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NYT highlights Western Republicans’ support for marriage equality

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Tenth Circuit Court of AppealsThe National Center for Lesbian Rights today plans to file a brief with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals urging the appellate court to uphold two pro-equal marriage rulings out of Utah and Oklahoma.  And as the New York Times pointed out yesterday, the brief is going to present to the court a strong show of Republican support for marriage equality:

Evoking Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, a group of Western-state Republicans plans to enter the battle in favor of same-sex marriage on Tuesday, urging a federal appeals court to declare gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma unconstitutional.

The most prominent of the approximately 20 signers of the brief are former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, a longtime supporter of gay rights, and former Senator Nancy L. Kassebaum of Kansas, who said last year that she had reconsidered her former opposition to same-sex marriage. The document says that “marriage is strengthened” and “the social stability of the family unit are promoted” by allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

A new poll released late last week by the Times and CBS News found a 17-point split in national public opinion in favor of marriage equality, as we reported yesterday.  The poll found that a majority of Republicans (55 percent to 40 percent) oppose marriage equality, but the percentage responding in support has risen dramatically from 33 percent in May 2013 and just 24 percent in September 2012.

A pro-marriage equality decision in the Tenth Circuit could allow same-sex couples to wed across much of the mountain West, in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.  (New Mexico already has marriage equality, while Colorado allows for civil unions.)  As the Times notes, New Mexico’s Republican governor, Susana Martinez, late last year accepted a state supreme court ruling in favor of equal marriage rights as “the law of the land,” and last month, Nevada’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, withdrew his defense of the state’s marriage equality ban before the Ninth Circuit due to a decision by the appellate court requiring a strict scrutiny test in the case.

We’ll have the NCLR brief to the Tenth Circuit later today.

11 Comments

  • 1. Pat  |  March 4, 2014 at 8:42 am

    KENTUCKY ATTORNEY GENERAL WON'T DEFEND STATE'S GAY MARRIAGE BAN; GOV. WILL APPEAL WITH OUTSIDE COUNSEL

    Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (pictured) says he won't defend the state's gay marriage ban in an appeal of a federal court ruling ordering the state to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere, the Courier-Journal reports:
    “Judge Heyburn got it right,” he said at his Frankfort office.
    By appealing, he said, he would be defending discrimination “and that I will not do.”
    Conway said he had prayed on the decision and felt he is doing what is right. He said that he was sworn to defend both the constitutions of Kentucky and the United States.
    “It’s about placing people over politics,” he said.He began choking up at the end of the statement before leaving without taking questions.The AP reports that Governor Steve Beshear will appeal the fuling with outside counsel, not the attorney general

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/#ixzz2v0quh2S3

    Isnt Governor Beshear a Democrat? Whats wrong with him persisting in defending this ban? (or could it be a smart move to both please Kentucky voters and cause marriage equality to come in the entire Circuit and not just Kentucky?)

  • 2. Pat  |  March 4, 2014 at 8:42 am

    KENTUCKY ATTORNEY GENERAL WON'T DEFEND STATE'S GAY MARRIAGE BAN; GOV. WILL APPEAL WITH OUTSIDE COUNSEL

    Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (pictured) says he won't defend the state's gay marriage ban in an appeal of a federal court ruling ordering the state to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere, the Courier-Journal reports:
    “Judge Heyburn got it right,” he said at his Frankfort office.
    By appealing, he said, he would be defending discrimination “and that I will not do.”
    Conway said he had prayed on the decision and felt he is doing what is right. He said that he was sworn to defend both the constitutions of Kentucky and the United States.
    “It’s about placing people over politics,” he said.He began choking up at the end of the statement before leaving without taking questions.The AP reports that Governor Steve Beshear will appeal the fuling with outside counsel, not the attorney general

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/#ixzz2v0quh2S3

    Isnt Governor Beshear a Democrat? Whats wrong with him persisting in defending this ban? (or could it be a smart move to both please Kentucky voters and cause marriage equality to come in the entire Circuit and not just Kentucky?)

  • 3. Rick O.  |  March 4, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Kentucky is snake-handling religious and wildly anti-a-black-President, and yet there is a possibility Democrat Grimes can unseat Mitch McConnell in the fall. Dem. Governor has to keep a lid on D's appearing "progressive" in advance of election. With Dem. AG going the other way, I think they're trying to have their cake and eat it, too

  • 4. sfbob  |  March 4, 2014 at 8:47 am

    When you think about it, marriage is a fundamentally conservative institution. It tends to lead to stability which (I always thought) Republicans were in favor of. It really is quite telling that for many of them their disdain of gay men and lesbians trumps what should be a no-brainer for them. At least some Republicans finally seem to be getting it.

  • 5. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 4, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Indeed. Ted Olson penned an essay called "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage."

  • 6. Zack12  |  March 4, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Reminds me of my maternal grandparents who were old school Republicans. One of my grandfather's last acts (he passed away in 07) was to put a sign on his yard telling people to vote against the marriage ban in Kansas.
    He wasn't a big fan of same sex marriage by any means but also felt religious views had no place in civil law, which is one of the reasons he HATED Sam Brownback as a senator.
    I have no doubt he would have supported something like this, it's a shame to see what has happened to his party, it really is.

  • 7. Rick O.  |  March 4, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Per my comment elsewhere, Alan Simpson is a god among R's in WY, and surrounding states, except among the mega-church crowd (not prominent in WY). His endorsement is a huge plus, and a sign the split in the R's is now a real fight. The evangelicals are going to have to bend or fight, and we'll see who's left standing. In WY, probably pro-ME, in KS, anti-ME.

  • 8. StraightDave  |  March 4, 2014 at 9:36 am

    After the 10th circuit gets through with them, I'm not sure what KS will have left to stand on. It's OK (sort of) to take a stand in a fight, but when the fight is over all you have left to do is piss into the wind. Unless the whole state decides to turn into the Westboro Baptist Jerks.

  • 9. Zack12  |  March 4, 2014 at 10:10 am

    If Sam Brownback and his band of bigots get their way, they will.

  • 10. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 4, 2014 at 11:22 am

    At the risk of finger-pointing, support in red states inversely correlates with the percentage of evangelicals in the population.

  • 11. StraightDave  |  March 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    No risk at all, Ally. If the shoe fits…..

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