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Equality news round-up: US to recognize same-sex marriage in more states, and more

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Attorney General Eric Holder. Attribution: Wikipedia
Attorney General Eric Holder. Attribution: Wikipedia
BREAKING UPDATE 4:55PM ET: The Fifth Circuit has “tentatively” scheduled arguments in the challenge to Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban: “CASE TENTATIVELY calendared for oral argument for the week of 01/05/2015”

In a follow-up order, the Texas case was added. It will be argued the same week.

– The Westboro Baptist Church wants to intervene in the challenge to Kansas’ same-sex marriage ban.

– Idaho is paying over $80,000 in legal bills for its defense of its same-sex marriage ban.

– Records of the expenses in the Indiana marriage lawsuit are here.

– Attorney General Eric Holder has said the United States will recognize same-sex marriage in six more states.

Buzzfeed reports on an amicus brief filed by the Cato Institute, a libertarian organization, in the Fifth Circuit challenge to Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban.

– Same-sex marriage won’t go directly to the Florida Supreme Court.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. mariothinks  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I find it ridiculous that the 6th Circuit Court is taking this long. The 9th Circuit had 3 cases from 3 separate states and took little over a month. The 6th Circuit is headed to 3 months of waiting. So much for "We'll rule as soon as possible." Whatever it is, just do it. Stand by your convictions.

  • 2. MichaelGrabow  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Hopefully it will all be worth it though.

  • 3. DJSNOLA  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Im really conflicted about how I want them to rule. I think its time for a national resolution so I will be strangely happy whatever the decision is.

  • 4. DACiowan  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Of the Circuit Courts that have had hearings, the time from hearing to decision:

    7th Circuit – 9 days
    9th Circuit – 29 days (one day shy of one month)
    4th Circuit – 76 days (2 months, 15 days)
    10th Circuit – 76 days (2 months, 15 days) for Kitchen
    10th Circuit – 92 days (3 months, 1 day) for Bishop

    Right now, the 6th Circuit is at 82 days (2 months, 21 days); it would catch the Bishop interval of 92 days on November 6 which is the Thursday after the elections.

  • 5. davepCA  |  October 27, 2014 at 10:01 am

    …"which is the Thursday after elections." How convenient for them……

  • 6. mariothinks  |  October 27, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    The 9th Circuit took little over a month if you include the Hawaii case. As for Bishop, it was held up because it had extra baggage as if they named the right person in the suit, but we knew the outcome because of Kitchen. Thus far, in my opinion, the 6th Circuit has taken the longest! And perhaps you're right. It may be because of the elections.

  • 7. Dr. Z  |  October 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Not sure the figure is right for the Ninth, the Selvic district court ruling came before Windsor. So it all depends on how you count it.

  • 8. DrPatrick1  |  October 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Time is from circuit court oral arguments to decision. Not from district court ruling

  • 9. galen697  |  October 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    So really, the 6th circuit is in that window for a "typical" timeline between a hearing and a ruling (ie 2-3 months). I'd agree that anything past the first week of November should be considered delaying.

  • 10. DeadHead  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Um, I am kinda confused, what is correct? Is it Scotties post above that “Same-sex marriage won’t go directly to the Florida Supreme Court” OR Ragavendran’s reply to a post from a previous thread about the same story:

    Ragavendran … “This is false news. I don't know the originating article, but there was a discussion yesterday in this thread or another one about the same wrong article on AP. The only order issued on Friday was one that acknowledged Bondi's changed position that now supports pass-through certification to the Florida Supreme Court. The court simply said that the suggestion to pass-through "will continue to be carried with the case," which only means they are still considering the matter. In what way does this indicate what the article is claiming?”

    “A Florida appeals court has refused to let Attorney General Pam Bondi take the state's gay marriage ban directly to the Florida Supreme Court.”

  • 11. Ragavendran  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Since EoT has now picked up on the Florida non-news, I'll repeat on this page why I seriously doubt that the Third District Court's one-sentence order means that the appeal won't directly go to the Florida Supreme Court. Here's the docket. You can all see for yourself the order issued Friday:

    On August 28, the court, upon the completion of initial briefing on this issue, said:
    "The suggestions for Rule 9.125 certification of appeal to the Florida Supreme Court are carried with the case."

    Then, when Bondi filed a supplemental response on October 13 that her position has changed and she now supports pass-through certification, the court, on Friday (October 24) said:
    "Upon consideration of the State of Florida's supplemental response, the suggestion will continue to be carried with the case."

    I don't see this order as more than a mere acknowledgment of Bondi's supplemental response, and that the court is continuing to consider the suggestion. I took the word "suggestion" here as referring to "suggestion for Rule 9.125 certification of appeal to the Florida Supreme Court". And so, if somehow this Friday order is interpreted as indicating that the appeal will not go to the Florida Supreme Court, couldn't the same thing have been inferred from the earlier August 28 order that has nearly the same language?

    UPDATE: I tried hard, searching for the original AP report because of which this is spreading, but couldn't find it. Could they have realized the error and taken it down?

  • 12. brandall  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Raga, here is the link from yesterday from AP:

  • 13. Ragavendran  |  October 27, 2014 at 10:09 am

    I'm aware of this link and other news websites that report the exact same article with a similar tagline above that says "from/by the Associated Press". I was looking for something more original than that, for example, an article on AP's own news website:

    A search for "gay marriage" on the above website shows a lot of recent AP news articles on the subject:

    Shouldn't the Florida article, if indeed sourced from the AP, appear in this list? Ultimately, I'm looking for the source – who is the one person/reporter that first reported this news? So I can contact them.

  • 14. brandall  |  October 27, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Evening! Some reporter in FL who is part of the AP syndicate contributed this to AP which ran with it across the country. Lemme give it a try to find the actual source.

  • 15. brandall  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Found it. The culprit was WFLA-TV, an NBC affiliate in Tampa, FL. Note the cited source in the first sentence which disappears in the over 500 subsequent Google searches:

    "Same sex marriage issue won't go directly to Fla. supreme court
    Posted: Oct 26, 2014 11:08 AM PDT
    Updated: Oct 26, 2014 11:08 AM PDT
    By Associated Press

    TALLAHASSEE, FL (WFLA) – A state appeals court has refused to let Attorney General Pam Bondi take the state's ban on gay marriage directly to the Florida Supreme Court."

    What is even worse is their gay logo with the statement "The 3rd District Court of Appeals issued its ruling on same sex marriage on Friday."


  • 16. alatarus  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:25 am

    AG Holder has stated that the US government (for SS and other purposes) will recognize marriage in the 32 states that allow marriage. How about MISSOURI? They do not allow marriages to be performed, however, they now recognize marriages officiated in other "legal" states. Since the STATE of MISSOURI recognizes these marriages, shouldn't the US Government also recognize them for laws that need residential recognition of the unions?

  • 17. DACiowan  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Like I pointed out in the other thread, since Missouri only recognizes out of state marriages wouldn't the Feds already recognize these marriages based on state of ceremony?

  • 18. wes228  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Correct. The Feds have always been recognize all lawful same-sex marriages, no matter what state the couple lives in. Texas for instance doesn't even recognize same-sex marriages at the state level, yet if a Texas couple gets married in Oklahoma, they will be recognized by the federal government once they go back to Texas.

  • 19. DrPatrick1  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:47 am

    This is NOT correct.

    While most federal law does not specifically state how/when a marriage is recognized, there are certain VA benefits, SS benefits, and a few other areas, where Place of Celebration is NOT acceptable, rather it is Place of Residence which either by statute or Court precedent is the standard used. This means that a TX couple recently married in OK who applies for SS benefits relevant to the marriage (we will skip the whole waiting period required by SSA in this example) would not be deemed eligible, even if they will legally be able (and also required) to file FEDERAL income taxes as a married couple.

    An OK couple married in MA in 2006 who now are retirement eligible should have no barrier to SS Retirement benefits, even though the same TX couple would be deemed ineligible.

    I interpret ALATARUS' question to be what about a MO couple, married elsewhere. Will the VA, SSA etc recognize that marriage for federal purposes where Place of Residence is the legal standard to use when assessing the validity of the marriage.

    In the Justice Dept press release, they are commenting on the 32 states which perform and recognize all legal marriages. It clarifies that for couples married in those states, the federal government will recognize the marriages, and for couples who reside in those states, all Federal benefits are now available.

    MO is in a unique position (I believe) as currently being the only state which MUST recognize all marriages legally performed, but continues to discriminate in who can be married there. As such, it is unlike the other 32 states in one respect, and like the other 32 in a different respect. Thus, it is appropriate for the 32 state press release to NOT include MO, however a clarification for VA and SSA purposes should be issued by the Justice department with respect to MO.

  • 20. Dr. Z  |  October 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    What happens to the Massachusetts who begins receiving SS benefits but then moves to Texas? Do their benefits cease because they are no longer eligible?

  • 21. DrPatrick1  |  October 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Good question. I believe you can change your address without reopen in your case. If true, the benefits remain.

    Another question is of the TX couple moving to OK. If previously denied, can they then reopen or appeal their case?

  • 22. Dr. Z  |  October 27, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    So here's a hypothetical.

    The elder member of a MA couple qualifies for SS. They were only remaining in MA for that event; once he qualifies they move to TX. Thereafter, the elder member dies, and the younger applies for the death benefit. This reopens the case; SS discovers that the couple has been cashing SS checks they were not entitled to. The younger member is now looking at repaying the SS earnings, plus fines, and serving some jail time for SS fraud.

    Quite possible.

  • 23. DrPatrick1  |  October 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I really don't think this is a risk, though when the husband dies and the surviving tx living husband attempts to obtain spousal benefits, I bet they will be denied.

  • 24. Dr. Z  |  October 28, 2014 at 5:44 am

    That depends on which party controls the White House.

  • 25. franklinsewell  |  October 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Here's an article on this very question of SS benefits and a lawsuit Lambda Legal has filed:

  • 26. DrPatrick1  |  October 27, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Very on point to this discussion and there was a similar case out of FL reported on this site in the last few weeks. As was pointed out then, the Domicile rule is facially neutral to ME. Her real issue is not with the federal government, but with the state of TX. In this case, unlike with DOMA, the federal government is neutrally applying the law of the state, as is required under the federal laws as applied to SSA.

    Having said that, this woman, and similarly situated people, are being discriminated against, and that discrimination is, in my opinion, unconstitutional. I'm not certain how to legally fix this, but with ME making its way through the 5th circuit, it is reasonable to attract at this front as well.

  • 27. FredDorner  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    "I'm not certain how to legally fix this"

    It'll be fixed once all 50 states have marriage equality, which will happen long before a separate challenge on this issue could be heard by the courts.

  • 28. Rick55845  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    If the 6th and 11th rule in favor of marriage equality, and the 5th drags its feet long enough, then it may not be fixed in all 50 states, particularly in Texas where the surviving spouse lives, before the issue could be heard by the courts in DC where the suit was filed.

  • 29. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    If the 6th will hurry the hell up, geez

  • 30. FredDorner  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:49 am

    While the feds recognize that Oklahoma marriage for most federal purposes, certain federal laws like Social Security won't because the couple resides in Texas. The language of these laws derives from the Jim Crow era and was designed so that anti-miscegenation states wouldn't have to treat mixed-race couples as married for federal purposes.

    I suspect the feds would (or should) fully recognize that Oklahoma marriage if the couple resides in Missouri because that state does recognize all out of state marriages, even though it doesn't have marriage equality itself.

  • 31. alatarus  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Yes, however, for social security and other federal programs, the marriage must be "legal" or "recognized" in the residence state. (As opposed to IRS tax laws where the parties must be just "married") They have never "announced" , as they have with the other states that allow marriages, whether just the recognition by MO of the marriage would be sufficient. It should be, but would be nice to have the AG's office "blessing" stated.

  • 32. SethInMaryland  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Good News in Finland that may allow the government to go foward with a marriage equality bill: Finland’s Christian Democrats won’t quit government if gay marriage passes

    Christian Democrat leader Päivi Räsänen says her party will not quit the governing coalition ruling Finland if MPs pass a citizens’ initiative that would allow same-sex couples to be legally married

    over half center right controling government was afraid if they voted to legalize marriage equality this far right part of the group of the government would leave making them lose power to to the opposition, now that this has happening this might give them more of a backobone to go forward

  • 33. SPQRobin  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:08 am

    I just wanted to post this. Some more detailed information:

    The citizens' initiative for marriage equality will be voted on by the Finnish parliament in November. Earlier this year it was considered by the Legal Affairs Committee, which had a majority opposed to marriage equality.

    I think chances are 50/50 that it could pass. Key to this is how many of the largest party (National Coalition) will vote in favor. The good thing is that Prime Minister Alexander Stubb (also National Coalition) was one of the leading supporters of the marriage equality bill that failed in early 2013 (when he was not yet Prime Minister). That bill was co-sponsored by 76 MPs out of the 200.

    A detailed look at the 200-member Parliament:
    – 76 belong to (generally left-leaning) parties that support marriage equality, so they *should* all vote for it
    – 44 are religious (Christian Democrats) and right-wing (Finns Party) so definite no votes
    – 44 belong to the National Coalition Party, which will have a split vote (14 of them co-sponsored the 2013 bill)
    – 35 belong to the Centre Party, which may have a few yes votes

    A survey earlier this year found that a majority of parliament was positive towards marriage equality:

    To be clear, this bill is for marriage equality in the quite literal sense. The current registered partnerships are "separate but (virtually) equal".

  • 34. SethInMaryland  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:16 am

    thxs for the info , i agree, i think our sides chances are going to rise now , a lot supporters were holding back against voting yes because they were afraid the Christian Democrats would split from the party if marriage equality was leglized now that they announced they won't this gives side more of a chance at winning this

  • 35. robbyinflorida  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Oh please let WBC intervene.

  • 36. sfbob  |  October 27, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Of course it won't happen. The denial might be amusing to read though, and they will probably, like the Unruh's were, be told they can submit an amicus brief. Which should also be amusing.

  • 37. Randolph_Finder  |  October 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I will admit this after I read the WBC request to intervene, it made the Unruh's request look like a sane piece of law.

  • 38. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 27, 2014 at 10:50 am

    You want them to be allowed to intervene so you get your jollies?

    No matter what happens, WBC will kick and scream, and you'll be able to get your jollies (and I suspect many others will too).

  • 39. hopalongcassidy  |  October 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    The thing is, in a somewhat perverse way, I'm -glad- to have the Phelps gang in the news from time to time…they are driving a lot more people out of the insanity of religion than they're recruiting thanks to their batshit crazy antics!

  • 40. StraightDave  |  October 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    More important, they're driving sensible religious people away from the insane fringe, while still retaining the good points of their religion. The more religion-based support we have, the less the nut cases can exploit that angle. Religion, when used properly, can and should be pro-equality.

    WBC doesn't give a rat's ass about religion or even recruiting, only how they can misuse it to get attention and support their bogus lawsuits.

  • 41. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    You are right. It's a money-making scheme just like NOM. The Phelps clan promote their "legal services" by engaging in ridiculous public behavior under the guise of freedom of speech and religion and getting sued.

  • 42. StraightDave  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Then their clan members with law degrees bill the WBC (i.e., themselves) for their legal defense and then the WBC gets reimbursed for costs by the losers in their manufactured lawsuits. A total scam, which is why they should just be ignored or walled off by those biker vets.

  • 43. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    How about a drone strike? 🙂

  • 44. StraightDave  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    We don't need any martyrs. They have more value to us as assholes.

  • 45. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Unfortunately, yes

  • 46. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    In many ways, it's like the Democrats in 1964, who 'supported' Goldwater for the GOP Presidential nomination, knowing the stronger Goldwater appealed to the GOP base, the stronger were Johnson's probabilities at winning the vote in the November election.

    And yes, as long as WBC has batshit crazy antics, they are driving people away from religion, and many people (even if they believe in religion) get their jollies from the antics of WBC. And I know they will kick and scream when they are not allowed to intervene (even more so than if allowed to intervene), and I suspect many others will believe that also.

    I'm sure we haven't heard the last from WBC on this subject. And thus I have confidence that WBC will provide many more opportunities for amusement.

  • 47. pdheld98  |  October 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Wow… I just read through the WBC's motion. It is good to be reminded time and again that this type of hostility and hatred towards the LGBT community still exists. Our fight is not over – we need to continue to be vigilant and wary of these religious liberty claims – this will be our next battlefield.

  • 48. DaveM_OH  |  October 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Baby steps:
    The Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church has reversed the defrocking of a pastor who officiated at the wedding of his gay son. Though the decision hinges on a technicality – Rev. Schaefer's defrocking was determined to be punishment for an as-yet-uncommitted infraction (conducting a future marriage) – it's still a significant change from the UMC's actions against Rev. Karen Dammann in 2000 and Rev. Beth Stroud in 2005, and follows from the discipline handed down against Rev. Amy DeLong in 2011.

    The UMC remains committed to the proposition that same-sex relationships shall not be solemnized; the next opportunity for change is at General Conference, in Portland OR, May 10-20 2016.

  • 49. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I guess I've always been confused by the position of the UMC…I thought Methodists were supposedly more oriented towards modern reason than many of the other Christian sects?

  • 50. SeattleRobin  |  October 27, 2014 at 11:21 am

    They are, but they face a similar situation to what the Presbyterian church has dealt with over the last three decades. Some congregations are quite progressive, and some are quite conservative, even though they are all part of the same church. The Presbyterians finally got there earlier this year, it will take the Methodists a bit longer

  • 51. ebohlman  |  October 27, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    As Timothy Kincaid (a Methodist) of BTB points out, the UMC is international and a lot of its expansion is occurring in very conservative African and Asian countries, all of which have votes at the General Conference.

  • 52. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Hmm, that would explain a lot. Thank you, ebohlman and Robin.

  • 53. Dr. Z  |  October 28, 2014 at 5:32 am

    This is a key structural distinction between the Methodists and the Anglicans. The Episcopal Church in the US split with the Anglicans during the American Revolution because King George III was also head of the Anglican church. After the war the Episcopals rejoined the Anglican communion, but due in part to that split the members of the communion have a stronger self-governing structure.

    The Methodists have dealt with the problem in a different manner. They don't hold as many tenets, but those they do hold have more force of (church) law and are more difficult to change. Approval of changes requires international approval. All of this portends an eventual split in international Methodism.

    Other Protestant denominations have governing structures that have at least some provision for change, e.g. the Presbyterians. The Mormons and Catholics are the least flexible in terms of their governing structure and bylaws (but of course they aren't Protestants.)

    The Southern Baptists strongly believe in local autonomy on paper, but in practice they keep tight control on their orthodoxy not through a central body of theology but through control of Baylor University, which cranks out Baptist pastors. It plays the role of ideological policeman for the Southern Baptists. The Southern Baptist Convention does not directly control the congregations; it controls Baylor and what gets taught there.

  • 54. Fledge01  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    And the conservative Methodists are threatening to split away if the church allows same sex marriage. Don't forget that many of these churches have to deal with congregations all over the planet, not just in the United States.

  • 55. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    And this is what I have to say to them:

    Bye! Sayonara! Hasa diga ebowai!

    Can't stand the heat? GTFO of our kitchens!

  • 56. JayJonson  |  October 28, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Probably a majority of U.S. Methodists in the UMC support reform, including same-sex marriage and removing the odious statement in the Book of Discipline that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian belief, but at each quadrennial meeting to discuss reform, they are outvoted by the growing African contingent. That is where the problem is. The conservatives are kept in power only by the Africans.

  • 57. StraightDave  |  October 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

    It's all relative…. "more than the others".
    I grew up in the UMC (until I pulled the ripcord at 16). My recollections were that my local church wasn't very hardnosed but they did follow what was then the party line in a fairly rigorous manner. Things were written down and things were followed. There wasn't much flexibility. It was church, after all! That's how it worked. But this, in the 60's, may have been before "modernism" even entered the dictionary.

  • 58. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 27, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    "It's all relative. . . ."

    The exact words used by a friend of mine in college when writing to his mother.

    James was from Cameroon, West Africa. The lowest recorded temperature in Cameroon was in the mid-40s (F).

    James wrote to his mother that the temperature was almost 30, about 3 inches of snow had fallen overnight, there was almost no wind, the sun was shining, and it was a beautiful January day. His mother responded with "Are you crazy?"

    James' response was "It's all relative." (The previous week the high temperature was below zero (F); it was too cold for snow; the wind was viscous [our dorm was across campus from the dining hall, and to get to it, we had to walk through a 'wind tunnel']; and the sky was overcast all day the previous week. Thus almost 30 degrees, a light snowfall, no- to light- winds, and sunshine were a welcome change.)

    My mother was born and raised as a Wesleyan Methodist, which is what the UMC was prior to joining with the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968 (when growing up, we passed an EUB church on our way to visit most relatives. It was strange to see it 'change' denominations after the merger. And now I live near [about 5 blocks South] 'Lovely Lane' church, which many Methodists consider 'the mother church of U.S. Methodism.).

  • 59. SimmieK  |  October 27, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    "Modernism" was well and truly in the dictionary by the 1960s. Pope Pius X condemned it as a heresy in 1907.

  • 60. sfbob  |  October 27, 2014 at 10:15 am

    The most interesting thing about the Cato Institute amicus brief is that it basically makes the same arguments that are made by more progressive defenders of marriage equality–that Judge Feldman misconstrued the history and text of the 14th Amendment and that Schuette did NOT provide for a majoritarian override of basic constitutional rights.

  • 61. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I can't say I agree with the Cato Institute very often, but when I do, it's on the best stuff like marriage equality, the right to privacy, and war.

  • 62. Fortguy  |  October 27, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    And ending the stupid War on Drugs.

  • 63. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:37 pm


  • 64. DrPatrick1  |  October 27, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    It was a joint brief with a progressive org.

  • 65. DACiowan  |  October 27, 2014 at 10:48 am

    The plaintiffs' response brief asking for an immediate injunction in the Kansas case is here. Hopefully we get action in Kansas quickly.

  • 66. Zack12  |  October 27, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I'm hoping by the end of the week, Kansas's ban will be gone.

  • 67. sfbob  |  October 27, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Based on the plaintiffs' response brief, the state basically just filed a press release rather than making actual legal claims. I am assuming (and with good reason) that the plaintiffs' counsel accurately characterizes the state's arguments. If that is indeed the case, the state has made some demonstrably false claims in its filings. I'm no expert on court procedure but doesn't that at least border on a sanctionable activity?

  • 68. BenG1980  |  October 27, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Ted Olson: 'Point of no return' on gay marriage passed

  • 69. RnL2008  |  October 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Yes, it has and in my opinion when SCOTUS failed to grant cert……it sort of showed their thought process on this issue……they know as well as anyone that Marriage Equality is here and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it…….and these States are just wasting the Taxpayers money…….hopefully it will be reflected at the ballot box!!!

  • 70. sfbob  |  October 27, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Sad to say it won't be reflected in the ballot box, other than in a "doubling-down" sort of way. Most of the people who are left to be convinced that marriage equality is at best a good thing at worst harmless aren't those whose votes are based on reason and evidence but on bias and intentional ignorance.

  • 71. DACiowan  |  October 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    So with the Fifth scheduling the Louisiana arguments, hopefully Texas finally gets argued along with it. Although I've been hoping to have Texas/LA argued this side of Christmas.

  • 72. Fortguy  |  October 27, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    The Texas and Louisiana cases are combined and arguments were widely expected to have been held by the end of December. The new wrinkle is the Mississippi case. The Mississippi district judge seems to be on hurry-up mode to at least get briefings done regarding a decision on a preliminary injunction. Such a ruling would allow the Mississippi case to also be combined before the 5th CA, however all parties to the Mississippi case need to be able to offer their own briefings to the inevitable appeal. This could easily push arguments into next year if combined. Nevertheless, there is a measure of urgency in the Texas case as one of the plaintiff couples is pregnant expecting delivery in March. The couple must know whether they have parental and medical rights due to marriage or must make other legal arrangements.

  • 73. mariothinks  |  October 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    There are so many mistakes in this article that I would be embarrassed if I published it.

  • 74. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    They should take a page out of Guitar's rulebook about actually paying attention to American jurisprudence.

  • 75. mariothinks  |  October 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Yeah! I mean, what were they thinking? They were going to make a bunch of crap up as they went along? The whole bit about the 5th could rule at any moment. Lol. It's kind of funny actually.

  • 76. Christian0811  |  October 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Have there been any developments in Malawi with the suit against that nation's sodomy law? Also is Tunisia likely to repeal it's 1964 sodomy law with the secularists being elected? I know Enhada had stated that it was their intention to repeal it eventually (they're moderates after all), but that never came to fruition.

    I've also heard scary things about that disgusting group, La Manif Pour Tous, trying to foment a backlash. What's the truth to that?

  • 77. RemC_Chicago  |  October 28, 2014 at 5:22 am

    If I remember correctly, the recent Manif activities involved protests about adoption by gay people.

  • 78. guitaristbl  |  October 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    What does "tentatively" mean exactly as a judicial term ? That we don't want to schedule them at that date and it may change ?
    But really January 5th ?! Oh they are trying their best to postpone it as long as they can, make sure SCOTUS fills up their schedule for this term, in case the 6th rules in favour of ME.
    They are very sneaky and move in a strategic way to what they are doing in the 5th,I am sure about that.
    Lets see how that works out for them. It may be pointless as soon as the 6th rules though anyway.

  • 79. flyerguy77  |  October 27, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    They are not postponing the hearing……. This is how the justice/ court system works.. If this was not high importance case it might take longer to hear a case.. To me they are moving fast on this case. It seems like it might be slow unlike other cases.. but they are hearing the case soon as possible They have other cases to hear. and Holidays are coming up..

  • 80. Fortguy  |  October 27, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    They've also had some big ticket items to deal with lately, especially from Texas. They've recently ruled on abortion, voter ID, and soon will likely have the redistricting fight on their plate as well.

  • 81. mariothinks  |  October 27, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I think you're right. The case for Texas has been sitting on their lap for months. It was decided eight months ago and they are holding oral arguments nearly a year afterwards. Just a delay tactic. The good thing is if the 6th circuit rules against us, the case may be taken up this term. If they rule in our favor, gay marriage will come to 4 new states bringing it to 39! So either way, the 5th circuit loses!

  • 82. BenG1980  |  October 27, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Plus, I think it's fairly universally accepted that we will win in the 11th. It's not out of the question to speculate that the 11th wants to hold oral argument and rule quickly in early 2015. Victories in both the 6th and 11th would bring the total to 42. Then SCOTUS would just have to get the 5th and the 8th in line.

  • 83. franklinsewell  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Remember, also, that the 1st Circuit will get an appeal from Puerto Rico, and they haven't had a chance to rule on ME just yet.

  • 84. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 27, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Are you forgetting 'Gill et al v Office of Personnel Management'? According to Wikipedia, 'Gill' was a United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit decision that affirmed the judgment of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the section that defines the term "marriage" as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" and "spouse" as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." "

    If I remember correctly, SCOTUS held the request for cert for the case until the day after SCOTUS handed down the ruling in Windsor. In fact, there were some who thought SCOTUS would select the 'Gill' case, and not choose others.

  • 85. DrBriCA  |  October 27, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Ah, but I believe the recent PR decision was based primarily off a section in Gil that stated that Baker v Nelson was still precedent for a state's right to determine whether or not to allow marriage equality. (Gill did indeed go on to strike down Section 3 of DOMA, but it apparently stated the Baker was still in play as of 2012 and that the appeals court was specifically not going to address the constitutional right for LGBT couples to marry because of this. There was speculation in the recent Puerto Rico topic last week that the Gill decision threw in this part as a compromise to swing the Republican-appointed justices to the unanimous ruling.)

  • 86. FredDorner  |  October 28, 2014 at 8:43 am

    In the Gil v OPM case the 1st circuit didn't go into any real analysis of Baker because the right to marry wasn't the issue before the court.

    All the court really noted is that Baker was still binding precedent in the 1st circuit, and they didn't want to use heightened scrutiny because of the implications for Baker. So they used an enhanced rational basis analysis to strike down DOMA.

  • 87. SethInMaryland  |  October 27, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    so what kinda panel are we hoping for on the 5th?, if there is any hope for us? there have been a fewtimes that the 5th has issued a liberal oipinion

  • 88. ragefirewolf  |  October 27, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    We would quite literally need to win the lottery and get the three Obama appointees at the Fifth…

  • 89. Randolph_Finder  |  October 28, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Even if we do, En Banc on the 5th is one of the uglier possible places to be afterwards.

  • 90. Zack12  |  October 28, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Indeed… there is simply no way to win at the 5th circuit

  • 91. Ragavendran  |  October 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    A fascinating documentary that I just watched and learned a LOT about the US Supreme Court. Many here might have already seen it five years ago when it was released:

    (Of course, many of the statements the Justices make about their personal views and approaches to their job, while may be respectable, are also questionable.)

  • 92. guitaristbl  |  October 28, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Are there any news on the motion to dismiss in South Dakota ? If the judge was just to issue a dismissal based in Brunning I believe it might have happened by now I think…She may be thinking about it..

  • 93. BenG1980  |  October 28, 2014 at 5:41 am

    NOM Spends More Than $100K In North Carolina Senate Race
    North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis is aiming to unseat Sen. Kay Hagan.

  • 94. Zack12  |  October 28, 2014 at 7:04 am

    AT what point is their non-profit status taken away?

  • 95. ebohlman  |  October 28, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    NOM's a 501(c)(4) so they can participate in electoral campaigns (donations are not tax-deductible and in fact are subject to gift tax if they exceed $14K per person). They have a 501(c)(3) subgroup, the NOM Education Fund, which is not allowed to participate in electoral campaigns (and can receive tax-deductible donations).

  • 96. Ragavendran  |  October 28, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Having the 5th Circuit hearing scheduled in early January might be enough time for Mississippi to catch up with an appeal of the forthcoming preliminary injunction. So, all three states' cases could be heard together.

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