Category: Articles

US Supreme Court to Ireland - Marriage Equality Week in Review - Saturday 09 November 2014

 

 Justice waits, and is used to waiting; and right wins the everlasting victory.

Mary Baker Eddy

(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 277)

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Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

― Mahatma Gandhi

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Four Marriage Bans Upheld; Next Stop Supreme Court?

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found bans on same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan to be perfectly lawful.

BY SUNNIVIE BRYDUM

NOVEMBER 06 2014 5:03 PM ET UPDATED: NOVEMBER 06 2014 10:46 PM ET

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From left: Sixth Circuit Judges Martha Craig Daughtrey, Jeffrey S. Sutton, and Deborah Cook

A federal appeals court just became the first in the country to rule against marriage equality — significantly increasing the likelihood that the Supreme Court will hear a marriage case in the near future.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Cincinnati, delivered its ruling Thursday afternoon, breaking with overwhelming legal precedent and declaring that marriage bans in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee are constitutional. The decision can — and likely will — be appealed, either to a larger panel of judges on the Sixth Circuit, or directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 2-1 decision saw Judges Jeffrey Sutton and Deborah Cook uphold marriage bans in each of the four states, issuing a single ruling for all six cases out of those states. Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, who had seemed skeptical that such bans could pass constitutional muster during the October hearing on the cases, dissented.

Today’s decision marks the first time in more than a year — since the Supreme Court’s pro-equality rulings in Windsor v. U.S. and Hollingsworth v. Perry — that any federal appellate court has upheld a state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. Since those landmark decisions in June 2013, 48 state and federal courts have ruled in favor of the freedom to marry. Today’s ruling from the Sixth Circuit marks only the fourth anti-equality decision in that time period.

While the ruling breaks with sizable judicial precedent, it was not entirely unexpected from the circuit that is considered one of the more conservative in the nation. In fact, Supreme Court JusticeRuth Bader Ginsburg suggested in September that those hoping to see a marriage equality case arrive at the nation’s highest court should watch the Fifth and Sixth Circuits, as they were most likely to issue decisions straying from the current momentum for marriage. Such a divergence, called a “circuit split,” would all but compel the Supreme Court to hear at least one case on marriage equality, explained Ginsburg.

LGBT activist groups were quick to express their disappointment in the decision.

“Today’s ruling is completely out of step with the Supreme Court’s clear signal last month, out of step with the constitutional command as recognized by nearly every state and federal court in the past year, and out of step with the majority of the American people,” said Freedom to Marry president Evan Wolfson in a statement. “This anomalous ruling won’t stand the test of time or appeal. But with discrimination still burdening too many families, and now with this split in the circuits, Freedom to Marry calls on the Supreme Court to swiftly take these cases, affirm the freedom to marry, and bring national resolution once and for all.”

The Human Rights Campaign had even harsher language.

“The legacies of Judges Deborah Cook and Jeffrey Sutton will forever be cemented on the wrong side of history,” said HRC president Chad Griffin in a statement. “Today the Sixth Circuit stood in the way of a path constructed by two dozen federal court rulings over the last year — a path that inevitably leads to nationwide marriage equality. Gay and lesbian couples in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee are just as deserving of marriage equality as the rest of America.”

“Now, more than ever before, the Supreme Court of the United States must take up the issue and decide once and for all whether the Constitution allows for such blatant discrimination,” continued Griffin. “We believe that justice and equality will prevail.”

http://www.advocate.com/politics/marriage-equality/2014/11/06/breaking-federal-appeals-court-upholds-marriage-bans-4-states

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EI Welcomes Wyoming as Number 32 on the Top 50 Countdown – Tuesday 21 October 2014

 

LOVE BARS NONE

From the October 20, 1973 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

Love bars
barring;
loving all
bars none.

 

 

The Home Depot Proposal Boys!

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Spencer’s Home Depot Marriage Proposal

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Wyoming Attorney General Says Gay Marriages Can Begin On Tuesday

Posted: Updated: 

 

(Adds challenge to Mississippi gay marriage ban)

By Dan Whitcomb

Oct 20 (Reuters) – Gay marriages can begin in Wyoming on Tuesday after the state files a formal notice that it will not appeal a judge’s order overturning a ban on same-sex matrimony, the state’s attorney general said on Monday.

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl struck down Wyoming’s gay marriage ban last week, finding that it violated the U.S. Constitution, but stayed his ruling until Thursday, or sooner if the state indicated that it would not file an appeal.

“After reviewing the law and the judge’s decision that binding precedent requires recognition of same-sex marriage, I have concluded that further legal process will result in delay but not a different result,” Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael said in a statement.

Michael said that the nuptials can begin immediately after the state files a formal notice with the court stating that it would not seek that appeal. The move will bring to 32 the number of states that allow gay marriage.

“The Laramie County Clerk will be required to provide marriage licenses to otherwise qualified individuals without regard to whether the applicants are a same-sex couple,” he said, adding that he anticipated that other counties would also provide marriage licenses to gay couples.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has said that while the decision went against his personal beliefs the state would not take up the appeal as such an effort would likely fail.

The U.S. Supreme Court surprised observers this month by leaving intact lower court rulings that struck down gay marriage in five states. A day later, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada were unconstitutional.

On Monday, two same-sex couples filed a federal challenge to Mississippi’s gay marriage ban, the first lawsuit of its kind in the mostly rural, Christian-conservative state.

Rebecca Bickett and her long-term partner Andrea Sanders want to get married in Mississippi, the lawsuit says, while Jocelyn Pritchett and her partner Carla Webb were wed in Maine and want their union recognized.

Defendants include Republican Governor Phil Bryant, Democratic state Attorney General Jim Hood, and Hinds County Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn, who has denied gay couples’ requests for marriage licenses.

“I took an oath to uphold the law and the constitution, and that’s what I have to do,” Dunn said in response to the lawsuit.

Bryant and Hood could not be reached for comment. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Emily Le Coz in Jackson, Mississippi; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Sandra Maler, Eric Walsh and Jim Loney)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/20/gay-marriage-wyoming_n_6016644.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices

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CSmonitor – Marriage Equality Week in Review – Saturday 18 October 2014

 

Unconstitutional and unjust coercive legislation and laws, infringing individual rights, must be “of few days.”  The vox populi, through the providence of God, promotes and impels all true reform; and, at the best time, will redress wrongs and rectify injustice. Tyranny can thrive feebly under our government.  God reigns, and will “turn and overturn” until right is found supreme.

Mary Baker Eddy

(Miscellaneous Writings 80: 16-23)

 

 

While the Vatican vacillates over whether to welcome gays into the church, the new kids in the flock seem to have no qualms about the subject.

Close to 85% of self-identified Catholics between the ages of 18 and 29 believe gays and lesbians should be accepted by society, according to a 2014 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.

These younger Catholics are also supportive of legalizing same-sex marriages, with 75% throwing their weight behind the concept.

The positive attitudes toward homosexuality are less likely to be found among older adults. About 57% of Catholics aged 65 and older told Pew that they believe homosexuality should be accepted.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/young-catholic-gay-pew_n_6006328.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices

 

 

Idaho Marriage Equality 2014 (Sara Bareilles I Choose You)

Idaho Same Sex marriage celebration 2014. First day of legal weddings. Boise, Idaho.
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Arizona, Alaska join 29 other states recognizing gay marriage

A federal judge in Arizona has struck down that state’s gay marriage ban, and the US Supreme Court has turned away a request by Alaska officials seeking a stay of a federal court ruling striking down that state’s ban.

By Warren Richey, Staff writer 

The Christian Science Monitor

 

 

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Two states – Arizona and Alaska – on Friday joined the ranks of 29 other state governments giving full recognition to same-sex marriage.

The additions came after a federal judge in Arizona struck down that state’s ban and the Arizona attorney general announced that he would not file an appeal.

 

And the US Supreme Court turned away a request by state officials in Alaska seeking a stay of a federal court ruling last weekend striking down that state’s ban. The high court’s move allows the lower court ruling to stand and effectively permits same-sex marriages to begin in Alaska.

The actions mean that same-sex marriages are fully legal and able to be performed in 31 of the 50 states. Friday’s developments further narrowed the field of states that continue to defend laws and constitutional amendments defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

In addition to the 31 states, four other states are located in a federal circuit where legal precedent will require lower courts to strike down gay marriage bans once litigation gets to that point. Those states are Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

A federal judge in Wyoming struck down that state’s ban on Friday, but stayed his ruling to allow state officials time to decide if they will appeal. If they don’t appeal, Wyoming would become the 32nd state on the list of same-sex marriage states.

The 15 states with marriage bans still in place but under legal challenge are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

In another major development on Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages in the states affected by the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to review gay marriage rulings from three federal appeals courts.

The high court action meant that the lower court rulings invalidating gay marriage bans in five states would stand. It also meant that the underlying legal precedents would be applicable to other states in those same judicial circuits.

In his statement, Mr. Holder said the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages now taking place in the affected states.

“I have directed lawyers here at the Department of Justice to work with our colleagues at agencies across the administration to ensure that all applicable federal benefits are extended to those couples as soon as possible,” he said.

“With their long-awaited unions, we are slowly drawing closer to full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans nationwide,” Holder said.

He added: “But there remain too many places in this country where men and women cannot visit their partners in the hospital, or be recognized as the rightful parents of their own adopted children; where people can be discriminated against just because they are gay.”

Other litigation concerning gay marriage bans is continuing, Holder noted. He pledged that if a case rises to the Supreme Court, the administration would file a brief supporting same-sex marriages.

“In the meantime,” Holder said, “we will continue to extend federal benefits to same-sex couples to the fullest extent allowed by federal law.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/1017/Arizona-Alaska-join-29-other-states-recognizing-gay-marriage

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History Repeats Itself by Mary Baker Eddy – Wednesday 06 August 2014

 

Wyatt Fore, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, was at the courthouse at 6 a.m.

“I’ve always been jealous of my parents, who got to see the civil rights movement firsthand,” said the 27-year-old law student at the University of Michigan. “Now, I get to be a part of history.”

Fore, who is gay and single, said the marriage issue is about more than just specific rights and benefits.

“It’s about equal rights in our society,” he said

 

http://www.heraldstandard.com/united_states_ap/court-hearing-gay-marriage-arguments-from-states/article_84211f6a-7131-57e4-86c4-72ad4141a3fd.html

 

 

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Stevie Nicks – “Stand Back” [Live In Chicago]

 

 

To order “Love is gender-blind” decals click on the link below:

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[Extract from “Message to The Mother Church” for June, 1900]

“History repeats itself”

MARY BAKER EDDY

From the September 22, 1917 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

 

“Conflict and persecution are the truest signs that can be given of the greatness of a cause or of an individual, provided this warfare is honest and a world-imposed struggle. Such conflict never ends till unconquerable right is begun anew, and hath gained fresh energy and final victory.

“Certain elements in human nature would undermine the civic, social, and religious rights and laws of nations and peoples, striking at liberty, human rights, and self-government—and this, too, in the name of God, justice, and humanity! These elements assail even the newold doctrines of the prophets and of Jesus and his disciples. History shows that error repeats itself until it is exterminated. Surely the wisdom of our forefathers is not added but subtracted from whatever sways the sceptre of self and pelf over individuals, weak provinces, or peoples. Here our hope anchors in God who reigns, and justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne forever” (p. 10).

 

 

 

Breaking – Judge Strikes Down Kentucky’s Gay Marriage Ban – 07/01/2014

 

Unconstitutional and unjust coercive legislation and laws, infringing individual rights, must be “of few days.”  The vox populi, through the providence of God, promotes and impels all true reform; and, at the best time, will redress wrongs and rectify injustice. Tyranny can thrive feebly under our government.  God reigns, and will “turn and overturn” until right is found supreme.

Mary Baker Eddy

(Miscellaneous Writings 80: 16-23)

 

 

Judge Strikes Down Kentucky’s Gay Marriage Ban

GAY MARRIAGE

A federal judge has struck down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that gay couples have the right to marry in the Bluegrass State.

“In America, even sincere and long-hold religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted,” U.S. District court Judge John G. Heyburn II wrote in the ruling, which concluded that the state’s ban violated the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

The judge stayed the ruling pending an appeal in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court, meaning same-sex weddings are not yet allowed in the state. However, Heyburn criticized Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) for arguing that the ban preserves the state’s birth rate and therefore contributes to Kentucky’s economic stability.

“These arguments are not those of serious people,” Heyburn wrote.

Beshear plans to appeal Tuesday’s ruling.

Earlier this year, Heyburn ruled that the state must recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where the weddings are legal. That decision is also temporarily on hold pending legal challenges.

Tuesday’s ruling is the latest in an unbroken string of rulings in favor of marriage equality since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last June.

Read the full ruling below:

Kentucky Gay Marriage

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/01/kentucky-gay-marriage_n_5548179.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices

 

 

CSMonitor – ‘Gay Pride’ events celebrate a year of advancement for gay rights – 06/29/2014

 

Divine love is having its day in our day. 

CS

 

It Gets Better: Aleks & Tucker in Los Angelesth-3

IT GETS BETTER: ALEKS & TUCKER IN LOS ANGELES

We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time… so here it is! Looking back on this, we are so grateful for all of our experiences. ==============================­============…

VIEW THE VIDEO

 

 

 

‘Gay Pride’ events celebrate a year of advancement for gay rights

Gay rights activists and supporters celebrated this weekend with “Gay Pride” parades and other events around the country. They’re also looking to advance same-sex marriage and other gay rights issues.

By Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer 

  • Mayra Beltran/Houston Chronicle/AP

“Gay Pride” marches in the United States date back to 1970 with a handful of events in New York and California. Those had come a year after the “Stonewall riots” in Greenwich Village protesting police raids on gay bars, part of what was seen as intolerance and general harassment of homosexuals.

Since then, advances in gay rights – legally, politically, and socially – have brought with them annual events around the country, hundreds of them big and small, more celebration than protest.

Such was the case over the weekend in large American cities and small towns. Participants included police officers and active duty military personnel, public school teachers and members of the clergy, elected officials both Republican and Democrat. They were members of the LGBT community who once might have stayed in the closet as well as straight people who support gay rights.

Recommended: Gay marriage battlegrounds: 7 states to watch

In Cleveland, an estimated 32,000 people took part Saturday, a couple thousand more than last year, and the number of units in the parade had increased from 140 in 2013 to 171 this year.

In Minneapolis’s “Pride Parade” Sunday, one of grand marshals was Police Chief Janee Harteau, the city’s first female police chief and first chief to be openly gay.

“I am not the ‘gay cop,’ but a cop who happens to be gay,” St. Paul police officer Darin McDonald told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Sunday’s parade “is a great opportunity for youth of today to see positive role models in every profession, and they can achieve their dreams and become whoever they want to be.”

Houston Mayor Annise Parker was part of the 35th Annual Pride Houston Parade Saturday, and more than a hundred organizations and businesses also participated, reports ABC affiliate KTRK.

In Chicago, as many as 1 million people were expected to pack the streets of the city’s North Side for the first gay pride parade since Illinois legalized gay marriage last month.

Meanwhile, companies are finding that the benefits of sponsorship outweigh the risks of staying away, giving them a chance to make a statement in support of diversity and use it to help recruit and retain top talent who want to work for a business that supports LGBT rights, the Associated Press reports.

“We understand there are people who might have different points of view on that,” said spokesman Michael Palese at Chrysler, which has been a sponsor of the Motor City Pride Festival and Parade in DetroitMichigan, for years and became a primary backer this spring. “We respect their point of view as long as they respect ours.”

The weekend events come one year after the US Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law that barred same-sex married couples from receiving the same federal benefits as heterosexual married couples.

Since that decision, gay and lesbian couples have filed more than 80 lawsuits citing the decision as authority to invalidate same-sex marriage bans across the country.

The results have been swift and one-sided, reports Monitor legal affairs correspondent Warren Richey: Within the past year, state statutes and constitutional amendments banning gay marriage have been struck down as unconstitutional in 13 states.

The highest courts in New Jersey and New Mexico and a state judge inArkansas invalidated bans in those states. Federal judges struck down similar bans in 10 other states – UtahOklahomaVirginiaTexas, Michigan, Idaho,OregonPennsylvaniaWisconsin, and Indiana. In four other cases – Kentucky,OhioTennessee, and Indiana – federal judges ordered states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.

Like many Americans, President Obama has “evolved” – his term – in his view of same-sex marriage.

His administration was behind the US military’s turning away from the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring service members from being openly gay, and it has moved to extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples who work for federal agencies.

The next step, say gay rights activists, is for Congress to allow Social Securityand veterans’ benefits to be extended to gay couples.

“Congress should move swiftly to pass curative legislation for our veterans and seniors, even as we look to the federal courts and the Supreme Court to secure the freedom to marry and equal protection nationwide,” says Evan Wolfson, president of the group Freedom to Marry. “America is ready for the freedom to marry, and every day of denial is a day of hardship, injustice, and indignity. It’s time to end marriage discrimination once and for all.”

It was a point emphasized by some speakers at this weekend’s “Gay Pride” events.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2014/0629/Gay-Pride-events-celebrate-a-year-of-advancement-for-gay-rights

 

Mrs. Eddy, CSMonitor.com & The Presbyterian Church – Marriage Equality – 06/22/2014

 

Unconstitutional and unjust coercive legislation and laws, infringing individual rights, must be “of few days.”  The vox populi, through the providence of God, promotes and impels all true reform; and, at the best time, will redress wrongs and rectify injustice. Tyranny can thrive feebly under our government.  God reigns, and will “turn and overturn” until right is found supreme.

Mary Baker Eddy

(Miscellaneous Writings 80: 16-23)

 

 

‘This is the way it has always been’ is an insufficient justification to deny ‘a right as fundamental as marriage,’ Judge Barbara Crabb wrote in striking down the Wisconsin same-sex marriage ban.

By Staff writer / June 6, 2014

The Christian Science Monitor 

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After years-long debate, Presbyterians allow gay marriage ceremonies (+video)

 

The Presbyterian Church’s top legislative body voted Thursday to allow ministers to officiate gay weddings where it is legal. Some now even foresee a larger shift in favor of gay marriage among the religious.

By Gram Slattery, Staff writer 

 

Same-sex marriage is now legal in Pennsylvania. But few churches, synagogues or mosques allow a religious wedding for gay couples; KDKA’s Jon Delano reports.

http://launch.newsinc.com/share.html?trackingGroup=90962&siteSection=csmonitor&videoId=26288499 – VIEW THE VIDEO

Gay members of the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States will soon be able to marry at their place of worship, after the church’s governing body adopted a resolution in Detroit on Thursday.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), a faith that boasts 1.8 million adherents, voted by a wide margin to allow ministers to officiate gay weddings where it is legal. It also voted to change the phrase “a man and a woman” to “two people” in the church’s official definition of marriage. Though the definitional change will need approval by the majority of the denomination’s 172 presbyteries – a process that could take more than a year – gay couples can marry in Presbyterian churches starting this Sunday.

This is a move that’s been in the works for some time. Church officials, whose ideologies span from ultraconservative to reform-liberal, have fiercely debated gay marriage over the past decade, twice voting against same-sex marriage at the church’s biennial assembly. As recently as 2008, a pro-gay marriage measure failed with 540 votes against and 161 votes in favor, as many congregants feared that ideological divisions would be fostered.

Conservative and liberal officials again clashed in 2012, when the same measure was voted down narrowly, 52 percent to 48 percent. But now, the numbers have reversed, with 61 percent voting in favor of the change.

“Today really affirmed my faith as a Christian, that God has been calling us to affirm marriages of same-sex couples,” said Alex McNeill, executive director of the More Light Presbyterians coalition, which supports the Presbyterian gay community. “Today, the church has reminded me that I am loved by God and claimed by this denomination.”

Many conservative Presbyterians, however, were vocally distraught over the vote, and the assembly’s moderator, Heath Rada, acknowledged that some assembly attendees felt “anger, wrath, pain” over the result, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Among them was the Rev. Bruce Jones of Janesville, Wis., who called it a “sad” day in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“For many of us, our understanding of Scripture is that God created marriage between a man and woman,” he said. “For the 230 years of the Presbyterian Church USA and 2,000 years of Christianity, we have defined marriage between a man and a woman, and this assembly, the highest governing body of the church, reversed that today.”

The ideological divide between conservatives and liberals has contributed to a steady decline in the church’s membership, with some congregations breaking away to join more-traditional denominations. Since 2008 alone, the church has lost about 300,000 members.

Still, the church is the second most popular form of mainline Protestantism in the US, and it counts many well-known figures, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President Reagan, among its adherents.

Some commentators have even portrayed the move as a harbinger of a larger shift in favor of gay marriage among the religious.

“This is a big deal – it’s a big, official reinterpretation of what it means to be Christian and married,” wrote journalist Emma Green in a popular article on The Atlantic magazine’s website on Friday.

Among the other major faiths that officially sanction gay marriage are the United Church of Christ, Conservative and Reform Judaism, Quakerism, and Unitarian Universalism. Together with the members of the Presbyterian Church USA, the adherents of these faiths include slightly more than 5 million Americans.

• Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

 

 

Idaho’s Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down By Federal Judge – 05/14/2014

 

I know that my mission is for all the earth, not alone for my dear devoted followers in Christian Science…All my work, all my efforts, all my prayers and tears are for humanity, and the spread of peace and love among mankind.
Mary Baker Eddy
 Interviewed in New York American, 1907.

 

The Trammps – Disco Inferno

 

The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com

Idaho’s gay marriage ban is latest to be struck down in court

Not counting Idaho, 17 states have legalized gay marriage. Idaho’s governor has said he plans to appeal the decision by a US district magistrate judge.

      Same-sex marriage supporters gather on the steps of the Idaho statehouse in Boise on Tuesday night, May 13, 2014, after US Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled earlier in the day that Idaho’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
                  (Kyle Green/The Idaho Statesman/AP)

By Noelle Swan

posted May 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm EDT

A federal court overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, forcing the state not only to recognize same-sex couples married in other states, but also to permit gay and lesbian couples to legally marry in Idaho.

US District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled that the statewide ban, which voters enacted in 2006, is unconstitutional and infringes on the rights of gay and lesbian couples.

“Idaho’s Marriage Laws withhold from them a profound and personal choice, one that most can take for granted,” Judge Dale wrote in her opinion. “By doing so, Idaho’s Marriage Laws deny same-sex couples the economic, practical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of marriage, relegating each couple to a stigmatized, second-class status.”

The Idaho ruling is the latest in a string of similar decisions since the US Supreme Court ruled last year that a law forbidding the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. Since that ruling, no federal judge has upheld any statewide ban, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Not counting Idaho, 17 states have legalized gay marriage since Massachusetts became the first state to do so in 2003. Residents have challenged gay marriage bans in all but three of the 33 states that restrict marriage to heterosexual partners.

In Arkansas, which is also not counted among the 17 states, 400 gay and lesbian couples have received marriage licenses since a Pulaski County judge tossed out a voter-approved ban on Friday. Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D), who has said he opposes same-sex marriage, told reporters Tuesday he thinks it will ultimately be up to the Arkansas Supreme Court to decide whether the marriages are valid. The clerks from two other Arkansas counties said they wouldn’t issue any licenses to same-sex couples until the case has been resolved by the state’s highest court.

On Monday, five couples brought suit against the State of Alaska, where voters approved a ban in 1998. And South Dakota couple Jennie Rosenkranz and Nancy Robrahn have said that they will file suit challenging that state’s ban, which was passed in 1996 and reaffirmed by constitutional amendment in 2006. Montana and North Dakota are the other two states that to date have unchallenged bans.

In Idaho, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter (R) has said that he plans to appeal Tuesday’s decision.

“In 2006, the people of Idaho exercised their fundamental right, reaffirming that marriage is the union of a man and a woman,” Governor Otter said in a statementaccording to the Associated Press. “Today’s decision, while disappointing, is a small setback in a long-term battle that will end at the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Dale argued in her written opinion that the American public does not have the right, even by majority decision, to restrict the rights of others.

“This case asks a basic and enduring question about the essence of American government: Whether the will of the majority, based as it often is on sincere beliefs and democratic consensus, may trump the rights of a minority,” she wrote. “[T]he facts are clear and the law teaches that marriage is a fundamental right of all citizens, which neither tradition nor the majority can deny.”

Arkansas Judge Strikes Down State’s Gay Marriage Ban – 05/10/2014

 

“Justice waits, and is used to waiting; and right wins the everlasting victory.”

Mary Baker Eddy

 (Miscellaneous Writings (p. 277)

 

“This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality,” Piazza wrote. “The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent.”

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza

 

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At Notre Dame, If You Can Play, You Can Play

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The Notre Dame Athletics Department show their support for the You Can Play Project.

 

Arkansas Judge Strikes Down State’s Gay Marriage Ban

AP  | by  ANDREW DEMILLO
Posted: Updated: 

 

* Photo – Courtesy of allposters.com

 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A judge on Friday struck down Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage, saying the state has “no rational reason” for preventing gay couples from marrying.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled that the 2004 voter-approved amendment to the state constitution violates the rights of same-sex couples. He didn’t put his ruling on hold as some judges have done in other states, opening the door for same-sex couples in Arkansas to begin seeking marriage licenses, though it was not clear whether that would happen before Monday.

“This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality,” Piazza wrote. “The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent.”

State Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office said he would appeal the ruling and asked Piazza to suspend it during that process.

“We respect the Court’s decision, but, in keeping with the Attorney General’s obligation to defend the state constitution, we will appeal,” spokesman Aaron Sadler said.

Piazza issued his ruling late Friday, about half an hour after the marriage license office in Pulaski County closed.

Arkansas courthouses typically aren’t open on weekends, but with the state in its early-voting period for a May 20 primary, several clerks’ offices will be open Saturday. However, clerks reached by The Associated Press after Piazza issued his ruling said they hadn’t been formally notified of it and weren’t prepared to begin issuing marriage licenses.

At least one couple who sued over the ban said they hoped to wed quickly. Kathy Henson said she and her girlfriend Angelia Buford planned to seek a marriage license in neighboring Saline County as soon as offices opened.

“We think that (Piazza) did a really great job and that he ruled on the right side of history,” Henson said.

The ruling came a week after McDaniel announced he personally supports gay marriage rights but would continue to defend the constitutional ban in court. Sadler said McDaniel sought the stay because “we know that questions about validity of certain actions will arise absent a stay.”

The amendment was passed in 2004 with the overwhelming support of Arkansas voters. Piazza’s ruling also overturns a 1997 state law banning gay marriage.

In his decision, Piazza cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1967 decision that invalidated laws on interracial marriage.

“It has been over 40 years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice,” Piazza wrote, referring to that ruling. “The hatred and fears have long since vanished and she and her husband lived full lives together; so it will be for the same-sex couples. It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it.”

The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that a law forbidding the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. Since then, lower-court judges have repeatedly cited the decision when striking down some of the same-sex marriage bans that were enacted after Massachusetts started recognizing gay marriages in 2004.

Federal judges have ruled against marriage bans in Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Texas, and ordered Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

In all, according to gay-rights groups, more than 70 lawsuits seeking marriage equality are pending in about 30 states. Democratic attorneys general in several states — including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Oregon and Kentucky — have declined to defend same-sex marriage bans.

The head of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights, praised the ruling.

“This victory is an essential step on the journey toward full equality for all,” said HRC President Chad Griffin, an Arkansas native.

But the leader of the group that campaigned for the ban said the judge was undermining the will of voters.

“This ruling undermines marriage because once people start redefining marriage, there seems to be no place to stop,” Arkansas Family Council President Jerry Cox said.

McDaniel, a Democrat in his final year as attorney general, is the first statewide elected official in Arkansas to support marriage equality.

___

Associated Press Writers Christina Huynh and Kelly Kissel contributed to this report

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/09/arkansas-gay-marriage-ban_n_5298379.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices

 

Federal Judge To End Ohio Ban On Recognizing Gay Marriages – 04/04/2014

 

It is a moral understanding today that gay people are no different and that gay, married couple’s relationships are not significantly different than the relationship of straight, married couples.

Roberta A Kaplan

UNITED STATES V WINDSOR ATTORNEY

 

 

edithwindsor

 

 

 

Federal Judge To End Ohio Ban On Recognizing Gay Marriages

AP

 by  AMANDA LEE MYERS

Posted: 04/04/2014 12:47 pm EDT

Updated: 04/04/2014 2:51 pm EDT

  

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal judge said Friday that he will strike down Ohio’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage, a move that stops short of forcing Ohio to perform same-sex weddings but will make the state recognize gay couples legally wed elsewhere.

Judge Timothy Black announced his intentions in federal court in Cincinnati following final arguments in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the marriage ban.

“I intend to issue a declaration that Ohio’s recognition bans, that have been relied upon to deny legal recognition to same-sex couples validly entered in other states where legal, violates the rights secured by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Black said. “(They’re) denied their fundamental right to marry a person of their choosing and the right to remain married.”

The civil rights attorneys who filed the February lawsuit did not ask Black to order the state to perform gay marriages, and he did not say he would do so.

The Cincinnati-based legal team asked Black to declare that Ohio’s gay marriage ban is “facially unconstitutional, invalid and unenforceable,” and indicated that following such a ruling, the window would be open for additional litigation seeking to force the state to allow gay couples to marry in Ohio.

Attorneys for the state argued that it’s Ohio’s sole province to define marriage as between a man and a woman, that the statewide gay marriage ban doesn’t violate any fundamental rights, and that attorneys improperly expanded their originally narrow lawsuit.

“Ohio has made its own decision regarding marriage, deciding to preserve the traditional definition,” state’s attorneys argued in court filings ahead of Friday’s hearing.

They argued that prohibiting the state from enforcing its marriage ban would “disregard the will of Ohio voters, and undercut the democratic process.”

He didn’t say why he made the announcement on his ruling before he issues it. But by stating his intention ahead of his ruling, Black gave time for the state to prepare an appeal that can be filed as soon as he does.