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Open thread UPDATE re: Alabama adoption case

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Yesterday, 47 House Democrats and most Republicans voted that will keep Syrian refugees from coming into the United States. Several of the Congresspeople who voted for the bill are out as gay and bisexual. Needless to say, were they trapped in a Middle Eastern country, they might end up being refugees as well, or even seek asylum here. And undoubtedly, some of the refugees are likely to be LGBT.

This is an open thread.

UPDATE: In a docket entry just now, in the Alabama adoption case we’ve been reporting on, the Court has asked for a response to the request to stay the Alabama supreme court’s decision in the case. The request comes because one of the legal parents in the dispute will not get to see her children unless the decision is stayed.

The entry reads: “Response to application (15A522) requested by Justice Thomas. (Due Monday, November 30, 2015, by 4 p.m. EST.)” The Court also requested a response from court representatives of the children.

CORRECTION TO EARLIER POST: An earlier post, now deleted, said that Justice Thomas, on his own, denied the request. That was incorrect. The Court’s official docket page had reported that it was denied, but it occurred because of a misreading. If you saw the post earlier, I just wanted to clarify why it was removed right after it appeared.

47 Comments

  • 1. allan120102  |  November 20, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Instead of waiting for the never coming answer of Equality Alabama I message Aclu Alabama and thankfully they answer me . This are the 10 counties not issuing licences.•Northern District- Bibb, Cleburne
    •Middle District- Autauga, Pike, Geneva, Elmore
    •Southern District- Marengo, Choctaw, Clarke, Washington
    If you know someone in these counties that would like to get married and can't please let me know. Straight or same sex. Thanks

  • 2. iocbyux  |  November 20, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    The majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) youth in Asia-Pacific say they have been subjected to some form of violence or bullying in school. In some countries, as many as four out of five LGBTI learners are affected. This can take many forms – physical, verbal, psychological or sexual abuse or social exclusion both online and off. The end result remains the same: millions of young learners throughout the Asia-Pacific region are being denied their right to an education. The impacts can be lifelong and devastating in terms of economic and employment prospects, as well as on a personal level: Asia-Pacific studies show that up to one in three LGBTI learners report depression; up to seven in 10 report harming themselves and nearly five in 10 have attempted suicide.

    UNESCO is launching “From Insult to Inclusion”, the first review of its kind to comprehensively examine these challenges in Asia-Pacific. The report looks at the broader legal and educational contexts in countries throughout the region related to bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and features the voices of young learners themselves and their personal stories of abuse and exclusion. Concrete steps that education sector planners, teachers, school leaders and communities throughout the region can take to address this situation are also presented.

    http://www.unescobkk.org/news/article/media-advis

  • 3. 1grod  |  November 20, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Allan thanks for the update: Elmore County's website list Marriage Licenses & Certificates as the first in their list of relate services. While their probate judge John Enslen chafes at the bit while doing so; on October 5, he said. "As a probate judge, I am currently compelled and I believe wrongfully, to issue federally-created same-sex marriage licenses or face an onerous federal civil rights action.". He has two [Autumn 2015] petitions on the matter before the AL Supremes. IMO if Elmore Co was not issuing, – the service would not be on their site. On the Wikipedia AL Map date October 2, Marengo Co is showed as issuing – I believe that was an announced change. Should we not be heartened to learn that Chambers (pop 34067) and Covington Co (37955) are now issuing licenses. Straight or same sex couples: is it not time to assert your rights? Cleburne Co probate judge Ryan Robertson are you listening?

  • 4. allan120102  |  November 20, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks that was the answer they gave me, I told them that base on reports I have seen Elmore and Marengo are issuing, hope they answer me tomorrow, I also ask them about Chambers why it appears as not issuing in others places but I guess as being the Aclu of Alabama they know more than me in that aspect. Anyways as seen above they ask me if I know about a straight or gay couple that wish to marry but can´t base on that question I might believe they are probably looking for plaintiffs to sue but that is just a guess.

  • 5. VIRick  |  November 20, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    New Philly Law Requires Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed a new law today, 20 November 2015, that requires all single-occupancy restrooms in bars and restaurants to be designated as gender-neutral. The law takes effect on 16 January 2016.

    Supporters say that making the restrooms gender-neutral is inclusive of transgender people who often face harassment in public bathrooms. By removing the gender designation, it removes the impetus for strangers to judge whether gender nonconforming people are using the “correct” restroom.

    Office of LGBT Affairs Director Nellie Fitzpatrick stated, “This bill will assist in eliminating members of the public – store owners, employees, customers and so on – from policing the gender of others,” she continued. “This bill provides a space that is labeled for its purpose – a bathroom – and not a gender-segregated space that allows others to question, harass, or harm those seeking to use it.” http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2015/11/new-philly-law

  • 6. VIRick  |  November 20, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Portugal: Parliament Approves Gay Adoption

    Portugal’s Parliament has approved laws to allow same-sex couples to legally-adopt children, and to permit lesbians to obtain medically assisted fertilization. Left-of-center parties used their outright parliamentary majority to ensure the bills passed Friday, 20 November 2015. The Socialist Party, Communist Party, and Left Bloc had promised those measures during their campaigns for last month’s general election. Parliament in 2013 approved a law allowing gay married couples to adopt their partners’ children, but rejected legislation granting gay couples the same adoption rights as heterosexuals. That's now been changed. http://www.joemygod.com/2015/11/20/portugal-parli

  • 7. VIRick  |  November 20, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Turkey Relaxes Rules for ‘Anal Exams’ for Gay Men in Military Service

    Gay men who want to be exempt from military service in Turkey will no longer be made to prove their sexual orientation with sex pictures and anal examinations. The country has a strict policy on exemptions from military service. Those allowed exemption must be sick, disabled, or gay.

    However, the whole ordeal often proves humiliating for gay men either because they have to disclose their sexual orientation or hide it. Previously, those who wish to be exempt on the basis of their sexual orientation had to make a public declaration, often leading to discrimination. If they go into the draft, gay men usually have to hide their sexual orientation for a year of service.

    Now the rules of pre-draft medical examinations have been relaxed, removing some of the stipulations for “tests” on men who say they are gay. The requirement for men to “prove” their homosexuality by showing photos of them having sex with men has also been removed.

    The disclosure of a man’s sexual orientation will constitute the sole basis for the decision on military exemption. This is a massive change for Turkey, bringing military regulations into line with basic human rights. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/11/20/turkey-relax

  • 8. VIRick  |  November 20, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Tasmanian Parliament Backs Same-Sex Marriage

    On 19 November 2015, the Tasmanian Parliament has passed a motion calling for same-sex marriage to be introduced across Australia.

    Australia’s Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has committed to holding a plebiscite (public vote) on the issue after the next federal election, meaning the vote may not take place until 2017, and marriages might take even longer to begin.

    As pressure on Turnbull grows on the issue, the Tasmanian Parliament has this week passed a motion endorsing equality, with the support of the state’s Liberal Premier. A Greens motion on the issue was passed 15 votes to 9, with the support of most Labor MPs and almost half of Liberal MPs, including Liberal Premier Will Hodgman.

    Similar motions have also recently passed in New South Wales and Western Australia. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/11/19/tasmanian-pa

  • 9. JayJonson  |  November 21, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Chris Geidner credits Chief Justice Roberts with being the key vote in denying cert to the marriage cases in October 2014 in order to soften the shock of the inevitable marriage equality ruling he knew was coming in Obergefell. This will not be news to most of us who also made the same speculation at the time, but he places it in the context of Roberts's alleged concern for SCOTUS's institutional standing. His article in the Ohio State Law Journal is entitled "Cert. Denied, Stays Denied, Marriage Equality Advanced: How the Supreme Court Used Nonprecedential Orders to Diminish the Drama of the Marriage Equality Decision."

    He concludes that "the true moment of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision could just as readily be pinned to its denial of certiorari (cert.) in five marriage equality cases on October 6, 2014, as it is to Obergefell on June 26, 2015."

    Below is a link to Geidner's report on his article in BuzzFeed:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/chief-justic

    Here is a link to the journal article itself: http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/students/groups/oslj/fil

  • 10. Sagesse  |  November 21, 2015 at 8:08 am

    To me it is always noteworthy when the mainstream press takes on an LGBT rights issue. Marriage equality commentary is now commonplace in the New York Times or the Washington Post. It wasn't always so. It matters because this is where responsible journalism happens. They research, they fact check, they don't sensationalize.

    Opponents can blather all they want that ME is somehow in their fantasies not a done deal, but they will never be able to undo the 100,000 + marriages that have taken place, the families that have been recognized.

    Much remains to be done, and the work will take on the hardcore red state opposition. It's time to shore up the T in LGBT rights. An uphill battle perhaps, but it's now being waged from halfway up the hill.

    LGBT Leaders Warn of Looming Gay Rights Backlash [TIME]
    http://time.com/4123059/gay-rights-marriage-backl

  • 11. VIRick  |  November 21, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Business Coalition in Kentucky Backs LGBT Rights Bill

    Louisville KY — Passing statewide legislation to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination would be good for Kentucky businesses, advocates said Thursday, 19 November 2015. Nearly 200 businesses have signed up for the Kentucky Competitive Workforce Coalition, which was announced Thursday. The group is joining the debate on long-stalled legislation aimed at protecting gay, bisexual, and transgender Kentuckians from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public places.

    Without guaranteeing such protections, people can be fired simply “because of who you love,” said state Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville. Along with strengthening the state’s civil rights law, the measure would help Kentucky companies attract employees, he said. “As we recruit the best and brightest from around the country, we need to show that we have the inclusive and competitive atmosphere where they want to live, where they want to work and they want to raise their families,” McGarvey said.

    Eight cities in Kentucky have passed local ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Those cities range from the state’s two largest, Louisville and Lexington, to the tiny Appalachian town of Vicco. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2015/11/business-coali

  • 12. VIRick  |  November 21, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Ohio Highway Section Memorializes Leelah Alcorn

    Almost one year ago, transgender teen Leelah Alcorn took her life along a stretch of I- 71 near Kings Mill OH. She left a handwritten suicide note for her parents, and one on Tumblr that went viral after her death, galvanizing the country around transgender issues and against the so-called conversion therapy Alcorn said she’d been subjected to.

    On Friday, 20 November 2015, the tribute went up along I-71 that aims to honor the 17-year-old’s short life. Alcorn’s friends and supporters teamed up to participate in the state’s Adopt-a-Highway program, placing the large blue/silver state-approved sign reading “In memory of Leelah Alcorn” along the Ohio highway where Alcorn’s body was found, according to Cincinnati TV station WCPO.

    Significantly, the sign was placed there on the same date which also marked the international Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes those lost to transphobic violence nationwide. Friends and community members plan to maintain the two-mile stretch of highway, near the South Lebanon exit in Warren County, reports Cincinnati’s WLWT. http://www.advocate.com/transgender/2015/11/21/oh

  • 13. 1grod  |  November 21, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Allan thank you for taking the initiative of contacting ACLU. Being 1402 miles away from the state, and unlike Scottie who lives there; I do not have an intuitive sense of the situation. G

  • 14. Sagesse  |  November 22, 2015 at 7:18 am

    The saga continues.

    Devout Mormons wonder anew: Can we really support gay marriage and still get into the temple? [Salt Lake Tribune]
    http://www.sltrib.com/home/3207904-155/devout-mor

  • 15. Sagesse  |  November 22, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Can anyone here comment on what this means for LGBT rights in Louisiana? Good news, presumably… goodbye Bobby Jindal.

    David Vitter Defeated In Louisiana Governor's Race [TPM]
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/david-vitter-lo

  • 16. Sagesse  |  November 22, 2015 at 7:39 am

    A wedding at last for couple that challenged Texas’ gay marriage ban [San Antonio Express-News]
    http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/A-w

  • 17. JayJonson  |  November 22, 2015 at 8:08 am

    It is good news for lgbt rights in Louisiana because the governorship in Louisiana is very powerful. Edwards is likely to add sexual orientation and sexual identity to the nondiscrimination order protecting state workers (former Democratic governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco issued such an order; in his first action, upon being sworn in as governor in 2009, Republican Bobby Jindal rescinded the protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity) and is likely to stand firm against attempts to pass a "religious liberty" bill that authorizes discrimination against gay people. (As a state senator Edwards helped lead the movement that killed Jindal's attempt to pass a "religious liberty" bill in anticipation of the Obergefell ruling. When that bill failed in committee, Jindal issued a toothless executive order; in response Mayor Landrieu of New Orleans issued his own executive order saying that "religious liberty" does not include the right to discriminate.)

    During the campaign, a desperate Vitter attempted to rally the Republican base by denouncing same-sex marriage and promising to revive Jindal's "religious liberty" bill. That ploy obviously did not succeed.

    Edwards will have to work with a Republican legislature, but the governorship is powerful and includes line-item vetoes and the right to appoint legislative leaders. Edwards is likely to be relatively non partisan, but he will reverse Jindal's policies of refusing Obamacare and opposing Common Core. He will expand medicaid and, most important, for lgbt issues, will end Jindal's practice of taking marching orders from Tony Perkins.

    However, one must remember that even as Vitter went down to a satisfyingly resounding defeat, Republicans captured the other two statewide offices on the ballot. Moreover, Edwards won because he made the campaign about Vitter rather than about issues. Vitter was badly damaged by the primary in which he and his Republican rivals slung mud on each other, and neither of which endorsed Vitter in the general election.

    In the race for Attorney General, former Congressman Joe Landry, a teabagger, defeated incumbent Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. They are equally bad. Caldwell was elected as a Democrat 8 years ago, but shortly after he assumed office, he switched parties and sued Obama over the Affordable Care Act and also fought same-sex marriage in a particularly vicious way. Had the Republican clerk of Jefferson Parish not immediately began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, thereby undercutting Caldwell's advice to clerks to wait until they were ordered specifically by courts, it is likely that there would have shenanigans in Louisiana similar to those in Alabama.

    In any case, neither Caldwell nor Landry are friends of lgbt people. The campaign mainly consisted of Landry calling Caldwell corrupt and Caldwell calling Landry incompetent. Gay issues did not figure prominently in the campaign, but most liberals and moderates did not vote for either of these candidates, or voted for one while holding their noses. (In Louisiana, the two top vote-getters in the primary face each other in the run-off election: Caldwell and Landry are both Republicans. The Democratic candidates did not make the run off.)

    The third state-wide race was for Lt. Governor. It was won handily by Republican Billy Nungesser. Unfortunately, the Democratic candidate did not put on much of a campaign and Nungesser ran only sentimental ads extolling Louisiana culture. In Louisiana, the main responsibility of the Lt. Governor is to promote tourism (in addition to being prepared to succeed to the governorship should the Governor resign or otherwise have to leave office). Nungesser, a close ally of Jindal, is a nasty piece of work, but the tourism industry is likely to keep him in check insofar as pushing "religious liberty" bills or doing anything that could compromise the state's reputation for friendliness and New Orleans's ability to host conventions and big-time sporting events.

    The most encouraging thing about the election was John Bel Edwards's ability to raise enough money to compete with the deep pockets of Vitter. That may help Edwards rebuild the Democratic Party in the state.

  • 18. VIRick  |  November 22, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Jay, in the meantime, though, it looks as if we're not quite done with Jindal:

    Suit Challenging Jindal’s Anti-LGBT Religious Objections Order Going to Trial

    Baton Rouge LA — A lawsuit challenging Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive order offering protections to people who oppose same-sex marriage is headed to trial. The "Baton Rouge Advocate" reports that state District Judge Todd Hernandez has refused to dismiss the suit filed by the ACLU Foundation of Louisiana, the Forum for Equality Foundation, and six New Orleans residents.

    Jindal framed the executive order as a protection of “religious liberty” for Christians who oppose same-sex marriage, and has called the lawsuit an “attack” on civil liberties. The “Marriage and Conscience” order prohibits state agencies under Jindal’s control from denying licenses, benefits, contracts or tax deductions in response to actions taken because of someone’s “religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” The Republican governor issued the order after lawmakers refused to write similar provisions into Louisiana law.

    The lawsuit claims Jindal tried to bypass the Legislature and make new law on his own, exceeding his constitutional authority and violating the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.

    Jindal’s lawyer says the gay rights advocates haven’t shown they face harm from the order.

    Hernandez’s ruling said the dispute presented is ripe for his consideration. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2015/11/suit-challengi

  • 19. JayJonson  |  November 22, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Edwards takes office as Governor in January. If he rescinds the offending executive order, would that not end the controversy?

  • 20. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  November 22, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Temple attendance is an internal issue and will have no impact on anyone except the individuals who belong to the club and maybe their extended families. On the other hand, the club is digging a nice deep hole for itself with this hypocritical behavior and eventually may have to reverse itself as it did with full membership for people of color.

  • 21. allan120102  |  November 22, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Colombia Supreme court is again supposedly to hand a ruling on Thursday base on various spanish rulings I have read. Not sure if the court justices that were suppose to be recuse did it but I doubt it. Gay star news is reporting the same and its almost certainly Colombia might be country 22 in recognizing ssm. If by miracle we win the referendum in Slovenia 2015 will likely end with 5 countries with marriage equality alone. Ireland, Luxembourg, USA, Mexico some states, and if we win Colombia and Slovenia that would be great .http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/colombia-court-delays-legalizing-gay-marriage-but-likely-to-rule-on-it-this-week/#gs.Wjy41Qs

  • 22. scream4ever  |  November 22, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    My hope for Slovenia is that turnout for the opposition doesn't break 50%. Given that it's right around Christmas-time, turnout may very well be low.

    On a side note, NOM has mentioned nothing regarding the situation in Slovenia. I take that to be a sign that their resources are drying up even faster then we think. Also, they still have not released their 990s for 2014, even though the deadline was 11/16. I'm about ready to contact HRC, Freedom to Marry, and/or Fred Karger, and have them light a fire under their asses.

  • 23. VIRick  |  November 23, 2015 at 12:24 am

    First, let me correct the link: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/colombia-court

    Allan, as a friendly hint, please stop placing an unnecessary (.) before the http, as it makes the link unworkable.

    Now, here's the Gay Star News article (with some editing for greater clarity):

    Colombia Court's Delayed Favorable Marriage Ruling Likely This Week

    Colombia’s highest court is likely to hand down a ruling legalizing same-sex marriage this week, having postponed making its decision last week. The Colombian media report that it is almost certain that the Constitutional Court will find in favor of the proposal, as a majority of its rather liberal bench recently ruled in favor of same-sex couples being allowed to adopt, and to have both commissioning parents’ names put on a child’s birth certificate if the child is born through IVF or surrogacy to a same-sex couple.

    The court was expected to decide the issue on Thursday or Friday, 19-20 November 2015, but the justices decided to address the issue later in this plenary session. When the court does rule, it is expected that it will order courts and notaries to begin issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples within a certain date of its ruling, most likely 30 days.

    The man who brought the appeal to the court is Luis Felipe Rodriguez Rhodes, a 25-year-old LGBTI activist with a degree in foreign languages who works as an English and French teacher. He and his partner sought a marriage license from a Colombian notary shortly after the Constitutional Court's July 2013 deadline to legislators requiring them to legislate to allow same-sex marriage had passed.

  • 24. allan120102  |  November 23, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Sorry thanks for the headout, I didnt loook the links I post were not working will fix them from now on. Thanks Rick.

  • 25. guitaristbl  |  November 23, 2015 at 6:04 am

    He seems kind of a southern democrat, anti-abortion, pro gun with no mention of lgbt rights, which is not exactly great but still better than a republican. A positive surprise in Louisiana – I hope this is the starting point for a comeback nationwide for the democrats

  • 26. JayJonson  |  November 23, 2015 at 6:50 am

    More than five years after her husband died in the line of duty, a Texas transgender widow has finally won her high-profile battle to obtain death benefits.

    On November 20, a state judge granted summary judgment to Nikki Araguz Lloyd, ending a long-running lawsuit brought against her by the family of Thomas Araguz, a volunteer firefighter who was killed battling a blaze in July 2010.

    Shortly after his death, Araguz’s family filed a lawsuit seeking to block Nikki Araguz Loyd from obtaining death benefits, arguing that because she was born biologically male, the couple’s marriage was void under Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage. However, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Texas Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in the case, leading to Friday’s summary judgment by State District Judge Randy Clapp of Wharton.

    “Having considered the motion for summary judgment filed by Nikki Araguz and any response and reply, the Court concludes that the motion for summary judgment has merit and should be granted,” Clapp wrote. “Accordingly, the court finds and enters final judgment that Decedent Thomas Trevino Araguz III was legally married to Nikki Purdue Araguz and Nikki Purdue Araguz was the legal spouse of Thomas Trevino Araguz on the date of his death.”

    Araguz Loyd began living as a woman when she was a teenager and underwent gender reassignment surgery shortly after marrying Thomas Araguz. She obtained their marriage license using her Texas driver’s license, which identifies her as female. Her birth certificate, from California, also states that she is female.

    The case vaulted Araguz Loyd into the national spotlight, and the lengthy court battle invoked both transgender rights and marriage equality.

    Recognizing that after Obergefell, his case had no legs, the attorney for Araguz's family nevertheless could not resist taking a last nasty swipe at Araguz Loyd, evoking the Bible and asserting that despite her transition she remains a man: "Though counsel for Delgado [Thomas Araguz’s family] is in full recognition of God’s words that ‘a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ (Matt. 19:5 quoting Gen. 2:24) and that God therefore does not authorize the asserted marriage of Nikki Araguz, the United States Supreme Court has held that the laws of our country do recognize the validity of same sex marriage. Since this court is bound to follow the laws of this country, Delgado makes not written opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment.”

    Read more here: http://www.towleroad.com/2015/11/texas-finally-re

  • 27. FredDorner  |  November 23, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Apparently Edwards personally opposes marriage equality but he didn't seem to campaign on that issue. He also said this in regards to Kim Davis:
    http://www.ontheissues.org/Governor/John_Bel_Edwa

    The WDSU anchor asked whether Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk of court, acted correctly in refusing to award marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Five of the six candidates said they sided with Davis, who briefly went to prison rather than issue the licenses. "I don't believe anyone is free to deny those marriage licenses once the Supreme Court has ruled," said Edwards, the lone dissenter. "Anarchy would result." Edwards added that he personally did not support same-sex marriages.

  • 28. guitaristbl  |  November 23, 2015 at 9:06 am

    So why is there optimicm he will issue an executive order protecting LGBT people in state employment ? ugh..I don't know. He may as well support ME privately but not endorsing it publicly because it's Louisiana.
    Oh well…Still the best choice for Louisiana I guess – and a blue governorship amidst a sea of southern red. That's something,

  • 29. JayJonson  |  November 23, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Edwards does not support same-sex marriage personally, but he does oppose discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. He was crucial in the battle against Jindal's "religious liberty" law, which would have allowed discrimination under cover of religion. He helped scuttle the bill in committee. Jindal then issued an executive order "protecting religious liberty," which is not worth the paper it is written on.

    The expectation is that Edwards will restore the executive order originally issued by former Governor Blanco and rescinded by Jindal that protects state employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

    There is no realistic chance that the state legislature will pass a bill prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity throughout the state.

  • 30. Christian0811  |  November 23, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Did the dems make any progress in the legislature? Their superseded sodomy statute has been causing issues as recently as 2013 and it'd be a nice thing to see it repealed.

  • 31. Eric  |  November 23, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Being personally anti-marriage is supporting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It's no different than being personally anti-integration, then claiming one does not support racial discrimination.

  • 32. JayJonson  |  November 23, 2015 at 10:56 am

    No. The legislature remains in strong control of the Republicans. And most of the Democrats are not liberals. Do not expect any progress on gay rights from the legislature. However, Lousiana is very dependent on tourism and, increasingly, on the film industry. Hence, the legislature is not likely to pass any explicitly anti-gay measures, and the new Governor is not likely to sign any if they are passed.

  • 33. Christian0811  |  November 23, 2015 at 11:37 am

    So no progress but also no regression. Guess that's the best that can be expected from the Deep South :/

    As far as the dems are concerned, they may mostly be not liberal (save for he ones from perhaps New Orleans or Baton Rouge) but if I recall the last attempt at repealing the sodomy law saw them be unanimously for the proposal. I mean that's a very, very basic political stance to take within the party.

  • 34. VIRick  |  November 23, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    "…. asked whether Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk of court, acted correctly in refusing to award marriage licenses to same-sex couples, five of the six candidates said they sided with Davis, …."

    In the 15 states directly affected by the Supreme Court's ruling on 26 June 2015, there are a grand total of 1519 counties with 1519 county clerks (or their equivalent). Of that number, in addition to Kim Davis, there are two other nut-job clerks in Kentucky, one more in Irion County TX, and the 10 infamous ass-hats in Alabama. So, 1505 county clerks (or 99.08% of clerks, covering 99.64% of the population) are ostensibly in compliance, after a number of resignations and replacements got rid of an assortment of other pinch-nosed intransigent ones in TX, AR, MS, and TN.

    So, all the other candidates sided with that miniscule 00.92% of clerks, covering 00.36% of the population. Amazing.

  • 35. VIRick  |  November 23, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Eric, true enough, but southern politicians have had a long history of talking in a kind of signalized "code" out of both sides of their mouths at the same time.

    In this instance, it means, "I'm not stupid enough to do anything stupid," a stance which is a marked improvement over the opposition and over the current governor's positions. In fact, without saying so directly, it also implies that both the opposition and the current governor are, indeed, stupid, given the opposition's stated intentions and the current one's actual past actions. Besides "Diaper Dave" Vitter and "Piyush" Jindal made for good caricature.

    You have to remember the key factor involved. It's called "electability." In order to win an election, one must be able to garner a majority of the votes cast. And we are, after all, talking about Louisiana, where elections have always been over-the-top nasty.

  • 36. JayJonson  |  November 23, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Yes.

    We also have to be careful of validating the current conservative meme that the election of Edwards was meaningless, that it was entirely about Vitter's scandalous use of prostitutes, and that since Edwards is a conservative Democrat who got a lot of Republican votes, Louisiana voters have just changed one conservative for another.

    The problem with that meme is that Vitter attempted to make gay rights an issue; he relentlessly painted Edwards as an "Obama liberal"; and Edwards promised that the first thing he would do is to expand Medicare to allow the uninsured in Louisiana to access to the Affordable Care Act. So clearly, Louisiana voters knew that Edwards would be more liberal than Vitter.

    On the other hand, it is also true that if there were an up and down vote on gay rights in Louisiana, especially same-sex marriage, the voters, including many Democratic voters, would reject gay rights. Similarly, had Edwards unambiguously endorsed same-sex marriage he probably would have been defeated.

    Edwards attempted to thread the needle the same way Governor Blanco did in 2003, when she defeated Jindal. When she announced that she would issue an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, she said, "As a Christian woman and a devout Catholic, I abhor discrimination in any form," which was the perfect answer for her base in Acadiana, which is heavily Roman Catholic and socially conservative, but sensitive to issues of discrimination.

  • 37. VIRick  |  November 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    "…. Edwards promised that the first thing he would do is to expand Medicare to allow the uninsured in Louisiana to access the Affordable Care Act."

    Informed voters in the northernmost part of Louisiana (like Shreveport) could also see the marked improvement in the affordability of health care, just over the state line in Arkansas, and make their own comparisons, given that that state's previous governor, Beebe, a Democrat, had signed up Arkansas to participate in the ACA.

  • 38. FredDorner  |  November 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Claire McCaskill threaded the needle you speak of and only publicly came out in support of marriage equality shortly before DOMA was struck down…….and she only did so a few months after she had won election for another 6 year term. By the time she's up for reelection in 2018 this will be a non-issue in Louisiana.

  • 39. FredDorner  |  November 23, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    It's especially amazing given that some clerks and JPs still had a problem with mixed-race marriage as recently as effing 2009. In contrast with that same-sex marriage has been a complete non-issue (except for the happy couples).

    Side note, this is a hoot if you haven't read it. Poor bible-babbling babies. http://www.sltrib.com/home/3218708-155/bigotry-ha

  • 40. VIRick  |  November 24, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Another Sinaloa Marriage Equality Up-Date, As 5 Amparos Have Already Been Granted

    CULIACÁN, Sinaloa
    – El Estado de Sinaloa se mantiene en omisión legislativa en torno a los matrimonios de personas del mismo sexo, pese a que se tenga la iniciativa de reforma a los artículos 40 y 165 del Código Civil.

    – Actualmente, se han promovido cinco amparos, dos de ellos ya fueron ratificados por la Suprema Corte de Justicia y tres más se encuentran en revisión, luego de que la actual legislatura del Congreso local los impugnara en mayo.

    – Estos amparos podrían ser ratificados antes de que culmine el año sin que la Cámara legislativa reaccione ante la inconstitucionalidad del Código Civil local.
    CULIACÁN, Sinaloa
    – The State of Sinaloa maintains the legislative omission banning same-sex marriages, despite having an initiative to amend Articles 40 and 165 of the State Civil Code.

    – Currently, 5 amparos have been granted, two of which have already been ratified by Mexico's Supreme Court, and three more are under review, after the current legislative body of the state Congress contested them in May 2015.

    – These amparos could be ratified before the end of the year without the legislative chamber reacting to correct the unconstitutionality of the local Civil Code. http://www.noroeste.com.mx/publicaciones.php?id=1

    So, this is yet another last-minute stumbling block for marriage equality, when the state congresses contest the judicial injunctions already granted, and force the issue, yet again, and again, all the way up to Mexico's Supreme Court.

    The state congress for Baja California did the same thing with all of the amparos granted in that state, just like here in Sinaloa. That also explains why Mexico's Supreme Court has also already pronounced both states' bans unconstitutional,– twice now for each. Yet the legislatures continue to appeal, for a third, fourth, fifth time, as if that will change the ruling.

    And the definition of insanity is: Doing the same thing, over and over, expecting different results.

  • 41. VIRick  |  November 24, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Same Article, Quick Summary of Marriage Equality Progess in Mexico

    *En 2009 – La Asamblea Legislativa del Distrito Federal aprobó modificar el Código Civil de la Capital del País, para que en enero de 2010 se celebren las primeras 700 bodas entre personas del mismo sexo.

    * En 2011 – Quintana Roo se convirtió en la segunda entidad federativa en celebrar una boda homosexual.

    * En 2013 – En Colima se celebra el primer matrimonio homosexual, bajo el principio constitucional de la no discriminación.

    En Oaxaca se celebró la primer boda de una pareja que ganó un amparo ante la suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación.

    Jalisco celebró el primer matrimonio homosexual, el cual tuvo que adelantarse por amenaza de boicot.

    * En 2014 – La Suprema Corte de Justicia determinó que el Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social debe garantizar todos los derechos de los matrimonios homosexuales.

    Dos mujeres de Michoacán se casaron, luego de ganar una orden judicial.

    El Congreso de Coahuila modificó su Código Civil, de tal forma que el matrimonio se puede llevar a cabo por la unión de dos personas sin importar su sexo.

    *En 2015 – La Suprema Corte de Justicia emite la jurisprudencia 43/2015, en la que establece que son inconstitucionales aquellos códigos civiles que sólo aprueben la unión de parejas de sexos distintos. http://www.noroeste.com.mx/publicaciones.php?id=1….

    *In 2009 – The Legislative Assembly of the Federal District decided to amend the Civil Code of the capital, so that in January 2010 the first 700 weddings between same-sex couples were held.

    * In 2011 – Quintana Roo became the second federal entity to hold a gay wedding.

    * In 2013 – In Colima, the first same-sex marriage was celebrated under the constitutional principle of non-discrimination. (Wikipedia please take note)

    In Oaxaca, the first wedding of a couple who won an injunction before Mexico's Supreme Court was held.

    Jalisco celebrated its first same-sex marriage, while it had to anticipate the threat of a boycott.

    * In 2014 – The Supreme Court ruled that the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) must guarantee all rights of same-sex marriages.

    In Michoacán, two women married, after winning a court order.

    In Coahuila, the state Congress amended its Civil Code, so that marriage could be carried out by the union of two people regardless of gender.

    * In 2015 – The Supreme Court issued its jurisprudence, 43/2015, which estblishes that those state civil codes which only approve of the union of opposite-sex couples are unconstitutional. (Not mentioned: Shortly thereafter, by executive orders, the state governors of both Chihuahua and Guerrero directed that same-sex marriages were now legal without couples having to follow the amparo process.)

  • 42. 1grod  |  November 24, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Staff writer T. Lockette of The Anniston Star counts 8 non-compliant counties on November 1. The citizens of these counties constitute 4.3% of the state population. http://www.annistonstar.com/cleburne_news/cleburn…. The article which features Cleburn Co probate judge Ryan Robertson, notes there has been only one genuine complaint regarding the absence of service. He foresees a day when all counties will issue licenses.

  • 43. itscoldoutside  |  November 24, 2015 at 11:12 am

    NOM doesn't mention Slovenia because we have our very own NOM here that's even closer to the Vatican, geographically and financially.

    The turnout for the referendum will probably break the treshold precisely because it will be Christmas time (gods how I've come to hate that fucking word). That's why the haters insisted on this date.

    It was nice though to see the castle in the capital being lit in rainbow colours yesterday at the launch of the campaign supporting the new law. Of course it's provincial people in the rural areas that are the real problem.

  • 44. allan120102  |  November 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    20% is the percent right? Because even Slovakia when putting a ban surpass that number thank God Slovakia need 50% of tornout to the law to take effect. How is the campaign going in Slovenia ? does the president support same sex marriage?

  • 45. aiislander  |  November 24, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I have also been monitoring NOM's site for any evidence of them filing their 2014 Form 990. By all means, scream, start lighting fires! I'm sure that lots of us want to see what kind of (horrible) financial situation NOM is in these days!

  • 46. itscoldoutside  |  November 24, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Both of the campaigns were launched this week (we like them quick and dirty).

    The president personally supports it as he is a social democrat (and was actually the head of the previous government that tried to push through a similar law three years ago), but he represents all citizens so I don't think he'll publicly announce it. His is a ceremonial role so it doesn't really matter one way or another.

    The government and the mayor of the capital all support the new law. Honestly, it's a total left-right split, as per usual. And I've no doubt that enough people will turn out and reject the law.

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