith.

The court could decide in its upcoming term whether same-sex couples nationwide have the right to marry under the Constitution.
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Re: Supreme Court Justice performs first same sex marriage

Post by dragon » 2014-09-23 10:01am

Thats two supreme court justices that officiated a gay marriage Kagan and Ginsburg
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