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Archives – January, 2014

Equality news round-up: Virginia updates, and more

News from Virginia, Michigan, and more.

Continue 4 Comments January 28, 2014

One defender of Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban changes position in letter to Ninth Circuit

One of the defenders of Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban has switched positions in the legal challenge.

Continue 36 Comments January 27, 2014

Arguments in Virginia marriage equality case will be heard January 30

Bostic v. Rainey will be argued in district court on Thursday, January 30.

Continue 29 Comments January 27, 2014

Virginia Marriage Decision Could Come This Week

By Matt Baume

We have big news in Virginia this week, as AFER nears decision in the federal case there. A new ruling in Nevada could be the key to victory. Lawsuits also advance in Florida, Michigan and Oregon, and signature-gathering starts in Arkansas.

Virginia State Attorney General Mark Herring has announced that the state will no longer defend its marriage ban in court. This is a major shift in the state’s position, and it will have a big impact on AFER’s federal lawsuit. We had a hearing scheduled for Thursday of this week, but the announcement, the court ordered all parties to file new reports about whether oral argument is still warranted. Those reports were due on Friday of last week.

Now, the court could make any number of rulings at any time. They could decide to go ahead with the hearing this Thursday. Or they could skip the hearing altogether and rule right away. We could have a decision from the court at any time, so be on the lookout for major breaking news from Virginia.

Meanwhile, Virginia lawmakers have killed a marriage equality bill. House Republicans vetoed the bill in committee last week. That means that for now, AFER’s case is Virginia’s best shot at winning the freedom to marry.

The state of Nevada has filed a brief defending its marriage ban. It’s the usual language about protecting tradition and promoting biological parenting. These justifications have been soundly rejected by other courts. And more importantly, last week the Ninth Circuit ruled in a separate case that LGBTs are entitled to a higher level of judicial scrutiny. A previous court had ruled against equality in Nevada, but with this new standard of scrutiny, our chances of victory have significantly improved.

There’s a brand new lawsuit in Florida. Equality Florida and NCLR have sued the state on behalf of six couples. A survey last week shows support growing, at 47% to 44% opposed.

The legal team in Michigan is beefing up. The ACLU and GLAD have joined the case there, with a trial slated to start on February 25th. And two cases in Oregon have now been consolidated, which will hopefully expedite a decision.

A constitutional marriage ban continues to advance in Indiana. Last week a committee approved the measure. Now it heads to the full House, and from there to voters in November.

Organizers in Arkansas have launched a signature-gathering campaign to overturn that state’s marriage ban. They’ll need tens of thousands of signatures, and repeal will go before voters in 2016 at the earliest. Polling in Arkansas isn’t great. Last year, survey found just 36% support for marriage. And a new survey last week showed 22% for marriage, 24% for civil unions, and 50% for no recognition.

2 Comments January 27, 2014

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Continue 19 Comments January 27, 2014

Same-sex couples and those defending Virginia same-sex marriage ban file case status updates

Responses to the district court judge’s request for an update after Virginia’s attorney general decided to abandon his defense of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

Continue 17 Comments January 27, 2014

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