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READ IT HERE: Reply briefs in Alabama adoption case


Alabama state sealThe plaintiff’s reply brief on the request for a stay in the Alabama adoption case at the Supreme Court has been filed, as well as the reply of the children’s court representative. These are the final briefs expected. A decision on the stay by Justice Thomas or the full Court could come down at any time.

The plaintiff’s filing is here.

The guardian’s filing is here.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. allan120102  |  December 2, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Breaking. Bermuda might soon get marriage equality as the ban is to be challenge at court.

  • 2. VIRick  |  December 2, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Bermuda: Same-Sex Couple Put Registrar on Notice

    Registrar-General Aubrey Pennyman has until Friday, 4 December 2015, to post notice of an intended same-sex marriage in Bermuda or the engaged couple will take the matter to the (Bermuda) Supreme Court. Lawyers for Bermudian Ijumo Hayward and American Clarence Williams filed an official notice with Mr Pennyman’s office yesterday, 1 December 2015, and included a covering letter explaining that they would seek a court order if the application was not recorded in the official notice book, posted in a conspicuous place in the Registrar’s office, and published in the Official Gazette within three days.

    Mark Pettingill, who is representing the couple, told "The Royal Gazette" his belief was that there was no impediment in law for a same-sex couple to be married here (in Bermuda), since marriage is a service, and the Human Rights Act 1981 outlaws withholding a service because of a person’s sexual orientation. “It’s a pretty simple formula,” he said. “The Human Rights Act basically has a section which creates what’s called primacy over any other Act. It says this Act shall be construed as having primacy. So the Matrimonial Causes Act may say marriage has to be between a man and a woman, but the Human Rights Act trumps that.”

    The government backbencher said he represented the couple well before the Chief Justice’s ruling on same-sex couples last week, which paved the way for same-sex partners of Bermudians to be given the same rights as heterosexual spouses. “It wasn’t prompted by the ruling,” Mr Pettingill said. “But the ruling supports the position with regard to the primacy of the Human Rights Act. The timing is immaculate because the one thing the Chief Justice touches on is the primacy of the Act.”

    Mr Pettingill said the covering letter to Mr Pennyman made clear that if the notice was refused it would result in legal action. “The next option is to go to the court and seek an order,” he said.

    – See more at:

  • 3. VIRick  |  December 2, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I'm trying to restrain my enthusiasm over these fast-moving events occurring in Bermuda, but because Bermuda shares the same court system with the rest of the British and ex-British Caribbean islands, what's happening now in Bermuda has far-reaching implications well beyond Bermuda, first for the remaining British islands (Cayman Islands which already has its own legal suit, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and Montserrat), and then from there, to the assorted ex-British islands. For example, the latter three share the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court with Antigua, St. Kitts-Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Grenada. A ruling on a case from the BVI (where the marriage law is gender-neutral) by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court would impact all the others, independent or not.

  • 4. VIRick  |  December 2, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    NOM just got told to suck salt,– again!! Enjoy:

    On 2 December 2015, in "NOM v. IRS," the 4th Circuit appeal of the order denying attorney fees in a suit against the IRS, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the district court decision that denied NOM attorney fees in its suit against the IRS.

    In district court, the federal government reached a settlement in National Organization of Marriage's suit seeking damages for the IRS's inadvertent disclosure of NOM's non-public donor information, agreeing to pay $50K. Prior to settlement, the Court had dismissed the majority of NOM's claims including those in which NOM alleged the discloure was intentional and part of a conspiracy with HRC and others.

    Following the settlement, NOM sought $691,025.05 in attorney fees and costs as the "prevailing party." The district court denied the request, and NOM appealed the denial to the 4th Circuit. The case was argued on 16 September 2015. And now, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has also denied the same request.

    The opinion on the latest denial is here:

  • 5. VIRick  |  December 2, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    On 1 December 2015, in "Pavan v. Smith," the Arkansas state court suit requesting that both same-sex parents' names be placed on birth certificates for children born during the couple's marriage, the written order and opinion on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment has been issued.

    Judge Fox originally issued his ruling on these motions from the bench during a hearing on 23 November, but the state has continued to deny relief to plaintiffs, saying it is not required to comply until the judge issues a written order.

    • Order:
    • Opinion:

    Also covered in this order is a blistering denial of the state's request for a stay, pending appeal:

    "Unnecessary delays in the issuance of opinions, as in the recent case of "Smith v. Wright," do not promote societal confidence in judicial decisions. Such delays provide a breeding ground for speculation of political intrigue or other illegitimate reasons for the delay-whether true or not. The default during appeal should be in favor of affording all United States citizens their full and complete constitutional protections and rights during the appeal, not the continued deprivation of those rights. As stated by the United States Supreme Court in "Romer v. Evans" (1996), "The United States Constitution 'neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.' "

    "If, upon proper application by the State, the Arkansas Supreme Court desires to issue a stay that deprives the Plaintiffs, and all other similarly-situated Arkansas citizens, of their constitutional rights pending the appeal of this matter, the Justices have been elected to judicial positions with the authority to issue such a stay. This court, however, will not allow its authority to be used to deprive these Arkansans any longer of their constitutional rights."

  • 6. VIRick  |  December 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    OMG! "Equality on Trial" just received a positive citation (way at the end) in a second article (with a lot of detail concerning the on-going same-sex immigration case in the Cayman Islands) also published in today's Bermuda "Royal Gazette," on 2 December 2015:

    Bermuda: Same-Sex Ruling Attracts Attention Overseas

    by Owain Johnson-Barnes

    A court ruling promising same-sex partners of Bermudians the same rights to reside and work as spouses of Bermudians has garnered international attention. Cayman Islands premier, Alden McLaughlin, told "The Cayman Reporter" on Monday, 30 November 2015, that the ruling had bolstered his intentions to change that country’s immigration regulations to allow same-sex partners to be named as dependants. Mr McLaughlin was quoted as saying: “If we don’t amend our immigration regulations so as not to discriminate, I have no doubt that we will face a similar judgment by the Grand Court here.”

    In that country, former law professor Leonardo Raznovich announced his intention to appeal a decision to deny his partner permission to remain in Cayman as a dependant on his partner’s work permit. The couple had been married in Germany but, as in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands do not recognize same-sex marriages. Mr McLaughlin had said on 26 November 2015 that the government was under pressure on the issue, stating that while it was trying to “accommodate basic human rights and rights against discrimination” through the changes to the immigration regulations, that does not mean that Cayman would recognize same-sex unions. He said: “Given the heavy criticism that the government continues to receive in respect to the non-recognition of same-sex marriage, and at the same time recognizing the very strongly-held views that the status quo regarding this issue should remain, I believe that we must, in keeping with the commitment I have already made, seek to identify a way in which persons such as Dr Raznovich can be granted a legal right to reside in the islands without affording legal recognition to same-sex unions.”

    The news was also reported in the "Antigua Observer," while another story on the issue of same-sex relationships in Bermuda, the refusal of the Hamilton Princess, Bermuda, to allow talks by (a closeted, yet rabid) same-sex marriage opponent, has also placed a spotlight on the Island. That story has been picked up by the "Jamaica Observer," along with on-line publications, the" Daily Signal," "EQUALITY ON TRIAL," and the "Church Militant," with the latter publication using the headline “Perversity Trumps Diversity."

    – See more at:

  • 7. allan120102  |  December 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I am hoping for a favorable ruling so that can help our brothers and sisters in the lesser antilles as all independent countries in those islands still have anti gay laws.

  • 8. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    My housemate just returned from a short vacation in Jamaica. He is eager to return to, even live in, the Caribbean – anywhere but Jamaica (a former British 'colony').

    His reason? Jamaican laws are simply too strict and conservative for his tastes, and there doesn't appear that even the most objectionable will change soon. The rest of the Caribbean at least has hope, in his opinion.

  • 9. jpmassar  |  December 2, 2015 at 6:59 pm


    Two couples Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles and Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kanem, have been granted permission to judicially review the Stormont Assembly's repeated refusal to legislate for same sex marriage.

    They were, respectively, the first and second couples in the UK to enter into a civil partnership after Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to make that option available in December 2005.

    The prominent case will be heard before Mr Justice Treacy at Belfast High Court.

  • 10. jpmassar  |  December 2, 2015 at 7:01 pm


    On November 28, the results of Japan’s first national survey about attitudes toward gay marriage were revealed. What kind of image did they paint of the people of Japan?

    Results were divided, with an almost 50/50 split between those in support and those against it, with those in total or partial support at narrowly becoming the majority at 51.1%.

    However, when surveyed about their feelings about the issue hitting closer to home, the scales were slightly tipped in the other direction.

    Of those surveyed, 53.2% answered that they would not be supportive if they learned that a male friend was gay, while 50.4% of respondents said they would not be supportive if it transpired that a female friend of theirs preferred women. The survey also noted that more than 70% of men in their 40s said that they would not approve if they found out their co-worker was gay.

  • 11. VIRick  |  December 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Mike, if you/he are serious, shop more in the area where I live, and absolutely forget about Jamaica and the rest of the western Caribbean. As US territories, both Puerto Rico (primarily Spanish-speaking) and the US Virgin Islands (majority English-speaking but with a very significant Spanish-speaking population) have no restrictions on the movement of US citizens in either direction. However, our cost of living (and real estate) is considerably higher than in PR. But both jurisdictions now have marriage equality. As do all the French islands, and 3 of the Dutch islands (the other 3 recognize same-sex unions). You will need to know French in the French islands, but can be lazy with English in the Dutch islands.

    Personally, I much prefer the smaller islands of the Eastern Caribbean, where for better or for worse, everyone knows everyone else, and thus, everyone knows everyone else's "business." Except, I don't give a shit. When quizzed, I retort that since I am not interested in all the gory details about their "business," they have no need to concern themselves about mine. Plus, I suppose it helps that my partner is perceived as being a muscular "psycho."

  • 12. SethInMaryland  |  December 2, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Colombia finally tomm? I hope

  • 13. scream4ever  |  December 2, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Have you heard anything!?

  • 14. SethInMaryland  |  December 2, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    no lol that's why i'm asking lol

  • 15. VIRick  |  December 2, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Divorce Granted to Mississippi Same-Sex Couple after 2 Years

    Jackson MS — Two years after their divorce filing got entangled in Mississippi‘s efforts to prevent same-sex marriage, a judge on Tuesday, 1 December 2015, dissolved the legal union of Lauren Czekala-Chatham and Dana Ann Melancon, bringing finality to the seemingly-endless saga in "Czekala-Chatham v. Melancon."

    Czekala-Chatham and her lawyer, Carey Varnado, said the end came in Water Valley, 50 miles south of DeSoto County, where the pair first filed for divorce in 2013. There, Chancery Judge Mitchell Lundy Jr. called Varnado and Czekala-Chatham into his chambers and signed the order ending the marriage, the woman and her lawyer said. Czekala-Chatham said Melancon, who moved to Arkansas after the couple separated, did not attend.

    Lundy ruled in 2013 that he couldn’t grant the divorce because the Mississippi Constitution and state law didn’t recognize the couple’s 2008 marriage in California. Czekala-Chatham said he was cordial Tuesday. The move came a month after the Mississippi Supreme Court cleared the way for Lundy to act after the US Supreme Court‘s issued a ruling in June that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

    Mississippi Attorney-General Jim Hood, a Democrat, had opposed Czekala-Chatham’s initial appeal to the state high court, but asked the court to allow the divorce after the Supreme Court’s ruling. Five justices signed an order sending the case back to Lundy, while two others who agreed called for a full opinion. Two others wrote dissents suggesting they wanted to uphold Mississippi‘s ban on same-sex marriage and challenge the US Supreme Court ruling.

  • 16. allan120102  |  December 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    We might hear about Colombia tomorrow. Thursdays are usually the days when the supreme court issue their decisions like Fridays are when the Mexican supreme court issue theirs.

  • 17. VIRick  |  December 2, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Pennsylvania: Same-Sex Couples Can Keep Original Anniversary Date

    Harrisburg PA — Same-sex couples who got married before a federal judge struck down Pennsylvania’s ban can keep their original anniversary date. The state Department of Health and D. Bruce Hanes, the clerk of the Montgomery County Orphan’s Court, said Tuesday, 1 December 2015, that they are settling a two-year-old state-based lawsuit, "Department of Health v. Hanes."

    The Health Department originally sued Hanes to stop him from issuing same-sex marriage licenses in 2013, when the state’s ban was still in force. More recently, they disagreed over the legal date of the couples’ anniversary.

    The department first proposed moving it to 20 May 2014, the day Pennsylvania’s ban was originally overturned. But Hanes wanted to use the date when the ceremonies were actually performed, and the department now says it won’t challenge that. Hanes says the state can’t say that issuing the licenses had no effect since the ban was declared unconstitutional.

  • 18. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 3, 2015 at 12:16 am

    'J' is hetero, not gay, so if he moves to the Caribbean, it is not an automatic move for me. Since I will be 65 by the end of the year, it is very doubtful that I would move.

    I will discuss with him not moving to a formerly Spanish 'colony' though, as 'J' doesn't speak Spanish, or any dialec of Spanish. I hear many former Spanish 'colonies' have laws and 'authoritative personalities' that are even worse than some English colonies (the Dominican Republic comes to mind, especially the Catholic Cardinal.)

    I believe his sister (who is bi-sexual), though, speaks some Spanish. 'S' almost certainly will not move, so 'S' probably would not be able to interpret for 'J'.

  • 19. GregInTN  |  December 3, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    A certain mother-in-law in Alabama should take note of Pennsylvania's position.

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