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Archives – May, 2014

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sets briefing schedule in Texas marriage equality case

Opening brief in Texas marriage equality case due July 9.

Continue 65 Comments May 30, 2014

Equality news round-up: News from Michigan, Pennsylvania, and more

More states consider anti-discrimination laws.

Continue 155 Comments May 30, 2014

Equality news round-up: News from Wisconsin, Texas, and more

Houston passes non-discrimination ordinance, and more.

Continue 48 Comments May 29, 2014

NOM wants Justice Kennedy to stop same-sex marriage in Oregon

NOM asks Supreme Court to halt marriages in Oregon.

Continue 143 Comments May 28, 2014

16 Million Americans Just Gained the Freedom to Marry

By Matt Baume

More than sixteen and a half million Americans gained marriage equality last week, with decisive victories in Oregon and Pennsylvania. We have brand new lawsuits in the last few states that needed one. And the National Organization for Marriage has suffered even more losses this week.

Couples are getting married right now in Pennsylvania. Judge John E. Jones III issued an emphatic ruling last week, overturning the state’s marriage ban on the basis of due process and equal protection. Jones wrote, “The right Plaintiffs seek to exercise is not a new right, but is rather a right that these individuals have always been guaranteed by the United States Constitution.” Former Senator Rick Santorum had a role in last week’s victory: he endorsed Judge Jones for confirmation twelve years ago.

Governor Tom Corbett has decided not to appeal the Pennsylvania decision, which means this victory is final. But incredibly, the National Organization for Marriage has claimed that it may attempt to intervene in the case. This is, in fact, not possible. The case is over. We’ve won. NOM simply does not have a role here.

They’re also irrelevant in Oregon. Last week Judge Michael McShane overturned that state’s marriage ban, and Oregon declined to appeal. NOM tried to intervene less than two days before oral argument, and was denied. Even though marriage has now begun in Oregon, NOM is still appealing to the 9th Circuit for permission to intervene, but they’re unlikely to succeed. Last year the US Supreme Court ruled in AFER’s case that the Prop 8 proponents had no standing to appeal, and NOM’s standing in the Oregon case is even weaker.

Marriage is here to stay in Pennsylvania and Oregon. And it’s also been strengthened in Utah. There was a window in December and January during which couples could marry. And last week Judge Dale A. Kimball ruled that the state must honor the licenses that it issued. Judge Kimball is a teacher at Brigham Young University and an active member of the Mormon Church.

We’re down to just one state with an unchallenged marriage ban: North Dakota. And soon that state may get a lawsuit as well. Last week four couples sued Montana over its ban, and six couples sued South Dakota. Now several couples in North Dakota are preparing to file a lawsuit of their own.

A Judge in Texas has ruled that a lawsuit there should remain on the slow track. A federal judge overturned the state’s marriage ban in February, and an appeal is now pending before the fifth circuit. Both sides have asked for an expedited schedule, but that was denied last week. With oral arguments yet to be scheduled, it could be months before we get a Texas decision.

A new survey from Gallup shows national support for marriage continuing to climb. This is the forty third national survey to show support over fifty percent. This week also marks four years since the last time our opponents polled with a majority.

And finally this week, an expensive lesson for NOM. Investigators for the Maine Ethics Commission have recommended a fine of over $50,000, the largest ever imposed, for NOM’s refusal to disclose donors to a ballot measure in 2009. The Commission will meet on Wednesday of this week to consider that recommendation. NOM will likely also be required to finally disclose those donors, which should make for some fun reading.

42 Comments May 27, 2014

A message from the EqualityOnTrial regarding site comments

We’ve had a couple of readers write in about trolls in the comments section of EqualityOnTrial, and I wanted to reach out to the community to clarify our site’s policy on inappropriate comments and banning commenters.

Continue 178 Comments May 27, 2014

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