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Alabama judge orders pro-marriage equality decision effective statewide, stays effect until SCOTUS ruling

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

In a pair of rulings issued today, Judge Callie Granade of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama ordered that her ruling invalidating the state’s marriage equality ban as unconstitutional be effective statewide, but also stayed her decision until final determination of the larger marriage equality issue currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the first order, Judge Granade agreed to a class certification in the case of Strawser v. Strange which defines the plaintiff class as anyone seeking a marriage license and the defendant class as “all Alabama county probate judges who are enforcing … Alabama’s laws barring the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  As Judge Granade wrote in her ruling,

All Plaintiff Class members have been harmed by being denied the ability of obtaining a marriage license and their injury can be properly addressed by class-wide injunctive relief.

In addition to her order on the matter of class action certification, Judge Granade issued another order granting a preliminary injunction against Alabama’s marriage equality ban and explaining her rationale for finding the ban unconstitutional.

In that second order, the judge ruled that her preliminary injunction is stayed and will not go into effect until the Supreme Court issues its ruling in the four marriage equality cases that were heard by the Justices on April 28, writing that “the issues raised by this case are subject to an imminent decision by the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges and related cases.”

Same-sex couples in Alabama have been through a whirlwind of conflicting state and federal legal rulings in the last year.  In January, Judge Granade ruled that the state’s marriage equality ban was unconstitutional, and ordered Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to stop enforcing the ban.  Strange sought to have the decision stayed by Granade, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, but was unsuccessful at all levels.

However, as these proceedings and stay requests were taking place, Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, came out swinging against the ruling, going so far as to say that “nothing in the United States Constitution grants to the federal government the authority to desecrate the institution of marriage.”  Attorney General Strange chose to defer to local probate judges’ discretion as to whether or not they wished to issue licenses to same-sex couples–many of the judges did not–and Granade issued an injunction against one particular probate judge, Don Davis, ordering him to issue licenses to same-sex couples.

To complicate matters further, the Alabama Supreme Court issued its own ruling in March saying that Alabama’s marriage equality ban did not violate the U.S. Constitution and ordered probate judges not to issue licenses to same-sex couples.  Following that ruling–and Probate Judge Davis’s requests that Granade stay her order so that he would not face conflicting rulings from her court and the Alabama Supreme Court–the Strawser plaintiffs requested that Granade certify a class action in the suit.

This post has been updated to add background to the case.

[A note from EOT: Scottie’s computer is currently out of commission, but he will hopefully be back online for further posting soon!]

231 Comments

  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  May 21, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Florida LGBT Families Still Waiting for Clarity on Gay Marriage
    http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/florida-lgbt

  • 2. LK2013  |  May 21, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Great news!

    No need for the stay, though!

    Stay, stay, go away!!!

  • 3. weaverbear  |  May 21, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    5 to 6 weeks and there should be a ruling from SCOTUS, which in all likelihood will end this chapter in our struggle for equality. It won't be the end to our struggle, but our right to marry and have our marriages recognized and respected, from the Virgin Islands to the tip of the Aleutians to Guam, will be ours.

    Now on to employment protections, housing rights, and ending abuses like "conversion therapy".

  • 4. RnL2008  |  May 21, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    So, came across this article and wanted to get one's thoughts on the executive order from Louisiana: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/05/21/36612

  • 5. SethInMaryland  |  May 21, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Josh dugger has just resigned from the family research counsil amid sexual molestation :Duggar, 27, said he "acted inexcusably" in a statement to People, referring to allegations that he molested underage girls when he was a teen.

  • 6. 1grod  |  May 21, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    From AL.com: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/05/judge_gr
    and profile the added 3 gay couples: http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2015/05/m
    At the time they were representing themselves, James Strawser and John Humphrey could hardly image their request for a marriage license would end up being as significant as it has become. Will the State appeal? Perhaps not: "We've said from the beginning that the U.S. Supreme Court would have the final say in this matter," an official stated. "Had Judge Granade heeded our request that she stay her order from the start we could have avoided a tremendous amount of chaos and confusion. The good news here is that Judge Granade has finally accepted our advice and issued a stay."

  • 7. VIRick  |  May 21, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Rose, here's one reaction:

    New Orleans Mayor Blasts Jindal with Counter Executive Order Protecting LGBT Individuals

    New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu responded to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s controversial religious objections executive order by issuing an order of his own on 21 May 2015. It reaffirms that the city has banned acts of discrimination for numerous reasons, including sexual orientation or gender identification.

    Landrieu’s order comes after a Jindal-backed religious objections bill died in a House committee this week. Critics say it would have sanctioned discrimination against same-sex couples if gay marriage becomes legal. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2015/05/new-orleans-ma

  • 8. ebohlman  |  May 21, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    And let's be clear that this wasn't just teenage sex; he's admitted to fondling 4 of his sisters while they were sleeping.

  • 9. RnL2008  |  May 21, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks for the info…….frankly, if Blacks had to continue to go after one right after another, we'd have had a war on hand…..yet, folks feel that even though they know marriage is coming to ALL states, now they'll find ANOTHER way to harm us…….I'm getting really fed up with this 2 steps forwards and 2 backwards, so that it feels like e are on some weird azz tread mill.

  • 10. dorothyrothchild  |  May 21, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    I hate that fucking family so much. The reason LGBT protections failed at the ballot box was due in part to robocalls from Michelle Duggar about how these laws would lead to transgenders molesting kids in bathrooms. And that was after her own son had already admitted to them that he was a child molester and they didnt do anything about it.

  • 11. VIRick  |  May 21, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    "I hate that fucking family so much."

    My goodness, Dorothy! Still, I have to whole-heartedly agree. All of them, the whole family, need to crawl back under their rock.

    What so annoys me about evangelicals is personified in this mess. Somehow, they think that once they're caught they only have to weep and cry and "pray" and claim that they sought forgiveness for whatever transgression might have been committed, and that that is sufficient to wipe away their wrong-doing because, according to them, jesus has forgiven them. Or some horse-shit to that effect which places them above the law.

  • 12. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 22, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Amen

  • 13. guitaristbl  |  May 22, 2015 at 6:03 am

    So Granade granted Class Action to both plaintiffs and defendants and striked down the ban.Again. She must be getting tired really, that's what, he 3rd or 4th time she striked down the same ban ?

    Good job though !

    P.S. Got to love this one :

    "Davis also argues that an additional preliminary injunction would be in
    direct contradiction to the order issued by the Alabama Supreme Court in Ex parte
    State, 2015 WL 892752 (Ala. March 3, 2015). It is true that if this Court grants the
    preliminary injunction the probate judges will be faced with complying with either
    Alabama’s marriage laws that prohibit same-sex marriage as they have been
    directed by the Alabama Supreme Court or with complying with the United States
    Constitution as directed by this Court. However, the choice should be simple.
    Under the Supremacy Clause, the laws of the United States are “the supreme Law
    of the Land.” U.S. CONST. art. VI, cl. 2."

    "Judge Davis and the other probate judges cannot be held
    liable for violating Alabama state law when their conduct was required by the
    United States Constitution."

    I would be wary to place a bet on the most hated person in Alabama by Moore (and the rest of the Alabama "Supreme Court") before this order (could be the whole class action of same sex couples) but after that I can safely bet it's Granade.

  • 14. josejoram  |  May 22, 2015 at 6:51 am

    I wonder if this ruling is a confirmation that SCOTUS has the last say on marriage, not the states themselves.

  • 15. SethInMaryland  |  May 22, 2015 at 7:54 am

    when will we start getting live results out of Ireland? feels weird for the vote not happening in the US for once, still makes me nervous when these votes occur

  • 16. seannynj  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:15 am

    I though somebody here said before that federal law does not trump state law unless the Supreme Court rules in it's favor. In this case Judge Granade's ruling would not supersede the AL SC and probate judges could choose to follow either. Can somebody clarify this please?

  • 17. Rik_SD  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:28 am

    and one of them is a child molester!!

  • 18. JayJonson  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Not just a child molester, but an incestuous pedophile. Good Christian family values there.

  • 19. JayJonson  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I have also been very nervous about the Ireland vote. It is so humiliating to have others vote on our rights. But I was encouraged by this news: Bookmakers Paddy Power are putting the odds at 10/1 in favor of the Yes vote.

    In addition, voting seems to be high in urban areas, not so much in the rural areas. That also bodes well.

    We will not know anything until tomorrow morning, when the votes begin to be counted by hand, and are likely not to know the final results until Sunday.

  • 20. wes228  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Federal law always trumps state law.

    Decisions by federal courts, however, do not bind state courts (except for SCOTUS). The federal District Court's finding that the marriage ban violates the Constitution does not prohibit the Supreme Court of Alabama from coming to the opposite conclusion.

    However, if one person is simultaneously under conflicting orders from a federal court (don't enforce the marriage ban) and a state court (you must enforce the marriage ban), then he is obligated to follow the order of the federal court.

  • 21. Rik_SD  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:35 am

    but that's ok I suppose.. part of God's plan. Certainly doesn't warrant robocalls against it. Ugh, these people!

  • 22. sfbob  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:35 am

    We are not talking law but both judicial ruling and constitutions. The US Constitution absolutely trumps state constitutions, which is what Judge Granade is saying. Her order cannot directly compel state actors to violate a state-level judicial ruling until the Supreme Court affirms her ruling. In addition she cannot overturn a state supreme court's ruling; only the US Supreme Court can do that. But she isn't ruling on what the state supreme court has said. She has ruled in a law suit filed with the federal judiciary on the basis of the US constitution and has indicated that there is every indication the US Supreme Court will uphold her ruling.

  • 23. sfbob  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:37 am

    I have read that all of Ireland's voting is done on paper ballots and that the ballots are all counted by hand. So we will not have results until all of the polls have closed and the ballots have been counted–probably sometime early Saturday morning in the US.

  • 24. SethInMaryland  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Is Dublin's turnout really high?

  • 25. Japrisot  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:42 am

    State law is always subordinate to federal law. This situation is a disagreement between two courts' interpretations of what federal (Constitutional) law requires. If a lower federal court has ruled on a federal question, state courts may consider those holdings binding, merely persuasive, or give them no weight whatsoever (this is especially true if the circuits are in conflict). There is no uniformity here; each state is different.

  • 26. seannynj  |  May 22, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Maybe we'll get some exit poll results tonight – fingers crossed.

  • 27. NetAmigo  |  May 22, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I watched the evening TV news out of Paris this morning. They covered the voting in Ireland. I saw heavy voting and most voters appeared young, young and young.

  • 28. ebohlman  |  May 22, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Counting the results will begin at 9AM tomorrow, with counts for the ME referendum (there's another referendum regarding lowering the age of eligibility for President–note that that's a largely ceremonial head-of-state position–and there are some local elections) expected to be ready by noon.

    Voting continues until 10PM today; by then we should have turnout figures, which will be very important (high overall turnout and high turnout in urban areas are good for us). The biggest turnout is expected between 7PM and 10PM.

  • 29. Rik_SD  |  May 22, 2015 at 10:36 am

    wonderful if it is approve… much better still if it is a CRUSHING victory! :)

  • 30. Lymis  |  May 22, 2015 at 10:48 am

    That's not fair. They turned it over to the cops, who assigned an investigator who ignored the case and did nothing about it, who was himself subsequently convicted of child porn and given over 50 years in jail.

    THEN they did nothing about it.

  • 31. Lymis  |  May 22, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Federal law often trumps state law. Federal law usually does not trump state constitutions. Federal constitution nearly always trumps state laws and constitutions.

  • 32. Lymis  |  May 22, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Depends on what it is that they are saying. Even if SCOTUS rules in our favor, the states will still have most of the say on the mechanisms of marriage, including age of eligibility and to some degree, consanguinity. They will no longer have the say on whether same sex couples are eligible at all.

    I doubt sincerely, that SCOTUS is going to declare that the states have no say in marriage or somehow transfer to that authority fully to the federal government. But they will say that the states don't have the right to grant marriage to some people but not to others, based purely on the gender of the people involved.

  • 33. 1grod  |  May 22, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Judge Granade notes that her ruling on constitutionality was first. She also notes that none of the plaintiffs were party to the AL Supremes' case. Nor was the state. Which permits her to act. What she does not acknowledge was that Elmore Co Probate Judge John Enslen and Jefferson's Alan King were parties to the Supreme Court case,

  • 34. Lymis  |  May 22, 2015 at 10:56 am

    If things go well for gay equality, will this mean that NYC will ban Irish people from the St. Patrick's Day parade?

  • 35. Raga  |  May 22, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Not sure if any of these cases have been reported, but I found this newsletter to be a good summary of current activity regarding the post HobbyLobby RFRA-based challenges. You can subscribe to this monthly newsletter too, if you like: https://www.scribd.com/doc/266272772/ACLU-Highlig

  • 36. sfbob  |  May 22, 2015 at 11:57 am

    The brief version is that the next decision will probably re-affirm what was stated in Windsor: that the states get to regulate marriage, "subject to certain constitutional guarantees". And that those "constitutional guarantees" are pertinent when it comes to excluding an entire class of persons from the right to marry the person of their choosing who is not a minor, not a blood relative (as defined by the state) and is not already legally married to some third party.

  • 37. 1grod  |  May 22, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    With the Texas legislature adjourning on June 1, would it be liklely for the 5th Circuit to soon thereafter copy Judge Granade by issuing their decision and staying it post the US Supremes' decision in Obergefell?

  • 38. RemC_Chicago  |  May 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I wondered about that too. Can't make a case for supporting the values of Irish culture while going against clear evidence of it.

  • 39. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 22, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Article VI, Section 2 of the US Constitution, states:

    "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

    Otherwise know as the Supremacy Clause.

    But you say "Federal law often trumps state law. Federal law usually does not trump state constitutions. Federal constitution nearly always trumps state laws and constitutions."

    Care to explain how the plain language of the US Constitution says Federal law is subserviant to state Constitutions or law?

  • 40. sfbob  |  May 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    I suppose it's possible but it's also possible that the Fifth Circuit will simply wait until SCOTUS issues a decision in Obergefell and not bother issuing one of their own. I couldn't begin to guess which of those is likely to happen.

  • 41. RnL2008  |  May 22, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    So, I came across this ummm, interesting article about a Gay couple who has been together for more than 50 years, but back in 2000, they moved to Pennsylvania, who wouldn't recognize their DP from New York, the one adopted the other to gain rights and protections……..last week, the adoption was vacated in order for them to marry……I've NEVER heard this before:
    http://www.abc-7.com/story/29135663/gay-couple-ha

  • 42. SimmieK  |  May 22, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    A federal law (assuming that law is constitutional under the federal constitution) will always trump state constitutions.

  • 43. scream4ever  |  May 22, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    The Baker couple in Minnesota did something similar so they could get marriage-esque rights.

  • 44. Eric  |  May 22, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Note the gap in the timeline between the abuse and the report to police.

  • 45. guitaristbl  |  May 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    More on the Duggar scandal : Apparently the Duggar show has been pulled of TLC's schedule ! :
    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/22/tlc-

    Got to love it..Payback for the Fayetteville ordinance repealed !

  • 46. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 22, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I read about the Baker case recently and it was news to me that one of them adopted the other before they obtained a marriage license. I knew that they had obtained the marriage license after Jack Baker (of the famous of Baker v. Nelson case) legally changed is name to the gender neutral name Pat Lyn McConnell, but I hadn't heard that he had been adopted by his to be husband Michael McConnell. Now that sounds patently illegal – becoming someones legally adopted parent and then marrying the person you adopted. Apparently The McConnell's just recently learned that the marriage license they obtained in 1971 was never recorded, and so thus they're still only "shacked up" instead of legally married. They say they will fight this in court, though they're now in their 70s. It would seem to me that they would also have to dissolve the adoption that they did in any case if they want a legally recognized marriage and the inherent inheritance and social security rights sand benefits.

  • 47. scream4ever  |  May 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Indeed. It's just one step away from being canceled!!!

  • 48. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 22, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    The polls in Ireland have just recently closed. If the YES on same gender marriage wins, as I suspect it will…does anyone know how long it has been projected before the Irish Government enacts the legislation that will then allow SS couples to apply for licences and get married? I hope it's not like in Finland where it'll still be 1.5 more years before they get to that point.

    And on a related note…when the US Supreme Court overturns the 6th circuit next month and affirms that states bans on SSM violate the US constitution…when will people in the remaining 14 states (I'm not including Alabama, as they have stopped issuing licences) be able to start obtaining licences. Will it be later that afternoon after the Supreme Court announcement…or??? I hope the clerks in those 14 states are getting prepared for a flood of gay couples coming in and applying for licenses.

    Now…the next step is to find an Irish Fiance 😛

  • 49. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Bob, either scenario is equally plausible. However, I suspect the timing on the issuance of their decision depends upon the dissenter, Jerry Smith, wrapping up his dissent. For all we know, he might well be stalling, hoping against hope that SCOTUS will rule to uphold the bans.

  • 50. JayJonson  |  May 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Yes, let's not forget the role these degenerates played in Fayetteville. Karma is a bitch.

  • 51. DrBriCA  |  May 22, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    My understanding is that any same-sex couple could theoretically go to get a license the same day the pro-ME decision is read, and if refused, they have swift legal recourse to remedy the situation. In practice, different courts will likely lift their stays on decisions or finally rule on the merits of the case, and then ME would trickle into the 14 states.

    For example, a SS couple in Georgia or ND could apply, but they might get turned away by a clerk who wants to wait for a local ruling directly shooting down their own state's marriage ban. It would then be up the federal judges in those states to finally rule (now that SCOTUS has paved the way). Or their AG/Governor could be like West Virginia and direct the clerks to issue licenses even before the judges give the (obvious) ruling.

    Alabama's stay would lift, as per Judge Granade's ruling this week. The Alabama SC decision would have no bite now, as one can show doctrinal changes with the SCOTUS decision, which has precedence over a state SC.

    States like Texas, Mississippi, and those in the 8th circuit could appeal to their circuit or SCOTUS to lift the stays for good on their pro-ME ruling. (Short of like how California went after the Hollingsworth v Perry decision.) The 5th may also rule that week in favor of ME (similar to the 9th circuit releasing its opinion the day after the cert denials of Oct. 6).

    Louisiana (esp. with Jindal) and Puerto Rico could drag out a bit if they stand their ground and wait for an official reversal of their own now-debunk anti-ME federal district decisions. (Part of Louisiana could start earlier though, as there was a state ruling in favor of ME that was stayed.)

    I'm not sure if the states in the 6th would need to wait for an official order from the 6th or if they will just go ahead and start, given that their district level rulings all were pro-ME and the circuit decision is vacated. All those original decisions have stays, and Tennessee and Ohio technically were only ordered to recognize out-of-state marriages.

    Of course, there will likely be states looking for loopholes, as the Texas legislature tried last week or as Alabama proved in 1970 with needing its own anti-miscegenation ruling 3 years after Loving.

    Needless to say, it'll be a fun couple of weeks in July as they all fall in line, as most of the states in 4, 7, and 10th did in Oct. (looking at you, Kansas!)

  • 52. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Rem, speaking of Irish culture, the Irish will definitely vote for marriage equality simply because by doing so, it will piss off the Pope (and the rest of the RC hierarchy).

    Pissing off the Pope seems to be the latest wrinkle in modern Irish culture, a feature which had not yet been embedded into Irish culture at the time when the bulk of the emigrants departed for overeas destinations. These overseas Irish, when reflecting upon "Irish culture" as heritage (re: the St. Patrick's Day parade in NYC), are still locked into the 19th century. In the meantime, Ireland itself has moved on, minus all the pinch-nosed Presbyterians in Northern Ireland who insist upon remaining British.

  • 53. scream4ever  |  May 22, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I've asked that question before and it largely sounds like it depends on the clerks. The 6th Circuit and Alabama will have to immediately with the binding rulings and whatnot, but there will be nothing stopping the clerks in other states/territories from issuing licenses immediately, although they may not be required to do so for several days or even weeks.

    This is largely how the Alabama situation may pan out until the Obergefell ruling is handed down. Grande in her ruling indicated that nothing is currently preventing probate judges from issuing licenses right now, they just will not be required to do so. I suspect that next week some will begin issuing.

  • 54. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    They've definitely overstayed their 15 minutes of fame.

  • 55. DrBriCA  |  May 22, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Yeah, the best example is how October went with the cert denials. The 5 states directly impacted by the denials fairly immediately started to issue licenses. Colorado also followed suit quickly (I believe Missouri will be like this, given that several counties already are). WV threw in the towel quickly.

    The rest of the states in those circuits (as well as the 9th thanks to the Latta decision) waited for their own rulings directly struck down their own state bans. NC had its own ruling issued quickly. Most of the states in the 9th also fell in line with rulings quickly. Kansas has been the main standout from the bunch. Otherwise, most of the federal judges were quick to rule base on the new circuit precedence.

  • 56. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    DrBri, that's a brilliant and extremely accurate summation, taking into account the differing and various statuses within the 15 states in question (let's throw Kansas in there, too).

    One more point. Sam Olens, the Georgia AG, has pre-announced that Georgia will abide by the Supreme Court's decision. Therefore, without a current lower court ruling in Georgia to get in his way, Sam Olens would be free to issue a directive to all the county clerks in that state to begin issuing marriage licenses immediately (as per West Virginia).

  • 57. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    "Now…the next step is to find an Irish Fiance :P"

    Tony, so, you're leaving me at the altar then????

  • 58. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 22, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Yup. No tin engagement ring for me… not after I've waited this long! And plus, guys with Irish (or Scottish) accents sound soooooo sexxxy 😛

    And who knows when the VI will get ME… besides DrBri.

    btw… no one answered about when Irish weddings may begin.

  • 59. A_Jayne  |  May 22, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    According to the BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32835572):

    "Dublin, Limerick and Waterford passed the 60% electorate turnout mark, while in Cork, Carlow, Kilkenny, Donegal, Tipperary, Kerry and Galway it was above 50%."

  • 60. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    First Texas GOP Lawmaker Backs Same-Sex Marriage

    "The Texas Observer" reports:

    Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place) expressed support for same-sex marriage Thursday, 21 May 2015, becoming the first Republican state lawmaker in Texas history to publicly do so. Davis, who previously endorsed civil unions, made the comments in an interview about her decision not to sign an anti-gay marriage letter issued by the House Republican Caucus last week.

    “I just don’t agree with the sentiment of the letter,” Davis told the Observer. “I don’t feel the need to pass legislation or vote for legislation that prohibits two adults who love each other to be able to be joined in a civil union or marriage. It does not affect my marriage.”

  • 61. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    "And who knows when the VI will get ME… besides DrBri."

    So, it's all up to him then,– to be first-in-line with me in the VI???

  • 62. SethInMaryland  |  May 22, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    that is the kinda the turnout we need right?

  • 63. jm64tx  |  May 22, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Actually the state was a party in the AL supreme court:

    "The State of Alabama, on relation of the Alabama Policy
    Institute ("API"), the Alabama Citizens Action Program
    ("ACAP"), and John E. Enslen, in his official capacity as
    Judge of Probate for Elmore County, seeks emergency and other
    relief from this Court relating to the issuance of marriage
    licenses to same-sex couples."

  • 64. A_Jayne  |  May 22, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    The BBC headline is, "High Turnout in Irish Gay Marriage Vote" – other than that, I have no comparison to make. I do know a high turnout should be good news, but no guarantees, of course…

    When I saw the headline, though, I knew I wanted to answer your original question.

  • 65. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    No, those ass-hats sued, seeking a write of mandamus, in lieu of the state of Alabama. Neither the Alabama Attorney-General nor the Alabama Governor, the only two parties with standing to sue in the name of the state, were parties to any of the proceedings. Neither the API nor the ACAP are even official state entities of any sort, and thus, given their non-official, non-governmental status, have no standing for bringing suit in the name of the state. Both of them are merely private hate-groups. John Enslen is only a county official, and thus he also can not bring suit in the name of the state.

    The Alabama Supreme Court was totally out-of-order for even hearing this phony-baloney case, which should have been given a curt, one-line dimissal, "No party has standing," let alone then ruling the way it did.

  • 66. scream4ever  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I don't care, I will firmly say that we're still at 37 states with marriage equality. In Alabama, the Searcy ruling is statewide and still has not been stayed. The fiasco with the state supreme court merely contradicted it. The fact that the issuing of licenses has stopped is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. The same goes for the ongoing situation in Kansas. At the same time though, I don't count Missouri as state number 38 since the statewide ruling is stayed, even though some counties are issuing licenses and marriages are recognized statewide as a result of other rulings.

  • 67. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Rome Celebrates First Same-Sex Civil Unions

    The first civil unions to be officially registered in Rome were celebrated today, 22 May 2015, as twenty couples became the first to register at City Hall. Twenty couples, fourteen gay and six straight, registered their civil unions at City Hall. The liberal mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, celebrated the unions today, with both same-sex and opposite sex couples and their families attending. Rome permits same-sex couples to enter into local civil unions, despite an ongoing national ban on same-sex marriage in the country.

    It was part of Rainbow Week in Rome, devoted to fighting homophobia in memory of a teenage boy who took his own life after facing homophobic bullying. It will also mark the first same-sex civil unions carried out in Italy’s capital city after legislation to allow them comes into force. The Mayor has repeatedly clashed with the Italian government for registering same-sex marriages that were registered abroad. The Mayor of Milan said he faced criminal charges for doing the same thing.

    The European Union is putting member states under pressure to adopt same-sex marriage and civil unions, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has called on officials to push forward on civil unions across the country. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said last year he too supports civil unions. Some regions of Italy allow civil unions, but many do not, and it is hoped the “mass wedding day” will give a strong message to encourage other regions to follow Rome’s lead.

  • 68. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Up to whom? First in line? For what?

  • 69. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Scream, OK, on one level, your count is correct, but Tony's quite legitimate question that DrBri was answering in very precise and exact detail was this:

    "When will people in the remaining 14 states (I'm not including Alabama, as they have stopped issuing licences) be able to start obtaining licences?"

    Then, because of the unfinished business in Kansas, I threw that state into the mix, as well. That's what we're focussing on here,– the unfinished business aspects, and its timing for completion, once the Supreme Court has issued its decision.

  • 70. VIRick  |  May 22, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Oh, you ARE playing "hard to get," aren't you? I also detect a fair amount of competitive jealousy in that rapid-fire quiz, too.

    So, it'll be up to DrBri if he chooses to be first-in-line with me in the VI once we have marrige equality here. I just hope that that Superman ring which I proudly received from my first husband, now deceased, fits his finger.

    But yes, the "tin engagement ring" carries with it excess sentimental value.

  • 71. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 22, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Checking Irish newspapers, it looks like there was high turnout in Irish municipalities, which is good news for the 'Yes' vote, bad news for the bigots. Actual turnout figures (numbers and percentages) won't be known until the votes are counted.

    BTW – all times given by ebohlman in his post above are Irish time, which is 5 hours ahead of EDT, 8 ahead of PDT. Thus noon would be 7AM EDT, 4AM PDT; 10PM Irish time would be 5PM EDT, 2PM PDT.

  • 72. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 22, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    It would appear this referendum is polling higher than most previous referendums, and almost at the same level as National elections. All of which points to a "Yes" vote win, and the bigots, including the Catholic church, will lose.

    On Twitter, the hashtag 'HomeToVote' was trending all day, and many people (from England, other parts of Europe, and the US [NY, Boston, to the West Coast] were travelling to Ireland to vote in the election. Best estimates were the 'HomeToVote' crowd was almost unanimous in wanting the "Yes" vote to win.

  • 73. scream4ever  |  May 22, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Oh I know I wasn't venting at you guys just what I've been hearing all over lol

  • 74. scream4ever  |  May 22, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    On an unrelated note, it's fucked up that Ireland forces it's citizens to do that. Have they not heard of absentee systems?

  • 75. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 22, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    When I moved to Maryland, absentee voting was a MAJOR pain. Originally, to qualify, you were required to go in person to the election board, and prove that you would be out of state during the time polls were open. Even old age was not a reason the state would recognize.

    It was gradually changed, so it became easier to vote by absentee ballot. And only in the past six years has the state of Maryland had early voting.

    Voting still is not as easy as it could be, but I'm luckier than most Marylanders, as my polling place is located less than a block from where I live, plus since I'm retired, I can vote any time the polls are open and are convenient to me (mail-in voting would be even more convenient, though).

  • 76. sglaser2  |  May 22, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    West University Place district includes the Texas Medical Center and Rice University (my alma mater). Sarah Davis eked out a victory over the Democratic opponent in 2010 and was re-elected in 2012 and 2014.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Davis_(Texas_p… and http://www.texastribune.org/directory/sarah-davis

    The Wikipedia page needs updating if someone is moved to do so.

  • 77. montezuma58  |  May 23, 2015 at 12:16 am

    In addition to the standing problem, the court also did not have jurisdiction either. The Supreme Court is only supposed to hear cases that come up from the court of appeals. There are a couple of exceptions to that but the case did not fit those.

    To top it off Justice Parker is a founding member of the Alabama Policy Institute. He even lists that in his bio on the supreme court's web site. The whole mess reeks of judicial activism. But I guess it's not judicial activism as long as the results are what the right wing nut jobs want.

  • 78. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 12:36 am

    counting is about to begain so we may start seeing updates soon

  • 79. scream4ever  |  May 23, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Yah it's crazy in some states. Here in Minnesota we make it really easy to vote. Anyone can vote early/absentee and you can register on election day with either someone in your precinct to vouch for you or bring your photo ID with a piece of mail showing your current address on it. Consequently we almost always have the highest voter turnout in the country :)

  • 80. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 23, 2015 at 2:10 am

    When I said DrBri, I was talking about him being the one who could probably give an educated surmisation on when ME would arrive in the VI. If you want to marry him, you better get asking… The good ones aren't on the shelf for long… And how do you know DrBri isn't already taken? Hmmmm?

    You're planning on giving DrBri a "used" "superman" engagement ring? I guess that would cover the something old and something blue part.

    😉

  • 81. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 23, 2015 at 2:11 am

    It's looking very good so far! 55 to 75 % for YES! in several districts so far!

    10:03 Ireland: Prominent No campaigner and Iona Institute director David Quinn has conceded: Congratulations to the Yes side. Well done. #MarRef
    3:00 AM – 23 May 2015

  • 82. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 23, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Good Answer.

    I'm hoping though, that with the exception of Alabama and Texas, the other 12 states and their republican leaders will balk but then quickly concede realizing that their patient is now dead and would only be spending their constituents tax dollars on a lost cause.

  • 83. guitaristbl  |  May 23, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Congratulations to Ireland, it looks like a smashing victory with above 60 % voting YES :) !

  • 84. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 5:35 am

    that is great 😛 , congrats Ireland , those are the numbers I wanted to see it pass by :) , this will send strong momentum in other countries

  • 85. wes228  |  May 23, 2015 at 5:50 am

    FYI: The "No" campaign in Ireland has conceded defeat.

  • 86. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 5:57 am

    the distric of Cork South Central went 65% in favor , that was huge , Dublin went big as well for yes

  • 87. JayJonson  |  May 23, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Oh happy day in Ireland! What a relief it is. I was doubtful of the polls, but it seems we have achieved a landslide. I hope SCOTUS is watching.

  • 88. tigris26  |  May 23, 2015 at 6:29 am

    Yay for Ireland! I know it was getting a little nerve-wrecking those last couple of weeks, but the 'YES' vote prevailed with a landslide! 😀

  • 89. Sagesse  |  May 23, 2015 at 6:33 am

    The Irish population is 80% Catholic. The Irish people are wonderful, accepting human beings. They turned out. They came home by the thousands to vote. Perhaps this will be a lesson to politicians. Organized religion, the church hierarchy… Roman Catholic, Evangelical, whatever… speaks TO its members. It does not speak FOR them. What a great day :)!

    It will be fascinating to see how the western world responds. The Vatican. The Catholic Bishops in the US. The Religious Right. It will change the debate… maybe?

  • 90. Sagesse  |  May 23, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Excellent article, but the comments are superb.

    Gay Marriage Appears Headed for Approval in Ireland [New York Times]
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/24/world/europe/ir

  • 91. RemC_Chicago  |  May 23, 2015 at 6:50 am

    The display of compassion & empathy out of Ireland is astounding, awe-inspiring.

  • 92. A_Jayne  |  May 23, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Excellent tweet on #MarRef yesterday:

    Leah Kreitzman ‏@lkreitzman May 22 Lambeth, London
    You should only really need to ask one person if you want to get married, not four million. #MarRef

  • 93. wes228  |  May 23, 2015 at 7:31 am

    The official returns are coming in. The map can be viewed here:
    http://www.rte.ie/news/results/2015/referendum/ss

  • 94. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 7:39 am

    yea Dublin is not even done yet either

  • 95. RobW303  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Per Evan Wolfson, the Republic of Ireland is the 10th predominantly Catholic country to grant marriage equality (though it's the first in the world to pass ME by popular vote).

    I guess this makes Northern Ireland the Louisiana of the UK.

  • 96. JayJonson  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Not a single constituency yet counted has voted No.

  • 97. wes228  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I did see a photo on the Irish Times' stream in one constituency showing a stack of "No" votes side-by-side with a stack of "Yes" votes, with the No stack being slightly larger. So there may be at least one "No" county.

  • 98. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:21 am

    there one is constituency that might go no

  • 99. wes228  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:26 am

    More than half of the counties have submitted official returns (22/43). "YES" has won so far in every county, with a nationwide result of 62% (YES) to 38% (NO). And we are still waiting on 3/4 of Dublin to release results!

  • 100. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I just that saw that one of the minister has said that marriage will be brought in summer , it looks there still needs to be changes made by lawmakers but they will be very quickly

  • 101. wes228  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:36 am

    We have our first NO county :-( 51%-48%.

  • 102. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Roscommon-South Leitrim constituency goes no , but it was damn right even pretty much 51% against 48 yes

  • 103. JayJonson  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Louisiana at least has New Orleans. Belfast is no New Orleans. Northern Ireland is the Alabama or Mississippi of the UK.

  • 104. RemC_Chicago  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Thanks for this! Now I can stop my obsessive searches thru multiple news sources.

  • 105. wes228  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Just 9 constituencies remain!!! We are winning 62%-38%!!

    4 of these 9 constituencies are in Dublin, which has been particularly strong for YES.

  • 106. W. Kevin Vicklund  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:15 am

    And we're at 75% of the constituencies reporting! 61.7% in favor. I'm calling it. The remaining constituencies would have to go 80% against marriage equality for it to be even close.

    Congratulations, Eire!

  • 107. wes228  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Any statement from NOM yet on the Ireland vote? How much money did they blow on that one?

  • 108. Jaesun100  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Doesn't that make Suttons case stronger the ballot box and all?

  • 109. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Ireland and US are different cases

  • 110. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:27 am

    some of those counties include cork and dublin

  • 111. W. Kevin Vicklund  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:31 am

    And there is not enough population in the remaining constituencies to change the outcome! Pop the corks!

  • 112. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:35 am

    it's called

  • 113. wes228  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I'm following this to the end! 5 constituencies remain!!!

  • 114. wes228  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:37 am

    At this point I want to see if we can stay above 60% of the vote (5 constituencies left and we're winning 62.3%).

  • 115. Jaesun100  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I hope so this win kinda backs up what Sutton was going for although I know Sutton is full of it…..

  • 116. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:38 am

    with cork and Dublin , very likely

  • 117. wes228  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:41 am

    The only constituencies remaining now are all in Cork or Dublin.

    Cork Southwest
    Cork Northwest
    Cork East
    Dublin Northeast

  • 118. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:44 am

    all that's areas left are of cork and one from Dublin, I think it's likely the margin will increase from here

  • 119. Sagesse  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Checked the Nomblog this morning, and they have zilch in the lead up to the referendum… and nothing so far on the outcome, but they don't work weekends, especially long holiday weekends with bad news :).

  • 120. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

    if u think about it, this weekend has turned bad for the anti-gay side, the duggar scandal , the loss in Alabama, and of course Ireland

  • 121. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Dublin done final spot goes yes, all that's left is cork

  • 122. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  May 23, 2015 at 9:55 am

    That didn't stop the theocracy in Utah from throwing more money down a rat hole. Hypocrites can be so creative when spending other people's money.

  • 123. franklinsewell  |  May 23, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Yes, and these rulings are also not stopping Utah and Indiana from discriminating against lesbian couples who wish to be recognized as parents on birth certificates without having to get a court order. In both states, if a heterosexual woman gives birth to a child after using donor sperm to be impregnated, the resulting child's birth certificate lists his or parents as that woman and her legally married husband. However, in both Indiana and Utah, if a lesbian is impregnated using donor sperm, her wife cannot legally be listed as the resulting child's other parent without a court order. 2 Federal Cases in the pipeline, because folks just won't give us our rights.

  • 124. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 10:17 am

    man these last 3 are taking a while

  • 125. RemC_Chicago  |  May 23, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Found this on a comment at the New York Times: 50% of straight marriages in the Netherlands from 2001 to 2010 resulted in divorce; only 2% of gay marriages did. Sanctity of marriage, huh?
    http://m.euronews.com/en/219524/

  • 126. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 10:56 am

    they got spunk in cork

  • 127. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 11:02 am

    final count 62.1% yes to 37.9% no, votes for yes 1,201,607 , no 734,300 all but one county goes yes

  • 128. guitaristbl  |  May 23, 2015 at 11:14 am

    That one county and its residents can ask Texas to take them in because I think they are not that welcome in Ireland lol !

    Such a huge, historical moment. Congratulations Ireland, congratulations to all Irish people who voted for equality !

  • 129. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 11:26 am

    wiki has already updated the map, Ireland is now blue

  • 130. jm64tx  |  May 23, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Yeah … your numbers are a little skewed there bub.

    "Between April 1, 2001 and January 1, 2011, 15,000 same-sex couples were legally wed."

    "Between April 1, 2001 and January 1, 2011, there have been 1,078 gay divorces, two thirds of them women-women couples."

    1,078 is not 2% of 15,000. Its more like 10%, which is the normative experience of same-sex marriage so far in Europe.

  • 131. Waxr  |  May 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I wonder what effect, if any, the ME vote in Ireland will have on the Catholic justices who make up a majority of the Supreme Court.

  • 132. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    one thing I really liked about this referendum is how well we did in rural county areas , of course we ran up the score in places like Cork and Dublin like we was suppose to , but seeing those ppl that live in those rural areas come out so strong in favor of yes just shows strong and successful this campaign was , they were ready , they did just about everything they needed to do, the anti-gay side tried to spike up their support using the typical children ads but our side was ready with really good ads to counter , they engaged with those in those rural areas , they made sure their supporters showed up at the polls , they ran just about a perfect campaign as you can get

  • 133. Zack12  |  May 23, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    We won in Ireland, yay!

  • 134. RnL2008  |  May 23, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I'm glad we won in Ireland. I'm glad the Yes folks were prepared to counter ANY argument that the anti-gay side used……hopefully our organizations here in this Country will take notes to help us continue to fight the next fights that will be happening like these Religious Freedom Acts.

    If we can win a public vote in a place like Ireland…….we can win ANYWHERE!!!

  • 135. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 23, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    So you are in favor of voting on whether people have basic civil rights?

    Why don't we have a vote on whether blacks and whites can marry? Before the US Civil War, it was illegal for blacks to be married in some states.

    Why don't we have a vote on whether 'separate' is 'equal'? Before the US Civil War, some states said it was illegal for slaves to read and write.

    Why don't we have a vote on whether anyone who isn't a Trinitarian Xian has any rights? That would eliminate Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc., from having any religious rights.

    And I'm sure that in some states (almost all in the South), the vote would OVERWHELMINGLY be for the rights of people, with bigotry cast aside.

  • 136. RnL2008  |  May 23, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    It's been turning sour for the anti-gay side since roughly 2012 when they lost the popular vote in Washington, Maine and Maryland, as well as NOT being able to write discrimination into Minnesota's Constitution.

    I'm not sure if the outcome in Ireland would have changed the ruling by SCOTUS next month, but it sure CAN'T hurt us, in fact our more Catholic Justices might just see this as a sign for them to rule on the right side of History.

  • 137. DeadHead  |  May 23, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    ONLY if more people from the left would vote unfortunately most have become complacent these days and don't bother to vote.

    RnL2008:
    "If we can win a public vote in a place like Ireland…….we can win ANYWHERE!!! "

  • 138. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 23, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    What?

    No comment on the 50% of straight marriages that ended in divorce?

    Kind of picking and choosing what information to belittle, aren't you? Of course, that is a requirement for the cafeteria Xians, to pick and choose, isn't it?

    So tell us, oh wise one, what has been the 'normative' experience of marriage in Europe over the last 100 years? Numbers and/or percentages would be fine.

  • 139. RemC_Chicago  |  May 23, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    No. I did the numbers again. It's 2% for gay couples; 43% for straight couples. I calculated from 20% of the overall population and then calculated what percentage of that number was 1,078. And Mike has a point—that's quite a significant number of marriages that ended in divorce. Even if your number of 10% is correct, it's still four times as many.

  • 140. sfbob  |  May 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    1,078/15,000=7.19%
    323,549/761,000=42.5%

    Also per the article: There are 55,000 gay/lesbian couples, 20% of whom are married. That equals 11,000, less than the first total. I presume that the difference is accounted for by couples coming from other countries to marry.

    One thing that should be noted, which will make the comparison at least a bit questionable is that ALL of the gay couples married and divorced are counted from 2001 going forward, so the sample is rather well-defined. There is no telling what proportion of the heterosexual couples getting divorced were married over the same time period.

    But any way you slice it, the rate of divorce among gay couples is appreciably lower than that of the heterosexual population.

  • 141. sfbob  |  May 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    The biggest problem with Sutton's ruling is that he interjected his own opinions rather than ruling based on the Constitution and on a rather impressive history of precedents. "Wouldn't it be nice if you waited for public opinion to be on your side?" is not within the purview of someone whose job is to take the US Constitution and apply it to the specifics of a case.

  • 142. sglaser2  |  May 23, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Bear in mind that many of the SS marriages in that time period were long time "married" couples that were finally able to make it legal. I suspect that the divorce rate for those couples would naturally be lower.

    A better measure would use be a different time period, after the initial rush.

  • 143. SethInMaryland  |  May 23, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I just found something that may bring marriage equality to Northern Ireland , there is a law called Good Friday Agreement , when legislation similar is between Wales, England, Scotland and England , it might now be affect since all of them have marriage equality , a fed judge may be able to use it to bind Northern Ireland

  • 144. Zack12  |  May 23, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Plus, it had to be done that way in Ireland as they have no 5th or 14th amendment.
    Not the case in the U.S, not that Sutton would care about that.

  • 145. RemC_Chicago  |  May 23, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Ok, I'll take the toss-up. Thanks, Bob. Remind me not to ever again offer EoT the benefits of my…um…deadly mathematical skills.

  • 146. Christian0811  |  May 23, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    That's not true, Article 40 of the Irish constitution is the exact same mandate as the XIV amendment, Article 40 1°-6° is the same as the V Amendment.

    To that end, the marriage amendment was already gender neutral.

    The Supreme Court of Ireland also has strong judicial review power, a court case could have accomplished the same goal. The fear was only that since marriage amendment was written in the thirties that the court might issue a rotten ruling as they had done before David Norris' ECoHR case.

  • 147. 1grod  |  May 23, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    In a less optimistic way of looking at the outcome of the Irish vote, Jeff Sutton and J Cook had said it all comes down to the question of "Who decides" pg 8. The Irish parliament determined that it was timely for the people to decide on this constitutional amendment. Sutton said that a number of states had also passed constitutional amendments – true with a different outcome: "the number of people who supported each initiative—Michigan (2.7 million), Kentucky (1.2 million), Ohio (3.3 million), and Tennessee (1.4 million)—was large and surely diverse. pg 28. He also observes that: "In just eleven years, nineteen States and a conspicuous District, accounting for nearly forty-five percent of the population, have exercised their sovereign powers to expand a definition of marriage that until recently was universally followed going back to the earliest days of human history"…. "These cases ultimately present two ways to think about change" ….. "If the [Supreme} Court takes one approach, it may resolve the issue for good and give the plaintiffs and many others relief. But we will never know what might have been. If the Court takes the different approach, is it not possible that the traditional arbiters of change—the people will meet today’s challenge admirably and settle the issue in a productive way?. p 42…..In the context of the outcome in Ireland, what might the US Supremes reply to Sutton's closing words: When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers. Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way. p 42 To Jeff Sutton's question: Is it not possible that the traditional arbitrators of change – the people: Well Mr. Justice look at the behaviour of some of the people's representatives in legislative and executive branches in many of the non-equality states. DO they appear fair minded?? Contrast that to Ireland and the political support received! G

  • 148. scream4ever  |  May 23, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Regardless I expect it to be legalized in the next year or two since this year it failed by just one vote.

  • 149. StraightDave  |  May 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    But Ireland in not just "ANYWHERE". As some of the Irish commentators have been pointing out, Ireland is not a "theocratic backwater". Though religion is a large part of their lives they are basically caring, decent, supportive, and fair-minded. And they knew this change was the right thing to do at this time.
    All that can not be said about some US states. Look at KS and AL, who legally should be so done by now. They can't even carry Ireland's jockstrap.

  • 150. RnL2008  |  May 23, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I know that, I guess my comment was more a rhetorical response than trying to appear as if Ireland was something more than it is.

  • 151. jm64tx  |  May 23, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Enslen, as a probate judge, clearly has standing as a state constitutional officer.

    His position as judge of the probate court is governed by section 149 of the Alabama Constitution.

  • 152. jm64tx  |  May 23, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    There's a reason why writs of mandumus are original proceedings and not appeals.

  • 153. VIRick  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Tony, the 4 states (Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee) whose cases are presently before the Supreme Court can not balk when directly told in the Court's ruling that their bans are unconstitutional. Georgia has pre-announced that that state will abide by the Court's decision, whatever the decision might be. It's highly unlikely that Missouri (given that it is more than half way there already) will balk at full implementation. District Court rulings have already struck down the bans in South Dakota, Nebraska, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas. All of those rulings could then be quickly implemented. The District Courts in North Dakota and Guam can issue summary judgments in light of the precedent. The 5th Circuit Court will have to reverse the Louisiana ruling, and the 1st Circuit Court will have to do the same with the one from Puerto Rico.

    That leaves just the messes in Kansas and Alabama to sort out, messes which are diametrically opposite to each other.

  • 154. VIRick  |  May 23, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Tony, I love this coy side-chatter with you, especially since I've stirred your jealous side with it.

    And yes, Dr Bri is available. He's a bit shy, but he's also adorably cute. Plus, he thinks the idea of receiving a Superman engagement ring to be a clever play on words, just as intended.

    Ah, but to answer your question, marriage equality will arrive in the VI as soon as the Supreme Court issues its ruling.

  • 155. ianbirmingham  |  May 23, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Historical Marriage Referendum has taught us countless messages, signals and lessons
    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/referendum/h

    …We know that the once unshakable influence of the Catholic Church over Middle Ireland has been confronted. We know that social media truly is a terrifying force that can have seismic effects on the pillars of society. But the clearest and most significant message of all has been sent to the steps of Government buildings.

    The notion that young people do not engage in politics has been emphatically debunked – and Irish politicians need to take heed. Even the obstacle of living tens of thousands of miles from the ballot station was overcome by so many young emigrants. Many of them arrived early this morning in the court yard of Dublin Castle, determined to be part of a momentous and special occasion. The Celtic Tiger generation has let out an emphatic roar and taken control of a referendum …

  • 156. ianbirmingham  |  May 23, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Irish Marriages Should Start In September
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32862824

    The [Irish] government will now introduce a bill to enact the people's will, and it says it hopes it will become law by the time the Irish parliament breaks up in the summer.

    This means the first actual marriages are unlikely to take place until September.

  • 157. VIRick  |  May 23, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Yes, now that the referendum has occurred, and the results have been counted and declared, the Irish Parliament still needs to pass enabling legislation to implement the referendum results, something that ought to be completed by this summer. At that point, marriages between same-sex couples in Ireland can commence, and those already performed outside of Ireland can be recognized.

  • 158. RobW303  |  May 24, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Do you think the justices are blind to the fact that, while they could, so many legislatures and states passed unneeded constitutional amendments precisely to prevent the future will of the people from being respected as long as possible? It shows why simply letting the will of the people decide doesn't work. Also, we're discussing guaranteed constitutional rights, in which case the will of the people is irrelevant unless a supermajority can be influenced to curtail these rights—such rights are protected from (emotional, selfish, capricious, often ill-considered) majority rule, and that principle is central to our Constitution.

  • 159. Eric  |  May 24, 2015 at 9:15 am

    It's only a "new social issue" to the oppressors.

  • 160. RemC_Chicago  |  May 24, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Have you all seen this letter from a famous dad of gay son?

    Letter from Irish writer Sebastian Barry in The Irish Times 5.22.15:

    Sir, – As the more than proud father of one shining person who happens
    to be a member of the LGBT community, I will be voting Yes in the
    coming referendum. In that sense it is a personal matter. I have read
    quite a bit in the papers about our new more tolerant society, and that
    may be so, and of course it is a solid point of view from which to vote
    Yes, but I don’t see it as a matter of tolerance, so much as apology.
    Apology for all the hatred, violence, suspicion, patronisation,
    ignorance, murder, maiming, hunting, intimidation, terrorising,
    shaming, diminishment, discrimination, destruction, and yes,
    intolerance, visited upon a section of humanity for God knows how many
    hundreds of years, if not millennia.

    My child will be just shy of 18 when the votes are cast, and therefore
    cannot vote himself. By voting Yes I will be engaging in the simple
    task of honouring the majesty, radiance and promise of his human soul.
    – Yours, etc,

    SEBASTIAN BARRY,

    Tinahely,

    Co Wicklow.

  • 161. sfbob  |  May 24, 2015 at 9:39 am

    One other thing to note: How different might things have been if the state constitutional amendments banning marriage equality had instead been worded along the lines of Ireland's referendum, which proposed inclusion rather than exclusion. Just as a matter of principle, not only should we never be allowed to vote on basic rights, we should never be amending our constitutions to LIMIT rights but to EXPAND or to AFFIRM them, as Ireland has done.

  • 162. JayJonson  |  May 24, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Also this: about Charles Self and Declan Flynn, who were murdered in 1982. Some Yes supporters honored them after they voted.
    http://www.glbtq.com/blogs/remembering_charles_se

  • 163. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 24, 2015 at 10:08 am

    When I said balk I meant the Governors of some of the state's, like Louisanna, releasing a press release, and issuing executive orders and/or calling for legislative action to "protect religious liberty" or conscience objectors. But of course, only from republican leadership.

    Will Roy Moore see the Supreme Courts move as Checkmate, or that the game is now afoot? We shall see.

  • 164. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 24, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Rick,

    You'll always be my back burner guy

  • 165. 1grod  |  May 24, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Rick, I appreciate there are issues in Kansas, but counties representing over 80% of the population issue licenses. Those living elsewhere can go to a neighboring country to get a license. You can be married anywhere in the state. The bureau of vital statistics records your marriage. You may not receive all the state benefits, but the feds recognize your marriage. Please identify one post since February on Equality Kansas website. or its chapters' that mentions frustration or dissatisfaction with the pace of achieving full marriage equality. Ought not local residents be the judge.

  • 166. davepCA  |  May 24, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Sorry that I'm late to the party – I've been camping with friends since Friday morning, up in the redwoods with zero cel service or internet access, and I just got home an hour ago to read this wonderful news about Ireland! Yaay!

  • 167. VIRick  |  May 24, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I agree with most of your analysis. However, I'm still annoyed by the state's refusal to recognize even its own marriages for the purposes of obtaining state benefits, particularly for state employees in the realm of obtaining health coverage and for pension benefits. That's why employees from the University of Kansas have been added as plaintiffs to the original lawsuit.

  • 168. VIRick  |  May 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Correct, Louisiana could also prove to be a bit of a pain. That's why it is still absolutely necessary for the 5th Circuit Court to issue a decision overturning the District Court's stupid ruling upholding the Louisiana ban.

    On the other hand, in Alabama, Judge Granade, with her declaration granting class-action status to the suit at hand, has Roy Moore by the balls and won't be letting go.

  • 169. VIRick  |  May 24, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Oh Tony, that's so sweet of you to say that, as charm always works wonders with me.

    You know, I'm still recovering from my earlier loss, trying to pick up the pieces, and move on, as he was only 42 when he died, shortly before Florida legalized marriage between same-sex couples.

  • 170. Waxr  |  May 24, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    A judge, or Supreme Court justice, should never be concerned with what the people think. Their concern is about the law and justice.

  • 171. VIRick  |  May 24, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Yes Bob, the wording of the referendum was diametriclly opposite. In the various states of the USA, they voted on a marriage "definition" which was NOT gender-neutral, but rather quite exclusionary, and which, in effect, removed any further discussion of the issue from the electoral prosess. Ireland voted on a referendum which was gender-neutral, and thus, perfectly inclusive and expansive.

  • 172. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 24, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Slavery has been 'customary and traditional' (even in the days of jebus, it was an ancient 'customary and traditional' thing).

    Are you in favor of slavery? After all, it is 'customary and traditional' and it's roots go back into the mists of time and history, such that no one really knows when the first incidence of slavery occurred. And 100 years after it officially ended in the US, there are still several people in the US who support it.

  • 173. scream4ever  |  May 24, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Wow, thats dispicable that the murderers went free like that. Even Dan White at least got manslaughter.

  • 174. scream4ever  |  May 24, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Yup. The only times they were inclusionary were for the ones in Maine, Maryland, and Washington in 2012.

  • 175. ianbirmingham  |  May 24, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Even Catholic Priests in Ireland Announced They Voted YES for SSM

    http://catholictruthblog.com/2015/05/10/same-sex-

  • 176. JayJonson  |  May 24, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    The "Catholic Truth" blog is unbelievable. The comments could almost be pardody, but I think they are loony because the posters are truly loons.

  • 177. JayJonson  |  May 24, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    The murderous little bastards were convicted of manslaughter, but the judge suspended their sentences and they celebrated in the very park in which they killed Declan Flynn! As you say, at least Dan White served some time for his double murder (I think he served 5 years of a 7 year sentence).

  • 178. A_Jayne  |  May 24, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I agree. I especially found these two of note:

    John Kearney says:
    May 11, 2015 at 12:07 pm
    I remember a program on TV where an MP was asked why he was against same-sex marriage. His answer was short. “I am a Roman Catholic” This answer was all that was needed. He does not have to know the whys or wherefores, he is not guided by his own feelings, he is a follower of Jesus Christ who has more knowledge in the subject than he has and teaches through his Church. What these priests are doing is taking on scripture and the words of Jesus Himself. They play to the gallery of popularity rather than embracing the humility of Christ. The world of the homosexual is not an easy one and we know that lasting partnerships are rare and what they are doing is encouraging homosexuality and the misery that that life leads to. They are ver ignorant of the Gospel and their own vocation.

    Barbra Dickenson says:
    May 24, 2015 at 7:17 pm
    We should kill all the sodomites like it says in the bible – Leviticus 18:22. If the editor does not support, publicize and actively take part in the immediate killing of these sodomites then he is as culpable as a sodomite and should also be put to death.

    Most people here are just spouting off opinion, GOD does not have opinions he has law and action. You are all going to burn unless you kill now as GOD commanded. It is written, it is clear, if you don’t then you will burn in hell – all of you.

    The Editor replied:
    No – emphatically – we must NOT “kill all the sodomites”: the Book of Leviticus 18:22 prohibits homo-sexual activity, but makes no mention of killing them, and although Leviticus 20:13 does speak about putting to death “a man who lies with a man as with a woman” (i.e. engages in homo-sexual activity), the verses before and after call on the death sentence for others engaging in unnatural sexual activity (incest and bestiality) so the death sentence was not reserved for homosexuals. In any event, we do not literally apply such verses – they have been overtaken by the New Testament, which fulfilled the Old Law. Leviticus, is a book written specifically for the ancient Hebrews, because it treats primarily of the rituals, ceremonies etc applicable to the Hebrew priest and Levites. It really has no application in Christianity, to the best of my memory, although it’s quite some time since I’ve studied it.

    (and further:) As for “editor” – “he” is a “she”, I’ll have you know. Now, I suggest, with respect, that you calm down and pray for great graces for everyone who voted YES in the Irish referendum. That’s definitely more Christ-like behaviour than threatening to kill them – and me! No true Christian wishes anyone to end up in Hell, so we must do all in our power to pray for repentance for those responsible for engaging in, and legalising this evil. It really does NOT help, though, to quote Leviticus. St Paul lists categories of sinners who risk Hell and he includes “sodomites”, yes, but also others who misuse God’s gift of sexuality; fornicators, adulterers, you name it. So, please keep calm, pray and do what you can to educate people about this terrible evil swamping our society. But hold off doling out death sentences. That really is a wee bit too much like being the “judge, jury and executioner” – without the trial first!

  • 179. 1grod  |  May 24, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Rem – is the display process or outcome. It seems to me you are speaking about process. Yes, a different outcome between Ireland and 32 US States on the question of a constitutional amendment.on the matter of marriage equality. It could be said Ireland is 2015 and the 32 states was between 1998 and 2012: 40% occurring in 2004. Jeff Sutton and Deborah Cook of the Six Circuit said attitudes have changed in just 11 years. [Indeed since Oct 6 2014]. For them the question before them was Who decides. [pg 8] Courts or People . Their preference is the people, and given that the people already used ballot initiatives, why not continue that process. They point out that in eleven years the people or their representatives have decided in 19 jurisdictions representing 45% of the nation's citizens to widen the definition. Given the resounding success of 'let the people decide' in Ireland, why would the Supremes not take a page from across the sea and be more open to Jeff and Deborah's reasoning: "When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers. Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way. pg 42 After all on this thread, posters are supportive, enthusiastic, excited, and congratulatory. You said it is awe-inspiring. If you feel that way why would not the Justices of the Court. Just saying. G

  • 180. VIRick  |  May 24, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Ireland's Justice Department confirmed today, 24 May 2015, that it will publish a same-sex marriage bill this coming week. That formality must then be approved by Parliament, so marriages between same-sex couples are thus expected to commence in Ireland by early fall.

  • 181. VIRick  |  May 24, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    1grod, because, as A_Jayne quoted, just below:

    "You should only really need to ask one person if you want to get married, not four million."

  • 182. Sagesse  |  May 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Plaintiffs from Utah’s landmark gay marriage case tie the knot [The Salt Lake Tribune]

    "The couple at the center of the historic federal lawsuit that overturned Utah's ban on same-sex marriage in 2013 tied the knot on Sunday in a public wedding ceremony at the Gallivan Center in the heart of Salt Lake City.

    "Nearly 1,000 well-wishers attended the celebration, cheering wildly as Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity walked down the aisle with family and the two attorneys who argued the case.
    http://www.sltrib.com/news/2548050-155/plaintiffs

  • 183. RemC_Chicago  |  May 24, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    I meant outcome, seen in the pictures and comments of straight people in support of their gay friends and relatives; the fact that, given the need for a referendum because of the particulars of their Constitution, a vote had to be taken and this predominantly RC country voted with their hearts rather than dogma. I understand precisely what you're saying, and believe vigorously that people's rights should never be put up to a vote. I've said it myself often enough in online comments section.

  • 184. guitaristbl  |  May 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Even if there is a majority the ruling DUP can block it with a "petition of concern" which basically kills the legislation. Even if a few DUP politicians support ME, the party as a whole is basically the GOP of the UK and won't support it.

    It will take a long and complicated way in the courts to be done with Northern Ireland.

  • 185. sfbob  |  May 24, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Those really are…what's the word I'm looking for?…oh…charming, aren't they?

  • 186. 1grod  |  May 24, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Rem and Rick: Thank you for reminding me the people's civil rights should never be put to a vote. Your comment reminded me that Martha Craig Daughtrey was a very unhappy camper when she wrote the following cogent ideas that a number of Supreme Court justices ought to take to heart: "If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate, our whole intricate, constitutional system of checks and balances, as well as the oaths to which we swore, prove to be nothing but shams" p 63 At the beginning of her heart felt dissent she accused Sutton and Cook of sophistry:
    "The author of the majority opinion has drafted what would make an engrossing TED Talk or, possibly, an introductory lecture in Political Philosophy. But as an appellate court decision, it wholly fails to grapple with the relevant constitutional question in this appeal: whether a state’s constitutional prohibition of same-sex marriage violates equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. Instead, the majority sets up a false premise—that the question before us is “who should decide?”—and leads us through a largely irrelevant discourse on democracy and federalism. In point of fact, the real issue before us concerns what is at stake in these six cases for the individual plaintiffs and their children, and what should be done about it. Because I reject the majority’s resolution of these questions based on its invocation of vox populi and its reverence for “proceeding with caution” (otherwise known as the “wait and see” approach), I dissent .
    In the main, the majority treats both the issues and the litigants here as mere abstractions. Instead of recognizing the plaintiffs as persons, suffering actual harm as a result of being denied the right to marry where they reside or the right to have their valid marriages recognized there, my colleagues view the plaintiffs as social activists who have somehow stumbled into federal court, inadvisably, when they should be out campaigning to win “the hearts and minds” of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee voters to their cause. But these plaintiffs are not political zealots trying to push reform on their fellow citizens; they are committed same-sex couples, many of them heading up de facto families, who want to achieve equal status—,de jure status, if you will—with their married neighbors, friends, and coworkers, to be accepted as contributing members of their social and religious communities, and to be welcomed as fully legitimate parents at their children’s schools. They seek to do this by virtue of exercising a civil right that most of us take for granted—the right to marry."
    .

  • 187. A_Jayne  |  May 24, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Really. Bless their hearts, eh?

  • 188. VIRick  |  May 24, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    "The Vatican."

    The Vatican should already be well-aware of the fact that the ordinary pew-fillers in the typical RC church no longer pays the RC hierarchy much heed.

    After all, the current pope was Archbishop of Buenos Aires at the same moment in time when the Argentine legislature (pre-empting the Argentine Supreme Court's dated deadline for compliance by one week) passed that country's marriage equality legislation which was then subsequently signed into law by the Argentine president. Nominally speaking, Argentina is as Catholic as Ireland.

    But then, so is Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, Brasil, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg,– with Slovenia in process, and Chile playing "catch up."

  • 189. RemC_Chicago  |  May 25, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Fabulous. I admired her scathing way with words.

  • 190. ianbirmingham  |  May 25, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Irish vote on gay marriage could further the cause in Germany

    http://www.dw.de/irish-vote-on-gay-marriage-could

    …A spokesman for the German Justice Ministry told the news website "Spiegel Online" on Monday that Justice Minister Heiko Maas planned to present fresh legislation on gay partnership to Chancellor Angela's Merkel's Cabinet on Wednesday. The spokesman said the legislation was designed to grant gay couples more rights, closing the gap between the status of their registered same-sex unions and marriage. …

    The changes that Maas is planning to introduce have their roots in the coalition agreement reached between Merkel's Christian Democrats and their partners, the Social Democrats, following the 2013 general election. While they did agree on several points designed to grant gay couples increased rights, they were not able to agree on changes that would give them the full rights of marriage. Maas told "Spiegel Online" that this would be "difficult" to do under a grand coalition government. …

    The German government's anti-discrimination commissioner, Christine Lüders told the DPA news agency that Maas' plans were "insufficient." "There is no factual reason not to make marriage available to same-sex couples," Lüders said. …

  • 191. SethInMaryland  |  May 25, 2015 at 9:21 am

    things are really close now in Australia, they are 3 mps declaired votes short, of the major LP just changed his postion now to support marriage equality after the referendum, several others are also reconsidering their postion

  • 192. SethInMaryland  |  May 25, 2015 at 10:10 am

    things are moving fast in Austrailia , another mp just came out in support of marriage equality, 2 mp votes now short

  • 193. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 10:40 am

    1grod, thanks for re-posting Judge Daughtrey's blistering dissent. She got it right, destroying the "vox populi" argument.

    We should not be comparing the referendum system in Ireland with that of the USA. In Ireland, they had to do it that way because of the narrower wording in their constitution, and to avoid a later court challenge (from the opposition). In the USA, the US Constitution's wording is more expansive, and the court challenge is now (from us). Besides, not every state in the USA even allows for referenda.

    Also, in Ireland, they voted on accepting expansive, gender-neutral terminology for marriage. In many of the various states in the USA, they did the reverse, voting on a narrow "definition" of marriage as constituting of "one man, one woman."

    Oh wait! I just did the comparison between Ireland and the USA, didn't I? Still, my comparison shows how opposing the two are to each other.

  • 194. Christian0811  |  May 25, 2015 at 11:04 am

    *gags* "civil partnerships"…that was a good deal in like 1985 but it's waaaaaaaay past time, like 10 years overdue, that the Constitutional Court heard an outright challenge the the marriage ban and make the subsequent decision to strike it down.

    I still don't understand why LGBT groups in Germany haven't gone ahead and done that but instead took a painfully slow and humiliating incrementalist approach to the court system where they challenge random civil partnership articles on largely unimportant tax issues when there's a bigger picture at stake. I mean for god sakes, from what I've heard, they haven't even addressed issues like conversion therapy or asylum let alone marriage and adoption rights! What have they been doing all this time?

    Seems like they got bored after they got paragraph 175 repealed and a hate crimes statute in place.

  • 195. JayJonson  |  May 25, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I guess Australia doesn't want to be the last English-speaking country without marriage equality. U.S. is probably going to have national marriage equality in a month or so. Who is left besides Northern Ireland and Australia?

  • 196. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Jay, there are a host of English-speaking British and ex-British islands in the Caribbean, like Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Trinidad, plus Guyana in South America and Belize in Central America, all of which are "hopeless" cases, given that most still have anti-sodomy laws on the books, an inheritance of British colonial rule.

    And then there's India, and an assortment of countries in Africa, whether you wish to describe them as English-speaking or not.

  • 197. scream4ever  |  May 25, 2015 at 11:59 am

    While they're technically not countries, several of the British territories (Isle of Man, Guernesy, etc.) are just getting civil partnerships now.

  • 198. Nyx  |  May 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I agree…, I don't mean to go all-Baltimorean on everyone… 😉 but…

    It seems Jay is correct if you only consider countries where English is the de facto official as well as the primary language. But there are many countries where English is a de facto official but not primary language (like Israel), or happen to have English as a primary but not a de facto official language (Belize).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_territorial_

  • 199. SethInMaryland  |  May 25, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    tomorrow the parliament in Greenland will vote , so likely we get another country tomorrow, I saw this on pink news Uk from of the commenters , I can't find article about it though

  • 200. almostfamous734  |  May 25, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    The photo gallery in this article just destroyed my heart. They are SO ADORABLE.

  • 201. scream4ever  |  May 25, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Great! I was wondering about it since I thought the vote was originally set for May 14.

  • 202. Christian0811  |  May 25, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Did the Constitutional Court of Italy already hear a challenge to its marriage ban? I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if it's in the pocket of the Vatican either way, but it would be nice to be proven wrong on that

  • 203. SethInMaryland  |  May 25, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I thought so too but it didn't I guess , It's hard to keep up with Greenland because there are not many artitcals , I've been going with these comments on pink news , I know this suppose to happen soon I just don't know when

  • 204. SethInMaryland  |  May 25, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    on Australian Marriage Equality:
    BREAKING NEWS!

    Buoyed by the Ireland vote and growing support in the Coalition, long time advocate of ‪#‎MarriageEquality‬, Sarah Hanson-Young, will set a time-line to debate and vote on a Green bill!

    Next: party room discussion on a free vote!

    now I'm not sure wether this means our side secured enough and they think it's okay to go ahead and call vote but it seems things are really moving fast now

  • 205. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 25, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Originally, it was scheduled for an earlier vote, but the Greenland Parliament delayed the vote from before the Irish vote to May 26.

    BTW – I was under the impression that Greenland was under the rule of Denmark. Maybe it's only foreign affairs are controlled by the Parliament in Copenhagen, and non-foreign affairs are under the control of the native Greenlanders.

  • 206. SethInMaryland  |  May 25, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    it is, i'm guessing Greenland is simiar to the way Scotland is to the UK,

  • 207. pshtar  |  May 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    The group we're really talking about is the "core Anglosphere", the six highly developed countries in which English is spoken natively by a majority, and where Anglo-Saxon culture is predominant: these are the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. (Other English-speaking countries exist, but they are culturally distinct from this bloc.) The Anglosphere is defined as much by shared cultural and political values as by a common language. It consumes a lot of the same media, its legal and economic systems are very similar, and its governments are closely coordinated in international affairs.

    With the sole exception of Australia, every country in the core Anglosphere now permits or soon will permit same-sex marriage in all or part of its territory. Australia is the conspicuous holdout. It is the only member of the Anglosphere where same-sex marriage is impossible in every part of the country. It's also the only member of the Anglosphere where the head of government is personally and actively opposed to marriage equality. Even Stephen Harper has long since surrendered on the issue, while Abbott stubbornly resists.

    If SCOTUS rules the way we expect, in a few months there will be marriage equality in the entire United States, but nowhere in Australia. That situation will be too damn embarrassing to endure for very long.

  • 208. SethInMaryland  |  May 25, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    this is what I found about Greenland: It is part of the Kingdom Denmark, al thouth it is a autonomous country. meaning they have their own government, but still abide Danish law, and have politicians in the Danish government. They can make some laws for themselves, within the rules and guidelines of Danish law.

  • 209. scream4ever  |  May 25, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    http://m.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/po

    A date has already been set!!!

  • 210. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Mike, here's what I can tell you about the Kingdom of Denmark, once and current, as it constitutes a number of parts, but a few less than it used to.

    1. Denmark itself, including Bornholm in the middle of the Baltic.
    2. Norway, once autonomous, but independent since 1905.
    3. Danish West Indies, once autonomous, but sold to the USA in 1917 and re-named the US Virgin Islands.
    4. Iceland, once autonomous, but independent since 1944.
    5. Faroe Islands, autonomous.
    6. Greenland, autonomous.

    Of the 6 parts (but currently only 3 still extant), only Denmark itself opted to join the European Union. Norway, Iceland, and the other parts of Denmark have refused. Denmark, Norway, and Iceland all have marriage equality, with Greenland in process, and we here are waiting for the US Supreme Court's decision. The Faroe Islands will decide whenever the Faroe Islands decide.

    Even now, the bulk of our law code in the VI is still Danish law, and will remain Danish law because of stipulations agreed to in the treaty authorizing the sale. For example, Danish citizens are not considered foreign, nor are Danish goods (and by extrapolation, nor are goods from the rest of the EU). Danish law does not authorize the death penalty, nor the private possession of firearms. If we were to attempt to alter any of these terms (and many others), then the territory would revert to Danish rule.

    Denmark did much the same in the argeements signed granting independence, first to Norway, then to Iceland.

  • 211. SethInMaryland  |  May 25, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    The Faroe Islands will need election, right now a conservative party controls the islands

  • 212. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    So what about South Africa? It has marriage equality, and is majority English-speaking.

    And what about Barbados? Or Bermuda? Both proudly claim they're more British than the English. And both were colonized by the English before Virginia.

    I understand what you're trying to do, but it also strikes me as somewhat racist to attempt to exclude people from your "core" definition just because of certain ethnicities, as British colonialism, like it or not, has permeated a lot of strange places all over the world, and is here to stay.

    Besides about 1/3 of New Zealand's population (those who call it Aotearoa, its original name) would take exception to your definition, as they would not consider themselves to be part of that same "core," yet are very much New Zealanders (after all, they were there first).

    And what about all the Scottish/Irish English-speakers (who have never given up their native language) in countries like Argentina and Chile?

    En plus, en ce qui concerne le Québec, et d'autres régions du Canada, je me souviens.

    So, it's not so easy. Your concept is quite 19th century colonial and totally out-of-date, and being reflective of that vintage, is fairly arrogant and narrow.

  • 213. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    So, 49 of the 67 sovereign countries worldwide in which the English language is the de jure official language is due to British colonialism, while 13 of the 27 non-sovereign countries worldwide have the same inheritance.

  • 214. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Good point. Right there in the UK, there are actually 4 jurisdictions without marriage equality: Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man. And Gibraltar.

  • 215. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    "I don't mean to go all-Baltimorean on everyone… 😉 but… "

    But you did anyway, just by making the unecessary, snide reference, one which I take exception to on several grounds.

  • 216. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    The Faroe Islands are an isolated, tight-knit, conservative, almost forgotten corner of NW Europe. In Danish, "Faroerne," their name literally means "The Far Islands," a name they acquired in Viking times.

  • 217. SethInMaryland  |  May 25, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    However that might change, in October it's expected that the leftists will win the election, thus they will almost likely right away pass a marriage equality bill

  • 218. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Same-Sex Marriage: Greens Set Date for Parliamentary Vote in Australia

    The Greens will bring forward a Senate debate on the party's marriage equality bill next month, in a bid to stir the Federal Parliament into action on same-sex marriage. The party has also set 12 November for a Senate vote on the bill, before Parliament adjourns for their summer.

    In the wake of Ireland's historic vote to legalize same-sex marriage on 22 May 2015, Liberal backers of same-sex marriage have also been calling for the party to decide its position on a free vote by the end of this year.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott's sister, Christine Forster, said Liberal MPs needed to settle the issue in the second half of 2015 to prevent it from becoming a political football during an election year.

    This comes as estimates of parliamentary support now have the House of Representatives just two votes shy of a majority, after Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon became the latest MP to reveal his support.

    The Senate is estimated to have a majority of one in support.

    Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young already has a private member's bill to legalise same-sex marriage before Parliament. On Tuesday, 27 May 2015, she will announce the party will use its allotted Senate time on 18 June to start debate on the bill.

    (As translated from "Strine" to English)

  • 219. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    "…. but nowhere in Australia."

    That reality is due to the fact that the Australian Supreme Court ruled, when tossing out the marriage equality legislation of the ACT, that marriage in Australia is a federal issue, and not one for the individual states and territories to decide for themselves.

    So, like it or not, the Australian federal parliament is going to have to pass federal legislation bringing marriage equality to ALL of Australia all at once.

  • 220. SethInMaryland  |  May 25, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    I believe they have they already have the votes , their just not saying they do because of the Australian Christian Lobby will attempt to scare mps who are yes, I believe they are now fatting up the buffer now in case one of the mps backs out and votes no

  • 221. VIRick  |  May 25, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Seth, possibly so, but I have a very difficult time understanding "Strine," even in its written form, particularly when overlaid with their peculiar political terminology and related jargon. I actually require a translation of it into standard English.

    When "Strine" is thrown at me in its spoken form, I have absolutely no idea what is being said. Perhaps that's part of the reason why I was objecting when some others were attempting to include Australia as an English-speaking nation, while excluding a host of others whose English is much closer to that of the Queen's English. I know. I've been there, from Sydney to Perth and many points in between, accompanied by a young (cute) fellow from the Bahamas who had to double as translator, given that he usually managed "Strine" a bit better than me.

    *Strine* The name Australians have given to whatever it is they speak.

  • 222. wes228  |  May 26, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Rise and shine folks! It's another decision day at the Supreme Court. Rulings in argued cases will be announced at 10:00AM.

  • 223. Dann3377  |  May 26, 2015 at 6:48 am

    Wouldn't that be something if it was announced earlier than expected? :)

  • 224. wes228  |  May 26, 2015 at 7:11 am

    3 opinions were announced today, nothing exciting. :-(

    25 opinions remain!

  • 225. RemC_Chicago  |  May 26, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Okay, I have to ask. How come you have knowledge on just about any topic that comes up in these threads? Superhuman brain? Alien? Eternal life?

  • 226. Raga  |  May 26, 2015 at 10:53 am

    One of the commentators on the live blog pointed out that today, Kennedy released only his third opinion of the term! He is the Justice that's lagging behind the most (assuming a nearly even split of writing workload, as is usually the case). Since only seven cases were argued in April, if Kennedy should release a majority opinion for a case argued in April other than Obergefell, that would most likely indicate that someone else is our majority author for marriage equality. I can't imagine it won't be Kennedy if we win… let's see!

  • 227. Raga  |  May 26, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Another random interesting fact: Breyer has been in the majority for 100% of the cases decided so far this term! No dissent yet – wonder how long this streak will last…

  • 228. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Rem,

    I only comment when I think I can contribute, or ask a pertinent question.

    And I have knowledge of the subject for many reasons, including:
    1. Age (I'll be 65 on my next birthday), thus having lived through many of the experiences I comment on;
    2. A thirst for history;
    3. A knowledge of how to work search engines to some extent – probably an outgrowth of doing research in relation to item 2;
    4. Etc.

    When I was a young child, I had many discussions with my paternal grandparents and several Aunts and Uncles. I tried to not be the 'stupid child' in those discussions, but to act as an actual participant (many times I succeeded). One thing that took me a long time to figure out, though, was when my grandfather called them the 'd***ed Brooklyn Dodgers', even though they were in SoCal (he was a Reds fan, and had some choice words he saved for when he was talking about the Reds reliever Joe Nuxhall – I guess one could say he was an equal opportunist). Eventually I figured out the 'Dodgers' question, and even why they were called the 'Dodgers' (rumor has it their fans had to dodge the trolleys on their way to Dodger home games at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn).

    And no, I am not alien (at least to my knowledge), nor do I have eternal life (although my mother turns 88 in about a week, and many of my Aunts and Uncles, and several ancestors, lived to their late 80s and early 90s).

  • 229. StraightDave  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:09 am

    (with sure-to-be-regretted intervention…)
    Those 3 islands, and nearby peers, are not actually part of the UK. The UK may look after there defense needs, but they are otherwise largely autonomous.

  • 230. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Even including Canada in the 'core Anglosphere' group presents problems, as the English-speaking Canadians are mostly non-Catholic, but the French-speakers (and the French-speaking population is very large) are mostly Catholic.

    I wouldn't call most of Quebec province, while an integral part of Canada, part of the 'core Anglosphere', since it is more Catholic French than Protestant English.

    And both English and French are the official languages of Canada.

    In fact, during WW I, the Brits were relunctant to send Quebecois to the war until they got the French to agree that the French-speaking Quebec regiments of soldiers would be British commanded, but more aligned with the French army.

  • 231. VIRick  |  May 26, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks Mike. Just below, in French, I deliberately stated the Québecois motto:

    En plus, en ce qui concerne le Québec, et d'autres régions du Canada, "Je me souviens."

    For the past generation, Canadian politics has revolved around the Québecois assertion of rejecting the entire notion of "Anglosphere."

    Here at EoT, where we are so concerned about "equality," specifically as it relates to marriage, it rankles me to encounter the blindness of those who wish to assert an unequal status in other arenas, especially when it comes to complex ethnic/racial/cultural variations, by presenting us with some sort of antiquated hierarchical preference.

    On a related note, mixed-race school kids in the Netherlands, facing problems related to school integration, have taken to wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the provocative question, "'Is dit wit genoeg voor u?"

    It says exactly what you think it does: "Is this white enough for you?"

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