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Equality news round-up: Another Alabama hearing coming up, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

It's time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
It’s time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
– Indiana has passed an anti-LGBT “religious freedom” bill.

Buzzfeed spoke with Jim Obergefell, one of the plaintiffs in the same-sex marriage cases the Supreme Court will hear in April.

– A hearing in the Northern District of Alabama will take place on March 26 in a request for a preliminary injunction allowing a same-sex couple to get married.

– The plaintiffs challenging Missouri’s marriage ban in the Eighth Circuit have filed their brief in the case.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings

68 Comments

  • 1. aiislander  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Can the language of this bill pass Constitutional scrutiny? Is there established precedent?

  • 2. brandall  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:11 am

    While not directly answering your questions, here is the setup I would love to see happen:

    Someone who is a member of a church or religious organization permitting and promoting marriages for same-sex couples refuses to provide a service to a same-sex couple. What 'religious freedom' does this person hide behind? What does the church do since they are now dragged into this and have to take a side?

  • 3. jpmassar  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Wyoming:


    CASPER, Wyoming — Plaintiffs who were successful in a federal lawsuit seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in Wyoming are now seeking to recover nearly $95,000 in attorney's fees and costs.

    In October 2014, U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl struck down Wyoming's 100-year-old ban on gay marriage after federal courts in several other states had done the same.

    "The state of Wyoming's position against gay marriage was contrary to well-established (court action) and resulted in them being extraordinarily unwise stewards of taxpayers' dollars," Mohamedbhai told the Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1Hz5itF).

    The state filed its response on March 12, arguing the fees are unreasonable because five to seven attorneys reviewed each pleading, which the state found excessive, and some billed for travel to Wyoming but did not participate in the hearing.

    The state also asked the court to require Laramie County to pay half the reasonable costs because Clerk Debby Lathrop was a co-defendant.


  • 4. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

    What would be better IMO is for a so-called 'Xian' to refuse service to a religious person who doesn't believe in vehicles, or motorized tractors, use of electricity, etc. (a description of most Amish). I don't think you can find many who, as a group, are more religious than the Amish.

    The Amish don't usually sue, but when they do, they almost always 'have their ducks in a row' and seldom lose. I don't think it would take many cases of refused service for someone who is Amish to sue.

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Alumni won't leave millions to University of Alabama because of state's war on same-sex marriage

    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/alums_wo

  • 6. F_Young  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:54 am

    ianbirmingham: "Alumni won't leave…"

    That link did not work for me. Hopefully, this one works:
    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/alums_wo

  • 7. brandall  |  March 24, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    "The state also asked the court to require Laramie County to pay half the reasonable costs because Clerk Debby Lathrop was a co-defendant."

    Let me get this right, the STATE passes a gay marriage ban, the county clerk follows the STATE law, but the STATE now wants the county to pay 50% of the costs to defend the STATE's decision to fight a now clearly unconstitutional ban?

  • 8. 1grod  |  March 24, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Scottie: Remind me why you chose Baldwin Co AL to put down roots? Isn't there a more progressive one. Seems you neighbours can help being up marriage [in] equality no matter what the occasion. http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2015/03/g

  • 9. SethInMaryland  |  March 24, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    update in Austrailia: the marriage equality bill WILL be introduced and debated on Thursday, the conservative mp Leyonhjelm will introduce is very optimistic that the government will allow for a free vote. It is unclear whether a vote will take place on the same day.

  • 10. SethInMaryland  |  March 24, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    some signs seem to pointing that conservative government is going to allow a free vote: they infact reject a call from the Austrailian Christan Lobby , that is really good development

  • 11. Zack12  |  March 24, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/
    This says otherwise, let's hope you are right, enough is enough.

  • 12. jpmassar  |  March 24, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Link / reference?

  • 13. Nyx  |  March 24, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    My initial reaction to this was the same as yours brandall, but what were the political dynamics? Was the state ready to pull a "Pennsylvania or New Jersey" but the county pulled them further into the fight? I don't know the politics behind the scene at that time, can you or someone else clarify?

  • 14. SimmieK  |  March 24, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Senator Leyonhjelm is delaying his second reading speech until what he feels is the opportune time, because once it is held, there will be an expectation that (reasonably soon, but not necessarily immediately) there will be a vote on the bill. He wants to make sure the governing Liberal Party (who despite their name, are actually conservatives) agrees to give their members a conscience vote on the issue.

    Will he make his second reading speech on Thursday? Well, he did say it would happen this week, but he was hoping that the Liberal Party Room meeting on Tuesday would agree to a conscience vote. Instead, they decided not to discuss the issue, and they aren't scheduled to meet again for 6 weeks, and then when they come back, the focus will all be on the budget. So, maybe he has decided to go ahead with the speech anyway, and then try to delay the vote afterwards for as long a possible; or maybe he'll decide to postpone it for a few more weeks, we'll have to wait and see.

    The major factor looming over this is how long Prime Minister Tony Abbott lasts. There are many rumblings about replacing him with someone else – most likely Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, or somewhat less likely Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. There already was one vote on the issue, which Tony Abbott won 61-39 – but to put the matter behind him he needed to win by a much bigger margin. But now they don't want to do anything until after the NSW State Election on this Saturday. If the NSW Liberals under Premier Mike Baird win reasonably clearly – which is likely – it will temporarily take the pressure off Tony Abbott. If there is a surprise result, and Mike Baird loses or has a very narrow win, the pressure to remove Tony Abbott will greatly increase. But even if Mike Baird wins reasonably clearly, while it will not induce immediate pressure to remove Tony Abbott, it will remove one of the major factors holding them back from returning to the discussion. And then, there is the budget in May – the last budget was very poorly received, if the next budget isn't more popular, again there will be pressure to remove him. And then, as we get closer to the election due next year, if the polls look bad for them, that will be more pressure to replace Tony Abbott with someone more popular (the polls were looking very bad; recently they have improved somewhat, but not enough; they are waiting to see if the polls improve more, or if the recent improvements reverse themselves).

    If Malcolm Turnbull becomes PM, he is an open supporter of marriage equality, so a Liberal party conscience vote becomes almost certain. If Julie Bishop becomes PM, she has not so openly declared support for marriage equality, but she has implied she will vote in favour of it, so a conscience vote is likely under her too. But as long as they keep Tony Abbott – he is a very staunch social conservative, I suspect he would very much prefer there not to be a conscience vote. I think the majority is there in the party room for a conscience vote – if you add up both the supporters of marriage equality, and the soft opponents – those who will vote against it, yet want a free vote – it is a majority. But the hardline opponents don't want a free vote, and since they know that if the party room votes on a free vote, the motion for a free vote will probably win, their main tactic is one of delay – "let's not talk about this today, we have so many more important things to discuss"; "we have big disagreements on this issue, if we face them now, they'll be aired publicly, and that will hurt us in the polls and in the media, and now is not the right week for that" (of course, no week ever is). And so far, this technique has been working for the hardliners.

    So, I think marriage equality is inevitable in Australia. But I'm maybe not as optimistic as Seth about it happening soon. It probably will happen this year, but I reckon the odds are only around 60%. There are just too many variables left to play out politically. If Tony Abbott is removed, the odds increase to 80%+.

    Also, I think the US Supreme Court decision will play out big in the media here, and may be a tipping point for Australian politicians to finally take some action. Which makes me think we might not see this issue addressed properly until June or July.

  • 15. SimmieK  |  March 24, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Senator Leyonhjelm is better described as a libertarian than as a conservative. He has mostly progressive views on social issues, mostly conservative views on economic ones. While I like his views on marriage equality and drug law reform, I'd caution people to consider his views on other issues too (e.g. massive loosening of gun laws, repeal gambling regulations, repeal anti-smoking laws, stop all foreign aid, open up unlimited free trade, privatise as much as possible, repeal hate speech laws, less banking regulation and remove government guarantees on bank accounts, etc)

    Senator Leyonhjelm has already introduced his bill; it is waiting for him to make the second reading speech. He wants to delay that, because once he does that, there will be an expectation that they have an up-down vote on the bill reasonably soon afterwards; no one wants to take a bill to a vote now if they feel that holding off for longer may increase its chances.

  • 16. davepCA  |  March 24, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks for the background and insights, SimmieK! Very helpful.

  • 17. SPQRobin  |  March 24, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Slovenia update: the National Assembly will hold an extraordinary session on Thursday to vote on the proposal to prevent a referendum on the law enacting marriage equality. If MPs decide to block the referendum, its proponents can appeal to the Constitutional Court.
    http://www.rtvslo.si/news-in-english/fate-of-gay-https://english.sta.si/2117509/mps-to-vote-on-gay

  • 18. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 24, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    I'd laugh if the judge reduced the 'reasonable expenses' by $1.00. He'd satisfy, but actually not, part of the suit.

    And the state should expect Laramie County to sue it if it continues to demand that the County pay 1/2 the costs. If Laramie County pays 1/2 the costs, does the state plan on exempting Laramie County residents from paying their 'share' of the state's costs? And if so, how? After all, Laramie County (Wyoming's largest by population) has more than 16% of the state's population, and thus one can presume it contributes a commensurate proportion of the state of Wyoming's income.

  • 19. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 24, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    http://www.advocate.com/politics/marriage-equalit… , dated March 16.

  • 20. SimmieK  |  March 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I might just add one more thing about Senator Leyonhjelm – on the marriage equality issue, his policies are LGBT-friendly, but on a lot of other issues they are not. His guiding principle is that government should have as little power as possible. So that implies the government should not have the power to discriminate in marriage laws – I think he'd ideally prefer that the government got out of the marriage business altogether (marriage privatisation), but he realises that won't fly politically, so this is the next best thing for him.

    But it also implies he doesn't look very favourably on government intervening in business to prevent discrimination. Now, we already have nation-wide anti-discrimination protections in Australia for LGBT people, so the issue probably won't come up in practice; but, hypothetically, if a conservative government wanted to remove those protections, or abolish anti-discrimination protections altogether, he'd probably vote in favour of it.

    And what we do have is religious exemptions for religiously-affiliated institutions. So, in general, an employer cannot fire an employee for being LGBT in Australia – but legally they can if they are a church-owned school or hospital or social services agency. A lot of people disagree with this exemption and would like to see it narrowed or abolished. But if such a proposal came to a vote, Senator Leyonhjelm would probably vote against it – since in principle he doesn't agree with anti-discrimination laws. If a reparative therapy ban came up, he'd probably vote against that, because government should not interfere with the work of therapists. He'd support abolishing government funding for HIV research or LGBT youth suicide prevention, because he believes those sorts of things are none of the government's business, and funding should come from the private sector instead. In his view, government should only be there for public roads (i.e. roads the private sector doesn't want to own), law and order, and national defence, and everything else should be privatised.

  • 21. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Isn't there already pressure on the Liberal Party for the recent electoral losses suffered in Queensland (granted it was the Liberal National Party that suffered the losses, but that's very similar to calling the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party a separate party than the Democratic Party in Minnesota)?

  • 22. 1grod  |  March 24, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Scottie [above] mentions the March 23 plaintiff's submission to the Eight Circuit Appeals Court in Missouri's Lawson v Kelly case. It marshals the same arguments, citing the same cases now often heard. However the 79 pages 14,355 words are worth a quick read as the writers for ACLU – M write well. Because the state's only argument is a sovereign state is free to act as it pleases, and in this instance does so for the sake of uniform application of the law, the plaintiff chose to turn that argument on its head by reminding the Court that currently the state recognized same-sex marriage celebrated elsewhere – Where is the uniformity once proclaimed in doing so? The plaintiff therefore turned to the arguments asserted in the amicus briefs supporting the State as proxy arguments. Here is an example of the plaintiff's retort: Amici declare that the families headed by same-sex couples are inherently inferior or broken. Absent from the condemnation of these families, however, is any explanation of how the Marriage Exclusion Act steers children into what these amici think would be more optimal families. In fact, the only impact the Marriage Exclusion has on children’s welfare is that it deprives thousands of children of stability and protection based upon the sexual orientation of their parents. Preventing same-sex couples from marrying does not rationally further this interest in “optimal” parenting because it does not stop them from having children; it just harms the children they already have. P64.

  • 23. brandall  |  March 24, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    If you live in California, there is this nutcase trying to put a really sick anti-everything proposition on the next election ballot. We've all commented on it on EoT before:
    http://oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/1

    Please consider signing this change.org petition to disbar him for violating human rights:
    https://www.change.org/p/california-state-bar-dis

  • 24. sfbob  |  March 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    There are a couple of contrary developments (though none would directly affect the current proposed ballot measure).

    One would raise the filing fee from $200 to $8,000…
    http://www.joemygod.blogspot.com/2015/03/californ

    …The LA Times notes that the fee hasn't been increased since 1943; an appropriate fee, adjusted for inflation, would be on the order of $3,500 or so. I actually think it would be a good idea to jack the fee up beyond what inflation would account for in order to make it more difficult to file a frivolous and potentially damaging ballot measure like the current on.

    And then there is the "Anti-Jackass Initiative"…
    http://www.joemygod.blogspot.com/2015/03/californ

    "Any person, herein known as an 'Intolerant Jackass,' who brings forth a ballot measure that suggests the killing of gays and/or lesbians, whether this measure is called the Sodomite Suppression Act or is known by some other name, shall be required to attend sensitivity training for at least three (3) hours per month for twelve (12) consecutive months. In addition, the offender or 'Intolerant Jackass' must donate $5000 to a pro-gay or pro-lesbian organization."

    I like both of them though either would be a tough slog and the second one is at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek anyway.

    What will kill this idiotic initiative is that fact that it will take paid signature-gatherers to get it on the ballot. Granted there may be some people who agree with the idea and others who are desperate enough for cash to think about it but I suspect McLaughlin will find it very difficult to find enough candidates to gather signatures. He's gotten what he wants, namely attention. Unfortunately for him it is almost entirely of the wrong sort.

  • 25. brandall  |  March 24, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    "shall be required to attend sensitivity training for at least three (3) hours per month for twelve (12) consecutive months."

    IMHO, that is too kind….instead, I propose, "shall be required to attend the closest lip-sync drag show at least three (3) hours per week for twelve (12) consecutive months.

    That's torture based on the most shows I've seen anywhere in the world. But, there are some great one's also.

  • 26. RnL2008  |  March 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Okay, most of us have heard about the Sodomite Suppression Act that one idiot is trying to get on the ballot in 2016……well this woman is fighting back with her own bill: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/24/1372992/

  • 27. davepCA  |  March 24, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Excellent idea, although I think her version of the bill could have been much more creative. For example, it could require intolerant jack asses who try to submit obnoxious discriminatory bills to wear big pointy dunce hats and walk around in huge floppy comical clown shoes with silly old-time-y bulb horns attached to the bottoms, so they honk with every step. And all such discriminatory bills will be required to be written in pig Latin, and every other sentence shall end with the phrase "duuhhh herp a durp".

  • 28. RnL2008  |  March 24, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I so agree with ya……maybe if I'd the $200.00 fee, I'd have done something similar, but with more sever penalties.

  • 29. jcmeiners  |  March 24, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    As far as I understand it, the names of those who sign the petition are public information. So why not let them collect the signatures and then create a web site that publicly outs all signers as bigots, and promote it such that any future employer will come across it? I doubt any reputable company would be eager to hire a self-proclaimed hate monger.

  • 30. VIRick  |  March 24, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    "…. I propose, "shall be required to attend the closest lip-sync drag show at least three (3) hours per week for twelve (12) consecutive months. "

    …. and must do so in drag themselves,– while wearing a large, visible, fluorescent butt-plug.

  • 31. RnL2008  |  March 24, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Hey, love the idea, that's sort of what the Democrat in Oklahoma did by adding the amendment that the bigots had to place a sign in their window….they DIDN'T agree and killed the bill…..Yea for her in Oklahoma!!!

  • 32. VIRick  |  March 24, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Dave, that's far more creative than my own suggestion!! Although, in addition, to the rest of your suggested regalia, I feel that the wearing of a large butt-plug should also be included as a required part of the costume.

    Still, that $200.00 filing fee for ballot initiatives is so overdue to being raised to something more like $20,000.00

  • 33. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 24, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Off topic:

    A slap in the face to the anti-gay Cardinal in DC?

    'Georgetown [University] to host LGBT Catholic conference'
    ( http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/03/24/georget… )

  • 34. bayareajohn  |  March 24, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Strange, the language used in that little article implies it has been cancelled or something. it "was scheduled for March 27,,," and people "were expected to attend…."

    The site it references has no hint of a problem that I can see….

  • 35. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Off 'topic:

    'Bid to block spousal benefits for gay U.N. employees fails'
    ( http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/03/24/bid-to-… )

    The sponsor of the bigotry was (no surprise) Russia. The vote in the General Assembly was 80-43, with 37 abstensions.

  • 36. brandall  |  March 24, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Delightful idea, but probably a violation of the 8th Amendment, "cruel and unusual (very unusual) punishment. But, I would pay to see it!

  • 37. thomesmith  |  March 24, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Confirmed today, the 8th Circuit panel for argument on May 12 is Judges Roger L. Wollman, Duan Benton, and Lavenski R. Smith.

  • 38. VIRick  |  March 24, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Brandall, now, suddenly those atrocious lip-synch drag shows aren't quite so totally hum-drum, are they??

  • 39. VIRick  |  March 24, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Lavenski Smith already ruled against us as part of the panel in 2006 which reversed Judge Bataillon's ruling and upheld the Nebraska ban in the "Bruning" case.

    That panel consists of the same 3 judges who issued the stay in the current Nebraska appeal on 5 March 2015.

  • 40. Zack12  |  March 24, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Right off the bat, I can tell you Smith is a no vote.
    He ruled against us in Bruning back in 06 and I see nothing to indicate that he will change his mind a second time.
    Benton is another George W hack who is good friends with Alito and shares his mindset.
    And last but not least, we've had a mix of good St. Ronnie judges like Posner and bad ones like Jerry Smith.
    Sad to say but Wollman appears to be the latter.
    We'll have to wait for arguments but I won't be shocked to see a quick 3-0 ruling against us come May, even though SCOTUS is likely to undo it a month and a half later.

  • 41. thomesmith  |  March 24, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Ughh. And he's considered the moderate on this panel. Hopefully they take as long as the 5th circuit has, and SCOTUS let's us celebrate nationwide equality before another insulting 8th circuit decision can be rendered.

  • 42. Zack12  |  March 24, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I have a feeling they have their ruling against us ready to go just like the 7th did.

  • 43. thomesmith  |  March 24, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Yep, my guess is a quick decision crafted to try and sway Kennedy and Roberts. Copy and paste of the 6th circuit ruling?

  • 44. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Even if it has been cancelled (and it hasn't, as far as I've heard), just scheduling it is a slap in the face to the Cardinal.

    Georgetown U. is directly under the purview of the Cardinal, just as Catholic U. Catholic U. (on the orders of the Cardinal) just recently banned a University authorized GLBT group from advertising on campus a regular meeting of the group (also held on campus).

  • 45. flyerguy77  |  March 24, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    maybe after SCOTUS' oral arguments they might realize "if we rule against these cases"we will be overturned IN A ZAP

  • 46. Zack12  |  March 24, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    They could propbably just use the one from back in 06 with the copy and paste to include Windsor.

  • 47. scream4ever  |  March 24, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks for the info! I also hope/suspect that the Supreme Court ruling will push Germany to follow suit too (as will Switzerland beginning the process towards legalization).

  • 48. VIRick  |  March 24, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Sweden Just Added A Gender-Neutral Pronoun To Its Dictionary http://www.buzzfeed.com/emaoconnor/sweden-just-ad

    This is a problem in many languages where all nouns/pronouns are either masculine or feminine. Swedish has always had "han" (he) and "hon" (she), and now officially has "hen" for mixed groups/non-specific gendered individuals.

    And this is special for Mike_Baltimore: The Swedish "hon" is pronounced exactly the same as when referring to a Baltimore hon. I'll let him explain the latter.

  • 49. sfbob  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Georgetown has a long history with DC's LGBT community. Back in the early 1980s an LGBT law student group sued the university for violating the District's anti-discrimination ordinance…and won. The case was decided by the DC Court of Appeals in 1987. Here's a link to the court decision:

    http://www.leagle.com/decision/1987537536A2d1_153

    In light of the above discussion regarding RFRA and related matters the following may be interesting:

    Thus, on statutory rather than constitutional grounds, we affirm the trial court's conclusion that Georgetown need not grant "University Recognition" to — and thereby "endorse" — the student groups. The Human Rights Act does, however, mandate that the student groups be given equal access to any additional "facilities and services" triggered by that status. Georgetown's asserted free exercise defense does not overcome the Human Rights Act's edict that the tangible benefits be distributed without regard to sexual orientation.

    DC was among the first jurisdictions to include sexual orientation in its civil rights ordinance. And of course the federal RFRA was passed in the early 1990s so the decision greatly pre-dates RFRA. However that final sentence, even though it comes out of a local appeals court, does make an important point. In fact the entire decision is well worth slogging through (it is not the most entertaining of reads and to top it off every judge seems to have agreed with some parts of the main decision and dissented on others, making it really, really lengthy).

    I lived in DC until shortly before the case was decided and I knew people who students at Georgetown during that time including some who were involved in the litigation. The case was covered extensively not only by the Washington Blade (which at the time was essentially the LGBT version of the New York Times) but by the Washington Post as well..

  • 50. VIRick  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Los Tigres del Norte Are Making Gay Norteño History
    http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/music/

    Norteño music is the Spanish language country/cowboy music of northern Mexico, and Los Tigres del Norte, with 37 million albums sold over the years, are the kings of this genre. Their latest hit, "Era Differente," is a song about gay love, a subject, of course, which is shattering many stereotypes, including the most worn-out one all, machismo.

  • 51. micha1976  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    It will probably result in a GVR…

  • 52. scream4ever  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    GVR?

  • 53. Fortguy  |  March 24, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    He should be forced to do so in Texas and forced to park three blocks away. Let him understand what it is like to look over your shoulder in fear as you make your way back to your car.

  • 54. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Grant, Vacate, Remand?

  • 55. RnL2008  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Here is what's going on in Texas at the moment: http://www.kten.com/story/28607456/texas-lawmaker

    Seems this idiot hasn't read or understands what the Supremacy Clause means……this supposed bill will ensure that the State of Texas will continue to discriminate against Gays and Lesbians even after SCOTUS rules in June.

  • 56. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Leave it art and music to tell it like it is.

  • 57. SimmieK  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:07 am

    The Queensland loss inflicted a grave political wound on Tony Abbott, yes; but not a fatal one. And that was almost two months ago now – which in politics is an eternity. If Mike Baird loses on Saturday, it will almost certainly be over for Tony Abbott – three shock state election losses in a row. But, Mike Baird is ahead 54-46, so while victory is not certain for him it is pretty likely.

    I'm sure something will do Tony Abbott in eventually, but not the Queensland loss. He isn't helping himself with his recent string of offensive comments – comparing the Labor Party opposition's economic policies to Joseph Goebbels; accusing Aboriginal people who live in remote areas (where their ancestors have lived for millennia) of making a negative "lifestyle choice" (racism borrowing the language of homophobia?), etc.

  • 58. ebohlman  |  March 25, 2015 at 3:58 am

    While I'm in no way optimistic about this panel, I do feel it important to point out that the question before the 8th in Bruning was completely different from the one(s) now before it and that a judge could rule against the plaintiffs in the former and for them in the latter without being inconsistent. Not trying to imply that Smith is going to be that judge, just noting that this case isn't Bruning 2.0.

  • 59. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 6:47 am

    See the discussion in the thread Alabama Updates 3/23.

  • 60. F_Young  |  March 25, 2015 at 7:57 am

    India Votes With Pakistan, Saudi Arabia to Block Gay Rights at UN
    http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/india-supports-rus

    It's a shame.

    China should know better too. Nothing good ever comes from mixing religion with sex or sexuality. You'd think China would understand that.

  • 61. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 25, 2015 at 10:36 am

    I have lived in the Baltimore/DC area for more than 40 years, since the early 1970s. Your saying you lived in the area until just prior to a court decision, in other words, does not impress me.

    Besides, if the case in the DC Court of Appeals was so decisive, why did the District Council have to come back and add gender identity and expression to the ordinance in 2005? After all, DC has had Home Rule since 1973, and the current Human Rights Law since 1977. Why did the original Human Rights Law NOT specifically include gender Identity and expression? People were relying on a court decision and so they thought gender Identity and expression were already covered?

  • 62. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 25, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I think VOA does a better job than I could (after all, I'm a native of the Mid-West, which has it's own accent and 'strange wordings' [for non-natives] ):
    ( http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/hey-ho… )

    One quibble I have with the VOA transcript – when many people of Baltimore talk about going 'down to the ocean', they usually mean going to Ocean City, MD, and say what sounds like 'downie ocean' (Ocean City, MD sits right on the ocean, and is South [and East] of Baltimore City, and also Baltimore County).

  • 63. micha1976  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    That's what I meant. If the 8th Circuit reverses quickly to get ahead of the SC decision in Obergefell, they could just grant the cert petition from plaintiffs, do away with the appeals court decision and order the 8th Circuit to decide new in lights of the Obergefell decision.
    It's the judicial equivilant of a "nice try, dudes"…

  • 64. wes228  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    They would probably just summarily reverse the 8th Circuit because they will have issued a merits ruling on the same exact question of law. A GVR is usually done when the Supreme Court rules that a different legal doctrine needs to be applied, leaving wiggle room for the court below.

  • 65. DACiowan  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Especially with the effort China has put into the past century of discarding old tradition and moving past religion and superstition.

    As for India, unfortunately it has a very religiously conservative government right now so as long as Modi is in power, I expect this stance.

  • 66. Zack12  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    That will likely be the option they do.

  • 67. sfbob  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    If you presumed I was holding up the 1987 decision as the be-all and end-all then you misunderstood my point. The point here is that even when it comes to an explicitly religious institution such as Georgetown University, a judgment was made against them which required them to grant a gay student organization equal access to campus facilities. That court decision, as far as I know, still stands, despite the passage of the federal RFRA. The university has of course continued to do its best to apply that decision as narrowly as possible and has continued to run up against walls not simply based on that decision but because the student body by and large will not stand for it. They even went so far as to elect a gay man as student body president and there was nothing the school administration could do about it.

  • 68. bayareajohn  |  March 28, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Bob, you're already on notice for failing to impress Mike. Why push your luck with a response? Ballsy move.

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