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Utah same-sex couples respond to state’s request for U.S. Supreme Court to halt marriages

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

The same-sex couples who are plaintiffs in Kitchen v. Herbert, the case challenging Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, have just filed their response to the state’s request for a stay. (If that link doesn’t work, try this one, via SCOTUSBlog.) On Tuesday, state officials in Utah had asked the United States Supreme Court to put same-sex marriages on hold pending the outcome of their appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

EqualityOnTrial reported on the events leading up to this latest move by the state:

Robert J. Shelby, the judge who issued the pro-marriage equality ruling a few weeks ago, refused to stay his decision pending appeal.  The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals later did the same, and yesterday issued an expedited briefing schedule that will conclude briefing in the case by the end of February.  Utah’s last hope in its quest to stop same-sex couples from marrying–nearly a thousand couples have already done so–is with the Supreme Court.  Today’s request is directed to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles requests from the Tenth Circuit.  She can either rule on the request herself or refer the matter to the full court.

First, the brief points out that the typical standard for a stay by the Supreme Court at this stage requires cases that are “sufficiently unusual”, and this case doesn’t meet that heightened burden:

Throughout their Application, Applicants fail to acknowledge or apply the heightened burden they must meet when asking this Court to grant a stay in a case still pending before the Court of Appeals.
[…]
Applicants have not cited to a single case in which the Court has granted a stay of a district court order pending appeal when the appellate court has already denied a stay under circumstances even remotely similar to the circumstances here because this case is not an “exceptional case” warranting a stay.

And the brief suggests that the appeals court was not “demonstrably wrong” to deny a stay:

In light of the reasoning inWindsor, Applicants cannot meet the threshold requirement of showing not merely that Respondents’ claims might fail, but that each claim is likely to fail. See Nken, 556 U.S. at 434. There is no basis for finding that the Court of Appeals’ application of that accepted standard was “demonstrably wrong.”

The brief also says that neither “administrative costs” nor a federal court order that prevents enforcement of a state law amount to irreparable harm for the state.

Now that the plaintiffs have submitted their response, Justice Sotomayor can issue a ruling at any time. EqualityOnTrial will have more updates on this filing and any actions from the Supreme Court…

Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for this filing

As you may have read, we’re in the midst of a year-end fundraiser to continue EqualityOnTrial in the new year.

We are committed to maintaining that position and to bringing you the best coverage possible of LGBT court cases in the U.S.—coverage that is in-depth and detailed but also easily understandable and accessible.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to EqualityOnTrial in the new year to help us continue this mission. Any amount helps, and you can make a contribution either on your own behalf or to honor of a friend or loved one as a holiday gift.

174 Comments

  • 1. jpmassar  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Stay calm and marry on, Utah.

  • 2. Anthony  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:27 am

    If Kennedy would only apply official heightened scrutiny this crap would already be over. At this point, it's holding back the dam from breaking.

  • 3. jpmassar  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:27 am

    My FSM, the response is many, many pages, longer than some briefs on actual cases. Someone spent their holiday vacation impressively…

  • 4. Anthony  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

    They really did a great job.

  • 5. Scottie Thomaston  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

    They've done an amazing job with this whole case. I am really impressed.

  • 6. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Using the link above, all I can see is the title page. Do I need a subscription to Scribd to read this? I've never had that issue before. IANAL, that could also be the problem.

  • 7. Scottie Thomaston  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:46 am

    No, that's strange. The whole thing works for me!

  • 8. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I finally got it to work, but I had to use a different link:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/195405369/13A687-3-Plai

  • 9. sfbob  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:51 am

    For me at least, it took a bit of time for the entire document to appear but the filing should become available to you in its entirety. If it doesn't, try hitting refresh.

  • 10. Dann  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I agree! I can't see how we could lose. Meanwhile over at NOM they're still carrying on with Starbucks, Chick-fil-A and Phil Robertson! LOL

  • 11. Utah Same-Sex Couples In &hellip  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:55 am

    […] Hat tip: Equality on Trial […]

  • 12. JayJonson  |  January 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Love how they diss the Regnerus study.

  • 13. JimT  |  January 3, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Wow! Their response was awesome!

  • 14. mudhooks  |  January 3, 2014 at 10:19 am

    It would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad that the anti-Marriage Equality lobby would claim that their request for an injunction is "out of concern" for same-sex couples who "might" be harmed by possible annulment of their marriages… when the fact is that they would be harmed far more by the denial of their right to marry as per the Supreme Court decision.

  • 15. Anthony  |  January 3, 2014 at 10:30 am

    FYI, it is very likely we will see written opinions on this order soon. Get your popcorn ready…

  • 16. Fr. Bill  |  January 3, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Come on gals and guys let's contribute even a little to keep this site going. I think like most of us when I want to know what is happening I can go to HuffPost, Towleroad, etc. But when I want to understand what is happening and blog with people who also want to understand the law and the process I come here. Please pitch in. I did

  • 17. Craig Nelson  |  January 3, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I am not a lawyer (duh) but I have spent some while reading such submissions recently!! Caveats duly entered I am very impressed by the quality of this document that hits all the points it needs to and hits them hard. I especially praise its economy of language in parts. The circular absurdity of asking for a stay to prevent the harm of undoing marriages is dispatched in two lucid sentences that well do the job. The many inconsistencies and misplaced arguments of the application for a stay are very nicely pointed up. Frankly it reads like something that has required a few months to write. Whatever the outcome, this is a great piece of work.

  • 18. Richard Lulenski  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Comments from the Salt Lake Tribune website, be sure to see the one about Ms. Tomsic's powerful footwear.
    http://www.sltrib.com/pages/comments?cid=57347395

  • 19. sfbob  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Indeed. I did too.

  • 20. Rick O.  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Looking ahead to the 10th Circuit hearing, can anyone comment on the efficacy of amicus briefs by member states? I am assuming the governor's of Kansas and Oklahoma have fired up their broomsticks, Wyoming will not want to spend more than $50, and New Mexico will remain an enchanted land. But Colorado (big fish in small 10th pond) I can't guess: a constitutional ban, but relatively inclusive civil unions; a "D" governor up for re-election, but a "R" AG, retiring at year end. Who decides, and does anyone care?
    Politically, the referendum campaign to overturn the const. amendment is set for 2016, this year was deemed too soon.
    Social note: I was recently married (Vermont) because between Windsor and civil unions it finally made legal sense. Even though I live in a neighborhood with more guns than people and three megachurches on the horizon, everyone refers to us as "married". Guess "civilly united" doesn't roll off anyone's tongue. Forgetting legal argument, I suspect all federal judges have noted the Pew poll with equality support now over 50% nationally, and I suspect Shelby's decision can be explained by his age.

  • 21. palerobber  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:46 am

    from the plaintiff's reply:

    "Applicants do not dispute that same-sex couples and their children are
    harmed by being excluded from marriage. See Appl. at 21 (stating that same-sex
    couples and their children “will likely suffer dignitary and financial losses from the
    invalidation of their marriages”). Nonetheless, they argue, illogically, that it is
    rational for the state to penalize those couples and their children by excluding them
    from protections in order to “hold[] up and encourag[e] man-woman unions as the
    preferred arrangement in which to raise children.” Id. at 17 (emphasis in original).
    Applicants’ argument is remarkably similar to the justifications offered in support
    of now-repudiated laws that penalized so-called “illegitimate” children by depriving
    them of critical legal protections.

  • 22. Chris M.  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I'd like to second this. An impressively written piece, on such short notice. It's probably easier when the facts and the law are on our side, as in this case, but someone still sacrificed his or her New Year's party to make this as strong as it is. Thank you!

  • 23. Richard Weatherwax  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:46 am

    They obviously had most of this ready before the defense even filed their appeal. That's called "being prepared".

  • 24. Richard Weatherwax  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:52 am

    The problem for SCOTUS is determining how to rule on this without tipping their hand. They will probably agree upon some technicality to reject the appeal..

  • 25. sfbob  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I'm guessing the Salt Lake Tribune is the local SLC paper NOT functioning as the mouthpiece of the LDS Church (the final comment called that one out). It's nonetheless quite impressive to me that, with one solitary exception, the commenters have sided with the plaintiffs.

  • 26. sfbob  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

    That's a good point. I'm not sure how they'd address the criteria for granting a stay and not end up having to in effect present an argument for upholding the ruling itself. And I would venture to suggest that that in and of it self speaks to the strength of the original decision.

    I know that I single justice can deny a request for a stay without providing an argument. The question is: does that also apply when the request is referred to the entire court?

  • 27. Craig Nelson  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:58 am

    It shows that they sacrificed both their parties and their sleep for a few days. Whoever it is that worked on it is good at law and very good at English writing.

  • 28. palerobber  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    correct, that would be the Deseret News.
    http://www.deseretnews.com/user/comments/86559345

  • 29. ebohlman  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Correct. The Deseret News is the LDS house organ (actually owned by the church) whereas the SLT is independent and has a fairly progressive reputation.

  • 30. Anthony  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Given that this was filed three hours ago, I think Sotomayor has referred it to the entire court and opinions are being written as we speak.

  • 31. Wynngard  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    OT: U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal denied a request for a restraining order against Houston's same-sex spousal benefits. The case, Pidgeon v. Parker, will resume in late February, where Rosenthal will hear a request to remand the case to state court. http://www.lonestarq.com/breaking-federal-judges-refuses...

  • 32. Craig Nelson  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I think a large amount was prepared. After all Utah announced it was going to go to SCOTUS a few days before it actually did. And a lot of Utah's material was predictable.

    And yet…. This has the feel of a freshly produced document that takes its starting point as the stay request from the state and systematically addresses each point in a very conclusive manner.

  • 33. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I think you should write a novel called IANAL, I, ANAL.

  • 34. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I'm sure the 10th Circuit would duly take into account the opinions of the other states, but I can't see how it would make much difference in this particular case. The ruling on the matter does not apply specifically to Utah; all the other states in the circuit besides New Mexico and possibly Colorado are in the same position when it comes to how they treat marriage.

  • 35. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Not 100%, but I'm pretty sure the full bench can also grant or deny the petition without comment.

  • 36. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Slightly off-topic: why hasn't Houston passed a city non-discrimination ordinance yet?

  • 37. Wynngard  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    The most likely reason is a 2001 city charter amendment (i.e., a law approved by city voters) which prohibits Houston from giving any "privilege" in employment or contracting on the basis of sexual orientation. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texa

  • 38. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Seems like it's time to Romer that charter amendment out of existence.

  • 39. Anthony  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Pretty sure Scalia and co. will have something to say about this. Doubt this will be without comment.

  • 40. Wynngard  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Indeed. For what it's worth, the article I linked states the mayor's intention to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance à la San Antonio. The charter amendment wouldn't disallow a nondiscrimination ordinance entirely, but the wording would have to be very precise, and the city attorney admits that some types of discrimination would explicitly have to be allowed.

  • 41. JustMe  |  January 3, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    The city was already under a restraining order from the state court judge… so the federal denial means nothing.

  • 42. Jacob Combs  |  January 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you both! Very much appreciated :)

  • 43. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Ditto. There is nothing else comparable to this site. If you are reading this, they need your help! Can you give a little?

  • 44. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for that reminder…I'll hold my head that much higher having earned my Starbucks gold card. 😉

  • 45. Weaver  |  January 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I did as well!

  • 46. Lee Barry Sandler  |  January 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    So did we!

  • 47. Chris M.  |  January 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Has anyone else seen this? Just a case of terrible reporting (I hope)…
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/01/u-s-supreme-co

    They make it sound like SCOTUS granted cert, instead of just considering an emergency stay.

  • 48. sfbob  |  January 3, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Indeed it's terrible reporting. You have to read it thoroughly to understand that all that's currently going on is Justice Sotomayor's deliberation about granting a stay.

    It's something pulled from AP, not the site's own writers. Which doesn't excuse the crappy reporting and the almost-partisan tone of the writing. To read the article you would think our side was on the defensive.

  • 49. MichaelinFlorida  |  January 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I had the same problem with Scribed. It seemed to be internal (computer). I cleaned the system and backed – up the protection. It works fine now. I hope this helps.

  • 50. Rich  |  January 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Next paycheck (2 weeks) and I'm in. This holiday sapped my funds but yes, I always come to this site first to read the best reporting on ME news.

  • 51. mtnbill  |  January 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Somewhat aside, has the pent-up demand begun to slack in the number of same sex marriage licenses issued? I would expect a large number as marriages were first legalized, but then a decline as the pool of those who have been waiting for legalization begins to drain.

  • 52. Matthew N  |  January 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Scalia's one line opinion: I told you so[1]

    1. My dissent in Windsor

  • 53. JayJonson  |  January 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Not so. The benefits will be offered. The Republicans chose a tame judge who issued a tro without even notifying the City Attorneys. Luckily, the city attorneys were smart enough to go directly to federal court. This move may actually lead to the "Romering" out of existence of the charter amendment and may, indeed, become an attack on the marriage ban itself. (The Charter amendment simply says that only legally married spouses can receive benefits, believing of course that that would be a way to bar gay partners from receiving benefits. But after Windsor, Mayor Parker ordered the City to offer spousal benefits to all legally married couples, including gay couples who have been married in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is legal. In other words, the bigots have been hoist on their own petard.)

  • 54. jpmassar  |  January 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Can we assume marriage ceremonies are good to go until Monday in Utah or do you think SCOTUS might issue an opinion in the middle of the weekend?

    Can you imagine having your wedding ceremony interrupted just before the I DO with news of a SCOTUS stay?

  • 55. Brad  |  January 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Marriage Equality in UTAH is huge. Hard to believe people actually want to stop ssm….
    Gawd.
    Hang in there people and keep up the good fight!

    A Canadian…eh:)

  • 56. BDR  |  January 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I was trying to find this, but couldn't. Where in this document do they do that?

  • 57. davep  |  January 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    A lot of it is on pages 21 and 22, especially in the two footnotes.

  • 58. Lynn E  |  January 3, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I half expected tonight's news to begin with "Sotomayer refers Utah case to full Court; and in a related story, paramedics were called to Justice Scalia's Chambers." I hope they simply refer it to the Circuit with no stay, but as always the wait is killing me.

  • 59. Carol  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I am an appellate lawyer, and am humbled by the authors' masterful handling of the subject and of applicable judicial precedents on extremely short notice. Congratulations! And I particularly admired this sentence late in the brief:

    "Utah’s citizenry, which includes Respondents and their families, is not harmed by a decision that requires the state to protect fundamental liberties equally for all its citizens."

  • 60. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Agreed, kudos to our counsel!

    I was particularly impressed by the line of argument that the legal harms to the children of SSM is analogous to the legal harms visited on illegitimate children – which were struck down by the courts in the early '70s. I've never heard that angle before but I think it's brilliant.

  • 61. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Maybe Scalia has finally learned his lesson that when he dissents he should keep his big fat mouth shut.

    But I doubt it.

  • 62. Rich  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Just finished reading the response. It's a lesson for all to read. It is, from a non-lawyer, solid reasoning and also passionate in its defense of basic civil rights for gay couples. I wish everyone would read it.

  • 63. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    If they deny the stay, every federal court in the country will know how to read the tea leaves no matter what SCOTUS says (or more likely, says nothing at all.)

    NOM seems unchararistically quiet of late…

  • 64. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    The paramedics are still trying to figure out how to turn him right-side-out again.

  • 65. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Don't you ever get tired of being wrong?

  • 66. Chris M.  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Since Utah is desperately searching for harm done by same-sex marriages, here is probably their best shot:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/03/utah-hun

    A nutcase has started a hunger strike for as long as it takes to stop same-sex marriages! Or should that be more properly classified as harm caused by religious zealotry?

  • 67. Steve  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    They report a lot on the Mormons (as one would expect in Utah), but they are fairly critical at times. And the comment section has lots of people who don't like the Mormon Church much.

  • 68. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    The palindrome for which is I ANAL ON NO LANAI. Good advice if you're ever on a cruise ship visiting Jamaica.

  • 69. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I believe the legal term is "crocodile tears"

  • 70. Nyx  |  January 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Oh, but Dr. Z it's so entertaining when his comments come back to bite him.

  • 71. Allan  |  January 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I'm with you – the suspense is killing me! Let's hope this is over soon with an order denying the application for stay.

  • 72. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    LOL.

    But don't ever pay for a cruise trip that goes to Jamaica. Boycott Jamaica until they stop persecuting LGBT.

  • 73. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    It's his right. Let him do what he "must." But I have to wonder if he knew it'd take this long (or hopefully in perpetuity).

  • 74. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Like the others on his side of things, there is an uncanny knack for brushing off being wrong and continuing on in a bullheaded manner. That's why it's been a dogfight for us every step of the way. But I'm sure when (now or in the future, but it will happen) Utah is permanently added to the equality column, he'll just move on to the next battle, having justified the loss in whatever way possible for the sake of his own peace of mind.

  • 75. Chris M.  |  January 3, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Maybe Sotomayor is sending a message about the urgency of the emergency petition by not issuing a decision over the weekend? The timeline for the response brief was quite generous, so why not the same for her decision? And every day that passes makes it less likely that anyone will find irreparable harm, or any harm for that matter.

  • 76. davep  |  January 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I have noticed a pattern or theme to his dissents. They seem to say, in effect, "If we end THIS injustice and discrimination, it may eventually lead to the ending of some ADDITIONAL injustice and discrimination!". And he's often right about that, although I can't really figure out why a SCOTUS judge would be offering that kind of observation as some kind of dire warning….

  • 77. Colleen  |  January 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Meanwhile Utah income tax returns are going to start coming in from married couples any minute now, benefits are going to be paid out to them and their dependents, and on and on… I can't see how this bell can be unrung.

  • 78. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    He's trying to rally the troops. "Bigots everywhere! Gay sex now must be legal, so gather ye to fight against the logical next step, which is gay marriage!" Hasn't seemed to have had much of an effect thus far.

  • 79. sfbob  |  January 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    That's been my takeaway all along. Her attitude has basically been "Emergency? What emergency? You seem to think your hair's on fire but really it isn't."

  • 80. Valquiria  |  January 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    If a Mormon hunger strike is anything like Mormon abstinence, he's in no danger of starving.

  • 81. Richard Weatherwax  |  January 3, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    It's at least another full weekend in Utah without a stay.

  • 82. Richard Weatherwax  |  January 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I like this more all the time:

    "In addition, like other types of sex discrimination, discrimination against same-sex couples is rooted in gender stereotypes, including the stereotype that a man should only be attracted to, enter into an intimate relationship with, and marry a woman, and vice versa. The challenged Utah laws impermissibly reflect those gender-based expectations and penalize individuals who depart from assumptions about the proper roles of men and women." (Pages 21-22)
    .

  • 83. Dr. Z  |  January 3, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    This case is forming a crucible. Something big, something karmic is coming.

  • 84. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Recall how fast Kennedy acted in denying the re-imposition of the stay in the prop 8 case.

  • 85. sfbob  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    In that case it was "It's over and you lost. Get over it." Which I think is about where Sotomayor is on the issue as well.

    We've pretty much reached the tipping point with respect to Marriage Equality. While the court's decision on the issue is never going to be unanimous thanks to Scalia, Alito and Thomas, I suspect even Roberts is going to throw in the towel pretty soon and we'll have a ruling similar in scope to Loving vs Virginia not later than 2016. On marriage itself there's simply nothing left to litigate; it's been resolved beyond a shadow of doubt. What remains is the question of whether or not sexual orientation and gender identity/expression constitute protected classes. That, I suspect, is going to involve litigation at such time as ENDA finally gets passed. Some non-profit with a religious background or a business that is owned by some fundie, but not an actual church, will fight that one for sure (that is if we ever get it through Congress and signed into law).

  • 86. Michael  |  January 3, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Yes, I agree. I could not contribute much. In fact, I'm working part time and going to school and this is the only donation I made to anyone in 2013! So I hope that everyone will find a way to give whatever they can. This site is a god send and we need to keep it going. Happy New Year to all!

  • 87. Mike in Baltimore  |  January 4, 2014 at 1:18 am

    I always read any AP article with a HUGE block of salt resting on my shoulder.

    The AP has very few reporters of it's own, but rather relies on local reporters for much of it's 'reporting', which it then tags with the 'AP' label, and people ASSume that it reflects reporting by the AP when it does not necessarily mean that.

    I first noticed the 'reporting' issue when a lot of local reporters for Baltimore newspapers and other media were 'writing' AP articles about things that were Baltimore-related, but not that important on a 'national scale' (train wrecks in a tunnel, Orioles and Ravens wins, etc.), but the AP was not indicating the reporters were not AP reporters, but employed by other entities.

    Many times, the reporting is OK for the local market, because a lot of history is not needed. For a national audience, sometimes (actually many times) a LOT of detail is needed.

    I had a definite interest in the 2001 train tunnel fire, as one entrance/exit to the tunnel was less than 1/2 miles almost due West of my house, and the wind generally comes from the West. I could smell the smoke sometimes, and if it had been dangerous, personal action needed to be taken immediately. It didn't help that the commuter train I took on a daily basis was even closer to the tunnel entrance/exit.

  • 88. Mike in Baltimore  |  January 4, 2014 at 1:24 am

    "the early '70s"

    Does that mean the state's attorneys think SCOTUS will forget what happened then? After all, the early 70s were 40 or more years ago!

    I think SCOTUS will NOT forget what happened then, or even before.

  • 89. Mike in Baltimore  |  January 4, 2014 at 1:28 am

    When one begins a hunger strike, there should be a VERY personal and over-riding reason for the hunger strike.

    The reason this person is hunger-striking – how does Marriage Equality directly affect him?

  • 90. Dr. Z  |  January 4, 2014 at 3:23 am

    Sexual orientation needs to be established as a suspect class to prevent legal discrimination from going covert in red states after the last vestages of overt discrimination have been swept aside. Otherwise they'll start selectively enforcing zoning laws, noise pollution laws, etc (the mayor of Madrid is trying to use the latter to shut down the Pride parade.)

  • 91. JimT  |  January 4, 2014 at 3:47 am

    In a blog he wrote “I cannot stand by and do nothing while this evil takes root in my home." People like him often claim that this country belongs to them, a “homeland” where their national identity began and I guess they think everyone including Native Americans are 2nd class citizens.

  • 92. Lynn E  |  January 4, 2014 at 3:56 am

    The LDS owned television station has a poll, "Do you think same sex marriage should be legal in Utah?" The poll can be accessed under their news story on the subject at http://www.ksl.com.

  • 93. Rick O.  |  January 4, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Don Quixote complex or closet case? I am sure it is very personal for him, real for him alone. Some mental health assistance would be nice, but we stopped funding that years ago.

  • 94. Rick O.  |  January 4, 2014 at 6:48 am

    I hope you are right, in which case ENDA should finally make some progress. I wonder how many will note the opening here for transgender issues, where the discrimination is still so bloody awful it makes your heart break.
    Alas, I fear no real change on other issues for a while – the great mass of "independents/undecideds" runs out of brain power pretty quickly and won't want to focus on more issues for a while. We may be faced with feelings of "what more do they want?". Hell, Roberts jokingly dismissed the idea a 5% minority might not have sufficient political muscle to not be a protected class just last March.
    However, the vast education campaign apparatus put together since Stonewall will, I hope, remain in place and keep working, so there is hope. Time frames? Just check out how long ago Evan Wolfson started working on marriage equality (hint, he started in law school and he's about my age).

  • 95. Sagesse  |  January 4, 2014 at 7:07 am

    The Washington Post has embedded the Respondents' filing on Scribd in their article… correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this some kind of a first for mainstream media? Suggesting that people might actually want to/be able to read this kind of thing?
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/20

  • 96. icapricorn  |  January 4, 2014 at 7:18 am

    He's the Delphic oracle of Mt. Scalia. Formerly known as Cassandra. Like the contestants on Jeopardy, his predictions are phrased in the form of a question, with dire overtones of lightening and thunder and the fall of civilization. That's our boy!

  • 97. JayJonson  |  January 4, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Actually, I think this is building on case law regarding transgenders. Several federal appellate courts have held that transgender individuals are covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC has recently adopted this position. From an employment perspective, transgender individuals have more legal protections that gay men or lesbians. (I realize that in practice these protections are often illusory and that transgender people face enormous challenges in the workplace.) One thing that is so impressive about this filing is that the attorneys are so well informed about all aspects of litigation affecting gender and sexual orientation discrimination.

  • 98. StraightDave  |  January 4, 2014 at 8:33 am

    I usually get the feeling he's just saying, "Now look what you've gone and done! Oh boy, are you ever going to regret it, and then I'll have the last laugh."
    Luckily, it hasn't worked out quite like that so far.

  • 99. Dr. Z  |  January 4, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I get the impression he thinks he's the smartest person on the court, and is surrounded by idiots because they disagree with him.

  • 100. Chris M.  |  January 4, 2014 at 9:02 am

    I sometimes wonder if he doesn't write these dissents just to get a reaction; in essence being a troll from a high perch. Like Rush Limbaugh, but unfortunately with constitutional powers.

  • 101. Mark  |  January 4, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Here's a direct link: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=28226077

  • 102. Chris M.  |  January 4, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Now that would be a script for a B-movie… The couple is walking down the aisle, the phone rings, and the officiant is told there is a stay, like in an execution.

  • 103. Bruno71  |  January 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Of course his homeland is Utah. It's amazing to what degree these morons thought that state amendments inoculated them from the evil gay marriage forever and ever.

  • 104. Dr. Z  |  January 4, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Actually we already had that, on December 20 when hundreds of couples rushed to get married before Utah could file its stay request. My husband and did that too, on March 3 2004 when Multnomah County Oregon (Portland) started issuing marriage licenses to SSM couples. We were in such a hurry we got married in an elevator lobby, and the "glass" we stepped in was a plastic cup.

    The closest race I'm aware of was also in 2004, it was the 64 couples who were in line to get married in Sandoval County NM. Only the couples who managed to get married by 5 pm when the window closed were issued licenses. Couples still in line were disappointed – and there wasn't an option to return the next day because the NM AG stopped them.

    And since the NM SC ruled that SSM was legal in the state, the Sandoval 64 were the first legally valid same sex marriages in the country.

  • 105. Mark  |  January 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Marriage poll to vote on: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?sid=28226077&nid

    Posted as a reply but posting separately now. Same-sex marriage is losing 45% to 53%.

  • 106. grod  |  January 4, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Richard "Applicants citation to Legalization Assistance Project , 510 U.S. at 1305-06, is inapt". stood out for me. Footnote pg 30. As said elsewhere the author's efficient writing style is memorable. I hope the text is persuasive.

  • 107. Chris M.  |  January 4, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I hope everyone reads it as "inept" instead of "inapt". That seems to be a better description of Utah's counsel's performance here.

  • 108. Rich  |  January 4, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Just finished reading the response. It's a lesson for all to read. Most impressive

  • 109. Lymis  |  January 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Maybe, but this time, the dykes are winning.

  • 110. Lymis  |  January 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    He likes to be right. If he can't be right and bigoted, he'll settle for right and grouchy.

  • 111. Lymis  |  January 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Not a lawyer. Can't evaluate the legalities of the filing but the response from the good guys goes into pretty excruciating detail over the LEGAL meaning of the concept of "emergency" (as opposed to how the rest of us use the word in conversation) and why based on really solid precedent, this is no such thing.
    A legal emergency is NOT "but we feel really, really strongly."

    It's more like "um, if you don't issue a stay by tonight, they'll have already executed the guy" or "once the valley gets flooded, the issue is sort of moot."

    "But this makes us looks like idiots" and "There will be a lot of paperwork if we win" aren't quite the same thing.

  • 112. Lymis  |  January 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    That's not a harm done by same sex marriages, since he's doing it voluntarily and can stop at any time. Just because HIS motives relate to same sex marriage, no government entity can use that as a basis for "harm."

  • 113. Guest  |  January 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    IAAL – Yes. The entire court can summarily deny a petition for a stay without opinion.

  • 114. Guest  |  January 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Actually – he and Justice Ginsburg are very close friends. Here is a picture of them riding an elephant together on one of their vacations.
    http://www.appellaterecord.com/2012/01/articles/n

  • 115. sfbob  |  January 4, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Or wrong and persistent. Gotta give him credit where it's due though; he holds to his convictions, however vile they might be.

  • 116. sfbob  |  January 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    But now it's winning 58% to 40%. 2% unsure. I'm not sure what to make of that; surely people have had sufficient time to make their minds up.

  • 117. Rich  |  January 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Oh how things have changed in just a short time. Check it out, now, ME leading by a huge margin. Let's all get on the bandwagon.

  • 118. sfbob  |  January 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Well, I did my part. (Hint: you can vote more than once. Don't let the haters find out.)

  • 119. JimT  |  January 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    lol Me too. I noticed how quickly the lead picked up.

  • 120. davep  |  January 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Oh suh-NAP! : )

  • 121. Colleen  |  January 4, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Oh Jeepers, he ran for Utah state senate as a candidate for the Constitution Party. (Lost by 73 percentage points!) Those guys are all true believin', angry theocrat nut jobs. http://www.metroweekly.com/news/national/2014/01/

  • 122. KarlS  |  January 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    It's just another easily hackable meaningless online poll…anyone can "vote", delete the KSL cookie and do it again until their fingers get tired.

  • 123. Keith  |  January 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    These 'in the closet' Morman gays think they are fooling people as they get all worked up over 'sin'. However they should know that people comfortable with their own sexuality don't really care that much about what others do. But, boy oh boy, when they do "come out" it is like a shot out of a cannon. What usually happens is they get caught, drunk, with some guy in a restroom. They then blame their "sin" on alcoholism and depending upon their position (politician, typically), they check into a rehab, spend some time, get out, last for a couple of months, and bang, they are caught, yet again. Eventually, they come out, divorce their wives, and start working for a small law firm or as a consultant someplace. Oh, there's also the occasional (boring) book they write. I'm waiting for Marcus Bachmann to drop his beads all over the floor. Right now, he's so far back in the closet, he's next to the winter parka. He mentioned in an interview, "just because people have these 'feelings' doesn't mean they should act on them." Uh-huh.

  • 124. Ryan K.  |  January 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Per the SCTOUS calendar, the Justices aren't scheduled to be together officially until Friday, January 10th for their weekly conference (there are no orall arguments this coming week). Like most others, I have to imagine all nine Justices are reviewing the brief for a stay and the response over the weekend (Utah was in no rush to apply for the stay), and they'll come together on a call on Monday to vote, and possible have a quick order written (and possible one of those grand Scalia dissents). No point in Justice Sotomayor ruling on this herself since it would then go to another justice who would refer it to the court.

    We could start a football like pool on which day of the week next week by AM and PM the order will come out. At this point, my money is on Monday the 6th PM ET.

  • 125. Bruno71  |  January 4, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Unsure = anyone who has gay friends and nutjob religious friends who just can't choose a side.

  • 126. StraightDave  |  January 4, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    If it's a simple denial, I expect Mon AM EST – this should not be hard to write. But if Scalia sees fit to have a fit, he might drag it out until the PM to consult his dictionary of hopelessly-misplaced snide remarks.

  • 127. Mark  |  January 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    It's now posted on Joe.My.God which tipped the scales big time but I'm sure there was some scale tipping here. 😉

  • 128. Just curious  |  January 4, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Next Fri. PM, 5-4 decision, speaking to the merits (without the same authority as a final judgment)… not sure which way it will fall.

    If Scalia dissents, they'll have to re-write the majority to address his theory. He has some choice words that I think he held back on DOMA.

    The stay request and the stay response in particular are so intertwined with the merits that it has to address the merits to some degree.

    (I am what you guys would call a "troll", but my analysis here is neutral.

  • 129. Ryan K.  |  January 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I don't know how they would speak to the merits of the case given the application in front of them is simply a stay. Granted the applicants would need the SCOTUS to see a good chance of winning the case for the stay, to have the SCOTUS not give proper deference to the 10th Circuit, etc. I just don't see a hand-tip given in the order to grant/deny the stay, given they have no appellate record yet to opine on. I'll be a bit shocked if it takes a full week to provide a result on the application for an "emergency" stay.

  • 130. bythesea  |  January 4, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Sure it's "neutral." However, I think it's likely that however SCOTUS decides it may well be "without comment."

  • 131. StraightDave  |  January 4, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    @Just curious
    I don't see your comments here as being the least bit troll-ish. It's an honest opinion, untainted by bias, fairly offered, and not antagonistic. A mere difference of opinion doesn't make one a troll, nor unwelcome on this site. A blatant disregard of facts and logic, on the other hand….often displayed by others….is a different story.

    I do agree that some nod to the merits is generally needed by way of assessing the likelihood of success. But it can be done silently by simply stating that the 10th's denial was not unreasonable. That gives SCOTUS a bit of insulation about exposing their views until it is truly their turn.

    I'm perfectly happy with you posting your thoughts in this manner, whether I agree or not.

  • 132. Larry  |  January 4, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    I don't know how similar it is, but when the NJ Supreme Court denied the stay of the NJ district court's decision, they made it pretty clear what their decision would be if they were to rule on the merits. Of course, that doesn't apply if the SCOTUS decision is 1 sentence long like the 10th Circuit's decision on the stay.

  • 133. sfbob  |  January 4, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    In a sense it is quite different as the New Jersey Supreme Court had already ruled that gay and lesbian couples must be afforded all of the rights and responsibilities available to heterosexual couples. That decision, because it predated Windsor, allowed the state legislature the cowardly option of granting civil unions. In the wake of Windsor however, there simply was no way civil unions could be construed as meeting the requirements of the court's prior decision. If I'm not mistaken sexual orientation is already considered a suspect class based on state courts' interpretation of their own equal protection rulings.

    Things are rather different at the level of the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court has dodged the equal protection question when it comes to LGBT rights every time that question could have been resolved. Each time, in Romer, in Lawrence, and in Windsor, when the opportunity arose to designate laws classifying by sexual orientation as a subject to intermediate or strict scrutiny, other grounds were used to strike down the offending laws.
    At some point, perhaps even with the Utah case, the court will simply have to confront this issue directly.

  • 134. Dr. Z  |  January 5, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Just curious,

    If you want to be regarded as something other than a troll be many of the posters here, that is still possible but you will have to earn it.

    First, make lucid arguments supported by facts. Don't just throw out a bunch of legalese so dense that no one can tell what point you're making. Many of us here aren't lawyers, but we're not stupid. We come here because we are hungry for information and informed discussion that we can't find elsewhere.

    Second, recognize that this community has been trolled many times. We are understandably on the lookout for people who have only come here to scare us or be cruel. We've had a lifetime of putting up with that and we've learned various ways of defending ourselves against it.

    Third, people are going to be skeptical of your claims of "neutrality" if you always arguing the worst outcome for the marriage equality side. Neutral means the ability to argue either side of a case. I often find myself trying to think of a new line of argument the anti-equality side might use. It's not easy to construct a rational argument for them but some lines are better than others, at least – the federalism argument is one of the better ones.

    I've disagreed with some of the community here on occasion, particularly whether civil unions/DPs should receive federal recognition. You don't have to agree with us all the time. But if you disagree 100% of the time then don't be surprised if some people write you off as a troll and a bigot. Maybe they're right.

    Finally, trust comes from opening up. If you reveal a little about yourself, that can go a long way to countering a reputation as a troll since it indicates some willingness to engage with the community instead of just tearing it down.

    The rest is up to you.

  • 135. Dr. Z  |  January 5, 2014 at 5:04 am

    I would generalize that beyond the Mormons: in my experience the people who were raised in the strictest religious environments have the most difficulty adjusting when they finally do come out. And that baggage tends to stay with a person for life, therapy notwithstanding. I was raised Southern Baptist, and during my early years I really believed that stuff too; even today the Protestant bootstrapping stuff is still with me. Pie in the sky and heaven in the hereafter, as Malcolm X said…

  • 136. Dr. Z  |  January 5, 2014 at 5:13 am

    I was thinking more in terms of how he dissed Kennedy from the bench while reading his dissent in Windsor. Kennedy's body language gave me the impression he didn't especially like Scalia, but maybe it was just the circumstance. I've been told that the justices like each other, by and large. But Scalia's dissents to these three huge Kennedy rulings – Romer, Lawrence, Windsor – can't avoid coming across in personal terms.

    Scalia is an unreconstructed, old school homophobe. His son engages in a "repairitive therapy" ministry to LGBT. He may be chums with Ginsburg but then again, she's not gay.

  • 137. Zack12  |  January 5, 2014 at 6:17 am

    I also think it goes into the anger Scalia still feel about Bork not getting on the court.
    Let's face it,the gains we made would not have happened if that piece of puke had gotten on the Supreme Court.
    Next to Bork,Scalia looks like a saint.

  • 138. Sagesse  |  January 5, 2014 at 6:47 am

    This is just funny. Headline from the Salt Lake Tribune:

    Gay marriage tourism not on Utah’s radar http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57348402-78/cou

    Imagining all the bizarre thoughts going through the minds of Utah legislators and residents as they absorb their 'new normal'. (Pending a SCOTUS decision on whether to put half the genie back into the bottle.)

  • 139. JimT  |  January 5, 2014 at 7:42 am

    When it comes to making a buck people's moral values shift somewhat and in a Mormon controlled state they will likely evolve because there is a lot of money to be made. It's interesting to see the hypocrisy, though

    Ever stay at a Marriott? In each room there is a Book of Mormon and a Bible in the drawer. Some rooms have wet bars stocked with liquor/beer and in certain locations you can watch X rated films on the TV, all for a fee of course. And they do allow gay weddings to be performed in their resorts: http://www.marriott.com/marriott/marriott-gay-tra

  • 140. JimT  |  January 5, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Mormons and Business….
    "The Bible that I love teaches me about honesty, integrity and unconditional love for all people," Bill Marriott said then. "But beyond that, I am very careful about separating my personal faith and beliefs from how we run our business." http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsfaithblog/55726

  • 141. JayJonson  |  January 5, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Is "Just Curious" the same person as "Just Me"?

  • 142. Dr. Z  |  January 5, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Ah good catch. The similarity of the names together with the "troll" reference triggered some associative priming.

  • 143. RAJ  |  January 5, 2014 at 10:10 am

    *Extremist Alert*
    In case this hasn't been posted yet:

    "Same-sex marriage opponents call for an uprising"
    http://fox13now.com/2014/01/04/same-sex-marriage-

    Apparently Bryan Thompson (the Utah county clerk who initially denied licenses to same-sex couples, then reversed course) was at this event. Reports are he didn't say anything beyond introducing himself, but was enthusiastically applauded for his initial action.

    There was a call for resistance tomorrow if the Supreme Court stay decision doesn't go their way and there were calls urging people to "be prepared to lose their jobs over this".

    There are more details, but long story short, it's nutty stuff — not to be over-reacted to, just aware of.

  • 144. JimT  |  January 5, 2014 at 10:30 am

    It didn’t take very long for the extreme right heralded by Faux news to call for resistant vigilante actions and ask sheriffs to defend county clerks who refuse to issue licenses. And it sounds like Bryan Thompson might be taking some first steps to advance his own political ambitions.

  • 145. Rose  |  January 5, 2014 at 10:39 am

    This is ridiculous, just like the idiot who is supposedly on a hunger strike……..if folks who are in the County Clerks office DON'T want to do their jobs, then they should be fired on the spot and get County Clerks in who WILL do their jobs and follow the laws!!!!

  • 146. RAJ  |  January 5, 2014 at 10:42 am

    One thing of particular concern is that, reportedly, a number of public officials attended and were asked to identify themselves — officials included State Representatives, sheriffs, city councilmen, a state senator, and a Utah County Clerk (other than Bryan Thompson).

    Considering these people take certain oaths as part of being public employees, this could be a problem for them.

  • 147. Rose  |  January 5, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I can see that the retired Sheriff Mack is UNAWARE of how Federal Laws work……they do TRUMP the laws in Utah and if they want to go to martial law, I'm sure that the Federal Military can help round them up AND arrest them for civil disobedience!!!

  • 148. Chris M.  |  January 5, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Are we going to see a county clerk blocking the door of the courthouse to keep gay couples out? That would be a sad rerun of history, but would drive the point home that marriage equality id a civil rights issue.

  • 149. Guest  |  January 5, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I am so not afraid of these powerless, worthless, Christian bigots. They can pound their chests and set their hateful bibles on fire, but it won't change the law because we're legally insulated from the commodified sexism manifested by their anti-gay-Christian-industry. If they don't like it, tough.

  • 150. Gregory in SLC  |  January 5, 2014 at 11:48 am

    About "Faux" news….I actually liked the way Fox news reported this story, at least the video portion. (and the way they have reported all the Utah marriage news)…In Utah, Fox is the more Liberal channel and do a fair job. The reporter's take in the video indicated they lured the crowd to come to talk about SSM…but had other agenda, getting people to pay money so sign up for their "hate club"(my interpretation).

  • 151. SoCal_Dave  |  January 5, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    If they are mormon, they also need to be reminded of the LDS 12th Article of Faith:

    12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

  • 152. ebohlman  |  January 5, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Fox's local affiliates, like this one, are editorially separate from the Fox News Channel and don't report to Roger Ailes. Some of them are pretty good; their overall biases are pretty similar to ABC/CBS/NBC stations.

  • 153. Rick O.  |  January 5, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Inept it was, esp. according to the anti–equality Sutherland Institute of Utah. Tee hee, check their lead story on website.

  • 154. ebohlman  |  January 5, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I'd also like to point out that, contrary to some commentaries I've read recently (not here), marriage equality is not a "GLB-only" issue. Remove the gender-difference requirement from marriage and transpeople no longer have to "prove" that they're the "right" gender to get married, or to have their existing marriages recognized (look up the story of Christine Littleton).

  • 155. Just curious  |  January 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Nope. not the same person.

  • 156. StraightDave  |  January 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    To me, their tone and content seem quite different.

  • 157. Dr. Z  |  January 5, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Apologies then. You are welcome.

  • 158. Dr. Z  |  January 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Yes, I agree there was a difference – I was wondering if "just me" was perhaps having a teachable moment a la Louis, which is why I posted a longer response. Thanks to JayJonson for catching that. "just me" seems to have been going by a multiple names e.g. SHOES THROWER so it didn't occur to me that they might be different people.

  • 159. Anthony  |  January 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I'm pretty sure that was done on purpose by Kennedy because of potential for public backlash since most of the country in the past was not accepting of gays like many are now. He's just waiting for the next case to manifest itself and then he'll do it. It has to be a very well reasoned legal opinion because elevating a minority to heightened scrutiny is no small order in terms of the potential for current legislation and statues to be overturned.

  • 160. KarlS  |  January 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I believe your guesstimate is well within a 12 hour window of certainty! 😀

  • 161. KarlS  |  January 5, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Kinda like "christians" (many of whom don't think Mormons are) who gloss over bits of their book that aren't convenient like Exodus 31:15, Deut 21:18 and Matthew 6:5 to name a few…

  • 162. Steve  |  January 5, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Also Matthew 22:21 / Mark 12:17 / Luke 20:25

  • 163. Mike in Baltimore  |  January 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Jamaica is puzzling to me.

    1/2 of the partnership of good friends of mine (and occupants of an apartment in the house I now own – converted from an apartment building back to a single family home by the previous owners) was born and raised in Jamaica (his accent is real cute!). The couple now owns a Jamaican-themed restaurant about 2 blocks distant, and a new like-themedrestaurant about 2 blocks further away.

    Every year, the couple goes to Jamaica to visit relatives of the Jamaican half of the partnership. And every year, the report back is that no or negligible progress is being made for GLBT rights in Jamaica.

    Strangely, the couple, year after year before their trip to Jamaica, holds out hope for a change of circumstances in the near future in Jamaica. And every year upon return from Jamaica, they report that no or negligible progress is being made for GLBT rights in Jamaica, with little to no prospect for progress. How and why they still hold out hope for progress is puzzling to me.

  • 164. Mike in Baltimore  |  January 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I think a lot of thought was put into a defense of ME, based on the circumstances and the perceived thinking of the state and LDS hierarchy. That thought process was not just in the past few days, but since the time of, or even before, the initial filing of the case in District Court. Putting those thoughts to 'pen and paper' would have taken a bit of time, but a lot of the thought process had already been taken for the most part.

    What I'm wondering is how many things had to be left out because the state (aka the LDS hierarchy) did not enter them into the stay filing at SCOTUS.

    That the response to the stay filing was so well written says a lot about the competence of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. That competence is VERY good (not to mention their correct predictive thinking).

  • 165. Mike in Baltimore  |  January 5, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Interesting. KSL is owned by the LDS, therefore it is a TV mouthpiece of the LDS, therefore a presumption could be made that the viewership would be at least sympathetic to the LDS. Yet, as of 2 AM ET Monday, January 6, and after more than 8800 votes, the voting is more than 77% in favor of ME, 22% against it, and 1% with no opinion. I know SLC is the heart of non-LDS Utahns, but this is an on-line poll, so there are no toll charges for phoning in a response. ANY LDS members or sympathizers can vote on the poll. That so many have not is telling.

    Looks like someone needs to instruct the LDS on how to cook the books on online polls (and I'm very glad that no one has, or if someone has tried, the LDS is not listening).

  • 166. Mike in Baltmore  |  January 5, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    What's so funny is that because Bork was defeated for the Court seat (42 for, 58 against), Kennedy got that seat.

  • 167. Michael  |  January 6, 2014 at 1:17 am

    A hunger strike to demand the right to impose the sin of homophobia on everyone else. What's next? A hunger strike for adultery? Bestiality? Racism? Misogyny?

  • 168. Mike in Baltimore  |  January 6, 2014 at 1:46 am

    And then there are the Sinclair Broadcasting entities, such as WBFF-45 in Baltimore; KUTV (Channel 2) (CBS) and KMYU (12) (My TV) in Salt Lake City; KLEW (3) (CBS) in Spokane, WA; WTVC (9) (ABC) in Chatanooga, TN; WJAC (6) (NBC) in Johnstown/Altoona, PA; etc. Add in several markets 3 or 4 stations in which it owns and operates stations or has a 'Local Marketing Agreement' or a 'Joint Sales Agreement'.

    Sinclair is even more frothing at the mouth conservative than Faux News.

    And lest we forget, KSL-TV in SLC (even though an NBC affiliate) is owned and operated by the LDS.

  • 169. Rick O.  |  January 6, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Earlier I noted Judge Robert Shelby's relatively young age as part-explanation for the boldness of his ruling. I have looked for bios and found he was in the National Guard (might as well be now as this begins to look like Little Rock), has a wife and two children, donate $50 once to a Republican state candidate, and is very "private". His religious affiliation is unknown even to those who have worked with him (or they aren't talking). Any clues?

    With regard to Sheriff Mack's incendiary anti-equality "uprising" rally at the Highland Center on Saturday – wow. Anywhere else and I would warn against going anywhere near a gay bar, church or rally for fear of a shooting or bombing. Most curious is that this was reported by the Salt Lake Fox (inside contacts, no doubt) channel Sat. night and is ALL OVER gay news/blog sites ever since. But it's Monday morning and I can't find mention of it in the mainstream press AT ALL.
    Well, the Deseret News has it, and I find it disturbing that they mention several elected officials attended but do not name them.

  • 170. Jim  |  January 6, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Supreme Court just put a hold on same sex marriages in Utah

  • 171. Equality On TrialSupreme &hellip  |  January 6, 2014 at 7:51 am

    […] were allowed until last Friday, January 3, to respond to the request. The same-sex couples asked the Court not to stay the ruling, based on the lack of irreparable harm to the state and the fact that the […]

  • 172. Keith  |  January 6, 2014 at 7:53 am

    “The order appeared to have the support of the full Court, since there were no noted dissents. The ruling can be interpreted as an indication that the Court wants to have further exploration in lower courts of the basic constitutional question of state power to limit marriage to a man and a woman.” http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/01/court-stops-uta

  • 173. Walter  |  January 6, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I have searched for clues on-line about Shelby's religious affiliation and have found nothing. I did find one comment by someone who said they knew Shelby's wife in school and that she was a Mormon.

  • 174. StraightDave  |  January 6, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Many people don't have any religious affiliation, and those public officials who don't, tend to be fairly quite about it (does that sound familiar?). And marrying someone who may have been born into a Mormon family 40 years ago doesn't necessarily carry much weight with me, and apparently not with Shelby.

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