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Equality news round-up: Even more state briefs defending Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Alabama state sealAnother slow news day…

– The Great Falls Tribune editorial board comes out in favor of marriage equality in Montana.

– The defendants in the Alabama marriage case have filed (here and here) additional replies on the motions for summary judgment.

– The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, the group who intervened to defend Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban, has filed a notice in the Ninth Circuit related to their claim that the selection of the three-judge panel in the Idaho and Nevada marriage cases wasn’t impartial.

The Atlantic discusses an event where both Ted Olson and Evan Wolfson spoke about the Supreme Court and marriage equality.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. franklinsewell  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:07 am

    In 9th Circuit news, former clerk defendant from Carson City argues that, in absence of plaintiffs expressing a desire to have the case reheard en banc, the 9th circuit should not rehear it:

  • 2. Silvershrimp0  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Surprise! No news from the 6th today.

  • 3. Jaesun100  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Betting it won't be until after next Tuesday

  • 4. Corey_from_MD  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:48 am

    They will probably wait until Wednesday morning…

  • 5. TonyMinasTirith  |  October 30, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Or perhaps they will wait to release their decision until it's too late for an appeal to ScOTUs to be heard this term. They may be strategically plotting to hold off an appeal to SCOTUS until the Oct 2015 session, delaying ME in their jurisdiction for another 18 months at least. If an appeal can't be heard till next session, a decision wouldn't come down until June 2016. I hope I'm wrong and they will come down on the ME side next week. Perhaps the 1st circuit will beat them to a circuit split, saying they're still bound by Baker in the Puerto Rico case.

  • 6. brooklyn11217  |  October 30, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I was at an event last night with a lawyer involved in marriage equality litigation (I don't feel comfortable giving the name). His/her take on the 6th was that the opinion would be after the election, and that Sutton would be writing in favor of marriage equality. We shall see…..

  • 7. Silvershrimp0  |  October 30, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I certainly hope you're right.

  • 8. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  October 30, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    What exactly is the downside for Sutton to hold back until after the election if he is going to release an opinion in favor of marriage equality? It's not as if that will bring a barrage of Democrats to the polls. If anything, would it not ignite a flame under even more Republicans and get them to polls in a critical state like MI? Just doesn't jive with me…

  • 9. LK2013  |  October 30, 2014 at 9:31 am

    brooklyn11217, s/he might be right. We can only hope Sutton will be writing in favor of marriage equality.

    I think that's the most likely scenario. At the August 6 hearing, when he thought he would not have the "final word" because his yellow-bellied self was counting on SCOTUS to take the heat for that, he said the decision would be made quickly. Oh, but now that his decision will have more weight, he drags it out. Why? Who knows? It might be against ME, and he's afraid that will bring out more Democratic voters next Tuesday. It might be for ME, and he doesn't want to tick off his Republican buddies ?

    Whatever. Either way, Sutton has just shown himself to be an utter coward.

  • 10. jcmeiners  |  October 30, 2014 at 9:34 am

    He sure ain't no Posner. Go figure…

  • 11. guitaristbl  |  October 30, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Sutton is not a coward IMO. I don't like him anymore than you may do mind you but he is no coward. He is opportunistic and strategic in the way he acts, arrogant and poignant in his opinions but he does not seem a coward. He just wants the election dust to settle obviously. The reasons could be what you listed above. Not to anger voters on either side or not to influence the campaign's of candidates one way or another in three states (Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky) where politics in state level are some shade of purple in each. But that's not cowardice IMO. Political opportunism probably but not cowardice.
    Lets hope for the best now.

  • 12. LK2013  |  October 30, 2014 at 11:47 am

    He is afraid that people will vote differently because of his opinion. He is afraid to be held accountable for his opinion. He fears that his opinion might harm people he favors politically. That may be political opportunism, for sure. It is also cowardice. He is afraid to speak the truth and allow voters to make their decisions with full knowledge.

    He is a politically opportunistic scaredy-cat.

  • 13. JamesInCA  |  October 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Deferring a hotly-contested decision until after an imminent and narrow election could be seen as an act of judicial restraint.

  • 14. TomPHL  |  October 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    His job is to decide a point of law. What political repercussions ensue should be a matter of complete indifference to him in his official capacity.

  • 15. Eric  |  October 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Delaying a ruling, continuing irreparable harm to one of the parties, and denying voters information until after they vote, may be a lot of things, but restraint is not one of them.

  • 16. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  October 30, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I for one just don't believe there is a linkage between the election date and the date of the opinion being released. If anything, releasing a pro-ME opinion ahead of the election would only benefit the GOP in my opinion. What does Sutton have to gain from that?

    If I had to place my bets on it, his opinion started as a vacate of the lower court rulings based on Baker v. Nelson (recall him saying marriage equality would be the law of the land sooner or later, but I'm not the one that gets to make that call), but then while he was waiting on Judge Daughtrey to provide her scathing dissent, October 6, 2014 hit, and along with it, cert denials to the marriage equality cases from the 4CA, 10CA, and 7CA. While deciding what to do then, the following day the 9CA unanimously decided for marriage equality. Then he's like oh shit with that one-two punch. He heads down to see his buddy Deb Cook, let's her know she needs to start penning a dissent, and heads over to Judge Daughtrey to put her dissent in the shredder and start talking about how their 2-1 majority opinion is going to look like.

    If none of that holds true, then this is a simple 2-1 vote to uphold the bans against marriage equality and it's taken this long to get the majority opinion and dissent written, reviewed, and ready for publishing. I don't see the election having any impact.

  • 17. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 9:53 am

    You folks should read this…….somehow it goes in line with what the idiots are saying about impartial judges……but it is from MassResistences, so take it for what's it's worth:

  • 18. Rik_SD  |  October 30, 2014 at 10:26 am

    that made me want to hit things

  • 19. sfbob  |  October 30, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Those people are deranged. And lying.

  • 20. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I know….I just can't believe the lies these folks write and tell other Countries……..Grrrrr!!!

  • 21. RQO  |  October 30, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Oh Rose, MassResistance actually writes pretty good propaganda. I can't wait till their next installment, "what to do next". It will probably include smashing the windows of all gay-owned businesses and friendly churches some night, and then passing laws forbidding property ownership, exit visas, etc. I guess we should be happy the wimpy NOM is not backing the final solution, ala Uganda, Saudi Arabia, etc.
    About Scott Lively – I was shocked to learn a week ago from a friend I've known for 20 years that his first wife (whom he had previously described only as having left him for fundamentalism), actually left him for Lively. The stories!! It's all WAY too juicy to put in print, but my take on it is that Mr. Lively is a Rasputin type of questionable (strike that – horrible) morals.

  • 22. F_Young  |  October 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    RQD, I have not been able to find out much about Lively's personal life. He said in a video that he has lesbian (or ex-lesbian?) sister and a gay (or ex-gay?) brother. I'd be curious to know what they think of him.

    Also, I'd like to know if Lively really earned a certificate from the human rights institute in Strasbourg, France, as Lively has claimed?

  • 23. RQO  |  October 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    YOU ARE WAY ahead of me on Livley. I’m still in shock over his 1980’s persona in Oregon. Sorry I’m no help.- Rick

  • 24. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Wow, really can't believe ANYONE would want to be with that piece of garbage!!!

  • 25. davepCA  |  October 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Personally, I think the article is amusing. And it reveals a lot about the "thinking" of the extremists. The author is all bent because so many states are now allowing same sex couples to get a marriage certificate. And he 'blames' all of the anti-gay lawyers for refraining from using unhinged inflammatory anti-gay rhetoric as legal arguments, as if that would have actually been a good tactic and would have won a single case. He goes into detail about the rhetoric he thinks they should have used, and it's plainly obvious that:

    A) none of it is exclusive to gay people and all of that finger pointing applies to straight people too, so it's not remotely logical as an argument to deny marriage to same sex couples while granting it to others, and

    B) none of those issues are the slightest bit relevant to how our laws determine who does & doesn't get access to marriage anyway, gay or straight.

    If they want to shriek a little louder and foam at the mouth a bit frothier as this legal issue is being settled, it can only help our side as more and more people see those irrational histrionics for what they are.

  • 26. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I had NEVER heard of these anti-gay groups until like 6 weeks before my wife and I got married and the first time I read something from MassResistence, I was ALL up in arms thinking how could this stuff be happening and no one was doing anything about it……..then some folks who I now consider friends gave me the low down on groups like the Family Research Council and MassResistence and I realized that my anger was wrong because I didn't understand what the group was trying to prove, since then, I now understand their rhetoric and wonder why so many folks aren't more upset with these folks and their pathetic propaganda!!!

    Many anti-gay trolls on topix's quote their website as if it is the gospel and frankly what these groups are doing in other Countries is nothing shy of human genocide…….they have lost their battle here in our Country but think it is perfectly okay to spout that garbage in other Countries and then reinforcing it by saying look at what the Gays are doing and then pointing at what they believe are "ACTIVIST" Judges…….the problem is that the Leaders in those Countries already have fear of this stuff happening in their own Country and are easily persuaded….which puts other in fear mode……not cool and certainly NOT very Christian like!!!

  • 27. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    We also must thank these organizations because WITHOUT their lies and anti-gay rhetoric……we might NOT be where we are to day……so, we should send flowers to these folks for helping our cause!!!

  • 28. davepCA  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I have made some donations to pro-gay causes 'on behalf of' the name of some anti-gay groups and sent a card or email to the anti-gay group to notify them. He he he. Just a suggestion : )

  • 29. RemC_Chicago  |  October 31, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I love how you think.

  • 30. davepCA  |  October 31, 2014 at 9:22 am

    … The best part is that the antigay group then gets an official 'thank you' card from the pro-gay group, which typically explains how the money will be used : )

  • 31. MrBaronB  |  October 31, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Oh, absolutely!! Without their rabid displays of hate against us, it would have been FAR more difficult for us to get the attention of the general public. People like those psychos at Westboro Baptist have done FAR more for gay rights and awareness that we could have EVER done on our own!

  • 32. RnL2008  |  October 31, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Good Morning MrBaronB, nice to see you posting:-)

    Yes, their rabid ways have helped, but they don't see it that way!!!

  • 33. SeattleRobin  |  October 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    That article was pretty amusing to me. The overall gist is that the marriage ban supporters have been losing because the lawyers have been too nice. (Evidently Christians who put being nice at the top of the list of ways they are expected to behave have a "deeply flawed" understanding of their religion.)

    The article all but comes out and calls the lawyers pansies for not using the best arguments available to them, and instead using weaker defenses. The best, and according to this guy winning, argument is that gay people are immoral, mentally ill perverts. That honestly makes me laugh. That's not a *legal* argument. You know, the kind of argument needed in a court of *law*.

    So the upshot is that if "pro-family" groups would just start being more hateful and display their animosity openly in court they will start winning again. (insert eye roll and snort laugh here)

  • 34. davepCA  |  October 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Exactly. You folks at "mass resistance" go right ahead and give that idea a try. Let's see how well all of that works for ya.

  • 35. sfbob  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    There's that and the idea that "we" somehow "coached" judges on how to rule. I think what they're referring to is the oral arguments that their side and our side made during hearings. But apparently it's only okay if their side does it. Either that or they are seriously suggesting that "we" (really there isn't any "we" in the sense that Mass Resistance is implying) got to the entire judiciary and somehow influenced them en masse before we even started bringing suits. Perhaps they're thinking of that subversive piece of writing known as the Fourteenth Amendment.

  • 36. davepCA  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    How do they suppose 'we' would have convinced every federal judge to go along with that kind of 'coaching'? Trick them all into showing up at the Sheraton under false pretenses, like some kind of timeshare sale pitch bait & switch? : )

  • 37. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    We bribed them with their favorite alcoholic beverage and served them a mighty dinner with mind altering drugs…….I mean REALLY, what do they think??

  • 38. RobW303  |  October 30, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Think? You amuse me.

  • 39. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I try…

  • 40. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Maybe we brought in Monte with his (in)famous 'sticks and balls' routine? We (and Monte) so bamboozled them they all were in our favor?

  • 41. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I just love the word "ACTIVIST" in front of EVERY Judge who has ruled in our favor, I mean really, we "SHOPPED" around until we got the Judges we KNEW where going to rule in our favor….that is just ridiculous and they know it………I mean to accuse Justice Scalia as a Liberal who loves Gays and Lesbians is just laughable…….I mean even the Judges who have ruled AGAINST us see the writing on the wall and know that their rulings are going to overturned……..I'm just SHOCKED by all of their pathetic comments….it's like the videos I posted……..serious by some, but shows just how out of touch with reality they really are!!!

  • 42. davepCA  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    … based on how all of those judges have surprised many of us with the way they ruled, we would have been very wrong if we had actually been able to 'shop' like that. We would not have picked a whole lot of those that ruled in our favor, and some of those have been the ones who have written the strongest and most compelling rulings.

  • 43. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I know…….and exactly how are we suppose to "SHOP" for these Judges?

  • 44. brandall  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    I am simply shocked and apalled that no EoT'ers know how to shop for a HREF="; target="_blank"&gt <a href="http://;…'">judge.” target=”_blank”>;…'">judge.

  • 45. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Oh, such a new idea…….maybe someone should tell Scottie how do shop for the right Judges…….to funny sweetie!!!

  • 46. brandall  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Correction: How to shop for a judge

  • 47. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I wonder….could we shop for a Judge by their attire? or should we look for "OTHER" signs that a Judge will be more prone to rule for our side….like maybe something in a bright rainbow tie, socks or bracelet……I mean SOMETHING must stand out to indicate they are pro-homosexual….right?

  • 48. davepCA  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Well there's always the secret gay handshake, like duh.

  • 49. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Yea, did ya hear what Robertson or one of the other idiots said about wearing a ring with a sharp point on it, that way when one shakes hands, it cut them and gives them HIV/AIDS?

    I swear STUPID should hurt!!

  • 50. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Here's the secret handshake and other travel tips….Andersen Cooper really knows how to make one smile:

  • 51. MrBaronB  |  October 31, 2014 at 8:17 am

    "We are reluctant to sound unkind to the pro-family legal people who worked hard on these cases. But this is such a horrible outcome that something must be said."

    I LOVE watching them turn on their own when they've got nothing left to do. πŸ˜‰

  • 52. Zack12  |  October 30, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Here's my own option on the Sixth.
    I don't think they are stalling, they heard four cases at once and given the fact there is a dissent (we just don't know for which side) that makes the ruling a little longer then usual to come out.
    I won't be shocked if we don't see anything until mid-November.
    Anything beyond that though and it will be obvious they are stalling on releasing a negative ruling until it is too late for SCOTUS to hear the case.

  • 53. guitaristbl  |  October 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Your last paragraph is pretty much my scenario in case they want to rule against ME. Not ruling, or even ruling in favour, so that SCOTUS won't hear a ME case this year and in hopes that the composition of SCOTUS will change till the next term. Cook obviously knows it and she cares. The question here is if Sutton cares enough to act like that.
    For now it's obvious they are waiting for the elections IMO.

  • 54. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 30, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    When they plan to retire, most (almost all?) SCOTUS justices cut back on the people below them, especially those who law clerk under them (usually down to a single law clerk).

    I haven't heard of any of the Justices doing such this term, so to me, that means none are planning on retiring at the end of this 'court year'. We'll have to wait until next April/May for the 2015/16 term for that info.

    Thus it seems, if Cook sees a 'flip' in SCOTUS makeup, she is thinking there will be a Democratic Justice death, and also thinking the election will create a 'flip' in Senate control. Otherwise, President Obama and a Democratic-controlled Senate have general control through the 2016 term.

    Thus the delay in releasing the opinion until after the election might not be coming from Sutton, but from Cook.

    I'm not saying Cook is the only cause of the delay, or even any cause of it, but stranger things have happened (such as the Jets winning the Super Bowl in early 1969? New England not completing a perfect season in 2007/08? Heidi Heitkamp winning the ND Senate seat in 2012? Etc.).

    (I'm a Ravens fan. The Jets and Patriots were chosen completely at random, not because of partisan fan reasons.)

  • 55. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  October 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I'm with you Zach. The multiple/variable cases and the dissent are causing the time required to get this case completed at the 6CA. While I have my wild ideas of it flipping from a 2-1 majority based on Baker to a 2-1 upholding the lower court rulings after SCOTUS denied cert, I'm with you that it's 2-1, and it takes a bit of time to get those completed, especially with the four cases.

    The 7CA and 9CA with their unanimous (and you have to wonder already drafted ruling in the 7CA) rulings made it easy for a quick decision.

  • 56. Randolph_Finder  |  October 30, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    The scary thing about Posner in 7CA is that he is good enough and fast enough that either way is possible.

  • 57. DACiowan  |  October 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    It's not a long drive from Chicago to Cincinnati; maybe Posner could head down there and help the Sixth get something done. πŸ˜€

  • 58. Randolph_Finder  |  October 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Dash off something quick at a Gas Station on the way and still have it viewed as better than most CA Judges. πŸ™‚

  • 59. Silvershrimp0  |  October 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Tulsa county will be required to pay the plaintiff's legal fees in Bishop. Hopefully this will be a nice incentive for other states to start following the law.

  • 60. Ragavendran  |  October 30, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Wow. 5 years worth of legal fees. I wonder what that figure looks like!

  • 61. sfbob  |  October 30, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    This work highly specialized, highly skilled work. The kinds of attorneys who fight for peoples' constitutional rights aren't the sort whose main intent is to get rich but the work itself is costly and time-consuming and the cost of getting an education to practice law is not a small thing these days. So I'm thinking it's on the order of the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    I rather like this statement by the plaintiffs:

    Bishop-Baldwin says she hopes the county can find a way for the state to pay the legal fees. She says state lawmakers who put an unconstitutional marriage ban on the ballot years ago are the ones deserving the blame.

    "The take-away from this is if we elect competent lawmakers, who don't write unconstitutional laws, we won't keep finding ourselves in this situation."


    "Tulsa County Court Clerk Sally Howe Smith says the county shouldn't pay the couple's fees and that the county was upholding the state constitution when it didn't issue marriage licenses."

  • 62. SeattleRobin  |  October 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Whether or not the county and clerk supports the law, it does seem really unfair for a county to be on the hook for a statewide law. If it's a law specific to the county, then sure make them pay.

  • 63. sfbob  |  October 30, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    It's not a matter of whether or not the county clerk supports the law. She did choose to defend it in court and she lost. It may well be that she had no choice but to do so, in which case, if the county clerk's office is assessed separately, her office should ask the state to reimburse them.

  • 64. davepCA  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    "The take-away from this is if we elect competent lawmakers, who don't write unconstitutional laws, we won't keep finding ourselves in this situation."

    Repeated because it should be. Heck, it should be on billboards all over the country.

  • 65. galen697  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Lots of zeros, I expect.

  • 66. W. Kevin Vicklund  |  October 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    To give you an idea, the Intelligent Design trial back in 2005 cost about $2 million in attorney fees. It lasted a year, and the trial was similar in scope to the Prop 8 and the Michigan trials.

    I'm guessing the legal fees in Bishop are near the $5 million mark.

  • 67. dorothyrothchild  |  October 30, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    That makes my whole day. Thanks for posting.

  • 68. Fortguy  |  October 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Too bad Anal Roberts University isn't taxable property.

  • 69. guitaristbl  |  October 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I would love it if Fallin got that bill on her desk directly but that's good enough I guess. Of course the couple should not have to pay for challenging unconstitutional laws.
    I doubt the Oklahoman lawmakers or voters will learn anything from that as the plaintiffs wish but to know justice has been served, even when the bigots learn nothing, is a satisfactory felling.

  • 70. sfbob  |  October 30, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I don't doubt the state will try to appeal having to pay the plaintiffs' fees. The county clerk is already objecting.

  • 71. debater7474  |  October 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Just in case anyone needed a spike in their blood pressure today:…. You're welcome!

  • 72. sfbob  |  October 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    It's just Cruz continuing to be an ignorant jerk. You'd think someone with a law degree from Harvard would know that sexual orientation isn't a choice.

  • 73. guitaristbl  |  October 31, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Cruz again making a fool of himself. So what I get out of that is not only that sexual orientation is a choice but even if we assume it is, then the way he phrases that and although he most likely meant the marriage issue, it seems like he questions who has the authority under the constitution to make the decision if someone is gay or not ! (It would hardly surprise me if he meant that as well though given that Texas has not repealed the unenforcable sodomy law from its books anyway).

    Oh please please please those extremist grassroots republicans should vote him for presidential candidate !

  • 74. RnL2008  |  October 30, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    So, these were done back around the time of the Prop 8 trial:

    And this one:

  • 75. F_Young  |  October 30, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Most Americans Say Employers Should Never Discriminate, Even on Religious Grounds, According to Latest Harris/Out & Equal Poll

    "The latest survey shows only about a third (35%) of all adults believe churches or other houses of worship should be exempt…"

  • 76. ragefirewolf  |  October 30, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    NC Poll shows majority voter disapproval of federal marriage equality ruling

    Think what you will. I'm not sure what to think. πŸ™

  • 77. davepCA  |  October 30, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Well, this is why we have courts to determine if a law violates the Constitution instead of letting the majority decide if they want to discriminate against the minority.

  • 78. ragefirewolf  |  October 30, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Quite right. I guess my concern is that the percentage of disapproval in this poll is higher than the vote for approving the anti-marriage amendment was. :-/

  • 79. debater7474  |  October 30, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    The majority in North Carolina can cram it up their cram-hole. Tough luck bigots.

  • 80. ragefirewolf  |  October 31, 2014 at 5:04 am

    Truer words were never spoken so colorfully, haha

  • 81. RnL2008  |  October 31, 2014 at 12:02 am

    With ANY poll taken, one MUST know how many were surveyed in order to understand the percentages given.

    For me to have ANY faith in a survey, I MUST know the methodology used….otherwise, the numbers or percentages mean nothing. For example, when I was doing my data collection for my thesis…..I discovered that 80% of female firefighters felt that their was gender bias in their field……but what does that 80% actually represent? Without knowing the methodology I used….it could mean 8 out of 10 or 800 out of a 1000……in other words, it means nothing without knowing all of the particulars……just like this poll in the article!!!

    One way to AVOID voter disenfranchise when voting for an amendment like this one or Prop 8 is to have it go through some sort of Constitutional review….this would hopefully help prevent these sort of bans from being placed on the ballot………..then voters WON'T be getting to upset…….but unfortunately that DOESN'T happen…….and it always bothers me how some will be totally upset about having their vote overturned…….but ignore the will of the voters when other issues are overturned or challenged before ever going into effect…….like with Prop 187 here in California regarding illegal immigration……the will of the voters didn't matter, but OMFG, challenge Prop 8 and the world is close to the End of Times!!!

  • 82. MrBaronB  |  October 31, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    The only reason voters feel disenfranchisement to begin with is if a) they don't understand how our system of government or our constitutional republic works and b) they were TOLD to feel disenfranchised by people with ulterior motives.

    You're right–carving out a subset of citizens and subjecting them to unequal treatment because a certain larger group doesn't like them is NOT something that should ever be voted on at all. And lawmakers should know better than putting such laws on the books, too.

    But the truth is, we live in a country where lots and lots of people value ignorance and fear over knowledge and progress. And it's really, really easy to get stupid people to vote against their own self-interests.

  • 83. RnL2008  |  October 31, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Boy, ain't that the truth……..some go blinding into the voting booth and continue to vote for the same people who have done NOTHING to help them or believe as they do. This is how the Tea Party folks got elected, with lies and dishonesty…..and their sole purpose was to fracture the Republican Party, which they have done a great job at, unfortunately we have allowed these thugs to hold our Country hostage until their demands have been met…….frankly, the lot of them need to be tossed in jail for crimes against this Country……but that's just my opinion!!!

  • 84. guitaristbl  |  October 31, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Tillis may be trying to built on that but given how low ME ranks among priority issues for voters it remains to be seen how much it will benefit him. I do not believe Hagan is in immediate danger personally.

  • 85. RLsfba  |  October 31, 2014 at 3:44 am

    This story mentions a suit in Hawaii that I haven't heard about, or I missed it. And, here comes Hobby Lobby again.

    "That case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, has now surfaced in a dispute between two gay California women and a Hawaii bed and breakfast owner who refused to rent a room to them. A Hawaii judge ruled the business owner violated an antidiscrimination law, and she appealed."

  • 86. Steve84  |  October 31, 2014 at 8:44 am

    There was a case about two lesbians and a B&B a good while ago. The Christers lost. Could they appealing after all this time now that the legal landscape has changed?

    And if yes, they are just more useful idiots for extremist legal groups like the ADF who are constantly searching for puppets to use in their cases.

  • 87. Eric  |  October 31, 2014 at 9:00 am

    The Hobby Lobby decision was about a federal law, not state law. The decision also expressly mentioned that the decision was not an excuse for commercial discrimination. Those citing the case may want to actually read it.

  • 88. sfbob  |  October 31, 2014 at 9:57 am

    There's a certain amount of "on the one hand…on the other hand" at work here. The plain wording of the Hobby Lobby decision stated it could not be used to support discrimination. But current Court is not shy about ignoring its own statements when doing so provides the results the majority on the Court wants. So it will be interesting, I think to see in the future what sorts of outcomes the Court desires; we can't really necessarily rely on the contents of its prior rulings no matter how clear cut they seem to be.

  • 89. RnL2008  |  October 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I agree with ya Eric…….SCOTUS was extremely careful to ensure that this ruling would NOT or could NOT be used to justify discrimination…, we know this Court can change it's meaning on a whim…..but for now the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case was very narrow….we will have to see how it works out going forward!!!

  • 90. Steve84  |  October 31, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    They *claimed* that the case wouldn't be a slippery slope. I'm not convinced.

  • 91. Zack12  |  October 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I'm not convinced either.
    Conservatives want to gut the Civil Rights Act like they did with the VRA, the Hobby Lobby will give them tools to do just that.

  • 92. F_Young  |  October 31, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Major AIDS prevention breakthrough:

    "A scientific trial of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, based in France has had its randomized phase shut down due to high effectiveness, according to researchers."
    "According to a statement released by researchers, the IPERGAY data safety management board ( DSMB ) compared the incidence rate of HIV infection in the two groups of participants and found a very significant reduction in the risk of HIV infection in the "on demand" PrEP group, one that was much higher even than the reduction observed in the earlier iPrEx trial. The iPrEx trial, results of which were initially released in 2010, suggested that using PrEP reduced the risk of HIV infection by 44 percent. The reduction is thought to be significant higher—at over 90 percent—for those who adhere to the regimen faithfully"
    "Jean-FranÃοΏ½ois Delfraissy, director of ANRS ( France REcherche Nord&Sud Sida-hiv Hépatites ) added, "This is a major breakthrough in the fight against HIV. The results of the ANRS IPERGAY trial should change national and international recommendations towards HIV prevention."

  • 93. guitaristbl  |  October 31, 2014 at 6:28 am

    On the Houston HERO issue : I am terribly dissapointed at Parker for caving in to religious bullying, from Fox News mainly, and withdrawing the subpoenas. I thought highly of her and now I feel like she did not stand firm to her ground. She won't gain the approval of those she tries to appease with such a move and she has definately lost support among those who stood with her and the law.
    I do hope the issue ends in court in January and the ordinance won't go to a vote, especially after all this lying and spinning from faux, Huckabee and those vile pastors.

  • 94. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 31, 2014 at 7:11 am

    “I am terribly dis[ ]apointed at Parker for caving in to religious bullying, from Fox News mainly, and withdrawing the subpoenas.”

    I’m right there with you. Although, one could tell that might be the result from her initial response to the criticism that the subpoenas were to broad. Of course they were not. As someone else previously posted on another thread (paraphrase) that is part of the discovery phase of the trial. And an important one I might add.

    Who said what when and where is very important to the outcome of the litigation. Without that, the entire thing is likely to fall on its face. I think we can see clearly where our next battle ground is going to be.

  • 95. guitaristbl  |  October 31, 2014 at 7:24 am

    I believe the state has a clear case when it comes to the invalidation of the signatures, and that will work out even without the subpoenas.
    Of course the subpoenas were a very typical legal procedure given that these pastors are parties in the lawsuit that was brought against the city, but these days putting religion as the reason you do something and crying "religious freedom!" pretty much allows you to skip virtually any law and legal procedure you want in the USA. A sad reality, one endorsed by SCOTUS as well.
    Anyway even if this goes on a vote I expect after all this attention to bring big funds for both sides and especially the pro-HERO campaign. I can still count on Houston being a liberal city overall I hope. But as I said, I do not believe it will go to a vote after all.

  • 96. montezuma58  |  October 31, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I have to disagree on this. The crux of the suit is whether or not the signatures were valid. The pages that were rejected did not have valid signature of the person who collected the signatures. That is a rather straight forward issue to resolve.

    The subpoenas should have been limited to any communications directly related to the collection of signatures to start off with. Asking for anything related to general political or religious views are out of bounds (even if the target organizations weren't churches). They can talk about issues I general terms if they wish. It really has nothing to do with the validity of the questioned signatures on the petition.

  • 97. JayJonson  |  October 31, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Doesn't it seem strange that these churches are resisting the subpoenas in the first place? They are always complaining that they no longer get to be heard by the public. One would think they would be happy to disseminate their sermons far and wide.

    Of course, the real reason they resist the subpoenas is that it gives them an opportunity to portray themselves yet again as victims who are being persecuted for their beliefs.

  • 98. Marriage Equality Round-U&hellip  |  October 31, 2014 at 6:42 am

    […] USA, Alabama: More state briefs have been filed in the marriage equality case. full story […]

  • 99. Marriage Equality Round-U&hellip  |  October 31, 2014 at 6:54 am

    […] USA, Alabama: More state briefs have been filed in the marriage equality case. full story […]

  • 100. JayJonson  |  October 31, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Ari Ezra Waldman on Baker and Puerto Rico:

  • 101. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  October 31, 2014 at 9:37 am

    A good read and what we've been contemplating on EoT: Is the 1CA bound by their more recent statements (two years ago) in the DOMA case that Baker is still controlling as binding precedent. How can that be thought of as true given the SCOTUS had several writs of certiorari in front of it all indicating Baker no longer controls and these marriage equality bans are unconstitutional, yet the SCOTUS opted to not take any of them up and indicate Baker controls. The Federal Judge in Puerto Rico obviously does not look into doctrinal developments much for his research on the motion to dismiss the case.

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