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Equality news round-up: News from Michigan, Pennsylvania, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

– Jackson Hole, Wyoming, passed a non-discrimination ordinance that includes LGBT people.

– Pennsylvania paid $588,000 to defend its same-sex marriage ban.

– Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder says he is open to including LGBT people in the state’s anti-discrimination law.

– Jeffrey Toobin discussed the same-sex marriage cases in The New Yorker.

155 Comments

  • 1. bayareajohn  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Anyone have an idea what it has cost, overall, so far, to fight for and against Marriage Equality? It has to be a shocking number…

  • 2. CarrotCakeMan  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:24 am

    It's high time anti-gays were forced to reimburse taxpayers for this waste of potentiallhy billions of our tax dollars.

  • 3. Leo  |  May 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

    That's probably very difficult or impossible to quantify. Some things are black and white, such as expenditures in ballot campaigns and in court cases on ME – those clearly qualify. But on the other side of the spectrum, there are elections where marriage is just one of the issues. For instance, how would you count the cost of the last presidential campaign? In theory, I suppose a statistician could build some model where donors and/or voters are surveyed to rank the relative importance of different issues, and that ranking is used to allocate costs. But I haven't heard of that being done, and it sounds impractical to do retroactively.

  • 4. Michael Grabow  |  May 30, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I'm quite sure the number based on court cases and ballot measures alone would be outrageous enough to open a lot of eyes.

  • 5. Fr. Bill  |  May 30, 2014 at 11:53 am

    $588,000 would pay for how many school lunches for poor kids, how many teachers' salaries, pay for how much more school security, provide how much more medical care to those in need? The waste of taxpayer money that could be used much more productively for our kids and the common good needs to be highlighted and made public. Let's face it, a lot of people are apathetic to gay rights and marriage equality. It doesn't affect them so why care? Well, here is one reason they should care! The Republican right wingers and the conservative religious zealots are diverting money to lawyers and crackpot "experts" that could be spent helping your kids or your elderly parents. When they realize that they have some skin in the game they might start speaking out to stop this nonsense.

  • 6. Richard L  |  May 30, 2014 at 11:59 am

    From Florida –

    Florida official: Gay marriage would cause harm http://news.yahoo.com/florida-official-gay-marria

    "Florida's marriage laws, then, have a close, direct, and rational relationship to society's legitimate interest in increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units," Bondi's office said in court documents.

    Same argument, different state. I wonder when NOM will show up in this one.

  • 7. Steven  |  May 30, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    AND I wonder when a judge asks when will you create a law requires a married couple to "procreate" if a marriage is about "children" ha ha

  • 8. TxLawyer  |  May 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    So let me get this … you choose to sue the State, and then wonder afterwards about the expenditures of public funds necessary to mount a defense?

    When you accuse people who hold sincere beliefs of acting with animus in voting for a law they believe to be right… you have every expectation that public funds will be used to the fullest to defend the law.

    Had you merely sued asking for the law to be declared unconstitutional, without the accusations of animus and soforth, you might gain some sympathy from the public at large. But when you paint people who have done nothing other than to vote for a law they believe to be right with labels of bigots and homophobes then you get backlash as you are seeing.

  • 9. davep  |  May 30, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    What a ridiculous comment. First, our legislators have no business defending a law that violates the principles of the Constitution in the first place, even if it didn't cost the state any money. Second, they have a responsibility to not waste money, and they are failing in that responsibility. And third, the issue of them wasting this money is entirely separate from the fact that there is ample evidence that there was animus involved in implementing these laws. The legislative records of the debates to enact these laws, and the political ads that aired to the public to convince people to vote for them, are full of blatant anti-gay animus. There was no attempt made to conceal it. And THAT is what has now come back to bite the state.

  • 10. Mike in Baltimore  |  May 30, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    In other news:

    MSNBC is reporting "Colorado commission affirms cake discrimination ruling"
    ( http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/colorado-commission-ru… )

  • 11. davep  |  May 30, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    ….. and when asked how denying a civil marriage license to same sex couples does anything at all to advance any such states interest, Bondi's answer is……. ?

    The state has no argument.

  • 12. Just wondering  |  May 30, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    "Circumpsice"?

  • 13. davep  |  May 30, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    …. and in case you had not noticed, the plaintiffs in all of these trials have certainly "gained some sympathy from the general public". There is a very rapidly growing majority that supports civil marriage rights for same sex couples.

  • 14. Steven  |  May 30, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    but the baker was willing to bake a wedding cake for dogs……….. its messed up!!!!!!! lol no gay wedding cakes for ya, but wedding dog cakes WTF lol

  • 15. davep  |  May 30, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Yup. Exactly. It reveals that the 'religious beliefs' argument they were claiming was bullshit. They were refusing to provide goods and services because of anti-gay prejudice.

  • 16. Retired_Lawyer  |  May 30, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Austin Nimocks appears in Jeffrey Toobin's New Yorker piece mentioned by Scottie, above. Nimocks is an ADF lawyer who has been involved in many of the marriage equality cases over the years, including the Bostic case now under consideration in the Fourth Circuit. The article is worth reading.

  • 17. FilbertB  |  May 30, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    It has been the courts themselves that have brought up the issue of animus -I refer you to Bishop v USA the Oklahoma ruling see: case 4:04-cv-00848-TCK-TLW Document 272 Filed in USDC ND/OK on 01/14/14 Page 53 (54,and 55) of 68

    The courts are not concerned with an individual who places a vote – but the public announcements, speeches, editorials by elected officials where moral justifications and disapproval of a group is used in promoting marriage equality bans – those are in fact a legitimate concern for the courts.

    Further, I would hardly call unanimous consecutive rulings in various courts overturning marriage bans for same-sex couples and related cases on out of state recognition "backlash".

  • 18. Roulette00  |  May 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    The state asserts an interest in seeing biological parents raise their children. However, the state has never asserted this interest with heterosexual couples. Is there some reason that this argument is not made — is it a weak position?

    Why do briefs not say, "The state alleges this interest, but it is in no way visible in any other state regulation. The state permits biological parents to divorce, to give up children for adoption. When the husband is incarcerated or stationed overseas, the state does not insist that the mother remarry. When a woman becomes pregnant through rape, the state does not ask her to marry her rapist. When she becomes pregnant through incest, the state does not carve an exemption that permits her to marry her father or brother. It is only when gay couples ask for recognition that the state concocts this alleged interest."

    So why? I expect it's too weak to disprove; if the state can find any law or resolution to that effect, it undermines the position. Is that it?

  • 19. Richard L  |  May 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    With his high success rate I hope Nimocks is hired for as many cases as possible. It just makes it easier for ME to win.

  • 20. Eric  |  May 30, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Could you explain the legal standard that distinguishes a sincerely held belief from an insincerely held belief? The distinction appears to be a key part of your argument.

  • 21. Japrisot  |  May 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    There's a backlash? All I can hear are crickets chirping.

  • 22. Stefan  |  May 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Bondi meanwhile is on her third marriage…

  • 23. davep  |  May 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    That is just classic.

  • 24. Steve  |  May 30, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Yeah, that phrase has always been pure BS. As it it matters how sincerely you believe in a lie or a story. It's still just a lie or a story.

  • 25. F_Young  |  May 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    AND I wonder even more when a judge asks when will you create a law that requires parents to get married, if a marriage is about "children"?

  • 26. Fr. Bill  |  May 30, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    That reminds me that both Bob Barr and Newt Gingrich, leading Republicans for passage of DOMA, each had three wives at the time. I guress it is a trend.

  • 27. sfbob  |  May 30, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    So you're saying that nobody affected by a bad or even a patently unconstitutional law should ever challenge that law in court, no matter how serious the harm because it might cost the state some money? Got it.

    Perhaps the state legislature and the voters ought to have thought about the cost of defending the law before they voted in favor of it. The basis upon which the law is contested is a matter of competent legal representation. An attorney cannot simply say to the judge "Your Honor, this law is unconstitutional and needs to be overturned. I rest my case." That doesn't fly. The reasons why a law may be found unconstitutional are pertinent and a competent attorney will make the appropriate arguments even if they sound unpleasant.

  • 28. karen in kalifornia  |  May 30, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    and not kids.

  • 29. KarlS  |  May 30, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    All those briefing points are rooted in or directly derived from the "christian bible" and the total absurdity of them is so obvious, they don't want to subject them to scrutiny. I don't blame them.

  • 30. KarlS  |  May 30, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    If you knew 9 more things, you would be an idiot. TxLawyer my ass…you're no lawyer but you sure might be a Texan…it's a big state with lots of big assholes in it.

  • 31. StraightDave  |  May 30, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    And what distinguishes a sincerely held belief based on facts and critical analysis from a sincerely held belief based on ignorance and animus. Both can be just as sincere, but there is no comparison either legally or morally.

  • 32. Jacob Combs  |  May 30, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Let's watch the language here. Namecalling is immature and not OK.

  • 33. RCChicago  |  May 30, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Excellent points. I wrote a letter to the editor at the Miami Herald about the AG but your points are beautifully articulated and should be preached to more than just the choir. Please consider writing a letter yourself.

  • 34. grod  |  May 30, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Steve: It's too black and white to say SHBs is pure BS. Marriage Equality came to Massachusetts in May 2004. We are living in the midst of a sea change. Please consider on how social norms influence collective and individual attitudes and behavior. Oregon's Judge M. McShane in reflecting on his own experience says it well: Generations of Americans, my own included, were raised in a world in which homosexuality was believed to be a moral perversion, a mental disorder, or a mortal sin. I remember that one of the more popular playground games of my childhood was called "smear the queer" and it was played with great zeal and without a moment's thought to today's political correctness. On a darker level, that same worldview led to an environment of cruelty, violence, and self-loathing. It was but 1986 when the United States Supreme Court justified, on the basis of a "millennia of moral teaching," the imprisonment of gay men and lesbian women who engaged in consensual sexual acts. Bowers, 478 U.S. overruled by Lawrence, 539 U.S. at 578. Even today I am reminded of the legacy that we have bequeathed today's generation when my son looks dismissively at the sweater I bought him for Christmas and, with a roll of his eyes, says "dad … that is so gay." p 25. President Obama characterized his SHB as evolving. Remember DADT – gays can't serve in the Armed Forces – another seriously held belief

  • 35. weaverbear  |  May 30, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I will assume Tx is for Texas and not Tax, and that therefore you were not here in California in 2008, during the 4 months prior to election day.

    I will tell you as a gay man (read a minority person here) that having your civil rights put to a popular vote is a horrendous experience, and yes, much of what was on the airways here in California was some of the most vile and virulent anti-gay propaganda I could ever have imagined. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind many of those ads, which were largely paid for by out-of-state monies, were very damaging. If you followed the polling in the state, they turned from Prop 8 failing by 8 to 9 points to succeeding at ballot box by 52% in the space of just under 4 weeks. As a parent of a then 15 year old, having to try & protect her from the bile that was on TV, print & radio ads was not a pleasant task. Had you been here to hear & see that, I suspect you might have a different view of animus being alleged. I know bigotry and homophobia when I see it, and trust me, had you been here you just might have a different view of what length some where willing go to, to 'protect' marriage.

    In his ruling Judge Jones, a conservative Republican, recommended by Sen. Santorum and nominated to the bench by Pres. Bush summed it eloquently:

    "The issue we resolve today is a divisive one. Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage. However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection. Were that not so, our would still be a racially segregated nation according to the now rightfully discarded doctrine of “separate but equal.” … In the sixty years since Brown [v. Board of Education] was decided, “separate” has thankfully faded into history, and only “equal” remains. Similarly, in future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage.

    We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history."

    I ask you, why is it just that my family is treated differently than yours? I suggest to you that for the most part it is both due to animus and ignorance. I realize the pejorative implied by those words, but it's not intended. As a straight person, most people have no idea what rights your majority sexuality grants you. If your employer pays for your wife's healthcare coverage that was an untaxed benefit for you. Prior to the DOMA decision, last June, I had to pay tax on that benefit extended to my husband. Edith Windsor was hit with a $360K estate tax on her wife's half of their estate, something no heterosexual widow or widower would have had levied. What is the justification for that inequity?

    We are a civil society, not a religious one. I'm content with allowing religious leaders and scholars debate for their personal religious communities what is right or wrong for their community, but not for the larger civil society. When religious leaders, whether ordained or self-appointed, start trying to limit my civil rights within this civil society, attempting to impose their notion of right and wrong on me, someone NOT a member of their faith, to me that's yet another form of animus.

  • 36. AndyInCA  |  May 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    I think TxLawyer is a troll we all know well – whose screen name also starts with T

  • 37. David ROH  |  May 30, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    >> When you accuse people who hold sincere beliefs of acting with animus in voting for a law they believe to be right. . .

    A sincere belief in behavior that matches the text book definition of bigotry does not justify spending one dime of taxpayer money to perpetuate government sanctioned discrimination. These same hypocrites pay lip service to the Ethic of Reciprocity, better known as The Golden Rule, the principle that Jesus called the Second Greatest Commandment. Why aren't these individuals working to make sure that ALL of their neighbors are treated by their secular government the way that they themselves wan to be treated.

    If you want evidence of animus, please read the Loren C. Dunn memos regarding Mormon anti-equality political activity in Hawaii. . . and a different set of memos recently published by Mother Jones. The lies concerning traditional marriage and public education were deliberate. Religionist animus was and continues to be a major factor.

    Sometimes the truth hurts. Deal with it.

  • 38. John  |  May 30, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Oh gosh who cares?! Get over it. You sound like prude right wing Americans.

  • 39. David ROH  |  May 30, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Religionist hypocrites fail to recognize that marriage has nothing to do with procreation, otherwise biologically infertile post-menopausal women would not be allowed to marry. Similarly, the sewer-slime-sucking nonsense regarding one male parent and one female parent is completely and absolutely contradicted by the reality that many happy, healthy, productive adults were raised in single parent (or in my case, single grandparent) homes.

  • 40. Ragavendran  |  May 30, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Perfectly put! This reminds me of the following tense back-and-forth between Judge Gregory and Counsel Oakley during the recent oral arguments at the Fourth Circuit:

    JUDGE GREGORY: What’s the governmental interest in marriage?

    OAKLEY: The governmental interest in marriage uh… it-uh- particularly here, is to- to steer the procreative potential of opposite sex couples towards the- the notion of marriage in order to p- protect the children, and uh… counsel for-

    JUDGE GREGORY: Protect the children? [he sounds genuinely confused here if you listen carefully]

    OAKLEY: -for Clerk McQuigg is going to address that further, but uh-

    JUDGE GREGORY: Sounds like it’s a totalitarian system where you like- people are babymakers, and you get married for the interest of the state? Do you require married people to have children?

    OAKLEY: Absolutely not [indiscernible]-

    JUDGE GREGORY: Do you ban ninety year old couples from getting married?

    OAKLEY: You- you- you-

    JUDGE GREGORY: Do- Do you ban ninety year old couples from getting married?

    OAKLEY: Judge Gregory, absolutely not.

    JUDGE GREGORY: Well- Why not???

    OAKLEY: Because you can’t. There would be no way to-

    JUDGE GREGORY: Ha!

    OAKLEY: -constitutionally put uh- uh- a procreation requirement on marriage. However, it’s still a legitimate government interest-

    JUDGE GREGORY: Oh- oh- did you just- you said there’s no way to constitutionally put a procreation requirement on marriage, did you say that?

    OAKLEY: Yes, Judge.

    JUDGE GREGORY: Okay.

    (It's taking longer this time for me due to a lot of work commitments, but rest assured it is under preparation. I'm at seventeen minutes. Still a long way to go!)

  • 41. Mike in Baltimore  |  May 30, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Lush Rimbaugh can't beat them for kids (like Gingrich, he also has none [Barr apparently has 4] ), but he CAN beat them on the number of marriages. His current is his fourth? Didn't his previous marriages end in divorce?

  • 42. Michael  |  May 30, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    I, too, was in California during the months before and after the evil Prop. 8 was passed. I will never forget those hideous commercials! That one with the little girl running up to her Mom, "Guess what I learned in school today???" The worst thing about those abominable, lying commercials is that they played so frequently. I remember timing it and during the hours from 7 – 9, they played those commercials about every 10 minutes, non-stop, over and over. It was like listening to Satan!

  • 43. Steve  |  May 30, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    It's still just a belief. How sincerely someone holds its doesn't matter one bit.

  • 44. Steve  |  May 30, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Bondi is divorced twice and somehow didn't legally married her boyfriend. They had a wedding planned, but scrapped the legal part at the last minute.

  • 45. Steve  |  May 30, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Technically not. Her wedding to her boyfriend wasn't legal. They planned to but chickened out at the last second

  • 46. Dr. Z  |  May 30, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Let's not forget Mr. Culture War himself, Pat Buchanan, who never tired of the Kinder, Küche, Kirche rhetoric but never had any kids himself. He just wanted to make sure that he had his say enshrined into the law regarding how you were to raise yours.

  • 47. Dr. Z  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    No, TxLawyer has been here for a while, lurking in the background. He showed up when the Texas DOMA law was first ruled unconstitutional. Since then it's happened, what – four times now?

    That must rankle you just a bit, eh Tex?

  • 48. Dr. Z  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    There's a world of difference between saying people need time to adjust to change (true) and saying we should continue to permit those same people to persist in committing civil rights violations in the guise of sincerely held beliefs. What's the statute of limitations on getting adjusted? How long may they continue to violate the rights of others before we deem they've had enough time?

  • 49. StraightDave  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    They can get adjusted on their own damn time. If they want to take 10 years, fine. But other people's rights shouldn't depend on their adjustment. Rights do not depend on how other people feel about those rights. At. All.
    It's their freakin problem.

  • 50. John  |  May 30, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Yes they are ASSHOLES. Now go pray dude.

  • 51. ebohlman  |  May 31, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Legally, all it really means is that there's evidence, no matter how slight, that the person in question would still hold the belief even if it didn't entitle him to the relief/benefit he's seeking.

  • 52. lengriff  |  May 31, 2014 at 1:55 am

    In less than 20 hours, marriage equality will begin throughout Illinois. Up to now, only 16 of the 102 in Illinois have been issuing marriage certificates and none have the been converting Illinois civil unions to marriage. ( Yes, there is an Illinois outside of Chicago).

    All positive news about the successful court cases has eclipsed this achievement in the Land of Lincoln .

  • 53. F_Young  |  May 31, 2014 at 3:22 am

    @weaverbear "I have absolutely no doubt in my mind many of those ads, which were largely paid for by out-of-state monies, were very damaging."

    We need research looking at whether there is correlation between anti-gay street violence and same-sex marriage voter initiatives in the US. If I recall correctly, gay-bashings increased many-fold during the same-sex marriage debate in France.

    I wonder, too, if there might be a correlation between same-sex marriage voter initiatives and suicides among LGBTQ youth.

    Hate speech has consequences. It is a prerequisite of genocide. In many countries, it is a crime for that reason.

  • 54. Big Rick  |  May 31, 2014 at 3:28 am

    It's cause for celebration in Illinois, and nationwide.

    Go Illinois!!! Welcome to full marriage equality!

  • 55. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:59 am

    You might want to check whats going on with the call for a convention of the states to amend the US Constitution… Every time the federal government is used to disrespect and override a state decision, the people of that state get pissed off…

    So now michigan has passed legislation … that makes the 34th state to have active legislation calling for a convention… It wont be long now…

  • 56. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Sure … a sincerely held belief is one that rises above a personal moral code.

  • 57. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 5:15 am

    No what I'm saying is dont file suit against the state and then gripe when public monies are spent defending the law … no matter how offensive YOU may find the law… there are others out there who are just fine with it.

  • 58. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 5:16 am

    Well lets see … to date ive been a lawyer on over 500 divorce cases… had 22 of them go up on appeal for one reason or another … havent lost yet.

  • 59. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 5:24 am

    "I ask you, why is it just that my family is treated differently than yours?"

    Simple answer … in Texas youre not. Our law says that children of unmarried parents are treated no differently than children of married parents.

    So in Texas, you can be gay, adopt your partners child, and that child will inherit from you, etc and have all the protections of law.

    "Sec. 160.202. NO DISCRIMINATION BASED ON MARITAL STATUS. A child born to parents who are not married to each other has the same rights under the law as a child born to parents who are married to each other.

    Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001."

  • 60. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 5:25 am

    So everytime someone challenges a law as unconstitutional, we should just roll over… got it.

  • 61. KarlS  |  May 31, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Oh, I forgot…that's only allowed when the bigots are doing it. Mea culpa.

  • 62. lengriff  |  May 31, 2014 at 7:03 am

    The link below goes to the count down clock for Illinois marriage equality. http://www.equalityillinois.us/countdown-to-marri

  • 63. David ROH  |  May 31, 2014 at 7:22 am

    A child in fifth grade could apply The Golden Rule to discriminatory marriage laws and see that said laws are unethical. A student in an eight grade civics class ought to be able independently to determine that said laws probably are unconstitutional.

    A standard principle of leadership is "Ask 'Why?' seven times." Why were these laws created? Keep asking "Why?" until you get to the real answer. Dig to the root cause of this issue, and all you have are a bunch of Mormons and other marrow-minded religionists with their jammies in a twist over the idea that society sees a same-sex relationship as a natural and normal variant of human sexuality, which is the gawd-awful truth, the same way that left-handedness is a natural and normal variant of human hand preference.

    If there is no justification for a law except the pronouncements (a.k.a. deliberately contrived fear-mongering lies) of religious leaders, then the law should be challenged, and intelligent state officials should use taxpayer dollars to uphold the constitutionally guaranteed right to Due Process and Equal Protection of the Laws for ALL of the state's citizens.

    If you are not smarter than a fifth grader with regard to ethics or smarter than an eighth grader concerning constitutional principles, I strongly suggest you go back to school.

  • 64. Corey from Maryland  |  May 31, 2014 at 7:52 am

    TxLawyer, I know that there are some folks in Tx who would be perfectly fine with a return to white-only this and that. These folks are "just fine with" while others would find it offensive. Based upon your rationale, we would go retrograde fast.

  • 65. Steve  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Now you are just proving that you are lying about being a lawyer.

    The difference is that Texas doesn't allow and kind of adoption by same-sex parents. So when a lesbian couple has a child, only one mother is considered the legal parent and that law doesn't apply.

  • 66. Steve  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:04 am

    That doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

  • 67. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Not true. Adults can adopt in Texas without regard to their sexual orientation.

    "Sec. 162.001. WHO MAY ADOPT AND BE ADOPTED. (a) Subject to the requirements for standing to sue in Chapter 102, an adult may petition to adopt a child who may be adopted.

    (b) A child residing in this state may be adopted if:

    (1) the parent-child relationship as to each living parent of the child has been terminated or a suit for termination is joined with the suit for adoption;

    (2) the parent whose rights have not been terminated is presently the spouse of the petitioner and the proceeding is for a stepparent adoption;

    (3) the child is at least two years old, the parent-child relationship has been terminated with respect to one parent, the person seeking the adoption has been a managing conservator or has had actual care, possession, and control of the child for a period of six months preceding the adoption or is the child's former stepparent, and the nonterminated parent consents to the adoption; or

    (4) the child is at least two years old, the parent-child relationship has been terminated with respect to one parent, and the person seeking the adoption is the child's former stepparent and has been a managing conservator or has had actual care, possession, and control of the child for a period of one year preceding the adoption.

    (c) If an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights contains a consent for the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services or a licensed child-placing agency to place the child for adoption and appoints the department or agency managing conservator of the child, further consent by the parent is not required and the adoption order shall terminate all rights of the parent without further termination proceedings.

    Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 561, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 493, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003."

  • 68. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:37 am

    It is not a question of whether one side finds it offensive and one side is fine with it. The point is that the law is clearly unconstitutional, and state officials have a duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution. And since these laws have been proven unconstitutional over and over again already, by trying to defend the law they are wasting money on a futile task they should not even be attempting in the first place. Your straw man arguments are not going to win you any debate points.

  • 69. F_Young  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:38 am

    @TxLawyer "So everytime someone challenges a law as unconstitutional, we should just roll over… got it."

    No, not everytime, just when someone challenges an unconstititonal law as unconstitutional.

  • 70. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:40 am

    …. at this point, unless you have some brand-new argument to defend such a law that hasn't already been debunked in numerous previous trials, frankly, YES. No new argument? You lose. Don't waste money and effort on a proven lost cause.

  • 71. ColleenJuniper  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Why should a child born to a parent need to be adopted by its parent's spouse? Why should a parent who has been in a child's life from birth or the point of adoption need to apply as a stepparent? (answer: Because Texas law does not recognize their union, which is unequal protection)

    Besides, your quote shows who may be adopted, but says nothing about who may adopt. My understanding was that gay people are considered by Texas law to be single and unmarried, regardless of any unions entered in any other state, and it is my further understanding that unmarried single persons may not co-adopt. Please present the part of the law that allows single, unmarried couples to adopt jointly.

  • 72. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 10:10 am

    "Besides, your quote shows who may be adopted, but says nothing about who may adopt."

    Part A of the statute: (a) Subject to the requirements for standing to sue in Chapter 102, an adult may petition to adopt a child who may be adopted.

    That means ANY adult.

    "Why should a child born to a parent need to be adopted by its parent's spouse? Why should a parent who has been in a child's life from birth or the point of adoption need to apply as a stepparent? "

    "Sec. 160.201. ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP. (a) The mother-child relationship is established between a woman and a child by:

    (1) the woman giving birth to the child;

    (2) an adjudication of the woman's maternity; or

    (3) the adoption of the child by the woman.

    (b) The father-child relationship is established between a man and a child by:

    (1) an unrebutted presumption of the man's paternity of the child under Section 160.204;

    (2) an effective acknowledgment of paternity by the man under Subchapter D, unless the acknowledgment has been rescinded or successfully challenged;

    (3) an adjudication of the man's paternity;

    (4) the adoption of the child by the man; or

    (5) the man's consenting to assisted reproduction by his wife under Subchapter H, which resulted in the birth of the child."

  • 73. Roulette00  |  May 31, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I live in Seattle, but anyone is welcome to co-opt the wording and send it to a newspaper that is local to him or her. I suspect it would be ignored coming from an out-of-stater.

  • 74. Ragavendran  |  May 31, 2014 at 10:32 am

    And what about this question of Colleen:
    "Please present the part of the law that allows single, unmarried couples to adopt jointly."
    I'm assuming that is not allowed? I'm sure you are familiar with Judge Barbara Nellermoe's recent opinion striking down Texas's marriage ban as unconstitutional. There, she posited that the children of married and unmarried couples are, in fact, being treated differently, creating a suspect or quasi-suspect class. The reasoning is the same as what Justice Kennedy talked about in Windsor about the humiliation to the children of same sex couples. So this counters your claim that "our law says that children of unmarried parents are treated no differently than children of married parents," because it is untrue when the unmarried parents in question are not unmarried by choice, but are being denied that recognition.

  • 75. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 11:04 am

    In Texas, no person may adopt JOINTLY, because the parent-child relationship is not a JOINT status. It is a unique 1-to-1 relationship between the individual parent and the child.

    If both parties in a relationship wish to adopt, they will both file adoption suits. The suits may be consolidated and heard at the same time, but will still result in two decrees of adoption.

    Once you adopt, you will be granted a JOINT parenting plan over the child.That is where parental rights are allocated, singly, or jointly.

  • 76. JayJonson  |  May 31, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Sophist.

  • 77. Ragavendran  |  May 31, 2014 at 11:18 am

    To confirm that I understand it correctly, a married couple in Texas cannot adopt jointly? They have to file two different adoption suits and ask for them to be consolidated and so on?

  • 78. ColleenJuniper  |  May 31, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Surely this is not true of married persons in Texas. A husband and wife must adopt separately, as individuals? A husband must adopt the children his wife gives birth to?

    You say you're a divorce lawyer, and I have no reason to doubt you.
    -If a Texas couple (man and woman) are married while visiting, say, Boston, are they not recognized as married in Texas?
    -If that couple find that they need IVF to conceive a child, and do so successfully, is the husband not the legal father of that child?
    -If that couple then separates, how successful do you think the wife would be in arguing that the husband has no custodial rights to that child, because he is not the biological father, did not adopt, and the marriage was never valid in Texas anyway because they were married in Massachusetts?

    Why should the law apply differently to same gender couples in the same circumstances? And if it does not (we know it does not), how is that not unconstitutional under equal protection?

  • 79. Roulette00  |  May 31, 2014 at 11:38 am

    TxLawyer: Your argument is foolish. There is no inconsistency in the position.

    If I have to go to court to dispute an unconstitutional law, why should I NOT question the cost of the state's position? They spend money writing a law; they spend money debating, passing, and enforcing the law; they may even have wasted their own money campaigning on the promise of enacting that law. Now they're spending even more money to defend it. Imagine the savings had they simply never passed it! Why should I not question the wasteful efforts of foolish lawmakers who tilt quixotically at the Constitution? The Constitution always wins. Why do they bother?

  • 80. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 11:51 am

    "A husband must adopt the children his wife gives birth to? "

    No …

    "(b) The father-child relationship is established between a man and a child by:

    (1) an unrebutted presumption of the man's paternity of the child under Section 160.204;"

    "Sec. 160.204. PRESUMPTION OF PATERNITY. (a) A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:

    (1) he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born during the marriage;

    (2) he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;

    (3) he married the mother of the child before the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;

    (4) he married the mother of the child after the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, regardless of whether the marriage is or could be declared invalid, he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child, and:

    (A) the assertion is in a record filed with the bureau of vital statistics;

    (B) he is voluntarily named as the child's father on the child's birth certificate; or

    (C) he promised in a record to support the child as his own; or

    (5) during the first two years of the child's life, he continuously resided in the household in which the child resided and he represented to others that the child was his own.

    (b) A presumption of paternity established under this section may be rebutted only by:

    (1) an adjudication under Subchapter G; or

    (2) the filing of a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father in conjunction with the filing by another person of a valid acknowledgment of paternity as provided by Section 160.305."
    ———
    "-If a Texas couple (man and woman) are married while visiting, say, Boston, are they not recognized as married in Texas?"

    Yes as long as the marriage was valid in Boston. if the marriage is not valid in Boston then it is not valid in Texas.

    "-If that couple find that they need IVF to conceive a child, and do so successfully, is the husband not the legal father of that child?"

    Yes.

    "Sec. 160.703. HUSBAND'S PATERNITY OF CHILD OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION. If a husband provides sperm for or consents to assisted reproduction by his wife as provided by Section 160.704, he is the father of a resulting child."

    "-If that couple then separates, how successful do you think the wife would be in arguing that the husband has no custodial rights to that child, because he is not the biological father, did not adopt, and the marriage was never valid in Texas anyway because they were married in Massachusetts?"

    Not.

    "Sec. 160.705. LIMITATION ON HUSBAND'S DISPUTE OF PATERNITY. (a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), the husband of a wife who gives birth to a child by means of assisted reproduction may not challenge his paternity of the child unless:

    (1) before the fourth anniversary of the date of learning of the birth of the child he commences a proceeding to adjudicate his paternity; and

    (2) the court finds that he did not consent to the assisted reproduction before or after the birth of the child."

    "Why should the law apply differently to same gender couples in the same circumstances?"

    Because they are not in the same circumstances. Two men cannot give the same consent to assisted reproduction as a man and a woman can. In other words, the consent a man gives to assisted reproduction and the consent a woman gives to assisted reproduction are different…. thus a man cannot step in and give the womans consent to assisted reproduction during a marriage.

  • 81. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Sort of – a married couple may file a joint petition but each parent will be individually found to be the parent of the child…

    "Sec. 162.017. EFFECT OF ADOPTION. (a) An order of adoption creates the parent-child relationship between the adoptive parent and the child for all purposes."

  • 82. ColleenJuniper  |  May 31, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Yeah, I get why husbands get automatic paternity of their wives' kids, and I get how that paternity could or would be contested. I think your last comment is ridiculous, because married persons of the same gender are no more or less capable of granting consent and taking on responsibility for anything you can name than straight people. That's kind of the whole point here.

    What I do not get is how it is not unconstitutional, under equal protection, for the married spouse of a same sex partner to be refused those same automatically recognized rights of parenthood for the sole reason that their state does not recognize their marital union?

  • 83. ColleenJuniper  |  May 31, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Is this a process open to (legally) unmarried couples?

  • 84. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Keep reaching for those stars, Tx.

  • 85. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Yeah it's really terrible how those opposite sex couples do such a lousy job with their marriages. Very irresponsible of them. Think of the children.

  • 86. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    "… Every time the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION is used to override a state decision TO ENACT AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW, the people of that state WHO PREFERRED UNJUST DISCRIMINATION TO CONSTITUTIONALLY COMPLIANT LAWS get pissed off."

    There. Fixed that for you. You're welcome.

  • 87. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    OK … let me explain it like this…

    A bus driver objects to the slaughter of cows because he is vegan. His employer wants him to hand out coupons for hamburgers to every rider who boards the bus that day. He refuses and gets fired.

    The bus drivers sincerely held belief against the slaughter of cows would protect him from being fired… vs a personal moral code of "I dont eat meat" because I am vegan.

    Thats the difference.

  • 88. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    You see the fallacy in your logic right? The constitution is limit on the FEDERAL government, not on the state.

    One state cannot legislate for another state. Thats the issue here. New York wants to bless gay marriage… great. Texas doesnt have to. And there is no "equal protection" or "due process" violation in one state not honoring another states laws.

    Cars sold in california require california emissions. Cars sold in other states dont. Is it an equal protection or due process violation because Texas doesnt sell cars with California emissions?

    That is in essence what you are arguing here.

  • 89. KarlS  |  May 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Bovine excrement. That's the 'difference' between your moronic analogy and the real world.

  • 90. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    No … thats an actual court case that resulted in the reinstatment of the driver plus $50,000 award of damages.

  • 91. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    No, the U.S. Constitution is a guide to place limits on any measure that would deny rights of CITIZENS.

    And you are once again attempting to employ an embarrassingly transparent straw man argument, this time in an attempt to conflate constitutionally protected rights of citizens to Equal Protection and Due Process with issues of state sovereignty. "Equal Protection" doesn't apply to a question of laws of one STATE versus another STATE, it applies to CITIZENS.

    The issue, once again, is that state measures that deny the rights and protections of civil marriage to same sex couples violate constitutional principles of Equal Protection and Due Process. They target a group for different legal treatment, harm that group, and fail to advance any states interest in the process. And this is true regardless of the specific state, for all the same reasons.

  • 92. Zack12  |  May 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Gee.. think of what divorce does to the children.
    Why aren't you pushing for a ban on divorce?

  • 93. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Actually … I'd like to see no fault divorce repealed.

  • 94. Christian0811  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    This is ludicrous, if one state is in fact executing the requirements of Section 1, Amendment XIV of the Federal Constitution but another state is not, that state will be expected to comply just as much as the compliant state is!

    The question here isn't over Federalism, it's the enforcement of constitutional rights!

    To that end, the Full Faith and Credit Clause by Congress can't be amended to exclude a group of people out of animus (as Section 2 of DOMA has). Much less a group of people who share an immutable characteristic (race, sex, sexual orientation etc).

    As davep said, your argument is embarrassingly transparent.

  • 95. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    ANY adult can adopt a child … I dont know how much clearer I can make it.

  • 96. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    The analogy is still bogus. Claiming 'religious beliefs' as a reason to oppose a purely secular, legal, civil marriage certificate that has nothing to do with the symbolic ceremonial wedding practices within the person's religion, and to do so as justification for a state employee refusing do their job (i.e. provide marriage application forms) is simply baseless. It's no different than a state DMV employee refusing to give a drivers license to a woman because the state employee belongs to a religion that says women shouldn't drive.

  • 97. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    You miss the point. A child has one mother and one father. Period.

    The mother does not have to give up her rights to the same sex spouse of the man she created the child with. And the same is true in the other direction … the father does not have o give up his rights to the mothers same sex spouse.

    The two people who gave the child DNA always have priority over any other situation. There are exceptions, because parental rights are not absolute… but in the words of the Supreme Court:

    "Although both Lassiter and Santosky yielded divided opinions, the Court was unanimously of the view that "the interest of parents in their relationship with their children is sufficiently fundamental to come within the finite class of liberty interests protected by the Fourteenth Amendment." 455 U. S., at 774 (Rehnquist, J., dissenting). It was also the Court's unanimous view that "[f]ew consequences of judicial action are so grave as the severance of natural family ties." Id., at 787."

  • 98. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    And when same sex couples are denied civil marriage, those couples are required to undergo adoption processes that legally married couples don't have to undergo, in order to try to achieve similar legal standing. And having undergone the process, they are STILL denied numerous rights and protections which harm the family, including their children. So your comment at the top about how same sex couples are 'not treated differently' by the law was, to put it politely, not true.

    It's very disingenuous of you to try to argue that denying civil marriage doesn't harm same sex couples. Bu it's understandable that you would attempt to, since you don't have any argument to justify why that very real harm should be allowed to continue, or how laws which cause that harm could possibly comply with the Constitution.

  • 99. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Even if a same sex couple could be married … that would not change the fact that the same sex spouse of the partner who gave the egg/sperm would not be considered a parent in the eyes of the law.

  • 100. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Are you really suggesting that when a man and a woman are legally married, and she gives birth via assisted reproductive methods, her legal husband is not automatically recognized as the legal parent of that child?

  • 101. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Darn … hit enter too soon.

    They would STILL be required to terminate the natural parents rights, and then obtain a decree of adoption.

    Blood always wins over relationship.

  • 102. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    "Sec. 160.703. HUSBAND'S PATERNITY OF CHILD OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION. If a husband provides sperm for or consents to assisted reproduction by his wife as provided by Section 160.704, he is the father of a resulting child."

  • 103. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    You're prolific at redirecting the topic to a straw man that you can try to argue against, but it doesn't work. The original question was "why is it just that my family is treated differently from yours?". You then went on a huge tangent about adoption, as if that is the only aspect of denial of civil marriage that results in different treatment. Do you really think nobody here has ever read the trial records in all of the cases that have ruled on this? There are mountains of evidence providing numerous examples of how denying civil marriage harms the affected families. Your attempts to deflect are revealing that you don't have an argument against that. But don't take it personally. None of the lawyers in any of those trials who were tasked with defending those laws had any arguments either.

  • 104. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Obviously, the question was about assisted reproduction involving sperm from someone other than the legal husband. Sophist.

  • 105. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Then you have just lost your own argument. Because if that same woman who gave birth through assisted reproduction had a female partner (whom she could not legally marry) instead of being legally married to a man who consented to the assisted reproduction, that female partner would have to adopt the child, while the married male spouse would not.

    Unequal legal treatment, caused by denial of access to civil marriage.

  • 106. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Im just telling you what the law is and what I win cases with. You are free to make an argument against it, but for right now I'm on the winning side, and my clients all thank me every day.

  • 107. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    No, you're trying (and failing) to argue that denying civil marriage to same sex couples doesn't harm those families.

    And now you're trying to change the subject.

    Fail. Again.

  • 108. Steve  |  May 31, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Further proving that you are an idiot who doesn't care about the well-being of people.

  • 109. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    … and regarding your remarks about 'what you win cases with' and being 'on the winning side', that's just irrelevant and disingenuous grandstanding. The topic is constitutional compliance of laws that deny civil marriage to same sex couples. But according to you, you're just a divorce lawyer. So you've certainly never 'won' any case by proving that such laws comply with the Constitution. You've never even been involved in any such cases. And given the unbroken track record of rulings that have proven that those laws are unconstitutional, your position on the topic is certainly not 'on the winning side'.

  • 110. Big Rick  |  May 31, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    No fault divorce doesn't need to be repealed. That's the whole point of the so-called covenant marriages that Louisiana, Arkansas, Arizona, and Kansas have created. It does away with no-fault divorce for couples who choose that form of marriage. Unless they go out of state to get divorced, that is.

    Covenant marriage is a religion-inspired state-sanctioned marriage contract. If couples want to do that, fine. But apparently, not many do. Wikipedia claims only 1 to 3 percent of couples have chosen covenant marriages since they became available in those states.

    Married couples who truly believe that divorce should be limited to the few circumstances permitted under covenant marriage contracts can voluntarily choose to adopt that stance themselves. State-sanctioned force is not required for those who want to structure their marriage that way. The state's only role should be to register marriages and divorces, not to deny couples the right to make those decisions for themselves, according to their own will.

  • 111. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    failing in whose eyes? The only ones I care about are the actual judges in front of whom I have to practice.

    Since the Dallas Court of Appeals held that denying same sex marriage to a couple does not violate the US Constitution, and since that is currently the law in Texas, then by definition, I am currently on the winning side.

    That may change, but it is currently the law.

  • 112. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    No fault divorce simply makes marriage into a dating relationship.

  • 113. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Guess you haven't been keeping up on current events.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/209431588/DeLeon-v-Perr

    A temporary stay doesn't change the fact that the Texas ban on same sex marriage has been ruled unconstitutional.

    And if you were able to find an error in the evidence or the logic of the ruling, you would have done so long ago. You have no argument.

  • 114. TxLawyer  |  May 31, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    OK – let me explain it to you so maybe you can understand:

    A federal district judge cannot overrule a state court ruling on the constitutionality of a law under the federal constitution.

    In re J.B. presented that question to the Dallas Court of Appeals.

    The Dallas Court of Appeals held it Constitutional.

    Texas Courts do not follow the federal courts as precedent.

    So Garcias ruling sets no legal precedent in Texas.

    When the Texas Supreme Court decides the issue as it will, then we will know.

    Until then Garcisa ruling is just a temporary injunction applying only in that case. For the rest of the State, the highest Court to have ruled is the Dallas Court of Appeals, and thats what we follow.

    As far as an error in the ruling there is a pretty glaring one on page 36:

    "This Court finds that Texas cannot define marriage in a way that denies its citizens the "freedom of personal choice" in deciding whom to marry:…

    If that is the case then there is no constitutional definition of marriage.

  • 115. ColleenJuniper  |  May 31, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    [The two people who gave the child DNA always have priority over any other situation. ]

    This is surely not true. If a woman conceives the old-fashioned way with a man not her husband, is her husband not the legal parent of that child? Under what possible circumstances (assuming that the husband is either complicit in the extramarital sex or forgives the infidelity, accepting legal paternity) could the biological father be given preference over the legally married spouse?

    If a lesbian woman conceives, no matter the method, why should the law not recognize her spouse, a woman, as the child's parent, merely because the spouse is without question not the biological sire of that child? The marital relationship is the same; the procedure they use to conceive is their own business. But because their marriage is unrecognized, they must go through extra hoops.

    That is unequal protection.

  • 116. davep  |  May 31, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Once again, you are trying to misdirect the topic. You have failed to provide an argument showing how denial of civil marriage to same sex couples can survive scrutiny for constitutional compliance. You have lost. I suspect that you know this.

  • 117. F_Young  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    @TxLawyer "The constitution is limit on the FEDERAL government, not on the state."

    And you claim to be a lawyer?

  • 118. Christian0811  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    "…No *****State***** shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    I mean have you NEVER heard of incorporation? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_the

    Either you're bafflingly legally illiterate or you're a troll.

  • 119. ColleenJuniper  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    "ANY adult can adopt a child … I dont know how much clearer I can make it."

    You might provide a link to an independent source supporting your assertion, rather than info-dumping:
    http://www.mooreandhunt.com/Adoption/

    So for that, at least, go Texas.
    Doesn't make up for the myriad of rights and responsibilities denied to same gender couples and their families, however.

  • 120. Mike in Baltimore  |  May 31, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    "A child has one mother and one father. Period."

    And science is now working on creating 3-parent babies, where one parent contributes the egg, minus the nucleus, another parent contributes the nucleus, and a third parent contributes the sperm. The FDA, in February 2014 began studying the issue in the US.

    Also, there are studies on the creation of single parent babies. Looks like Texas law will have to change as a result. Are you ready and willing to expend funds to learn about the procedures and how Texas law had to be changed to accommodate those procedures?

  • 121. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    And any model would have its problems because humans are involved. As in, "to err is human."

  • 122. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    You really don't understand the fundamental basis for the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, do you? I understand it and I'm not a lawyer!

  • 123. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    You know, if you hadn't passed these bans that violate the US Constitution, and if you hadn't based them on animus (see the legislative records), we wouldn't have to sue the state and highlight the animus, would we? It's not our fault you passed these bans, but it is our problem, and so the state has to defend its animus – ooops, I meant defend its bans. You pass the bans (based on animus and not on any *rational* interest) then blame us for wanting to overturn bans that are unconstitutional by the US Constitution? Now I'm speechless.

  • 124. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    So far as I've seen in this thread, TxLawyer's only claim to be a lawyer is in the name they are posting under. If that constitutes a claim to be a lawyer…

  • 125. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    So you're going to use personal moral codes (SHBs) to legislate? Sounds unconstitutional to me.

  • 126. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Go ahead TxLawyer, pass a law that allows discrimination based on race or sex etc. See how much money is spent overturning it. Just don't blame us for having to sue to overturn your unconstitutional laws.

  • 127. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    So are you a family law lawyer or a constitutional law lawyer?

  • 128. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    We can't eject trolls for violating site guidelines and not eject regular posters for the same. It's not right.

  • 129. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    This is about heterosexual marriage, no? As evidenced by the words "husband" and "wife" versus "spouse"?

  • 130. weshlovrcm  |  May 31, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Marriage equality just came to all of Illinois a couple minutes ago! Congratulations Illinois! The ugly stain of homophobia has been wiped off another state map.

  • 131. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    No, TxLawyer says they will win in front of the judges they argue their cases before. So I suggest that TxLawyer argue their case in front of a federal judge at any level including circuit or SCOTUS instead of a family law judge. I wonder what TxLawyer's success rate is in front of federal judges arguing against marriage equality?

    It appears to me that as has been noted in previous posts, TxLawyer's statement need to be parsed very carefully (noted but not in the same words). But most posters here do an excellent job of parsing words, and words as well as knowledge of the law are a lawyer's craft.

  • 132. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    That's nice to know. I don't have the money to adopt a child. Can I adopt one without money? Can I pass all the reviews necessary to adopt, even though I clearly don't have the ability to support that child?

    Can the adult that has had brain damage that robs them of their ability to think rationally in adult terms (as opposed to their functional age level for lack of a better comparison/word) adopt a child?

    ANY adult can adopt a child. No, that's not right, and even you should know that. Well, if you're a lawyer you should know that, that is. Oh, wait, I'm not a lawyer and I know that.

  • 133. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    PS, I know that TxLawyer is a lawyer. I don't doubt that.

  • 134. Deeelaaach  |  May 31, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Note that TxLawyer's posts are about legalities and *biology,* not families and realities. When you take people's situations into account, the law can be less clear. If you don't have the money to argue in court is one of the reasons the law can go against you even if it is technically on your side.

    Adherence to *only* the law on a matter could make you a lawyer, a Pharisee, or both. Oh, that's right, laws can be changed. As to the miracles of science, see Mike in Baltimore's post below (above?). Biology can be changed. I won't even begin to consider the ethics involved here. This is not the place for that.

  • 135. Steve  |  June 1, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Then you haven't seen all.

  • 136. Steve  |  June 1, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Forcing people to stay together who don't want to be or shouldn't be helps exactly no one. It increases domestic violence and just general unhappiness. It's also bad for the children. Staying together "for the children" is one of the worst things. They pick up on the friction between their parents and their unhappiness very early on.

  • 137. lengriff  |  June 1, 2014 at 3:35 am

    After almost six years, my 2008 California marriage is valid in my home, state, Illinois. My parents were married in Missouri in 1941. When they traveled back across the Mississippi, their marriage was instantly recognized. However, for their son, a little something got in his way: ANIMUS!

  • 138. TxLawyer  |  June 1, 2014 at 4:59 am

    "If a woman conceives the old-fashioned way with a man not her husband, is her husband not the legal parent of that child?"

    Her husband is the *PRESUMED* parent of that child. If he disclaims paternity, then he will not be the legal father.

  • 139. TxLawyer  |  June 1, 2014 at 5:16 am

    "And science is now working on creating 3-parent babies, where one parent contributes the egg, minus the nucleus, another parent contributes the nucleus, and a third parent contributes the sperm. The FDA, in February 2014 began studying the issue in the US."

    According to the FDA briefing paper:
    http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/C

    "Thus, these children had persistent heteroplasmy of two genotypes of
    wild-type mtDNA. Further follow-up of these children has not been reported. The long-
    term health consequences of such neutral heteroplasmy are not understood, although recent data from mice suggest
    an association with abnormalities in pulmonary function,metabolism, and neurological status
    11, 12. "

    So yeah, 3 parent babies yield kids with heart defects, metabolic disorders, and nerve damage…

  • 140. TxLawyer  |  June 1, 2014 at 5:36 am

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/tx-court-of-appeals/15

    "We conclude that homosexuals are not a suspect class, that persons who choose to marry persons of the same sex are not a suspect class, and that the Texas law at issue in this case does not discriminate against a suspect class."

    That IS the law, until the Texas Supreme Court rules otherwise.

    And that is the only argument I need.

  • 141. TxLawyer  |  June 1, 2014 at 5:40 am

    Exactly … which leads to better selection in the dating process, and more dating.

    If you realize that a relationship is not so easy to get out of, you make better and more thoughtful choices up front.

  • 142. TxLawyer  |  June 1, 2014 at 5:42 am

    For instance, my parents have been married 53 years, my dad is 5 years older than my mom. Back then, when there was no "easy out" people made better choices as to whom to spend their life with … with more lasting results.

  • 143. Steve  |  June 1, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Bullshit. Same as everything you say.

  • 144. F_Young  |  June 1, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Txlawyer one day ago: "Well lets see … to date ive been a lawyer on over 500 divorce cases… had 22 of them go up on appeal for one reason or another … havent lost yet."

  • 145. Corey from Maryland  |  June 1, 2014 at 7:58 am

    "Texas Lawyer", this is my last post to you because first you have a twisted sense that world revolves around fucked-up Texas and second you have a moronic sense that YOUR concept of straight marriages are superior to everything else. For these two reason alone, it is worthless to continue to "debate" you.

  • 146. davep  |  June 1, 2014 at 8:25 am

    That's hilarious!

    You once again tried to change the subject. You still have said nothing to back up your claim that such laws don't treat same sex couples differently and subject them to unjust harm.

    So all you can do is say 'that's what the law says right now' and ignore the fact that it harms the affected group, completely fails to advance a states interest and doesn't even withstand the most lenient 'rational basis' scrutiny. All of which clearly prove that the law fails to pass the most basis tests for compliance to the Constitution.

    You.
    Have.
    No.
    Argument.

    Keep tap dancing if you want, but you have lost.

  • 147. TxLawyer  |  June 1, 2014 at 8:44 am

    "first you have a twisted sense that world revolves around fucked-up Texas"

    Ok lets see… fucked-up Texas…
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/20
    http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/

    So we LEAD the nation in population growth. We LEAD the nation in job creation at all levels… and we're fucked up?

    Ill take our fucked up any day of the week over the land of fruits and nuts…

  • 148. TxLawyer  |  June 1, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Of Course Ive heard of incorporation…

    Do you see that phrase "within its jurisdiction"? Do you know what that means?

    Do you know how that applies to out of state marriages?

  • 149. Steve  |  June 1, 2014 at 9:41 am

    What does that matter when over half the population is clinically insane?

  • 150. AndyInCA  |  June 1, 2014 at 11:24 am

    love this! Thank you Ragavendran for transcribing this!

  • 151. ColleenJuniper  |  June 1, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Exactly. The child could be the spitting image of the mailman, even be of a visibly different ethnicity, and still the husband would be the presumed father. He may have been stationed overseas for the months leading up to and throughout the term of pregnancy, and if he and the wife choose so, he would be the presumed father. His right to paternity is assured, is it not?

    And yes I get that he can disclaim: that's not the issue. The issue is that no one can come along and say "You are not this child's father." Legally speaking.

    So, WHY should not a mother's female spouse be given the same presumption of parenthood?

  • 152. bayareajohn  |  June 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    "3 parent babies yield kids with heart defects, metabolic disorders, and nerve damage."

    Yeah, and heart transplant patients all died within hours. AT FIRST.

    Just like all attempts to build a flying machine failed. Until they didn't.

    Well-cited tangents aren't quite satisfying when the main point is being tacitly avoided.

    I understand that you are trying to say it like it is in Texas, more than saying how it "should be".

    It's unfortunate that after months of dealing with an aggressive troll, some members here have trigger fingers and lots of hopped-up emotion without the target they got used to.

    It may take a while for the tone in this site to return to the old normal. Or it may never recover.

  • 153. Christian0811  |  June 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Does the case 'Loving v. Virginia' mean anything to you? Basically settled that non-consanguineous marriages must be recognized by the states.

    So same-sex couples who move out of their state and into another have the right, as US citizens, to have their marriage recognized in any state they go to.

    Again with the profound illiteracy…

    You desperately need to take a course in modern civil rights case law.

  • 154. Straight Ally #3008  |  June 1, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Congratulations! It astonishes me that a legal contract can flicker on and off like cell phone reception in this country…if it weren't for the plainly unconstitutional DOMA Section 2 being in effect, the Full Faith and Credit Clause would have sorted out this aspect of marriage recognition from the outset. DOMA and the constitutional bans were fiendishly clever, but the downside from their proponents is that they're overstaying their welcome as public opinion inexorably shifts.

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