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Puerto Rico ends defense of same-sex marriage ban

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

1stPuerto Rico officials have filed a brief in the First Circuit Court of Appeals abandoning support for their ban on same-sex marriage.

Puerto Rico won in the federal district court, which dismissed the case because it found that it was bound by Baker v. Nelson, a 1972 summary dismissal by the Supreme Court in a marriage case. The brief notes they no longer feel that the case is binding:

Though Defendants-Appellees have thus far defended the constitutionality of Puerto Rico’s marriage ban under Baker’s rationale that no substantial federal question is present, the Supreme Court’s recent decision to grant certiorari on the exact questions now before this Court seriously undermines our initial position. In light of this reality, the Commonwealth has reconsidered its stance regarding the application of Baker to the instant case and no longer argues that federal courts are precluded from reviewing marriage bans like the one challenged here under the Due Process and/or Equal Protection Clauses of the federal Constitution.

The officials ask for the appeals court to postpone oral arguments until after the Supreme Court issues its ruling in the marriage cases, expected in late June.

The brief also notes that the appeals court should review the challenge to the ban under a heightened form of judicial scrutiny, pointing to “doctrinal developments” on that question.

In its final sentences, the brief “request[s] that this Honorable Court reverse the Judgment of the District Court that dismissed Plaintiffs-Appellants’ complaint for lack of a substantial federal question.”

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings

139 Comments

  • 1. davepCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Hey! VIRick, you were right!! : )

    And the DEFENDANTS (the government of P.R.) are acknowledging that the law should be subjected to heightened scrutiny!! That makes their real position on this issue quite clear, doesn't it?

  • 2. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 20, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Here's what it says: "Because Puerto Rico’s marriage ban impermissibly burdens Plaintiffs´ rights to the equal protection of the laws and the fundamental right to marry, we have decided to cease defending its constitutionality based on an independent assessment about its validity under the current state of the law."

  • 3. davepCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I dunno… I'm skimming through the brief now, and they are really arguing OUR side of the issue in every paragraph, on every point. This is the most 'un-defense-y' brief from the defense I think I've ever seen in an ME case.

  • 4. DrBriCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    They do however discuss in their brief that heighten scrutiny for sexual orientation/gender is warranted, as is strict scrutiny for due process with regards to a fundamental right. They are basically quoting all the rulings in our favor and now agreeing with them.

  • 5. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 20, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    With all the proposed laws against the GLBT community, I'm not sure how any judge can say there is no animus against the GLBT community. If animus is shown, heightened scrutiny is required.

    Even the proposed laws that don't include specific language against the GLBT community (for instance, Oklahoma's proposed law to get rid of marriage in the state) were specifically proposed to 'get the gays' – otherwise, why wasn't it proposed years or decades ago if it is such a good idea now?

  • 6. Zack12  |  March 20, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    The only judges that can say there isn't animus against the gay community at this point are judges who are bigoted themselves.

  • 7. davepCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    And who are willing to lie in court and deny the existence of this animus. They may be bigots, but they still know full well that the animus exists. It's just that they are okay with this.

  • 8. guitaristbl  |  March 20, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Ok, ok I did not read the brief just your post that's why I ended up to that conclusion.

  • 9. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Yay!! Dave, the government of Puerto Rico, in abandoning its defense, actually went further than what I had anticipated!

    Their position, the "Baker" defense, of course, became untenable when the Supreme Court granted certiorari (thus making it obvious that a substantial federal question is involved) to the other cases concerning this same question from the 6th Circuit.

    But they did skip ahead by requesting that the 1st Circuit apply heightened scrutiny and rule using Due Process and Equal Protection, essentially the same line of argument advanced by the plaintiffs, thus in effect, requesting marriage equality and a reversal of the out-of-step ruling!. I certainly did not anticipate that they'd request heightened scrutiny.

    For now, Puerto Rico is in the same situation as was Nevada, where a district court judge upheld the ban, but where doctrinal developments overtook them, developments which the circuit court would then later take under consideration when reversing the original decision.

    Of course, it's now up to the 1st Circuit Court as to whether they will honor the request to hold off on oral argument until after the Supreme Court rules. In fact, is there any need for oral argument at all? With only one side left standing, can't the 1st Circuit simply rule on the plaintiffs' (potential) request for summary judgment, and be done? I want to see marriage equality come to Puerto Rico ASAP, as it will help our cause immensely.

    And by the way, the dropping of the defense on the part of the Puerto Rico government defendants is such a breath of fresh air, following all the hyper-wrangling and negativity in Alabama, and with the 8th Circuit going nowhere.

  • 10. aiislander  |  March 20, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Yaaay! More good news in advance of April 28!

  • 11. DrBriCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I agree. I'm surprised that the brief still calls for oral arguments (and a delay in proceedings until after June). Any oral proceedings now would be like the hearing Oregon where the judge himself had to play Devil's advocate against both parties agreeing to drop the ban. (With added irony that he himself was gay.)

    It'd make much more sense to just ask the 1st circuit to rule on the briefs at hand and get the ball rolling now. Justice delayed is justice denied.

    Side note: What would happen if Puerto Rico now had a Hillary Hall – type clerk who was willing to start issuing licenses anyway? Would the PR government try and stop the clerk in order to wait for the final ruling? Or would they truly stand behind their new beliefs and stop enforcing the unconstitutional law?

  • 12. Zack12  |  March 20, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Judges like Sutton and Cook for example.
    Chester Straub who wanted DOMA upheld is also a good example.

  • 13. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Guitar, we do not want a remand, nor did the government of Puerto Rico defense request one. Instead:

    "…. the brief 'request[s] that this Honorable Court reverse the Judgment of the District Court that dismissed Plaintiffs-Appellants’ complaint for lack of a substantial federal question.'"

    There's a very insular reason behind this maneuver. Once the case has left the island on appeal, they do not want it back. They want to be done with it. And they can even fob off the ruling onto the US government court system in a summary "They told us so" manner that requires compliance. And of course, now that Puerto Rico has caved, that paves the way for us, the next-door neighbor. And the argument here will go, "Well, if Puerto Rico has to comply, then, of course, we will, too, as we're all US citizens, and there's only one US law."

    I know this is not a legal argument, but that's how it's sold to the ordinary citizen in the street, whether that citizen be a resident of Puerto Rico or of the USVI. Remember, in US parlance, both jurisdictions are comprised of majority-minority populations. Puerto Rico is 95% Spanish-speaking Latino (at least), while we're 75% majority black, with the vast bulk of the remainder also being Spanish-speaking Latino.

  • 14. davepCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    When you have time, check out the whole thing. I think you'll like it : )

  • 15. davepCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I think this brief differs from the Nevada situation in an important respect –

    The Nevada position was 'well, if you're going to apply heightened scrutiny to this case, as per your recent ruling in Smith-Kline, we can't win'.

    But this Puerto Rico position is now saying 'you SHOULD apply heightened scrutiny, and our ban is unconstitutional, and the plaintiffs SHOULD win'.

  • 16. scream4ever  |  March 20, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    The plaintiffs requested for summary judgment. If they submit a reply brief they should reiterate that request.

  • 17. guitaristbl  |  March 20, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I decided to delete my comment after reading the brief.

    A quite clear and nice part of the brief :

    "in order to avoid the application of strict scrutiny by this Honorable Court, Defendants-Appellees would have to defend the unenviable position that Puerto Rico’s definition of marriage and express prohibition of the recognition of any same-sex marriage legally contracted in other jurisdictions does not burden the exercise of the right to marriage. WE CANNOT SERIOUSLY DO THAT. Accordingly, we agree with Plaintiffs that marriage is a fundamental right; that the marriage ban affects their right to remain married in Puerto Rico; and that the ban burdens a well-established right to marry, not a new right to marry someone of the same sex."

    Also :

    "Although Defendants-Appellees argued before the lower court that Baker precluded the federal courts from entertaining petitioners’ claims and that Cook provided authority for the contention that the presumption of a legitimate government interest was enough for Defendants to prevail under rational-basis review, we never actually espoused what that legitimate interest was. Neither can we do so now, much less an “important” or “compelling” interest under whatever form of heightened scrutiny this Court ultimately deems appropriate to apply."

    I am happy that they dropped their defense but seriously are these serious people ? Like "we never actually espoused what that legitimate interest was. Neither can we do so now.." ? Really ? Literally this brief does not do any justice to the integrity of the PR government, even if it is beneficial for us.

  • 18. 1grod  |  March 20, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    In Nevada, clerks for Clark and Washoe County, as well as Carson City remained after Gov Sandoval and AG Masto withdrew their brief. The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage [aka Monte Stewart] was still there as an intervener. The Governor was still an defender -appellee. In this instance the State has not withdrawn but is wanting a reversal of the lower court decision. Heightened Scrutiny is not the convention for sexual orientation in the First Circuit, rather rational basis . Would the Appeal Court and panel be willing to change the consider la change in level of scrutiny. It would apply across the circuit and to other matters than marriage.
    The MORE circuits assert heightened scrutiny for sexual orientation the greater the likelihood is that the US Supremes imo will be prepared to do the same. Well Justice A. Kennedy excluded, as he does not buy into the schema in the first instance.

  • 19. guitaristbl  |  March 20, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Since you live in the USVI you should fine a lawsuit against the prohibition 😛

  • 20. JamesInCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Right? I really want to know the backstory here. Was there some change in the administration? WTF just happened?

  • 21. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    DrBri, someone needs to find out. Puerto Rico is sub-divided into 78 municipios (76 on Puerto Rico, plus Culebra and Vieques), each having a Demographic Registry office (with civil service employees) from which the couple would obtain their marriage license for a cost of $20.00 for the Internal Revenue stamp. The accompanying article lists the location for the San Juan office. Here's what one needs: http://welcome.topuertorico.org/gettingmarried.sh

    I would recommend trying San Juan, Carolina, Bayamon, Guaynabo, Toa Baja, Toa Alta, Dorado, or Trujillo Alto.

  • 22. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    "Puerto Rico position is now saying 'you SHOULD apply heightened scrutiny, and our ban is unconstitutional, and the plaintiffs SHOULD win'"

    Dave, that's a gorgeously simplified (and highly accurate) summary of the government of Puerto Rico's new "defense" position! So, in that regard, it does trump Nevada's passive "we give up" defense, or even Oregon's one-sided non-argument.

  • 23. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I know, but I'm like Scottie in that I'd have to find a suitable husband first. Of course, the two of us could also solve each other's problem,– or maybe DrBri would be willing.

    On the other hand, I don't think that there's a need for a lawsuit. We have a 15-member unicameral legislature, so it only takes 8 votes to change the VI Code and send the amendment on to the governor for his signature. The legislation is pending. We just need the push from the court (the Supreme Court, plus this change in stance in Puerto Rico), and we'll get the 8 votes. The governor will sign.

  • 24. DrBriCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    It's been an interesting question since even the DOMA proceedings. Chief Justice Roberts himself asked during the Windsor case why the Executive would continue to enforce a law that it itself has determined to be unconstitutional. It's a valid question, yet most of the small number of states that have agreed with that their bans are unconstitutional continued to enforce the bans until a final ruling let them off the hook (CA, OR, NV to a degree).

    Jackson County, MO, is one of the very few examples of a jurisdiction that has ignored the stay on a federal decision and has gone ahead with licensing. WV threw in the towel a couple weeks before its own federal district ruling since the cert denial for the 4th was controlling anyway.

    Plenty of laws remain in the books that are not enforced anymore (and not even the ones ruled unconstitutional, but the silly ones as well). It would be interesting to see PR just stop enforcing the law all together. (Although as Kansas and Alabama have shown, sometimes you need as explicit an order as possible to get every last clerk issuing licenses!)

  • 25. jpmassar  |  March 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    BOISE – The Idaho House on Friday voted 44-25 in favor of a non-binding memorial to Congress calling for federal judges who rule in favor of gay marriage to be impeached.

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/mar/20/idah

    Judges everywhere must be quaking in their robes.

  • 26. scream4ever  |  March 20, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I believe both county clerks dropped their defense in the Nevada case.

  • 27. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    "WTF just happened?"

    Puerto Rico just caved. Two Points:

    1. The governor, Garcia Padilla, has always been in favor of same-sex civil unions. The Puerto Rico Department of Justice finally prevailed upon him that that concept is out-moded, and will never prevail under US law, so forget it.

    2. The Puerto Rico Department of Justice also never expected that the district court judge would rule to uphold the ban. However, afterward, the case was appealed, and now they're in the Big Leagues at the 1st Circuit Court, where they won't prevail, while simultaneously facing the Supreme Court decision which will also go against them. Today, 20 March 2015, was their deadline for filing the defense reply brief for the appeal at the 1st Circuit. And they simply refused to defend the indefensible any longer.

  • 28. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    The Demographic Registry offices are all staffed by career civil servants, so a directive from higher up, issued by the Executive, via the Department of Health, would be sufficient to cause the clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses tomorrow (also note that the San Juan office is normally open for business 7 days a week), so it could happen quite quickly.

    Or we could get a clerk in any one of the 78 municipios just deciding ….

    I think we need to make some phone calls, starting with "Puerto Rico para Todos," the local litigant LGBT group in Guaynabo listed as one of the plaintiffs. http://prparatodos.org/

  • 29. sfbob  |  March 20, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    How cute of them. Not that it's gonna happen of course but someone in the Idaho House is either woefully or willfully ignorant regarding the grounds for impeachment of a federal judge. "The judge did not agree with us" is not one of those grounds.

  • 30. F_Young  |  March 20, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Puerto Rican government to no longer defend marriage ban
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/03/20/puerto-

  • 31. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    As I recall, the Carson City clerk "jumped the gun" and began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples ahead of everyone else.

  • 32. F_Young  |  March 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Sorta off-topic:

    TODAY IN HISTORY: Single Women of New York Denounce “Old Bachelors”: http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2015/03/20/69089

    This is unintentionally hilarious. Read it out loud for best comedic effect.

  • 33. 1grod  |  March 20, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Scream: Not disagreeing but all three clerks are listed in the decision and filed briefs in petition for an en banc hearing. http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/general/201… p 3 G

  • 34. guitaristbl  |  March 20, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Ehm..yeah ok good for them ! Such a constructive way to spend valuable legislative time…They could be passing nice "religious freedom" bills instead though.The more they spend time passing those squeaking nonsense the better for us.

  • 35. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 20, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    "It'd make much more sense to just ask the 1st circuit to rule on the briefs at hand and get the ball rolling now. Justice delayed is justice denied."

    Absolutely, especially because the judgement in to case Conde Vidal v Garcia-Padilla was a dismissal.

    "WHEREFORE, in light of the Order of even date (Docket No. 57), it is
    hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the claims be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE
    without the imposition of costs or attorney fees.
    IT IS SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED.
    In San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 21, 2014"

    The first Circuit should just vacate the judgement. No oral arguments required.

  • 36. A_Jayne  |  March 20, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    You are correct. All defendants in the Nevada case dropped their defense of it when the Governor was advised by the state AG to do so. The anti-gay group CPM (Coalition for the supposed Protection of Marriage) spoke as an allowed intervenor at the 9th Circuit only so the Court would have someone arguing for an opposing position – for a heightened sense of legitimacy, I guess.

    After the case was decided, the group continued trying to fight the case for quite some time, but they were rebuffed at every attempt.

  • 37. 1grod  |  March 20, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Bob – a bunch of woefully and willfully ignorant Christians! This is what animus look like: Rep Paul Shephard told the House " You can’t say an immoral behavior according to God’s word, what we’ve all been taught since the beginning, is something that's Just, and that’s really kinda what this is all about,”…. “We’d better uphold Christian morals…… A gay member of the House subsequently said: HJM 4 causes me the most hurt. … This bill is personal, and it hurts me. … This bill implies that my marriage isn’t worth as much as someone else’s.” I ask the reader – What's Christ's second of his two commandments?

  • 38. A_Jayne  |  March 20, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Since heightened scrutiny applies in the 9th Circuit, including Idaho, could that be why they are not trying "religious freedom" types of bills?

  • 39. ianbirmingham  |  March 20, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Florida Legislature: Same-Sex Adoption Discrimination Bill Passes Committee
    http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/same-sex-ado

  • 40. ebohlman  |  March 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    "We have to be careful not to run up the plaintiffs' legal costs because we know we're going to get stuck paying them."

  • 41. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    The Puerto Rico case has already been greatly expanded from its initial origins. Here's a quick summary (taken from my notes on another website):

    On 25 March 2014, Ada Mercedes Conde Vidal and Ivonne Álvarez Vélez filed a pro se lawsuit to compel Puerto Rico to recognize their marriage, which they had entered into in Massachusetts. On 25 June 2014, a new filing amended that lawsuit to include four more plaintiff couples, two seeking recognition of marriages already entered into in other jurisdictions and two who seek to marry in Puerto Rico, as well as an organizational plaintiff, Puerto Rico Para Todos.

    From that point, as counsel, we have Lambda Legal, joined by co-counsel from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, the Law Offices of Celina Romany, plus Ada Conde Vidal still representing herself and her wife.

    The district court judge denied plaintiffs' legal costs, so an overturning of that decision would also ensure that the state defendants be duly stuck paying all the plaintiffs' legal costs associated with the original case and its appeal. In particular, I sincerely hope Ada has kept meticulous, legally-valid financial record of her personal time and effort spent in pursuing her case,– and that, at a minimum, she's billing at $200.00 per hour.

  • 42. A_Jayne  |  March 20, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    OTOH, Idaho is "Utah North," so maybe someone is entertaining a similar bill to the one passed in SLC last week, and we just haven't heard of it yet?

  • 43. DrBriCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Yeah, we discussed it in the first post/thread above. It does seem annoying to go to great lengths to write a brief agreeing with all of the plaintiffs points on how the bans fail constitutional standards and yet still ask for any arguments to wait until after SCOTUS rules. If Puerto Rico truly agrees that the bans are unconstitutional, then they should move that the 1st Circuit rule without arguments and just get on with it, rather than hold off until the summer.

  • 44. scream4ever  |  March 20, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    There likely will be no oral arguments and the 1st will release a summary judgment ruling pretty quickly.

  • 45. DrBriCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    If they do wait until after June, then this is definitely the scenario they'll follow, with Obergefell et al. as the template.

  • 46. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    "There likely will be no oral arguments and the 1st will release a summary judgment ruling pretty quickly."

    Precisely. There's no need for oral argument. The plaintiffs can submit their optional response brief, re-requesting summary judgment, vacating the district court's ruling, after which the 1st Circuit Court can do exactly that.

    In the meantime, the Puerto Rico executive can issue a directive through the Department of Health, directing the 78 municipal clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to all qualified same-sex couples who request said license, and could do so immediately, now that they've given up defending their unconstitutional ban.

  • 47. DrBriCA  |  March 20, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    It would be nice to see another state/territory act like WV did when it saw that there was no point fighting anymore. (How often do you have a sentence with West Virginia as the model?!)

  • 48. VIRick  |  March 20, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    "…. West Virginia as the model?!"

    OMG!! You're correct! So far, it's the only instance where the entire state, through executive directive, completely "jumped the gun," well ahead of the actual judicial ruling (by a month).

    But here's another commonality. West Virginia (like Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Wyoming),– and like Puerto Rico,– and like the USVI,– only had/have statutory bans, bans which can be ignored (by enjoining) through executive directive. There's no constitutional ban which would otherwise need to be overturned and set aside.

  • 49. F_Young  |  March 21, 2015 at 1:38 am

    California attorney general may be forced to give bill allowing execution of gays a "shot" on ballot
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/calif-of

    Genocide, vigilantes, lynchings, hate speech inspired crimes, it's all open for debate now. America gets the democracy it deserves.

  • 50. DeadHead  |  March 21, 2015 at 2:20 am

    In the UK this guy’s actions would be treated as a hate speech crime and he would be fined and/or imprisoned. The craziest of the bigots are now creating a legal framework for sanctioned murder, just as they have done in Uganda and other countries. The one good thing with the existence of this petition is that it will help raise awareness of the fact that there are hateful people out there who genuinely want to do evil hateful things to lgbtq and other people the bigots don’t like.

  • 51. JayJonson  |  March 21, 2015 at 6:43 am

    I think we should give the government credit for reviewing and changing their position. No doubt political and budgetary considerations played into the decision, probably including the fact that a commonwealth so dependent on tourism did not want to become known as a deadender like Alabama or want to be in the position of having to pay large attorneys' fees to the plaintiffs. But it could be that the more they read the Plaintiffs' briefs and considered the messages being sent by SCOTUS, they concluded that the dunderhead judge who ruled in their favor was wrong. If it is the latter case, I think that says a great deal favorable about the integrity of the PR government.

  • 52. Steve84  |  March 21, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Idaho is a Mormon theocracy like Utah

  • 53. DeadHead  |  March 21, 2015 at 8:35 am

    The New York Times reports, Evangelicals Aim to Mobilize an Army for Republicans in 2016, “For Mr. Lane, a onetime Bible salesman and self-described former “wild man,” connecting the pastors with two likely presidential candidates was more than a good day’s work. It was part of what he sees as his mission, which is to make evangelical Christians a decisive power in the Republican Party. “An army,” he said. “That’s the goal.” His hope is that the politicized pastors will help mobilize congregations that have been disheartened by the repeated failure of socially conservative candidates, and by a party that has softened its opposition to same-sex marriage. … “If the Lord were to call 1,000 pastors in America — 1,000 — and they ended up with an average of 300 volunteers per campaign in 2016, that would be 300,000 grass-root, precinct-level, evangelical conservatives coming from the bottom up,” he said to the ballroom full of pastors. “It would change America.”

    Full story at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/16/us/evangelicals

  • 54. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 21, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Also, impeaching a Federal official is just the first step.

    To remove the official, the Senate must hold a trial, with 2/3rds voting to convict the official. I'm sure the GOTP can get a majority of Senate votes (until the next Congress), but 2/3rds?

  • 55. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 21, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    In a way, I hope the 1CA does not ignore the request to delay the hearing to summer.

    The ruling from the court should ask PR why it agrees with the rulings of other courts, then ask of PR's request to delay, but still hold hearings, (excuse me for mixing languages) 'pourquoi'? PR has already given 1CA the reasons to issue a summary judgement in favor of the plaintiffs, so why is a hearing necessary?

    Then 1CA should clearly state that the request by PR for additional hearings is DENIED, with summary judgement for the plaintiffs.

  • 56. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    "I hope the First Circuit ignores that part."

    May I ask exactly who wrote that comment?

    Oh, and my last name is NOT Baltimore. I live in Baltimore City, and many of my ancestors have lived in what is now the state of Maryland (some as many as almost 400 years ago, when the Ark and the Dove arrived in Maryland Province at St. Mary's City), but the last name is NOT Baltimore.

  • 57. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Off topic:

    On March 20, the 'Washington Post' ran an article about a same-sex marriage of 200 years ago.
    ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp… )

  • 58. Iggy_Schiller  |  March 21, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    nice article :)

  • 59. hopalongcassidy  |  March 21, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I truly believe if you'd pull that corncob out of your ass, you'd be a much more pleasant person.

  • 60. guitaristbl  |  March 21, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I doubt republicans in deep red legislatures care about the unconstituonality of the laws they vote to show their animus against LGBT people, let alone for the level of scrutiny the regional court of appeals applies.

  • 61. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 21, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    "I clarified what I meant by it:."

    And the clarification was AFTER I wrote my comment about why I wanted the 1CA to deny the request for additional hearings.

  • 62. VIRick  |  March 21, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    "…. if you'd pull that corncob out of your ass …."

    Hop. but wait!!

    That's what makes it all so worthwhile,– having the corncob lodged in an obviously conspicuous location!! Personally, I wouldn't want it to be any other way. LOL

  • 63. VIRick  |  March 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    "But it could be that the more they read the Plaintiffs' briefs and considered the messages being sent by SCOTUS, they concluded that the dunderhead judge who ruled in their favor was wrong."

    That's the way I'm reading it, as well, but with one additional important factor to consider: The Puerto Rico Department of Justice had to convince the governor to sign-off on dropping their defense. When Ada first filed her pro se suit, "Conde Vidal v. Garcia Padilla," she (correctly) sued the governor (et al.), given the hierarchical structure of the Puerto Rico government. The issuance of marriage licenses, through the Department of Health, is an executive function.

    But Governor Garcia Padilla insisted that same-sex civil unions was "good enough," and for the longest while, that position of his was quite inflexible, and was offered in a kind of "Latino good-guy politico compromise" manner. Knowing his position, and knowing how he was offering it, tells me that even the governor himself did not expect the district court judge to rule the way he did in upholding the ban.

    Same-sex civil unions might still work in an independent Latin American nation like Chile or Costa Rica, but it wasn't going to work in Puerto Rico, as it was no longer a tenable compromise under US jurisprudence. It didn't pass muster in Nevada, and it didn't pass muster in Colorado. But that scenario in those jurisdictions had to play out first before the governor could be moved.

  • 64. DeadHead  |  March 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Chemo kicking my butt this weekend, I needed a good laugh and the tail end of this thread made me chuckle. Thanks to all you Nevas for the laugh. Isn't love grand? https://youtu.be/EBXbRr_xhxo

  • 65. 1grod  |  March 21, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Wolf: I summarize your viewpoint as – I hope the First Circuit denies the request to postpone oral arguments until after the Supreme Court issues its ruling in the marriage cases. Bri agrees – " rule without arguments and just get on with it. Mike says "so why is a hearing necessary?" Let me try and provide a reason why a hearing is necessary, and then address the issuie of timing. This is only speculation, BUT I too realize that Justice delayed is Justice denied.
    In May 2012, an appeals panel for the First Circuit declined to extend heightened scrutiny to sexual preferences/orientation classifications. http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.c
    In PR's filing with the First Circuit, it argued that heightened scrutiny should apply to orientation/gender classifications and strict scrutiny because choice in who to marry is an aspect of the fundamental right to liberty, Given the 2012 ruling, is it not necessary to hear oral arguments for the Court to reverse itself? Perhaps the reasoning behind a desire to hold a hearing post Obergefell v. Hodges etc. [June 2015] is the hope that the level of scrutiny applied to sexual orientation in those cases, would inform the First Circuit's thinking in this case. Consider the impact of Windsor's thinking on the lower courts. And the First Circuit has not revisited its thinking since 2012 – pre-Windsor. The 9th Circuit post Windsor found a way to hear arguments in Nevada's Sevcik v Sandoval's district finding against Equality, and in so doing applied Smithkline Beecham v Abbott. Ok – to address Justice delayed….. heightened scrutiny to sexual orientation will impact future cases of discrimination in accommodation and employment to name only two. Isn't that the bigger picture in this and other circuits. You are more aware than me what is now happening in legislatures across America to find new ways to put down the LGBT community: Whack!

  • 66. VIRick  |  March 21, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    "…. so dependent on tourism did not want to become known as a deadender like Alabama …."

    Oh absolutely! Both Puerto Rico and the USVI, on a per capita income basis, are somewhat challenged. So, we are always very conscious of comparisons made between various (US) jurisdictions "at the bottom of the pack." Thus, whenever we can do better than either Alabama and/or Mississippi (or even Arkansas or Louisiana), it's always taken as a major achievement.

    I can almost hear the DOJ personnel using that as a "last straw" argument to convince the governor,"Hey we can do better than Alabama, and now is our best chance to prove it yet again!"

  • 67. DeadHead  |  March 21, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you Mr. Wolf with the Red Roses. I been down this path before I'm a tough old queer.

  • 68. DeadHead  |  March 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Mr. Baltimore, thank you for the link this was a cool article. I liked this quote from it: “What made their relationship work was how public it was. Charity and Sylvia were enormously valued in the community. They did everything from leading the local charitable organizations to contributing money to the church … and people just chose not to know what was inconvenient to know.”

    I just ordered the Kindle edition version of the book, Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America.

  • 69. VIRick  |  March 21, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    "Mr. Baltimore …."

    Oh dear god, don't call him Mr. Baltimore,– unless you also intend on adjusting the corncob!!! Or have Hop help you. LOL

    Mike,– just as a clue,– we ALL know your surname is NOT Baltimore. Instead, understand that we're collectively pulling your chain. Like little children, we're annoying just because we can.

  • 70. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 21, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Fair enough. I'm sure we'll both find out sooner rather than later. :)

  • 71. VIRick  |  March 21, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    '…. the situation just needs to be augmented with a second corncob in the mouth and bound hands …."

    Wolfie, I wonder how many times we'd be down-voted if I gave a completely honest answer?

    I mean, just as a possibility, a second one in the original spot might actually be better.

  • 72. jpmassar  |  March 21, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    OT:


    DIARMUID MARTIN, the Catholic archbishop of Dublin, has called on the government to consider introducing a “conscience clause” into law to protect Christians’ right to hold religious beliefs, ahead of the May 22 referendum on same-sex marriage.

    Such a clause would allow business owners who have a moral objection to a gay wedding to refuse to provide services for it, without fear of breaching equality legislation.

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/ireland/

  • 73. DeadHead  |  March 21, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Any proctologist can adjust that corncob for him. Mike, folks here, including myself, do like you. We've all had people annoy us and yank our chain about things. Grin and bear it. Here's a great quote by Oscar Wilde: “If there is anything more annoying in the world than having people talk about you, it is certainly having no one talk about you.”

    And here's another great quote, "Sun in the eyes, wind in the hair, bugs in the teeth, dirt all over the face, corncob up the butt – you've got that biker's scowl."

  • 74. A_Jayne  |  March 21, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    What's up with all the down-votes? One or two I see fairly often, and with various ones of us, but 5? For that comment?

  • 75. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 21, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    We're up to 9, and I have no idea, Jayne. People can't handle me having my own mind, I guess.

  • 76. A_Jayne  |  March 21, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Okay, nevermind. I looked up-thread, and I can see this has a history today…

  • 77. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 21, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Mmm, true. Again, I refuse to be a doormat, so yeah. Not terribly worried about it. Thanks for looking out for me, though. :)

  • 78. Zack12  |  March 21, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Wyoming is a Republican state but it's a mix of moderates and right wingers.
    Hence why there could be no pro LGBT laws passed, anti-gay ones like a ban couldn't get through either.
    They tried really hard in Pennslyvania to get a ban passed but couldn't, same in Indiana because at that time there were still enough moderate Republicans left to stop crap like that.
    Not the case today.
    I fully expect the anti-gay backlash to get even worse then it is now with the "religious freedom" bills.

  • 79. bythesea66  |  March 21, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Wolf I have been trying to uprate you since I noticed what is happening, but the onslaught makes me think you are being trolled by anti-gays from other sites that have intense debate accounts. The number is just too high to be irritated EoTers or whatnot. I even can't reply to many of your comments and that makes me suspect they have also been reported a number of times for whatever reason. Sorry this is happening ot you. Don't let it stifle you being your wonderful self.

  • 80. A_Jayne  |  March 21, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    😉 Not so much looking out for you personally as wondering about other viewers of the site. I'm not new here, but not a long-timer either, so I'm kinda watchful. And I understand an account is not necessary to up- or down-rate, but still…

    Anyway, perhaps you have an "external" following just exercising their 1st Amendment rights, eh?

  • 81. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 21, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    It's alright. Thank you. I'll be okay. :)

  • 82. VIRick  |  March 21, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Mexico Up-Date: Colima

    Deliberations began in Mexico's Supreme Court in September 2014 to determine whether Colima's new Civil Code which provides only "wedlock" for same-sex couples and "marriage" to opposite-sex couples is discrimination via sexual orientation.

    On 18 March, 2015, in the Colima appeal, Mexico's Supreme Court declared that "separate but equal treatment is discriminatory" and unconstitutional. The decision also stated that section 201 of the Colima Civil Code which defines gendered roles for men and women is discriminatory and reiterated that adoption open to heterosexual married couples must also be open to homosexual couples.

    This is now the 6th state same-sex marriage ban to be declared unconstitutional by Mexico's Supreme Court: Oaxaca, Baja California, Campeche, Sinaloa, State of Mexico, and now, Colima. It is also the first instance where unequal adoption rights have been mentioned as being discriminatory, and thus unconstitutional, as well.

  • 83. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 12:31 am

    VIRick: "So, we are always very conscious of comparisons made between various (US) jurisdictions "at the bottom of the pack." Thus, whenever we can do better than either Alabama and/or Mississippi (or even Arkansas or Louisiana), it's always taken as a major achievement."

    Thanks, Rick, for your view on how government works in practice in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, which are not well known. It's good to know.

  • 84. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Zack12: "the "religious freedom" bills. "

    I don't legitimize them by calling them "religious freedom" bills, which is the terminology the theocrats want us to use. I call them "special right to discriminate" bills.

  • 85. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 12:45 am

    VIRick: "Mexico Up-Date: Colima"

    Rick, is this latest news especially significant? Do you have an idea what impact it will have?

    I'm wondering when the national case law will arrive to the point that all the remaining states have to allow same-sex marriages to be routinely performed without couples having to institute legal action.

  • 86. DeadHead  |  March 22, 2015 at 6:25 am

    More psychotic crap from the GOP… “What does the popular fast-casual Mexican chain Chipotle have in common with religious liberty? Apparently, more than you think, according to Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford and Virginia Republican Rep. Randy Forbes, who took to the pages of The Washington Examiner this week to explain why they feel religious business owners should be able to run their companies according to their faith. They homed in on Chipotle to make their case.” GOP lawmakers link Chipotle and ‘religious freedom’ http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/gop-lawmakers-chipotle

  • 87. Sagesse  |  March 22, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Apologies if this has been posted elsewhere. I am very absorbed at work these days, and, tho I try to keep up, I find myself falling a little behind on 'who is doing what to whom' in each state.

    Governor signs bill letting clerks opt out of same-sex marriages on religious grounds [FOX13 in Salt Lake City]
    http://fox13now.com/2015/03/20/governor-signs-bil

    I find these 'clerks can opt out' laws to be intellectually dishonest. IF a clerk has a religious objection that would entitle them to refuse a legal state service to a state resident, surely their 'freedom of religion' is not contingent on whether there is another clerk or clerks standing next to them who does not have a religious objection. Just as the right of a same sex couple to receive a marriage licence does not depend on which clerk is on the other side of the counter, the supposed religious freedom right of the clerk does not turn on and off depending on whether they are the only clerk in the county or not.

    Needless to say, I do not believe that state actors have the right to decide which state residents they will or will not deny legal state services to based on their personal religious convictions.

  • 88. Sagesse  |  March 22, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Telling stories. This one from Michigan.

    Same-sex couples celebrate first year of marriage [Detroit Free Press]
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/20

  • 89. 1grod  |  March 22, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Citizens of Alabama prepares themselves for same gender marriage: http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/real_

  • 90. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 22, 2015 at 10:03 am

    When I was in Elementary, Jr. High and High School, I tended to ignore people who intentionally tried to annoy me and others, and I tended to avoid cliques, whose only purpose tended to be to convey a sense of 'I'm superior to you, because I'm a member of this clique.'.

    It is much more difficult to ignore people in a totally written environment, where ignoring someone can easily be taken as allowing the person to continue to annoy me and I accept the annoyance, gaining a reputation as someone easy to.annoy. The intent of ignoring the person can be easily be seen as giving in to the annoyance, and one annoyance can easily lead to another, and another … .

    Sorry folks. I will ignore or address annoyances in the manner I feel is most appropriate. In a written environment, that means I usually will speak out, and when the annoyance is not logical, I will continue to point out the illogic.

    I thought most who post here were ADULTS who were beyond playing childish games, such as 'yanking someone's chain' just 'for the fun of it'. I was of the belief that the discussions were serious, not for some to gang up on others and put another person or persons down, just because they offered serious ideas and opinions that some don't agree with (those who offer ideas and opinions not of a serious nature are a different matter entirely).

    And Deadhead, since I don't ride a unicycle, tricycle, bicycle or motorized bike, I do NOT consider your last quote a 'great quote', nor applying to me, but maybe others think it applies to themselves. By the way, there are many ways for people to get most of what that quote says, such as driving a tractor (without a cab) on a farm. I grew up on a 160 acre farm, so I can attest to having suffered each (except the corncob up the butt) of the 'indignities' in that quote, and none were willingly suffered for the 'joy' of riding a bike.

  • 91. micha1976  |  March 22, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Is a decision by the 1st Circuit to vacate the District Court's ruling enough? It would put the lawsuit back into the situation before the ruling to dismiss. Can the 1st Circuit GRANT the summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs by enjoining PR officials from enforcing their discriminatory marriage code, or will it have to remand the case back to the District Court like in the Nevada case? Probably the same question applies to Louisiana…

  • 92. ianbirmingham  |  March 22, 2015 at 11:54 am

    "The fast food chain recently announced that it would not be serving pork at a third of its locations, because Chipotle suspended ties with a pork supplier that did not meet the company’s standards for humane animal care." – and these two wingnuts think that because Chipotle is free to choose its suppliers, other businesses should be free to choose their CUSTOMERS (in violation of the "public accomodation" legal concept which says they have to serve all customers equally).

  • 93. Decided_Voter  |  March 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    In a written environment like this, the way to tell if someone is annoyed is if they respond and show their annoyance. For whatever reason, it struck a chord and they're going to respond or feel like they want/need to defend themselves. I'm sure most LGBTs can relate to that whether they respond or not. If they choose to ignore, people will have no idea how they felt whether annoyed or if it didn't bother them at all. It becomes one hand clapping. Otherwise, it's showing your cards. Neither is right or wrong. They're just two different choices. We see those choices made on this site often.

  • 94. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 22, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    "In a written environment like this, the way to tell if someone is annoyed is if they respond and show their annoyance."

    Or not.

    The constant picking upon, with NO reason for disagreement given, can drive some people out of the discussion. When was the last time 'Straight Grandma' posted a comment? Maybe the reason she no longer posts comments is because some people picked on her and gave no reason for picking on her?

    People disagreeing is one thing. Grown ups can disagree on several things if the differences are discussed. People picking on people for no reason (such as 'down votes), and no reason is given (unless the reason is plainly obvious to ALL, such as the use of gratuitous cursing) is quite a different thing. I can take people disagreeing with my positions IF THE OTHER PERSON GIVES A REASON (or reasons) for such disagreement. No legitimate reason (or reasons) given? Then the person is just picking on a person for the purpose of picking on a person, on a par with cliques in schools.

  • 95. VIRick  |  March 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    "Do you have an idea what impact it will have?"

    I wish I could provide you with a definitive answer, but I've become increasingly frustrated with Mexico. Here's what OUGHT to happen:

    Colima is a relatively small, progressive state. It consciously attempted to revise and up-date its civil code to allow same-sex civil unions (while reserving marriage for heteros). Mexico's Supreme Court just stated that that's not good enough, while also striking down the unequal adoption rights clause.

    Next up: Jalisco, or more specifically its capital city, Guadalajara, the second-largest city in Mexico, and the heart of "traditional" Mexico. Theoretically, Jalisco also allows same-sex civil unions, but has been obfuscating. The duality there has been challenged all the way to Mexico's Supreme Court, and it's now clear that separate same-sex civil unions will not pass muster. Still, I don't know how many more times, this same issue has be to presented before a national ruling can be implemented and ENFORCED.

    I've always understood the Rule of 5. We're now to 6, with 7, 8 and 9 pending (Jalisco, Chihuahua with its 25 successful amparos, and Durango).

  • 96. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Actually, I don't see why a person needs to explain a downvote anymore than an upvote.

    I don't mind if people upvote or downvote me without explaining. It just quickly tells me how many people agree or disagree with that opinion or the value of that post; it doesn't upset me, since it doesn't hurt, punish or devalue me, and I'm not trying to be the most popular poster, nor to impose my views.

    If it's wrong to give a down vote without explaining, why does this site even have a down vote feature anyway? Is it to be used only if the reason is obvious?

    I think the likely reason for the up and down vote options is to avoid the tedium of repetitive "Me too"s and a long series of difficult-to-follow arcane arguments about matters that often don't merit that much space, being interrupted by an even greater number of "I agree"s, "I mostly agree"s and "Thank you"s.

    This site is already difficult enough to follow because of the thread collapse after 100 posts and the fact that replies are not clearly linked to the post to which they reply (ie the reply arrow does not connect to the relevant post with a line; it gives only a vague idea of the original post based on dead reckoning as to how far right of the invisible left margin they both are) In a long series of posts, one has to guess as to which post, sub-post or sub-sub-post a given reply pertains.

    Up and down votes reduce some of the clutter, and that's a good thing.

  • 97. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    VIRick: "…but I've become increasingly frustrated with Mexico."

    Me too.

    I wonder whether it's just that we don't have anybody posting here who understands what's going on, is fluently bilingual in English and Spanish legalese and is willing and able to explain it in plain English. Or whether it's just that nobody understands what's going on, not even Mexico's lawyers and law professors who deal with these cases.

    Thanks for the reply, VIRick. You've provided me with the best information so far.

  • 98. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 22, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    And if you post a 'down vote', there must be a reason you did. If you think everyone thinks exactly as you (but they don't, as evidenced by the 'down-' or 'upvote' option), then you should be able to explain your vote, especially the 'downvote'. If you can't explain the 'downvote', then why did you 'downvote' the person?

    And the EoT site has the option for 'upvoting' or 'downvoting' because that is how the IntenseDebate comments are set up. This site is NOT using their own comments software. The collapsing of threads is also how the IntenseDebate software is set up. Thus all your 'blame game' comments about how comments are displayed on this site should be directed at IntenseDebate, not at EoT.

  • 99. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Mike_Baltimore: "If you can't explain the 'downvote', then why did you 'downvote' the person?"

    To concisely indicate I do not agree (with an argument) or do not approve a behavior (eg insulting or crude language), but do not see any value in arguing about it.

    Mike_Baltimore: "Thus all your 'blame game' comments about how comments are displayed on this site should be directed at IntenseDebate, not at EoT."

    My "blame game comments" are not directed at Intense Debate or EoT: they are directed at those who blame people who prefer to use the down vote feature instead of cluttering up the comments.

  • 100. scream4ever  |  March 22, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I thought the rule was 5 cases/state for it to be binding in said state.

    I really hope the Mexican Congress just passes a national law. Supposedly there is one pending.

  • 101. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 22, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I'm back. Yay! :)

  • 102. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 22, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Prepare themselves? Are they going to use poppers? Lol.

  • 103. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 22, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    "This site is already difficult enough to follow because of the thread collapse after 100 posts. . . ."

    So I take it that you are denying making the above statement?

  • 104. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 22, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Young, I very kindly and gently suggest you stop engaging Mike. He's only going to keep arguing with you and nitpicking the things you say until it makes you upset. I learned this the hard way.

  • 105. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 22, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    This site needs moderators like whoa. Just sayin'.

  • 106. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Deadhead: "Chemo kicking my butt this weekend, "

    Hope you feel better now. Hang in there!

  • 107. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Wolf of Raging Fires: "Young, I very kindly and gently suggest you stop engaging Mike."

    Yes, I'll take your advice, though I doubt that I would become upset in any case; my mood is usually affected only by actual bad news, eg Judge Moore, not merely annoying commentary.

    There is just one other thing I have to say on the issue of up and down votes, which is that oftentimes I don't have time to engage in arguments on a blog. I have more important or pleasant things to do.

  • 108. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 22, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Fair enough :)

  • 109. Steve84  |  March 22, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    That was my thought too. Stocking up supplies for the upcoming gaypocalypse.

  • 110. Steve84  |  March 22, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Never mind that fucking clerks are only filling out paper work. They don't perform marriages.

  • 111. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 22, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Hehehe, right?! 😛

  • 112. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    It really is pretty ridiculous. They are agents of the state pushing paper. They shouldn't get a choice whether or not to do their job. If you can't do your job, then quit.

  • 113. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Keep hanging in there 😉

  • 114. Zack12  |  March 22, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Sad to say but this isn't anything new.
    Here in NY, one of the deals with the devil that had to be made in order to get marriage equality was allowing clerks the right to refuse to issue or sign marriage licenses for same sex couples as long as there is a deputy on hand to do so.
    Not an issue in the urban areas but it IS an issue in rural areas.
    As it stands in some, you have to call ahead for an appointmoint just to make sure there will be a deputy available that day.
    If not, you will be turned away and there isn't much that can be done.

  • 115. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Wolf of raging Fires: "This site needs moderators like whoa. Just sayin'. "

    I see you are still being systematically downvoted. I thought only registered accounts could vote.

  • 116. bythesea66  |  March 22, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    😀

  • 117. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 22, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Unregistered people can vote as well…something I feel IntenseDebate and/or EoT should change.

    I am taking your advice as well though, Young. I am going to treat downvotes as simple disagreement instead of bullying or injury. People are allowed to disagree with what I'm saying, and no one needs to win a popularity contest. I benefit from a little less sensitive ego. So, in essence, there's a positive in it regardless. :)

  • 118. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Sagesses: "Just as the right of a same sex couple to receive a marriage licence does not depend on which clerk is on the other side of the counter, the supposed religious freedom right of the clerk does not turn on and off depending on whether they are the only clerk in the county or not."

    IANAL but I assume the rationale for this is based on the concepts of "reasonable accommodation" and "undue hardship" that most often come into play in relation to disability, but also apply to religion. In short, an employer must accommodate the religion of an employee except when it would cause undue hardship to the employer, such as when it would force the employer to illegally deny a service to a client who has a right to receive it.

    So, the religious employee would not be obligated to supply the service, provided someone else was available to do so, because no undue hardship would thus result to the client. However, the religious employee is obligated to provide the service if no one else is able to provide it, since it would be an undue hardship to force the employer to illegally deny the service.

    That is, the rights of the employee and client co-exist and if they both can be respected, the employer must do so, but if there is no way to respect both rights, the rights of the client come first.

    However, as Zack12 pointed out above, apparently the New York statute has an exception that gives an unconditional right to the employee to refuse the service whether or not anyone else is able to provide it. This goes much further than the case law. of undue hardship, which only provides this right as long as someone else can provide the service..

  • 119. F_Young  |  March 22, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Wolf of Raging Fires: "Unregistered people can vote as well…something I feel IntenseDebate and/or EoT should change."

    I agree.

  • 120. VIRick  |  March 22, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    "I thought the rule was 5 cases/state for it to be binding in said state."

    Agreed, and it is, but even that's not being applied. Chihuahua is at 25 amparos, Yucatan is at 10, and Nayarit is at 5. And nothing is happening in any of those states. Chihuahua is so far over the limit as to be ridiculous.

    And Yucatan's state constitutional court just shot down their appeal (which in turn is now being appealed to Mexico's Supreme Court, which will thus make it state #10 up for review).

    I will grant them one point: This amparo (individual injunction) process is previously untested on other issues, and is an avenue which the law student from Oaxaca stumbled upon, which up until now seemed to be working. Except I don't see the enfocement. And to me, we're past the point where a national ruling should have occurred.

    "…. is fluently bilingual in English and Spanish legalese and is willing and able to explain it in plain English."

    I'm trying my best, but they're baffling me because their own rules are not being followed.

  • 121. VIRick  |  March 22, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Yay!!!!!! I'm glad. Quite frankly, I didn't understand what happened.

  • 122. VIRick  |  March 22, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you, Ian. That's the difference. Suppliers are not ther same as customers.

  • 123. Sagesse  |  March 22, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    I understand the mechanism, and the reasoning. I don't believe the clerks have the right to refuse service based on their religious convictions. However. If a state is going to 'respect' the religious convictions of some clerks, how do they justify making other clerks issue licences regardless. It's the first amendment. If 'freedom of religion' permits any clerk to claim a religious exemption, surely it should allow all clerks to claim a religious exemption. How is it reasonable that a clerk loses their right to religious exercise because they live in South Armpit Utah, but retains it if they live in Salt Lake City?

  • 124. VIRick  |  March 22, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Basically, it's because the legislators are attempting to find ways to appease their base. It has nothing to do with the clerks, or the clerks' beliefs or non-beliefs.

  • 125. VIRick  |  March 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    "Prepare themselves? Are they going to use poppers? Lol."

    Wolf. forget the poppers. If the staunch citizens of Alabama are going to be preparing themselves for the upcoming gaypocalypse, perhaps they'd be better-advised to invest in some non-drying lube.

  • 126. A_Jayne  |  March 22, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    They're also trying very hard to frame the debate as "us v them" with both being legitimate – despite the fact that one is completely illegitimate.

  • 127. VIRick  |  March 22, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    "…. no one needs to win a popularity contest."

    Wolf, precisely. There's no prize at the end of the rainbow anyway,– unless I happen to be standing in that spot! LOL

  • 128. RnL2008  |  March 22, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    My problem with this issue is that these folks ONLY seem to want to use their religious beliefs to DISCRIMINATE against just Gays and Lesbians……not divorcee's, or adulterer's, fornicators or ANYONE else who have committed sins, NOPE…..just towards Gays and Lesbians. These folks are nothing more than HYPOCRITES and Utah has allowed the DISCRIMINATION to continue even though SCOTUS ruled in the Hobby Lobby ruling that one's religious beliefs CAN'T be used to discriminate……..sorry, but if you are a state employee and you DON'T want to do your job, then QUIT and let someone do the job who WON'T discriminate.

  • 129. RnL2008  |  March 22, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Look, we currently have a lawyer who is trying to get a proposition on the ballot in 2016 called the Sodomite Suppression Act basically saying that it's okay to shoot Gays or Lesbians in the head, and if someone supports Gays and Lesbians, then they should be imprisoned for 10 years and pay a fine of $million dollars, exile from the State and ALL of this garbage is being allowed because folks who AREN'T really that religious CAN'T hide their hatred or bigotry. Don't want to marry a Same-Sex couple…..then QUIT and let someone else do it.

  • 130. F_Young  |  March 23, 2015 at 12:57 am

    VIRick: "I'm trying my best, but they're baffling me because their own rules are not being followed."

    I really appreciate your efforts.

  • 131. F_Young  |  March 23, 2015 at 1:05 am

    VIRick: "…unless I happen to be standing in that spot!"

    Sometimes I wish the registered users could upvote more than once, like the sockpuppets can downvote. LOL

  • 132. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 23, 2015 at 1:34 am

    😉

  • 133. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 23, 2015 at 1:35 am

    People got butthurt. I've been known to cause butts to hurt. LOL.

  • 134. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 23, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Word.

  • 135. ianbirmingham  |  March 23, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Politico article: The Fear of Being Gay in Russia – Putin's state has allowed violence against the Russian LGBT community to spike. Russian gays seek asylum in US. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/ru

  • 136. F_Young  |  March 23, 2015 at 4:00 am

    ianbirmingham: "Putin's state has allowed violence against the Russian LGBT community to spike"

    Our very own Scott Lively must be proud that his extensive speaking tours of the former Soviet Union set the stage for this.

    Though perhaps he is slightly embarrassed that the Russian anti-gay vigilantes are white supremacist fascist Neo-nazies, which runs counter to his propaganda that the Nazis were gay.

  • 137. RemC_Chicago  |  March 23, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I didn't know. That's outrageous.

  • 138. DrPatrick1  |  March 23, 2015 at 10:40 am

    animus alone means nothing. No one would argue there isn't animus against murderers, yet a law criminalizing murder does not invoke heightened scrutiny. Indeed, most laws which make something illegal can be said to have animus. It is not difficult to then find a community which is unfairly targeted, like the community of people who wish to murder someone.

    Animus, in the legal context, is, by itself, insufficient to justify a law. Therefore, it is often cited by SCOTUS as the only remaining possible justification for a law, while ruling it unconstitutional. Emphasis is made, at this stage, re: animus, but that isn't sufficient to say the law itself will be declared unconstitutional. It is easy to read those rulings to think that animus played a huge part of the ruling, rather it is only after the legal conclusion is reached that the law is unconstitutional is animus mentioned.

    AND YES, no thoughtful person could legitimately argue that animus against the LGBT community is false or merely a historical blip.

  • 139. Outsource IT Service  |  August 6, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    In the UK this guy’s actions would be treated as a hate speech crime and he would be fined and/or imprisoned. The craziest of the bigots are now creating a legal framework for sanctioned murder, just as they have done in Uganda and other countries. The one good thing with the existence of this petition is that it will help raise awareness of the fact that there are hateful people out there who genuinely want to do evil hateful things to lgbtq and other people the bigots don’t like.

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