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Equality news round-up: Mississippi, Arkansas marriage news

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

– The big news yesterday was that marriage bans in Arkansas and Mississippi were struck down.

– SCOTUSBlog discusses both rulings.

– The Washington Blade has reactions from LGBT advocates in the state, and they also report that the state will appeal the ruling to the Fifth Circuit.

– A reaction to the Mississippi ruling from a local LGBT activist.


  • 1. Randolph_Finder  |  November 26, 2014 at 8:36 am

    "The other federal appeals courts in which state bans are being tested — so far without a ruling — are those in the First, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits."

    Apparently the SCOTUSblog people are from an Alternate Universe where Puerto Rico is a state.

  • 2. Zack12&hellip  |  November 26, 2014 at 9:04 am

    If Ginsburg passes away, then we are screwed, simple as that.
    The GOP will NOT allow anyone to get onto SCOTUS for the next two years unless he/she is a far right Federalist Society member.

  • 3. debater7474&hellip  |  November 26, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Depressing fact of the day: Thomas is only 66 years old. The Republicans must have shoved him on the court when he was like, 40. The fact that Sotomayor is already 60 reminds me of how incompetent Democrats are.

  • 4. rob2017  |  November 26, 2014 at 10:49 am

    The Washington Blade article references the "Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (Part 60)" as a means to void/reverse the earlier determinations in favor of marriage equality. This would be in the UNLIKELY event that SCOTUS later upholds the bans. My question is: who would invoke this rule, is it SCOTUS or the various Appellate Courts, e.g., the Fourth Circuit, that had their decisions upheld via SCOTUS not having granted cert in October 2014? In other words, if its not up to SCOTUS and the Fourth Circuit decides not to invoke this rule, marriage equality remains in the Fourth? And this rule applies only to courts and not the AG's or Governor's? I know this is highly speculative and unlikely to happen, but I now see this law and am curious – and a wee bit worried.

  • 5. SethInMaryland  |  November 26, 2014 at 10:55 am

    the finland Parliament is going to be voting on on a marriage equality in 2 days, it's going to be to close ,it will come down the governing ruling moderate party, there is a extreme right wing to the party which is going to make it diffcult

    insiders in finland have reported One report suggested the legislation will pass as 99 MPs have expressed support with 86 against, however there were 14 MPs whose positions remained unknown.

  • 6. Jaesun100  |  November 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Well Well , this is how it should work ……

    "Bill to prohibit LGBT discrimination in Florida introduced with bipartisan support"

    I thought I was in the twilight zone or something had to read that twice !!

  • 7. Jaesun100  |  November 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    "UPDATE 2: The state has requested a stay in the Fifth Circuit."

    when the State gets the stay , can our side request the Supreme Court lift the stay ?

  • 8. Tony MinasTirith  |  November 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I truly hope you're right. Heart surgery seems major even for a middle age person much less an octogenarian. If she leaves the court or dies b4 voting on ME this term, it could stop nationwide ME in its track. A 4-4 vote at SCOTUS would mean the decision below stands, which would oddly mean some circuits where ME is constitutional and others where it's not. We really need very granted asap and for Ginsburg to sit in and vote. Hope she is up to it… but oral arguments won't last more than an hour, and all she needs to do as vote as Kennedy, or perhaps Roberts will pen the majority's opinion. Get well Ginsburg, Get well soon.

  • 9. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    "The state" I presume to be Mississippi?

  • 10. DaveM_OH  |  November 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    FRCP 60 is the rule that allows revisitation of already decided cases in US District Court only.
    See and
    In general, it is extremely unlikely to have any effect, as Courts are very reticent to reopen cases in which final judgment has issued.

  • 11. Jaesun100  |  November 26, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Yes, unless Arkansas is in the 5th circuit lol either way that's not pertinent to the question.

  • 12. David_Midvale_UT  |  November 26, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    On behalf of my long-dead ancestors and still-living cousins, Thank You!

  • 13. Zack12  |  November 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    One of the biggest problems has been Patrick Leahy's absurd pratice of letting the blue slip be abused by Republican senators.
    Obama has been blocked from nominating young liberal judges in many cases because of that.
    That and when they started blocking his judges such as Goodwin Liu, Obama did nothing to help them.
    Only when he realized Obamacare was in danger did he do anything.
    Keep in mind when Republicans controlled the Senate, Orrin Hatch had no qualms about doing away with the blue slip and other things but not Leahy and some of the older Democrats, who wanted to preserve tradition when Republicans have cared less about that.
    Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall and Elizabeth Warren deserve all the credit in the world for the progress we have made.
    They are the ones that pushed for the nuclear option and got the progressive judges of the past year put on the bench.
    As Sen. Merkley so nicely put it, Republicans have never given a damn about customs when they are in power, it was time for Democrats to do the same.
    I suspect the next time Democrats control the Senate things will be different in regards to judges, just due to the fact many of the spineless Democrats will be gone by then.

  • 14. Zack12  |  November 26, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    You can't but Republicans have tried to fix that, especially in the George W era.
    They pretty much have tried to ensure all Circuit Court judges are like Sutton and Cook, right wing hacks posing as judges.
    And sadly, most of the time they have succeeded, Jerome Holmes being the exception.

  • 15. F_Young  |  November 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Off Topic: Loophole could allow transgender troops to serve under new DoD policy

    However, a Pentagon spokesman denied the Pentagon has altered its policy prohibiting service by transgender individuals.

  • 16. DEV_ally  |  November 26, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Having been through this myself, I can attest that it is a relatively easy procedure, especially if they went through the wrist and not the groin. Much easier recovery via the wrist. I wouldn't even categorize it as heart surgery, since that usually implies cutting and stitching of the heart itself.

  • 17. Eric  |  November 26, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Not being a state means Baker has no relevance either.

  • 18. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    The other STATES in the 5CA are Texas and Louisiana. I was not aware that any request to stop a stay was before the 5CA from either of those states, although I might have missed it.

    I didn't ASSume, but presumed, based on factual and verifiable information (and personal knowledge) that Arkansas is not part of the 5CA.

    And 'the question'? Your question about whether lifting a stay can be requested at SCOTUS?

  • 19. RQO  |  November 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    The problem is press releases about the health of major government officials are what you might call "tightly edited". A stent: the truth. Anything else: maybe not mentioned, like Wilson's stroke and Reagan's Alzheimers. Or for those of you old enough, remember the SNL skits on Francisco Franco?

  • 20. RQO  |  November 26, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    When we try to litigate ENDA protections in the court, let's see how these R judges hold up.

  • 21. RQO  |  November 26, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Remind me to send Thomas some of my Asian cooking. (Husband gave me a Thai cookbook for Christmas one year, then stole it a year later.)

  • 22. RQO  |  November 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Exactly! Most – like 85% – of the time. After the polarization of the last 30 years, I suspect judicial leanings are far more predictable than the used to be.

  • 23. RnL2008  |  November 26, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    We certainly will have to wait and see…no worrying about it will change it……I believe in the long run, we will win out…..I know that may seem a bit naive, but it's how I believe in the long run….we will have set backs….to expect none would be foolish…….but in the long run, we should prevail!!!

  • 24. JayJonson  |  November 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    If Roberts is penning the majority opinion, it will be a ruling against same-sex marriage.

    Kennedy will write the majority opinion if it is a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. Roberts is not going to vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

  • 25. JayJonson  |  November 26, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    The Texas plaintiffs have asked the 5th Circuit to lift the stay in DeLeon; Texas has opposed the request.

  • 26. JayJonson  |  November 26, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Utah has agreed to pay attorney fees of $95,000 to ACLU in the marriage equality litigation. The ACLU asked for $200,000. Utah paid $300,000 to the conservative group attorneys who said that they would work at a discounted rate. Sounds very suspicious to me. Here is a link:

  • 27. Raga  |  November 26, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I want Kennedy to pen the majority opinion in favor of marriage, but unlike in Windsor, I bet there'll be a concurring opinion from the ladies regarding gender discrimination, and Ginsburg should pen that. If Kennedy refuses to clarify heightened scrutiny for sexual orientation in his majority opinion, I'd like the concurring opinion to address that as well. It is time.

  • 28. Jaesun100  |  November 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Okay we have Mississippi, the state lost the case the injunction goes in effect in two weeks ….the state has asked for a stay at the circuit level …..I am assuming the conservative 5th will give it to them …….however if the Plantiffs don't agree with the stay that the 5th circuit issues can they then ask the Supreme Court to lift the stay or if the fifth denies a request to lift is that the end of the line ?

    Don't bother answering……. the comments section here has become a joke….no one wants to hear a difference of opinion some commenters have become pretentious and unhelpful and un inclusive ….Peace Out I will blog and learn elsewhere ….

  • 29. Raga  |  November 26, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    5th Circuit? I thought they had asked the district court (Orlando Garcia) to lift the stay – did he refuse already? When did that happen?

  • 30. A_Jayne  |  November 26, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Apparently that was only the attorneys for the ~300 couples married between the decision and the first stay at the end of last year and the beginning of this one. They fought Herbert et al's attempt to declare them invalid – and won.

    Utah will be paying much more to the attorneys who have taken other aspects of these cases to court.

  • 31. RnL2008  |  November 26, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Okay, who changed the format? By the way folks…wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving and we have much to be thankful for<3

  • 32. ebohlman  |  November 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Be carefult: that could be construed as a threat, depending on the outcome of Elonis v. United States which is being argued on Monday (SCOTUSBlog has a description of the issues).

  • 33. Jaesun100  |  November 26, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    It's gonna be 7-2.

  • 34. guitaristbl  |  November 26, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    McDaniel says he will decide after thanksgiving on whether to appeal or not the federal district court's decision in Arkansas AND he will consult the AG elect Leslie Rutledge, a republican. Rutledge is the worst kind of bigoted GOP, one very typical for the south I guess. She used against one of her opponents in the primaries the fact that he had some kind of position in the American Bar association which passed an "anti-traditional marriage " (according to Rutledge) resolution. She supports the federal marriage amendment of course in case federal courts rule in favour of ME and on her site she constantly talks about "federal overreach" and "10th amendment" and then weirdly enough she says she will fight for the rights "of all Arkansans" (apparently LGBT people cannot be Arkansans).

    So yeah all in all expect an appeal and, if SCOTUS does not freeze procedures by taking up a case, a much more bigoted "not giving up" attitude than the one McDaniel had, possibly close to what we see in Kansas (especially given who was elected governor as well in Arkansas).

  • 35. Dr. Z  |  November 26, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    If the SCOTUS attempts to turn back the clock on ME they're gonna get blowback like nothing they've ever seen. I can imagine civil disobedience going on at the steps of the court for days…weeks…months. That might be the one thing that induces Roberts to side with us.

    Alito, Scalia, Thomas: never.

  • 36. Dr. Z  |  November 26, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Hey! What happened to the mobile site?

  • 37. Jaesun100  |  November 26, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I'm gambling on Alito ……the MI case has it all I think it will be the children/adoption that gets him ……

  • 38. Jaesun100  |  November 26, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    I could live with 6-3 too :)

  • 39. RLsfba  |  November 26, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    My guess is that the developers are putting some new versions together and occasionally live test it because total staging on another server for testing can be resource intensive and I bet this is being done on a minimal budget. I wonder if that has had been the reason for the occasional slowdowns.

  • 40. Jaesun100  |  November 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Excuse me, I quoted right out the EOT article I Presumed you at least read that… bust, I gave you too much credit asshole.

  • 41. ebohlman  |  November 26, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    A little while ago I reloaded the front page (on my desktop) and got the mobile version. About 10 minutes later, I reloaded again and got the standard version. I'm guessing that some changes are being pushed to production but they're not all propagating at the same rate.

  • 42. ebohlman  |  November 26, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    The reason for waiting 48 hours is that it can take that long to determine whether her heart suffered any damage during the period when she was experiencing discomfort; if any heart tissue died then, it will eventually leak certain proteins into the bloodstream and they'll show up on blood tests. But it doesn't happen instantly. If any of the tissue died, then there's a window of vulnerability where she could suddenly develop arrhythmia, and she'd need to be kept in the hospital during that period so that any arrythmia could be corrected immediately.

  • 43. Zack12  |  November 26, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Sad to say but I fear it will be a long time, if ever before transgender troops get in.

  • 44. Zack12  |  November 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    At the end of the day, a bigot is still a bigot.
    McDaniel has claimed to be an ally, yet has used many of the same bigoted arguments Rutledge has.
    But since he was "nicer" about it, he thinks he isn't as bad.
    A bigot is a bigot, period.

  • 45. Raga  |  November 26, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Me too. Plus, now when I click on a comment in the recent comment list on the left, it doesn't jump to the comment. Dunno what's up with that.

  • 46. FredDorner  |  November 26, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    "At the end of the day, a bigot is still a bigot."

    Except when there's a legal strategy intended to achieve statewide equality, as the Missouri AG is doing. I don't know what the Arkansas AG is thinking but it might well involve a similar strategy.

  • 47. DrBriCA  |  November 27, 2014 at 12:02 am

    IANAL, but I believe that if (when) the 5th grants the stay, then the plaintiffs could still ask SCOTUS to lift the stay. They'd have to go through Scalia first as the circuit justice for the 5th (who'd likely continue the stay with glee), and then they could request the full court to lift the stay.

  • 48. Pat_V  |  November 27, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Oh, I had thought that in case of 4-4, the circuit court's decision would stand and that it would be the same result as if a majority had voted against ME. But you are saying that in case of 4-4, ONLY the 6th circuit would ban ME?
    So we could have:
    – if majority to uphold 6th circuit => in principle that could apply nationwide and some states might in theory start lawsuits to reverse marriage equality
    – if majority to reverse 6th circuit => would leave to nationwide marriage equality
    – if split decision (4-4) => this would affirm 6th circuit, but not have any nationwide consequences?
    Am I understanding this correctly?

  • 49. ebohlman  |  November 27, 2014 at 12:27 am

    That one's working now.

  • 50. Zack12  |  November 27, 2014 at 1:45 am

    They are indeed.
    Which is why I knew (I wish I had been wrong) we were doomed from the start in the 6th circuit.
    Sutton and Cook are far right Republicans posing as judges and nothing more.

  • 51. SteveThomas1  |  November 27, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Yes. A 4-4 split leaves the lower court's judgment in place but doesn't create any Supreme Court precedent.

  • 52. Elihu_Bystander  |  November 27, 2014 at 7:07 am

    I would like to sincerely wish everyone on this site a very Happy Thanksgiving from Three Rivers CA nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada the gateway to Sequoia National Park.

  • 53. Jen_in_MI  |  November 27, 2014 at 7:28 am

    The slapdown being handed to those bigoted hacks by so many other judges in the past couple of weeks makes me smile. Hackery hat blatant deserves to be ridiculed richly and often.

  • 54. AndresM11  |  November 27, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Happy Thanksgiving for you too Rose!! You're right, we have SO MANY things to be thankful for :) our families, our loved ones and the fact that as each day passes, more couples within our community achieve the equality for which so many people have fought so hard! :) Also, I'm thankful for being able to share this forum with you guys, for Scottie's commitment to keeping the site updated with all the news, and for the legal explanations of Raga, Brandall, Zack and so many others that have taught us so much :)

    I live in a pretty conservative country, but I'm thankful because the world is slowly becoming a better place for all LGBT people :)

    Have a nice day! 😀

  • 55. guitaristbl  |  November 27, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Happy thanksgiving to all Americans ! To the rest of the world this is a normal day though and with the vote in the Finnish parliament tomorrow, some bad news come along. Slovakia will hold a referendum to ban same sex marriage, adoption by same sex couples and sex education against the will of the parents after a group closely affiliated and funded by the well known American groups (I think it's focus on the family in this case who poured lots of money in Slovakia) gathered 400.000 signatures (about 10 % of the country's electorate) on a relevant petition :

    It will take place on February 7 and given how conservative Slovakia is I would expect it to be approved by more than 80 % (or even more) of the people who will bother to vote. And that's probably the only thing that can save it here : turnout. For a referendum's results to be declared valid in Slovakia turnout has to be over 50%. Slovakia has held numerous referendums since it became independent and only one had enough turnout for the result to be valid, the one about the EU membership (turnout was 52 % and was approved by more than 93 % of the population).although I am afraid churches and organizations will be hysteric to get the needed turnout and vilification of LGBT people will be on the daily menu from now on in an overwhelmingly catholic country. They may have a good chance to get the needed turnout…

  • 56. scream4ever  |  November 27, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I really hope the Arkansas attorney general requests that the stay be lifted when he appeals to the 8th.

  • 57. guitaristbl  |  November 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Extremely unlikely given that his decision will most likely be influenced by what the bigot who takes over in January wants.

  • 58. RnL2008  |  November 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Thank you and yes…so much to be incredibly thankful for… all of my cyber friends, to all the couples who have put themselves front and center fighting the good fight and to those folks who support our right to marry and stand with us……hugs to them all!!!

  • 59. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Several years ago, I bought some Thai ground tea, and that is exactly what it tasted like – ground (aka dirt). Needless to say, the garden received the vast majority of the tea.

    (My favorite tea is Chinese black tea.)

  • 60. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I also think ME will pass – the closeness of Finland to Russia, geographically, will influence many with the rampant and ridiculous anti-homosexual atmosphere in Russia.

    Most Finns, through history lessons in school, personal experience and/or the experiences of direct ancestors remember that Finland formerly was incorporated into the Russian Empire, and that Finland has fought several wars with Russia and the Soviet Union since.

    Also, few Finns will look towards Russia for religious influence (less than 1.2% of Finns are members of the Orthodox Church, and more than 78% are members of the official state church). While Lutherans are not the most solidly for ME, Lutheranism is certainly much advanced over the Russian Orthodox Church in belief of ME and equality. After all, it was the Orthodox Church that led the pogroms against Jews in the Russian Empire.

  • 61. josejoram  |  November 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I don't see how FInland could influence Russia whatsoever.

  • 62. scream4ever  |  November 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    You're right I actually meant Missouri. A stay was not requested in the case being appealed to the state supreme court and the federal judge did say in his stay denial that the attorney general is free to request for the stay to be lifted. Arkansas is likely to end this month with the state supreme court issuing a favorable opinion.

  • 63. Pat_V  |  November 28, 2014 at 3:18 am

    Ironically, since the measure will be overwhelmingly approved, the smartest way to defeat the measure is for pro-gay voters to NOT vote, so that turnout remains below 50%…

  • 64. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 9, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Baker has no relevance anymore because it depended on there being "no federal question." Clearly that has changed vastly since 1972.

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