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Equality news round-up: Kansas hearing postponed, and more

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Seal of the Tennessee JudiciaryBREAKING UPDATE: Kansas officials are asking the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the federal district court decision striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

– Today’s hearing in the Kansas Supreme Court in a marriage case has been canceled. The court has asked for more briefing in light of the federal ruling.

– In Tennessee, a judge has ruled against challengers to HB600. That law stripped cities and counties of the ability to pass non-discrimination ordinances (except for ones that apply to public employees.) The decision is based only on legal standing, and doesn’t address the constitutionality of the law.

– The EEOC has a guide for LGBT workers.

– The federal judge who struck down Florida’s same-sex marriage ban has declined to lift the stay. The judge also refused to extend it.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. Silvershrimp0  |  November 6, 2014 at 8:10 am

    The sad thing about the Tennessee law is that the Nashville ordinance that it overruled was pretty toothless. Nashville passed a city ordinance that only required city contractors to adopt the same nondiscrimination policy that applies to city employees. There was no enforcement mechanism. There was an outcry largely from outside Nashville, and the state passed a law preventing cities from passing nondiscrimination ordinances that cover more groups than the state nondiscrimination laws.

    Also, the 6th seems a bit late publishing opinions for today. Could it mean…?

  • 2. guitaristbl  |  November 6, 2014 at 8:21 am

    They have been about an hour late before. They have not published any major opinions for days though so…We'll see.

  • 3. BenG1980  |  November 6, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I would expect the 6th to wait a few more days so it's not blatantly obvious they timed it around the election (i.e., maybe next Wednesday because Tuesday is Veterans Day), but any day now is of course possible!

    Update: looks like just one published opinion today written by Cook and joined by Daughtrey that had already been released earlier this week as an unpublished opinion.

  • 4. DACiowan  |  November 6, 2014 at 8:32 am

    The Sixth did release an opinion by Sutton yesterday, on a hearing that happened October 10. He probably used that as procrastination.

    (Also today the time since arguments ties the 10th Circuit with Bishop for the longest Circuit Court wait on an opinion.)

  • 5. Jen_in_MI  |  November 6, 2014 at 8:45 am

    I am beyond tired of waiting on them…

  • 6. ragefirewolf  |  November 6, 2014 at 10:13 am

    OMG, right?!

  • 7. guitaristbl  |  November 6, 2014 at 8:18 am

    I had no idea such heinous law existed in Tennessee..I hope a decision on the merits is reached soon and it is struck down !

  • 8. SeattleRobin  |  November 6, 2014 at 8:40 am

    I haven't read any details yet. But if the judge ruled they don't have standing, they won't get to the merits.

    Tennessee is also the "don't say gay" law state.

  • 9. guitaristbl  |  November 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

    So someone who has standing should come forward and sue ! It's Tennessee, finding someone discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation should be like finding gum stuck on a pavement.

  • 10. Silvershrimp0  |  November 6, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I don't think "Don't Say Gay" ever passed. Fortunately, the bill's sponsor lost his seat recently.

  • 11. RemC_Chicago  |  November 6, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Oh, that's good news—that the bill's sponsor lost the election.

  • 12. guitaristbl  |  November 6, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Nope, not today from the 6th..There is a published opinion by Cook, from a 3 judge panel that also included Daughtrey, but no marriage cases.

  • 13. BenG1980  |  November 6, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Yes, and as I noted above it had already been released earlier this week as an unpublished opinion. Come on, judges … write faster!!!

  • 14. davepCA  |  November 6, 2014 at 9:39 am

    …..Maybe we should forward this link to them…..

  • 15. hopalongcassidy  |  November 6, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog!

  • 16. DACiowan  |  November 6, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Sutton, if you ever wonder,
    Wonder why we're in misery,
    We're waiting on your ruling in Cincinnati
    Cincinnati USAC

    Getting tired of waiting, browsing, and refreshing,
    Ruling to ruling, wanting down the aisle,
    Maybe your decision was never meant to be
    But SCOTUS thought of us with a denial
    So we're at the 6th USAC in Cincinnati…

  • 17. ragefirewolf  |  November 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Umm, wouldn't that Tennessee law go against Romer v. Evans?

    More importantly, are they going to appeal on the standing issue??

  • 18. Eric  |  November 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    No, it was broadly worded that cities can add additional classes, it didn't specially single out LGBT persons.

  • 19. ragefirewolf  |  November 6, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Sometimes courts consider legislative intent instead of the literal wording of the statute when considering whether a law is constitutional or not. I don't think this law would hold up in court because the legislative intent is clear, IMHO.

  • 20. ragefirewolf  |  November 6, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Further reading:

    "In accordance with EEO Pre-Complaint Processing Procedures set forth in MD 110 Chapter 2, EEO Counselors should assist individuals in clearly defining their claims. Lesbian, gay and bisexual employees who believe they have been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation should be counseled that they have a right to file a complaint under the 1614 process, because they may have experienced sex discrimination, as described above."


  • 21. bythesea66  |  November 6, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Good. I suspect that we'll more quickly get ENDA-type protections and housing protection via the courts rather than national legislation (which seems unlikely before 2017 at the earliest and probably longer).

  • 22. dlejrmex  |  November 6, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Even though this is for federal employees, would this help people in states without sexual orientation protections since the EEO is clearly stating that SO discrimination is a form of sex discrimination (as long as it is well stated…)

  • 23. ragefirewolf  |  November 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Right, but it's also good to know what you'll encounter when you talk to an EEO counselor.

  • 24. Jaesun100  |  November 6, 2014 at 11:05 am

    hopefully this will Shut Down any ideas Tillis gets.

  • 25. guitaristbl  |  November 6, 2014 at 11:41 am

    They will introduce and probably pass legislation that will allow the magistrates to refuse to perform same sex marriages (I doubt they will try appear less bigoted and say that any magistrate should be able to refuse any marriage he disagrees with based on strongly held beliefs – god forbid a christian judge refuses to marry a divorcee – also a wedding against christian doctrine as most understand it – although I doubt any of these judges who resign are so honest to uphold every teaching of their religion).

    It will most probably be passed and signed so it will be up to a couple who goes to get married and is denied a ceremony by the magistrate available at the time there to bring a nice lawsuit.

    A public employee not doing his job – following the law – even with another law's protection has to be struck down even from this SCOTUS. After all, all we heard after the hobby lobby ruling is that "if you don't like it don't work there".

  • 26. Zack12  |  November 6, 2014 at 11:51 am

    That is how it will play out.
    The minute this stupid law passes, a lawsuit should be filed and the animus behind this law can be shown for all to see.

  • 27. Eric  |  November 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I hope the Establishment Clause groups challenge the law. Special rights for superstition is unconstitutional.

  • 28. sfbob  |  November 6, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    It's doesn't even qualify as special rights for superstition; merely as special rights for bigots. The bible does not single out gays for special persecution above anyone else who is disapproved of therein and yet the clear intent is to makes these laws for the sole purpose of discriminating against the LGBT community. Otherwise the people behind these laws would have to note that they can be used to deny services to adulterers and fornicators, those who wear clothing of mixed fabrics, those who eat pork or shellfish and…well, fill in the blank. Incidentally you will find no place in the Old Testament where the divorced are considered sinners; Judaism has no prohibition against divorce and remarriage. I throw that in just in case anyone makes the argument that Leviticus or any other portion of the OT can be used to discriminate against the divorced.

  • 29. RLsfba  |  November 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    INAL – I don't know if it would even be possible, but could there ever be a trial with testimony about justifying and proving these deeply held beliefs? Can it ever be pointed out that these beliefs are cherry-picked off the menu at the Bigotry Buffet?

  • 30. guitaristbl  |  November 6, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Yes but to file a lawsuit better for someone to have standing to do so, prove immediate injury. We do not want to see what happened in Tennessee happen here (although the law in Tennessee is different and it is indeed surprising that Romer has not come up yet..Maybe it's the fact tha they get stuck on the standing issue but once they get past that somehow, Romer pretty much clears the way for the law to be struck down).

  • 31. ragefirewolf  |  November 6, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Tillis unfortunately got elected US Senator for NC, so hopefully he'll keep those ideas to himself on the federal level.

  • 32. Zack12  |  November 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Our base didn't turn out and from what I've read, it's because Hagan alienated the people she needed to turn out to vote.
    Her throwing Obama under the bus hurt her more then it helped.

  • 33. Ragavendran  |  November 6, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    State and Federal Courts Clash in Houston, TX. A state judge has ordered the city to stop providing same-sex employee benefits. But a federal judge had already ruled that the city should continue granting these benefits. Supremacy Clause to the rescue!

  • 34. RnL2008  |  November 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Okay, I'm a little late to the party…but have the idiots in Kansas NOT been paying attention regarding Stays on this issue? My guess is the 10th is NOT going to granted it and NEITHER will SCOTUS…….now, I'm off to cruise the 77 page brief!!!

  • 35. brooklyn11217  |  November 6, 2014 at 1:29 pm


    Edit to add: just got posted on main page.

  • 36. RnL2008  |  November 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Is this the circuit split we need and will it be done in time for SCOTUS to rule on it this term?

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