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BREAKING: North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban, Amendment 1, is unconstitutional

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A federal judge just struck down North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban in UCC v. Cooper. The judge wrote:

The issue before this court is neither a political issue nor a moral issue. It is a legal issue and it is clear as a matter of what is now settled law in the Fourth Circuit that North Carolina laws prohibiting same sex marriage, refusing to recognize same sex marriages originating elsewhere, and/or threating to penalize those who would solemnize such marriages, are unconstitutional.

The judge denied “all other pending motions” including presumably the Republican legislators’ attempt to intervene in the challenge.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. buckybear0310b  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Welcome to the new normal, North Carolina!

  • 2. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Maryland has had ME for almost 2 years now, is in the same Circuit as North Carolina and is still here. Massachusetts has had ME for more than 10 years now.

    So far, no reports of fire and brimstone falling on either state (or any of the other jurisdictions that now allow ME).

    So yes, North Carolina, the water is fine and will not harm you.

  • 3. Pat_V  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    So, is that it? Or can the state in theory still appeal?
    Any word on when marriages can start? Will Idaho be number 28 and North Carolina number 29, or vice versa??

  • 4. Scottie Thomaston  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    The state isn't defending the ban at all. Not sure what the NC GOP will try to do next.

  • 5. brandall  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Secede from the Union? No one's tried that one yet.

  • 6. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I think an 1869 SCOTUS decision might interfere with an attempt to secede.

    North Carolina might try to argue that that decision came more than a century before Baker, though, so that decision doesn't apply if courts decide Baker doesn't apply. I'm VERY doubtful it would work as a tactic, though.

  • 7. Pat_V  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Nice! What a week! Let's take a deep breath and consider what we achieved. We added 10 new equality states in 1 week:
    – VA, UT, OK, IN, WI
    – CO
    – WV
    – NV
    – NC & ID (I'm assuming the issuance of marriage licenses is imminent)

    For next week, we still have 6 more states in the 4th, 9th, 10th circuits:
    SC / KS / WY / AZ / AK / MT
    Hopefully we can sort these out quickly. Then we'll be quite ready to welcome the 6th circuit ruling 🙂

  • 8. StraightDave  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I wonder where Sutton's brain is right about now. I'm sure he must have totally flipped over this week, somewhere along the line. He's not stupid and he's not a dead-ender. The smart money now bets for the 6th.

  • 9. guitaristbl  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I imagine the witty and well spoken Sutton lying in an armchair with a bottle of booze in his hand trying to figure this out this whole weak. Sutton may come with a health problem due to the stress out of this..! 😛

  • 10. RobW303  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    He might come down with a case of recuse. It's struck two judges this week already, as well as some county clerks.

  • 11. ebohlman  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Ah yes, the new infectious disease sweeping the country.

    On a serious note, this week South Carolina experienced its first death of the season from the flu before it could experience its first valid marriage license. GET YOUR FLU SHOT! (and don't give me "I'm not going to get it because it's less than 100% effective"; that's logically equivalent to "condoms can break, so I'm going to bareback")

  • 12. F_Young  |  October 11, 2014 at 3:06 am

    Yes, get your flu shot early before they run out.

    There could be a flu shot frenzy this year if employers, schools and society generally force people with flu symptoms to stay at home, since early Ebola symptoms mimic the flu.

  • 13. GregInTN  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Remember when Brian Brown declared that the pace of new marriage equality states was going to drop because we had run out of "easy" states? I think the count was about a dozen at the time.

  • 14. RemC_Chicago  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Delicious to remember & contemplate.

  • 15. StraightDave  |  October 10, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Seems like the "hard" states are falling a lot quicker. I don't think Brian will be able to process that fact without some sort of malfunction kicking in. He probably won't even want to get out of bed tomorrow.

  • 16. Dr. Z  |  October 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    At this rate he'll be issuing future NOM press releases from a bunker.

  • 17. franklinsewell  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    The crazy folks who attempted to intervene can attempt to appeal their rejection to the 4th circuit. The 4th circuit will deny. Then, they can appeal to the Supremes, who have already denied other crazy intervenors (Oregon, for instance).

  • 18. brandall  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Freedom to Marry is officially listing Idaho as the 28th and North Carolina as the 29th. So, it is your vice, not your versa.

  • 19. franklinsewell  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Brandall – Freedom To Marry's blogger is not really stating the case correctly. The 9th Circuit recalled its mandate. Without a reissuance of the mandate, Idahoans will have to wait until the 21 day process following an appellate decision is played out.

  • 20. Dr. Z  |  October 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    It has always made more sense to group the states by the year when the SSM fight occurred (legal or legislative.) All of the Class of 2014 ME states have been legal victories.

  • 21. ragefirewolf  |  October 10, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    It might be the versa, actually 😛

  • 22. Ryan K.  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Without the mandate in Idaho, I would imagine that NC is 28 and Idaho would be 29. There is no reason, no stay, no nothing that prevents marriages from happening in NC now. Color the map!

  • 23. Ryan K.  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Well I'm not shocked…the map is already colored! Idaho is still the light blue due to the mandate pending. Florida is also light blue (my state of residence), why is that? The Florida District Court decision to strike the ban is being appealed to the 11th Circuit.

    NOTE: I just read the footnote, stating: "A ruling striking down Florida's same-sex marriage ban will remain stayed for 91 days after cert was denied in similar cases on October 6, 2014." I imagine though that it would be stayed by the 11th until they get a chance to rule on it, as each other appeals court has done. This would clear the 11th and Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

  • 24. robbyinflorida  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Hay Ryan. Where in Florida do you live? Bob and I live in New Port Richey.

  • 25. Ryan K.  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    My recognized-by-the-Feds and several states but Florida husband and I live in Wilton Manors, just north of Fort Lauderdale. I work each week in Orlando, too.

  • 26. jdw_karasu  |  October 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    11th is ours:

    8-3 Dem. Even if they get a lucky draw of 2 GOP and 1 Dem in the panel, we'll take it en banc.

    5th & 8th are the only potential bad circuits left, other than the 6th. If Sutton goes are way, there likely won't be enough en banc GOP to overturn it: enough of the other GOP judges will join our side, or take the viewpoint that Sutton would that SCOTUS this week tipped it's hand.

    5th and 8th will be interesting. With Utah out, which was my always my choice to be "Virginia" in our Loving vs VA moment, I'm kind of leaning towards Texas being the state whose ban goes up to SCOTUS to put the remaining bans in the 8th and 5th to bed. One would have to love Cruz freaking out over it. 🙂

  • 27. Ryan K.  |  October 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Concur with you on ultimately the 11th ruling in favor of marriage equality. Just an interesting position the case is in, basically the ban is struck down in federal district court, stayed for only 91 days from 10/6/14, and appealed to the 11th by my favorite Gov&AG in the world. So I presume the State of FL will ask the 11th for a stay pending appeal so that it doesn't become the law in January 2015, and time for oral arguments and a ruling from the 11CA. Then there is the the election… If Crist bests Scott, do they drop the appeal and let equality ring in the Sunshine state? That would set back Georgia and Alabama given where their cases are.

    I honestly think the 6th is going to be 2-1 to strike the bans (Sutton is rewriting and the dissent role is being swapped) and bring in four more states: MI (where I was raised), OH, KY, &TN. If the 8th gets a chance to rule, agree they uphold, but the 5th will get there first with a 3-0 or 2-1 to uphold to overrule the Texas district court, which then SCOTUS a will have to take given circuit split. The remaining states get equality in June 2015 (assuming 5th expedited schedule remains).

  • 28. Jaesun100  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    The news for. NC at this point is that marriages can start immediately but it's 5pm so most places are closed so unless anything happens it should start Monday

  • 29. Pat_V  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Haha due to the different time zone, there is still a small chance that marriage licenses get issued in Idaho today, therefore letting it overtake NC for state number 28!

  • 30. Steve27516  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Couples are already married in NC!

  • 31. ebohlman  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Monday is a holiday, so Tuesday is more likely.

  • 32. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I guess someone has a problem with Monday holidays, so they demote posts with accurate information.

    I've voted your comment up, as it was not only not false, it contained truth.

  • 33. montezuma58  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Columbus Day is not a state holiday in NC.

    It may be an issue for ID if there's still fed actions left to take.

  • 34. ebohlman  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    In any case, some county offices stayed open late this evening.

  • 35. montezuma58  |  October 11, 2014 at 8:43 am

    A handful of licenses were handed out in ID yesterday. Monday is also a state holiday for Idaho.

  • 36. Jaesun100  |  October 11, 2014 at 8:46 am

    reports are it will be open on Monday in NC

  • 37. coolbanker  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Hang it up, North Carolina.

  • 38. StraightDave  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Hang it up, South Carolina

  • 39. BillinNO  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    This was the week the roof caved in on the opposition; they haven't got any arguments left, and the judges are telling them so. I wonder if they can think up anything new over the weekend, something fresh and non-nonsensical to tell the judges in Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota & etc? I doubt it.

  • 40. Marekweber  |  October 11, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Perhaps they'll argue that marriage discrimination is a job-creation initiative, because it has created so many billable hours for right-wing lawyers, megachurch pastors, and all the busybodies at NOM, ADF, AFA, and FOTF. If the court legalizes same-sex marriage, all those chiselers will be out of work, and that will create a burden on the American taxpayer. Better to maintain the bans, and keep this vibrant sector of our economy from collapsing.

  • 41. TonyMinasTirith  |  October 13, 2014 at 1:03 am

    NOM and the conservative "think tanks" are going to be pulling all nighters this 3 day weekend to try and come up with some better reason for their biggoted and unconstitutional bans. Dunkin donuts and Pizza Hut will be busy and getting some nice checks from brian brown this weekend. Alas, they won't come up with anything new or logical to argue in court, so they'll switch to comming up with excuses for the courts to grant them indefinite stays… but they will fail. Perhaps Brian Brown will take cue from that French Politician who protested The Marriage Equality Victory in France by fatally shooting himself in the mouth on the alter at some famous french church.

  • 42. Retired_Lawyer  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    An appeal from the denial of the motion to intervene might be one possibility, not that such an appeal would be anything but futile: the motion was untimely and now is moot.

  • 43. daveinasheville  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    My husband Alan and I had a civil marriage in Maine three weeks ago… we sure didn't expect things to move this fast! Wonderful to see 🙂

  • 44. franklinsewell  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Well, I think you're marriage is soon to be, if not already, recognized in your home city of Asheville, NC. Welcome and congratulations on your nuptials.

  • 45. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm


    You didn't have to go as far North as Maine did you? There are LOTS of states (plus DC) North of the Potomac River who would have been happy to have hosted your wedding! And most of them much closer to Asheville than Maine!

  • 46. RemC_Chicago  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I hear Maine is lovely this time of year.

  • 47. daveinasheville  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Have to, no – but my son lives there, as does his mom and other loved ones. So between our Quaker ceremony here in Asheville and the one in Maine which used the same parchment scroll, I have the signatures of TWO of my former wives as witnesses! 😀

  • 48. ragefirewolf  |  October 10, 2014 at 7:47 pm


  • 49. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm


    If Hans and I had had an opportunity to marry (he died in 2002), it most likely would have been in Maryland. I'm originally from Indiana, and most of my family still lives there. Hans was born in Texas, but spent a major portion of his early life in (what was then) West Germany. Since most of his family lived in Northern Virginia at the time, both of those places (TX and Germany) would have been ruled out by Hans for various reasons.

    As it was, we couldn't marry at all (MA was two years too late for us), so we never really discussed where.

  • 50. JayJonson  |  October 11, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Sorry to learn that you lost your partner. I know his loss must make our victories today a little bittersweet.

  • 51. brandall  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Alaska: Darn, no immediate ruling from the bench this afternoon (THAT would have been the topper for THIS week).

    But, the courtroom was packed!

  • 52. guitaristbl  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Given the judge on this I am not surprised. He will drag his feet as well.

  • 53. jdw_karasu  |  October 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    From various articles, it read like he was saying "soon". He's in a tough position with Kennedy taking the ban away from Idaho: his out for dragging his feet is gone, as the 9th rules. I don't think he wants to, but I think he feels he has to kill the Alaska ban. More than that, it seemed like even the Alaska AAG knew the jig was up.

    The various stories have a wonderful moment late where the Idaho ruling by Kennedy came down, the Good Guys flashed it up on their computer, shared it with Alaska's AAG and the Judge… and there was the sense of Game Over.

  • 54. guitaristbl  |  October 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I have read about the moment Idaho's stay was lifted during the trialas well ! Actually coincidentally the date this trial was set was perfect, the timing was like it was meant to be with the SCOTUS denial of cert and the 9th's ruling a few days earlier..!
    The funniest thing : When the lawyer of the plaintiffs asked to reserve some of her time for rebuttal the judge said something along the lines of "you expect things to change as we are discussing this ?"

  • 55. jjcpelayojr  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Wow, it's pretty amazing when oral arguments heard for an ME trial are overshadowed by all the ME victories that are unfolding due to judgements concluding.

    Usually I can count on EoT having a post about the AK trial in federal court and posters putting up the audio or livestream link. I'm so spoiled that I'm complaining about having to look for it myself. Hahaha.

  • 56. guitaristbl  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    And I will say it again on the appropriate thread : Bush appointee has the case in his hands for months and after SCOTUS's denial on Monday keeps asking for briefs ans dragging his feet.
    Obama appointee takes the case yesterday, issues "no bullshit" order almost immediately and at the same time slams those who tried to win political points out of this.

  • 57. Jaesun100  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Hagan is getting my vote in Nov for sure !!!!!

  • 58. guitaristbl  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I hope when Eastman sends the bill to Tillis, he will show it to taxpayers to see what they were paying for NOTHING.

  • 59. RobW303  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    The first $10,000 of his fees was donated to the state. Even at $400/hr, he couldn't have eaten through that with what little he did, and they should demand a refund from him for their time (at $400/hr).

  • 60. JayJonson  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I go away to run some errands and come back to find that couples are marrying in Idaho and North Carolina. What a week this has been!

  • 61. franklinsewell  |  October 10, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    LOL – Jay … Couples not marrying in Idaho yet. Waiting in clerk's offices for licenses.

  • 62. JayJonson  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks for the clarification. Joe.My.God has pictures of the first North Carolina married couple! I hope Idahoans can marry soon.

  • 63. guitaristbl  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Kansas SC blocks marriages for now :

    It also set a hearing for Nov.6..For what ?

  • 64. wes228  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I wonder if Kansas Supreme Court justices are elected? Because the hearing comes conveniently just two days after the election.

    Gotta go to the federal District Court.

  • 65. JamesInCA  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Wiki says two of the seven justices are up for retention elections this year.

    Still, it seems to me the federal courts are likely to have a say before then.

  • 66. flyerguy77  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    A federal judge can take care of this next week or so…

  • 67. sfbob  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I believe the ACLU is planning to bring a case in federal court very, very soon.

  • 68. BillinNO  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I can't see their ban surviving that long. I'd expect a ruling sooner by a Federal Judge.

  • 69. RobW303  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Sounds like they're reviewing not only whether the district judge was justified in issuing his order but whether the ban can stand. By acting so precipitately to stop the two counties, the AG may have just obviated the need for a federal suit and the extra time it would entail. The 10th Circuit precedents have binding effect on all courts within the circuit: federal, state and municipal. Their ruling should be a foregone conclusion, much as they dislike reaching it, "for the sake of consistency" (their rationale for the temporary block). I'm gonna run out of popcorn and Twizzlers watching this little sideshow.

  • 70. Ragavendran  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    The 10th Circuit precedents do not bind state/municipal courts. They only bind federal courts. The Kansas Supreme Court is free to disagree and uphold the ban, even as a Kansas federal court is forced to strike it down based on Tenth Circuit precedent. (And if there is no stay, marriages will begin.) The US Supreme Court would then be forced to step in to resolve such a conflict.

  • 71. Steve27516  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    If such a conflict occurred, would a writ of certiorari be required? Would the US Supreme Court have discretion in choosing whether to take up the matter? Or would it be automatic?

  • 72. Ragavendran  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    The US Supreme Court's mandatory jurisdiction was all but eradicated in 1988 by Reagan. The principal effect of the 1988 Act is to repeal Sections 1252, 1254(2), and 1257(1) and (2) of Title 28. These sections allowed appeals when federal courts held federal or state statutes unconstitutional, or when state courts held federal laws invalid or state laws valid against a challenge under federal law. It does not touch the provisions for non-discretionary appeals in reapportionment cases or in cases under the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, the antitrust laws, or the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act.

  • 73. StraightDave  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    There's no need for SCOTUS here because the conflict resolution is clear. The Supremacy Clause gives federal courts the upper hand in striking down a law based on the US Constitution. No state can ignore or overcome that. At the moment, the KS SC could briefly uphold the ban, but only until a federal court gets involved. Then it's "Turn out the lights, the party's over".

  • 74. Ragavendran  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    But federal courts don't bind state courts, with the only exception of the US Supreme Court, right? What does the Supremacy Clause have to do with this? The Supremacy Clause only mandates that state courts must follow federal law. It doesn't, to the best of my knowledge, mandate that state courts must follow federal courts' rulings on federal law (Lockhart v. Fretwell), except when explicitly provided for by state legal authority in that particular state, e.g., South Carolina but not Virginia.

  • 75. StraightDave  |  October 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Perhaps a fine point here, but an important one.
    I wasn't claiming that a federal court can bind a state's court decisions. That inter-court issue I consider to be irrelevant here. But a federal court can mandate the actions of state executive officials. State officials have to adhere to that, even in the face of state court instructions to the contrary.

    The officials cannot use the state court ruling as an excuse to ignore the federal court ruling, when the US Constitution is involved. If *only* the state constitution is involved, then the federal court would not, and cannot, even be in the picture.

  • 76. Ragavendran  |  October 12, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Yes, you are absolutely right. Thanks for clarifying.

  • 77. Japrisot  |  October 10, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    You don't actually even need to make supremacy clause arguments in a case like this. There is now a marriage equality case challenging the Kansas ban in a Federal court under section 1983. As soon as plaintiffs walk away with a judgment, which should be nearly immediately, the Federal court will have the power to enjoin state court proceedings that threaten to undermine its judgment. It's an exception to the anti-injunction act.

  • 78. Ragavendran  |  October 11, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention – I had no idea about this Act or its exceptions!

  • 79. jm64tx  |  October 12, 2014 at 2:47 am

    Not quite … if the parties are not the same then the Federal court has no power to enjoin state court proceedings.

    Both claim and issue preclusion must apply before the narrow exception to the anti-injunction act allowing federal court to enjoin state court proceedings can apply.

    Since there would be no privity of parties then a federal injunction would not be available.

    Also, the exception is so narrow that if the rules of court are not the same and interpreted the same way, then the exception does not apply.

  • 80. Ryan K.  |  October 12, 2014 at 7:27 am

    When the Federal District Court in Kansas strikes the ban based on 10th Circuit precedent, there is no recourse for the State Supreme Court. The Kansas Supreme Court cannot overrule the federal district court and say that the ban is legit, since the federal court has Article III standing and ruled based on a matter of the US Constitution. The Kansas Supreme Court can agree, more power to it; it can be short-sighted and hold up marriage equality until the federal district judge rules.

  • 81. jm64tx  |  October 12, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    "there is no recourse for the State Supreme Court"

    Unless the state supreme court has already ruled it constitutional in another case, thus the relitigation exception kicks in and precludes the federal ruling from applying to the parties who have already lost in the state case.

    When the parties have already been heard and the state supreme court has decided, the anti injunction act precludes a federal court from issuing an injunction as to those parties that were before the state supreme court.

  • 82. Ragavendran  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    They granted a temporary stay and expressly say that applications for marriage licenses can be accepted during this stay. Oral argument on November 6 is to decide whether the lower court judge acted within his authority, etc. and whether the stay should be lifted, I presume.


    On the Attorney General's petition and memorandum, we do not discern a need for an immediate or peremptory grant of relief under K. S.A. 60-802(b), nor for an ex parte grant of relief under Supreme Court Rule 9.01(c)(2). Simply put, the Attorney General's right to relief on the merits is not clear, nor is it apparent per the Rule "that no valid defense to the petition can be offered," given the interpretation and application of the United States Constitution by panels of the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. See Bishop v. Smith, 760 FJd 1070 (10th Cir. 2014); Kirchen v. Herbert, 755 F.3d 1193 (10th Cir. 2014). Nevertheless, in the interest of establishing statewide consistency, we grant the Attorney General's alternative request, advanced in his memorandum, for a temporary stay of Chief Judge Moriarty's Amended Administrative Order 14-11, insofar as this Order allows issuance of marriage licenses. Applications for marriage licenses may continue to be accepted during the period of the stay. The stay shall remain in force pending further order by this Court."

  • 83. Ryan K.  |  October 12, 2014 at 7:30 am

    And if the Federal District Court for Kansas rules before then based on binding precedent of the 10CA, this hearing is all but moot, with the only real recourse by the state of Kansas, should it choose, would be to appeal to the 10CA (best of luck) and then SCOTUS (may get a gay=temp stay, then referred to the full court and DENIED).

  • 84. franklinsewell  |  October 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    ACLU has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

    Equality Case Files has it:

  • 85. franklinsewell  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Rumor from Facebook: Got reports that the court in alaska told the plaintiffs and defendants that he was going to issue a ruling soon given the events in Idaho

  • 86. guitaristbl  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Soon as in today ?

  • 87. franklinsewell  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    rumor not that specific

  • 88. BillinNO  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    It would make sense that he'd rule on Tuesday- after the holiday.

  • 89. JayJonson  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I heard that he would issue the ruling on Monday, holiday or not.

  • 90. wes228  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Where did you hear this??

  • 91. SethInMaryland  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    i saw something like that too, it said most likely monday

  • 92. josejoram  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Hummm. The NC ruling responds a question I asked time ago about the possible outcome of any church asking her right to perform same sex weddings. Great!

  • 93. wes228  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    The judge did not rule on the church's Free Exercise [of Religion] Clause claims, which I found ridiculous anyway.

  • 94. sfbob  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I found it hard to fathom. Just as a religious institution can refuse to solemnize any marriage if it chooses, it can perform a ceremony for any couple it chooses as well even if the marriage has no legal consequence. While members of the clergy get to solemnize marriages on behalf of the state that is a convenience and not a right.

    I think the better argument might be made on behalf of members of a denomination that sanctions marriage equality based on the notion that where marriage equality is not the law, the state has implicitly embraced the marriage definition of certain religious denominations and rejected that of others, thus presenting an Establishment Clause issue. But even there a church/synagogue/mosque wedding is not what matters. Civil marriage is the only thing that counts in the US.

  • 95. wes228  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I don't think North Carolina law barred clergy from performing non-legally recognized marriages. If it did, then that would be clearly unconstitutional.

  • 96. sfbob  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    That's right and that's why the argument didn't really make sense. They could only be prosecuted if they claimed to be performing a state-recognized marriage and I sincerely doubt any would do that.

  • 97. JayJonson  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    The law said they could be prosecuted and fined (and perhaps subjected to jail time, but I don't remember). I don't think any clergy was ever charged under this law, but nevertheless the law as written clearly violated their "religious liberty." I am glad that they sued on that question even if it was largely a stunt to gain attention for the fact that among all those Baptists and Pentecostals in North Carolina who pushed through the ugly Amendment One, there were also people of faith who supported gay rights. I don't think anyone expected that it would be that suit that would be the one to force North Carolina clerks to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

  • 98. josejoram  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Right. It is hard to understand these details for persons like me, who are in countries where religious weddings have not any legal consequences at all (In Italy and in Spain, for example, catholic religious matrimonies can be registered and acquire legal effectiveness. Not in my country, Venezuela. So I got a little confused about NC.

  • 99. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Since the entire suit was dismissed, including the freedom of religion claim, I guess we'll never know if the prohibition of freedom of religion claim will ever get a hearing or not.

    And can you explain why you found a freedom of religion claim to be ridiculous? After all, freedom of religion is enshrined in the US Constitution in the First Amendment. A freedom of religion claim is ridiculous because you think it is, therefore it is?

    I guess the defendants can appeal, but that appeal will go to the 4CA, and since it has already ruled in favor of ME, and so has SCOTUS, that might not be a wise appeal.

  • 100. wes228  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Your right to practice your religion is not infringed simply because the government does not give legal credence to your religious rituals. Churches have the constitutional right to perform same-sex marriages within their faith; they would have the same right to marry a man to his shoe. The government, however, is not obligated to recognize those sacraments as legally binding if they don't want to.

    A ban on legally recognized same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause.

  • 101. JayJonson  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Your right to practice your religion is infringed when some religious denominations are permitted to have their religious beliefs codified in law, while others are not. That, I believe, was the crux of the suit by the UCC. In NC, iirc, ministers who officiate weddings become agents of the state in some way; hence, the threat to prosecute clergy who officiate at weddings that do not adhere to the ban on same-sex marriage. That is why UCC said they feared prosecution. The government cannot choose to recognize some church's sacraments as legally binding if they do not also recognize other church's sacraments as legally binding.

  • 102. wes228  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I totally disagree. No state recognizes any church's religious sacraments. That would be a violation of the Establishment Clause.

    Rather, the state has a definition of marriage. If a church's definition of marriage coincides with the state's, then the state simply makes things easier on the couple by allowing them to roll their civil and religious ceremonies into one. This does not require the state to then recognize every single religious sacrament from every single church.

  • 103. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    And in North Carolina, the state constitution was amended to state that if a religious organization conducted a marriage without a state issued license, the religious organization was breaking the law, and the officiant could be found guilty, fined, and thrown into jail.

  • 104. sfbob  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Back before there was any hope of marriage equality some churches performed "holy unions." I attended a few. As far as the couple were concerned they were married in the eyes of God and to them that was sufficient even though it conveyed no legal rights.

    A freedom of religion claim can certainly be legitimate, just not in this situation. The only way to have made it stick would have been if the state had threatened to prosecute clergy for performing a religious ceremony that had no legal significance. That would clearly have been an infringement on freedom of religion.

    One of my great-grandmothers obtained a divorce from a rabbinical court. The state considered her to still be married; she did not. I don't believe her husband (who was not my great-grandfather; my g.g.m.'s first two husbands passed away) ever bothered to show up to object either before the Bet Din or ever. Had she wanted to marry someone else it might have presented a legal problem for her but she had no intention of doing that. So the fact that her divorce had no legal weight didn't impact her.

  • 105. JayJonson  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    "A freedom of religion claim can certainly be legitimate, just not in this situation. The only way to have made it stick would have been if the state had threatened to prosecute clergy for performing a religious ceremony that had no legal significance." That is what the UCC suit alleged.

  • 106. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    "The only way to have made it stick would have been if the state had threatened to prosecute clergy for performing a religious ceremony that had no legal significance."

    And that is EXACTLY what the North Carolina amendment did. The state, among other things, prohibited the celebration of a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or any way it is described WITHOUT a state-issued marriage license (which the amendment prohibited the government from issuing to anyone but opposite sex couples).

    And the amendment went further by stating that anyone who officiated at such a 'non-marriage' ceremony would be guilty of breaking the law, and subject to fines and jail time.

  • 107. sfbob  |  October 10, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Here is the wording of the statute:

    § 51-7. Penalty for solemnizing without license.

    "Every minister, officer, or any other person authorized to solemnize a marriage under the laws of this State, who marries any couple without a license being first delivered to that person, as required by law, or after the expiration of such license, or who fails to return such license to the register of deeds within 10 days after any marriage celebrated by virtue thereof, with the certificate appended thereto duly filled up and signed, shall forfeit and pay two hundred dollars ($200.00) to any person who sues therefore, and shall also be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor."

    A member of the clergy could certainly claim that he or she was not performing a marriage but something else. The language in the statute seems to be rather specific specific.

    This is not to say that at least some of the legislators who approved that statute and who approved Amendment 1, not to mention some proportion of voters who voted in favor of Amendment 1 actually intended the law to have an impact on the ability of clergy to celebrate the relationship of a gay or lesbian couple in any way. Or that they might not have been happy to see the law applied that way. But that would have been patently unconstitutional and doesn't appear to square with the plain language of the statute (which as far as I can tell is separate and distinct from Amendment One). States simply don't have that power, nor does the federal government.

  • 108. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    I was NOT talking about the statute you quote, but the state constitutional amendment. And I was NOT talking about the statute, but the law suit.

    According to Wikipedia:
    "On April 28, 2014, the United Church of Christ, joined by a coalition of Baptists and Lutherans, filed a lawsuit arguing that North Carolina's statute that makes it a crime to preside at the solemnization of the marriage of a couple that lacks a valid state marriage license unconstitutionally restricts religious freedom. On June 3, 2014, additional national religious denominations and clergy from across traditions were added as plaintiffs, including the Alliance of Baptists, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis in addition to Episcopalian, Jewish and Baptist clergy."
    (… – I omitted the internal links)

    The first sentence of the Amendment (as it appeared on the ballot) was:
    "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." I believe almost all would interpret civil union, domestic partner, etc. as the equivalent of marriage.

    And the laws of California do NOT extend to North Carolina, thus what is/was OK in California may or may not apply to other states, but then only if the other state(s) also have the same type of law/constitutional provision.

  • 109. sfbob  |  October 11, 2014 at 7:24 am

    The law I cited is a North Carolina statute. I can't see how it, even in conjunction with the wording of the late and unlamented Amendment One, could be read to have made clergy liable for conducting a ceremony they said was not a marriage and that didn't convey any rights under the law. As Jay notes below, any legislative attempt to control the exercise of religion by incorporating a ban on what is essentially religious speech into a ban on marriage equality would readily have been dispatched as unconstitutional even apart from overturning the wider ban.

    There is nothing in the plain wording of Amendment One that would have resulted in clergy being prosecuted. The issue arose by linking it with the statute I cited, but even that does not actually ban religious rites. It threatens a member of the clergy who marries (and the word is quite specific) a couple without there being a license. That is in a way common sense. It wouldn't be okay for a justice of the peace to marry a couple that didn't have a marriage license either and I presume such a thing would amount to doing something under false premises. But the amendment mentions nothing about prosecuting anyone and the statute only pertains to a marriage. Clergy only perform legal marriages under authority granted them by the state. To perform a religiously meaningful but legally inconsequential ceremony would not appear to me to represent a violation of either Amendment One or of the above-referenced statute. It appears that the statute, taken in and of itself, is probably still viable because it relies on the fact that clergy who solemnize marriages are doing so under delegation of authority from the state so they have to follow the state's rules and, when they do they actually are not acting as clergy but as deputized officers of the state. As Amendment One is now history there is no chance that a member of the clergy would be prosecuted for solemnizing a same-sex marriage unless the couple had not presented a license and that clergy had pronounced them married under the laws of the state. But that would be equally the so if the couple were heterosexual.

  • 110. FredDorner  |  October 11, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    I read the complaint a while back and it seemed ambiguous whether there was a 1st Amendment violation. Regardless, the comments the judge made in his order seem to imply that he bought that religious freedom argument (as well as the equal protection argument).

    "….and/or threatening to penalize those who would solemnize such marriages, are unconstitutional."

  • 111. RobW303  |  October 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Are you sure he didn't rule on that? Because part of his order was to enjoin the clauses of the amendment limiting religious freedoms in regard to performing gay marriages and such.

  • 112. JayJonson  |  October 11, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Whether he ruled on it or not, the UCC lawsuit turns out to have been fortunate in more ways than none. It certainly was not making "ridiculous" claims.

    Had the judge ruled on the lawsuit, he might have simply declared invalid the part of the amendment and statute that threatened to prosecute clergy who "solemnize" same-sex marriage. That is clearly unconstitutional, and we should be grateful to the UCC and the other religious groups that joined the lawsuit.

    It turned out that after the Supreme Court's refusal to hear the Virginia case, the North Carolina amendment and statute fell without the judge having to make a specific ruling on the merits of the UCC case. But that does not mean that the case was without merit.

    Indeed, it seems to me that it would certainly have prevailed at least in regard to the clause that threatened penalties to clergy. (There might have been a problem, however, with standing inasmuch as no one was actually prosecuted under this law. But I assume that that issue was raised by the state attorney general and the judge nevertheless allowed the lawsuit to continue.)

    Finally, as RobW303 notes above, in Judge Cogburn's order, he specifically mentioned that to threaten to penalize someone for "solemnizing" a same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, so he certainly took seriously the religious liberty claim even though the final decision is based on the action taken by the Fourth Circuit.

  • 113. BillinNO  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    And Bradacs v. Haley? We haven't forgotten about you SC…

  • 114. SethInMaryland  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    nope we are not forgetting anyone Wyoming, Kanas , South Carolina, your time is coming soon and so will yours Arizona , Alaska, and Montana

  • 115. DACiowan  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    And come on Sutton, we want Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee (if a pro ruling) or a national ruling next June (an anti ruling).

  • 116. guitaristbl  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Yes that's pretty much what's one the menu from Tuesday.
    SC should be coming soon among some kicking and screaming from the bigoted GOP leadership and we will be done with the 4th circuit.
    Alaska should be coming next week as well after today's hearing.
    Wyoming has a hearing on the 16th in federal court.
    In Arizona both sides have until the 16th to file briefs in light of the 9th circ. decision
    Montana has a federal lawsuit but there are no news yet.
    Kansas is probably the furthest of the 6, with a federal lawsuit needed to be filed yet.

  • 117. sfbob  |  October 12, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Funny you should mention Kansas. The ACLU has now filed a complaint for injunctive and declaratory relief with the District of Kansas, Kansas City Division.

    At this point, particularly in circuits with pro-equality rulings, it really doesn't take much time or effort to catch up.

  • 118. SethInMaryland  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    now we wait for Alaska

  • 119. SethInMaryland  |  October 10, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    BREAKING NEW:Gov. Butch Otter Surrenders, The Supreme Court’s order lifting Justice Kennedy’s stay effectively allows same-sex marriage in Idaho as soon as the 9th Circuit directs compliance with its decision. I disagree with the court’s conclusion, which negates the 2006 vote of the people of Idaho, is contrary to the values of most Idahoans, and undermines fundamental states’ rights. But we are a nation of laws. Idaho now should proceed with civility and in an orderly manner to comply with any forthcoming order from the 9th Circuit." – Gov. Butch Otter.

  • 120. guitaristbl  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    So no en banc, no petition for cert ? I did not expect him to give up so easily and only with some vitriol about the "values of Idahoans" (like the same sex couples in the state are not Idahoans..). Equality's opponents had their morale totally crushed this week.If someone as bigoted as Butch gives up…We are close to the end.

  • 121. bythesea66  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Wouldn't be shocked if the end arrives before 2014 is over though one of the remaining Circuits (or conceivably some conservative state supreme court) might defiantly uphold a state ban extending the time a bit (though if SCOTUS address the issue they won't bother to wait until the last possible day to rule now).

  • 122. Waxr  |  October 10, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    "State rights"?

    States do not have rights. They are granted powers (see 10th Amendment)

    Rights are granted to the people, both collectively, and individually.

    Constitutional rights limit state and federal powers and protect individuals and minorities from government abuses.

  • 123. Rick55845  |  October 10, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Hey Waxr, while it is true that there are some rights granted by governments, most rights that people have are natural rights that are inalienable. These rights are not granted by governments or any other entity, but are inherent in human nature. Governments are instituted, we are told by the writers of the Declaration of Independence, to secure them, not to grant them.

    The Bill of Rights in the Constitution doesn't grant any rights. Instead, it limits the extent to which government can encroach on them.

  • 124. Waxr  |  October 11, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Natural Law theory was the major philosophical theory upon which the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written, especially as expressed by the writings of John Locke.

    However, unless a rights is recognized by the government, and enforced, then for all practical purposes, it does not exist. The framers of the Bill of Rights recognized this fact, and thus included the 9th Amendment, which is an invitation to judicial activism. Neither "marriage" nor "privacy" are enumerated, but the Court recognize them both as rights.

    To me, the right to marry follows naturally from the Declaration listing the "pursuit of happiness" as an "unalienable right." Marriage is essential to the pursuit of happiness. What young man or woman does not dream of falling in love, getting married, establishing a home, perhaps having children, and living the rest of their lives together in happiness. But what would have happened if Congress and the states passed an amendment making DOMA constitutional? Would marriage still be a right?

  • 125. Rick55845  |  October 11, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    You illustrate my point. Rights do not need to be enumerated to be recognized as rights.

    I don't believe there is any chance that the FMA could ever pass congress, or if it did, that it would be ratified by 38 states. Such an amendment would be inconsistent with constitutional principles.

  • 126. Waxr  |  October 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    But as I pointed out, they do have to be recognized, or they effectively do not exist. Such recognition is controversial and often called judicial activism.

    Why couldn't the FMA have passed? Similar amendments were passed in several state constitutions. Prohibition was inconsistent with constitutional principles, but it passed.

  • 127. Christian0811  |  October 12, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Well in the instances of states, all were in form of referenda or mixed legislative-referenda action. Playing on popular prejudices without any real legislative discussion was a fool-proof way of amending state constitutions.

    That's one fundamental difference between most state constitutions and the Federal Constitution.

    As for the FMA, it might have passed and ratified in 1996, when the moral panic was at it's height. Luckily they didn't have the foresight to do just that. Not did they have the foresight to strip jurisdiction from the courts until 2006 and that bill was defeated.

    So, really, it's not that the FMA couldn't pass and be ratified, it's just that they missed the chance.

  • 128. RobW303  |  October 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    "Bonding rights", then.

    (I'll get my sticks and crystal ball and leave.)

  • 129. jm64tx  |  October 12, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    "States do not have rights. They are granted powers (see 10th Amendment)"

    Not so.

    The tenth amendment is a truism. Since the states created the federal government, the states had ALL of the powers. So the tenth amendment merely states what is the status quo.. i.e. the states retain ALL powers that they did not expressly cede in the constitution to the federal government.

    Thus, there are unenumerated powers that the states have that the federal government does not.

  • 130. Ragavendran  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    The issuance of the Idaho mandate automatically lifted the stay of the district court injunction. The subsequent recall presumably automatically reinstated the stay. The Idaho Plaintiffs have just filed a 10-page motion now, asking for the stay to be dissolved immediately. (They don't seem to care about reissuing the mandate, as long as marriages can legally proceed in the interim.)

    The Idaho Governor might have conceded, but the AG and another party filed a separate appeal, which was consolidated with the Governor's. Are the other defendants conceding too? What does the AG's spokesperson have to say?

  • 131. SethInMaryland  |  October 10, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    i don't know about that but it would seem unlikely to because the att and gov were probally working together and agreed it was time to give it up

  • 132. franklinsewell  |  October 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    The Idaho AG's website has -nothing- but the issuance of the stay by Kennedy.

  • 133. dorothyrothchild  |  October 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Arguably an historic week for civil rights and barely a mention on any of the nightly news reports – at least not here in LA. Fucking Ebola.

  • 134. Steve27516  |  October 10, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Raga – What a joyful week for your state (CO) and mine (NC)! And so many others!

  • 135. Ragavendran  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Couldn't agree more! Look to AK,AZ and WY next week 🙂 Perhaps a surprise from MO! And dare I predict something from the Sixth?

  • 136. StraightDave  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I agree the 6th will get there now, but given that they probably have to throw it in the shredder and start all over, AND…. assign it to a different judge, it might take a bit longer – end of Oct.

  • 137. Ragavendran  |  October 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    It made me chuckle to learn that the judge in North Carolina (acting as the court) filed his own motion for judgment and granted it himself: "the court’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is GRANTED."

  • 138. SethInMaryland  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    LOL wow that's great stuff

  • 139. Steve27516  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    How very Gilbert & Sullivan of him!

  • 140. DeadHead  |  October 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Ragavendran (or anyone else who might know the answer), what do you think might happen if Crist becomes GOV in Fla and he and the AG drop the Florida appeal “and let equality ring in the Sunshine state, WOULD that set back Georgia and Alabama given where their cases are in the 11th?” eg Would GA and AL have to continue through the entire process?


    “Concur with you on ultimately the 11th ruling in favor of marriage equality. Just an interesting position the case is in, basically the ban is struck down in federal district court, stayed for only 91 days from 10/6/14, and appealed to the 11th by my favorite Gov&AG in the world. So I presume the State of FL will ask the 11th for a stay pending appeal so that it doesn't become the law in January 2015, and time for oral arguments and a ruling from the 11CA. Then there is the election… If Crist bests Scott, do they drop the appeal and let equality ring in the Sunshine state? That would set back Georgia and Alabama given where their cases are.” Posted by Ryan K.

  • 141. Ragavendran  |  October 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I fear so. If they withdraw the appeal, then the Eleventh will have to be freshly moved from GA or AL, which could take a while. I hope instead of withdrawing the appeal, they move forward, but support the Plaintiffs, just like VA did.

  • 142. StraightDave  |  October 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Best move by Crist would be to keep the case going thru the 11th to get a Circuit ruling, but don't request an extension of the stay beyond Jan. Best of both worlds for all 3 states and the current plaintiffs.

  • 143. brandall  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    There is nothing to prevent FL from requesting the stay be dropped, (poor likelihood on the success of the merits given the SCOTUS denials), but the case be moved forward to bring the 11th into line with the rest of the AC's. They could then file motions for the Plaintiffs. I wish I could remember if there were any County Clerks supporting the ban who could ask to intervene.

  • 144. DACiowan  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    The Ninth is giving Idaho a chance to respond to the request to dissolve the stay, due Monday at noon Pacific Time. Here's the order:

    I'm not sure why they just aren't lifting the stay now.

  • 145. Ragavendran  |  October 10, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Extreme due process, I guess! (They know they're going to deny the stay anyway.)

    By the way, what is Reinhardt doing, up so late? I didn't see this order when I checked PACER a couple of hours ago.

  • 146. Ragavendran  |  October 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Take a chill pill, will ya?

  • 147. josejoram  |  October 11, 2014 at 3:04 am

    My gosh! So huge hatred in so tiny hearts.

  • 148. Ryan K.  |  October 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Ah, the reactions once one understands they have lost. Revenge, retribution, and negativity. What else is a SC state senator to do?

  • 149. Waxr  |  October 11, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Good morning everyone.
    The weather forecasts predicts a beautiful weekend, with no signs of fire and brimstone falling from the sky.

    In Genesis 19 the angels tell Lot to take his daughters and flee Sodom. There is no reports of anybody fleeing the country as a result of the recent events, which indicates that few if any Christians take the Bible that seriously.

    Enjoy the weekend, and the holiday.

  • 150. Christian0811  |  October 12, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Ezekiel 16:49 ""'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."

    You'd think if Evangelicals were going to obsess over the sodom-dichotomy they'd be deep blue liberals….

  • 151. DACiowan  |  October 11, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Texas filed its reply brief in DeLeon last night. It's here but nothing worth reading.

  • 152. franklinsewell  |  October 11, 2014 at 8:32 am

    You're not kidding, DAC. Let's pull down the same book all these other attorneys have used and dust off these old arguments. We know the judges in the 5th will agree with us, because they are as crazy as we are.

  • 153. A Red? Blue? Purple State&hellip  |  October 11, 2014 at 8:32 am

    […] […]

  • 154. robbyinflorida  |  October 11, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Tony Perkins and Ted Olson are on Fox News Sunday 10/12/2014.

  • 155. guitaristbl  |  October 11, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Only Fox News continues to give the podium to fringe extremists like Perkins. At least they had the decency to invite Olson. He will destroy Perkins for sure.

  • 156. StraightDave  |  October 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Are they trying for a Crossfile/Jerry Springer fistfight?
    Oh yes, of course. Silly me, it's Fox.
    Actually, Olsen can afford to be the most laid-back contented creature on earth now. He doesn't even need to argue this time, just point to the scoreboard and smile. Let Perkins act like an ass.

  • 157. Ragavendran  |  October 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Briefing is finally complete in Texas's De Leon appeal at the Fifth Circuit. Here's Texas's reply brief filed yesterday:

    Here's an article about the brief:

  • 158. SeattleRobin  |  October 12, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Reading the comments on the article was entertaining. It's obvious that the commenters have not been following any of the court cases and are being introduced to the usual state arguments about channeling procreative intercourse, etc. for the first time. They're all responding like Abbott came up with all this personally, which makes him one of the dumbest humans on the planet. It's pretty funny to see all the WTF reactions from average (lefty from all appearances) people.

  • 159. RemC_Chicago  |  October 12, 2014 at 11:12 am

    The thread of comments I read were largely & passionately anti-gay. So very grateful that I d live in Texas.

  • 160. guitaristbl  |  October 12, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Just read the article and decided not to read the brief in order to protect my sanity and rationality from further attacks of right wing paranoia. It seems same old same old dead arguments again. Of course the equally paranoid 5th circuit judges will agree, which is the only essential difference here really compared to all the other cases..

  • 161. flyerguy77  |  October 11, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I didn't know there were 2 judges dealing federal lawsuit in NC

  • 162. ragefirewolf  |  October 11, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Yes. North Carolina is split into three federal court districts, two of which had ME cases brought to them, respectively. Just like how Virginia is split into two districts, East and West, and each of those had ME cases, Bostic and Harris respectively.

  • 163. Waxr  |  October 12, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Sunday, almost noon. After last week's flood of news, everything seems boring. Still no news of fire and brimstone raining down. I have also not heard of anybody running to the hills as the angels told Lot to do.

  • 164. brandall  |  October 12, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Desperate time for FRC's Tony Perkins, "You still have two circuits that have decisions coming up that look favorable toward natural marriage. … I think the effect here is that the [Supreme] court did a back-alley type Roe V Wade judicial decision that let the lower courts do their evil bidding."

    Ted Olson vs. Tony Perkins debate on Fox Sunday morning. Chris Wallace became testy trying to keep Perkins on script. Ted did a nice job, Perkins just lied.

  • 165. LK2013  |  October 12, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Perkins is a tool. All he could do was sputter out the most idiotic lies and histrionics … "adoption agencies are being put out of business, parents can't control the values messages their kids are getting in schools, poor bigoted cake sellers are forced out of business" because the morons refuse to stop discriminating …

    What a d$ck … he threatens "this will be an issue for decades if the courts don't let the people and the states deal with it" by continuing to spew hatred and oppression on gay and lesbian citizens. He likens it to abortion and Roe v Wade "which is still a political issue today." Ooh. I guess that's all he's got. Although he did try to trot out "where do you draw the line?" and "social science shows a mother and father make the best parents." And his term "natural marriage" is a thrill too.

    Hateful, mean-spirited little man. Ted Olson was wonderful – calm, reasonable, love his deep voice, and he can afford to sit back and let Perkins start to spit and rant.

  • 166. flyerguy77  |  October 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Tony pissy d$CK didn't answered Chris' question…

  • 167. RLsfba  |  October 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks, and Tony was less hysterical than I've seen him. He looked boxed in.

  • 168. ragefirewolf  |  October 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I've come to the point where I am simply craving marriage equality news. I think it may be turning into an addiction. Haha!

  • 169. brandall  |  October 12, 2014 at 10:05 am

    There is a site for us to seek help. It's called MEA. Marriage Equality Anonymous. It was just founded in anticipation of us winning all 50 states and then suffering withdrawals from our other ailment I mentioned at the beginning of the week…PSTS….Post SCOTUS Traumatic Syndrome,, the result of repeatedly being optimistic the gay=stay era is over.

    Seriously, just before we hit 50 states, we do need to start strategizing on what and how we will follow the next level or steps for LGBTQ rights. The journey on EoT has been one of the most interesting, emotional and satisfying things I have ever done (and I've been fortunate to do a lot in my life).

  • 170. Ryan K.  |  October 12, 2014 at 10:51 am

    i say we need to start planning our "We've reached 50+DC" celebration. Go back to Massachusetts where the first state broke through, or the last state to get marriage equality (likely tough if SCTOUS a decides and a bunch happen at once)?

  • 171. DACiowan  |  October 12, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Maybe then the last state can be the one least along in its case progression. Right now, Nebraska is the only state without an active case so if the 8th winds up being a Supreme Court decision, Nebraska could be the dishonorary "last."

  • 172. daveinasheville  |  October 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I dunno, from here it looks like the "powerless and unmanageable" stuff is all on the other side 🙂

  • 173. ragefirewolf  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    We need hate crimes protection, employment protection (such as ENDA), nondiscrimination ordinances nationwide, preferably as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

  • 174. ragefirewolf  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    We need hate crimes protection, employment protection (such as ENDA), and nondiscrimination ordinances nationwide, preferably as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (which also could be done instead of ENDA).

  • 175. ragefirewolf  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    We need 50 statewide hate crimes protection laws (not just the federal Matthew Shepard Act, which is thankfully in place already), employment protection (such as ENDA), and nondiscrimination ordinances nationwide, preferably as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (which also could be done instead of ENDA).

  • 176. brandall  |  October 12, 2014 at 9:53 am

    More desperate times…this time from NOM's Brian Brown Sunday morning: “Marriage is on the line in our country, and it’s time for people to get off the bench and into the battle.”

    "Get off the bench"… that a bad judicial pun?

    "Into the battle"… 29 states ME, 6 more states coming soon to ME…the battle is almost over.

    I'll bet you are running out of money.

  • 177. guitaristbl  |  October 12, 2014 at 10:41 am

    He is basically calling for civil disobedience. Linda Harvey of mission America did the same thing. They are turning more radical and more threatening. They will soon be calling for violence the more they get derailed I am sure. And that's when civil society will expose them and get them.

  • 178. Steve84  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Brown is simply seeing his profit stream circling the drain. His whole livelihood depends on keeping the outrage going.

  • 179. brandall  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Their tax return for 2014 is due in 3 days and must be made publicly available. Should be interesting reading.

  • 180. LK2013  |  October 12, 2014 at 11:00 am

    So … Tony Perkins, Brian Brown, Ted Cruz … which one will be first to have a total breakdown over this week's progress?

  • 181. guitaristbl  |  October 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Cruz has more in it than the other 2 who just see their paycheck evaporated gradually. He wants to become president and in order to achieve that he needs the bigoted 40 % + GOP basis. The problem is that with the way he handles it he loses everyone else and you cannot become president with only 40 % of the vote, especially when you disenfranchise the moderate crowd. I really hope Cruz wins the GOP primaries, he is the least likely to be elected president from all their nutty hopefuls.

  • 182. Marekweber  |  October 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Agreed. But I fear that Cruz is simply too unpleasant to build the sort of alliances needed to win a national primary. He's a pompous narcissist who alienates everybody, including right-wing Republicans who ought to be his natural allies. His toxic personality will be a major impediment to his presidential aspirations. He's got Nixon's likability and Reagan's intelligence.

  • 183. DACiowan  |  October 12, 2014 at 11:11 am

    News article on same-sex weddings in rural Oklahoma:

  • 184. guitaristbl  |  October 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Most of those counties are so scarcely populated that not many marriage licenses in general are issued throughout the year I assume.And of course no one would expect many same sex couples to be living at such hostile areas…Rural areas tend to be more conservative even in liberal states (see Washington state for example) so I wouldn't want to imagine what rural Oklahoma is like for a same sex couple to live at.
    Calling to complain that marriage licenses are issued when its settled law sounds so silly and desperately hateful though..Transition in those areas will be much more difficult but I hope everything works out for the best as years pass.

  • 185. RemC_Chicago  |  October 12, 2014 at 11:21 am

    This constant harping on the people's votes…what will it take to permanently shut down this argument? And the lamenting of judges ruling on laws as capricious actions Ignorance drives me out of my mind. When will this stupidity end? The only lives impacted by ME are ours. If you're going to argue, argue rationally.

  • 186. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    "[W]hat will it take to permanently shut down this argument?"

    It is not possible because they have an "intrinsically disordered" and "depraved" condition known as anti-intellectualism. They have no idea of how to read a legal brief or ruling much less how to interpret one.

  • 187. brandall  |  October 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Or they believe they have their God (not mine) on their side and that trumps all voters, legislatures and courts.

  • 188. flyerguy77  |  October 12, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Wow, I just watched the segment with Ted Olson and Tony Perkins on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. Oh man Ted creamed and tore Tony up, and even Chris W was not buying Tony's bs. Tony wouldn't answer Chris' questions How does same sex marriages effect your marriage….

  • 189. brandall  |  October 12, 2014 at 11:33 am

    There is a thread on this 6 root posts above your comment.

  • 190. Marekweber  |  October 12, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    The clearest proof that people like Perkins are lying grifters is when they claim that same-sex marriage is going to remain a controversy for a long, long time. Nobody with even the most tenuous grasp of the facts could honestly make that claim. Perkins knows full well that Americans under thirty support marriage equality by a three-to-one margin, and that even young Republicans are solidly in support. If there was ever a divisive controversy that was CERTAIN to become a broad consensus, it's marriage equality. And Perkins knows it. The only people who DON'T know it are the ignorant suckers who keep sending money to support a lost cause. At this point, crooks like Perkins have only one concern: to keep their dwindling flock of pigeons from flying away. The days of million-dollar bus tours may be over, but if Tony tells enough shameless lies, he can shake a few more social security checks out of Aunt Beulah in Biloxi.

  • 191. Zack12  |  October 12, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Hubby and I went away for the weekend and came back to another state with full equality.
    What an amazing week!

  • 192. RnL2008  |  October 12, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    My wife and grandchild went away this weekend as well and came home to hear the news regarding Alaska……..tired, but what good news!!!

    Hope all is well with you and yours!!!

  • 193. brandall  |  October 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Very interesting new release of Clinton's 1993 Presidential notes from meetings with the military leaders about DADT.

    I have never read this before: "the original policy was labeled: “Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue.”

    "The notes show that at the meeting, the military chiefs downplayed the intensity of efforts to uncover gays in the ranks. “We do not have witch hunts” in the armed forces. "

    So, they dropped the "don't pursue." IHMO, actually believing there would be "no witch hunts" tells you the people in that room never seriously studied social history about the U.S. or mother England.

    Read more:

  • 194. Steve84  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    The US military is a state within a state, accountable to nobody but itself and existing mostly outside the law. The politicians exist mostly to rubberstamp its demands (unless their own pork is threatened).
    It was well documented already that the military leaders mutinied and lied about *everything*. They also lied about how DADT was going to be implemented. The only thing that improved was that DADT discharges were administrative, but the anti-gay harassment actually got far worse and the number of discharges increased every year until 9/11.

  • 195. netoschultz  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Do we have sure the ruling applies statewide and not only in the district of the judge?

  • 196. Zack12  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Not sure but the other judge hearing a seperate gay marriage case will have to strike down the ban if he hears the case, he has no choice.

  • 197. jpmassar  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Looks like Alaska falls.

    For the reasons that follow, the Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment is GRANTED. The
    Court finds that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage and refusal to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully entered in other states is unconstitutional as a deprivation of basic due process and equal protection principles under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

  • 198. LK2013  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Fantastic news!

  • 199. ragefirewolf  |  October 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm


    Both Due Process and Equal Protection!! Extremely nice.

    Oh, and I love the judge's use of the word panoply. It gives me the tinglies. Hehehe.

  • 200. sfbob  |  October 12, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Unlike in some states, one of Alaska's now-overturned statutes specifically prevented the state from granting divorces to same-sex couples (see page 3). But also it appears the law would have prohibit the recognition of divorces of same-sex couples. On the one hand, it seems like the law would have prevented the sort of controversies that have arisen in other states where a couple married elsewhere tried to obtain a divorce only to have the state refuse to grant them one. On the other hand, that would have left some people in a sort of legal limbo: if a person who'd been in a same-sex marriage but had gotten divorced in another state moved to Alaska, would the state have been forbidden to consider their divorce valid? Would that not have prevented them from marrying anyone else at all? I suppose we'll never know now but it does show the unintended consequences of such stupid and discriminatory laws.

  • 201. Steve84  |  October 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Even without such an explicit mention, courts were *extremely* reluctant to grant divorces with bans in place. I think some judges did it "under the table" so it didn't become public, but usually such cases failed.

  • 202. sfbob  |  October 12, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Certainly true. I think that having the specific wording the statute would have made a very specific challenge to the law necessary when it came up, as opposed to in other states–Texas for example–where the applicability of the ban to divorce was subject to debate.

  • 203. StraightDave  |  October 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    And on a Sunday!?!?
    Knock me over with a feather. I'm just not used to optimistic expectations being exceeded by our courts.

    I'm sure there will be some jackass up there who complains about the sacrilege of doing it on Sunday, disrespecting God, all that rot. You're on the clock, AZ.

  • 204. StraightDave  |  October 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    New map already

  • 205. jpmassar  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    The Court IMMEDIATELY ENJOINS the state of Alaska, including state officers, personnel, agents, government divisions, and other political entities, from enforcing Alaska Constitution Article 1, Section 25 and Alaska Statute Sections 25.05.011 and 25.05.013 to the extent that the laws prohibit otherwise qualified same-sex couples from marriage and refusing to recognize lawful same-sex marriages entered in other states.


    Dated at Anchorage, Alaska, this 12th day of October, 2014.

  • 206. LK2013  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Yahoo !

  • 207. RemC_Chicago  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    OMG!! Thank you for posting. Totally unexpected to see this come through on a Sunday. What wonderful news. Perhaps a group of same/sex couples can have a mass wedding ceremony in front of the Palins' house. That would be doubly wonderful.

  • 208. LK2013  |  October 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Ha ha ha ha ha! That would be hilarious! Except the Palins would crash it and start a drunken brawl!

  • 209. sfbob  |  October 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    And why be so cruel as to inflect the Palin brood on members of our community?

  • 210. Randolph_Finder  |  October 12, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    For Alaska, any chance of either a self-stay or a 9th circuit stay before the three day waiting period is up (not sure if you can get a marriage application on Monday – Columbus day)? If not, we are looking at first marriages Thursday or Friday…

    (And who issues a legal opinion on the Sunday of 3 day weekend?)

  • 211. StraightDave  |  October 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Answer: A Seventh-day Adventist who's about to head off on a 2-week vacation to Denali?

  • 212. brandall  |  October 12, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Monday is not an Alaskan state holiday:

    "you must wait at least three full business days after the application is submitted before you can pick up the license and the marriage ceremony can be performed." So, I believe if you submit on Monday, you can get married on Friday.

    Unless AK comes up with a new and compelling reason (laughable after 30+ cases), Burgess or the 9th won't take it up since the decision is following the logic issued by the 9th. But, should it be so inclined, Alaska could go to SCOTUS. The Gov is up for reelection and is neck-n-neck with his opponent. So, he could try.

  • 213. RemC_Chicago  |  October 12, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Appropriately enough, the judger relied on quotes from many of the rulings that have come before. However, I truly appreciated his repeated emphasis that one's moral viewpoint and disapproval cannot be enshrined in law. If I had the $, I would erect billboards nationally with some of the most salient quotes from the rulings in our favor along with quotes from our Founding Fathers on the importance of separating church from state.

  • 214. tushargoyal357  |  October 15, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Appropriately enough, the judger relied on quotes from many of the rulings that have come before. However, I truly appreciated his repeated emphasis that one's moral viewpoint and disapproval cannot be enshrined in law.

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