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Help us get to Cincinnati to cover the Sixth Circuit marriage equality hearings!

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Hi everyone,

Marriage equality is on the march, and this summer is shaping up to be more consequential than any other time in the history of our movement. Already, two appeals courts have heard arguments in challenges to state marriage bans in Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia, and there are five cases coming up in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati next month that will determine the future of marriage equality in four different states — Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio.

We hope to continue our firsthand coverage of these cases, so I am personally appealing to you, our readers, to support EqualityOnTrial’s coverage of these critical hearings. Everybody who donates something will receive an EXCLUSIVE INVITATION to join a live, online chat with Jacob and myself the night of the hearing to discuss the day’s events in detail. (It’ll be a fun chat, and we’ll answer questions and read the tea leaves of the hearings.)

Courageous donors and readers like you gave me the opportunity to travel to the frontlines of the marriage equality battle at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver three months ago to hear arguments in the Utah and Oklahoma cases. My experience front and center inside the federal courtroom gave us the cutting edge insight that you expect from EqualityOnTrial. It’s not just what the judges say, it’s how they say it, and I know now more than ever that being able to look them in the eye and sense the tone in the courtroom gave me a more nuanced understanding of their opinions.

My experience in Denver made what we do at EqualityOnTrial clearer than ever. We bring courageous readers like you minute-by-minute coverage of groundbreaking LGBT equality cases from across the country — and we do it better than anyone!

Potter Stewart US Courthouse, Cincinnati, OH
Potter Stewart US Courthouse, Cincinnati, OH
Make a tax-deductible donation today so I can travel to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati next month to cover the five historic equality cases. There are marriage bans in four states on the line!

$10 could be the breakfast I eat before heading to the courthouse. $25 could cover an airline’s baggage charge. And $100 could cover a portion of my flight to get there. Any amount helps and every donor will gain access to an invitation-only, live, online chat with Jacob and myself after the hearing to explore the day’s proceedings!

And on September 8th, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will hear arguments on marriage bans from three states: Nevada, Hawaii, and Idaho. EqualityOnTrial has covered the Nevada case, Sevcik v. Sandoval, from the beginning.

If we can raise enough to cover my trip to Cincinnati, any additional funds will support our coverage of the Ninth Circuit hearings in San Francisco.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support,

– Scottie (and Jacob, too!)

74 Comments

  • 1. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Skip one nice dinner per month in August and September! Send that money to Scottie and Jacob. They deserve to be at each of these significant hearings.

  • 2. Scottie Thomaston  |  July 14, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Haha thanks! 🙂 We want to make sure EOT doesn't miss any of these. Obviously there's no way to know which will end up at SCOTUS so it's important to try to cover as many as possible!

  • 3. DaveM_OH  |  July 14, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Scottie and Jacob:

    I live on the east side of Cincinnati. Anything I can help with directly? I'll drop you an email.

  • 4. Scottie Thomaston  |  July 14, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Oh thanks!

  • 5. DaveM_OH  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:17 am

    In the interest of stewardship, you might also consider flying into DAY (Dayton) and driving down – you can save >$200/ticket that way, and the drive is 1hr…

  • 6. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Same offer goes for when you come to SF on 9/8 for the 9th. We live just above the Castro.

  • 7. Scottie Thomaston  |  July 14, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Thanks! We're still working on figuring out which of us will be in SF. 🙂

  • 8. adambink  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:41 am

    +1! See (one of) you in September in the city by the bay.

  • 9. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Scottie, et al…looks like you may have lots of supportive folks while you are there: "On the eve of oral arguments, supporters will hold what is being described as “the largest marriage equality rally ever in Ohio.”
    http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=19005&amp

  • 10. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Scottie, just an FYI so you can plan accordingly…Seats limited to see gay-marriage 6th arguments.. .http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2014/07/14/seats-see-gay-marriage-arguments/12639305/

  • 11. RCChicago  |  July 14, 2014 at 8:56 am

    In addition to my donation, I also wanted to offer help for when you eventually head to Chicago for the Seventh Circuit appeals hearing.

  • 12. Scottie Thomaston  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Hey thanks! I hope we make it there that'd be so great.

  • 13. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Wait for it…wait for it…2:30pm EDT…4th Circuit decision…please?
    http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinions/daily-opinio

  • 14. sfbob  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Corresponding site for the 10th Circuit…
    http://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/clerk/opinions/daily

  • 15. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Does the 10th have a specific daily release time like the 4th does? I could not find any info on their site about this.

  • 16. DoctorHeimlich  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I was checking them obsessively before Kitchen. They post every day about 10:30 Mountain (12:30 Eastern). But it's not unusual for them to add rulings over the half hour or so following their first postings.

  • 17. Ragavendran  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Tenth Circuit opinions have been released. No Bishop today.

  • 18. DaveM_OH  |  July 14, 2014 at 11:40 am

    And the 4th also releases; no Bostic.

  • 19. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

    10th …. Darn…"There are no published opinions today."

  • 20. Japrisot  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I am hoping for a decision today too. It's Bastille day after all.

  • 21. BenG1980  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:25 am

    *fingers crossed* It's Bastille Day, and my birthday! A favorable decision would be the best present ever.

  • 22. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Commenting that it's your birthday just so you can score some thumbs up? Really?…LOL

    Happy 34th birthday (assuming 1980 is your birthdate). And yes, I really hope you get the birthday present you are asking for.

  • 23. BenG1980  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Only stating a fact. Lol. Yes, I'm 34 today (and still single). How's that for two shameless plugs in a row? Thanks for the birthday greeting.

    But in all seriousness, let's send Scottie and Jacob to Cincinnati! I just chipped in, and hopefully others will too. It looks like they've already surpassed 10 percent of their goal.

  • 24. Dave_wx  |  July 14, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Doesn't seem like today's the day. Darn.

  • 25. Zack12  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:31 am

    The 4th circuit is much more liberal then it use to be.
    Not only was Obama able to put six (hopefully soon to be 7) judges on there but with Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms gone, their grip on what judges can get appointed to that circuit means it has veered back towards the center by a lot.
    I fully expect a 2-1 ruling in our favor.

  • 26. adambink  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Chipped in! Love that you guys can be our eyes and ears on the ground.

    (and hey everyone! Long time, no see! Just lurking…)

  • 27. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Lest we not forget Colorado's Game of Thrones: "State judge Crabtree refuses to stop Denver clerk from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples". He noted the licenses were not issued in response to his ruling and said he had no jurisdiction to suspend them.

    The score is 2-0 for the 3 county clerks.
    http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Judge-refus

  • 28. Bruno71  |  July 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Crabtree is a judge for Adams County. Denver is its own city and county. How on Earth did Suthers think he'd have jurisdiction to stop the DENVER clerk???

  • 29. DoctorHeimlich  |  July 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    When Crabtree struck down the ban last week, he was ruling on two consolidated cases from both Adams County and Denver County. So Suthers went to the original judge, rather than bringing it before a new Denver County judge. No doubt Suthers expected that since Crabtree stayed his ruling, he'd do something to stop the Denver County Clerk.

  • 30. Ragavendran  |  July 14, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Also, he contends in his new filing with the CO Supreme Court, that absent immediate action by the court, he would have to pursue fresh litigation in Pueblo County to stop that clerk.

  • 31. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    He's filing everywhere he can think of. This is not about proper legal process, it's about image and politics.

  • 32. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Afternoon update: Republican Attorney General John Suthers on Monday asked the state Supreme Court to stop county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to the couples until it rules on his appeal of a lower court's ruling that the state's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.
    http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/Judge-r

  • 33. MichaelGrabow  |  July 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    So much for the Governor asking him to back off.

  • 34. Zack12  |  July 14, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    At the end of the day, Suthers can choose to do what he wants.
    And he is choosing to be a bigot.

  • 35. DocZenobia  |  July 14, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Cue Yackity Sax for Suthers. 🙂

  • 36. JayJonson  |  July 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Interesting that Suthers appears resigned to the inevitable success of marriage equality. "It appears very likely that, either judicially or politically, Colorado is going to have same-sex marriage," Suthers said in an interview. "But that is no excuse for abandoning the legal processes by which legal change or political change comes about."

  • 37. Ragavendran  |  July 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    The Denver Post has more info on why Crabtree refused an injunction:
    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26145701/judge-

    And, do we have the filings / case numbers of the two appeals at the CO Supreme Court so we can keep track?

  • 38. BenG1980  |  July 14, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Here's one of the filings with the new case number. https://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/sites/def

  • 39. brandall  |  July 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    At a very high level, Suthers' brief is saying there will be anarchy in the streets if the clerks are allowed to proceed. Oh, and the clerks are felons. Unless there is a another brief somewhere, this one is conspicuously absent of any legal retort to Hartman's ruling that the state is not suffering a high enough level of irreparable harm to cease the SSM licenses.

    Oddest sentence in the brief: "Judge Hartman of Boulder County reached an apparently conflicting decision."…..Apparently? Did they read his decision?

  • 40. Bruno71  |  July 14, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    More and more, I'm convinced the average Republican AG is very bad at many important aspects of their job.

  • 41. brandall  |  July 15, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Former Utah AG's Swallow and Shurtleff Arrested for Campaign Fraud

    From Wiki: Mark Shurtleff 2001–2013 and John Swallow 2013 (resigned)

    Bruno71 – You can now add "bad at legally getting their jobs" to your statement!
    http://fox13now.com/2014/07/15/former-utah-attorn

  • 42. RCChicago  |  July 15, 2014 at 7:28 am

    I know I'm being incredibly naive, but it's sad to see people who are entrusted with the public trust taking gross advantage of their position.

  • 43. Randolph_Finder  |  July 15, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Utah's AG (Republican and Democrat) have had an interesting last 50 years. See http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/55651119-82/

    Reyes could take Marriage Equality to the Supreme Court, lose, giving us ME nationwide and he *still* wouldn't be viewed as being in the bottom half of Utah AGs of the last 50 years.

  • 44. sfbob  |  July 17, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Some of that stuff is downright scary.

  • 45. Steve  |  July 15, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Something needs to be done to have actual decent lawyers as AGs and not just disgusting politicians who only see it as a springboard for higher office as is usually the case.

  • 46. brandall  |  July 15, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Former Utah AG's indicted…Live News Conference from SLC. County AG's, FBI, other Utah agencies all involved in this investigation leading to the indictments. Multiple charges have been filed against them. Bail is $250K. There are manipulated invoices by Swallow for fraudulent invoicing…Shurtleff is accused of witness tampering. Together, they participated in multiple illegal activities.

    Wow….this has to make folks wonder about the current AG Sean Reyes.

  • 47. SeattleRobin  |  July 15, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Well, honestly, that's not really an unfair characterization of the decision. As I said in a previous thread, a different judge could have written the same exact opinion yet ruled the other way and ordered the injunction.

    If I were to sum up that decision I would say something like: The clerk is likely in the wrong, but that is not the precise issue before the court. Requesting an injunction is considered extreme. Since the clerk and state have means at their disposal to undo any harm caused if the marriages are invalidated, I'm not going to take the extreme measure of enjoining the clerk.

  • 48. Ragavendran  |  July 14, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks, BenG!

  • 49. Ryan K.  |  July 14, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Just sent in my donation…this is probably my most visited site these days when I get a chance to bring up the ole internet after work. Glad to help in any way possible to ensure that the information can come as quickly and accurately through this wonderful site. Here's to attending at the 6th, 7th, and 9th Court of Appeals!

  • 50. ebohlman  |  July 14, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I just bought Scottie breakfast.

  • 51. Ragavendran  |  July 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

    BREAKING: Sixth Circuit has added a sixth case to their August 6 calendar. The Court has consolidated Love with Bourke. A hellish briefing schedule has been set today in Love – July 17, 24, 31. Note that the opening brief is due tomorrow. Tomorrow! Beshear (or his legal team) is not going to sleep tonight.

  • 52. BenG1980  |  July 16, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Wow, that is insanely fast, but I suppose the state's arguments against recognition are practically the same as those against licensure.

  • 53. Ragavendran  |  July 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    And I just noticed: this means the sixth circuit will hear six appeals on the sixth of August 🙂

  • 54. DACiowan  |  July 16, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    666! The evangelicals are right!

  • 55. Corey_from_MD  |  July 16, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    This is actually 6668. If they move them to September, it would be three 69…

  • 56. brandall  |  July 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Oh heavens. The three of you need a new decision to read.

  • 57. ragefirewolf  |  July 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Hahaha. Nice. Unless you count the month. People don't usually care what comes after it, just the sequence. 🙂

  • 58. brandall  |  July 16, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Here's an article on Ohio's brief to the 6th.

    WARNING: RnL2008 – The brief uses terms you that drive you nuts (and I agree with you).

    "Courts should not presume that voters are not capable of deciding an issue of this sensitivity on decent and rational grounds," [Decent? Rational?….why doesn't he just say RELIGIOUS grounds]
    http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/

  • 59. Ragavendran  |  July 17, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    UPDATE: Beshear's team managed to file a 48-page opening brief in the one day they had to write it. Wonder what, if any, new BS they've cooked up.

  • 60. StraightDave  |  July 17, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    I can't wait to read this. I'm suffering withdrawal from a lack of silly arguments lately. If they had 6 months, they still couldn't come up with anything new, at least not without looking like total morons. They've taken their best shot already, there's nothing left except for turning the calendar pages.

  • 61. RnL2008  |  July 17, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    You're a better person than I am…..at the beginning I use to read all of the briefs and rulings page for page……..but not now because I just can't get over the fact that the anti-gay folks continue to use the same flawed arguments time after time and then wonder why they lost…….I mean doesn't that prove how stupid they are?

  • 62. StraightDave  |  July 18, 2014 at 5:51 am

    uh huhh

  • 63. ragefirewolf  |  July 18, 2014 at 6:14 am

    If they had some sense of self-awareness, maybe they would realize how stupid they are being?

    It's possible that some of them don't actually believe what they're saying and feel stuck defending these laws because they may not realize they have other choices? I don't know. You're describing exactly my frustration as well, Rose.

  • 64. RnL2008  |  July 18, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I mean I try….but it's just so bad and then they get these stays without truly meeting ANY of the requirements and I just don't get it….NO ONE is forcing them to defend bad laws………and they DON'T have to, I mean enforce them, yes……but defend them…NO!!!

  • 65. dingomanusa  |  July 18, 2014 at 9:01 am

    My husband thinks most the anti-ME legal eagles don't believe in what they are defending, they are just doing it to milk every dollar they can get out of this.

  • 66. RnL2008  |  July 18, 2014 at 9:05 am

    How sad is that? I mean spending wasted taxpayer dollars to defend something they KNOW they will lose at…I mean look at ALL of the money the state of Utah has paid regarding this issue, not only with Prop 8, but in their own State…….they could have already helped lower the National debt alone with the money they've used trying to harm our right to marry!!!

  • 67. dingomanusa  |  July 18, 2014 at 6:22 am

    I stopped reading them as well, their anti gay arguments are just the same think tank cookie cutter rhetoric. A bad cookie recipe with a little less of “that” a little more of “this” maybe an added “spice” that only makes worse than it was to begin with.

  • 68. RnL2008  |  July 18, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Exactly………it's just pathetic and disgusting!!!

  • 69. Ragavendran  |  July 18, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Enjoy: http://www.scribd.com/doc/234310448/14-5818-20

  • 70. davepCA  |  July 18, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Hilarious! I like how he just makes up new "states interests" as he goes along, and recklessly puts them right there in bold and underlined in a section header. See page 30 where he just invents a 'states interest' of "preserving the traditional man-woman marriage model". Oh really? Since when does the state have any such interest?

    So if ya don't have a real argument, you just make up a bogus states interest to form a complimentary half of a circular argument. What a douche.

  • 71. sfbob  |  July 18, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    That is just simply idiotic. Thanks for the link though. I doubt Beshear actually believes a word of it.

  • 72. Ragavendran  |  July 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

    BREAKING: Is the Sixth Circuit trying to chew more than it can swallow? Five is already a lot of cases to hear in one sitting. Hastening to add a sixth seems a little extreme. A hellish briefing schedule has been set today in Love – July 17, 24, 31. Note that the opening brief is due tomorrow. Tomorrow! Beshear (or his legal team) is not going to sleep tonight.

  • 73. Equality On TrialOklahoma&hellip  |  August 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    […] the next two months. Six cases are scheduled for arguments in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals next Wednesday; then, two cases will be heard in the Seventh Circuit on August 26. Following that, the Ninth […]

  • 74. Equality On TrialMy fligh&hellip  |  August 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    […] really excited, and I know we’re all looking forward to the live chat that we’ll be […]

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