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Equality news round-up: Missouri, North Carolina marriage news, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

– The (federal) Missouri marriage case is being appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

– The federal government is expanding its ban on police profiling to include, among other groups, LGBT people.

– The North Carolina marriage cases in the Fourth Circuit will be fully briefed by mid-March.

– The Washington Blade looks at the new Defense Secretary and asks whether he will implement pro-LGBT policies.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. Jen_in_MI  |  December 8, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Holy cats, the waiting is killing me! LOL

  • 2. BillinNO  |  December 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

    We're waiting on Arkansas Supreme Court, aren't we. Mightn't we get that this week?

  • 3. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 8, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Off topic:

    It looks like Florida is not the only state with bigoted DMV employees. The 'Advocate' is reporting that the same (with a few twists) is now occurring in Texas:

  • 4. DaveM_OH  |  December 8, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    We are still also waiting on response to certiorari filings from OH, KY (Dec 15), and TN (Dec 18).

  • 5. DaveM_OH  |  December 8, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Not waiting on anything for that one. The case has been responded to and reply has been waived. Will be on the Distribution list for 9 January. The others – hopefully Plaintiffs are on notice to file their waiver of reply (or their reply right quick now), so the cases can be Distributed on List 7 for the 9 January conference (deadline: DECEMBER 23, 2014). Or SCOTUS will just hold them over for an epic showdown on 16 January.

  • 6. yyyAllenyyy  |  December 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    What happened in MO? I thought that there was a stay that would be lifted tomorrow so that SSM would be legal everywhere instead of just three jurisdictions. Did something change?

  • 7. bythesea66  |  December 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I recall that it happened in at least a couple of instances in TN as well.

  • 8. bythesea66  |  December 8, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Wasn't that appealed to the 8th?

  • 9. franklinsewell  |  December 8, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Allen: There are three cases we've been watching in Missouri. More information on all the cases in Missouri are on the Freedom to Marry litigation page:….

    Barrier v. Vasterling is a state case in which couples sought recognition of marriages performed outside of the state. A state judge ruled that Missouri must recognize those marriages. The Missouri AG decided NOT to appeal that case.

    In State of Missouri v Jennifer Florida, another state case, a judge ruled that Missouri must allow same-sex couples to get married. The Missouri AG did decide to appeal this case to the state supreme court.

    In the case mentioned in this post, a federal judge ruled that Missouri's marriage ban violated the US constitution, and that is the decision being appealed.

  • 10. franklinsewell  |  December 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    DeBoer wouldn't be a relist, because it hasn't even been considered at a conference one time; SCOTUSBlog has long reported that DeBoer would be considered at the January 9 conference.

  • 11. yyyAllenyyy  |  December 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    So the stay was extended?

  • 12. franklinsewell  |  December 8, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    I do not believe there was a stay in the federal case, or in fact, in any of these cases.  

  • 13. DACiowan  |  December 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    The December 9 stay expiry was only in the case of no appeal filed and was due to the 30 day window of appeal, not a specific judge-mandated stay.

  • 14. yyyAllenyyy  |  December 8, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Got it. Thanks to all for the answers.

  • 15. DACiowan  |  December 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    It would still appear on the docket using the "Distributed for conference of [date]" formula. Also, SCOTUSblog is not associated with the Court and their January 9 date was nothing more than an educated guess worth verifying.

    Here is what a first time case being listed for the December 12 conference looks like.

  • 16. SPQRobin  |  December 8, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    If you wonder how many fallacies and simplified, inaccurate statements fit into one article, you should read the latest Russian propaganda on "Harmful effects of gay marriage in society" (written by a Fin however).

    It starts with "At first, I emphasize that my article is not homophobic and hate speech, but …"

  • 17. josejoram  |  December 9, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Off the topic. About the link between marriage and procreation:

    Why some states permit first cousin marriages and others don't?

  • 18. RemC_Chicago  |  December 9, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Here's another off-topic but interesting link. Joemygod reports that NOM is celebrating long-lasting, inspirational, strong marriages on their Facebook page. I posted and invite others to do as well (hope the link works) –

  • 19. DeadHead  |  December 9, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Try this link it works

    A lot of lgbtq people are posting on it I betcha NOM takes it down :)

  • 20. sfbob  |  December 9, 2014 at 6:38 am

    You may have to just log into Facebook and search for "NationForMarriage." That's the only way I was able to access the page, which NOM seems not to have deleted yet. Maybe they've just been messing with us all along? Gay couples, lesbian couples, FRIENDS of gay and lesbian couples, gay and lesbian folks thanking their straight parents for inspiring them in their marriages, adoptees thanking gay and lesbian couples for giving kids good homes…it's actually pretty inspiring (just not in the way NOM was intending).

  • 21. sfbob  |  December 9, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Some states allow first-cousin marriages only if they are over a certain age, and/or if they can prove that one or both are incapable of reproducing. Kind of undermines the argument.

    Historically first cousin marriages were used to consolidate political power or wealth. Another indicator that procreation is not intrinsic to marriage.

  • 22. BillinNO  |  December 9, 2014 at 7:05 am

    "The Dutch in Old Amsterdam do it- not to mention the Finns.."

  • 23. Steve27516  |  December 9, 2014 at 7:31 am

    So, are stays automatic when appeals are filed in Missouri? Elsewise, an active appeal would not prevent marriages from proceeding if there is not a stay. Or am I misunderstanding the process? (I think I recall reading here on EoT that in Florida, stays are automatic during appeals, right?)

  • 24. RemC_Chicago  |  December 9, 2014 at 9:04 am

    And then there are the few women who have responded to John Becker's post with "sick." I wonder, truly, what it is about other people's marriages that make these women feel obligated to denigrate them? What motivates/threatens them? "Hate" is too simple an answer…it's the "why" behind the hate that intrigues me.

  • 25. franklinsewell  |  December 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Howdy sfbob – that's what I did … logged in to FG and searched that term.

  • 26. franklinsewell  |  December 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I also reported the page – Exposing Trolls – JS

  • 27. sfbob  |  December 9, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Some folks' lives are so empty that they take an inordinate interest in the lives of others. I suspect a good deal of envy is involved. The idea that someone, not them, might be enjoying their life and their freedom really seems to bother them.

  • 28. Raga  |  December 9, 2014 at 9:44 am

    "Broward Judge Again Overturns Gay Marriage Ban"

  • 29. David_Midvale_UT  |  December 9, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Why? Brainwashing from early childhood. Here in HATU—The Bass Ackwards State (Utah), the brainwashing starts before age four.

  • 30. DACiowan  |  December 9, 2014 at 10:19 am

    The basis for the current stay is in the judge's denial of an immediate lifting of his stay, found here . (Keep in mind this is the federal case, so bound by the federal judicial guidelines.) Using the thirty day timeline for appeals as listed in 28 U.S. Codde S. 2107 , Judge Smith writes "Defendant and Intervenor have until December 8, 2014 to file a Notice of Appeal. If neither appeals, the stay expires on December 9. If either appeals, Plaintiffs are free to ask the Court of Appeals to lift the stay."

    So now his stay is in the hands of the 8th Circuit.

  • 31. Eric  |  December 9, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Here is what I posted:

    Maggie Gallagher and her husband (not the father of her children) really inspire me that there is hope for all Christian fornicators, that biblically commanded celibacy or marriage to the father of one's children aren't the only options.

  • 32. davepCA  |  December 9, 2014 at 11:08 am

    I couldn't find a link to the ruling. Do you have one?

  • 33. Raga  |  December 9, 2014 at 11:13 am

    From Equality Case Files:

  • 34. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 9, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I have to say, I love your catchphrase. Love. It.

  • 35. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 9, 2014 at 11:24 am

    This site is having some serious issues.

    And by issues, I don't mean tissue issues.

    I mean "WTF, what's up with the mobile site randomness?" kind of issues.

  • 36. davepCA  |  December 9, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Thanks! From the ruling:

    "Accordingly, the standard of review is Strict Scrutiny as the ban on same sex marriage involves a restriction on the fundamental right to marry".


  • 37. davepCA  |  December 9, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Yes, I'm still experiencing that problem too.

  • 38. Steve27516  |  December 9, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Thank you for elucidating that!

  • 39. scream4ever  |  December 9, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Supposedly the Attorney General can also request for the stay to be lifted, which I'm surprised he hasn't done considering he didn't request stays in the cases in state court.

  • 40. davepCA  |  December 9, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Yup. Since there are cases where a couple can ONLY legally marry if they CANNOT procreate, it is clear that 'procreation' is not a legal eligibility requirement for civil marriage (that, and the fact that the 'application for civil marriage' form never asks about procreative ability or intention at all….). It's also noteworthy that Supreme Court decisions have made it clear that even a prison convict with a life sentence and no possibility of parole or conjugal visits has the right to legally marry, so marriage is a RIGHT, even for people who can't procreate, and even when it is THE STATE ITSELF that is preventing the participants from being able to procreate by incarcerating one of the parties.

  • 41. RnL2008  |  December 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I haven't been paying attention lately, but why is the 4th Circuit going to hear arguments again regarding one's right to marry? Or did I truly misunderstand what it was saying at the top?

  • 42. DACiowan  |  December 9, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    The Governor of Kentucky is supporting cert on his case:

    (So once the reply brief is in or waived, add KY to the MI/LA line at the January 9 conference. Come on OH and TN, don't give the Supremes a reason to delay.)

  • 43. RnL2008  |  December 9, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Me too…..from time to time…either I get this format aka the desktop one and the next time I might get the mobile version and it bounces back and forth!!!

  • 44. guitaristbl  |  December 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    And I am here to bring more good news (not) :
    According to LGBTQnation, South Carolina lawmakers are proposing a bill to allow registrars, employees etc to refuse to marry same sex couples if it violates their religious beliefs. Also Kansas lawmakers are hoping to revive the "religious freedom" bill that died in the senate last year.

    Expected of course but wtf is going on in Oklahoma and Utah ?? When are the "kill the gays that enter county houses" bills going to come up there ??

  • 45. bythesea66  |  December 9, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    These laws will not survive court review long, especially as they make them more and more absurd in their reach. It might be possible to craft such a law in just such a way that it might arguably not be unconstitutional if formulated precisely, but our opponents show no capacity for meaningful restraint.

  • 46. Swifty819  |  December 9, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    People who have gotten a ruling from a district court has the RIGHT to appeal to a circuit court. In other words, the Fourth Circuit is not allowed to refuse to take SC's case just because they ruled in VA.

  • 47. hopalongcassidy  |  December 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm


  • 48. franklinsewell  |  December 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Sure enough. I'm hoping for a reply brief or a waiver by December 22 or 23 in all these cases.

  • 49. franklinsewell  |  December 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    They have to allow briefing; they do not have to allow oral argument.

  • 50. SimmieK  |  December 9, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    The main reason for first cousin bans in the US is the popularity of eugenics in the 19th and early 20th century. Most of the rest of the planet doesn't ban first cousin marriage.

    It's true that first cousin procreation increases the risk of hereditary disease, but so long as it is not already present in the couples' ancestry, the amount of the increase is rather small. When first cousin marriage is repeated generation after generation, that small increased risk accumulates to become substantial; in Western societies, that is largely not an issue, since first cousin marriage when it happens tends to be a once-off affair rather than a repeated cultural practice (the exception is some immigrant communities which come from cultures in which a first cousin is seen as the ideal marital partner.)

    But Eugenicists made a big issue out of this small increased risk, because they were obsessed with the idea of there being subpopulations with inherited dispositions to insanity, crime, disability, etc., and they thought banning first cousin marriage would reduce those populations. They tended to blame on heredity many conditions which we now know are not hereditary (e.g. symptoms of malnutrition, fetal alcohol syndrome). And their obsession with eliminating "undesirable" subpopulations had obvious racist and even genocidal undertones.

  • 51. RnL2008  |  December 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    But these folks are NOT part of the original defendants, right? These are the politicians who feel it is their place to get involved to try and delay this issue from taking place, right? How successful do you think they are going to be?

  • 52. franklinsewell  |  December 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    I don't think they're going to succeed, at all, and I think the 4th Circuit will rule on the case without oral argument.

  • 53. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 9, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Pretty much

  • 54. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I don't get it…ugh

  • 55. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    All the bouncing! I thought that was my job, hehehe.

  • 56. RnL2008  |  December 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    It is sweetie……you just keep on wiggling……lol:-)

  • 57. sfbob  |  December 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Yup. It would fall directly in the line of Romer which elucidated that the law may not create a class of citizens simply in order to allow for disparate treatment of that class.

  • 58. dorothyrothchild  |  December 9, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Since marriage equality already exists in the state, if a "religious freedom" law was inacted wouldn't it just mean that counties would have to hire additional (non-biggoted) staff to issue licenses and perform the same sex marriages? Not that I approve of state sanctioned biggotry but the end result of such a law wouldn't be that same sex couples could no longer get married if a clerk refuses to do their job, correct?

  • 59. davepCA  |  December 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    What would be more likely would be the counties would NOT hire any additional staff, and then when some, most, or all of the staff at a particular office refuse to serve gay citizens, causing the citizens to either wait until someone else is available, or perhaps causing them to seek assistance at a different office in a different county, this denial of equal treatment would provide the affected citizens with the legal standing to challenge the law in court. And they will win. Easily.

    … but to answer your question, no, these dumb 'religious exemption' laws do not change the fact that same sex couples can legally marry. And if they make it more difficult for a same sex couple to do so, that will get these laws tossed out.

  • 60. josejoram  |  December 9, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Marriage has federal implications. So, it is not an exclusively state issue.

  • 61. Eric  |  December 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    And the taxpayers will be left to reimburse the plaintiffs. This is just more taxpayer subsidization of superstition.

  • 62. ebohlman  |  December 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Additionally, there was a perception among many that first-cousin marriage was a "foreign" custome and that banning it would help to "assimilate" immigrants. I suspect that (pre-WWI) there were also concerns about European noble families establishing US branches and then "taking over".

  • 63. ebohlman  |  December 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    They think something is valuable only to the extent that others don't have it; they're like middle-school kids who stop listening to a band when it becomes popular.

    An alarming manifestation of this attitude is "anybody can do that job, so it shouldn't pay enough to make a living doing it."

  • 64. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Yay!! Lol

  • 65. scream4ever  |  December 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Regardless they're due on the 15th and 18th respectfully.

  • 66. DaveM_OH  |  December 10, 2014 at 7:31 am

    A sad reversal in Arkansas – the nondiscrimination ordinance that passed the Fayetteville City Council was overturned in a special election. Turnout was a paltry 29%. The ordinance was repealed by <500 votes.

  • 67. rob2017  |  December 10, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Another reason why these sort of issues should never be subject to public vote.

  • 68. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    During the late 1800s/early 1900s (the beginning of the heyday of eugenicists), Southern and Eastern Europeans were not very popular (maybe because they formed the bulk of the new immigrants to the US?). I suspect (I don't have proof) that eugenics were a very large factor in this dislike, distrust, bigotry against, etc., Southern and Eastern Europeans.

  • 69. Steve84  |  December 11, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Another direct democracy fail. As usual in America.

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