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Equality news round-up: Reactions to Utah’s request to U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of same-sex marriages

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– SCOTUSBlog’s Lyle Denniston analyzed the stay request here.

– The plaintiffs in Kitchen v. Herbert, Utah case, issued a press release on the new motion from the state. h/t Kathleen Perrin

– David G. Savage has analysis for the Los Angeles Times.

– NPR’s analysis is here.

– CNN’s discussion is here.

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  • 1. renecito1  |  January 2, 2014 at 10:10 am

    The Indiana General Assembly. State lawmakers are expected to take up a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, civil unions and benefits for same-sex couples. If approved, the proposed ban would be subject to a statewide referendum.

  • 2. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 2, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Any idea of whether it will go on the ballot? I've seen polling at 58% AGAINST approving the amendment, close to 50-50 split for actual support of equality.

  • 3. slybrarian  |  January 2, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I think there's a chance it will, but they may try to delay. Right now a lot of Republican legislators seem pretty uneasy because they're caught between a small but very vocal number of churches and other right-wing religious groups and basically every employer in the state, along with a number of city- and county-level politicians of both parties. It seems like there's a growing push to remove to second clause banning any marriage-like arrangements, particularly from the business community, which would conveniently let the Republicans push back any vote until 2016 because there has to be votes from two consecutive legislatures before it can go on the ballot..

  • 4. Bruno71  |  January 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I wonder if there's any fear that a ballot question might actually drive Democrats to the polls in 2014.

  • 5. Mike in Baltimore  |  January 4, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Any proposed state constitutional amendment in Indiana must pass both the House and Senate in two different, but consecutive, legislatures, such legislatures separated by a general election. The proposed amendment was originally passed by the 2011/12 legislature in 2011.

    The 2013 session of the 2013/14 legislature was a new legislature, and plans were to pass the proposed amendment in 2013, but the legislature decided to wait until 2014 because SCOTUS accepted two cases that very well could have affected the referendum. If anything in the cases affected it, then the 2014 legislation could be changed to incorporate those changes before sending it to the voters.

    The 2015 legislative session is the first half of the 2015/16 legislature, then a general election in 2016, then it must be passed by a new legislature, then it can go to the poll, which would be the 2018 election. By 2018, I hope the entire US has Marriage Equality. Even if it doesn't, I think in Indiana the opinion of the voters will be against any such amendment.

  • 6. renecito1  |  January 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    link changed

  • 7. Dr. Z  |  January 2, 2014 at 10:30 am

    The Salt Lake Tribune noted a quiet shift in Utah's arguments, they have dropped the "procreation" argument in favor of "child-rearing" (e.g. Regnerus.) They will have a tough time with that one given that the SCOTUS has already struck down Wisconsin's ban on remarriage by men who are owing child support from a prior marriage.

  • 8. sfbob  |  January 2, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I would imagine they're going to have a great deal of difficulty getting anyone to believe that marriage licenses are issued based on any sort of 'gold standard," whether it be for child-rearing or anything else. You show your ID, prove you're of legal age and aren't related to your prospective spouse, certify you aren't married to someone else (even, still, in UT) and pay the fee. I'm not sure in what world any state crafts its laws for marriage qualification based on some mythical, ideal family situation.

    It's going to be a tough road to hoe for UT given that the state permits single people to adopt.

  • 9. Dr. Z  |  January 2, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Even if there did exist some kind of gold standard (and it's highly suspect that this "gold standard" only came up when same-sex couples began appling for marriage licenses) Shelby noted that the best the state could manage was to show that the child-rearing research was inconclusive with respect to same-sex couples – hardly grounds for a blanket ban. The state was using it to establish a rational basis for the DOMA law – but Regernus was published long after Amendment 3 was enacted.

    In any case, there is still no requirement for married couples to have children so Shelby rightly noted that child-rearing properly belongs to family law rather than marriage. Furthermore, the ban on SSM still does nothing to encourage better child-rearing practices in OSMs.

  • 10. Lymis  |  January 3, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Even if they did have a gold standard, how is it that they are enforcing it? They don't even ask any questions that could possibly relate to the matter when you apply for a license.

    Claiming that there is a standard of ideal childrearing that is inherent in their marriage applications and then turning away absolutely nobody but same sex couples strongly implies that Utah is specifically and deliberately claiming that all gay couples are inherently worse for kids than the worst imaginable straight couples.

    This claim only highlights the bigotry.

  • 11. palerobber  |  January 2, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    i'm surprised they ever brought up "procreation" to begin with given that Utah's marriage law includes this:

    Utah Code 30-1-1 (2)
    "First cousins may marry […] if both parties are 55 years of age or older, upon a finding by the district court, located in the district in which either party resides, that either party is unable to reproduce."

    "unable to reproduce" is a *requirement* for some legal marriages in Utah!

  • 12. davep  |  January 2, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Whoa! Interesting bit of information there! Thanks!

  • 13. Dr. Z  |  January 2, 2014 at 3:48 pm


  • 14. SoCal_Dave  |  January 2, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Holy cow! What a find, PaleRobber!
    I hope the lawyers on our side are aware of this, just in case procreation comes up again.

  • 15. Bruno71  |  January 2, 2014 at 11:11 am

    The media keeps mentioning that Sotomayor is likely to refer the stay request to the full bench, but does anyone have idea why they're so sure about this? The most I've seen that it has to do with the "importance" of the case, but I'm not sure what the precedence is exactly.

  • 16. Dr. Z  |  January 2, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Probably a couple of reasons: 1) the State requested it in the event that Sotomayor denies the stay; 2) to avoid the State of Utah trying to go around her to Scalito if she denies the stay; this is a blockbuster case, so it probably makes sense that the SCOTUS should decide en banc on a stay request.

  • 17. Chris M.  |  January 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    To add some levity to the discussion, a joke that I just came across and found funny:

    The biblical prophecies regarding same-sex marriage are already coming true: In the scripture it says that if a man lies with a man, he must be stoned. And voila, Washington state legalized pot along with SSM.

  • 18. Fr. Bill  |  January 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    AH, the "gold standard" of children reared by a happily married heterosexual couple – the norm. The last time I looked I believe about 50% or more of births to mothers under the age of 30 are to unmarried mothers. Any problems with the mythical "gold standard" lie not with the gay community.

  • 19. Gregory in SLC  |  January 2, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Speaking of Utah… Here is a link to a "Mass Wedding Reception for Utah" MASS=Many people…not a religious gathering 😉 This event is to celebrate all the new couples/families and help raise money for "Restore Our Humanity" to continue the fight in court. The event with be Saturday January 11, 6p-10p:

  • 20. davep  |  January 2, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Dang, that sounds like a fun evening! You guys planning to attend, Gregory?

  • 21. Gregory in SLC  |  January 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    ABSOLUTELY! Kids in tow…what better place to show the happiness and joy that comes from marriage equality!

  • 22. Richard Weatherwax  |  January 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I read the articles cited and was disappointed in the fact that none of them was an actual "analysis". The articles gave the intent and content of the appeal, but no discussion of its merits. However, the readers' comments which followed were interesting and representative of both sides.

  • 23. Fluffyskunk  |  January 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    OT: Can someone post this in the Quick Hits?

  • 24. Richard Weatherwax  |  January 3, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    According to an article on, the Minnesota Vikings have hired outside investigators to determine if Kluwe's statements are true.

  • 25. Eric Koszyk  |  January 3, 2014 at 8:12 am


    I know that Justice Sotomayor has asked for a reply to the Utah application to be filed by noon today.

    Is that noon Eastern time or noon Utah time?


  • 26. Just curious  |  January 3, 2014 at 8:23 am


  • 27. peterplumber  |  January 3, 2014 at 8:34 am

    That's 1/2 hour from now. But surely they have not waited till the very last minute.

  • 28. Octa  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Here is the document.

  • 29. Rick O.  |  January 3, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Someone explain amicus briefs by states to me. Presumably in the 10th Circuit the governors of Kansas and Oklahoma have already fired up their broomsticks, Wyoming won't spend much money, and New Mexico is off on it's own and all enchanted, as usual. But Colorado? – we have a ban, but also civil unions. We have a (retiring) Rep. AG, and an up-for-reelection Dem. Gov.
    Who calls the shots on filing a brief, and do they count for anything?

  • 30. John  |  January 3, 2014 at 10:57 am

    This post is a bit misleading. None of the linked articles are actually "analyses" of Utah's request for a stay, they are simply summaries of what has occurred to date, with some concise restatements of the arguments made by both sides. An "analysis" implies an examination of the pros and cons of those arguments, and an evaluation of their strengths/weaknesses and perhaps likelihood of success. None of the linked articles do any of that, including, disappointingly, the SCOTUSblog piece.

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