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Equality news round up: coverage of Seventh Circuit marriage equality ruling, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

– The Washington Blade‘s coverage is here.

Buzzfeed‘s coverage is here.

– The Associated Press‘s coverage can be read here.

– Indiana-based coverage is here.

– Wisconsin-based coverage is here

– Defendants in the federal challenge to Florida’s same-sex marriage ban have filed their notice of appeal to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. This is the first case to reach that court.

– Plaintiffs in one of the consolidated challenges to Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban have filed their notice of appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

– Virginia’s attorney general has responded to petitions for review at the Supreme Court filed by Clerk Schaefer and Clerk McQuigg, urging the Court to grant all three petitions: his, and theirs.


  • 1. LK2013  |  September 5, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I'm in the midst of reading Judge Posner's 7th Circuit ode to justice. A relief and total Joy.

    I am enjoying the timing immensely because today my partner of 33+ years and I are celebrating our first anniversary of our federally recognized marriage in New York last year!

    I am praying for the day that every citizen of the United States (and the world) can enjoy that simple freedom.

  • 2. davepCA  |  September 5, 2014 at 9:21 am


    Hi all, Some of us had discussed getting together for dinner a day or two before the Monday oral arguments. Ragavendran will be staying with me, and Id' like to suggest we meet for a 6PM early dinner at Firewood, located in the Castro on 18th Street at Diamond Street. It's affordable and it's one of the few places in the area that can accommodate a large-ish crowd.

    I would like to suggest we meet for dinner on SUNDAY, 9/8, the day before the hearing. Saturday would also be a possibility if that works better for others, so please let me know.

    Anybody who plans to attend, or who has comments, questions or suggestions about the meet-up, please reply to this comment. See you this weekend! (and Monday!!)

  • 3. Retired_Lawyer  |  September 5, 2014 at 9:59 am

    This concerns the Response filed by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and Solicitor General Stuart Raphael in the Bostic case. Among the excellent points made by them are a comparison of Virginia's defense of segregated schools to the arguments being currently advanced against marriage equality. It was chilling to remember that Virginia's part of the consolidated case, Brown v. Board of Education, involved a defense of the segregated schools of Prince Edward County. Not mentioned by Messrs. Herring and Raphael, but certainly within the memory of all of the Justices, is what happened after the case was lost: Prince Edward County closed all of its public schools, rather than integrate them, and left them closed for years–depriving all of its children white and black, of an education.

  • 4. LK2013  |  September 5, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Well, as I recall in one of the recent marriage equality hearings, didn't one lawyer actually bring up the possibiliity of discontinuing marriage altogether in one state? Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater! Thank you for pointing out this excellent argument.

  • 5. RnL2008  |  September 5, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I'm out of town on Sunday, otherwise I might have come to meet some of you great folks……sorry, I'm going to miss it, but I personally look forward to your experiences from court on Monday!!!

  • 6. bayareajohn  |  September 5, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Can't make Sunday, but if Saturday becomes possible, I'd like to join you!

  • 7. MichaelGrabow  |  September 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    FLORIDA: Broward County Clerk Considers Issuing Licenses As Stay Lapses Without Appeal From Attorney General Pam Bondi

  • 8. RLsfba  |  September 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I'll be BARTing [sounds so much like F***ing] from Oakland, I'm OK with either Sat. or Sun. I prefer Sunday, but so far not many have responded.

  • 9. MichaelGrabow  |  September 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I am confused. Did you censor the word farting?

  • 10. RLsfba  |  September 5, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I guess I did – blame Joan Rivers RIP, saw her in NY when I was about 14

  • 11. sglaser2  |  September 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Can't make the hearing, but can meet on Sunday (or Saturday).

  • 12. Zack12  |  September 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    An article written about Judge Feldman's ruling.
    Good grief, I've seen some bad reactions to his ruling but this one takes the cake.

  • 13. hopalongcassidy  |  September 5, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    If you have a very strong stomach, look at and click on any story with the word 'gay' in it…you will see the same 50 or 60 knuckledragging morons who spend all their time obsessing over the subject while claiming to be repulsed by it. I don't know if they're acolytes of the Westboro 'church' or just a random collection of braindead, deadhead, inbred, heavily med, overfed red crazies.

  • 14. robbyinflorida  |  September 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Brian Brown has a blog post with a link to the Atlantic. Can't imagine what he was thinking.

  • 15. bayareajohn  |  September 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    He was thinking he could whip his followers into a frenzy of hateful comments after the article. And he was right.

  • 16. Steve  |  September 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    In some states they did the same when the National Guard was required to comply with the repeal of DOMA. Rather than register same-sex couples at alleged "state" facilities (which are actually funded by the federal government), some states like Oklahoma refused to register any couple into the system and required them to go to a "federal" base instead.

  • 17. Sagesse  |  September 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Wow. He spun that so hard it came out upside down. Is that what they teach you at Oxford, or do you have to go to spin school?

  • 18. Dr. Z  |  September 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    The Governor of Oklahoma (Mary Fallon) made a similar threat.

  • 19. ebohlman  |  September 5, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    "Yahoo commenter" is a self-describing term. What you describe holds for just about any topic there, even ones that normal people would never think of as controversial.

  • 20. Sagesse  |  September 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Tony West, straight hero in fight for gay marriage, to leave Justice Department [Washington Post]

    This whinging response from Ed Whelan at the National Review has a NOM-like sense of desperation about it.

    Dereliction of Duty Is DOJ Senior Official’s Proudest Achievement [National Review]

  • 21. davepCA  |  September 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    It was pointed out in arguments that a similar circumstance occurred when the courts mandated an end to segregation in public schools and some racist school administrators tried to shut down all public schools in their area rather than comply.

  • 22. hopalongcassidy  |  September 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    As a longtime Okie, I can confirm that in this state, our idiot Governatrix Mary Fallin indeed did that. I don't think any other state was quite that blatantly moronic. I could be mistaken.

  • 23. RobW303  |  September 5, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I was hoping some legal eagles would have weighed in on this here by now. I have so many questions. But it seems, so does Bondi's office and the Broward clerk's. An interesting wrinkle is that couples in Florida can get their license from any county, although there's a three-day waiting period to marry. Now that the stay has lapsed without an appeal and without intervention, is there still some way a higher court can of its own accord review the lower decision?

  • 24. tornado163  |  September 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Did the stay expire? The end of the decision says it's stayed pending appeals in the prior decisions in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. And those decisions were appealed. So I assume by the language in the Broward decision that the Broward stay keeps going.

    Presumably this could be solved with someone just asking the Judge if they intended the stay to expire or not.

  • 25. davepCA  |  September 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    FOLLOW – UP : Okay all, Raga and I will be at Firewood at 6 PM on SATURDAY 9/6.

    We would love to meet up with any other EoTers who can join us, so come on down!

    He and I will of course also be at the hearing bright and early Monday but Raga has a flight to catch and won't be able to hang around after the hearing, so if you'd like to say 'hi' to him, you can do so on Saturday at 6PM at Firewood in the Castro, or Monday morning at the courthouse before the hearing.

    See you all soon!


  • 26. Ragavendran  |  September 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    The Florida Supreme Court disappointed us today by refusing to consider the appeal that the Second Court of Appeals, in a 10-3 decision, certified to "pass-through" directly to the Florida Supreme Court, as the majority argued that the issues pending are of great public importance and will have a great effect on the proper administration of justice throughout the state.

    Today, the Florida Supreme Court adopted the dissenting opinion of the Second Court of Appeals and refused to take up the appeal, remanding it back to the Second Court of Appeals for further proceedings. From the order:

    The Second District Court of Appeal has certified, pursuant to article V, section 3(b)(5), of the Florida Constitution, that the trial court has passed upon a question of great public importance requiring immediate resolution by this Court. Having reviewed the Second District's certification, as well as the dissenting opinion of Judge Altenbernd, we decline at this time to accept jurisdiction of the appeal under article V, section 3(b)(5), for the reasons set forth in Judge Altenbernd's dissent. The case is hereby remanded to the Second District for further proceedings. No motion for rehearing will be entertained by the Court.

    Clearly, the Third Court of Appeals will now cite this order and refuse to "pass through" the consolidated cases (Huntsman) to the Florida Supreme Court.

    While this is not terrible news, it adds delay in getting the issue to the Florida Supreme Court. Probably a non-issue if the US Supreme Court takes up a marriage case this term.

  • 27. Fortguy  |  September 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    I think plaintiff's counsel should throw the words and actions of the state's defendants in their faces in court arguments. Is there no higher demonstration of animus than denying the well-earned benefits to those and their families who have courageously offered to sacrifice themselves in service to their country? Is there no step a politician considers too low for political expediency?

  • 28. RobW303  |  September 5, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    If things were as you say, the judge would not be holding a hearing next week to finalize the divorce, and this would not be the big news that it is. Presumably the judge knows the content of his own ruling.

    The main question is whether his declaring the ban unconstitutional, thus allowing the divorce to take place, only applies to the current case or to the entire county, thus (by state law) allowing a means for any Florida couple to wed in-state. I'm unaware of a law that is unconstitutional only on a case-by-case basis, and the state neglected to intervene before or during the appeals window, although Bondi's office was (by its own admission) "monitoring these cases closely." Only now does Bondi want to step in, despite not being a party in the case and being too late. I hope this does allow same-sex marriages to start and her ineptitude costs her the election. Who wants an AG who doesn't understand the law? (Well, she did get elected the first time, so I guess I answered my own question. Faulty knowledge of the law is no bar to either making or enforcing them, especially in Florida.)

  • 29. Steve  |  September 6, 2014 at 1:47 am

    I didn't mention that to put the military on a pedestal. Discriminating against service members isn't not any worse than discriminating against any other group.

  • 30. SeattleRobin  |  September 6, 2014 at 3:39 am

    What was the gist of the dissent? (Can't read it online, link only goes to file download.)

    This just seems like a silly decision given the context of everything going on. It will obviously end up in their Supreme Court anyway, so why continue the messiness and higher legal costs of going county by county and circuit by circuit?

  • 31. hopalongcassidy  |  September 6, 2014 at 11:30 am

    1550 CST, edited to clean up formatting of the excerpt

    I couldn't see any text at the page either, but I did go ahead and download it (it's a pdf) and was able to read it. Here is a snippet from it:

    "Although the issue on appeal is important to this couple, I am not
    convinced that the order on appeal presents an issue that is ripe to be treated as one of great public importance. Given that the circuit court dismissed the case without
    elaboration and that no one has yet appeared as a party to fulfill the function of an
    appellee, this issue does not seem to me to be one that this court cannot handle on
    appeal or that we should present to the supreme court as a matter ready for immediate resolution."

  • 32. RQO  |  September 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    The election, of gov., AG, Sen. disputed district US Reps, etc. etc. Just like CO, AR, MO, WY, yaddda yadda. A whole bunch of public servants unwilling to take any stand at all, hoping that when they wake up, it will be over courtesy of 9 nabobs in D.C., and they can claim the Bart Simpson defense – "I didn't do it".

  • 33. SeattleRobin  |  September 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks! I guess that does kinda make sense when dealing with the specifics of that case only. Still, it leaves Florida as messy (though in a different way) as Colorado.

  • 34. Ragavendran  |  September 6, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Sorry I was away for the whole day and just saw your comment now. I've uploaded the pdf to scribd and you can read the whole thing here:

    If the reasoning is heavily case-specific, then it is still perhaps possible that the Third Court of Appeals could still certify the consolidated Huntsman appeals to pass through to the Florida Supreme Court, as they attack the constitutionality of the marriage ban head on. We'll have to wait and see.

  • 35. bayareajohn  |  September 6, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    How did it go? I was unavoidably delayed… sorry to miss you.

  • 36. Sagesse  |  September 7, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Judge Posner’s Gay Marriage Opinion Is a Witty, Deeply Moral Masterpiece [Slate]

    Stands out in the coverage of Judge's Posner's opinion. Read and enjoy.

  • 37. Sagesse  |  September 7, 2014 at 7:09 am

    I would read the brief if someone posted it… but I wouldn't enjoy it.

    Religious organizations urge Supreme Court to settle gay marriage question [AP]

    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a statement Friday, said it joined a friend-of-the-court brief asking the high court to hear Utah's marriage case.

    Also taking part in the filing were The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Ethics & Religious Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod….

    "Legal uncertainty is especially burdensome for religious organizations and religious believers increasingly confronted with thorny questions," the brief says. "Is their right to refrain from participating in, recognizing or facilitating marriages between persons of the same sex, contrary to their religious convictions, adequately shielded by the First Amendment and other legal protections? Or is further legislation needed to guard religious liberties in these and other sensitive areas?"

    The last sentence is the new battleground for ME opponents. Or maybe they could just learn to live in a world with people in it who aren't like them. There was a big controversy at the time, but Sikh-Canadians have been able to wear a turban as part of the iconic RCMP uniform since… 1990. Is ME for LGBT-led families so different?

  • 38. davepCA  |  September 7, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Hi John, Raga and I were the only folks there. Sorry we missed you! We'll both be at the court house Monday morning several hours before the start time so we'll see everyone there.

  • 39. Corey_from_MD  |  September 7, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Catholic bishops, Mormons and evangelicals (Lutherans) filed an amicus brief urging SCOTUS to take Utah's case while trying a few weak jabs against marriage equality.

    Some corporations also filed amicus brief in support of marriage equality by urging SCOTUS to take action without naming a specific case.

  • 40. andrewofca  |  September 7, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Martina Navratilova proposes to girlfriend at US Open. Good thing NY is an equality state 😉

  • 41. RemC_in_Chicago  |  September 7, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I know Scalia is an example of just one Supreme whose perspective is heavily influenced by his religion, but still, I would hope that there are a majority of Supremes that would recognize the difference between marriage equality as a civil issue. These religious groups are perfectly welcome to hold tightly to their narrow view points and prejudices. Due to separation of church and stage, they're just not allowed to impose their views on everyone else. I hope this proves to be as simple as this, but I also recognize I can be incredibly naive about legal issues.

  • 42. RemC_in_Chicago  |  September 7, 2014 at 10:56 am

    To those of you planning to be at the courthouse tomorrow morning, try to get there at least 3 hours before the courtroom doors open. My suggestion.

  • 43. JayJonson  |  September 7, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Apparently, they are planning to marry in Florida. I hope they do not have to have a long engagement.

  • 44. LK2013  |  September 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Yes, but they are talking about getting married in Miami-Dade, I think … but Florida is still a mess! I would just do it in New York.

  • 45. Sagesse  |  September 7, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Now we know what it's called when an overwhelming majority of courts disagree with you – 'analytical exhaustion':

    "Additional decisions are unlikely to produce greater clarity because lower courts appear to have reached analytical exhaustion, as case after case reiterates holdings issued by other courts."

    Could also be called 'analytical clarity', depending on your point of view :).

  • 46. Mike_Baltimore  |  September 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    An opinion that Mormons, Catholics (in the hierarchy, especially), Fundamentalist Evangelicals, NOM, ADF and assorted other bigots should read:

    (The above opinion is from the Indianapolis Star newspaper [I shudder to call it a newspaper, 'rag' is more accurate, IMO]. The rag used to be owned by the Quayle family [including Danny], but since the Quayle's ownership ceased, the rag has become more and more radical CONservative, probably even more than the state of Indiana as a whole.)

  • 47. Steve  |  September 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Better yet is the brief of corporations saying that it's burdening for the HR departments. If the corporations demand it then Roberts will rush to legalize same-sex marriage as soon as possible.

  • 48. Zack12  |  September 7, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    For tommorrow, I am glad Idaho is in the mix on this one.
    There are too many standing issues with the other ones, ID is straight foward so there will be no punting or gutting of a positive ruling this time.

  • 49. SeattleRobin  |  September 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Here's a heartwarming story to read while waiting for the big event tomorrow.

  • 50. F_Young  |  September 7, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Some of the comments are sick, though.

  • 51. __M  |  September 8, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Hi to all of you. It's been a long time since I last commented here, but well, I've been up-to-date reading the news at EoT – luckily, except from Louisiana's ruling, they were all great .
    As we wait for the 9th Circuit hearings today, and since I'm not American and I don't live in the US either (BTW, sorry for my poor English writing) I have one question please:
    I know that in the US once a party in a litigation loses at a three-judge panel level can either ask the full Circuit to rehear the case en banc, or go directly to the Supreme Court requesting a writ of certiorari. But, here's the question: If, after losing at a three-judges-panel level, a party appealed directly to Supreme Court, and the Supreme rules against it, can they go back to the Circuit Court and ask for an "en banc" rehering? ..I mean, if the en banc rehering was first and voluntarily skipped, have the party the chance of asking for an "en banc" rehearing?
    Thank u very much!

  • 52. StraightDave  |  September 8, 2014 at 5:25 am

    That would be like asking the CEO of your company about some company policy. You don't like the answer he gives you so you then go ask your boss to undermine the CEO. Not gonna happen. All circuit courts, even en banc, are bound by what the Supreme Court says. It's too late for them to make up their own answer.

  • 53. MichaelGrabow  |  September 8, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Has the Winston Salem news not been reported here yet?

    NORTH CAROLINA: Winston-Salem Recognizes Out-Of-State Marriages

  • 54. MichaelGrabow  |  September 8, 2014 at 6:47 am

    They must have been removed. Of the 19, only one is negative and it is too absurd to be taken seriously…"They'll be divorced in a week".

  • 55. Ragavendran  |  September 8, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Hi from Dave and Raga here in CA. We're on our way from Oakland to the Ninth Circuit courthouse in San Francisco. Dave's being driven nuts by traffic at the bay bridge toll station :)

  • 56. DaveM_OH  |  September 8, 2014 at 7:11 am

    GL, HF, Report back with copious notes! :-)

  • 57. dingomanusa  |  September 8, 2014 at 7:24 am

    lol You all should have taken BART to get there faster and get a better place in the line at the Courthouse. I'm looking forward to your coverage Ragavendran, I always enjoy reading your posts and well done analyses/opinions. I'll be watching the live streaming from the 9th's website.

  • 58. Ragavendran  |  September 8, 2014 at 7:39 am

    We're coordinating with brandall. He just got to the courthouse and he says:
    "Well I am definitely the first in line! Security is very confused. They were polite but told me to come back at 12:30. Ha! I'm not going anywhere. Sitting on the steps in front of the courthouse. They asked me if I was on the list."

  • 59. JayJonson  |  September 8, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I hope these ladies aren't rushing into things!

  • 60. JayJonson  |  September 8, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Thank you and Dave for being there, Raga.

  • 61. Zack12  |  September 8, 2014 at 8:15 am
    Just to give you an idea of how absurd the other side is and how unfortunate it is that the Republicans were able to get way too many people who think like this confirmed as judges.
    It is an utter joke to suggest that states should be allowed to pass discriminatory laws and that your only option should be to leave.
    Many older same sex couples physically can't handle such a move and others should not be forced to give up their jobs/homes or move away from family and friends because of bigotry.

  • 62. Sagesse  |  September 8, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Looking forward to your reports. Please give my regards to Ann S and Kathleen if you see them :).

  • 63. RnL2008  |  September 8, 2014 at 8:37 am

    It's ridiculous to think that every Gay or Lesbian individual or couple should have to leave their home state or home in order to be able to have the right to marry……..I mean look at what the Loving's endured……..we are either ONE Nation or we will fall and some other Country will conquer us!!!

  • 64. FilbertB  |  September 8, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I am here thinking of you all. I wish I could be there to say hi and shake your hand. I am here waving to you . :)

  • 65. jm64tx  |  September 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

    A relief and total Joy?

    This is what Posner had to say about same-sex marriage just a few years ago…

    Although Posner acknowledges his belief that, without further study, same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children just the same as different-sex couples, he disputes the notion that the right to same-sex marriage is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. Citing public opinion that was overwhelmingly against same-sex marriage at that time, Posner says for the time being the marriage issue should be resolved through the democratic process in the state legislatures. “It thus is to me a significant weakness of Eskridge’s book that it does not examine the pragmatic objections to constitutionalizing the question of same-sex marriage,” Posner concludes. “He wants the courts in the name of the Constitution to require every state and the federal government, at a stroke, tomorrow if possible, to confer all fifteen perquisites of the married state on parties to homosexual marriage, including full rights of adoption, plus the symbolic crown — the name ‘marriage.’ The country is not ready for Eskridge’s proposal, and this must give pause to any impulse within an unelected judiciary to impose it on the country in the name of the Constitution.”

  • 66. SeattleRobin  |  September 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    I think the divorced in a week comment was intended as a joke because the couple has been together longer than most people have been alive.

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