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BREAKING: Montana same-sex marriage ban struck down

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A federal judge has ruled that Montana’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. Montana was the last state in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that still retained its same-sex marriage ban. The Ninth Circuit ruled in Latta v. Otter and Sevcik v. Sandoval that Idaho and Nevada’s bans are unconstitutional, and that decision applies to the entire Ninth Circuit.

From the opinion:

Montana’s laws that ban same-sex marriage impose a “disfavored legal status” on same-sex couples. The time has come for Montana to follow all the other states within the Ninth Circuit and recognize that laws that ban same-sex marriage violate the constitutional right of same-sex couples to equal protection of the laws. Today Montana becomes the thirty-fourth state to permit same-sex marriage.

There is no stay on the ruling, and the injunction takes effect immediately.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings

121 Comments

  • 1. brandall  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    That's 35 now!

    YEAH! A decision (Montana) with NO GAY=STAY! It's about time. BTW, nicely written decision recapping Lata with some comments at the end by Judge Morris:

    "This Court recognizes that not everyone will celebrate this outcome. This decision overturns a Montana Constitutional amendment approved by the voters of Montana. Yet the United States Constitution exists to protect disfavored minorities from the will of the majority."

  • 2. MichaelGrabow  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I assume you are including SC?

  • 3. brandall  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Yes, and to your point….I'm flooded with tweets and new releases right now, half saying 34 states and the others saying 35 states. There were marriages in SC today, so I'm staying optimistic.

  • 4. MichaelGrabow  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Oh, I think that's totally fair, I was just curious.

  • 5. montezuma58  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    "But late Wednesday afternoon, the South Carolina Supreme Court recognized the ruling Condon was following and lifted the injunction against South Carolina probate judges issuing same sex marriage licenses." http://www.carolinalive.com/news/story.aspx?id=11

    The South Carolina Supreme Court sees the writing on the wall. So do the governor and attorney general. Unfortunately they don't know how to read.

  • 6. RemC_Chicago  |  November 20, 2014 at 5:42 am

    Bull's eye!

  • 7. hopalongcassidy  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    "Yet the United States Constitution exists to protect disfavored minorities from the will of the majority."
    ———————————————————————————————————-
    And that really is the crux, the bottom line, the summary and substance of the whole question. It is stunningly amazing that some people can't see it.

  • 8. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    You really can't boil it down to any better than that. Plain and simple – US Constitution will project from the individual state constitutions.

  • 9. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Another Star!!!

  • 10. guitaristbl  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    From the ruling :

    "These families want for their children what all families in Montana want.
    They want to provide a safe and loving home in which their children have the
    chance to explore the world in which they live. They want their children to have
    the chance to discover their place in this world. And they want their children to
    have the chance to fulfill their highest dreams. These families, like all of us, want
    their children to adventure into the world without fear of violence; to achieve all
    that their talent and perseverance allows without fear of discrimination; and to love
    themselves so that they can love others. No family wants to deprive its precious
    children of the chance to marry the loves of their lives. Montana no longer can
    deprive Plaintiffs and other same-sex couples of the chance to marry their loves."

    And THAT'S how you can tell a judge who would have ruled in favour of ME regardless of binding circuit precedent (in contrast to Skavdahl for example).

    Also Sutton receives his fair amount of trolling, and it was about time :

    " The available social science indicates that
    the children raised by these same-sex couples will “fare just as well as their peers
    Case 4:14-cv-00040-BMM Document 44 Filed 11/19/14 Page 15 of 1816
    physically, psychologically, emotionally, cognitively, and socially.” Kulstad, 220
    P.3d at 601; see also Perry, 704 F. Supp. 2d at 980-81 and DeBoer v. Snyder, 973
    F. Supp. 2d 757 (E.D. Mich. 2014), rev’d on other grounds, 2014 WL 5748990
    (6th Cir. 2014) (recognizing that the overwhelming scientific consensus
    demonstrates “no differences” in outcomes for children raised in opposite-sex
    households and children raised in same-sex households). "

    You also have to love how the judge has kept count of the states that have marriage equality ("Today Montana becomes the thirty-fourth state to permit same-sex marriage.")

    A very moving, heartfelt decision. Thank you judge Morris.

  • 11. Pat_V  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    "Today Montana becomes the 34th state to permit same-sex marriage"
    Haha, before every county of Kansas, South Carolina and Montana start issuing licenses, it seems that it will take a few more days and that these 3 states will be competing for 33th, 34th and 35th place. (Excluding Missouri)

  • 12. josejoram  |  November 19, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Well, I always wonder, what should societa do if somebody, someday "can" show harms to children being raised by same sex couples. Judges will take those children from those couples, no matter how long they've been together?

  • 13. josejoram  |  November 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    And what if same sex marriage bans furthers gay and lesbianas to Ruth into heterosexual marriages, just to comply with social expectations. Those "faulted" marriages will result perhaps in offspring whose parents will necessarely break away, someday.

  • 14. jjcpelayojr  |  November 19, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    That'd be a tough one to prove. One would have to prove that the harm is exclusively/predominantly a result from being raised by same sex couples and cannot also be found in harm raised by heterosexual couples.

    Many children are harmed by their biological parents today and that hasn't changed much on judge's outlook on heterosexual parenting.

  • 15. David_Midvale_UT  |  November 20, 2014 at 7:18 am

    In the practice of family law, judges regularly take children away from unfit parents. The difference is Due Process.

  • 16. StraightDave  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Yay!!
    Keep piling on, guys. The West is monstrously blue now. MT might not have a lot of people but it sure has a lot of acreage.
    And not even a temporary stay to let MT whine about it for a week. They can whine on their own time now- who cares. This is the new reality.

  • 17. DACiowan  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    We now have every state from the Rockies on west. Once South Carolina's stay runs out, the Kansas fiasco will be the only precedent state without full marriage.

  • 18. flyerguy77  |  November 19, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    When will be ACLU dragging rest of counties in Kansas to federal court? both federal court and Kansas Supreme Court say they need to follow the federal court's decision.

  • 19. netoschultz  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Might we get Arkansas before SCOTUS take a marriage case?

  • 20. davepCA  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    YES!!! EXCELLENT!!! Very, very good news.

    …reading it now….. and…

    Heightened Scrutiny applies!

  • 21. ijsnyder  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I cannot imagine a more beautiful place to get married than Glacier National Park and it is now 100% legal!

  • 22. David_Midvale_UT  |  November 20, 2014 at 7:23 am

    The little park across the street from (Mormon) Temple Square (Salt Lake City) does not have the same vistas, but the Karma is equally beautiful. 😉

  • 23. brandall  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    @ChrisJohnson stating Montana AG will appeal to the 9th Circuit. Good luck with that one. Governor Bullock is pro ME.

    UPDATE: The AG is Tim Fox. Hey, ragefirewolf AKA Angry Flame Fox AKA Wolf of Raging Fires, can you give your distant cousin a call and tell him to go hunt for a chicken or something? Maybe you can suggest he goes to Idaho and catches an Otter?

  • 24. Brad_1  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Out Fox.

  • 25. Brad_1  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Brandall, my lame joke; I deleted it to avoid any confusion.

  • 26. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    What, am I your hunting dog now? LOL!

    <3

  • 27. RemC_Chicago  |  November 20, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Hey! Did I inspire your name change? Best one yet. Don't change it.

  • 28. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 20, 2014 at 6:17 am

    You sure did, Rem! I will 😀

  • 29. LK2013  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! Oh, happy day! Great news!

  • 30. LK2013  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    It looks like Montana has no waiting period … plus common law marriage! So, there you go!

  • 31. Steve27516  |  November 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Hey, MiffedSweatyDachshund, where are you? It's time for another happy dance!!
    🙂
    (I say this in friendship, you know!)

  • 32. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I'm here! I'm here!

    A-WIGGLE, A-WIGGLE WIGGLE
    A-WIGGLE WIGGLE
    WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE!!!!!

  • 33. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Exactly……….here ya go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwjfUFyY6M

  • 34. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you, Rose! I just happy danced myself all over my kitchen listening to that!

  • 35. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    It was certainly my pleasure to return the favor:-)

  • 36. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    <3 <3 <3

  • 37. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    You are a great friend…..love ya:-)

  • 38. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 20, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Love ya too!

  • 39. Steve27516  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you, Wolf!

  • 40. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    <3 my pleasure

  • 41. davepCA  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    OWG – dude – a wonderfully weird and funny youtube video for our resident wiggler:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35uhud2k78M

  • 42. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Hahahahaha! That was awesome!!

  • 43. brandall  |  November 19, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    OMG, an EOT outage. That was awful. It was like loosing cable in the middle of the Super Bowl!

    Scottie, are you alive and breathing?

  • 44. Steve27516  |  November 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Is everyone OK?
    C'mon, group hug now.
    Everything's gonna be all right.

  • 45. brandall  |  November 19, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    My PC tied into an East Coast ISP can now access EOT. But, my SF ISP PC still can't reach the site. I suspect a DNS issue at hand.

  • 46. brandall  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    SF ISP PC can now reach EOT.

  • 47. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    That literally was horrible to experience.

  • 48. mjnichol  |  November 19, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I think having 34 states with marriage equality must have overwhelmed the site 🙂

  • 49. brandall  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    BEST NEWS OF THE DAY (besides Montana)….NOM IS BROKE!

    I've been checking daily for NOM to release their 2013 501 filing. They were broke at the end of 2013. Income down 50% from the previous year. Only one major donor who provided $2.2M. All the rest are $10K and less. Liabilities exceed assets by $2.7M. Add to this they lost $2.7M in 2012. They must be really in trouble by now.

    More later.
    http://nationformarriage.org/financial-reports/no

  • 50. davepCA  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Time for me to put on my special schadenfreude lederhosen and do a little polka dance : )

    Would someone like to join me in a little a-wiggle-wiggle? : )

  • 51. hopalongcassidy  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I only know the waltz, but I'm willing to fake it.
    😀

  • 52. Dr. Z  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    This calls for a military toe-tap with sparklers, a la Ann Miller.

  • 53. ebohlman  |  November 20, 2014 at 1:27 am

    As opposed to a Minneapolis airport toe-tap?

  • 54. RemC_Chicago  |  November 20, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Have you got the hair for it?

  • 55. Dr. Z  |  November 20, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Had to check it as a lethal weapon.

    When I was a gal down at old MGM
    They gave me the roles sorta like Auntie Em
    I guess I really showed them
    When I killed L.B. Mayer by hittin' him with my hair

  • 56. A_Jayne  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Love to polka. I'm dancing with you now!

  • 57. guitaristbl  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    I would really like this donor who gave them more than 2 mil honestly. How a man with such a poor judgement as to where to invest has so much money to give away ?

  • 58. Brad_1  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Perhaps we should ask one of the Koch brothers.

    (Though things don't always go better with Koch.)

  • 59. JayJonson  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I do not know the answer, but I am guessing it might be Howard Ahmanson, Jr. He inherited a vast banking fortune (so he didn't have to exercise any good judgment in attaining his fortune) and is a principal supporter of extreme right-wing causes in the United States. He has been associated with the Christian Reconstructionist Movement, which advocates for the government's imposition of Old and New Testament biblical laws and principles, including the prescription of capital punishment for homosexual acts. His purpose, Ahmanson said in 1985, is "the total integration of biblical law into our lives."

    (In fairness, Ahmanson announced in 2004 that he no longer considers it "essential" to stone homosexuals to death.)

    Ahmanson was the single largest individual contributor to California's Proposition 8 campaign. He donated $1,395,000 to the "Yes on 8" organization.

    He has also been a major supporter of the "ex-gay" movement and of the secession of congregations and dioceses from the Episcopal Church of the United States as a result of the ordination of Bishop V. Gene Robinson in 2003.

    Although he is an Evangelical while NOM is mostly Roman Catholic, Ahmanson seems ecumenical in his support of any organization that is anti-gay.

  • 60. guitaristbl  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks for the info, I did not know anything about this man tbh, just read his page on wikipedia and wow..scary is the least I can say about his..work. He almost turned California red essentially. Seems like an even more extreme version of the Koch brothers and seems quite influential. He totally fits the profile of being NOM'a top donor honestly..But my guess is that if he continues pourif money down this hole, he will have some problems soon. A man with such shameless determination to impose a theocracy should not have so much power through money. Never.

  • 61. Brad_1  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    That's interesting, Jay. That makes sense.

    I'd always figured the Koch brothers (holdings including Georgia-Pacific, Quilted Northern, Brawny) were bankrolling NOM, but Ahmanson (now-defunct Home Savings) seems most likely.

  • 62. Dr. Z  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I've always been a bit skeptical the Kochs were acting as NOM's sugar daddy. David Koch gives money to support Nova and science education. Doesn't fit NOM's Spanish Inquisition mindset.

  • 63. ebohlman  |  November 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Both Koch brothers are on public record as supporting marriage equality, so if NOM's true goal is opposing marriage equality, it wouldn't make sense for them to donate to it.

    However, I've sometimes wondered if NOM's true raison d'etre is actually about weakening or abolishing campaign disclosure laws, with ME opposition being mostly a vehicle for achieving that. If that's true, then I could see the Kochs donating to it secretly.

  • 64. JayJonson  |  November 20, 2014 at 8:04 am

    At least one of the Koch brothers has been outspoken in favor of marriage equality. The Koch brothers are not particularly interested in social issues; they simply want to make themselves even richer at the expense of the federal government and have no scruples about buying politicians to further their ends.

  • 65. David_Midvale_UT  |  November 20, 2014 at 7:33 am

    NOM was created as a front group for the LDS (Mormon) organization. Although the LDS leadership has distanced themselves from NOM because of the backlash from Prop. 8, individual members with deep pockets might still provide financial support.

  • 66. JayJonson  |  November 20, 2014 at 8:06 am

    While Mormons funneled money into NOM's Prop 8 campaign, NOM itself is primarily Roman Catholic. Brown, Gallagher, George, et al. are Roman Catholic, and until recently, as far as is possible to tell, most of the contributors to their campaigns have been Roman Catholic, including bishops and the Knights of Columbus, though they try not to reveal the names of their donors.

  • 67. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    If NoM is broke and in debt, I wonder who will help them to oppose Senator Portman of Ohio, a candidate NoM claims they will defeat in the next election?

  • 68. Lynn_E  |  November 20, 2014 at 2:01 am

    How many brown suits will that buy for his next bus tour?

  • 69. Dr. Z  |  November 20, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Maybe that's why NOM is so determined to avoid releasing any financial info – not to protect their donor (singular) but to obscure the fact that it's little more than a slush fund forBrown and Eastman.

  • 70. Zack12  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    It's nice to see that since Sutton and Cook's ruling came out, other judges have been giving it the acknowledgement it deserves, which is none.

  • 71. jdw_karasu  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Clearly not ignoring it… but very much calling it out. 🙂

  • 72. Zack12  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    That as well.

  • 73. guitaristbl  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Oh they acknowledge its existence…But they mostly criticize it harshly (McGee v. Cole) or troll it (Rolando v. Fox). It's so full of holes that any judge can pick and choose from which side it wants to attack it. From the poor analysis of the issues at hand to the failure of the majority in the 6th to fulfill their duty as judges, there is plenty of space to make some fun of Sutton.

  • 74. Zack12  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I wish the only judge to rule in favor of DOMA had gotten trolled as well but since he was in the minority, kinda of hard to do.

  • 75. ebohlman  |  November 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I keep getting this mental image of a middle school playground where somebody suddenly yells "dogpile on Sutton!"

  • 76. hopalongcassidy  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Reminds me of the somewhat cheesy but heart warming movie "Big Eden" that was set in Montana http://maps.google.com/local_url?dq=Swan+Lake+Tra

  • 77. sfbob  |  November 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Loved that movie.

  • 78. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Here is a map through the LA Times……Montana has been changed: http://graphics.latimes.com/usmap-gay-marriage-ch

  • 79. Raga  |  November 19, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    I thought Missouri now recognizes marriages performed out-of-state? But it is not in light blue, as it should be… Hmm…

  • 80. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    It's strange because that site had been rather behind and then today it was pretty much caught up except with regards to Kansas and Missouri…..doesn't make any sense!!!

  • 81. Jen_in_MI  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    It's a time for honesty. I had blithely assumed that, since I live in an ostensibly "blue" state (which in reality is a muddy purple), that I would be one of the fortunate celebrating my marriage in an equality state, while more "backwards" states fought to the bitter end to discriminate. The reality is I actually live in a bitter dead-ender state that's as bigoted and pathetic as any southern state has ever been accused of being. What a disgusting dose of reality it's been realizing how pitiful and backwards my state and the majority of its people truly are. If I could I'd move far away and never look back.

  • 82. debater7474  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    It's not about the state's people, really. In 2010, the redistricting year, Republicans had a national wave that enabled them to pick up total control of Michigan's state government. The Republicans then redistricted and redrew the lines so that it's funtionally impossible for Democrats to gain a majority in either house of the state legislature until after the lines are redrawn in 2020. And then when it comes to the governor and attorney general, they both only won because they ran in Republican wave years, 2010 and 2014, when Democrats in Michigan don't come out to vote. It's not really about the state's people, so much as it is the nastiness of the Republican Party.

  • 83. Zack12  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    And the failure of our own party.
    Howard Dean and Krystal Ball are 100% correct that on local and state levels, Democrats in many states don't take it seriously at all.
    And they've been made to pay for it in 2010 and 2014.

  • 84. Zack12  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I sadly had that dose of reality here in NY during our fight for marriage equality.
    As it stands, we have a county clerk who is being allowed to openly discriminate against same sex couples and our Governor and AG won't do a darn thing about it.
    As to your case, I said this yesterday in that I wish I had been wrong about the outcome but when I saw the panel for the cases, I knew we were in trouble.
    Sutton and Cook are two examples of right wing hacks posing as judges that George W was able to put on the courts.
    No matter, come June, SCOTUS will tell them and their option to go to hell.

  • 85. Zack12  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I sadly had that dose of reality here in NY during our fight for marriage equality.
    As it stands, we have a county clerk who is being allowed to openly discriminate against same sex couples and our Governor and AG won't do a darn thing about it.
    As to your case, I said this yesterday in that I wish I had been wrong about the outcome but when I saw the panel for the cases, I knew we were in trouble.
    Sutton and Cook are two examples of right wing hacks posing as judges that George W was able to put on the courts.
    No matter, come June, SCOTUS will tell them and their option to go to hell.
    I jsut wish the reality of your state being controlled by Republicans would change as well.

  • 86. Zack12  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I sadly had that dose of reality here in NY during our fight for marriage equality.
    As it stands, we have a county clerk who is being allowed to openly discriminate against same sex couples and our Governor and AG won't do a darn thing about it.
    Make no mistake, we might have marriage equality in the Blue states but it was a long and ugly battle in order to do so.
    As to your case, I said this yesterday in that I wish I had been wrong about the outcome but when I saw the panel for the cases, I knew we were in trouble.
    Sutton and Cook are two examples of right wing hacks posing as judges that George W was able to put on the courts.
    No matter, come June, SCOTUS will tell them and their option to go to hell.
    I jsut wish the reality of your state being controlled by Republicans would change as well.

  • 87. Rick55845  |  November 19, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Cheer up. Consider that it is quite reasonably likely that marriage equality will be the law of the land over this entire country by the end of June, 2015.

    For what it's worth, I live in Texas, one of those socially repressive "backwards" states you spoke of. The only real difference between us is that I've always known that Texas would be among the very last to have marriage equality. That doesn't make me feel better about it. I'm just happy to know that it's all coming to an end, very soon.

  • 88. davepCA  |  November 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Jen, our thoughts are with you and everyone else who is still being subjected to this kind of inexcusable discrimination, especially when discrimination is being given force in our laws. I clearly remember what it felt like here in California the day after the 2008 election when Prop 8 passed, and the months of marriage celebrations came to an abrupt end as our laws slammed the door to equality, excluding us. But for what it's worth, this WILL change, and this discrimination WILL end. And we got your back until that happens.

  • 89. RemC_Chicago  |  November 20, 2014 at 5:55 am

    You have every right to feel as you do, particularly since the entire Michigan case was as perfect a situation as we could have hoped for, from the plaintiffs with their children to the trial and the debunking that went on there, and Judge Friedman's wonderful ruling. Sutton ought to be humiliated when the Supremes rule against him.

  • 90. Zack12  |  November 20, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Sutton and Cook won't be humilated in any way shape or form.
    They haven't given a crap the other 26 times their circuit has been overturned in the past two years, they won't care now.
    They have no soul, simple as that.

  • 91. Silvershrimp0  |  November 20, 2014 at 7:21 am

    As a Tennessee resident, I feel you. It's really going to be embarrassing if Mississippi gets an unstayed preliminary injunction.

  • 92. SoCal_Dave  |  November 20, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I know it may not be much comfort right now, but hopefully SCOTUS will take the Michigan case, and it will be a sweet victory if Michigan is the state that brings marriage equality to itself and all the other "backwards" places. Hang in there, Jen <3

  • 93. SPQRobin  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Upcoming votes and other updates from Europe:

    – In Finland, the parliament's legal affairs committee formally submitted its negative opinion on the citizens' initiative on marriage equality. A full parliamentary vote is scheduled for November 28. I think the chance is 50/50 that it passes. Looking forward to this! (Note that elections are coming up in a few months.)

    – In Andorra, the tiny nation surrounded by a sea of marriage equality, the parliament rejected a marriage equality bill earlier this year (because the centre-right party currently has a majority). That party proposed its own civil unions bill, i.e. everything (including adoption!) except the name 'marriage'. The vote is scheduled for the same day coincidentally, and it will surely pass, but it's unfortunate they still have to wait for full marriage equality there.

    – Also related, in case you missed it: last Sunday Romania elected Klaus Iohannis as President, while Prime Minister Victor Ponta was expected to win. This is good news, since Iohannis is more liberal (and is a minority himself, being Transylvanian German), whereas Ponta is of the main "social democratic" party, which actually means "social conservative" in Eastern Europe. In short, Romania is one of the most corrupt EU countries, and Iohannis ran on an anti-corruption platform.

    – Still a frustrating lack of progress in Germany. (There is even ongoing controversy surrounding sex education: several left-wing states plan to introduce better education on sexual diversity, which gets the haters out.)

  • 94. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    The majority of the population of Andorra is Latin Rite Catholic, thus even pushing for civil unions is a slap in the face to the CONservatives in the Vatican.

  • 95. guitaristbl  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Finland should hang its head in shame on being the only Northern European country without ME. Finland having ME plays an important geopolitical role as well in the area since it will expand the marriage equality border with Russia (Norway already shares a small northern border with Russia but Finland is like next to it literally). I hope it passes..!
    I thought Andorra had civil unions…Will that be some more complete form I suppose ? It's 2nd class citizenship anyway..
    Romania is of the countries that have made significant progress on LGBT issues before and since they joined EU (relative to the public sentiment and the previous situation of course).
    Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia have made a lot of progress as well with some very comprehensive anti discrimination laws passed and Croatia even having registered partnerships despite the unfortunate result in the referendum a year ago that put the marriage ban in the constitution.
    As for Germany well it is the same stupid situation with Australia : Overwhelming public support for ME but conservative governments controlled by religious lobbies. They will get there sooner than later (and as soon as Germany gets there Austria and Switzerland will as well).

  • 96. SPQRobin  |  November 19, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Andorra currently has "stable unions" which is probably comparable with domestic partnerships.

    And while you could say Romania has made significant progress compared to its public opinion, the main reason many Eastern European countries have basic civil rights protections and anti-discrimination laws is because it was/is necessary for European Union membership.

  • 97. Johan  |  November 20, 2014 at 12:09 am

    "Stable unions," do they marry horses? Don't let NOM hear it.

  • 98. scream4ever  |  November 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Finland may actually have a stronger chance now since the Christian Democrats announced they will not break from the ruling coalition if they approve the bill.

  • 99. guitaristbl  |  November 19, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Funny to see the Dakotas and Nebraska squeezed by marriage equality on the map now !
    Btw I have never met a single person, live or online, from the Dakotas, ever to be honest, while I know people from pretty much every other state..Until a couple of years ago I did not know these two states existed tbh. Nobody seems to pay much attention to them in the US either though..!

  • 100. RQO  |  November 19, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    The Dakotas – cows, corn wheat, and now oil. Not very many people (outnumbered by cows). Cold, windswept, declining populations over the past 100 years. You kinda have to be from there to want to live there (though the same is often said of New York City). Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (the most poverty striken place in the whole country) is so bleak we put the Indians there and haven't taken it back!!

  • 101. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    My avatar has been updated:-)

  • 102. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I knew a woman from North Dakota. And one of my bosses was from an Indian reservation located in South Dakota.

    I only knew them because they moved to the DC area and worked in the same agency as I did. I doubt if either will ever move back to the Dakota they originally came from.

  • 103. JayJonson  |  November 20, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Hubert Humphrey was born and spent his early years in Wallace, South Dakota. He lived in South Dakota until he left for college at the University of Minnesota. After earning an M.A. at Louisiana State University, he returned to the University of Minnesota and entered Minnesota politics, becoming Mayor of Minneapolis and then U.S. Senator for Minnesota.

  • 104. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I knew a woman from North Dakota. And one of my bosses was from an Indian reservation located in South Dakota.

    I only knew them because they moved to the DC area and worked in the same agency as I did. I doubt if either will ever move back to the Dakota they originally came from.

  • 105. DACiowan  |  November 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    More obstinance from Kansas: The state refuses to recognize any same-sex marriages during appeals, and the AG wants to drive his case to a definite SCOTUS ruling. Kansas may be even more drawn out than we thought if he tries a petition for cert after the Tenth says no. http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/ar

  • 106. Silvershrimp0  |  November 19, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    So what recourse do Kansas residents have? Could someone be held in contempt of court?

  • 107. RnL2008  |  November 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    This is why we need a final ruling from SCOTUS and it NEEDS to be clear and precise…..not dead silence like it was in October……..because idiots like the AG in South Carolina, Montana and Kansas CAN'T grasp the concept that they LOST this battle and it's time to move on…….the 4th is NOT going to rule the way the AG of South Carolina wants, and NEITHER is SCOTUS. The same applies in Montana…go ahead and request an appeal…..the 9th is also NOT going to change it's ruling for Montana and NEITHER will the 10th change it's ruling for Kansas and ALL will lose their appeal to SCOTUS, because SCOTUS is also NOT going to overturn what they have already ruled on…no matter what the hell Justice Thomas or Justice Scalia think!!!

  • 108. flyerguy77  |  November 19, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    and I M WAITING ANOTHER LAWSUIT BY LGBT citizens in KANSAS it PISSES ME OFF.. For sure THE JUDGE WILL THROW BOOK AT GOV/ AG……

  • 109. RnL2008  |  November 20, 2014 at 12:19 am

    I agree…..at what point is SOMEONE going to slap these idiots with fines or loss of funds for delaying implementation………this is RIDICULOUS and they KNOW they have LOST!!!

  • 110. StraightDave  |  November 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    wtf is wrong with these people in Kansas? How does the AG not understand a federal court order that has not been stayed? Up until now, even the most hard-nosed bigots have been complying with rulings. Hell, even UT was almost pleasant about it. So maybe the WBC was actually mainstream out there? Just mind-boggling. What does it take, federal intervention? Someone on here mentioned a potential "schoolhouse door" event somewhere along the way. Maybe this will be the one.

  • 111. debater7474  |  November 20, 2014 at 1:05 am

    LOL. The state can't just refuse to recognize the marriages. Time for contempt of court. Jail time for state officials will do them so good.

  • 112. guitaristbl  |  November 20, 2014 at 3:42 am

    So it's time to bring the national guard then to make those state officials to comply with the law ? Fine. Nobody wanted things to come down to that but if that's the kind of people we are dealing with, fine.
    Hold them in contempt of the court and throw them to jail, governor, AG and anyone who fails to follow the law.

  • 113. montezuma58  |  November 20, 2014 at 4:36 am

    If the AG were an attorney for a private citizen and advising his client to disregard court orders he would be risking disbarment and his client going to jail on contempt charges.

    If the mere chance of a lower court ruling (or an analogous case in another circuit) having a different result on appeal were enough to delay implementing a court order then nothing could happen in any case until final disposition by the Supreme Court (or the loosing side throwing in the towel) and courts considering motions for stays pending appeal would be pointless. In the case in Kansas the motion for a stay has gone all the way to the Supreme Court.

  • 114. RnL2008  |  November 20, 2014 at 12:39 am

    I just got through reading the ruling from the Judge in Montana and I have to say that he debunked ALL of the garbage that the defendants put forth and did so in an awesome manner……good Luck to the AG with his appeals…..simply NOT gonna happen!!!

  • 115. guitaristbl  |  November 20, 2014 at 3:38 am

    I thought that the prosperous economy (oil boom etc) of the last years has boosted North Dakota's population. Although I have to admit, seeing images of Fargo in 2014 makes me thing this city is living in the 70s 😛

  • 116. RemC_Chicago  |  November 20, 2014 at 5:41 am

    Boy. I am SO late to this party. I was engrossed all evening in 2nd grade math homework and passed out from exhaustion afterwards. You know, living that degenerate gay lifestyle you hear so much about.

  • 117. guitaristbl  |  November 20, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Lets not forget that today is Arkansas day ! Do we know when exactly the hearings begin in Arkansas Supreme Court and the federal district court ?

  • 118. SethInMaryland  |  November 20, 2014 at 8:02 am

    can't wait to see Arkansas supreme court in action , the 9th most liberal court in the US, i have a feeling today is going to be a good day

  • 119. Jaesun100  |  November 20, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Supremes deny South Carolina stay :)))

  • 120. MGinPA  |  November 20, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I think we"ll have marriage in Arkansas by new years but the legislature is uber anti gay, we might see a recall/impeachment campaign against the judges or legislation allowing to discriminate.

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