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Read it here: Virginia AG Mark Herring files pro-marriage equality notice of appeal with Supreme Court

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Virginia state sealAs we reported earlier this week, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring today followed up on his promise to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a pro-marriage equality decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“I believe this case will prove compelling for the Court because of the stringent, discriminatory nature of Virginia’s marriage ban, the range of critical questions presented, the clear legal standing of the parties, and Virginia’s historic role in 1967’s Loving case ending bans on interracial marriage,” Herring said in a statement. “Virginia got that case wrong. Now, we have a chance to get it right, and to help extend to all Americans the right to marry the person they love.”

State officials in Utah and Oklahoma have also asked the high court to consider appellate rulings striking down their marriage equality bans.  Herring’s is the first brief filed by a supporter of equal marriage rights asking the Supreme Court to take up a challenge, although Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said her organization and its collaborating lawyers would file a brief on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Utah case.

“The question presented is vital to a large population of same-sex couples, to their children, and to their fellow Americans who believe that discriminating against gay people is both unfair and unconstitutional,” Herring argues in his brief.  “They may fairly call this ‘the defining civil rights issue of our time.'”

You can read the Virginia attorney general’s full brief below, via Scribd.  (H/t to Kathleen and EQCF.)

[scribd id=236235528 key=key-zkSo4orODCKWwkoSNtJF mode=scroll]


  • 1. Corey_from_MD  |  August 8, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    It is like playing chess now…Nice move!

  • 2. coolbanker  |  August 9, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I am waiting for checkmate. Then we will have marriage equality in all 50 states.

  • 3. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Media headlines in the past few days: "States Race Marriage Cases to the Supreme Court"…They certainly got that one correct.

  • 4. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Wouldn't it be just totally cool if SCOTUS took the Virginia case and ruled in our favor seeing that our cases are so similar to Loving vs Virginia!

  • 5. Rick55845  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Yes, that would be cool. What also would be really cool is if bigots would simply stop doing everything in their power to harm us and stop us from being treated like everyone else. Barring that, it would be nice if they'd just come clean and admit that they are motivated solely by hatred and revulsion.

  • 6. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I'm totally right there with ya……..but we will ALWAYS encounter those who don't think they are essentially harming us, but protecting something that DOESN'T need protecting and if it did, it would need to be protected from heterosexuals who tend to take marriage for granted….IMHO!!!

  • 7. Retired_Lawyer  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I urge everyone who has the time available to read this cert petition submitted by Virginia's Attorney General and its Solicitor General. It displays legal writing at its most lucid, persuasive, and economical. Some lawyer or lawyers, most likely in the Solicitor's office, really know how to write well. You will not find anything new here, but the arguments now familiar to us are as effectively presented as you are likely to find in any one single document.

  • 8. Rick55845  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    The "ZD Scribd iPaper" link above just brings you back to this site. Needs to be fixed. The "Scribd" link in the paragraph just before it works, though.

  • 9. sfbob  |  August 8, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Yes. It's extremely well-written.

  • 10. FredDorner  |  August 8, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    I agree – it's an extraordinarily well written brief. Raphael is one darn good attorney. He not only does a great job eviscerating Niemeyer's argument but he also makes an extremely good argument for the court to apply heightened scrutiny to sexual orientation.

  • 11. Sagesse  |  August 9, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Sometimes a brief just draws out the essence of the important arguments and precedents, and leaves out the repetition of those who said it less well. This is one of those. A pleasure to read.

  • 12. BillinNO  |  August 8, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Virginia leads the way! Hooray for Old Virginia!

  • 13. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Actually, Massachusetts led the way, with ME starting in May 2004.

    And Maryland leads the way in the 4th Circuit, having had ME (voter approved, to boot) now for more than 1-1/2 years.

    In between those two states, there were several other states (plus DC) that approved ME in one manner or another (and in some cases, several ways).

  • 14. Corey_from_MD  |  August 8, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Huh??? I like your enthusiasm but you have excused Minnesota, Maine and Washington. These states made huge strides 1-1/2 years ago by approving ME by popular referendum also.

  • 15. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Skip the last paragraph?

    "In between those two states [MA and MD], there were several other states (plus DC) that approved ME in one manner or another (and in some cases, several ways)."

    Minnesota voters defeated the bigots' amendment (to outlaw ME in the state) by referendum, then in 2013 the state legislature approved ME, with the effective date of August 1, 2013. ME in Washington state, Maine and Maryland began on or before January 1, 2013.

    Also, the state of Washington's legislature approved ME early in 2012, and it would have gone into effect during the middle of 2012, but the bigots got enough signatures to put it on the November ballot, thus delaying the effective date for ME in Washington state.

  • 16. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 8, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Off topic, yet still about the 4th District ME case being appealed:

    In today's Washington Post, Amanda Bennett writes how the dissent in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling could affect her marriage. She's heterosexual, recently (re-)married, and between her and her spouse, they have six children. Oh, and she's almost 60.

    (… )

    The op-ed is humorous, but it gives a glimpse into how fallacious some of the bigots arguments are.

  • 17. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    It has always been a part of the issue, but opposite-sex couples who can NOT reproduce would be OUTRAGED if their marital rights were taken away and this brings us back to the Fundamental Right to marry as a separate issue from the FUNDAMENTAL Right to procreate!!!

  • 18. sfbob  |  August 8, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    And remember. Utah (along with several other anti-equality states) allows first cousins to marry each other, as long as they can't procreate.

  • 19. RobW303  |  August 8, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Dwarfing the state interest in procreation (aren't we overpopulating as it is??) should be the state's interest in guarding the welfare of children that result from procreation (whatever the means) by providing support for their families (including fully recognizing both parents/partners in a same-sex household). Asserting that the children "should" have a mother and a father does nothing to help the kids who just DON'T. Even banning same-sex parents from adopting doesn't further that goal because it only increases the number of foster children with no parent at all. This is all so head-waggingly obvious with just a thimbleful of thought.

  • 20. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Love your avatar Rob, what a cute puppy. We have 2 pomchi's, Takia will be 3 in September and her brother by the same parents will be a year old in December and it appears that we will have pomchi little ones, who will be smaller than their parents.

    Anyways, back to the topic…..yes, this planet is already overpopulated and the State should be more concerned with the children who are already in the foster care system. I mean just because a couple can procreated, DOESN'T always mean they should!!!

    Same-Sex couples may NOT naturally procreate between themselves, but at least when they do decide to start a family, it's because they want one and have taken the steps to being responsible in bring that child into this world.

    Both my wife and myself have had children with the opposite-sex before coming to terms with who we are………..and we are currently raising our grandchild, who's parents have been unable to due to their own issues. Tomorrow our grandchild will be 10 years old and starting the 5th grade on Tuesday………..our grandchild is stable, happy and enjoys things like archery, golf and helping others!!!

    Just because opposite-sex couples can naturally procreate, DOESN'T mean they will be good parents!!!

  • 21. JoshLmno  |  August 9, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Excellent post! We don't make this point loudly or often enough. SS couples that raise kids typically have to really want to be parents; it doesn't happen accidentally. Each kid who is adopted is one less the state has to support and the kid should have a better chance of not costing the state resources when they grow up.

    The opposition never explains how excluding us from marriage encourages straight people to have kids responsibly, they just state it with no explanation. Niemeyer says, “States are permitted to selectively provide benefits to only certain groups when providing those same benefits to other groups would not further the State’s ultimate goals.” What exactly are the ultimate goals?

    "Without gay marriage bans, the “political order resulting from [these] stable family units” will be shattered…” Yea, it's pure political chaos in all the states with ME. How can he say such absurd things?

    “Here, the Common-wealth’s goal of ensuring that unplanned children are raised in stable homes is furthered only by offering the benefits of marriage to opposite-sex couples.” Is this really why civil marriage laws were first made? Somehow when SS couples can marry the benefits to OS couples vanish?

    "He further interpreted the State’s conferral of a marriage license as an indirect economic subsidy that Virginia could properly offer to “encourage opposite-sex couples to marry, which tends to provide children from unplanned pregnancies with a more stable environment.” That same "logic" could say that ME encourages SS couples to marry, which tends to provide unwanted children with a more stable environment.

    The bottom line is that stable, healthy marriages benefit the people involved and the state benefits by not having to help support as many people and by the tax revenue that productive, responsible people pay. A single person has a greater chance of needing state assistance than a married couple. Kids in state care cost the state money, but more kids will be adopted when SS couples can get married.

  • 22. RnL2008  |  August 9, 2014 at 10:22 am

    rAmen Josh………I have often wondered how preventing Gays and Lesbians from marrying will make more heterosexuals stay married, be more responsible regarding procreation and be basically better parents………..and obviously those who oppose our right to marry CAN'T seem to explain it either……which is why I believe they are losing!!!

    Next week, my wife and I will have been married 6 years………we have NOT prevented children from being born nor opposite-sex couples from marrying NOR have we caused more opposite-sex couples to divorce or be faithful in their marriage……….YET, the anti-gay folks want to blame us for their messing up this supposed sanctified institution……I call BS!!!

    In fact, if one does the research on marriage over the years, the institution itself has gone through periodic downfalls or a decrease in folks getting married for various reasons, the same is true for procreation…….and if the anti-gay folks TRULY cared about the "CHILDREN"…..why haven't they limited the grounds for divorcing? Seems they are finally being stung by their own lies at this point!!!

  • 23. Terence  |  August 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    A personal note, of which I'm immensely proud – and leaves me passionate about queer families. My daughter (now a mother herself) has gone on the record, on-line and in print, to note that based on her observations of her family, and those of her peers when at school: "Gay parents? I recommend them".

  • 24. Sagesse  |  August 10, 2014 at 6:55 am

    I think it is vitally important for the 'adult' (say, over 16 and older) children of LGBT parents to speak out about their families, their childhood and their upbringing, They are a powerful, added voice to the debate, since 'studying' children while they're children is not permitted by the ethics rules of the social science professions. Younger children can be and have been delightfully articulate on the subject, but the opposition can discount the validity of their opinions… they can be pressured or manipulated (sarcasm alert: see reparative therapy for minors).

    The support of children like your daughter accomplishes two things. It provides evidence that families come in all shapes and sizes and colours and compositions, and they can all work fine… or not. And it shows that LGBT couples have been couples for a long time (the couples marrying in newly ME states are taking care of that one), and been raising children for a long time. Organizations like NOM thrive on hoping and pretending LGBT people are very rare… the closet was a gift to them. It allowed them to make up all kinds of things about what LGBT people are really like, and/or dismiss them as a tiny fraction of humanity.

    I'm a big believer in evidence, like the LGBT demographic statistics collected by the Williams Institute. It works in court, it can work in the media, and it can change hearts and minds. It can counter NOM-speak, which is the absence of evidence. I think every marriage equality case should include an LGBT family with children, including adult children as plaintiffs, who also claim harm. It might not stop opposing counsel from trotting out their arguments about optimal parenting… 'you plaintiff children deserve a mom and a dad instead of the parents you are stuck with', but it would make them look completely heartless and ridiculous.

    And Robynn wrote a great post :).

  • 25. RobW303  |  August 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Asking teenagers and young adults to testify about their parents and upbringing—stop and think: is that really a wise thing to do? Maybe once they're in their thirties and start seeing the other side of things….

    Another point totally glossed over in most of these procreation arguments is that bisexuals greatly outnumber homosexuals. These people CAN biologically have children, and not always by plan or with the conceptive participation of their spouses—infidelity isn't limited to heterosexuals, many bisexuals have open relationships, and they don't always couple heterosexually. Even though bisexuals in theory have a choice of either male or female life partners, the state unjustly intrudes in personal affairs if it limits whom one can develop that deepest bond with without a compelling reason—"moral" disapproval doesn't cut the mustard, nor does "you must have babies (biologically and only with your partner)!"

    The big problem is that no one has truly defined what marriage is. They have defined a number of rights and responsibilities it confers, but not what its nature is or why it exists. It's a legal moving target, described in law as in the analogy of blind men describing an elephant. It seems that it's okay for heterosexuals to marry as long as ANY of the alleged purposes is fulfilled, but homosexuals and homosexually-coupled bisexuals are expected to fulfill ALL of the alleged purposes, and fail only because we don't coite in the prescribed manner or present sexually stereotyped role models.

  • 26. hopalongcassidy  |  August 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Not to mention that "the prescribed manner" of sexual interaction is arbitrary and illusory and varies from the so-called "missionary" flavor to the Kama Sutra that describes some things my limited musculoskeletal flexibility makes impossible…or at least very painful!

  • 27. RobW303  |  August 10, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Um, by "prescribed" I meant only penis in vagina. The precise form that takes or which other forms may be employed for sexual gratification, those are irrelevant to the marriage debate. At issue is only whether defining marriage in explicit man/woman terms, when that form of marriage had always been allowed and supported by government, does anything rational to protect children—whether it can be construed in any constructive light, rather than serving only to exclude homosexuals from enjoying the same protections for their relationships and children. These laws of "definition" were not passed in the socially benighted past, when the thought of homosexual rights, let alone sanctioned unions, was ludicrous to all but the most enlightened; they were passed in the 21st century, when gay rights were already a prominent issue, sodomy laws had been invalidated nationwide, and it was well-known that gays formed stable couples, raised children together, adopted and even procreated by surrogate or artificial insemination. For marriage definitions to be codified without provision for these families cannot be construed except as deliberately exclusionary.

  • 28. jm64tx  |  August 10, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    "Even though bisexuals in theory have a choice of either male or female life partners, the state unjustly intrudes in personal affairs if it limits whom one can develop that deepest bond with without a compelling reason—"moral" disapproval doesn't cut the mustard, nor does "you must have babies (biologically and only with your partner)!"

    So are you advocating for adultery?

    That's grounds for divorce … and usually results in the other spouse walking away from the marriage with most of the property … and the house …

  • 29. RobW303  |  August 10, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Interesting question. Advocating, no, but adultery is wide-spread and seemingly on the rise. Whether it's a violation of the marriage bond is more a matter for the couple to decide—some couples are happy with open relationships, being able to separate recreational sex and lifelong commitment. Others accept occasional straying for the sake of the relationship and children. Others find it wholly unacceptable. My opinion is that if a couple divorces due to an infidelity, that shouldn't factor into who gets how much. Division of property should be just on its own merits.

    But in the context of my comment I wasn't talking about adultery, rather that the government shouldn't discount a couple's relationship because they didn't want children, or discount their suitability as parents because they pursue adoption, artificial insemination, third-party insemination or surrogacy as an alternative to unassisted conception (as they must, if they're of the same sex).

  • 30. Terence  |  August 11, 2014 at 9:28 am

    "Asking teenagers and young adults to testify about their parents and upbringing—stop and think: is that really a wise thing to do?"

    In general, no. But if this is a reference to Robynn's post, this is not the case here. She developed her thinking based observations at school / university, but the reflection, and the writing, came much later. The blog post was written well into her 30's, and that followed an earlier piece, in a letter to a newspaper, after the SA constitutional court had affirmed the right to gay adoption. The conservative leaning paper had quoted a typically opinion by a crazy ideologue on the "harm to children", which so incensed her that she dashed off a rebuttal based on her experience.

    I would not even have known about it, let alone requested it, until she phoned me to say that it had been published in a prominent position as the letter of the day – and she realised she had unwittingly outed myself and partner in a major daily newspaper.

    It was knowing that she had previously volunteered these thoughts in print, that prompted me to ask her to do the same on- line. Otherwise, I would not have dreamed of asking her to publish an opinion.

  • 31. Terence  |  August 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks. I've forwarded your words to Robynn, so that she can read for herself your appreciation.

  • 32. JayJonson  |  August 11, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Robynn's article is wonderful. Thanks to her for writing it.

    There is an article at on the "Children of GLBTQ Parents." One section is entitled "Queerspawn Speak for Themselves." That section gives a lot of information about publications in which children of glbtq parents have written about their experiences and how some of them have become activists for gay rights. I love the term "queerspawn." It was coined by Stefan Lynch, the son of Canadian gay activist Michael Lynch and his lesbian wife. Lynch has written movingly about growing up with gay parents.

  • 33. Terence  |  August 11, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Thanks – and your appreciation has been forwarded to Robynn.

    (I'm less convinced by "queerspawn" myself – but at 62, perhaps I'm an old fogey wrt language)

  • 34. JayJonson  |  August 11, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I like it because it is so "in your face"– has sort of a gay liberation flair to it. In the article I mentioned, Geoffrey Bateman describes the term as incorporating the "campy irreverence of queer activism." Here is a link to the article.

  • 35. JoshLmno  |  August 9, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Thanks for sharing that, Mike. She makes a great point!

  • 36. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Off-topic (and my apologies if it has already been reported):

    'Tenn.'s 'Don't Say Gay' Lawmaker Loses Primary'
    (… )

  • 37. BillinNO  |  August 9, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Now that's more like it!

  • 38. RnL2008  |  August 9, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Here's an article regarding one's religious beliefs to NOW deny selling wedding dresses to a Lesbian couple:

  • 39. Retired_Lawyer  |  August 9, 2014 at 7:12 am

    It brings to mind James Carville's famous observation that Pennsylvania features Philadelphia at one end, and Pittsburgh at the other, but what's in between might just as well be Alabama.

  • 40. Chuck_in_PA  |  August 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    There has been some progress. In the center of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg (our capital) has become much more centrist (although it has also become broke). Can't wait to work for the D team in the 20`16 election.

  • 41. Jen_in_MI  |  August 11, 2014 at 2:03 am

    We always called it Pennsyltucky. (Note: some of my favorite relatives live there, so this is not said in hate.)

  • 42. RLsfba  |  August 9, 2014 at 11:49 am

    In like mode to the funeral denied by a church in another thread, and the photographer and the baker. I think this is just the beginning. Religions can make up whatever doctrine they desire, and it is a situation of "cuz I say so." SCOTUS gave religion a foot in the door with Hobby Lobby. There has been a flood of ME cases going to court in the past year, I think there will be a tsunami of religious liberty cases soon. Politicians can change/evolve their position. Some religions have backed themselves into corners and will forever fight change/reality. I was raised catholic, I found it to be too hypocritical to tolerate.

    From peyote to gay marriage

  • 43. RnL2008  |  August 9, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Remember though, SCOTUS denied cert to Elaine's Photography from New Mexico and I believe they will continue to do the same with bakers, florist and even garment places like the one in PA.

    Remember that the ruling given by SCOTUS in the Hobby Lobby case was EXTREMELY narrow and they made it clear that religious beliefs were NOT going to be allowed to justify discrimination………I mean people are entitled to their religious beliefs, but people are ALSO entitled to believe differently and if the religious folks want to seriously walk down that path, they may NOT like the treatment they are certain to receive from others who hold different beliefs……it's the old saying, "Be careful for what you wish for because it might just come back to bite them in the azz" or something like that!!!

  • 44. RLsfba  |  August 9, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Yes, I know that one was denied. I hope that trend continues. My concern is that the opponents, under the guise of religion, will endlessly seek ways to twist and turn until they get something that sticks and will affirm their right to deny that gay people exist or have any rights. Is NOM going to go away? I hope so, but they won't for some time. Politicians are changing their minds when they take religion out of the picture because they can. We will win in the courts, but some religions will forever be against us. I have not given up hope on Sutton. I have no clue on how SCOTUS will slice and dice LGBT people and "religious liberty."

    Would it ever happen that religion has to prove itself?

  • 45. JayJonson  |  August 10, 2014 at 6:57 am

    The ruling in the Hobby Lobby case was not extremely narrow, regardless of Alito's statement to that effect. Soon after ruling in Hobby Lobby, the same majority granted–based on the Hobby Lobby decision–a different exemption to Wheaton College on religious grounds, which prompted a passionate dissent from the three women on the Court saying that the decision reveals the lie that the Hobby Lobby decision will be interpreted narrowly.

  • 46. SeattleRobin  |  August 13, 2014 at 6:45 am

    The way these things are supposed to work, reasoning used in one case is applicable in another case with similar principles at the core. So yeah, I can't conceive how Hobby Lobby can be so narrow, no matter what the justices wrote. If the logic used in that case cannot be equally applied to other situations, then the decision is flawed from the outset and has no legitimacy. (Which is what I think is true anyway.)

    Urgh, getting angry all over again about that one. It's going to create a mess we're all stuck with for years to come until another court has the fortitude to overturn it. Just like Bowers.

  • 47. hopalongcassidy  |  August 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I wondered how dedicated they were to "god's laws" and went to their website to see if they might be open for business on the 'sabbath' in clear violation of Exodus 31:15 but a Google search says "this website may have been hacked" and it appears they are correct…all that loads is a great bit pink screen! I don't generally approve of hacking sites but I couldn't help LOLing at this one.

  • 48. Samiscat1  |  August 9, 2014 at 10:12 am

    A great addition to the Kitchen team:

    "To help in the process of bringing litigation before the nation’s high court, NCLR and Magleby & Greenwood have brought in former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal — the federal government’s former representative to the U.S. Supreme Court. Katyal, who will be serving on the Utah plaintiffs’ legal team at no cost, said in a statement Thursday that 'there is no legal issue more important, or that cries out for Supreme Court review, than this one.'"

  • 49. Retired_Lawyer  |  August 9, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Good new, indeed. Neal Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells (Hogan & Hartson until a 2010 merger with the English law firm Lovells), a truly excellent large Washington law firm, and will bring to this case, not only his own considerable talents, but also the resources that only a big firm can mount.

  • 50. JayJonson  |  August 10, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Somewhat off-topic, but the Minnesota Vikings have hired Roberta Kaplan to assist in their negotiations with Chris Kluwe over his claim that he was let go because of his marriage equality activism. Kluwe is suing because the Vikings did not release the results of the investigation they commissioned about special teams coach Mike Priefer's comment that gays should be rounded up and sent to an island where they should be nuked. Although the investigation verified Kluwe's allegation, the Vikings gave Priefer a slap on the wrist as punishment–a three-game suspension that could be reduced to a two-game suspension if he agrees to sensitivity training. Here is a link to the story about their hiring of Roberta Kaplan:

    Kluwe has said that if the suit goes forward he will ask for $10,000,000 in damages to be donated to lgbt causes.

    It makes me sad that Kaplan accepted this gig.

  • 51. ebohlman  |  August 10, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    While I'm not denying that the sanctions against Priefer were inadequate, it's important to remember that a three-game suspension is a much bigger deal in football than it would be in baseball, basketball, hockey, or soccer because NFL teams play only 16 games in the regular season. It would cost a coach or player almost a fifth of his regular salary.

  • 52. brandall  |  August 10, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Hawaii Gov Abercrombie Loses Democratic Party Renomination

    This is the Governor who gave us ME in Hawaii in Nov, 2013. As soon as he took office, he called a special session of the state legislature. They voted for ME and the Governor signed it almost immediately.

    He did not lose based on his ME action. He lost the renomination due to his filling the U.S. Senate Seat of Daniel Inouye with his Lieutenant Governor and not Inouye's desired successor. It was a disliked and controversial move at the time of the appointment. Unfortunately, it came back to bite him in his reelection bid.

  • 53. RQO  |  August 10, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I inferred from a Politico article which implied that maybe Abercrombie suggested (hows that for layers of murk) Inouyes deathbed request for his replacement was, um, influenced (?) by family members. Hawaii being a place where a spade is a "digging implement", I imagine this hint violated social norms.

  • 54. Corey_from_MD  |  August 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    @brandall, you chronology is off since the session occurred last year not when took office but agreed that this support of ME most likely did not cost him.

  • 55. Josh808  |  August 10, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Brandall, interesting theory on why Abercrombie lost, but I'm not sure it's consistent with the disparate results: Abercrombie's crushing defeat with Schatz and Hanabusa in a very tight race. I agree with you that the governor's loss had little if anything to do with his unwavering support for marriage equality (for which I'll always be grateful to him). I think the real reason is more basic than anything to do with the whole Inouye succession debate, or his position on any issue, or even his performance in office, which was certainly no worse than that of other Hawaii governors who have been reelected. I suspect rather it was his inability to connect with voters on a human level that did him in. Having met him on a few occasions, and with my father having worked with him in DC for several years, I feel he lacks charisma and that Ige simply connects better with voters. That said, I like Abercrombie and I admire him for his gracious concession and support of Ige as the nominee.

  • 56. Josh808  |  August 10, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I'd add to my comment above that I'm hopeful Schatz can edge out Hanabusa. I've not forgiven her yet for blocking the civil unions vote in 2010 (I think). And also I like Schatz.

  • 57. Sagesse  |  August 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    It went right by me the first time I read about this. Of course, Pennsylvania has no sexual orientation anti- discrimination laws.

    Pennsylvania Bridal Shop Refuses Business To Same-Sex Couple — Legally [ThinkProgress]

  • 58. Margo Schulter  |  August 10, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    What I read RobW303 as saying about bisexual people is that, if we presume that they are open to or seeking monogamous marriage — or, let’s say, civil marriage in the Anglo-American tradition — then marriage bans reduce their set of eligible partners by about half.

    It’s rather analogous to Loving v. Virginia, where in looking for a possible marriage partner, a person open to marrying someone regardless of race will have their choices artificially and indeed oppressively narrowed by miscegenation laws.

    In short, the idea is not someone’s right to be married to two or more people of different genders or races at the same time, but to consent to and enter a marriage with a likewise consenting partner of any gender or race.

  • 59. Zack12  |  August 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    It should be noted that for all the threats, everyone who voted for marriage equality won their primaries, including the only Republican to do so, Cynthia Thielen.
    And if the people in Hawaii had wanted to vote for someone opposed to marriage equality, Donna Kim would be the one running for Congress and not Mark Takai.
    True, he did vote against civil unions but redeemed himself with his marriage vote last year.
    Donna Kim on the other hand, voted against both and made it clear she would fight against us in Congress so if Democratic voters in Hawaii had wanted an anti-gay candidate, they would have voted for her in the primary.
    And finally, David Ige voted for marriage equality in the State Senate last year, so anyone pushing this idea Abercrombie lost because of marriage equality is a flat out liar.

  • 60. Randolph_Finder  |  August 11, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I noticed that Equality Hawaii endorsed Abercrombie over Ige. Is this simply not rocking the boat by endorsing the incumbent or is the actually a significant distance between Ige and Abercrombie on the issue. Note, I still presume that Ige would be significantly better than Aiona.

  • 61. Rakihi  |  August 11, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I think Equality Hawai'i felt that Governor Abercrombie earned their endorsement. He didn't just sign the Marriage Equality bill into law. He was its most visible and outspoken champion.

    The legislature did not have the 2/3 majority required to go into a special session to address the bill. Abercrombie felt strongly that the bill had to have the legislature's undivided attention that only a special session would provide, so he took a big risk and expended quite a bit of political capital by using his power as governor to call the legislature back into a special session.

    Make no mistake, Abercrombie stirred up an undercurrent of hate and bigotry that shocked me. Thousands upon thousands of people lined up to testify against equality. While some just demanded to know why the state was spending so much money on a special session to address the demands of an insignificant but vocal minority, many more brought up all the homophobic slanders that we know too well.

    So yes, Ige voted for the marriage bill, but at the time he virtually unknown outside his distract, just one among 76 legislators. He played no visible role in shepherding the bill through, as far as I can recall. It was Abercrombie who embodied the bill. He was the face of Marriage Equality. I find it hard to believe that what happened late last year didn't affect the decisions of quite a number of voters. He might still have lost the primary, but it probably wouldn't have been as badly.

    And yes, you can count on Aiona doing everything he can to limit and restrict the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

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