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Archives – November, 2013

Plaintiffs in Tennessee marriage equality challenge seek immediate legal relief

Four couples ask a federal judge not to delay.

Continue 6 Comments November 20, 2013

Ninth Circuit halts briefing in Hawaii federal marriage equality case

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed briefing in Jackson v. Abercrombie, a challenge to Hawaii’s former same-sex marriage ban.

Continue 11 Comments November 19, 2013

Michigan to call discredited sociologist to stand as expert witness in marriage equality trial

Michigan state sealMichigan’s getting its very own Prop 8-like marriage equality trial, as we found out last month when Judge Bernard Friedman chose not to issue a summary judgment in a lesbian couple’s challenge to the state’s marriage and adoption laws, opting instead for a full trial in late February.

Just this weekend, JoeMyGod reported that Michigan would call Mark Regnerus, author of a controversial and arguably discredited study on gay parents that was reportedly timed to influence the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on DOMA and Prop 8, as an expert witness.  Other witnesses on Michigan’s list include Brigham Young University Professor Joseph Price, who co-authored a pro-DOMA brief submitted to the Supreme Court, and Simon Fraser University Professor Douglas Allen, who sits on the board of directors for the NOM-affiliate Ruth Institute, a rabidly anti-gay group.

Here’s how ThinkProgress described Regnerus and his infamous study in a blog post about the Michigan witness list:

An internal audit by the journal that published Regnerus’ study found his conclusions to be “bullshit,” and many academics, including the American Sociological Association, have condemned its results. Regnerus himself has admitted that the study doesn’t address same-sex parenting, but that hasn’t stopped him from using it to repeatedly speak outagainst marriage equality — as recently as this month in Hawaii — which he was coached to do by anti-gay groups.

That “bullshit” quote isn’t hyperbole: it’s from a report in The Chronicle of Higher Education in which Darren Sherkat, a sociology professor and a member of the editorial board for the journal in which Regnerus’s study was published who conducted an internal review of the paper after it was challenged by pro-LGBT advocates, used the colorful language to bluntly dismiss Regnerus’s study.

John Becker at the Bilerico Project has filed a legal challenge seeking records pertaining to the publishing of Regnerus’s study, and while a judge has compelled the University of Central Florida to disclose the records, the university has so for refused to do so.  Becker’s attorney, Andrea Mogensen, has filed a motion for contempt against UCF.

It seems Judge Friedman’s trial will be quite a colorful one, to say the least.

48 Comments November 19, 2013

Population with Marriage About to Double

Well as the year winds down, a marriage bill is a done deal in Hawaii, and before the week is over another will be signed in Illinois. Plus there’s a new lawsuit in Idaho, positive polling in Maine, and we’re one step closer to the ballot in Ohio. But we’re also facing some very tough work in Indiana.

Well if you thought Hawaii was a destination for weddings before, just wait til December 2nd. That’s when the new marriage equality bill goes into effect. Governor Neil Abercrombie signed the law last week, 23 years after a group of gay couples first tried to obtain marriage licenses in Honolulu.

Polling in Hawaii is strong, with a recent survey showing support at 54% to just 31% opposed.

Meanwhile, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will sign a marriage bill on Wednesday of this week. With Illinois and Hawaii, the number of people living in states with marriage equality has doubled since the start of 2013. Thirty-six percent of Americans now live in a state with the freedom to marry. And we could pick up New Mexico before the end of the year as well, with the state Supreme Court there expected to rule any day now.

There’s a new lawsuit in Idaho. Four couples, working with the National Center for Lesbian rights, are challenging the state’s marriage ban. There’s also progress in Ohio, where organizers have gathered enough signatures to vote on a constitutional amendment that would legalize marriage equality. It’s hard to predict how that vote would go. Polling’s been mixed in Ohio, with generally only a small margin favoring the freedom to marry.

Polls are a bit more encouraging in Indiana, where 58 percent oppose a constitutional ban on marriage. Support for the anti-gay measure is at just 38 percent. Support for marriage equality is a bit weaker, though, with 48 percent support to 46 percent opposed. The legislature will likely vote on a constitutional ban in 2014, and if it passes it’ll go to voters in less than a year from now.

And finally, it’s been one year since the legalization of marriage in Maine. A new survey shows that 87 percent of residents say that it’s had no impact or a positive impact on their lives. Support for marriage is at 54% in maine with 37% opposed. That’s a huge drop in opposition since last year.

14 Comments November 18, 2013

Hawaii judge declines to halt same-sex marriages

Last week, a judge in Hawaii heard arguments in a request from opponents of same-sex marriage opponents to prevent the issuance of marriage licenses in the state. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is reporting that the judge denied the request for the temporary restraining order, meaning that marriages will be able to go forward while the case proceeds in court.

Continue 2 Comments November 18, 2013

Pennsylvania judge rules marriage equality trial can proceed

A blow for Baker v. Nelson‘s precedential impact?

Continue 4 Comments November 18, 2013

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