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EqualityOnTrial will be at the Strawser hearing in Mobile, Alabama on Thursday

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

There’s a hearing in federal court in Mobile on Thursday. It could prove to be a historic moment for marriage equality: the judge will decide whether the Mobile County Probate Judge should issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. A decision in favor of the couples in this case could create a ripple effect across Alabama. No one wants to be subjected to a lawsuit and possibly attorneys’ fees and costs, and once a ruling is made binding one county, there’s a definite chance that other counties could follow along.

I’m not sure exactly how the hearing will go down, but it seems like there’s at least a chance she may rule from the bench given the immediacy of the situation: couples have been wanting to get married since Monday.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has joined the case to litigate for the same-sex couples. And yesterday, an attorney for the ACLU filed a notice of appearance for the plaintiffs as well.

We will keep you posted on these developments, and we’ll have more reports on the hearing soon.

79 Comments

  • 1. guitaristbl  |  February 11, 2015 at 9:22 am

    According to this map from al.com, 21 out of 67 counties issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in Alabama currently :
    https://www.google.com/fusiontables/DataSource?do

  • 2. Raga  |  February 11, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Minister arrested for marrying same-sex couple in Alabama: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6657654

  • 3. Dr. Z  |  February 11, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Off topic, but: Oregon's Governor Kitzhaber is under criminal investigation and may have to resign. If he does, the country may be about to get its first LGBT Governor.
    http://www.wweek.com/portland/mobile/articles/art

  • 4. RnL2008  |  February 11, 2015 at 10:02 am

    More Counties are following the ruling, but still there are areas that AREN'T and those that aren't need to be sued!!!

  • 5. Sagesse  |  February 11, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Are same-sex marriage licenses issued in Chambers, Macon Counties? Officials refuse comment [al.com]
    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/02/are_same

  • 6. MichaelGrabow  |  February 11, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Not that this should surprise me, but even the probate judge's do not understand…

    and the Supreme Court's decision, by a 7 to 2 majority, has been the ultimate deciding factor in my decision today to issue marriage licenses to same-sex applicants."

  • 7. DACiowan  |  February 11, 2015 at 10:39 am

    First openly gay governor. New Jersey had a governor come out in a resignation speech last decade.

  • 8. sfbob  |  February 11, 2015 at 10:41 am

    One thing to keep in mind is that Alabama's probate judges are not really judges. It's an elected position and no law degree is required to serve. They seem to have responsibilities similar to carried in other states by county clerks. Those responsibilities are ministerial in nature, that is they require only that, for example, a couple applying for a marriage license meets the legal requirements. From what I understand the probate judges do exercise some small amount of actual judicial authority in other areas, though I'm not sure what those might be precisely; perhaps adjudicating traffic tickets or handling very minor criminal cases. So it isn't surprising that they won't understand that the Supreme Court has not really issued a decision at all.

  • 9. davepCA  |  February 11, 2015 at 10:46 am

    So glad to hear that Scottie will be attending the hearing! Really looking forward to your reports about this.

  • 10. Silvershrimp0  |  February 11, 2015 at 10:48 am

    From The Onion: "Gay Alabama Couple Always Dreamed Of Getting Married Surrounded By Hostility"
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/gay-alabama-coup

  • 11. guitaristbl  |  February 11, 2015 at 10:52 am

    As I personally consider that this is indeed the reality (that it was a 7-2 vote) but I do recognize it's not a clearly stated fact, I am perfectly fine with this perpetuated misunderstanding. It only enhances the position of marriage equality for people to think that we have 7 supreme court justices on our side, at least on this stay issue.

  • 12. DoctorHeimlich  |  February 11, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Sorry to thread-jack, but I haven't seen anything on this…

    HRC and Roberta Kaplan have teamed up to create "The People's Brief," an amicus brief they intend to submit to the Supreme Court in the marriage cases. Anyone and everyone is invited to sign their name to it, the intended result being a sort of brief/petition hybrid that is thought to be the first of its kind. You can read the brief and affix your name here:

    http://www.thepeoplesbrief.com/

    I find myself slightly torn about it. I love the idea, but I'm mixed about the way the brief goes all in on the animus argument. My wish is for a victory based on intermediate scrutiny, finally enshrining sexual orientation as a suspect classification. But it seems a pipe dream to hope for that out of Justice Kennedy. As Kaplan herself successfully argued animus in Windsor (and Kennedy centered his opinion around it), she's probably right to construct a brief that should ease any doubts Kennedy might have about tarring a large percentage of the general public with the "animus brush."

  • 13. jm64tx  |  February 11, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Alabama code 12-13-1(c):

    "(c) All orders, judgments and decrees of probate courts shall be accorded the same validity and presumptions which are accorded to judgments and orders of other courts of general jurisdiction."

    So much for Alabama probate judges "not really being judges". Their decrees and orders have the same legal force and effect as any other court in Alabama.

  • 14. davepCA  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Right. They are 'judges'. Who have no background in law.

  • 15. jm64tx  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:08 am

    You cant back that statement up. Simply not being a REQUIREMENT to have a law license to be elected a probate judge in Alabama does not mean they have "no background in law".

  • 16. StraightDave  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:10 am

    All that says is that when they do make a decision, within their jurisdiction, we must honor it. But it doesn't address the scope of their judicial responsibilities or how much discretion they have in what areas. I suspect these are fairly narrow.

  • 17. RnL2008  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:14 am

    That's just to good…….man, it's always a good thing to know what "The Onion" is…….LOL

  • 18. sfbob  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:14 am

    That is undoubtedly true. However the scope of authority they have to act in a judicial capacity is most likely very limited. It is unlikely for example that they would be able to hear any case that might require a jury or that would involve jail terms beyond 30 days or perhaps six months at the most or fines of more than a minimal amount. Other states have similar systems. New York state has such a system for example but it only exists in rural counties and that system has been the subject of considerable debate in years past since there were numerous cases when local judges issued sentences that went beyond the scope of their authority.

  • 19. RnL2008  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:14 am

    My wife and I have already signed it:-)

  • 20. jm64tx  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:15 am

    http://judicial.alabama.gov/library/rules/ManJEd….

    "(b) All probate judges shall, after their first year in office,
    earn a minimum of 12 approved judicial-education credits in each calendar year."

    Alabama Code 12-13-1(a):

    "(a) The probate court shall have original and general jurisdiction as to all matters mentioned in this section and shall have original and general jurisdiction as to all other matters which may be conferred upon them by statute, unless the statute so conferring jurisdiction expressly makes the jurisdiction special or limited."

    General jurisdiction = not narrow, but broad.

  • 21. RQO  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Kinda like you?

  • 22. sfbob  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:18 am

    It also doesn't mean they DO have a background in law. It is an elected position and apparently anyone who's old enough to run for any office is eligible to run for the position of probate judge.

  • 23. StraightDave  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:22 am

    As I understand it, Kennedy's version of animus doesn't include any tar. He has gone out of his way to make that clear and doesn't seem the least bit uncomfortable basing his judgements on it. If he remains the only justice with a question mark over his head, I think this is the best approach. Anyway, if Thomas is right for the first time in his life, it's already over.

  • 24. jm64tx  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Umm the probate court deals with real property … so i would imagine they could hold a jury trial in a trespass to try title suit.

    They also hear all mental illness cases, so they can have a person involuntarily committed.

    Oh and they also hear adoption cases.

  • 25. VIRick  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:35 am

    "…. she may rule from the bench given the immediacy of the situation: couples have been wanting to get married since Monday."

    Scottie, hetero couples included. Last night, I saw a picture of a pissed-off hetero couple, seemingly willing to join the current plaintiffs in order to force the re-opening of the Mobile County probate judge's office.

  • 26. RQO  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I signed it with some reservations, too. Having been slapped hard for 60 years it is tempting to point out irrational, hateful, discrimination in a public way in the hopes a few people pause and think about what we've done as a society, and maybe we the people will think twice before carving out too much "religious freedom". On the other hand, grace toward the vanquished in victory is a virtue. But more virtue than I posess. I am still in fear of backlash (see Kansas ? Gov. Brownback). I took a hint from the efforts to remember the Holocaust (I know that sounds over-the-top but I personally know a gay-bash victim). If it hasn't been animus, what was it? (As with "bigotry" I consulted the OED.)
    I guess my point is, when I feel as powerful and secure as I did when I was a young, white, rich, Republican, closeted/straight male American citizen, I will once again be able to ignore other's transgressions.

  • 27. VIRick  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Same-sex couples from Macon County (Tuskegee) were coming to Montgomery in order to get married. So, undoubtedly, the short answer is "No," but those probate judges are being closed-mouthed to avoid the possibility of a lawsuit.

  • 28. brooklyn11217  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Maybe we should all bombard those two county probate offices with phone calls, POLITELY asking what they are doing?

    I just called Chambers County, and they said they are issuing to opposite sex couples only. Not sure why AL.com has them as "no comment."

    I also just called Macon County. When I asked the question, she gave me a different number to call. That number went to voice mail. Perhaps a few calls from EoTers might get us some more information.

    Chambers County info: http://www.chamberscountyal.gov/departments/circu

    Macon County info: http://www.maconcountyal.com/Probate

  • 29. MichaelGrabow  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Oh, I know, I posted this the other day.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/nick-williams/69/511

    That doesn't change the fact that they should probably have a better understanding of that than I do.

  • 30. MichaelGrabow  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:43 am

    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/nick-williams/69/511

  • 31. MichaelGrabow  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Good point.

  • 32. VIRick  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:48 am

    The elected probate judge from Washington County has a Bible diploma from a local bible school.

    Plus, not to be out-done, he also has some sort of BA "degree" in what passes for "theological studies" from an Assemblies of God "univeristy."

  • 33. Dr. Z  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Oh, I forgot about him – Greeley, wasn't that his name? I don't think he actually served as Governor while he was out, did he?

  • 34. VIRick  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:50 am

    The elected probate judge of Pike County played football at the University of Alabama.

    And I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  • 35. Sagesse  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:53 am

    "Americans United for Separation of Church and State is representing couples who live in Baldwin, Barbour, Houston and Lauderdale counties. "

    An old Roy Moore foe puts 4 Alabama probate judges on notice over gay marriage [al.com]
    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/02/national

  • 36. ReadLearn  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I have read that most are NOT lawyers. Still, if they can read, they should know that they have to obey a federal order. But, this is all about local politics. They are afraid they will not be re-elected if they appear to "give in" to the federal gov't over the state gov't.

  • 37. hopalongcassidy  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Does your mommy know you play with her computer while she's out selling $5 blowjobs to buy you crayons and cheetos?

  • 38. brooklyn11217  |  February 11, 2015 at 11:59 am

    James McGreevey……He made the announcement and then his resignation was effective a couple weeks later.

    There have been no ELECTED open LGBT governors….Michaud tried in Maine (last year?) and lost.

  • 39. montezuma58  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    From one of the horses' mouth http://www.tuscco.com/141/probate

    "The duties and responsibilities of the Probate Judge are many and varied. Some duties are administrative in nature, others are judicial and some are legislative in character.

    "The Probate Judge is recognized in a special category, because the Probate Judge has legal functions as well as many political and administrative roles. The Code of Alabama 1975 and its supplements contain the general statutory provision affecting the Probate Office. The State Legislature has passed many local acts and general acts affecting the Office of the Judge of Probate."

    Many of their roles are not judicial some are like handling disputed wills or contested adoptions. Issuing marriage licenses is not one of their judicial roles. The applicants are qualified or not no discretion or judgment call. Many probate judges say so on their web sites.

    http://tallapoosaprobate.com/marriagelicense
    "This information is provided for persons interested in obtaining a marriage license in Tallapoosa County.

    Under Alabama law, marriage licenses issuance is purely ministerial and probate judges have no discretion when carrying out this duty. Accordingly, it is the policy of the Judge of Probate of Tallapoosa County to issue marriage licenses in strict compliance with and as legally required under Alabama law. The information contained herein is purely informational and should not be considered reflective of any personal opinions or beliefs of the Judge of Probate, Tallapoosa County, or any persons under their employ.

    BTW traffic tickets are handled by criminal court. If a ticket is issued by a municipal police department it goes to the city court. If by a state trooper or sheriff's deputy it goes to the county court.

  • 40. sfbob  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    So their jurisdiction is circumscribed, mainly having to do with issues of probate law…real estate, custody, adoption…many of which have in one way or another very often to do with marriage (so it makes sense that they'd be the ones to issue marriage licenses). The code you cite appears to create a core area of jurisdiction and requires that any additions to that area of jurisdiction must be the result of specific legislation.

  • 41. Sagesse  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Religious freedom.

    Temple B'nai Sholom opens doors to same-sex ceremonies for Huntsville's Wedding Week [al.com]
    http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2015/

    "Rabbi Bahar will be available to officiate if any of the brides or grooms are Jewish, she said. Otherwise, the volunteer ministers and celebrants – some with newly issued online credentials – will be performing the ceremonies."

  • 42. A_Jayne  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Could attorneys for those couples still join the lawsuit that will be heard tomorrow? That would expedite matters for any couples affected in those counties, I would think…

  • 43. montezuma58  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State are representing couples in several counties.
    https://au.org/media/press-releases/americans-uni

    They sent letters to several probate judges but the line tontine letters seems to be dead.

  • 44. Decided_Voter  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Kaplan's thoughts on "fundamental rights" and "heightened scrutiny" arguments.

    “I’m certainly not contending” that a fundamental rights decision or heightened scrutiny decision wouldn’t make her happy, Kaplan said, “but this gives the court the analytical framework to decide the case in accordance with the decisions they’ve issued in this area.” The fundamental rights and heightened scrutiny arguments will be out there in other briefs, Kaplan said. “We’re just explaining how animus works, too.”
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/two-key-marr

  • 45. Mike_Baltimore  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    In other words, a probate judge in Alabama can be a probate judge for up to two years before they are in violation of the Alabama statute. The first year is a given since they are elected; and the second year, they can be on the bench without taking any course in 'approved judicial-education' credits. It is only after the second year that they can be adjudged to be in violation of the law.

    Who determines the person is in violation of the law?

    How long can they still sit on the bench and appeal and appeal before they are determined to be in violation of the law?

    Are they prohibited from running for that same office again? If not, they are back into the 2+ year cycle of not being in violation of the law again.

    Does the counting begin again if the probate judge resigns 'early' (before the original term ends), then run for office again?

  • 46. davepCA  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    The simple facts that these probate judges are making these factually erroneous statements about a "7 – 2" decision, and all of the idiotic "confusion and chaos" they are manufacturing because they don't seem to be able to figure out whether they should be complying with a federal ruling, or submitting to meaningless threats from some other elected state official, speaks volumes about their ability to demonstrate their 'background in law'. If they don't know whether they should be upholding the U.S. Constitution or appeasing someone's personal religious-based negative views about gay citizens, they completely fail at any attempt to act in their capacity as a 'judge', or even any capacity to act in an administrative position of providing access to civil marriage for citizens based on the proper chain of authority.

  • 47. RnL2008  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I would image that they might be able to, but I don't know that for sure.

  • 48. RnL2008  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I'm wondering if those two schools are ACCREDITED? My guess is probably NOT……which means in my personal opinion, they DON'T have squat!!!

    All 3 of my degrees come from Accredited Junior Colleges or Universities!!!

  • 49. RnL2008  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Must mean you can practice law now, right?

  • 50. David_Midvale_UT  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Former NJ Gov. McGreevey's sexual preferences were a wink-wink-nod-nod secret.

  • 51. Mike_Baltimore  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Just because a judge holds a diploma is not proof that the judge can actually read. A few years ago, the Washington NFL team had a player they drafted from a four-year MAJOR University (Nebraska or Oklahoma, I believe) who played in several All-Star games who admitted (after he retired) that he was taking classes in order that he could read.

    In other words, this player went through at least 12 or 13 years of primary and secondary school, four years of college, got drafted by a professional sports organization (he was drafted prior to Snyder's ownership of the team), played at an All-Star level for several years, and after retiring then learned to actually read.

  • 52. JayJonson  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    And if the requirement is an understanding of the law, then even Alabama's chief justice is woefully ignorant. So why should we expect the yahoos who don't even understand the supremacy clause to reason about the law? I expect, however, that once Judge Grandade assesses some hefty fines, they'll get the message.

  • 53. JayJonson  |  February 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    I think they should actually file suit. Sometimes the actual paperwork may shock them into compliance when a threat to file suit does not.

  • 54. Mike_Baltimore  |  February 11, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Off topic (I haven't seen anything on EoT about this, my apologies is it has been discussed):

    Speaking of Kansas and Gov. Brownback, have you read or heard about his EOs 15-01 and 15-02? Basically among the things they do is retract rights to LGBT rights of state employees, plus eliminates ALL the boards, panels, agencies, etc. that were created under the previous governor (Sebilius).

    More info at Daily Kos ( http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/10/1363635/… )

    'Washington Blade' ( http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/02/10/kansas-… )

    MaddowBlog ( http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/quite-wee… )

    AlJazeera America ( http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/11/k… )

    And several other news reports and opinions on this subject.

  • 55. VIRick  |  February 11, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Hop, that's classic!! LOL

  • 56. jm64tx  |  February 11, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Yes they are accredited … by the southern association of colleges and schools.
    http://www.sagu.edu/about-sagu/accreditation

    Liberty University is also SACS accredited. It currently has an enrollment of 90,000. Its law school is accredited by the ABA.

  • 57. davepCA  |  February 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I signed it. Yes, there is a lot of emphasis on the animus argument, but IMO it's well done and sticks to facts and rational arguments. And if there's another well done amicus brief available to sign that takes a slightly different approach, I'd gladly sign that one too. There's certainly no harm in signing this one.

  • 58. scream4ever  |  February 11, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Can you post a link to the other amicus brief?

  • 59. VIRick  |  February 11, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    That's precious. Accurate, but nevertheless, quite precious,– especially the last sentence, "driving away from the courthouse in their decorated wedding car at top speed."

  • 60. davepCA  |  February 11, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    There isn't another one available for public signatures that I am aware of. I'm saying that IF there are more, and they are also well done, but take a different approach, it would be good to sign this one as well as those. The more the better.

  • 61. Fledge01  |  February 11, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I doubt that. Its the practice of law and the states I know of have laws against practicing law without a license. So maybe you could get elected, but you wouldn't be permitted to actually preside over a legal matter. So on second thought, maybe it is possible to be probate judges in Alabama without a law degree.

  • 62. 1grod  |  February 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    bl: Map dated the 9th. Much movement that suggested. By my count 24 counties, approaching counties with 45% of the state population. G

  • 63. 1grod  |  February 11, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    HRC at 3:00 pm today says that 23 counties are issuing to all couples: Autauga, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Chilton, Coffee, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Wilcox and Winston. With information from other souces, counties representing 46% of the population are imo inclusive counties. At the least today was the addition of 2 counties, with a combined population of 170,000. There are currently 6 inclusive counties with over 100,000 citizens and 6 with populations under 15,000.

  • 64. JayJonson  |  February 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    And I am sure these graduates of Liberty know all about Sharia law, and may even be good at practicing it.

  • 65. Pat_V  |  February 11, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Cool. In the spreadsheet, which you apparently updated carefully, we have these 23 counties plus Clark, Clay and Geneva. Are these 3 additional counties indeed confirmed? https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sOMXM59jZ

  • 66. 1grod  |  February 11, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Pat, sorry – between meetings and did not go to the chart. As said earlier, I've taken the position that it worth putting up reported counties, which can be removed if unsupported. Your chart has been in the lead and Clark and Clay have only a combined population of 36,000, which while significant, no longer carries much weight in the overall aggregated population. It will be hard to get from 45 to 55%. Every county counts!.

  • 67. DACiowan  |  February 11, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I'm hopeful that after the hearing tomorrow Mobile County starts complying, and that alone would bump us to 54%.

  • 68. brooklyn11217  |  February 11, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Latest Developments:

    AL Supreme Court refuses to grant advisory opinion to Mobile Judge:
    https://twitter.com/EQCF/status/56566246921418342

    Liberty Counsel asks AL Supreme Court to make pro-equality judges stop:
    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2015/02/alabama-libe

  • 69. guitaristbl  |  February 11, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    "Groups ask Alabama Supreme Court to stop Same-Sex Marriages" :
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2015/02/conservative-g

  • 70. Dr. Z  |  February 11, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Well, if he ever stops being a probate 'judge' he's well qualified to be a tour guide operator at The Ark Encounter.

  • 71. Dr. Z  |  February 11, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    In Alabama, the ability to hear mental illness cases would give them very broad jurisdiction indeed.

  • 72. sfbob  |  February 11, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    In New York State, outside of the major cities, state law provides for magistrates (I don't recall their exact titles) to hear certain sorts of cases without being lawyers. They even have the ability to assess fines and set short jail sentences. The position is an elected one. I recall there being a good bit of controversy several years ago with such judges overstepping their authority or punishing offenders in ways that an actual state-appointed judge would never be able to to do. In response the state legislature passed a law providing that these magistrates would have to attend some sort of brief classroom training upon being elected.

  • 73. sfbob  |  February 11, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Yes that's about the size of it. Another argument against judges ever being elected.

  • 74. sfbob  |  February 11, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks for the clarification on that. I threw traffic tickets out there mainly as a hypothetical.

  • 75. flyerguy77  |  February 11, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Whats all of your predictions about rest of the counties starting to issue marriage licenses? Do you think Judge Grande will order Mobile Co PJ to reopen the office and start issuing ML? and do you think she will write a STRONGER order?

  • 76. sfbob  |  February 11, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    This one makes me proud of my heritage. I clicked the link and sure enough, Temple B'nai Sholom is a Reform congregation. Reform Judaism began supporting LGBT rights as early as the mid-1960's, incorporated the push for LGBT civil equality into their social action platform in the late 1970s and began opposing marriage equality bans in 1996.
    And there is this:

    "In 2000, the Reform rabbis became the first major clergy organization to explicitly support a rabbi's willingness to perform same-gender ceremonies."

    From the article is a quote from Rabbi Bahar (which I can imagine my archetypical Jewish mother saying):

    "So if we are all created in the divine image and everybody has the ability to contribute to the community, then who gives us the authority to tell someone that their vision of marriage is not going to contribute? And there are so many prohibitions in the Bible – including that children who ignore their parents should be stoned or you can't touch a pig skin – so, what? People shouldn't play football? Why focus on one prohibition and be so willing to ignore the others?"

  • 77. 1grod  |  February 12, 2015 at 4:44 am

    FG: imo, there are straight couples who could not get a license in Mobile and who want to be added to the plaintiffs. Will their request be granted? Defendant Probate Judge Don Davies asked both the State Supreme Count and US District Court Judge C Granade for guidance. The State Supremes offered a mealy-mouth hands-off reply. The AG takes no position, while the Governor consuls compliance with the law. At 1:00 pm, with Scottie being in attendance, after hearing submissions, the judge will offer from the bench guidance. Written opinion to follow respectful of AL probate judges are elected. Mobile will issue licenses by the end of the day.

  • 78. Rick55845  |  February 12, 2015 at 4:54 am

    Just to clarify, by saying IMO, you are offering your prediction of how the events will progress? I'm asking because I believe it's a fact that some straight couples were prevented from obtaining marriage licenses, but I hadn't heard whether they sought to join any suit as plaintiffs or filed one of their own. And I'm curious if Judge Granade stated that she would rule from the bench, or if that is just what you are predicting.

    If it's a prediction, btw, I would concur with you.

  • 79. Sharafat1111  |  February 28, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Awesome post, This has helped me alot. Thank you!

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