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Equality news round-up: New federal court challenge to Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban, and more

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– Yesterday’s big news was that the full Supreme Court stayed same-sex marriages in Utah. (The application went to Justice Sotomayor, who referred it to the full Court. The brief order didn’t give a reason for granting the stay.) Jacob discussed what it all could mean here at EqualityOnTrial. Utah’s attorney general issued a statement following the Court’s order.

– Arizona is the latest state to see a federal court challenge to its same-sex marriage ban. (h/t Kathleen Perrin)

– New Mexico’s governor says that marriage equality is now the law of the land in the state, and she won’t push for a state constitutional amendment to ban it.

– Think Progress notes a strange and interesting new argument for opposing same-sex marriage: “diversity” in parenting.

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  • 1. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 7, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Hang on…Republican governor Susana Martinez is on board with accepting NM marriage equality as law? That's awesome! Maybe they're learning from Chris Christie on when to throw in the towel!

  • 2. bayareajohn  |  January 7, 2014 at 11:59 am

    So now will NOM spend money on ousting the governor for abandoning them? One can hope.

  • 3. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 7, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Also, what a BS "diversity" argument…notice they never use anti-gay arguments against single parents, ever.

  • 4. bayareajohn  |  January 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

    As long as the right thinks judges can't tell the difference between optimizing child-rearing and marriage, they make our task easier. Then when they fake results about child rearing, it gets even more obvious that they are without a …. prayer.

  • 5. Dr. Z  |  January 7, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I was just wondering where they obtained their "evidence" in support of this new diversity claim. Not that it really matters given its irrelevance to marriage law.

  • 6. davep  |  January 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    They don't have any evidence for this "argument". They are basing this claim on a logical fallacy in the form of a giant leap of logic when they say:

    "If that is true in education, why not in parenting? ".

    That's not any kind of evidence of anything. It's nothing more than an irrational inference.

  • 7. Sagesse  |  January 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Rock solid argument. Especially the part about outlawing sex-segregated education because 'diversity' is better… oh, wait….

  • 8. davep  |  January 7, 2014 at 7:04 pm


  • 9. davep  |  January 7, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    … and then they go on to make another huge leap of logic in the next statement when they say this:

    "the State and its people could therefore rationally decide to encourage such diversity by limiting the coveted status of “marriage” to man-woman unions."

    Nope, that's not valid logic, because denying a civil marriage license to same sex couples, whether they are or are not raising children, does nothing to "encourage such diversity" by causing more opposite sex couples to raise children.

  • 10. Fr. Bill  |  January 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    How could they? With over 50% of births to mothers under 30 being to unmarried women "single parent" is more common than young heterosexual couples having a baby.

  • 11. Just curious  |  January 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Keep in mind, Utah has the lowest rate of out of wedlock pregnancies, and it was Utah that asserted that argument.

  • 12. Richard Weatherwax  |  January 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    They can only count the out of wedlock pregnancies they know about. An atmosphere of shame and guilt, such as exists in Utah, causes young women and their families to hide such pregnancies.

    Until society became more understanding, these young girls would often be sent to a relative or care home in another state until after the baby was born and given up for adoption. In worse cases, the girls submitted to illegal abortions.

  • 13. Zack12  |  January 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    That is what they did in the 60's. It was pratically an industry in itself of selling girls babies.

  • 14. Bruno71  |  January 7, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Utah's laws banning same-sex marriages are similar to the other states that do so. There must be reasons why Utah has a lower rate of out-of-wedlock pregnancies than, say, Mississippi or Michigan, other than their approach to same-sex marriage. Underreporting these pregnancies could be a factor, as could a host of other things. There's no way they can show that same-sex marriage has anything to do with out-of-wedlock pregnancies (caused by heterosexuality run amok).

  • 15. Dr. Z  |  January 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Since Utah and the other DOMA states don't permit SSM, by definition all of the children born in such unions will be out-of-wedlock.

    Furthermore, since there is variation in the rate of out-of-wedlock pregnancies across all the DOMA states, the predictive power of a DOMA ban on the rate of out-of-wedlock pregnancies would be precisely zero.

  • 16. Steve  |  January 8, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Also the highest use of antidepressants and the highest online porn subscription rate (because they can't buy it in brick and mortar stores).

  • 17. Dr. Z  |  January 7, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Sure, and we all know how diverse Utah is.

  • 18. ebohlman  |  January 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Nitpick: Some of those births are to women in unmarried cohabitating couples.

    Still, there's no precedence for a state conditioning its marriage requirements on considerations of optimal childrearing, except maybe the Wisconsin law prohibiting a person who owed child support from marrying anyone other than the other parent (struck down in Zablocki v. Redhail).

  • 19. sfbob  |  January 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    And then there's the Utah law, mentioned here recently, permitting first cousins to marry as long as both are over 55 and the woman is past menopause and unable to bear children. It's sort of the reverse but still applicable in a way.

    More to the point, I think, is that no state has ever tested prospective brides and grooms on their suitability to serve as parents. Anyone who meets the age and consanguinity requirements, and capacity to consent to be married, however a state may say define those, is presumed to be eligible to marry AND to provide "an optimal childrearing environment."

    It is of course unthinkable for any state to impose an sort of "parenting skills pre-test" on potential marrying couples. I'm certain such a requirement would be struck down in the courts. Still, were it to happen, the number of marriages would plummet dramatically as would the incidence of child abuse.

  • 20. davep  |  January 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    testing – problem submitting comments.

  • 21. davep  |  January 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Found the problem – the site is automatically filling in the 'website' field below the comment box with my user name as a web site (should be blank) and then giving an error message because that text is not a valid url.

  • 22. Jake  |  January 7, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Finally! It's about time AZ joined the fray.


  • 23. Dr. Z  |  January 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Good luck!!

  • 24. Policy and Legal Update &&hellip  |  January 17, 2014 at 10:38 am

    […] ARIZONA  •  On 6 January 2014, in Joseph Connolly, et. al., v. AZ Governor Jan Brewer, et al., four couples filed a class action lawsuit in federal court challenging the AZ’s 1996 statutory marriage ban and its 2004 constitutional marriage ban.  •  MEUSA Summary  •  News Source […]

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