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Equality news round-up: Another Alabama marriage case dismissed as moot, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Alabama state seal– In Aaron-Brush v. Bentley, a challenge to Alabama’s marriage ban by a couple in Mobile, the court has dismissed the case as moot. The order points out that if state officials try to enforce the ban, couples can ask Judge Granade to enforce her order.

– In the challenge to Florida’s refusal to put both same-sex parents’ names on their child’s birth certificate, the plaintiffs have filed their motion for a preliminary injunction.

– A Utah national guardsman who was reprimanded for opposing a same-sex wedding at West Point will not be able to challenge the punishment in federal court.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings

47 Comments

  • 1. 1grod  |  October 19, 2015 at 9:19 am

    As said elsewhere Judge D. Proctor based his decision of mootness on the stated position of the State that they are in full compliance with, and intend to remain in compliance with Obergefell in terms of celebration and recognition. Not only for the plaintiffs but any other couples similarly situated. In other words there is not a controversy to be adjudicated. But if things change Judge Granade has the tools to resolve it. Judge Proctor makes no reference to the Alabama Supreme Court's post-Obergefell fishing expedition to find such a controversy. In September/October AL probate judges Nick Williams and John Enslen obliged suggesting their remains a controversy and that their State's Supreme's could rule to disregard Obergefell. https://www.lc.org/newsroom/details/probate-judge
    IMO Federal Judge Proctor has just made it much more difficult for AL Supremes to rule at all.
    Some will say that State Supreme Courts can do their own thing. In this instance, because the State of Alabama had not been a party to the petition for an injunction, indeed had not taken a clear position during February – waiting on the US Supreme Courts ruling on Obergefell – the AL Supreme Court Judges accepted Alabama Policy Institute and the Alabama Citizens Action Program as proxy for the State. These organizations were represented by Liberty Counsel. http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/alabama_
    That assumption re the State's known position is not longer sustainable. Checkmate? As I recall AL Supreme Court Justice Greg Shaw fore-warned his brethren about the fatal flaw in their reasoning – pg 142. He went on to say that neither group has standing.
    If only the 11 Circuit Appeals Court would rule in Strawser v Strange straights and non straights would be much closer to closing the door on the nine delinquent judges, and be free to exercise their fundamental right to get a marriage license in the county where they reside.
    Note that Elmore Co's Enslen issues licenses, Washington Co's Williams does not. .

  • 2. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Graeme, thank you, as that is a perfect summation of the current situation in Alabama, and the significance of Judge Proctor's ruling in "Aaron-Brush v. Bentley," and how this federal ruling places the Alabama Supreme Court (and its complete idiocy) into "checkmate."

    In my own summation (see previous thread), I was more focused on the word, "moot," and how that angle normally blocks the plaintiffs attorneys' ability to collect their legal fees and expenses from the state. However, more fundamentally, in the reasoning reaching this decision, we have it on record that the state is already presently in full compliance (at the state level) with "Obergefell," never mind that a handful of narrow-minded, recalcitrant county probate judges are still balking, a situation which can be properly dealt with by Judge Granade (if need be).

    Note to Scottie: The present case, "Aaron-Brush v. Bentley," was heard by Judge Proctor in Birmingham (not Mobile), and brings the Northern District Court of Alabama into alignment with the Southern District Court of Alabama's previous rulings made there in Mobile by Judge Granade.

  • 3. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Separate subject, but Alabama-related:

    In my recent road trips around the eastern part of the USA, I noticed that vehicular license plates from Alabama now also include the name of the county of issuance, similar to FL, GA, MS, TN, KY, OH, IN, and IA (among others), a move which indicates a revenue-sharing agreement between the states and their respective counties. At the same time, though, in Alabama, as a budget-cutting measure (since Alabama is almost bankrupt, and the die-hard legislators refuse to raise taxes), the state has cut way back on the number of state-operated locations issuing driver's licenses and vehicle license plates, eliminating certain rural, low-population counties entirely.

    Since some of these same rural, low population counties are the same ones refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone (lest they "discriminate), and are thus also losing out from that revenue source, it strikes me that these "no taxes" counties, and their respective legislators and probate judges, have managed to place themselves in a self-fulfilling death spiral,– no marriage licenses, no driver's licenses, no vehicular license plates,– and no revenue from any of it.

  • 4. JayJonson  |  October 19, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Many thanks to Sagesse, 1grod, F_Young, and Mike_Baltimore, who answered my questions on the previous Open Thread about the Canadian election, which is taking place today.

    John Oliver also pointed out the importance of the Canadian election in a hilarious segment of his Last Week Tonight show, which is actually pretty informative as well as funny:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V5ckcTSYu8

  • 5. Montezuma58_1  |  October 19, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I haven't noticed the county names on the plates and I live in AL. The ad valorem tax has always varied by location with a portion going to the state. On the standard plates, the county is indicated by the first one or two digits. If it starts with 1 it's from Jefferson County (Birmingham), 2 for Montgomery County, 3 for Mobile County. The rest go up alphabetically by the county name. The current design for the plates is only a year or two old. They change the design every 5 years.

  • 6. Christian0811  |  October 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    In under reported news….

    "Russia's Constitutional Court on Thursday voted to uphold a law banning the promotion of so-called gay propaganda, dismissing the appeal by three LGBT activists that the law is in breach of the country's constitution.

    "The contested provisions [of the Russian legislation] are not intended to ban homosexuality as it is and cannot be viewed as curbing the rights of citizens based on their sexual orientation," news agency RAPSI quoted the court as saying.

    The law, which came into force last June, had been called into question by three LGBT activists found guilty of promoting nontraditional relations to minors.

    Nikolai Alexeyev, Yaroslav Yevtushenko and Dmitry Isakov argued the so-called gay propaganda law violates the right to freedom of speech guaranteed under the Russian Constitution and discriminates against homsexuals — arguments that the court dismissed.

    Critics of the law have pointed to a spike in attacks on the LGBT community since the law was passed, arguing it fosters anti-homosexual discrimination.

    In accordance with the law, anyone who provides information about homosexuality to minors can be fined from anywhere between 4,000 rubles ($104) for individuals to 1 million rubles ($26,000) for organizations.

    The Thursday ruling comes after a court in October last year also determined the law was not in breach of the Constitution."
    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/507851.html

    I guess the good news is we will hopefully stop seeing policemen attack LGB rights protestors there since the CC held that the law doesn't identify sexual orientation as necessarily "non-traditional", bad news is Russians have little respect for constitutional law so it may not matter and the law itself still poses a threat. At least the court restricted its application significantly.

  • 7. Christian0811  |  October 19, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Still waiting on the Slovenian constitutional court….their constitution is significantly sophisticated given that article 90 bans referenda on civil rights. Even so, it remains to be seen whether the court thinks marriage is human right for same sex couples or just heterosexuals. After all they neighbor Italy and their constitutional court spawned the abomination of jurisprudence that is Case 138/2010.

    I'm hoping they'll avoid a prop 8 situation the referendum will be avoided, that would be much more dignifying than going through the humiliation of a popular vote.

    Between UI 425-06 holding that the constitution forbids discrimination of sexuality as another "status" and gender neutral language of the marriage provision, they'd have to twist themselves into a pretzel trying to rationalize a ban on marriage equality.

    As for the Colombian constitutional court, which we are also waiting for, it's pretty clear by article 42 of the constitution that it bans same sex marriage. I don't know why people are even bothering there.

  • 8. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Up-Date on the Appeals of the Florida Marriage Cases

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 19 October 2015, in "Brenner/Grimsley v. Armstrong," the consolidated appeals of the preliminary injunction in the federal Florida federal marriage cases currently before the 11th Circuit Court, the 11th Circuit has granted the state's request to dismiss these appeals, but at the same time, has also granted the plaintiffs' request to transfer the consideration of attorney fees back down to the district court for final disposition.

    The Order granting the motion to voluntarily dismiss and transfer consideration of attorney fees to the district court is here: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/14-14061-order-dismis

    Thus, the Florida marriage case appeals, at the 11th Circuit Court level, have finally, and at long last, been acted upon and disposed of.

  • 9. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Up-Date on the Appeal of the Alabama Class-Action Marriage Suit

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Also, today, 19 October 2015, at the 11th Circuit Court, in "Strawser v. Strange," the federal Alabama class-action marriage case, the plaintiffs have filed their opposition to the Alabama Attorney-General’s Motion to Dismiss, relative to the claims against him.

    Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Attorney General’s Motion to Dismiss is here: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/114-cv-00424-167/

  • 10. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Up-Date on Utah Same-Sex Birth Certificate Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 19 October 2015, in "Roe v. Patton," the case requiring Utah to recognize a married same-sex couple as the legal parents of their child, the court has issued its Stipulation and Joint Motion for Permanent Injunction.

    On 22 July 2015, the Court issued a Preliminary injunction. http://files.eqcf.org/cases/114-cv-00424-167/

    Per the motion for permanent injunction issued today, "After the Court issued this injunction, the Defendants have been compliant, including issuing Angie Roe a birth certificate listing her as parent to L.R. .. The parties agree, and jointly move the Court, to make the Preliminary Injunction, entered by this Court on 22 July 2015, permanent."

    As to attorney fees and costs, "Defendants have agreed to pay, and the Plaintiffs have agreed to accept, the sum” of twenty-four thousand three hundred and two dollars ($24,302).

    The Stipulation and Joint Motion for Permanent Injunction is here: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/215-cv-00253-17/

  • 11. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    And in major nut-job news, we have this:

    Westboro Baptist Church Sings "Kentucky Woman" for Kim Davis

    Today, 19 October 2015, the Westboro Baptist Church is picketing “adulterer” Kim Davis outside the Rowan County Courthouse, complete with signage proclaiming, "Kim Davis Caused Fag Marriage," "Divorce (plus) Remarriage = Adultery," and "God Hates Proud Sinners." In addition, they have adapted the lyrics of Neil Diamond’s 1967 hit "Kentucky Woman:“

    "And God hates her. She knows God hates her. Kentucky woman, she’s constantly changin’ her name.” See more lyrics and further idiocy here: http://www.joemygod.com/2015/10/19/westboro-sings

  • 12. davepCA  |  October 19, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Call it morbid curiosity but I'd really like to be there to see that.
    My goodness what a side show.

  • 13. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Dave, I'm in perfect accord with you.

    In fact, just yesterday, as a part of my on-going series of road-trips, I drove from westernmost Virginia to Ohio, and was truly tempted to do so by way of US 23 (the country music highway in easternmost Kentucky, via Big Stone Gap, Betsy Lane, Ed, Zelda, Louisa, and Ashland), instead of following US 19 and I-77 through WV to check out the bungee jumpers leaping off the New River Bridge on US 19, some 800 feet down into the gorge below, as the singular, most-exciting highlight of "Bridge Day" in Fayetteville WV.

    It was an extremely difficult decision choosing which set of raving fools I preferred to watch perform.

  • 14. Sagesse  |  October 19, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Ok. John Oliver said it so much better :).

  • 15. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    More on "Roe v. Patton" here:

    Utah: Married Lesbian Couple Wins Court Battle To Have Both Their Names On Child’s Birth Certificate

    On 19 October 2015, the state of Utah has relented in a lawsuit brought by a married lesbian couple seeking to have both of their names on the birth certificate of their child.

    In a joint agreement filed with in US District Court, the ACLU of Utah and the Utah Attorney-General’s Office acknowledged that Kami and Angie Roe had received a birth certificate that included Angie Roe’s name as a parent of their child, Lucy. Lawyers for the two sides also agreed to make the judge’s injunction permanent, effectively ending the case. The joint stipulation could also apply to other same-sex couples in Utah, noting: “The Court further ordered that if Defendants continue to enforce Utah Code Ann §§ 78B-15-201(2)(e), 78B-15-703 and § 78B-15-704, with respect to male spouses of women who give birth through assisted reproduction with donor sperm, they must also apply the statute equally to female spouses of women who give birth through assisted reproduction with donor sperm.” http://www.joemygod.com/2015/10/19/utah-married-l

  • 16. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Some Marriage Equality News from Mexico

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, 18 October 2015 – The Morelos State Congress is expected to legalize same-sex marriage for all (without an amparo).

    In Spanish, the actual headline of the link reads:

    Cuernavaca, Morelos, México – Pendiente, aprobación de iniciativa del gobernador (del estado) sobre matrimonios igualitarios
    (Pending approval of the initiative of the state governor on marriage equality) http://www.oem.com.mx/elsoldecuautla/notas/n39792

    Se espera que el Congreso del Estado apruebe la iniciativa que presentó el Gobernador del Estado para los matrimonios igualitarios en Morelos, donde se han llevado a cabo siete de ellos, pero han sido bajo la vía de un amparo.

    Lo anterior lo informó Erick Raúl Maya Ortiz, director general del Registro Civil en Morelos, comentó que el gobernador Graco Ramírez Garrido Abreu presentó en días pasados la reforma al artículo 120 de la Constitución Política del Estado Morelos, así como diversos artículos del Código Familiar, en los que se pide sustituir los términos de "hombre y mujer" por el de "personas", para evitar la discriminación. Meanwhile, the only ones that have been made are seven were in Cuernavaca, Xochitepec, Temixco Villa de Ayala.

    En tanto, los únicos que han sido efectuado son siete y han sido en Cuernavaca, Xochitepec, Villa de Ayala y Temixco.

    (It is expected that the State Congress will approve the initiative presented by the Governor for marriage equality in Morelos, where seven same-sex marriages have already occurred, all having been done by way of an injunction (amparo).

    This information was reported by Erick Raúl Maya Ortiz, director general of the Civil Registry in Morelos, who stated that the governor, Graco Ramirez Garrido Abreu, recently presented the amendment to Article 120 of the Constitution of Morelos state, as well as several articles of the Family Code, to replace the terms, "man and woman," with "persons," to avoid discrimination.

    So far, the seven same-sex marriages in Morelos State have taken place in Cuernavaca, Xochitepec, Villa de Ayala, and Temixco.)

    Morelos State is a relatively compact, progressive state sandwiched between the Federal District and Guerrero State, both of which already have marriage equality. Given that this initiative was proposed and sponsored by the state's governor, he WILL sign the legislation into law to alter the state's family code to include marriage equality, once the state's congress finalizes their approval.

  • 17. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Off-topic, but next on the agenda at Mexico's Supreme Court:

    Per Geraldina Gonzalez de la Vega:

    La SCJN discutirá la legalización de la marihuana para autoconsumo

    (Mexico's Supreme Court (SCJN) will discuss the legalization of marijuana for personal consumption)

  • 18. Fortguy  |  October 19, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Canada's election: PM Stephen Harper rebuked as Liberals sweep to victory forming outright majority government, aspiring coalition partners need not apply. Justin Trudeau to be new PM. NDP kicked back into third party status.

    Mark Gollom, CBC News: Justin Trudeau to be prime minister as Liberals surge to majority

    Looks like the Tories can't pack the courts with equality haters anymore.

  • 19. RnL2008  |  October 19, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Rick, thank you for all of the articles, comments and your sense of humor…….it's what brings me back to this site <3

  • 20. RnL2008  |  October 19, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Nice and the plaintiff's lawyers can still fight to ensure payment…..which they deserve to be paid.!!!

  • 21. davepCA  |  October 19, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Well done. And I just love it when the loudmouthed rhetoric spewed by the anti-gay side comes back to bite them as evidence for our side. And in this brief, we see how they walked right back into that role again. Heh.

  • 22. davepCA  |  October 19, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Excellent. The post-Obergefell clean up continues……

  • 23. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 19, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    I've heard the latest estimates are 175 to 185 seats for Labor, probably closer to 185 than 175. 170 are needed for control of Parliament.

    And I've heard Harper has stepped down as leader of the Conservatives.

    Congratulations Canadian voters!

  • 24. allan120102  |  October 19, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    One by one they are legalizing ssm. I hope this change at least affect Guatemala in some form so same sex couple can get married in neighbor states of Mexico. I mean Guatemala because of they married in Mexico they might challenge the ban to be recognized in their own country.

  • 25. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Rose, you're soooo sweet!

    One of my many ex-boyfriends famously insisted that those of us who identify as totally gay were obviously born with a double-humor gene, an extremely necessary genetic peculiarity/mutation (and thus, proof positive that being born gay was completely genetic) so as to be able to cope with, and then overcome, all the endless bullshit, horse crap, and other assorted items of fecal matter that were constantly being flung in our direction. Needless to say, in addition, I was his star example in proving the correctness of his theory regarding the existence of this double-humor gene.

    In fact, said ex just phoned me again tonight, begging me to take him back. And I just might, once I am assured that he still agrees to two basic rules: complete versatility and total reciprocity.

  • 26. VIRick  |  October 19, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    As expected, and by comparison to the relative neatness in the USA once the "Obergefell" decision was handed down, the situation is always much messier and far more cloudy in Mexico. Still, once the dominos began to fall, Chihuahua, then Guerrero, even I was deluded into thinkingt that the pace would continue at a faster rate than it has over the past several months.

    Right now, the cloudiest of the cloudy are the current confused situations in Michoacán and Baja California, both under direct court orders to immediately alter their state codes to include marriage equality. So, it's refreshing to note that the governor's initiative in Morelos State is being acted upon positively.

    And by the way, since 7 is a larger number than 5, Morelos is also under direct court orders to immediately provide for marriage equality, a point not directly mentioned in the linked article.

  • 27. Christian0811  |  October 20, 2015 at 12:17 am

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/256038434

    An interesting read on the evolution of Italian family law jurisprudence as it relates to same sex couples. Keep in mind that it's pre-'Oliari'. Apparently ruling 138/2010 of the CC was left open ended, according to this it seems likely that the CC will revisit the issue in the future and reinterpret Article 29 (the governing constitutional provision on marriage). I hope that happens soon, though I can't imagine that will happen so shortly after the civil union law is passed.

  • 28. Fortguy  |  October 20, 2015 at 12:21 am

    CBC has now declared their final projections in the House of Commons' 338 ridings (riding is Canadian-speak for parliamentary constituency). A majority is 170:

    Liberals: 184
    Conservatives: 99
    New Democrats: 44
    Bloc Québécois: 10
    Green: 1

    Obviously, this is a stunning win for the Libs, and a huge disappointment for every other party. The Tories and their NDP coalition partners both received a huge smack down. The leader of the Bloc Québécois was defeated by a Liberal and ejected from Parliament in his riding. The Greens get to sing the song "One is the loneliest number…".

    Amazing. No wonder Sen. Carnival Cruz renounced his Canadian citizenship.

  • 29. F_Young  |  October 20, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Gay people make army more effective, says British general
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5e8eaf38-7673-11e5-933d

  • 30. Rick55845  |  October 20, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Yes, that was a very well written filing by the lawyers from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the ACLU Foundation of Alabama, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and from the law firm of Boyd, Fernambucq, Dunn, & Fann.

    I sure hope this class action suit winds up putting the nail in the coffin of Alabama's defiance and recalcitrance with respect to the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell.

  • 31. RnL2008  |  October 20, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I would probably have to agree with his assessment because there is an awful lot of crap thrown at us for NO particular reason except the hate by others……..and it's nice to see you still have remained friends with him…….maybe there's a reason why and if he can agree with your rules…….maybe just maybe this could be the start of something special…….hugs to you and wishing you a great week!!!

  • 32. JayJonson  |  October 20, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Fortguy: "The Tories and their NDP coalition partners both received a huge smack down." The Tories were NOT in a coalition with the NDP, the most liberal of the three parties. The NDP was the official Opposition Party, following the meltdown of the LIberal Party in 2011, when the Conservatives swept to a majority government. What is remarkable about the election yesterday was the stunning reversal of fortune for the Liberals under the leadership of the charismatic Justin Trudeau.

    Lest it be forgotten, his father Pierre Trudeau decriminalized homosexuality in Canada. He first suggested revising the "buggery" and "gross indecency" clauses of the Criminal Code in 1967, when he was Justice Minister, soon after Britain had
    decriminalized homosexuality with an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act.

    As Justice Minister, Trudeau was not successful in effecting a change in the Code, but upon becoming Prime Minister in 1968 he renewed his efforts as part of his program for a "Just Society" and as part of his agenda for transforming Canada into a modern, less stodgy nation. The omnibus bill that his government presented in 1969 included proposals that decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual activity.

    The youthful Prime Minister was deeply committed to making Canada a society that was truly just. In 1968 he described his vision: "I've always dreamt of a society in which each person would be able to fulfill himself to the extent of his capabilities as a human being, a society where inhibitions to equality would be eradicated." With respect to consensual homosexual activity, he famously said, "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation."

    While some extremely conservative members of parliament from Quebec attempted to block Bill C-150 with a filibuster and arguments that decriminalizing homosexuality was offensive to their Roman Catholic constituents, most members of parliament, including some in the Conservative party, favored the legislation. Although debate on the measure was heated at times, Bill C-150 was easily approved on May 14, 1969 by a margin of 149 to 55.

  • 33. Sagesse  |  October 20, 2015 at 10:13 am

    1968. Think about it. Trudeau devoted a paragraph of his acceptance speech to reviving Canada's tradition of inclusion and diversity. Take that, Mr Harper 😀.

  • 34. Fortguy  |  October 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I stand corrected. I was mislead by the CBC reporter's statement that the NDP was knocked into third party status when in fact they never had any influence in Parliament.

  • 35. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    The NDP had the second largest block of House of Commons members both at the beginning and end of the past Parliament (41st Canadian Parliament). As such, in Canada it is called 'Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition' (French: L'Opposition Loyale de Sa Majesté), commonly known as the Official Opposition and is usually the largest parliamentary opposition party in the House of Commons or a provincial legislative assembly that is not in government, either on its own or as part of a governing coalition.

    The Official Opposition (or Loyal Opposition, if you will) is viewed as the caucus tasked with keeping the government in check. It is also generally viewed as the alternative government or "government in waiting". The Official Opposition maintains a shadow cabinet, with the Leader of the Official Opposition at its head, of Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators who often have the same portfolios as actual ministers. The spokesperson for each portfolio is known as an opposition critic. Thus, in the event the government loses the confidence of the House or the Official Opposition party wins a general election, the party is ready to become the government.

    Thus, in Canada (and Great Britain) there is some good for coming in second if your party does not join in a Coalition government. The good is more in the future than the immediate outlook, but if one takes a long view, 2nd place is a good place to be. Not the best, but (usually) certainly not the worst.

    Of course, you have to win the official election to be the government (or be the largest party). In this case (Oct. 2015 elections), the Liberal Party won the election, the Conservative Party came in second, and the NDP lost lots of seats. Thus the Conservative Party, because of their holding the second-most seats, becomes the Official Opposition, and the NDP falls to third, with 'no status' now.

  • 36. Christian0811  |  October 20, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    http://www.us-rs.si/en/news/headlines/&quot; target="_blank"&gt ;http://www.us-rs.si/en/news/headlines/

    The Slovene and Croatian constitutional courts will be meeting this month to discuss their respective case law and how it may influence each other. Interestingly, the Croatian CC already answered a question regarding the validity of a referendum on a ban on same sex marriage. They replied that same sex couples only have a right to all the benefits of marriage but not the name. I will be intrigued to see if their meeting will discuss that case (SuS 1-2013) and hopefully it will not negatively persuade the Slovenians.

    Unlike Croatia, Slovenia banned referenda on laws "correcting infirmities in constitutional and human rights" within article 90 of the constitutions. Moreover, it made that amendment the same year as the Croatian CC made its decision on the marriage petition. As the Croatian CC points out in its ruling, to make such a decision would be also to find that marriage for same sex couples is a human right. Is the Slovene CC brave enough to make that conclusion? If so, it will be the first court in all of Europe to do so. Fingers crossed.
    http://sljeme.usud.hr/usud/prakswen.nsf/5417ecd50… marriage referendum opinion)

  • 37. allan120102  |  October 20, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    I am really scared if the slovene people go and vote. I am not sure if they would vote for ssm as last time they vote I think in 2012 for civil unions they vote against right?

  • 38. allan120102  |  October 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    http://www.nuevodia.com.mx/Nota.aspx?p=4696 Looks like Sonora might get an amparo that would legalize same sex marriage. in the state. Unless the reporter or write express the news wrong.

  • 39. F_Young  |  October 20, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Mike_Baltimore: "…and the NDP falls to third, with 'no status' now."

    Mike, your explanation was correct except in this one respect.

    The NDP won enough seats to retain its official status as a political party. For example, it will continue to get (diminished) public funding to support its operations in the House of Commons. It will continue to get (much reduced) representation on a few parliamentary committees, and to be given (reduced) air time to ask questions during question period.

  • 40. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 20, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you – fleshes out my comment a bit. I'm not Canadian, just going on memory and reference.

    Technically, I was speaking of the NDP as a member of government or as 'Official Opposition',

    Question (actually two):

    At what point is a political party not able to retain its 'official status' as a political party. When there is X number or less seats in the House of Commons? When there are no MPs? A certain level of votes? Some other reason?

    And is there a way for new political parties to get 'official status'?

  • 41. SethInMaryland  |  October 20, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I'm kind of excited about this result in Canada. As marijuana advocate this result couldn't have been any better. It's going to have a huge snowball effect here in the US

  • 42. F_Young  |  October 21, 2015 at 3:33 am

    SethinMaryland, you might be interested to know that there is a Marijuana Party in Canada; it is officially registered:
    http://www.marijuanaparty.ca/index.en.php3 http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=pol&amp;…

  • 43. F_Young  |  October 21, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Mike_Baltimore: "…..Question (actually two)

    The short answer is that, for purposes of being considered as a "recognized party" within the House of Commons and thus qualifying for research funding, a political party must have 12 members in the House of Commons.
    http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/House/BOIE/boie-ByLaw

    See sections 49.8, 50, 62:
    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/p-1/FullT
    See definitions of "recognized" and "registered political party" in section 1:
    http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/House/BOIE/boie-ByLaw

    Party status with respect to various aspects of parliamentary procedure is also apparently based on tradition and precedent:
    http://www.revparl.ca/english/issue.asp?art=1014&amp;…

    For election (e.g reimbursement of election expenses, party shown next to candidate's name on ballot) as opposed to parliamentary purposes, there appears to be no minimum member of elected MPs (but the party has to have 250 members eligible to vote).
    See "Political party" "Registered political party" in section 2 http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-2.01/Fu

    Interesting information:

    Registered Political Parties and Parties Eligible for Registration http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=pol&amp;…

    JJ's Complete Guide to Canada http://www.thecanadaguide.com/political-parties

  • 44. SethInMaryland  |  October 21, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I know that but Liberal party is a much larger party that is in support and now the government. I think they legalize by the end of this year or the start of next.

  • 45. Christian0811  |  October 21, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    The 2012 referendum was held under an order of the Constitutional Court, which demanded their parliament expand the rights of same sex couples.

    The proposed expansion explicitly banned same sex marriage and joint adoption rights, although tax benefits and co-adoption would be permitted. The latter point galvanized the far right and the omission of joint adoption combined with the statutory ban on same sex marriage left the liberals and gay community at large apathetic to the referendum and thus the bill failed in its entirety.

    Since then, the assembly took the French approach to legalise marriage and joint adoption in one fell swoop though it too may be forced to referendum. However, this bill seems to have much more support than the civil unions expansion had at any point.

  • 46. VIRick  |  October 21, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Nogales, Sonora, 20/Oct/2015

    La Asociación Unidos por los Derechos de la Comunidad Gay iniciará el procedimiento legal para lograr el matrimonio de la primera pareja gay en esta frontera para hacer valer los derechos de quienes se han declarado como parte de esta agrupación.

    En entrevista con Miguel Ángel Ortiz Ruiz, presidente de la asociación dijo que efectivamente, en las próximas semanas comenzarán con la primera solicitud de matrimonio ante el Registro Civil Nogales, pues tienen una pareja de mujeres interesadas en legalizar su estado civil, bajo los lineamientos correspondientes.

    “Sabemos que de primeras instancia el Oficial del Registro Civil, va a rechazar la solicitud de matrimonio, porque se trata de un servicio que no puede llevar a cabo en este estado, por ser una pareja del mismo sexo, por lo tanto será necesario interponer la demanda ante el Juzgado Familiar, donde citarán por tres o cuatro veces al Juez de la Oficialía del Registro Civil y será entonces que automáticamente la pareja gana la demanda y podrá ser casada en esta oficina," anticipa.

    (Nogales, Sonora, 20 October 2015

    The United Association for the Rights of the Gay Community will start the legal procedure to achieve the marriage of the first gay couple in this border city in order to enforce the rights of those who have been declared as part of this group.

    In an interview with Miguel Ángel Ortiz Ruiz, president of the association, he said that indeed, in the coming weeks they will begin with the first application for marriage at the Civil Registry in Nogales, as they have a pair of women interested in legalizing their marital status under the relevant guidelines.

    He anticipated, "First of all, we know the Officer of the Civil Registry will reject the application for marriage because it is a procedure that can not currently be performed in this state for a same-sex couple, and it will therefore be necessary to file the application before the Family Court, where they cite (the legal precedent) three or four times to the Judge of the Office of the Civil Registry, and the couple will then automatically win their demand (by being granted an amparo) and can then be married in this office.")

    But it will take some time before all this transpires. In the over-all statewide count, this Nogales amparo will be #4 for Sonora. It takes 5 amparos before the state law is held in abeyance, after which same-sex couples can then marry without seeking judicial recourse.

  • 47. NXA  |  October 22, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Do you have an excerpt from the decision that specifies what qualifies as "non-traditional"?

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