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READ IT HERE: Michigan officials support Supreme Court review of marriage case

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

It's time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
It’s time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
Officials in Michigan have filed their response to the petition for review in the Supreme Court in DeBoer v. Snyder. The case challenges Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban – the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ban. The state doesn’t oppose review by the Supreme Court:

Given the importance of the issue—who decides important issues in our constitutional democracy— and the split among the circuits that allows the citizens of some States, but not others, to vote on the definition of marriage, Michigan does not oppose review by this Court. Instead, it asks this Court to affirm.

The brief can be read here:

14-571 Michigan Response in support of Cert Petition by Equality Case Files

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings

85 Comments

  • 1. brandall  |  November 25, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Page 26 of the Michigan filing:

    The definition of marriage that has existed for centuries is not irrational or based on animus.

    The first question in considering whether it is rational to define marriage as between one man and one woman is to ask what the State’s interest in marriage is in the first place. Why is it that Michigan—like many other States and countries around the world, throughout all of history—has thought it important to have laws relating to marriage, while leaving other relationships, like friendships, free from restrictions? While nearly all married people consider the emotional connection to be a critical component of marriage, emotional connection alone does not explain the State’s interest. Friendships and relationships, after all, can also demonstrate love and commitment (think of a soldier diving on a grenade to save his squad), yet no State or country has shown any interest in passing laws about what it takes to enter into a friendship.

    Not one word about any possible animus. This is one of the worst petitions filed to date.

  • 2. brandall  |  November 25, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Page 26 of the Michigan filing:

    "The definition of marriage that has existed for centuries is not irrational or based on animus.

    The first question in considering whether it is rational to define marriage as between one man and one woman is to ask what the State’s interest in marriage is in the first place. … While nearly all married people consider the emotional connection to be a critical component of marriage, emotional connection alone does not explain the State’s interest. Friendships and relationships, after all, can also demonstrate love and commitment (think of a soldier diving on a grenade to save his squad), yet no State or country has shown any interest in passing laws about what it takes to enter into a friendship."

    Not one word about any possible animus. This is one of the worst petitions filed to date.

  • 3. Jaesun100  |  November 25, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Off topic but does anyone know what's going on in Kansas with the amended lawsuit and when state agencies might be forced to comply?

  • 4. Jaesun100  |  November 25, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Off topic , but does anyone know what's going on in Kansas with the amended lawsuit and when state agencies might be forced to comply? If someone is in contempt of court imo it shouldn't take that long to order them to comply ……

  • 5. brandall  |  November 25, 2014 at 8:27 am

    NOM lost its' 9th AC en banc appeal. They have exhausted all known avenues. Of course, they could always file with the 12th Circuit Court of Appeals and beg their donors for more money. I'm sure the donors will rally to this new avenue.

  • 6. Zack12  |  November 25, 2014 at 8:50 am

    The defination of marriage that existed for centuries was that the woman was property and nothing more.

  • 7. Eric  |  November 25, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Coverture doesn't apply well to same-sex relationships.

  • 8. wes228  |  November 25, 2014 at 9:06 am

    No no no, didn't you read the 6th Circuit's opinion? Any change to marriage laws, such as allowing interracial couples to marry or making the female and male party equals did NOT change the definition of marriage; it only ended an "unjust exclusion." It's only when you let the gays get married are you changing its definition. And we all know that people's right to the equal protection of the law is superseded by the fundamental constitutional right to never have the meanings of words change ever.

  • 9. GregInTN  |  November 25, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Can't they still request cert from SCOTUS? SCOTUS denied their request for a stay pending appeal so it's not likely that SCOTUS would grant cert but I would think NOM would try.

  • 10. Jaesun100  |  November 25, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Well looks like some are taking notes with what Kansas is getting away with http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/11/aclu-files-law

  • 11. Tony MinasTirith  |  November 25, 2014 at 9:34 am

    They might try but they will get nowhere as they have no standing. They just have a general interest in seeing the former ban upheld, but they have not been harmed nor can a reversal of the judgement give them any relief as nothing has been taken from them. Presume you're taking about the Oregon case.

    NOM may as well change their name to Organization to Prevent Gays from Marrying, because they do absolutely nothing else but work to stop gay marriage. They do nothing (that I know of) to promote str8 marriage or reverse the 50% and climbing divorce rate among str8s.

  • 12. Waxr  |  November 25, 2014 at 9:37 am

    NOM is running out of money. Their donations are way down.

  • 13. guitaristbl  |  November 25, 2014 at 9:41 am

    I won't bother reading it honestly, I am just so glad they filed it that fast !
    At this pace the Michigan case may as well be ready for the December conferences !

  • 14. debater7474  |  November 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

    If I were Snyder I wouldn't be so eager. Seventy years from now, when he is largely forgotten, it may not be so much fun to be remembered by history as having his name on the case, "Deboer v. Snyder," this generation's Loving v. Virginia.

  • 15. Jaesun100  |  November 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I think VA is relieved it won't be them this time …..they got on the right side of history ahead of time this go around ….

  • 16. jpmassar  |  November 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

    South Dakota:


    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Attorneys for the state and for a group of same-sex couples challenging South Dakota's ban on gay marriage have asked a federal judge to bypass a trial and rule on the case.

    The state attorney general's office on Tuesday made a motion for summary judgment in the case. The office also argues that U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier should reject the challengers' same motion, which was filed in July.

    Minneapolis attorney Josh Newville filed the federal lawsuit challenging a 1996 South Dakota law and a voter-approved 2006 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The lawsuit argues the state's ban violates equal protection and due process guaranteed in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In mid-November, Schreier partially rejected the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, allowing the case to proceed.
    http://www.expressnews.com/news/article/Both-side

  • 17. F_Young  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

    "The definition of marriage that has existed for centuries is not irrational or based on animus."

    Actually, I agree that the centuries-old opposite-sex definition of marriage is not based on anti-gay animus; it probably never occurred to anyone that gays might want to marry.

    However, that is not the issue before the court.

    The issue before the court is whether it violates the US constitution for a state law or constitution to deny legal recognition to the civil marriages of same-sex couples. And such clauses are not centuries old. They are recent, and were clearly a reaction to marriage equality occurring in other jurisdictions.

    And that reaction is very much based on anti-gay animus. Specifically, people were offended and insulted at the notion that gay couples could be afforded the same dignity and rights that opposite-sex married couples had. The statutes and constitutions were adopted to ensure that gays did not get the same legal and social dignity and legal rights as non-gays, and to declare that they were not not equal or entitled to equality.

  • 18. jpmassar  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Australian politician to introduce same-sex marriage bill:


    Senator David Leyonhjelm is expected to bring a bill before Australia’s upper house on Wednesday that could pave the way for same-sex marriage in the country.

    Mr Leyonhjelm, who represents New South Wales, doesn’t believe government should interfere in people’s individual choices and freedoms.

    The crossbench senator will outline the details of his legislation at a press conference tomorrow.

    <a href="http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/11/25/australian-politician-to-introduce-same-sex-marriage-bill/
    ” target=”_blank”>http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/11/25/australian-politician-to-introduce-same-sex-marriage-bill/

  • 19. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Sweet!

  • 20. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Well said! :)

  • 21. A_Jayne  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Snyder likely just wants it out of his hands and over and done with. He has other (more profitable) policies to focus on and doesn't want the distraction…

  • 22. Zack12  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Keep in mind the current PM of Australia has a lesbian sister and has made it clear that doesn't change his viewpoints one bit about marriage being between a man and woman.
    Just another one of the people Sutton and Cook want us to reach out to.

  • 23. SethInMaryland  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:39 am

    THAT IS BIG NEWS: he said earlie in the year he would only introduce the bill if two thing were to occur 1: a consciene voted is allowed for the Liberal Party( seems very likely since he's bringing the bill before the floor and 2: he feel that it will pass there's a good chance

  • 24. SethInMaryland  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:42 am

    yea that is true the pm doesn't support marriage equality but it seems he's trading this for other legislation that he wants passed, he's been having trouble with green party so he's making backroom deals with labour

  • 25. RnL2008  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:45 am

    rAmen……..that is EXACTLY the point that is in front of this Court…….hopefully SCOTUS finally will answer the Fundamental right question being if marriage is truly a Fundamental Right, then how can a state have the right to eliminate that Right based solely on the gender of the parties involved? This I am extremely interested in hearing!

  • 26. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Even sweeter!

  • 27. Zack12  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Intresting article about the South Carolina lawsuits.
    http://www.fitsnews.com/2014/11/25/richard-gergel
    Not sure how much of this article is true.
    From what I know, the reason the second lawsuit was filed was because it appeared that Judge Childs was helping South Carolina drag its feet on marriage equality and nothing more then that.

  • 28. davepCA  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Come on, Australia, get it RIGHT this time! You guys are late to the party!

  • 29. SethInMaryland  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:54 am

    53% Support Marriage Equality in Wyoming
    Written by scott on November 25th, 2014
    titleWyoming has now joined the ranks of states that approve of marriage equality.

    LGBTQ Nation reports:

    The new poll by the University of Wyoming found 53 percent of respondents supported marriage for same-sex couples, compared to 39 percent opposed. The poll results represent a significant increase over the last 10 years in support for marriage equality. In 2004, only 24 percent of Wyoming residents supported legalizing same-sex marriage. “This represents a notable shift in public opinion,” said Jim King, a University of Wyoming professor of political science and a co-director of the survey. “Two years ago, 55 percent of Wyomingites disapproved of same-sex marriage and 40 percent approved. We’ve seen a reversal in those numbers.”
    http://purpleunions.com/blog/2014/11/53-support-m

  • 30. sfbob  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:02 am

    One statement in the article (which includes a good bit of editorializing) does stand out:

    "No government – local, state or federal – should be able to ban or sanction any marriage."

    Whoever runs that blog clearly has some sort of bias and not one I'd particularly trust.

  • 31. Jen_in_MI  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Their donors would do better to simply light their cash on fire, what with the vast array of successes NOM has enjoyed lately. BAHAHAHA!!

  • 32. Retired_Lawyer  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Guitarist, above, has the right approach. The content of Michigan's initial brief pales in significance to the fact that it has been filed early enough so that the Supreme Court can resolve the split between the 6th and the other Circuits this term, with a decision in 2015. As for NOM, that organization has already become a spent force, quite apart from its well-publicized financial problems. All the people in NOM can do now is file amicus briefs, and plan a march for the summer of 2015 — which could be humiliating if the Supreme Court were to rule in our favor a week earlier.

  • 33. Elihu_Bystander  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:35 am

    The first lawsuit before Judge Childs only dealt with recognition of existing legally performed marriages in other jurisdictions. The second suit was rightfully sought to include citizens of SC who wished to marry in SC.

  • 34. Jen_in_MI  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:37 am

    OFF TOPIC:

    I just wanted to thank everyone in this community who has been there to support me with thoughtful comments lately. I am so grateful for the genuine caring so many people here are willing to show. You are very important to me and I just wanted to say so. :-)

  • 35. franklinsewell  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I think that's on topic!

  • 36. MichaelGrabow  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:42 am

    "who was still in the closet as recently as last spring."

    How is this relevant?

  • 37. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Slavery has existed for millennia – as far back or further than 600 BCE in Ancient Greece, and maybe further (otherwise why all the discussion of slavery in the bibble?). In the US, it was effectively eliminated in 1865 (although it wasn't until 1964 that the 13th Amendment was enforced with more than lip service).

    Would the 6CA be be in favor of reintroducing slavery, except calling it enforced bondage? Wouldn't renaming it be considered a name change?

    Many of William Shakespeare's poems, sonnets and plays were filled with Elizabethan foul language. The words have not changed in more than 400 years, but the meanings have changed. I wonder how many of Shakespeare's plays various members of the 6CA (and Michigan officials) have enjoyed over their lifetimes? Remember, the words didn't change, but when originally written, many were consider foul and coarse language.

    What is even more amazing is that OH, MI, IN, IL, WI, and parts of MN were prohibited from ever allowing slavery by the NW Territories Act, an act that was originally passed by the Continental Congress, and was one of the first acts (with minor changes) passed by the First Congress.

  • 38. Zack12  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:44 am

    No problem at all.
    As a resident of NY, I've been there.
    We went through a LOT of heartbreak before getting equality but we got it in the end, just as you will.

  • 39. hopalongcassidy  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:46 am

    There are damn few words I don't like, but I really do hate "sanction"…it has 2 almost opposite meanings and sometimes it's difficult to know which one is intended, even in context.

  • 40. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Enforcement of the amended suit cannot be accomplished if the suit has not yet been formally submitted.

    Last I heard, the ACLU (lead attorneys in the suit) still has not filed the amended law suit with the courts, thus the court cannot enforce it (if it so decides). If it has been filed, the court has not yet ruled.

    If I am incorrect on the filing, please update us.

  • 41. Steve27516  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Hello, Jen –
    I find your words very touching, as this community is important to me, too.
    To say "hang in there" might seem trite, regardless of the sincerity of the intention, so I'll just add this:
    When 2014 began, we had 16 states with marriage equality; by the end of 2014, the number will be 35 or 36 or 37. Better yet, it appears very likely that within seven months, the simple justice and dignity of marriage equality will be available to every American, from Point Barrow to San Juan, from Bangor to Hagatna.
    Seven months.
    So, yes, hang in there.
    Best wishes to you –

  • 42. LK2013  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Hang in there, Jen! It is so frustrating when progress is slow – or goes backwards – but this is a huge step forward. Have a happy Thanksgiving, and we can all focus on our gratitude for a great year, and MORE fairness and happiness in the coming year!

  • 43. DJSNOLA  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Agreed… since the Michigan case is the best case out of the bunch does anyone think the other three states plaintiffs should pull their filings. I think the SCOTUS would want all state briefs in before scheduling a case, so its possible one of the four states(not Michigan it seems) could just try to delay the inevitable and push the case back to the next term.

  • 44. Jaesun100  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I would hold off personally and see what happens to Michigan

  • 45. Raga  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    My thoughts are with you, Jen. "The board is set. The pieces are moving." (Imagine these words being said in Ian McKellen's deep Gandalf-voice.) My only brother lives in Troy, Michigan with his wife and his 8-year-old autistic son. He has been very supportive of me ever since I came out to him. While he has said that he has benefited from the Snyder Government's amazing new Autism Program as a direct result of which he is able to better afford my nephew's care, he strongly opposes the marriage ban. I still remember his phone call to me expressing his support after hearing the morning news on the radio about Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown issuing marriage licenses that Saturday (when there was a brief period without a stay). Months later, when Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall boldly stood up against our AG here, I thought what a nice coincidence that me and my brother both have amazing county clerks who stand for equality. Justice will prevail.

  • 46. RnL2008  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    We are always there for you and your family and this fight WON'T end until EVERY Gay and Lesbian has the right to marry and have their marriage recognized like other marriages.

    I know what my wife and I went through after the passage of Prop 8……folks telling us that we were no longer married and so on…….be patient and it will come soon:-)

    Hugs<3

  • 47. DrPatrick1  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    2 thoughts: I think SCOTUS wants to resolve this, and we have the votes in our favor, so they will hold a spot and hear the case this year. There is no push to delay.

    Secondly, The other states will likely delay, and this may push the conference back a bit, but they have enough with this case to grant cert! I can't imagine a delay beyond 6/2015

  • 48. Iggy_Schiller  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Off Topic – I thought some of you would be interested in knowing how the courts in my country, Brazil, are dealing with ME.

    In 2011 our Supreme Court voted 11 – 0 in favor of grating civil unions to lesbian and gay couples; the most conservative Justice said at the time this did not mean that the court was legalizing gay marriage. Despite his remarks, a lower national court, called CNJ, voted 14 – 1 in 2013 to oblige all notaries in the country to perform civil marriages for same-sex couples, effectively making Brazil the third country in South America, after Argentina and Uruguay, to grant this right to us.

    A right-wing religious party appealed CNJ’s decision, and the Supreme Court could rule on it soon. Even though most Brazilians are homophobic, in part because millions are abandoning Catholicism to join more radical forms of Christianity, our Judiciary is secular and I think it would be very unlikely that the Supreme Court would take away rights from the gay community. That’s it =)

  • 49. F_Young  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    DJSNOLA: "…does anyone think the other three states plaintiffs should pull their filings."

    IANAL. I share your concern. I would say that the other plaintiffs should wait a bit to see if the other states take too long. If it looks like one of the other cases won't be ready for the December 12 conference, the plaintiff in that case should seriously consider pulling their case so as to reduce the likelihood that the Michigan case won't be decided in June 2015.

    Given the precarious age and ideological composition of SCOTUS, it's too risky to wait for a decision in October 2015 or June 2016. I know there are SCOTUS conferences in early January that could still work in theory, but that's only if SCOTUS grants cert at the earliest opportunity, which seems unlikely.

  • 50. weaverbear  |  November 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    You're welcome Jen! You're an important part of this community. My husband and I were one of the 18K couples that wed here in California in the window back in '08. Not knowing for a while, if we had been annulled by prop 8 was devastating. I have some personal sense of how you feel, I think.

  • 51. RnL2008  |  November 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Boy, my wife and I know just how you feel….we are also in that 18,000 and we were actually relieved when CSSC stated that our marriages were NOT affected by Prop 8.

  • 52. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 25, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    ONE of the requirements to standing is that a party must prove it has been caused, or will be caused, particularized harm, and hurt feelings don't count.

    Has NoM EVER proven particularized harm (other than hurt feelings) will be caused if any state's laws against ME are upheld? Not to my knowledge.

    A neighbor's tree falling on your car is prima facie proof that you have suffered harm. What harm (other than hurt feelings) has NoM proven? None to my knowledge.

    A person held in bondage (aka slavery) can easily prove they have been harmed. What harm (other than hurt feelings) has NoM proven? None to my knowledge.

  • 53. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I think Snyder is counting on two things:

    SCOTUS will not rule on the certs until all four states have filed; and

    There are three other states, of which Tennessee and/or Kentucky are likely to not file until the last minute, by Snyder's thinking.

    By Snyder's thinking, it really doesn't matter when he files, since there are other states that will file later, and he truly believes SCOTUS won't give cert until all have filed.

  • 54. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    In Maryland, we went through as much, if not more heartbreak, as New York state did.

    Twice the state House passed ME, then it stalled in the state Senate. On the third time, it finally passed the state Senate, but stalled in the state House. Finally on the fourth attempt, it passed both chambers, and the Governor signed the bill. Then we had to endure the bigots' attempt to derail ME in the state by means of the ballot box.

    Maryland didn't get ME right away, but eventually we got there (after four tries, then a vote).

  • 55. F_Young  |  November 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Off topic: ISIS stones 2 ‘gay men’ to death in Syria: observer
    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/

  • 56. Raga  |  November 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Evans v. Utah preliminary injunction has been converted to a permanent injunction, requiring Utah to recognize the marriages performed in the interim period. The parties have settled – according to the settlement, Utah owes $95,000 to the Plaintiffs. http://www.scribd.com/doc/248191572/2-14-cv-00055

  • 57. Raga  |  November 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Missouri federal judge refuses to lift stay, which automatically expires on Dec 8 unless the state files a notice of appeal to the Eighth Circuit by that time:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/248216345/4-14-cv-00622

    And I think for similar reasons (that refute the argument that the Supreme Court's recent stay denials are persuasive), the Texas stay is unlikely to be lifted.

  • 58. sfbob  |  November 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    In the writers of the article manage to smear one of the plaintiffs while overlooking a rather significant difference between the two cases. That's…well…let's call it interesting.

  • 59. sfbob  |  November 25, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Us Californians went through some changes too. Marriage equality bills twice passed both houses of the legislature but were vetoed by the governor who claimed Prop 22 (Prop 8's predecessor) prevented him from signing the legislation. Then the courts overturned Prop 22 and we had marriage equality. Then Prop 8 passed and we didn't. And then, almost five years later, we did again.

  • 60. Steve27516  |  November 25, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    While this is disappointing to those of us who want to see another ME state on the map, I can't argue with the Court's reasoning.

    So, Raga, do you happen to know when the Supreme Court of Missouri will take up the appeal of the previous state court decision that brought ME to St. Louis?

  • 61. Raga  |  November 25, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    "Although Gallup polling from May indicates that American public opinion strongly favors legally recognizing same-sex marriage, 2014 midterm election exit polls found that voters were evenly divided on the issue of gay marriage." http://www.christianpost.com/news/americans-evenl

  • 62. Raga  |  November 25, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Hmm… I don't see a public official website that provides docket information for Missouri Supreme Court, so I'm not able to check and see if they've docketed the appeal. I hope Equality Case Files can check on that.

  • 63. ebohlman  |  November 25, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Midterm voters generally tend to be quite a bit more conservative than the overall American electorate, so this is actually fairly good news.

  • 64. DrBriCA  |  November 25, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Don't we want a recognition case in the mix, though? The Michigan plantiffs' petition for cert. focused on the right to marry, but I believe it didn't outright address the recognition of out of state marriages. Do we need one of the other states in the mix to make sure SCOTUS takes on marriage recognition as well? Or might SCOTUS read between the lines with the Michigan case (which I agree is the best as it has a full trial at district level) and rule on both topics once & for all?

  • 65. guitaristbl  |  November 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    This is going to be really close I think if liberal party MPs are allowed to have a free vote (else its a no go). Fingers crossed.

  • 66. NdiliMfumu  |  November 25, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    The State Respondents in DeBoer v. Snyder (US 14-571) have filed their answer to the Plaintiff-Appellees' petition for certiorari, agreeing with them that the issue should be determined, now, by the US Supreme Court, but urging that Court to affirm the 6CA's ruling. It's highly unlike that the Court would not take the case under review.

    What's more interesting is the distinction which the Respondents continue to draw with the Appellees as to the question at issue. According to the Appellees, the question is properly framed as, "Whether a state violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by denying same-sex couples the right to marry." Whereas, the Respondents insist that the proper question is, "Does the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution preclude the people of a State from defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman?"

    These might seem to be the simple converse, each of the other. But they're actually inverse questions of each other, and one of them is totally wrong and improperly framed. Guess which one?

    The Respondents argue extensively in their brief that the states have the unlimited authority to determine the contours of the marriage relation and that, therefore, they are free to create it in whatever manner they wish. But this notion is fundamentally wrong for two reasons:

    First, it ignores that ALL actions of the States are subject to the requirement that they properly comport with the US Constitution, especially but not limited to the US 14th Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection imperatives. This is further confirmed by the Supreme Court's holding in Windsor (which Respondents conveniently fail to cite in pertinent part), to wit: "State laws defining and regulating marriage, of course, must respect the constitutional rights of persons, see, e.g., Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1 (1967)."

    But moreover, the framing of the question presupposes that the right to marry is something wholly new, having no prior historical context and no existing Supreme Court precedents, a blank slate on which Michigan can write whatever it wishes. Indeed, it implies at crucial points that there is no fundamental right to marry or, at least, if there is, then, that right has always and necessarily implied a limitation of same to "opposite-sex marriages". Here, though, the Respondents go completely off-track in their rush to bootstrap a realm for state action free from federal judicial review.

  • 67. NdiliMfumu  |  November 25, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    … Firstly, the antiquity of any local practice in this respect is just as irrelevant to LGBT couples' right to marry as it was to the Lovings' right to marry. Indeed, it is the duty of the federal courts to right ancient wrongs, when these are finally recognized as such.

    Next, the argument that marriage is for procreation is clearly untrue and contrary to existing Supreme Court precedents, especially Griswold, Eisenstadt, Turner and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Even J. Scalia said so in his dissent to Lawrence v. Texas.

    Next, the Court has never in the past century discussed marriage as if this necessarily could be subdivided into separate subclasses and, then, regulated individually and disparately among them. There is no cognizable "interracial marriage", "deadbeat dad marriage", "prisoner marriage" or "foreigner / American marriage" and, so, no cognizable distinction between "gay marriage" and "straight marriage". There is only marriage, full stop. Accord, Griswold, Zablocki, and Turner.

    Given the above, and following Glucksberg, we must first determine whether the right to marry is deeply ingrained in our nation's history. The answer is obvious. Therefore, marriage is a fundamental for both straights and LGBT people, all together.

    The essence of the fundamental right to marry necessarily includes the free choice of whether and then WHOM to marry. Assuming that the marital partners are mutually consenting, competent adults and otherwise eligible to marry (namely, not already married, not carrying a communicable disease and not closely related or "consanguineous"), then, we must ask, by what right does the State intrude in THIS marital choice to direct the marital partners to marry someone else? The State obviously may not do so in order to suppress homosexuality (Lawrence) or to express naked animosity towards LGBT people (Romer).

    Further, because marriage is a fundamental right for ALL citizens (Zablocki, and others), the State may only intrude where it can show a clear and compelling, legitimate state interest, and where the burden it imposes on the marital partners is narrowly tailored in the least restrictive manner possible. To date, no state has succeeded in overcoming this burden at trial or at summary judgment hearing. Only in the 6CA was a contrary ruling handed down and, then, based on a thorough-going misreading of the law and misunderstanding of the role of the federal courts in this matter.

    The proper framing is that of the Plaintiff-Appellees, for only then will the Court properly be able to consider and appreciate the full extent of the liberty interest at stake. Respondent's framing is circular and wrong (of course the states have the right to define marriage as one man-one woman, but NOT EXCLUSIVELY so), and it ignores the real issues in this and the other marriage equality cases.

    DeBoer v. Snyder will be reviewed by the Supreme Court beginning in January and will be decided by June 2015. It will stand the test of time as the most important LGBT rights case, ever, when the 6CA's clearly wrong opinion is overturned and marriage equality becomes the rule throughout the Nation!

  • 68. DACiowan  |  November 25, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Awesome; that would add 23 million to the world count and a huge marriage blue spot to the Wikipedia world map. Right now, we're at 785 million worldwide with marriage equality (not counting Missouri but counting Scotland and others with passed laws); Australa would put us past 800 million.

    (Anyone remember the awesome "It's Like Love" Australia Tourism commercial? I found the long version on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSG6B25-pCo)

  • 69. Waxr  |  November 25, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    "While nearly all married people consider the emotional connection to be a critical component of marriage, emotional connection alone does not explain the State’s interest."

    I can just see the Supreme Court coming out and saying that love is not important in a marriage.

  • 70. josejoram  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    I would not count total population of a country or territory as "in". I count only total geographical extension.

  • 71. josejoram  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    It is madness from majority's voting on minorities' rights.

  • 72. Pat_V  |  November 25, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    What is the deadline for the other states to submit their briefs if they dont ask any extension?

  • 73. MichaelGrabow  |  November 26, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Could you explain that in other words?

  • 74. josejoram  |  November 26, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Responding to Michael Grabow: I meant, in my awful english, that I don´t take total population of a territory as if they were who actually gained the possibility of same sex marriage: 32 million Californinas won´t get married with a same.sex partner.

  • 75. MichaelGrabow  |  November 26, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Oh, I see. That is fair, but I think that is the way everyone comes up with numbers. There is no way to state xxxx number of gay people have the right to marry now.

  • 76. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 29, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    "Not carrying a communicable disease"

    Yeah, I don't think most states enforce such a marriage condition anymore.

  • 77. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 29, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    This site is acting really funky right now.

    And I don't mean in the "play that funky music" kind of funky.

    I mean in the WTF kind of funky.

    The main site is only displaying in mobile mode on my laptop. That's never happened to me before. None of the "Jump to" buttons are working for comments either.

    Weirdness…

  • 78. RnL2008  |  November 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    It's been strange for me as well……like right now I have the normal format, but sometimes when I click on a response or thread…..it changes to some other format……..and like you said, it won't jump to the comment…..ugh!!!

  • 79. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 29, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    I can only surmise that it is being caused by network traffic as I don't know what the Courage Campaign does to maintain the site itself and it certainly hasn't changed much aesthetically.

  • 80. RnL2008  |  November 29, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    This song needs to go to our anti-gay folks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whbwv2ZirjY

    Merry Christmas, Season's Greeting, Happy Holidays, Blessed Yule, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa

  • 81. F_Young  |  November 30, 2014 at 12:28 am

    I've had the same problem with the desktop site last night, but it is okay just now. The problem seems to be that the mobile format (which does not include the "jump to" links) is sometimes served to desktops.

    It would help if there was a button on both formats to allow us to switch from one format to the other, and whatever choice we made on a device was remembered by a cookie on that device.

  • 82. hopalongcassidy  |  November 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

    And Fabulous Festivus!

  • 83. hopalongcassidy  |  November 30, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Well, technically life itself is a sexually communicated, terminal "disease"…

  • 84. RnL2008  |  November 30, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Yep…don't want to offend ANYONE…..lol!!!

  • 85. JayJonson  |  November 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    The entire article is nonsense.

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