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State Lawyers Ignore Public Support for Marriage

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By Matt Baume

The rules have changed yet again this week in Colorado, with new rulings on marriage from multiple courts. New polls show growing support for equality in western states, but multiple Attorneys General have filed new briefs to stop gay and lesbian couples from marrying. And another Republican member of Congress has come out in favor of the freedom to marry.

The good news in Colorado is that yet another court has ruled that the state’s marriage ban is unconstitutional. This comes in a case filed on July 1 by couples seeking to end the state’s enforcement of its marriage ban. Federal District Judge Raymond P. Moore ruled in their favor but imposed a stay of one month, giving state Attorney General John Suthers time to appeal.

But Suthers already has his hands full with marriage cases. Earlier this month, he asked a federal court to stop Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall from issuing marriage licenses. This week the Colorado Court of Appeals denied that request, allowing the marriages to continue, but only in Boulder.

Wisconsin’s Attorney General, J. B. Van Hollen, has also been working to prevent couples from marrying. He filed a brief last week arguing that the U. S. Constitution can’t compel states to grant rights to its citizens. But a new survey in Wisconsin shows a sharp increase in support for the freedom to marry. According to the Marquette University poll, 56 percent of voters favor marriage equality, with just 37 percent opposed. Oral argument in the Wisconsin case has been rescheduled from August 13 to August 26.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox also filed an anti-gay brief last week. Fox claims that singling out gay and lesbian couples under a discriminatory law doesn’t constitute second-class citizenship.

And attorneys for seven couples in North Dakota have filed a motion for summary judgement. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has said that he’ll defend the marriage ban.

There will be no marriages in Florida for now. Two weeks ago a judge ruled that the state’s marriage ban is unconstitutional, but last week followed up with a ruling that it must still be enforced pending appeal. But there’s also some good news: Florida Representative David Jolly has become the eight Republican member of Congress to endorse the freedom to marry.

And finally this week, a new study from the Williams Institute shows that marriage equality would add $180 million to the economy of Texas. A judge ruled last February that Texas’ marriage ban is unconstitutional. That ruling is on appeal to the Fifth Circuit.

11 Comments

  • 1. brandall  |  July 28, 2014 at 10:32 am

    4th is released! We have it in the bag! Bostic

    Strict Scrutiny

    2-1 and over 100 pages.

    http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/14

  • 2. DaveM_OH  |  July 28, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Yeah, the first 20 pages are just listing the amici though 😉

  • 3. Deeelaaach  |  July 28, 2014 at 10:53 am

    *Thank you* Brandall! (And thank you 4th Circuit!)

  • 4. RnL2008  |  July 28, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks brandall for posting this information!!!

    I'm currently listening to AG Roy Cooper and it looks as he see the writing on the wall and will NOT challenge the ruling from the 4th!!!

  • 5. RnL2008  |  July 29, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Judge Niemeyer wasted over 30 pages to simply say that he feels that the couples are asking for a NEW right instead of the same Fundamental right that heterosexuals have…..which is pure BS in my opinion.

    I mean if the Loving's DIDN'T have to prove that interracial marriage has deeply seeded roots in our history or Society, then why is it the Gays and Lesbians MUST show that Same-Sex marriage is required…….that's a double standard and by the Judge mentioning it…he loses all credibility(if he ever had any to begin with)!!!

    Again, denying Gays and Lesbians the right to marry….WILL NOT make any opposite-sex couple more procreative responsible or guide them into getting married…plain and simple!!!

  • 6. FredDorner  |  July 29, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Based on the oral arguments and some of the nonsense in his dissent my impression is that Niemeyer is a bigot and he's let that cloud his judgement. It seems the simpler analysis he could have used would have been to ask, given that marriage is a fundamental right, what possible compelling interest does the state have in the relative race or relative gender of one's spouse, or in the sexual orientation of the couple? It seems clear to me that there is no such interest.

    His historical analysis could have been a bit deeper too given that he actually recycled some of the same nonsense about polygamy and consanguineous marriage that the state of Virginia used 50 years ago.

  • 7. RnL2008  |  July 29, 2014 at 12:16 am

    I totally agree with you…….the ONLY folks who bring in the incest or polygamy marriages are the folks who are using illogical manipulations to justify their hatred and bigotry!!!

  • 8. Jen_in_MI  |  July 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Doing the happy dance!!!

  • 9. bayareajohn  |  July 28, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Hey, I'm celebrating a week without an new alias for TKnSC!
    Guess his contract to troll wasn't renewed.

  • 10. Jen_in_MI  |  July 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    BAHAHAHA!!!

  • 11. Dave_wx  |  July 29, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Oops sorry I meant to up vote you, not down vote.

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