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Indiana marriage equality ban will not be on 2014 ballot

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Indiana state sealExciting marriage equality news out of Indiana this week: a proposed ban on equal marriage rights will not go before voters on the 2014 ballot.  BuzzFeed reports:

House Joint Resolution 3 was called for a second-reading before the GOP-controlled Indiana Senate Thursday, but amendments to put the measure back on track for being decided by voters this November were not presented on floor. Now, the soonest it can appear on the Indiana ballot is 2016, according to Freedom Indiana.

“This is a great day,” Jennifer Wagner, spokeswoman for Freedom Indiana, told BuzzFeed shortly after the Senate adjourned for the day. “We’re really seeing, on the Republican side, a growing difference in opinion on issues like this one.”

Late last month, the bill was amended by the Indiana House to strip out language that would also ban civil unions or any other arrangements similar to marriage, which makes the bill different than the version passed in 2011 by the Indiana General Assembly.

“Six months ago, if you’d said lawmakers would refuse to put this issue on the ballot in 2014 by stripping out the deeply flawed second sentence, I’d have said there’s no way,” said Megan Robertson, campaign manager at Freedom Indiana. “What happened today at the Statehouse is a testament to the tens of thousands of Hoosiers who have shared their stories with lawmakers and with the public to show the harm this amendment would do to their families and our state. It’s clear that lawmakers listened.”

Now, the bill–in its amended form–will have to be approved by the Indiana legislature elected this coming November before it can go before voters in 2016.  If it does not pass the new legislature, it will be dead.


  • 1. Dann  |  February 14, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Would someone please file a ME lawsuit in Indiana ASAP? NOM must becoming unglued right about now 🙂

  • 2. StevenJ  |  February 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I'm hoping we won't need to.

  • 3. StevenJ  |  February 14, 2014 at 11:41 am

    From "Legislature Fails to Pass the Ball to Hoosier Voters –
    In Indiana, while the process is still not complete, it looks like the people have been betrayed by weak willed politicians. Despite 80% of the voters wanting the right to vote on marriage and despite years of promises, the Indiana legislature chose to 'kick the can down the road' by not restoring the 'second sentence' to the proposed Indiana Marriage Amendment. Because of this, it is very likely that the earliest voters can have a say will be 2016. NOM will continue to partner with our allies in Indiana, exploring various options for still getting a vote in 2014 and, failing that, to hold accountable the Representatives and Senators who betrayed their constituents and denied them the right to vote on marriage this year."

  • 4. Tyler O.  |  February 14, 2014 at 11:46 am


  • 5. JimT  |  February 14, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Brian Brown may be having a meltdown because he knows that once marriage equality becomes the law of the land, some of those donors who have been pumping large amounts of cash into NOM probably will stop donating money.

  • 6. Straightally  |  February 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Do you really think he gives a fuck? I think Maggie really cared about this stuff, but as soon ME is the law of all states by a SCOTUS decision (and NOM will probably exist, but go even more fringe), he'll leave NOM soon after and work for some other so-con organization. I see him more as a CEO of that organization than the real embodiment of it.

    It is really funny though, I think NOM should have invested in an outrage generator, where they put the name of the state, the judge and (if it was Clinton or Obama) its appointee, and let it generate a 'NOM condemns _____' article. Would have probably paid off by now…

  • 7. Mike in Baltimore  |  February 14, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    NOM will almost certainly stick around in some form. After all, there still is a Prohibition Party in existence, still trying to make the US a 'dry' nation.

    How long has it been since there was Prohibition throughout the US? Eighty years?

  • 8. Bruno71  |  February 15, 2014 at 9:25 am

    What organization would have him? An avalanche of losses have occurred for NOM under his tenure, with very few wins (like North Carolina). He also gave NOM's "enemy" a devastating (for them) photo op of him crying after the New York legislature passed ME. Any conservative org should think more than twice about having Brown be the CEO of anything.

  • 9. nightshayde  |  February 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    I think they'll gang up on trans* people next. They're already starting in some places…

  • 10. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 14, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    That, and they'll keep exporting hate to places like Russia and Uganda.

  • 11. JimT  |  February 15, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Yep Brian Brown (NOM) and the other bigots have taken their hate mongering show on the road. They started in Uganda first helping craft the kill the gays bill and more recently became involved in Russia's anti-gay laws. Right Wing Watch has a four part report at

    It was Rachel Maddow though who several years ago first started reporting about the US evangelicals and politicians collaborating with the authors of Uganda's draconian bill

  • 12. Bruno71  |  February 15, 2014 at 9:27 am

    The Box Turtle Bulletin was also on the Uganda issue early, perhaps even influencing Maddow to start coverage. It's amazing how many years of threats to pass the bill occurred before they actually had the balls to do it. And with their wishy-washy bigot despot Museveni at the reigns, it was bound to happen eventually.

  • 13. JimT  |  February 15, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Speaking of Uganda, the violence just got uglier. NY Times is reporting “A mob attacked gay people in a neighborhood in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, dragging young men from their homes, beating them with nail-studded clubs and whips, and shouting that they were “cleansing the community” of gays, several Nigerian activists and a witness said Saturday. The attack took place late Wednesday night in the Gishiri neighborhood, and one victim was beaten nearly to death, the witness said. Afterward, the mob of about 50 young men dragged four of the victims to a nearby police station, where the police further beat and insulted them, said the witness, who gave his name as John. His last name is being withheld for his safety. About 14 young men were assaulted and no members of the mob were arrested.”

  • 14. JimT  |  February 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Sorry I meant "Nigeria" – I find it horrible that this is happening!

  • 15. ebohlman  |  February 15, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Jim Burroway from BTB has conjectured, IMHO correctly, that Uganda's parliament was holding the bill in reserve to be brought out as a "pacifier" in the event that they passed an unpopular bill and needed to restore public approval quickly.

  • 16. Sagesse  |  February 15, 2014 at 6:05 am

    The T in LGBT are certainly next in line, sadly, and exporting their campaign to other, less enlightened countries, like Russia and Uganda. I expect to see them going after women next… contraception and abortion and sex education, all cloaked in the guise of religious freedom.

    That's the thing about discrimination. Once you accept the view that 'some people' are less… less valuable, less worthy of respect, it's only a question of who you call 'less', and how badly they deserve to be treated because they are 'less'.

    Jews? Gypsies? Gays? African Americans? Hispanics? Women?

    Do you enslave them? disenfranchise them? imprison them? kill them? legally penalize them? segregate them? deny their rights?

    Once you decide it is OK to treat them differently because they are 'less', it is only a question of how far you can go. Either 'all men are created equal', or they're not. There really is no middle ground, as a matter of logic. The tragedy of US history is that, as a matter of politics, that statement wasn't true at the time. America was founded on the premise that some people ARE less. The definition has been evolving. 'A more perfect union' is a work in progress. And the 'less' continue to watch their backs.

  • 17. weshlovrcm  |  February 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    The way you start the process is crafting anti-gay laws in places like Kansas. These laws allow anyone to discriminate against others based on their "sincerely held religious beliefs." Once you redefine the sin of homophobia into a "religious belief," as the sinful Duck Dynasty "Christians" do, it's easy to use that loop hole to discriminate against any other American. There are people with "sincerely held religious beliefs" who believe that minorities are cursed by God and condemned to hell. And where does it stop? Wedding cakes? Grocery stores? Hotels? Apartment rentals? Banking? Medical services? Can you allow someone to die on the emergency room floor, because you think they are sinful? It's the New Segregation.

  • 18. Sagesse  |  February 15, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Speaking of NOM and trans people, is there any word on the ballot initiative in California to overturn the student protection bill? Last I heard they were short of valid signatures, but the state was doing a full vetting of the signatures to confirm they didn't have enough. Have they officially lost this one yet, or is the process still going on?

  • 19. Zack12  |  February 15, 2014 at 7:12 am

    I don't think they've got the votes but it's not finished yet.
    I'll also say this.. in many places Trans rights will be the next big fight and unlike same sex marriage, it will be a much tougher fight imo.
    I know people that support my husband and I that recoil at transgender people.
    And they aren't the only ones. We got marriage equality here in NY and protections for gays and lesbians but a trans bill has been DOA in the House for the past few sessions.

  • 20. FYoung  |  February 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Personally, I think that the next fight after marriage equality is ENDA, and it will be huge, and will give birth to religious exemption battles, both in ENDA and stand-alone. Those wars are far from over, much less won.

  • 21. John  |  February 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    You can keep track of the vote count here:

    The final count is due a week from Monday. As of now, it looks very unlikely that they will be able to pull it off.

  • 22. Sagesse  |  February 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for the update. Some big counties still in process, but their process seems to have been sloppy enough that they are unlikely to have the votes. Fingers crossed.

  • 23. Eric Koszyk  |  February 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Why is the state doing a full check?

    I thought this was determined to have already failed last month, after a random sampling of signatures. Are the counties having to pay for this BS or do the proponents of the referendum have to?

  • 24. bayareajohn  |  February 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    The actual law on this:
    "If the result of the random sample indicates that the number of valid signatures represents between 95% and 110% of the required number of signatures to qualify the initiative measure for the ballot, the Secretary of State directs the county elections officials to verify every signature on the petition. This process is referred to as a full check of signatures. If the total number of valid signatures is less than 95% of the number of signatures required to qualify the initiative measure, the initiative measure will fail to qualify for the ballot. If the number of valid signatures is greater than 110% of the required number of signatures, the initiative measure is considered qualified without further verification. Spreadsheets containing the progress of an initiative in the signature verification stage are updated regularly."

  • 25. Tony  |  February 15, 2014 at 2:24 am

    …and more importantly….The lack of donations means the board of NOM won't have the funds to pay him his six figure salary. He's going to be out of his cushy six figure salary job which is just collecting donations and stomping his feet and decrying Lawless Obama Activist Judges

  • 26. davep  |  February 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Excellent news. This issue will be dead and gone by the time it is possible for the Indiana General Assembly to bring it up again – IF the same sex couples of Indiana want it to be….

    So are there no marriage equality cases filed in Indiana yet? Time to get going, Indiana. If they get this done within two years, there's no way another bill like this can ever happen there again.

  • 27. Ragavendran  |  February 14, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Nate Silver predicted last year that in 2016, Indiana's population will be 49.8% in support of gay marriage:

  • 28. Mike in Baltimore  |  February 15, 2014 at 12:10 am

    I think Nate was a bit low on that estimate, as already there are almost 55% of those polled who are against the proposed state constitutional amendment.

    Opinion in the state is shifting towards acceptance of ME, so I wouldn't think disapproval of almost 55% of such an amendment (and that was in a poll taken well over a year ago) would recede to just under 50% two years from now.

    In fact, opinion is shifting faster than just about anyone would have anticipated, so while I think Nate's predictions might have been accurate in March 2013, I think they are all a bit off now, some to a greater extent than others. If you look closely at Nate's graphs, the polling shows an uptick in support, even a bit above the predicted path at the end of his charts.

    It will be interesting to see what any new predictions he has change from the ones he made in March 2013.

  • 29. Ragavendran  |  February 15, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Well, maybe I'm wrong, but doesn't the 55% include those who favor civil unions but not marriage? Nate's percentage, I think, was just about marriage. So, Nate might still be on the right track. As you say, since public opinion is changing faster than probably what he anticipated last year, at least his figures are an encouraging lower bound.

    And yes, he should release an update this March 🙂

  • 30. Pat  |  February 15, 2014 at 4:41 am

    Good point! We might have a chance to check Nate's estimates with the Oregon vote this November (unless the courts have solved the issue before that). The result might fall between 54% (2012 estimate) and 59.7% (2016 estimate). Of course mid-term electorate is different from presidential years electorate, but we'll see.

  • 31. Bruno71  |  February 15, 2014 at 9:31 am

    It's an important distinction, and there would no doubt be a small sector of Indiana voters who would consider voting for the amendment even if they're against it in principle as the best legal avenue to ban marriage equality. Those are the types of voters who just can't get themselves to say "yes" to fairness, even if they're almost there in their minds when polled.

  • 32. Lymis  |  February 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    There is a noticeable percentage of people who don't approve of marriage equality but don't think it should be in the constitution. So it depends on exactly what question is being asked.

  • 33. Sagesse  |  February 15, 2014 at 6:15 am

    After Windsor, the option of 'civil unions' is pretty much unworkable. Any polling based on the existence of a middle ground is out of date, at least as far as legislation is concerned, and probably also in the public mind. If marriage grants federal benefits and civil unions do not, there's no point offering them, or, in Indiana's case denying them. If the untenable middle ground drifts toward marriage, and it should, that would affect any conclusion Nate Silver made pre-Windsor.

  • 34. Bruno71  |  February 15, 2014 at 9:33 am

    CU's are becoming more and more irrelevant, but they're still a "MacGuffin" that allows people who don't want to seem unfair to gay people to be against marriage equality. Though I think there's a rather small percentage who would favor CU's over ME, but would still rather have ME than nothing for gay couples.

  • 35. Chuck from PA  |  February 21, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Excellent story on DailyKos related to the consequences of this vote.

  • 36. Zack12  |  February 14, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    A sad note to the senator I posted about yesterday who had the twitter meltdown.
    He has a gay brother, yet was one of the people pushing the hardest on this ban.
    And of course, he claims he loves his gay brother while his brother says he loves him back but disagrees with him on this issue.
    I will never understand (and this has happened in every state) how someone who has a gay or lesbian child or relative could push a ban to make them second class citizens, I truly don't.

  • 37. Mike in Baltimore  |  February 14, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I'm gay. My brother was 13 months older than me, and even though he knew I was gay, was a first class bigot when it came to issues of homosexuality. And he was not quiet about his bigotry.

    If he hadn't died in the late 1990's of kidney cancer, I'd swear that some of the comments coming from bigots at NOM and on various Internet forums were coming from him.

    Several years after he died, his daughter, even knowing I was gay, told me in no uncertain terms that I was to attend her wedding the following June. It wasn't quite an order, more of an "if you know what's good for you, Uncle Mike" comment. Knowing Julie, I didn't want to find out what she meant by that 'what's good for you' insinuation.

  • 38. Rich  |  February 14, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I had an identical twin bother who, like myself was gay. We are the poster gay children for the 50's and 60's. We came from a very strict Catholic family with lots of siblings, older, younger and two sisters who died in infancy. Twin and I knew from birth we were gay but we could not share that fact with each other until adulthood. Of course we had shared experiences but we could never speak openly of this. I chose to hide in marriage. My twin chose a perapetetic life of back and forth between home and Florida. It all caught up with him when, at 48 he died of a heart attack. Thankfully, I had come out soon enough for s to share our common bond and the family was made aware of our true natures. There was much self recrimination by our mom, dad and siblings. I have spent the better part of my adulthood teaching my family and assuring them that everyone needs to come out in a family. We are in a good place and my dad before he died, voted to support ME in my state. I am happily remarried and and a family with my husband's three sons, three wives and our four grandchildren. I miss my twin and wish that he could have enjoyed what we have today. I find peace in knowing that our family is healthy and supportive and that twin and I had some time to be loving, open and to laugh before his time came.

  • 39. bayareajohn  |  February 14, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Good to hear more about your family, Mike.
    My own brother (18 months older) has spent his life in the closet, married, buried deep in fundamental religion that at once both condemns and forgives him. A miserable life with miserable children, lots of resentment and hostility, He prays for me, I used to tell him to pray that I meet the right man. Then I did, got married in December after 20 years together.

  • 40. Zack12  |  February 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    You hit the nail on the head in one area John.
    People who are forced to supress who they are and get into marriages with someone they aren't attracted to, it always, ALWAYS leads to misery and unhappiness.
    The religious right claims to care about children and cheers "ex-gays" who start families but don't talk to the children or spouses of these marriages.
    I've lost count of how many posts I've seen saying how anger the gay spouse had and how he or she would take it out on the rest of the family, especially the kids.
    But the religious right don't care about that, only that their theocratic view is upheld.
    I've been lucky in only having one bigoted family member who is a cousin. Others aren't as lucky.

  • 41. bayareajohn  |  February 14, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    My brother wasn't forced into religious fundamentalism, communal living, and church-selected spouses. He embraced it as an escape from his gay nature that his Christian peers convinced him was his curse and damnation. It was unfortunately a false exit, a surrender of the unwanted self into a trusted greater thing that didn't really turn out to be what it seemed. His ultra-pious fundamental home-schooling, community rule life has resulted in children who dropped out of high school, have their own children out of wedlock, are chronically unemployed or in trouble with the law and drugs, and who expect to live their lives on public assistance. This is the kind of marriage that NOM endorses as part of what "traditional marriage" has wrought. You know, for the kids. Because God.

    My parents, who once prayed that I'd find the way like my brother did, eventually come to regard me as the child who lived.

  • 42. Mimi  |  February 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    There is so much going on in almost all states in the fight for equal rights. It seems like every state has a marriage equality lawsuit pending (Texas! Louisiana!! Alabama!!!) But I was wondering if there was anything coming out of the Dakotas? I haven't heard of any lawsuits being filed in either state so I was wondering if anyone could clear that up for me, it would be much appreciated.

    Thank you,
    M x

  • 43. Bruno71  |  February 15, 2014 at 9:38 am

    There are no suits from either of the Dakotas at this writing. They are 2 of 10 or so states with no ME or ME lawsuits at this time.

  • 44. Mimi  |  February 15, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Awesome! Can you please tell me what the other states are?

    Thank you,
    M x

  • 45. Bruno71  |  February 15, 2014 at 11:26 am

    You mean other states with no lawsuits? Nebraska (adjudicated at appeals court level already in 2006 against us), Indiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Montana, Kansas, and Wyoming. Alaska has a specific suit in state courts involving tax benefits. Florida and Missouri have lawsuits in state, not federal courts.

  • 46. Mimi  |  February 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Call me an optimist, but I'd like to think that Montana, Kansas, Wyoming and Alaska will have marriage equality before long due to the appeals in the 9th and 10th Circuit Courts.

    So that would leave us with North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana, Mississippi and Georgia? Not bad.

  • 47. Pat  |  February 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    But let's keep in mind that some of these lawsuits dont target the marriage ban itself, but only the non recognition of out of state marriages (e.g. louisiana). The list of states without a lawsuit actually fighting the marriage ban is a bit longer (Im not sure by how much, though).
    Would be great to build a table summarizing all the cases by state and by kind of lawsuits.

  • 48. JayJonson  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Actually, Louisiana has two lawsuits in the works. The one sponsored by the Forum for Equality was filed last week and is being prosecuted by a leading New Orleans law firm. An earlier lawsuit challenges the marriage ban itself and is being prosecuted by a single attorney who seems to be in over his head. The judiciary in the Fifth Circuit is notoriously conservative. I don't think we can expect justice from the judges there.

  • 49. JimT  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

    This must be the other lawsuit you are referring to:

    And in 2011 two gay dads lost their appeal in this 5th District ruling

  • 50. JayJonson  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Yes, Spivey is pursuing the other case. However, the link you have is to Spivey's first filing, which was thrown out on technical grounds. (Apparently, he was suing the wrong person.) He has refiled the case, which is apparently languishing somewhere in the judiciary.

    The link to the case about the birth certificate for the adopted child of two gay men illustrates the obstacles to getting justice in Louisiana. The state fought a practice that is routine in most states out of spite, and Edith Jones, who was often mentioned as a possible Supreme Court appointment by George W. Bush (but thankfully is now probably too old to have any chance of such an appointment), wrote the opinion for the Fifth Circuit en banc review of a previous ruling in favor of the fathers. She is to the right of Genghis Khan, and thus almost more conservative than Scalia. She is currently under investigation for various judicial improprieties.

  • 51. JimT  |  February 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Happy Valentines from Justice Scalia, who for the fourth time in three months helped move marriage equality forward in four states that had banned same sex marriage. Chris Hayes looks at how Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s words from his dissent of DOMA have inspired federal judges in their rulings, video segment at

  • 52. Sagesse  |  February 15, 2014 at 5:45 am

    I think many people misinterpret Windsor. You could view it as affirming states' rights over marriage. Or you could view it as answering the narrow question it was asked… saying the federal government DOES NOT have the right to override the states' definition of marriage, and stopping there, leaving the question of whether states can exclude LGBT couples from marriage for another day. I've always favoured the second reading, and the federal courts (and Justice Scalia) do too.

  • 53. Zack12  |  February 15, 2014 at 7:02 am

    The law professor Rachel Maddow has on put it best.
    He might throw temper tantrums in his dissents but Scalia doesn't mince the truth (though he will pull something out of his butt when the next ruling comes.)
    Marriage equality is coming, but we all have to make sure 2016 counts. We don't want Ginsburg being replaced with a hard right bigot.

  • 54. grod  |  February 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Sagesse: As you observed in another threat, since Windsor, all 18 federal court decisions, that addressed equality via sexual orientation, favoured equality. 32 Judges have been involved. Also involved have been 15 AGs who submitted an amicus brief in
    support of Sevcik. Four AG's, most recently Nevanda and Virgina, have refused to defend inequality. At the state court level, New Jersay and New Mexico also found in favour of equality .

  • 55. Eric  |  February 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    States' rights were affirmed in Windsor, provided the state complies with the U.S. Constitution. Windsor said:

    Subject to certain constitutional guarantees, see, e.g., Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1, “regulation of domestic relations” is “an area that has long been regarded as a virtually exclusive province of the States,” Sosna v. Iowa, 419 U. S. 393, 404.

    The anti-gay like to leave out the first part.

  • 56. ebohlman  |  February 15, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Yes. The effect of the 10th Amendment is that regulation of marriage falls to the States rather than to the political branches of the Federal government. It's still subject to Federal judicial review as far as concerns about compliance with the US Constitution go.

    Thus Congress can't, as much as some people wish they could, pass a uniform national law setting the ages, consanguinity limits, solemnization procedures, etc for marriage. The states can, within limits, set those however they wish. But they can't set their requirements in ways that would deny US Constitutional rights to any of their residents.

  • 57. JayJonson  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:12 am

    The proper interpretation of Windsor has been made by the judges in Utah, Ohio, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Virginia: Windsor does not just say that states regulate marriage, it also says that definitions of marriage must meet constitutional requirements, including providing due process and equal protection. We can probably expect some very conservative judges and even an appellate panel or two to MISINTERPRET Windsor to see it simply as a ruling about states' rights. But if they do so, they will be betraying both the spirit and the letter of Justice Kennedy's beautifully written decision.

  • 58. davep  |  February 17, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    They would have to shut their eyes real tight and ignore about half of the contents of the written description to come up with an interpretation that it only speaks to the issue of states' rights and that it doesn't also speak to the question of constitutionally protected rights of the individual to equal Protection. You're right, a very conservative judge could decide to do that, but it wouldn't be 'misinterpretation', it would be deliberately ignoring many of the points of the ruling.

  • 59. ebohlman  |  February 17, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    They'd also have to read it as at least partially overturning Loving.

  • 60. Michael  |  February 15, 2014 at 12:58 am

    The evil anti-gay pressure group NOM was gloating for months how this was a slam-dunk for 2014. Once again, God continues to smite them. And then Virginia. Are they listening yet? Doesn't appear so.

  • 61. Zack12  |  February 15, 2014 at 3:24 am

    On the negative side, you can bet NOM and the other bigots will be throwing their full weight into Oregon now.
    Not only to make sure their ban is upheld but to pass a "religious freedom" law that would gut protections for LGBT people and only LGBT people.

  • 62. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    They've picked a severely uphill fight – they might have won in Indiana, but with Oregon they're dealing with a state that already recognizes out-of-state same-sex marriages. That's several months of people seeing it's not a big deal, and that the couples are just giving their business to Washington and California. That being said, this is our side's to lose, let's not blow it.

  • 63. Eric  |  February 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I would hardly consider a watering down of bigotry and a two year delay requiring additional votes, a win.

  • 64. Zack12  |  February 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    It isn't in one way and even the groups fighting it admit that.
    But by then,the courts will have likely ruled on it and even if they haven't, it will be an election year in which more of our base will turn out.
    Hence why the bigots fought so hard to put it on the ballot this year. It stands a very good chance of not being passed in 2016 and they know it.

  • 65. Eric Koszyk  |  February 16, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Plus they have to pass the measure again in 2016 — maybe we can defeat a few of the haters this November so that they are not around in 2016.

  • 66. JayJonson  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:20 am

    The Republicans who voted to delay the referendum knew what they were doing. They learned the lesson of Minnesota. The referendum would likely have failed especially in the language that would have been necessary to get it on the 2014 ballot. It would also have rallied the Democratic base to the polls and have demonstrated how out of touch the Republican Party is with grassroots support for same-sex marriage. They voted to change the language for their own safety. On the one hand, they can say that they are opposed to same-sex marriage and have done what their religious base told them to do. On the other hand, they hope that by the time it actually comes up again, the issue will be moot because the issue has been settled by a court ruling.

  • 67. Zack12  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:38 am

    One Republican isn't taking it well. Mike Delph, who had a twitter meltdown over the weekend just spent the last half hour throwing a temper tantrum in a press conference.
    He attacked leaderships, churches and demanded the second sentence be put back in or else.
    Really a joke to see a grown man act like a two year old.

  • 68. davep  |  February 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Aw shucks I would love to see that. Any chance there's video of this?

  • 69. ebohlman  |  February 17, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    At a press conference yesterday, one reporter actually asked him if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the meltdown. Ouch.

  • 70. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 16, 2014 at 3:56 am

    I wasn't clear – I meant to say that they might have won at the ballot in 2014. We clearly won in Indiana, just listen to the wails of Brian Brown for confirmation of that. 😉

  • 71. JayJonson  |  February 17, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Here is a link to an article about the secrecy in which the Indiana Republican Caucus dealt with the issue:

  • 72. grod  |  February 16, 2014 at 12:42 am

    In Oregon, two court cases were recently consolidated into one which will be hear in April. As noted by Straight, in 2013 the AG directed state agencies and departments to recognize out-of-state marriages – the right to remain married and have valid marriages recognized in one's state of current residency. Either by the 9th Appeals Courts decision in Sevcik v Sandoval that extended marriage in states within the circuit, or by its own district court's decision, it is anticipated that Oregon will be in the equality camp by end of summer. The complaint before the court assert violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendement.

  • 73. Pat  |  February 15, 2014 at 4:47 am

    Still no word from the Virginia clerk on whether he ll appeal? What's his deadline for doing so?

  • 74. Keith  |  February 15, 2014 at 5:11 am

    think it is 30 days

  • 75. ebohlman  |  February 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm


  • 76. Rick O.  |  February 15, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Oregon – even though it's a mid term (see below) election, Oregon has had a long-enough exposure to SSM that it's unlikely the repeal will fail at the polls, though there are huge areas of the state where everybody looks exactly like their other brother Darryl. Washington managed the highest pro-ME percentage at the polls in Nov. 2012.

    Indiana, on the other hand, is more like Colorado, where the difference between who actually votes in mid terms vs. presidential elections currently can spell success vs. failure for ME. (Read: young folks don't bother to vote much without the stimulus of a presidential campaign.)

  • 77. Eric Koszyk  |  February 15, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Plus OR is an all vote-by-mail state, which only helps turnout in non-presidential years, since every voter will get a ballot in the mail.

    By the way, CO is now an all vote-by-mail state. It will be interesting to see how that effects turnout this year.

  • 78. Rick O.  |  February 15, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Vote by mail, "absentee ballots" for the 2 decades I was in WA ALWAYS BROKE "R".
    More recent "all mail" elections I don't know, but if you know of anybody under age 30 who sends written thank you notes, let alone HAS a postage stamp, let me know. My guess is mail in is neutral at best.

  • 79. Rick O.  |  February 15, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Am in CO the past 6 years – mail ins have not been analysed as favoring one side or the other, to my knowledge.

  • 80. bythesea  |  February 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    No. It improves overall "turnout" which generally always helps progressive candidates and positions, but there always are specific examples where that may not be the case.

  • 81. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    "Hi, I'm Larry, this is brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl."

  • 82. Sagesse  |  February 15, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Apologies if this has been posted before.

    Judge Prepares For Trial On Michigan’s Gay Marriage Ban

    "DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A federal judge is setting aside at least eight days for a trial on Michigan’s ban on gay marriage.

    Judge Bernard Friedman held a conference call with attorneys Wednesday to discuss the trial, which starts Feb. 25 in Detroit federal court."

    Mark your calendar.

  • 83. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    I can't see Judge Friedman breaking the amazing streak:

  • 84. davep  |  February 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    That's a great article. Thanks!

  • 85. Zack12  |  February 15, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I can't either. If nothing else, his suggesting expanding the lawsuit hinted at that.
    I would say it's a shame the lawyers for the women didn't get help earlier, they could have used it on something this big.

  • 86. Ragavendran  |  February 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    I posted this comment under a different article a couple of days ago. Since it seems relevant to this sub-discussion here, I'll repeat it here – curious to know what you all think:

    "That's good. He is trying to do what Walker did in Hollingsworth. He is taking the time to build a strong foundation for this case as it makes it way to SCOTUS.

    Walker gave a talk at Caltech during Gaypril last year and I was there in the audience. He said that the reason he decided to conduct a full trial in Hollingsworth was that it is so much harder for appellate courts to overturn decisions on cases with a trial background on its merits, especially due to the "findings of fact", which cannot be erased. For example, look at what the 9th and SCOTUS did with Hollingsworth. Neither dared delve into the merits in their decision – they both ruled on procedural grounds: the 9th said a State having given certain rights cannot take them back (Romer to the rescue!), and SCOTUS simply dismissed the case on standing issues, vacating the 9th's decision. What's more, even the dissenting justices in SCOTUS, admittedly an oddball coalition, while admitting that they think the merits of the case should be addressed, stopped short of actually doing so. I at least expected Kennedy, who actually delivered a nearly blistering dissent (it is a good read, actually), to address the merits in some manner, but he didn't."

  • 87. Sagesse  |  February 15, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I read the oral arguments in the the Virginia case last week. I'm waiting for someone to point out the obvious flaw in the 'marriage as it has been for 400 years in Virginia' argument. Roughly 33% of Americans live in a state with marriage equality. Marriage equality may still be 'novel', in the sense that it is relatively new, but it is no longer 'novel' in the sense of unknown, or unprecedented, or unheard of or untried. Someone will also point out that all the traditional marriages and families… mom and dad and their biological children families, families with adopted or foster children or stepchildren, single parent families, families with parents who have been divorced… all those families, married or not, still exist. Alongside LGBT-led families.

    It may be relatively new, but it's normal, it's allowed, it's legal. There is no need to insert 'sky not falling' language to prove that it's not a bad thing. It's a thing. It is. It's not a fringe thing, or a freak thing. For many Americans in those communities, it just is. Kinda takes the wind out of the notion that we cannot allow this change to happen. It's happened. It is. Just not here. Not yet.

  • 88. philip  |  February 15, 2014 at 10:46 am

    You write beautifully. I want to tell you how much I enjoy your comments. Best regards, Phil

  • 89. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Just a friendly amendment – it's actually just over 38% of the population, not 33%. 😉

  • 90. Sagesse  |  February 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I lose track. Thanks for the correction.

  • 91. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    No worries, we'll all see it hit 100% soon enough. 😉

  • 92. Lymis  |  February 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    We're already at 100% for federal recognition, if people can manage to get married somewhere. We should include that in our perception of the situation as well as the places that don't allow marriages to be contracted.

  • 93. grod  |  February 16, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Eight states have announced that they would recognize the 1364 Utah's equality marriages despite the state saying that it would not recognized its own valid marriages.

  • 94. JayJonson  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Well, not quite soon enough for me. (LOL) I've been waiting a long time and I live in a backward state that will keep me and my husband (who have married in Massachusetts) waiting as long as humanly possible.

  • 95. ebohlman  |  February 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    It depends on how you count IL: 33% of the population lives in places where they can get a marriage license today (OK, OK, yesterday or the day after tomorrow, since most county offices aren't open on Saturdays); 38% of them live in places where there's no question they'll be able to get one by the beginning of the summer.

  • 96. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 16, 2014 at 9:44 am

    You know what, I stand corrected. Folks in Illinois will have to wait until June, assuming there's no court case to try and speed things up – and I have to say, I'd be so weary of courts and politics that I'd just wait until June were I in such a situation.

  • 97. Eric  |  February 16, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Why be afraid? The court couldn't make things go any slower. If I were still an Illinois resident, I would ask for an injunction tomorrow. Marriage is a fundamental right, what narrowly tailored compelling governmental interest is met by delaying the recognition until June? The courts have repeatedly found that ANY denial of a fundamental right for any length of time is an irreparable harm.

  • 98. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 16, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Not afraid; weary…I'd feel like by the time the courts moved, it would be June already.

  • 99. ebohlman  |  February 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    There's still some chance the legislature might move the date up a few months (during the regular session, bills can go into effect in as little as 30 days from passage. During the fall session, when the current bill was passed, bills can't go into effect before the end of the regular session (May 31) unless they get a 3/5 majority, which the current bill didn't). They could, if they so desired, pass the bill again with an effective date 30 days from passage.

  • 100. Pat  |  February 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Yes, but didn't they plan to introduce such a bill at the very beginning of the session? I thought that was supposed to have been done in January already. Since we haven't heard anything about that, I wonder if they have decided not to bother after all?

  • 101. Mike in Baltimore  |  February 16, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Slight correction – Monday is a Federal holiday (President's Day) that (AFAIK) is also observed in all US jurisdictions, and therefore offices will be closed. Thus Tuesday.

    Otherwise, I agree.

  • 102. Mike in Baltimore  |  February 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    As of June 1, it WILL be more than 38% when Illinois has full ME. As of today, 3.5 months before Illinois gets FULL ME, we are at just over 34% (34.181%, based on the Census Bureau's 2012 population estimates).

    Remember, the law may be enacted, but it won't be effective until June 1. Until then, no same gender couples can get married in Illinois.

    It's like Washington state and Maryland – the legislatures passed ME, and the Governor of each state signed the laws early in 2012, but not until weeks AFTER the electorate voted on the laws in the November 2012 election could same gender couples get married (Dec. 6, 2012 in Washington state, Jan. 1, 2013 in Maryland). My calculations are based on the effective date, not the enactment date, of laws, any laws, whether they concern ME or anything else.

  • 103. ebohlman  |  February 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Actually, due to a court order same-gender couples can marry in Illinois now if one or both partners is terminally ill and has a substantial chance of dying before June 1.

  • 104. Eric Koszyk  |  February 16, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Not only that, but there have been same sex couplings on this continent for thousands of years, long before Christianity came to the continent. Many native tribes allowed for same sex relationships. Not sure if any of them were in Virginia, but there it is.

  • 105. Mike in Baltimore  |  February 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I think Native American tribes in Washington state, Oklahoma, Michigan and either Arizona or New Mexico currently allow ME under tribal laws and rules. I don't think any in Virginia currently have ME.

    And as far as I can tell, there are no Federally-recognized Native American tribes in Virginia (although the state recognizes 12 tribes).

  • 106. Michael Grabow  |  February 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Almost 700,000,000 people around the world, in some places for well over a decade. The sky is still intact, incredible.

  • 107. Daniel  |  February 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I just saw this absolutely bizarre news coverage out of Ohio (see link below). I would appreciate hearing from anyone in Ohio about this.

    For several months, a group called FreedomOhio has claimed that it has an incredible 650,000 signatures in support of a 2014 ballot measure to legalize SSM. That is more than enough to qualify for the ballot.

    Every other group working on this issue is opposed to FreedomOhio, on the grounds that we need to do a ballot measure in 2016, when turnout is high and after we have had a chance to put statewide campaign infrastructure in place. Also, there is religious exemption language that is problematic. None of these groups is helping FreedomOhio or giving it any money. Now the two sides have taken to attacking each other in the press.

    The really weird thing is: I don't see evidence that FreedomOhio really has all those signatures. Collecting 650K signatures would entail a massive grassroots effort. It is comparable in scale to a petitioning effort in California. It would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And there would be substantial online evidence of this mass activity by so many thousands of volunteers. There would be thousands of pics on the internet of volunteers gathering signatures, updates on signature tallies, etc. You can see what I am talking about if you go to Oregon United's FB page, which has a large array of pics from all over the state and is peppered with posts from volunteers about where to go to petition, where to pick up petitions, fundraising events, house parties, etc.

    By contrast, all I see is a fairly bare-bones website for FreedomOhio. They claim to have 62,000 members, but reported cash contributions from only a few hundred people. USAToday reports that they only have $23,000 cash on hand. Their FB page is active and they have 40,000 Likes. But there's just a few pics of volunteers on their FB page. And those pics are of small groups of maybe 4-6 people.

    Does anyone know what is going on? Is this group outright lying about having those signatures or is it just an incredibly effective but very low-key organization that managed to pull this off under the radar?

  • 108. Rick O.  |  February 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Sounds "too good to be true". Either this is one lone hacker's joke he managed to pass off to a gullible reporter, or it's a small stealth group doing much the same. Remember that Republican creep from Utah who tried to start repeal movements in AZ and FL last year? They got nowhere fast, but didn't put out bogus info. Wait till their next press release, April 1.

  • 109. Zack12  |  February 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    I agree with the feelings that it's bogus.
    Jim Petro, the former Republican AG of Ohio (who also has a lesbian daughter) has said 2014 is NOT the year to do it and he has the major equality groups agreeing with him on this. We are going to need Republicans in many states on our side and in some places they are.
    And when you have them telling us 2016 will be better then 2014, I'll take their words over the word of a group that is ignoring what the national groups are telling them.
    IMO, it's like what happened in FL and AZ. They want a couple of losses in a year that will favor that to try and set our movement back.

  • 110. JayJonson  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I think maybe the claim that they already have 650,000 signatures is bogus, but I believe that the people behind the drive to go to the ballot in 2014 are sincere. I don't think they are the Republican operatives out to end the ME momentum.

    I suspect that the national organizations and Freedom to Marry Ohio believe that ME will come to Ohio soon as a result of litigation. Hence, they are reluctant to commit a great deal of resources to a 2014 effort when conditions are not optimal at the ballot box. If there is not ME via the courts by 2015, I suspect that ME will be on the ballot in 2016.

    BTW, the article at this link says that the group pushing for a 2014 referendum has 385,000 signatures not 650,000:

  • 111. AndyInCA  |  February 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Given all the Federal rulings since Kitchen vs Herbert, would there be basis for further judges striking down bans not to stay their rulings? It seems less and less likely the ban proponents will avail on appeal…

    Amazing stuff!

  • 112. Jack  |  February 17, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I'm thinking district judges got the message from SCOTUS when they stayed Kitchen that the supremes want stays in place at least until circuit court rulings emerge. It would be a brave (or foolhardy) district judge who wouldn't put a stay in place at present — even though the odds of the anti-ME folks prevailing on appeal seems to be getting dimmer by the day.

  • 113. bayareajohn  |  February 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    A STAY is likely in -any- ruling that significantly changes the status quo, is certain to be appealed with a non-zero chance of overturn, and has effects that arguably would be hard to unwind if it was overturned on appeal. So we'll continue to see them for a while.

  • 114. StevenJ  |  February 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Indiana: After discussion, the Senate just voted to pass HJR-3 in its House-amended form. That means it's off the ballot for this year but could be introduced in 2015 or 2016 for a possible ballot measure in November 2016.

  • 115. grod  |  February 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Washington State commits to converting dp into ME on June 30: An estimated 6,500 same-sex couples remained in the state registry.….

  • 116. SPQRobin  |  February 17, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Lawsuit to be filed in Colorado state court:

  • 117. grod  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Robin – if you learn why press conference was cancelled, please post. G

  • 118. grod  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Ban on ssm save Michigan $s, Gov G Snyder tells federal judge regarding government workers' benefits. What about similarly situation individuals?

  • 119. SoCal_Dave  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    well….. he could save even more money by taking away benefits for opposite sex couples. Some of these guys are not very good with math, are they?

  • 120. sfbob  |  February 17, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    They aren't good with constitutional law either. Snyder's justification doesn't cut it with the courts.

  • 121. Zack12  |  February 18, 2014 at 3:08 am

    If you want to know the real reason why Snyder and other Michigian Republicans wanted the bigoted Dave Agema to shut up, this is why.
    The judge that ruled on this originally specifically mentioned him by name in striking down this law, stating that the plantiffs claims that this law was based in animus had valid cause to say so due to statements he made.
    He played a part in helping the ban pass as well, so like in VA, the words of the bigots are coming back to bite them in the butt.

  • 122. grod  |  February 18, 2014 at 3:52 am

    Bob: Guess the AG took a sick day, leaving the Gov to fill in. G

  • 123. ebohlman  |  February 18, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Note that this is related to a different case than the one that's going to trial next week.

  • 124. Bill  |  February 17, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Sounds like he's got a tin ear, your Snyder.

  • 125. Rick O.  |  February 18, 2014 at 6:02 am

    New Colorado suit? Just like the 1 existing one (Brinkman v. Long, also in state courts) this is coming out of "nowhere" with local attorneys only. I live in CO and this is the first I've heard, probably for 2 reasons. First, the Denver Post (supposedly Republican but VERY pro ME and a huge help with civil unions bill finally passed a year ago) is, like many print papers in tertiary level towns, a mere shadow of it's former self, without many reporters left, and if it's not football, there may be no room to print it. Second, for good political reasons, there is an unofficial, but effective, ban on ME agitation til we get past the mid-term elections this Nov.
    The right wing got stirred up not so much by civil unions, but a few gun control measures last year, and D's are lying low in hopes of retaining control of the legislature and winning all state-wide positions (possible because the R's are busy choosing wing-nuts as candidates, again). Of note – the D Att. Gen. candidate, D. Quick, might be helpful if elected. One D candidate for another office has already come out and said our marriage amendment is unconstitutional.

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