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More Marriage Wins Than Ever This Week


By Matt Baume

Virginia’s marriage ban is unconstitutional, with a strongly-worded victory in AFER’s case. And that’s just the start of multiple marriage wins from coast to coast this week. We have good news coming out of Kentucky, Indiana, and Nevada, plus several new lawsuits, hearings, and favorable polls.

This was a huge week for marriage equality, starting with AFER’s powerful win in Virginia. The federal district court has ruled that the state’s marriage ban is unconstitutional. Just as in California, the ban violates the US Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection. Marriages can’t start yet, pending appeal. But the case is on a very fast track, so it’s likely to get its next hearing quite soon.

We also got a big ein in Kentucky, where a judge ruled that the state must recognize out-of-state marriage licenses. And on Friday, the attorney representing the couples in that case filed a second lawsuit, this time to force the state to start issuing licenses of its own. Support for marriage equality is steadily growing in Kentucky.

Another major victory this week: Indiana’s proposed marriage ban will not go to voters until 2016 at the earliest. Support for the bill has rapidly dwindled, and may evaporate altogether in the next two years.

We also had good news in Nevada. The governor and attorney general have announced that they will no longer defend the state’s marriage ban. In short, they’ve come to the conclusion that there is no way to defend the ban. The case is now on a fast track toward resolution in the Ninth Circuit. Meanwhile, state organizers this week announced a Freedom Nevada campaign to push a ballot measure to legalize marriage.

We had a hearing this week in a Texas lawsuit, and another lawsuit is coming soon in Louisiana.

Couples filed new lawsuits this week in Missouri, Alabama and in Ohio. Ohio organizers are also collecting signatures to overturn the state’s marriage ban, and this week announced that they’ve collected more than enough. And a similar campaign in Oregon just announced that they’ve collected 120% of the required signatures to challenge Oregon’s marriage ban at the ballot.


  • 1. KarlS  |  February 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    "…a big EIN in Kentucky"??? Why the German?

  • 2. davep  |  February 18, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I think it's because das "E" key is next to das "W" key ; )

  • 3. KarlS  |  February 18, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Jawohl, das ist. 😀
    (I was just being devilish)

  • 4. Sagesse  |  February 18, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Fascinating. NOM desperately wanted the Indiana ballot for a win in 2014.

    In Diluting Measure to Ban Gay Marriage, Indiana Shows a Shift

    "“We see what happened with the changes as a betrayal of the voters,” said Chris Plante, regional director for the National Organization for Marriage, which favors a ban. Some lawmakers who pressed to revise the measure, forcing a delay in a statewide vote, should now expect to pay a political price, he added. “Republicans who did this,” Mr. Plante said, “will most certainly be targeted.”

  • 5. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 18, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Oh, they are livid. Plante in particular, was the head of NOM in Rhode Island, which was handed an utter and complete loss in the legislature. Indiana was, realistically, their one potential win in 2014; given the clear direction of the court cases, I can't see them winning any of the upcoming federal trials in Michigan, Pennsylvania, or even Texas. Assuming that it's not decided in the courts by then, the Oregon ballot measure is our side's to lose in November – if we don't blow it, it'll be the first constitutional ban reversed at the ballot box.

  • 6. Sagesse  |  February 19, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Indiana was their last chance for a state constitutional ban EVER. Trying to envision how they plan to go after all the state Republicans who voted to amend the ban??? Think about it… they're up in arms furious because a state legislature, House and Senate, voted FOR a state DOMA.

    Schadenfreude is so sweet.

  • 7. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 19, 2014 at 4:35 am

    I hadn't even thought of it in those terms…magnificent! Based on the electorate, I wouldn't absolutely rule out Wyoming or West Virginia, but other political realities put both of those states effectively puts them off the table for NOM as well. The legal landscape is going to be very different in 2016, that's for sure.

  • 8. Zack12  |  February 18, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    They did indeed. I would say this also highlights the bigotry of the bans even more. Why fight so hard for the civil unions ban as well when they've claimed in the past they would be okay with us having rights if it isn't called marriage?
    Because they aren't happy with us having any kind of rights and their fights against civil unions prove that.

  • 9. StraightDave  |  February 18, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    I didn't use to think they cared that much anyway about CU's, per se, since marriage was so much more valuable. But post-DOMA, CU's just don't fly and will turn into marriage pretty quickly. Now it matters to NOM a lot more. Plus, in Indiana, taking out CU's blew up the whole bill – well, pushed it out 2 years. That's why they're pissed. 2016 is gonna be a whole different world.

  • 10. Zack12  |  February 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    They hate CU/DP as much as marriage.
    If you go back to when Vermont (under court order) created civil unions back in 2000, the debate was fierce. It literally tore the state in half. Howard Dean had to wear a bullet proof vest and several of the legislators who voted yes for the unions had to get 24 hour police protection.
    In Hawaii, the bigots there fought just as hard against civil unions as they did against marriage, same in RI and elsewhere.
    They don't want any kind of legal recognition for us, which has come back to bite them in several of these bans.
    The overreach of banning CU/DP has led many judges to conclude that animus is behind the bans more then protectiong children or the other garbage they claim.

  • 11. davep  |  February 18, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Likewise their efforts here in California to support that horrible measure that would bring the issue of protecting rights of transgender students to the ballot box and unleash their hate aimed at this portion of the LGBT community. It has nothing at all to do with marriage, and they have repeatedly claimed that their only interest is in trying to deny civil marriage to same sex couples,yet they are throwing their efforts into the issue. Liars.

  • 12. Matt  |  February 19, 2014 at 9:50 am

    We'd better hope there's a shift afoot in Indiana. If you haven't seen it yet, it's worth going to YouTube and watching the video "Ain't No Homo Going to Make it to Heaven." The toddler who was taught this song probably doesn't know what he's doing, but watch the crowd's reaction. This video was made in 2012.

  • 13. Rick O.  |  February 19, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Speaking of Vermont (CUs in 2000), I remember an interview by NPR about 2002 with a woman (Duke?) who was a VT Republican County chair and had been leader of the anti-CU effort. Her cooments were that after 2 years the controversy was over – nothing bad had happened. It was so refreshing, so rational, so Vermont.Yet all through the state legislature debates over the past several years never once have I heard about the practical experience of the early states – nothing bad has happened to anyone (or any church).
    I guess animus listens to no evidence. Now that judges are beginning to bring this up, however, ME wins. And it will be accepted far faster by the public than political leaders think.
    Living in an ultra-conservative corner of Denver exurbia, and with two fathers who tune only to FOX, I expected some pushback when my husband and I quietly eloped to VT in Dec., but made a political point of sending a "just married" announcement in our holiday cards. Those who don't like it have held their tongues, there have been a huge number of sincere congratulations, and a few unsolicited wedding gifts from surprising quarters.

  • 14. JayJonson  |  February 19, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Rick O., are you saying that you have two gay fathers who are ultra-conservative? Or are you referring to your straight father and your husband's straight father? Anyway, congratulations on your marriage!

  • 15. Rick O.  |  February 20, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Tee hee – conservative fathers are straight and proved it with 10 children and two stepchildren combined. Of which 12, 5 are gay (plus 1 closet case). So dads have made some adjustments – just in time to deal with family inter-racial marriages.

  • 16. grod  |  February 19, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Rick – congratulations. What happened yesterday – why was the press conference announced by Reilly Pozner cancelled? Did these lawyers for the nine couple file in the state court against Amendment 43 as reported by Fox 31 Denver? G.

  • 17. Rick O.  |  February 20, 2014 at 6:25 am – not sure why the delay in filing, but it did finally happen. As I've mentioned before, we have a news problem in Denver as the Post shrinks. Note that the coverage mentioned above has been from the FOX channel; mainstream finds this passe, I guess.
    Legislature did pass bill allowing CU couples married out of state to file joint state tax returns on Monday – party line vote but not much histrionics this time, and no big deal in press. Likewise our SSM wedding cake case – we have excellent anti-discrimination laws that somehow slipped past the R's while they were fighting CU's, even have a special discrimination court process, the baker got smacked down fast, and the to-do was much less than I expected. Though Focus on the Family continually tries to launch "religious freedom" legislation/ballot measures every two years, they have been unsuccessful to date in formulating language that passes muster.
    The new lawsuit names Denver County clerk and Governor Hickenlooper – both D's strongly in favor of equal rights – as defendants. BUT, the AG John Suthers is an R who wrote an amicus brief in favor of the State of Utah in the 10th Circuit case. Suthers is retiring end of the year, D candidate favors ME, R's no, no polls yet on who'll win. Hickenlooper is up for re-election and it might be close with the gun nuts fired up this year. Plus he's a hopeless, aw-geeze-shucks guy who hates conflict. Meanwhile we here NOTHING about the Brinkman case files last OCT.
    So 2 questions. Politically will Hickenlooper take a stand on this now? The D establishment had been hoping NOT to deal with ME this year, which is why One Colorado's campaign to reserve the Constitutional marriage ban was nixed for this year and scheduled for 2016. Events almost overtook them, but we have strong centralized and coordinated D-liberal cooperation here (the only reason CO is now purple).
    Second – and I don't know – can the governor order the AG not to defend the state constitution? He's no doubt hoping he CAN"T, because Suthers and the R's would love to watch him squirm.
    A great political/legal mess – I can't wait for the rest of you to post the legal analysis on the situation.

  • 18. Rick O.  |  February 20, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Thursdays Denver Post brings comments from the players, and I'm guessing the case will just proceed without much political fighting.

    AG Suthers, R, -" it's my job to defend" (and I'm loving it, dare ya to complain Hickenlooper)

    Clerk Johnson (D) – thought hard about granting license, decided she couldn't.

    Gov. Hickenlooper, D, " "as a matter of constitutional law, we appreciate that the courts will take it up." QUICK LOOK THE OTHER WAY "on the underlying question of equal rights, we believe Colorado made a step forward when we passed bipartisan civil union legislation last year"

    Speaker Ferrandino, D & gay – great

    Ex speaker McNulty, R, CU killer: "This flies in the face of fairness" WAAAHHH, I'm melting!

    Also note – 4 of the 6 Republican candidates had a debate at the Post Tuesday. They were asked if they would support a repeal of CU's – all four briefly said NO. Given how conservative they are, and how Focus on the Family can still dominate R caucuses, I was a bit surprised no one took the bait.

  • 19. Zack12  |  February 19, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Reading the twitter feed on the Indiana Marriage Amendment, NOM is going to try and file a lawsuit to force the issue on the ballot.
    They are really digging their heels in on this one.

  • 20. Stefan  |  February 19, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    They're claim is completely baseless.

  • 21. StraightDave  |  February 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    How the F do you sue a state to vote the way you want them to vote? Or, failing that, force them to act as if they had actually voted the way you wish they had. Are they on drugs?…, still?

  • 22. Rick O.  |  February 20, 2014 at 6:30 am

    NOM will fight anything at this point. They need to be doing something to justify the fund-raising emails, and their very existence.

  • 23. sfbob  |  February 20, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Basically they're throwing a tantrum because they can't have their way.

  • 24. JimT  |  February 20, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Adam Serwer at MSNBC has posted an article recapping the current status of “religious liberty” bills that have been proposed or considered at

  • 25.  |  May 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Sujet vraiment fascinant !!!

  • 26. bitch baise  |  June 20, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Je suis press

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