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Equality news round-up: ACLU to broaden same-sex marriage lawsuit, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

ks– The ACLU will amend its challenge to Kansas’ same-sex marriage ban to include more state agencies, since state officials continue to refuse recognition of marriages in the state.

– Yesterday, after the Arkansas Supreme Court heard arguments in a challenge to the state’s marriage ban, a federal judge also heard arguments in a separate challenge.

– LGBT rights advocates want more action on immigration.

– Gay couples are getting married in Montana.


  • 1. brandall  |  November 21, 2014 at 8:34 am

    So, the really good news is we now have marriages in MT. A small bummer is the most populous county is allowing some clerks to opt-out of providing ME licenses. They are using Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to shield themselves. Can you imagine the uproar if, for example, a Mormon clerk declined to issue a license based on a Mormon-Catholic marriage (religion is no longer listed on marriage licenses) for a Mormon who attended their ward? The carveout to just ME licenses certainly proves animus among some portions of the population is present and ongoing. Need I mention Montana's slogan of "The Equality State?"

  • 2. alatarus  |  November 21, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Except that it is Wyoming that is the "Equality State".

  • 3. brandall  |  November 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

    OMG, how correct you are. Well, it is next door to Wyoming. Perhaps some of the Montana clerks are originally from Wyoming? Montana's slogan is "Gold and Silver"….not much I can use with that to equate it to the ME issue right now. In 50 and 25 years respectively, their motto can be used to celebrate ME licenses issues this year.

  • 4. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Make new friends, and keep the old…
    One is silver, the other gold!

  • 5. RemC_Chicago  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    For the sake of consistency, the clerks in MT should decline to provide licenses to adulterers and divorced people, per the Ten Commandments and Jesus' words on divorce in the Book of Matthew. Come to think of it, why not lump Jews into the mix? Muslims, Buddhists, anyone who refuses to follow Christian theology. Otherwise, admit your hypocrisy and prejudice and animus for what it is.

  • 6. RQO  |  November 21, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Tar & Feathers! My happy go lucky libertarian little brother from Missoula shows up at my sister's in Boulder for Thanksgiving, and he is going to get an ear full from me on his theory about how Montana is so "nice" politically. Once again, I have to be rude and get up on the table naked and scream to point out discrimination is real, it hurts, and do you really want to hang your hat on "Oh well, Hitler is good for the economy"?

  • 7. jpmassar  |  November 21, 2014 at 8:42 am

    CONWAY — Though Jon Harmon and Mark Pokrant have been together for nearly two and half decades, Thursday's opportunity to finally apply for a marriage license in South Carolina created an overwhelming feeling of nerves and excitement for the two men in their mid- to late-50s.

    "I've been waiting 24 years for this," Harmon said while waiting for Pokrant in the hallway of the Horry County Clerk's Office on Thursday shortly before noon. South Carolina began allowing same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses beginning at noon Thursday after a public challenge that led all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.

    Harmon and Pokrant were the first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in Horry County. The two are not able to wed before 12:10 p.m. Friday because of a law that requires a 24-hour and 1 minute waiting period between the application for a license and the actual nuptials.

  • 8. guitaristbl  |  November 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

    So every single agency must be sued now in Kansas, simply because Brownback acts like an irresponsible cry baby..More resources and time wasted. Of course they will prevail and Brownback will put the state deeper in debt. But how much time will it take ? I insist they should hold him in contempt of court and go down that road if needed.

    The federal hearing in Arkansas seems to have gone well as well, if all they had was Baker and Bruning.
    I wonder if the Arkansas Supreme Court rules first in favour of the plaintiffs, will the federal judge declare the case moot, is that a possible ?

  • 9. SteveThomas1  |  November 21, 2014 at 9:43 am

    If the Arkansas Supreme Court holds for marriage equality in a final decision the federal lawsuit would be moot. A similar thing happened in Hawaii, where a federal lawsuit was dismissed as moot when the legislature and governor instituted marriage equality.

    The only possible wrinkle would be if the Arkansas Supreme Court held for marriage equality on federal grounds, rather than as violative of the Arkansas Constitution. State supreme court decisions based on federal law (which, of course, includes the US Constitution) are subject to review by the US Supreme Court. If the Arkansas Supreme Court decision is reviewable by SCOTUS, the better course in federal court would be to stay the proceedings until the Arkansas Supreme Court judgment became final (not subject to review).

  • 10. guitaristbl  |  November 21, 2014 at 10:29 am

    That's what I suspected as well. Thanks !

  • 11. sfbob  |  November 21, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Brownback and everyone with any sort of authority should be held in contempt and be assessed civil penalties for every single instance of non-compliance with the federal court's decision. I have read comments (somewhere) saying "Oh, I have no problem with taxpayer money being spent to defend the will of the people, blah, blah, blah, blah." Well, let them put their money where their collective mouths are and pony up for each couple's inconvenience.

  • 12. hopalongcassidy  |  November 21, 2014 at 10:05 am

    He's channeling Faubus and Wallace.

  • 13. DACiowan  |  November 21, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Now we know his theme music:

  • 14. hopalongcassidy  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Hey thx, been a very long time since I listened to any Charlie Mingus!

  • 15. RemC_Chicago  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Or at least, re-calculate the taxes paid by gay people so that they don't have to contribute to this effort. And provide an opt-out clause for gays to refuse to pay taxes to provide benefits for the likes of the Pastor who made these claims. I'm fuming.

  • 16. SeattleRobin  |  November 21, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    They aren't in contempt. Like it or not, the judge's order is specific and limited. The defendants (the secretary of health and environment and two clerks) are enjoined from enforcing two articles of the state constitution and any statute, law, policy or practice that prohibits issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, if they are otherwise eligible to marry.

    That's it. The order only applies to those three people and only to what is listed.

    That means that any other state official can be a dick about it and not be in contempt of court or any law.

    Being a dick isn't smart, and it isn't fiscally responsible. But it's legal.

  • 17. wes228  |  November 21, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Isn't the Secretary of Health a statewide position that all of the county clerks fall under?

  • 18. SeattleRobin  |  November 21, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I'm not positive, but based on that state court case with the injunction against the one judge from issuing marriage licenses, I believe the clerks report to their district judges. In that case the judge had advised his clerks to issue licenses. So they'd be part of the judiciary, not department of health.

    I believe the secretary is named in the suit because his office oversees registering marriage licenses once they have been solemnized and returned. I can't remember if this is an out of state recognition suit also, but if so his office might have something to do with that as well.

  • 19. SteveThomas1  |  November 21, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    No, at least as I understand it. I don't know anything independently about the manner in which Kansas organizes its government, but based on what I've read in the papers and (more reliable) in what the judge wrote I believe the following is true:

    In Kansas (unlike most states) the officials charged with the ministerial act of issuing marriage licenses are employees of the judiciary of Kansas, and not subject to the supervision of any person in the executive branch. This is why it was a judge in the county covering most of suburban Kansas City, Kansas, who instructed the relevant official (a clerk, I believe) under his supervision to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses almost immediately after SCOTUS denied cert. in the 10th Circuit case.

    The Secretary of Health and Environment does not supervise the officials who issue marriage licenses, but is charged under Kansas law with providing uniform standard application and license forms. The drafting of forms appears to be the only involvement of this official with the provision of marriage licenses. And, I believe, pursuant to the order of the court he or she did actually change the forms to accommodate same-sex couples applying for licenses.

    In almost all of the other states in which there has been an analogous district court order, the clerks charged with issuing the licenses were under the general supervision of a state-wide official in the executive branch. In the wake of Hollingsworth, for example, when the district court's order became final (because the appeals were vacated for want of standing on the part of the appellants) there was some academic discussion concerning whether the district court's order would have state-wide effect, since the actual jurisdiction of the district court was limited to the Northern District (I think) of California. In the end, folks agreed that because a state-wide official with supervisory authority over the county officials charged with licensing had been included in the order, all of the relevant county officials statewide were bound.

    By the way, an important thing to recognize about these injunctions is that the state officials who are parties are parties *in their official capacity*, which means that their successors in office are bound by the injunctions even though they were not personally involved in the suit.

  • 20. JayJonson  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Well, I hope that the ACLU asks for high attorney fees for having to sue when it should not be necessary at all. Make it expensive for the state to discriminate.

  • 21. JayJonson  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Well, I hope that at the very least the ACLU asks for high attorney fees for having to sue when it should not be necessary at all. Ask also for a fine of state officials who do not obey the judge's mandate. Make it expensive for the state to discriminate.

  • 22. Steve84  |  November 22, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Just throw Brownback is prison for contempt of court. Problem solved.

  • 23. jdw_karasu  |  November 21, 2014 at 10:10 am

    On Kansas…

    The great thing about amending the existing lawsuit: it should go back to the same judge: Daniel Crabtree. One needs to recall how fast he acted before:

    Oct-10: Marie v. Moser filed
    Oct-31: Hearing (i.e. all pleadings filed before this)
    Nov-04: handed down Decision

    Oct 31 was a Friday. Nov 4 was a Tuesday… Election Day, when most of us were thinking (and some like me hoping) that he would wait until Wed/Thu to hand something down. In fact, some politically savy Judges wouldn't even have had the Hearing until after the Election to keep it out of the news and risk getting The Base fired up.

    Crabtree didn't care. For him, this seems all about doing Justice, and doing it swiftly now that all the tea leaves from SCOTUS are clear.

    Also, Judges tend to get PISSED OFF when their Orders are dicked around with like Kansas is currently doing.

    So expect him to deal with the Amendment quickly, and quite likely in much harsher terms than we've seen in orders so far. You might see him go the full monty on calling out Brownback & Co. using the word Animus.

  • 24. hopalongcassidy  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:30 am

    And in a true irony, Brownback is one of the biggest loudmouths on the subject of "law and order". Kansas is a weird damn state, it has long been the home of some of the finest aircraft ever made, and sundry other high tech enterprises, but the knuckledraggers who live there seem to live in 2 different worlds at the same time. I can't figger 'em out.

  • 25. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Many consider the NCAA to be weird, or worse. Yet even the NCAA fled from being anywhere near Kansas when they moved their headquarters to Indianapolis in 1999 (the NCAA had been located in the Kansas City, MO/KS area since 1952).

    What does that say about Kansas?

    (And Topeka, KS, is home to WBC, to boot.)

  • 26. davepCA  |  November 21, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    "Judges tend to get PISSED OFF when their Orders are dicked around with like Kansas is currently doing." That is a very good point. While I sure don't like what Kansas is doing, I'm going to LOVE seeing how this plays out when it gets back to the judge. I'll make some popcorn. I think this is going to be really good.

  • 27. cpnlsn88  |  November 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    It is disrespectful of the rule of law. There has been a ruling, the Circuit of Appeals has declined a stay and the Supreme Court has declined a stay. Given that, the ruling stands and should be implemented.

    Failing that there is potential for more orders to be made at any point where any one in Kansas is disadvantaged or prevented from marrying in the state. At that point the State can be invited to ask some questions about its conduct. After these orders the State can ask – again – for stays of the 4th Circuit and SCOTUS (who will be forgiven for a sense of deja vue). Eventually Kansas will either obey what has been the rule of law since the end of the Civil War or become a renegade state. By which point contempt of court will come in to play not only for the Governor and Attorney General but other named officials who should not knowingly contravene a valid court order.

  • 28. RnL2008  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Again, if Kansas and the other states start losing federal money…….they will start stepping in line a lot faster….just saying!!!

  • 29. cpnlsn88  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Very good point.

  • 30. Zack12  |  November 21, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I'm honestly not suprised to see Kansas being the state giving us the most trouble, even more then the South.
    Sam Brownback really, really, REALLY hates same sex couples and other Kansas bigots like Tim Huelskamp and Jan Pauls (who saw the amendment they co-wrote get struck down) aren't far behind.
    And when I saw he won reelection, I knew it would be ugly and sad to say I was right.
    Between this and the 6th circuit ruling I called going against us a while ago, I would like to be proven wrong for a change.

  • 31. debater7474  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:16 am

    File for contempt and have Brownback thrown into the slammer. I hear jail time builds character.

  • 32. bayareajohn  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:19 am

    And don't feed him, I hear that hunger "ennobles" folks.

  • 33. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Gods, that's awesome

  • 34. jm64tx  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Yeah … like thats gonna happen. Contempt in federal court is not anything like contempt in state court.

    In federal court, upon an allegation of contempt, the judge has to appoint a federal prosecutor to take the case, and that federal prosecutor then has determine whether to prosecute.

    And then the trial is a jury trial. Good luck on getting a jury to convict.

  • 35. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 22, 2014 at 4:23 am

    You need to stop talking now

  • 36. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    And for a differing view of contempt of Federal court:

  • 37. wes228  |  November 23, 2014 at 6:05 am

    That is criminal contempt. Civil contempt would not have to go to a jury.

  • 38. Steve27516  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Can anybody fill me in on the prospects in South Dakota? Specifically, if there should be a judgment in favor of ME, is there any chance the state would not request a stay?

  • 39. guitaristbl  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I believe, given the denial of dismissal and the language in that decision, we have a pretty good chance of prevailing in SD now that the case reaches the merits. The state will definately request a stay and will get it, but it doesn't matter much, the 8th won't have enough time to rule anyway. But it will be one more decision to add to the pile of favourable ones.

  • 40. jdw_karasu  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Judge Schreier is a Clinton appointee. She indicated that Baker & Bruning don't apply. We'll get a positive ruling from her. The 8th Circuit will be the problem.

  • 41. DrBriCA  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I'd have to look at the dismissal decision again, but I believe she gave a timeline for briefs on the summary judgment, and it was over the course of about 2-4 weeks for submission and response. So she could presumably rule on the briefs next month or so. As guitaristbl notes, whether or not a stay is implemented is anyone's guess at the moment.

  • 42. brandall  |  November 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Full video of yesterday's Arkansas Supreme Court Oral Arguments is available. Here's my summary of all that was said. The best moment was:

    "Homosexuals have no right to privacy in this case because they want blatantly public recognition..they want blatantly public recognition!"

    One Judge is remote and doesn’t inject any questions during the hearing.

    Jorgensen for the State. Amendment 83 is part of the State Constitution and therefore cannot violate the State Constitution. Any subsequent amendment can alter the AR Declaration of Rights by the voters.

    Great statement where a Justice pushes back with "the state’s Declaration of Rights can be used to protect liberty, equality, due process and privacy EXCEPT for homosexuals?" Then another judge questions the statement that "the state judiciary cannot review any item in the state constitution." Lots of double-talk by Jorgensen including “I’m only asking you to ignore the states Declaration of Rights, not the Federal 14th Amendment.’

    Previous state cases on homosexual privacy rights do not apply because marriages are public records. Jorgensen gets caught when he tries to claim the government is not involved in marriages to which a Justice asks “who issues marriage licenses?” … Jorgensen: “Well, er, ah, state clerks” Judge: “Aren’t they state employees?" [HA! 10 points on that one]

    Judge: "What’s to keep the state from preventing the rights to any minorities?” Jorgensen: "Well, we don’t have any rational basis since homosexuals are not a protected class.”

    Typical discussions about no gender discrimination because men and women can equally marry.

    Jason Owens representing the state clerks. Lots of chatter about “eligible pools” and how Loving does not apply. He doesn’t answer the question about recognizing out-of-state marriages. Then another question about privacy with the response “they want blatantly public recognition, blatantly public recognition.” Lots of “ahs..” and pauses after that.

    Jack Wagger for the Appellee’s to discuss Federal issues about the ban. Holds up two pieces of paper, one showing the 3 lost cases and the other showing the 49 winning cases (one very long printout and one very short). Discusses privacy from Zabloski and argues for strict scrutiny. Judge asks a good question about strict scrutiny being used in the future for polygamy or incestuous marriages. Wagger goes off course here and doesn’t provide a very good response. “25 years and I’m still nervous when I’m up here with you guys.” Later, a good response on gender discrimination with the analogy “they said that about Loving because blacks could marry blacks so there was no discrimination."

    Cheryl Maples for the Appellee’s on state laws. "The difference with what is going on is only in the bedroom which is privacy.” The idea that voters can just change the rights of people “just boggles my mind.” In 1851, under a different constitution there was an attempt to change the state Declaration of Rights and the AK Supreme Court ruled you could not change constitutional rights except by a constitutional convention. The “eligible pool” for marriage should be “all people” with the exception of the number of people and for health reasons due to close relations and AR recognizes out-of-state first cousins even though they violates AR’s state marriage laws. She then offers a very passionate description of the impact of this law on the people involved.

    Jorgensen returns: Wants to clarify, "you can apply the Federal constitution to review this case, then you don’t have to review whether you have the right to review the state constitution." Admits he did not thoroughly review the issue of child rearing in his brief due to the 30-page limit.

    In conclusion, while the Justices did not tip their hat on their decision, their questions and the incredulous answers allow us to see where this will end up….the ban is unconstitutional using the AR Declaration of Rights, but probably will acknowledge Windsor.

    If you'd like to watch the video:

  • 43. nicolas1446  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I HATE how the lawyers KNOW they will be asked about polygamy and incest marriages yet few prepare a good answer before hand.

  • 44. Eric  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I don't understand why these attorneys keep getting tripped up on consanguinity and bigamy. The answer is simple:

    Marriage is a fundamental right subject to strict scrutiny. The question of whether or not those marriage restrictions are a compelling governmental interest, the restrictions are narrowly tailored, and whether those restrictions are the least intrusive is not before the court.

  • 45. Raga  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Right, those "slippery slope marriage restrictions" would have to stand or fall on their own merits, and there ends the matter. But when one or more Justices of the court themselves initiate this discussion and question them about these issues with sincere/genuine concern, perhaps the attorneys are thinking that it is not polite to respond like this to "shut them up" by saying "that's not my job to answer this question – you shouldn't be asking this question – it is irrelevant here", so they blather and bumble trying to justify why other bans will survive strict scrutiny…

  • 46. guitaristbl  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Only the judge who asked about polygamy/incest seemed not favourably intentioned towards the plaintiffs and she is known to be the most conservative member of this court (also on her 3rd wedding I think – and she cheated on her 2nd husband from what I read – its usually those ones voting against ME..). The quite mediocre performance of the lawyers in favour of the bans and this outright expression of animus about "public recognition" from the lawyer of the clerks have made it certain that at least a majority of 4-3 will rule in favour of ME imo (it could go as far as 6-1 though).

  • 47. guitaristbl  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Also the incest/polygamy issue is easy to counter on many ways imo !
    First of all we are talking about discrimination on the basis sexual orientation and gender possibly, which is defined by the attraction to certain gender. Neither of these qualify as sexual orientation.
    On incest, preventing the birth of genetically defect off spring is a legitimate governmental interest. Plus credible science we follow on the case of ME, has very different results on people involved in incestuous relationships (especially parent-child ones and the abuse that occurs etc). Plus same sex couples are asking for marriage, a means to establish NEXT OF KIN relationships, people in incestuous relationships already share in terms of rights as well. These are important points that differenciate the two cases.
    You want to go to polygamy ? Same sex couples do not ask for a right heterosexuals do not have either (to marry more than one people), they ask for equal protection.
    The amount of laws that need to be changed for such a thing to be accomodated also are a legitimate governmental interest. Divorces, medical decisions, tax cuts etc. These are all procedures that nothing essential needs to change to accomodate same sex couples. they need fundumental changes to accomodate polygamous couples. Ever heard of welfare fraud for instance ? Tax fraud ? It happens !
    They should also ask themselves : Why every country that has polygamy (christian and muslim) outright bans homosexuality (many with death penalties) ? Why every country that has ME (some even for more than a decade) have not gove down that slippery slope ?
    It's an easy case to argue on so many levels (societal, scientific, legal) and should have the ability to do so..It's frustrating !

  • 48. sfbob  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Probably the better way to distinguish marriage to a relative from marriage to some other person of the same sex is not to rely on the potential for in-breeding. After all, societal taboos against incest predate knowledge of genetics. Instead it is easy to point out that the point of marriage is to provide a legal relationship to two individuals who were previously legal strangers without any connection to each other. Clearly being a cousin or a brother or a sister or an aunt or an uncle already constitutes some legally recognized familial relationship and the law prefers that two individuals to have only one sort of relationship with each other rather than multiple relationships.

  • 49. guitaristbl  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Yes but knowledge of genetics here DO play a role to establish a legitimate governmental interest as well. Of course the argument about establishing a legal bond is strong as well.
    These are very simple arguments to make imo and lawyers of the plaintiffs should not run away from the issue. I agree that the issue is not before the court (and those who want something like that can bring it before it for scrutiny on every level) and should not be used as an excuse to deny the rights of same sex couples, but there are many ways to counter it as well.

  • 50. nicolas1446  |  November 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Well your argument makes sense when one only argues the equal protection clause. Because of course with incest and polygamy bans there is not a class of people that is treated differently for no reason. The problem is that the lawyers for same sex couples also argue the due process clause and when one argues that of course means that strict scrutiny applies because marriage is a fundamental right. That is when some people ask if that will lead to applying strict scrutiny to polygamy and incest bans. And that is where lawyers get stuck and provide a weak answer.

  • 51. Eric  |  November 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    The answer is a simple yes. As with any fundamental right, all marriage restrictions are subject to strict scrutiny.

  • 52. RnL2008  |  November 22, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Frankly, I DON'T believe there is a parent who wants to marry their child, nor a brother wanting to marry their sibling……this is just a red herring with NO bases to address it.

    As for the polygamy issue……if polygamist feel they are being denied the right to marry multiple people….then they NEED to file the appropriate lawsuits…….remember that in order for someone to have standing…they MUST have a stake in the outcome……..and in all honesty….there hasn't been a polygamist group willing to do that. I mean even Kody Brown from the TLC show Sister Wives was only concern with the cohabitation laws in Utah and nothing else…….and without a lawsuit challenging Reynolds vs The US…….polygamy will NOT be legal……again, not our fight and no reason to deal with those questions as those issues are NOT before any of these Judges!!!

  • 53. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 22, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Exactly, Rose

  • 54. Dr. Z  |  November 22, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Don't fall for the "slippery slope" debating trap. It tars us by association (which is precisely the intent) no matter what you argue.

    The case for marriage between persons of the same sex is what is at issue here. Not polygamy, or incest, or zoophylia. Only same-sex marriage.

  • 55. RnL2008  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I agree…..our fight has truly nothing to do with the polygamist fight……yet this is what the anti-gay folks like to insist will happen… folks marrying their siblings, animals and objects……..none of those battles( if that's what you want to call them) has anything to do with our fight……and by bringing them into the discussion, the focus is taken off of our issues and slipped onto other issues that granting us our fundamental right will not change!!!

    It's the one thing our lawyers need to focus on is how will denying Gays and Lesbians their right to marry make the opposite-sex couples be more responsible with ANY regard to sex, children or staying together. Denying one will not make any difference to the other!!!

  • 56. RemC_Chicago  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Brandall, what was the meaning behind the "ah"'s and pauses? "Oh, we see, we agree with you" or "So you've shown your hand, have you, you idiot?" P.S. Thank you for taking the trouble to provide the link and the summary.

  • 57. brandall  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Jorgensen somewhat fell off the track and starting inserting a lot of "ah…[pause]…ah". In the interest of fairness, our guy representing the Federal arguments had the same bad moments.

    And you are welcome for the summary. There are so few times when we can see or hear what happened in a court. As you well know, you get a different perspective than from just reading the transcripts or the media's lousy summaries.

  • 58. Jen_in_MI  |  November 22, 2014 at 3:59 am

    You are a fantastic resource and knowledge repository – thank you for all you do to educate me and this community. 🙂

  • 59. montezuma58  |  November 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    As far as polygamy and incest, basically it the same shit different decade:
    < I>“[If interracial couples have a right to marry], all our marriage acts forbidding intermarriage between persons within certain degrees of consanguinity are void.”
    (Source: Perez v. Lippold, 198 P.2d at 40 (Shenk, J., dissenting, quoting from a prior court case))
    “The underlying factors that constitute justification for laws against miscegenation closely parallel those which sustain the validity of prohibitions against incest and incestuous marriages.”
    (Source: Perez v. Lippold, 198 P.2d at 46 (Shenk, J., dissenting, quoting from a prior court case))
    “[T]he State's prohibition of interracial marriage . . . stands on the same footing
    as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may
    marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent.”
    (Source: Excerpted United States Supreme Court oral argument transcripts from Loving v. Virginia, from Peter Irons and Stephanie Guitton, eds., May it Please the Court (1993) at 282-283, quoting Virginia Assistant Attorney General R. D. McIlwaine, arguing for Virginia's ban on interracial marriage)

    The real reason those subjects are broached is to denigrate non heterosexual couples. The intent is to bring images of Warren Jeffs to the table. Prohinitions on marriage equality are not a side effect of laws banning incest or polygamy. Just as interracial marriage bans were totally unrelated to those issues. It was a red herring then. It's a red herring today.

  • 60. montezuma58  |  November 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    As far as polygamy and incest, basically it is the same shit different decade:
    “[If interracial couples have a right to marry], all our marriage acts forbidding intermarriage between persons within certain degrees of consanguinity are void.”
    (Source: Perez v. Lippold, 198 P.2d at 40 (Shenk, J., dissenting, quoting from a prior court case))
    “The underlying factors that constitute justification for laws against miscegenation closely parallel those which sustain the validity of prohibitions against incest and incestuous marriages.”
    (Source: Perez v. Lippold, 198 P.2d at 46 (Shenk, J., dissenting, quoting from a prior court case))
    “[T]he State's prohibition of interracial marriage . . . stands on the same footing
    as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may
    marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent.”
    (Source: Excerpted United States Supreme Court oral argument transcripts from Loving v. Virginia, from Peter Irons and Stephanie Guitton, eds., May it Please the Court (1993) at 282-283, quoting Virginia Assistant Attorney General R. D. McIlwaine, arguing for Virginia's ban on interracial marriage)

    The real reason those subjects are broached is to denigrate non heterosexual couples. The intent is to bring images of Warren Jeffs to the table. Prohinitions on marriage equality are not a side effect of laws banning incest or polygamy. Just as interracial marriage bans were totally unrelated to those issues. It was a red herring then. It's a red herring today.

  • 61. jdw_karasu  |  November 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    If you happen to know anyone poly, you'd know that the issue isn't a *true* red herring.

    In ME cases, it is just crap being thrown at the fan by Anti-ME defendants and judges: an attempt to win points.

    But from a true equality stand point, it isn't a red herring at all. Poly people are no different a class than gays. Except that within a year or so, gays will be able to have equal rights to have their relationships recognized under marriage laws as straights do. Poly people? Their relationships won't.

    In our lifetime?

    One could hope. Then again, it will have taken 48 years from Loving to the case finally striking down all bans on gay marriage to happen. I'm not going to live another 48 years, nor are the poly people that I'm close to… so my "hope" perhaps isn't a "reality".

    Where my more realistic hope is that gays who have fought long and hard to have their rights recognized in turn are supportive, load and vocal when poly people fight for the right.

  • 62. RnL2008  |  November 21, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I personally have NO issue with polygamy, but truly it is NOT my personal fight…..I am NOT interested in having more than 1 spouse and in order for anyone to file a lawsuit, it would have to be folks who have a stake in the outcome!!

  • 63. Dr. Z  |  November 22, 2014 at 6:48 am

    I would add: polygamy isn't at issue here. Don't take the bait of broadening the discussion to polygamy. When polygamous activists want to bring their case, let them have their OWN day in court. This is ours, and it's not all about the heterosexuals.

  • 64. KnottiBuoy  |  November 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    How to best to respond when judges ask about polygamy? We don't believe polygamy is our clients case to argue, but to respect the courts query. Private homosexual intimate homosexual sexual conduct is constitutionally protected, see Lawrence v. Texas. No such protections exist for mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters, or polygamists. Therefore, even if slippery slope argumentation, conjecture or speculation were valid, there is no constitutional merit to the discussion of incest and polygamy.

    Polygamy doesn't meet all of the test prongs for heightened scrutiny. There may be a rational basis for anti polygamy/bigamy statues. Sexual orientation for most, is considered immutable and fundamental to a persons identity. Changing sexual orientation to marry one other person of the opposite sex is obviously unreasonable. Religious practices are voluntary and have been subject to change in order to marry. Other reasonable options exist where the government doesn't need to formally recognize every relationship a person seeks to enter.

    The Bountiful Case [2011] court findings of fact:

    -Women in polygamous relationships are at an elevated risk of physical and psychological harm.

    -Children in polygamous families face higher infant mortality, even controlling for economic status and other relevant variables.

    -Early marriage for girls is common, frequently to significantly older men. The sex ratio imbalance inherent in polygamy means that young men are forced out of polygamous communities to sustain the ability of senior men to accumulate more wives.

    -Polygamy has negative impacts on society flowing from the high fertility rates, large family size and poverty associated with the practice.

    -Harms against women include: exploitation; commodification; social isolation; the inevitable favouritism of some women and deprecation of others within the household; discrimination; and, impoverishment.

    -Harms against children include: the negative impacts on their development caused by discord, violence and exploitation in the marital home; competition between mothers and siblings for the limited attention of the father; diminishment of the democratic citizenship capabilities of children as a result of being raised by mothers deprived of their basic rights; impoverishment; and, violation of their fundamental dignity.

    -Polygamy harms good citizenship; threats to political stability; and the undermining of human dignity and equality.

    -Polygamy societal harms includes many individual harms not specific to any particular religious, cultural or regional context. They can be generalized and expected to occur wherever polygamy exists.

    Moreover, overcoming the harm and abuse hurdle, polygamy supporters must show how the the government can structurally manage the numerous legal, tax, inheritance and kinship aspects of plural marriage and somehow also prove that those differences don't comprise a rational basis to prohibit.

    Harm and abuse is not the case for all polygamous families. Perhaps if an anti-polygamy/bigamy statue is challenged because it does not apply evenhandedly to similarly situated people (e.g., Sister Wives and those in closed faith promoting communities where harm and abuses is well documented to be under-reported) the means selected by the legislature must bear a substantial relationship to a legitimate government interest. Assuming harm and abuse is a legitimate interest of the State. If a line has to be drawn somewhere, it is the governments business when dealing with a spectrum of risks and harms. When applying the rational basis standard, courts will not invalidate a provision of law on equal protection grounds “unless the varying treatment of different groups or persons is so unrelated to the achievement of any combination of legitimate purposes that [a reviewing court] can only conclude that the government’s actions were irrational.

  • 65. montezuma58  |  November 22, 2014 at 4:28 am

    In the context of the current cases it is a red herring. Not that have have a personal issue with marriages involving more than two people. It's simply not the issue before the courts and is tangentially related to the issue outside of court.

    There are many problems that need to be addressed when going beyond two people. I have yet to see anyone on the anti side attempt to address these issues when they toss out the polygamy canard. From a practical standpoint they might as well be arguing about the legal status of a relationship involving the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and a leprechaun (they might as well invite a unicorn too since that same crowd seems to like to also lump in marrying animals).

    Polygamy in the strict sense where the man is the head and the wives are all subordinate to him will never happen. That would have been easier decades ago when women were legally inferior to men. The complete lack of any attempt by the anti side to discuss other possible structures that would put everyone involved on equal legal footing is very telling of the their mindset.

  • 66. RnL2008  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Polygamy is DIFFERENT and it truly does redefine marriage from a couple(1+1) to more than 2. Other things must be changed as well as to what order benefits would be paid and how would the children be handled……….and though polygamy is a "REAL" issue for some, it is still their fight and they AREN'T willing to do the legal fight to possibly change the laws to help them out and until they do, Reynolds will remain binding precedent.

  • 67. Steve84  |  November 22, 2014 at 8:41 am


    It needs to be emphasized like that because wanting recognition is a great offense

  • 68. Raga  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    So, for standing purposes, will the ACLU be looking for volunteers to actually go to every agency to get something done and be denied? What an ordeal!

  • 69. sfbob  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I'd think they are likely to have a large pool already. Isn't it the case that couples have tried to get their names change on their licenses and have been turned down? I would think they'd be more than happy to join the case.

  • 70. davepCA  |  November 21, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    You are correct.

  • 71. Eric  |  November 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    A better idea would be to launch a denial of service attack against Kansas. Every married LGBT couple should go to every state agency and when they get turned down, sue individually. Let the state eat the legal fees of hundreds or thousands of individual cases. Let the stubbornness of the anti-gays bankrupt the state.

  • 72. davepCA  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    The Pro-ME attorneys could easily respond without giving that impression. It's a simple matter of saying that those other issues and other legal questions are exactly that – other issues and other legal questions. When and if anyone feels their rights are being violated by being denied marriage to their immediately family member or to a group of other people, they are, and have ALWAYS been, able to take their complaint to the courts. Those issues would be evaluated on their own merits and the relevant laws would be tested for constitutional compliance on their own merits to see if such limitations are constitutionally valid. Just because there's no rational reason for laws to deny marriage to same sex couples doesn't mean there are not rational reasons to deny marriage in some entirely separate situations. Being two different legal questions, neither outcome is dependent on the other. And in THESE cases, and on THIS topic about same sex couples, the ban fails to comply with the Constitution. It's just a matter of keeping the discussion on topic and not allowing someone to argue against something else and try to apply it to this issue.

  • 73. dorothyrothchild  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Not surprised about this judge. Even the Christian Post reported Arkansas near the highest in the country in terms of divorce rate and for men it was the highest.

  • 74. Roulette00  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    "Your Honor, we cannot defend every imaginable point on the slippery slope from here to polygamy to chaos to stabbing unicorns with a magic sword, . Those cases are not relevant to this one. Defendants might say that since cannot allow citizens to stab unicorns with a magic sword, therefore we cannot allow gay marriage. If the state produces their unicorn, we will examine those merits at that time."

  • 75. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I don't see why the district judge can't just clarify his order and say the ban is unconstitutional which means it's unconstutional in ever inch mile and corner of KS, and thus all state officials from one end of KS to the other are enjoined from enforcing said ban, and that includeds ALL, public, state, municipal employee, agency, or govt Division. Other judges have either made these points initially or amended their orders to make things crystal clear. The judge needs to ORDER every, any, and all KS officials, and agencies to immediately cease and desist enforcing or recognizing the laws in question AND if they have any questions or doubts to come see him or go complain to the 10th circuit. KS can then say we do or do not respect the Federal Judiciary and the rule of law and then the courts can take it from there.

  • 76. jm64tx  |  November 21, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Because a preliminary injunction is just that … preliminary. The KS ban has not yet been finally determined to be unconsitutional because there has been no trial on the merits. Until that happens what you ask cannot be done.

    Plus an injunction does not apply to a non-party. And since the Governor is not a party to the lawsuit, the judge cant currently order him to do anything.

  • 77. jm64tx  |  November 21, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Because a preliminary injunction is just that … preliminary. The KS ban has not yet been finally determined to be unconsitutional because there has been no trial on the merits. Until that happens what you ask cannot be done.

    Plus an injunction by its terms does not apply to a non-party. And since the Governor and all those other officials are not parties to the lawsuit, the judge cant currently order him to do anything.

  • 78. jm64tx  |  November 21, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Because a preliminary injunction is just that … preliminary. The KS ban has not yet been finally determined to be unconsitutional because there has been no trial on the merits. Until that happens what you ask cannot be done.

    Plus an injunction by its terms does not apply to a non-party. And since the Governor and all those other officials are not parties to the lawsuit, the judge cant currently order them to do anything.

  • 79. SteveThomas1  |  November 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    A preliminary injunction is just that: an injunction. Unless it's stayed, it must be obeyed. The nonsense about non-finality is also just that: nonsense. A federal court order must be obeyed, unless a higher federal court orders otherwise. The fact that it may be modified later (for a preliminary injunction) or may be overturned on appeal (for non-final orders) is irrelevant to the question of whether one must obey it while it is in effect.

    This is a completely different question from the question of whom an order binds, which depends upon a lot of facts, including who are parties to the suit and how precisely the order is drafted. It may well be that the situation in Kansas (where apparently the granting of marriage licenses is handled by the judiciary branch, rather than the executive, whereas much of the recognition of valid marriages falls to the executive) has led to some wiggle room. That's the sort of thing which can be somewhat easily worked out, but it depends heavily upon state law.

  • 80. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 21, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Oh, well That I completely understand. I had originally thought all we had was a preliminary injunction, but the way people have been going on and on, I thought maybe I had missed something, and an actual final ruling had come down from the court in the last 24 hours. Things have been moving so fast in so many states this week, I figured people were talking about a final order, not a preliminary injunction. So, in that light I can see the KS officials still fighting… it's not over till the fat lady sings. The court was not specific as to whom the preliminary injunction applies. so of course there will be differences of interpretation. That's why the final order should be more specific. However, I have no doubt that eventually the district court will rule on the merits and actually declare the ban unconstirurional and order a permanent injunction by his own determination and in accord with tenth circuit precedent. When that order is entered, then we'll start the whole KS appeal for a temp stay while they seek an en banc hearing. And it will be denied as will their request to SCOTUS for a stay. People are jumping the gun, I think, on a preliminary injunction. All of this has happened before. All of it will happen again.

  • 81. davepCA  |  November 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    No Tony, you were right, SteveThomas is right, and jm64tx is a troll trying to muddy the waters with misleading and incorrect remarks.

  • 82. TonyMinasTirith  |  November 21, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for confirming. I've been trying to keep up, but this seems to have been an especially busy week. I love all the "Breaking [positive] News", we've been seeing lately. Hope next week continues the same way. It helps soothe the disaster that was the eve of 11/04.

  • 83. hopalongcassidy  |  November 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Who, exactly, the fuck ARE you, anyway?

  • 84. davepCA  |  November 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    It is a troll. It shows up occasionally and makes unfounded claims and factually incorrect remarks.

  • 85. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm


  • 86. jdw_karasu  |  November 21, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Always report trolls. The Admin has gotten better at dealing with them after the issues earlier this year.

  • 87. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Oh, believe me…I do

  • 88. SeattleRobin  |  November 21, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    He may be a troll. But he's actually correct. The temporary injunction applies to the defendants. The defendants are two clerks and a secretary of health.

  • 89. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 22, 2014 at 2:47 am

    It's a facial challenge to the law and an injunction against its enforcement. Just because it meets the Ex parte Young exception to sovereign immunity by targeting specific responsible officials instead of "the State" doesn't mean that the law can be enforced by non-defendants…

    IANAL, but I'm pretty sure unless the case is specifically set out just to affect the actions of the defendants, the law is unenforceable during a preliminary injunction.

  • 90. SteveThomas1  |  November 22, 2014 at 4:06 am

    You guys seem to be confusing the two issues which jm64tx confused:

    1. A federal district court's injunction, unless it is stayed or rescinded, must be obeyed by everyone bound by it. jm64tx denied this, and this is incorrect.

    2. A federal district court's injunction doesn't apply to everyone in the world, but to those to whom it applies by its terms. (Admittedly, this statement sounds a little bit circular.) The specifics about who is bound by an injunction depend upon a number of factors, including the parties to the lawsuit and the specific drafting of the injunction.

    In the specific case of the Kansas injunction it does seem as if the identity of the parties and the odd structure of Kansas government have made the injunction technically less all encompassing than injunctions in other states (for example the district court injunction in California). These are technical problems, which can be worked out, and it's a sign of the Kansas Governor's scorched earth resistance to marriage equality that he's requiring all of the technical problems to be worked out before. But the federal judge is still there, and the technical problems can be worked through.

    It's also as sign of the scorched earth resistance that they are trying to appeal to the same confusion as jm64tx did in conflating the two issues. This conflation, which is being pushed by both jm64tx and by the anti forces in Kansas, is incorrect.

  • 91. SeattleRobin  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    A bunch of different things are getting smooshed together and confused.

    The temporary injunction is quite specific. Please go back and read the last page where the actual order is. The three defendants, not the state as a whole, are enjoined from enforcing the laws concerning the issuance of marriage licenses.

    The only reason this is a problem is because the state governor and AG aren't doing what is normally expected in such a situation. It's very clear this case will never go their way. So the normal thing is to stop, and adjust state policies so that all clerks behave as if they were also named defendants. (Like what Christie did in NJ. He stopped when the state court made the outcome clear.)

    The alternative is to force couples to bring suit in every single district, so that all clerks become defendants and have injunctions against them. All such cases would be won because of circuit precedent. Obviously this is a stupid and wasteful way to go about it, which is why state officials usually allow a ruling like the current one to apply to the whole state.

    But the other thing being mixed in here is actually completely unrelated to the current injunction. The injunction only applies to laws prohibiting issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It does not apply to any other state laws.

    Again, normally state officials see the final writing on the wall and adapt state agencies and policies as needed to avoid further law suits. There's no purpose or gain for the state to make an individual go to court with an equal protection suit in order to have their married name put on their driver's license just because their spouse is the same sex.

    But the fact that Kansas officials are behaving irresponsibly, unconstitutionally, and like assholes does not change the fact that the temporary injunction does not prevent the department of motor vehicles from doing what they're doing.

  • 92. SteveThomas1  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Tiny quibble with the above: in many if not most of the states, either the governor or the state-wide official charged with supervising the issuance by local officials of marriage licenses (or both) was a named defendant and therefore expressly bound by the terms of the injunction. Kansas is a little different in that there is no state-wide official in the executive branch with supervisory authority over the issuance of marriage licenses, since that's done in the judicial branch.

    It also appears that the Kansas injunction may have been more narrowly worded than others.

    And an even better example of a governor gracefully acquiescing to the writing on the wall is in West Virginia, where the governor and attorney general didn't even wait until there was an injunction technically binding them, but acted as soon as SCOTUS denied cert. in the 4th Circuit case. (WV is in the 4th Circuit.)

  • 93. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 23, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Thank you for clarifying for me, Robin. I was quite lost.

  • 94. JayJonson  |  November 24, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Be wary of any commenter with tx or sc in his or her username. Long history here of trolls with such names. One was txlawyer or something similar and one had several variations on TKinSC.

  • 95. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm


    Now explain how and why SCOTUS ruled, in Winter v. NRDiC, Inc., 555 U.S. 7 (2008):
    "A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest."

    I don't see a requirement for a trial in that SCOTUS explanation.

    Further, SCOTUS had the opportunity to speak to the following, but didn't:
    A preliminary injunction is an injunction entered by a court prior to a final determination of the merits of a legal case, in order to restrain a party from going ahead with a course of conduct or compelling a party to continue with a course of conduct until the case has been decided. If the case is decided against the party that has been enjoined, then the injunction will usually be made permanent. If the case is decided in favor of the party that has been enjoined, the injunction will usually be dissolved or dismissed.

    I don't see a requirement for a trial in that explanation.

    And now explain how you are not a troll, but an informed individual.

  • 96. Fledge01  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:53 am

    In Wisconsin, the Governor said applying equality to every part of the law was too vague and did not give him specific enough directions. The judge just laughed at that and said what part about treating people equally don't you understand. If you don't understand, then form a committee to tell you what it means. If you still don't get it, ask me once you have proposed new language for each rule and regulation. Nowhere does it say the courts need to address every sentence and possible application of the law. The judges ruling said he must instruct all agencies to apply the law equally. They judge did not need to have every single agency and every possible law challenged before she could force every agency and law to act in accordance with equality. The governor was the only target she needed since he oversees all agencies.

  • 97. SteveThomas1  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Yes. In this way, apparently, Wisconsin differs from Kansas.

  • 98. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Yes, in Wisconsin the marriage licenses are issued by an agency under the control of the executive, but in Kansas, the marriage licenses are not.

    In what other ways (such as driving licenses, married state employees not being able to add spouses to a policy, etc.) do the two states differ? As far as I know, state benefits extend from the executive branch in both states, not directly from the judicial branch.

    And who heads the executive branch in both states? I believe it is the governor of the state.

  • 99. SeattleRobin  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    The difference is in how the order is written. In the recent South Carolina decision the judge was prescient enough to not only strike down the state marriage bans, but to also order that all state statutes, laws, and policies that concern marriage be applied equally.

    In Kansas we only have a temporary injunction, not a final order. And the injunction only enjoins laws concerning licensing. There's nothing in it about other state laws.

    One good thing about this mess, hopefully Kansas acting like a thwarted three-year-old means any future decisions will look like Judge Child's in terms of the actual orders.

  • 100. micha1976  |  November 23, 2014 at 10:23 am

    To be fair, Judge Child's decision was in a lawsuit about marriage recognition. The question of issuing marriage licences was never before her.

  • 101. jdw_karasu  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I'm with Raga on this one. There are "easy" answers, but it's also hard to point it out to a judge without getting across that they're being an asshole for asking the question.

    On the bigger issue…

    It's likely that polygamy will continue to be re-litigated and bans on it will eventually be overturned as being unconstitutional. My guess is that it will may eventually need to be non-Mormons who win, and likely with a Woman at the center of the relationship rather than the standard Patriarchal types.

  • 102. Dr. Z  |  November 22, 2014 at 6:58 am

    I doubt it. Polygamy is certainly not in the interest of the children of those relationships. And as we've seen from our ME cases, the interests of the children of these unions do matter in the end and will be taken into account. If anything, the emerging ME caselaw will really solidify that.

  • 103. DACiowan  |  November 21, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    The plaintiffs in the Missouri federal case are petitioning for the stay to be lifted: link . If granted, we'll be able to count Missouri as a full marriage state.

  • 104. scream4ever  |  November 21, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Should the 8th reinstate it (though I don't see who'd have standing to petition it since both the governor and AG have not requested any), we should go to the Supreme Court and take our chances. We really have nothing to lose at this point.

  • 105. netoschultz  |  November 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I think it will be 5-2 with Judge Josephine L. Hart and Judge Courtney Hudson Goodson dissenting. Jo Hart was the lone judge that didn't want hear the case so quickly. I can't see a marriage equality justice deny equality for more time, i think she will vote against us.

  • 106. Pat_V  |  November 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    So can we summarize exactly the status on the ground in Kansas, South Carolina and Montana? It seems there are issues in all 3 states. In each state, do we have a breakdown of
    – how many counties issue licenses and how many do not?
    – which proportion of the state population lives in counties issuing licenses?

  • 107. DACiowan  |  November 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    For Kansas, 25 out of 105 counties are issuing, covering 69.9% of Kansans.

  • 108. scream4ever  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:31 am

    What are the 4 new ones (I believe it was 21 just the other day)?

  • 109. DACiowan  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:47 am

    The 8th Judicial District: Dickinson, Geary, Marion, Morris. Biggest town is Junction City.

    Wiki has the list and map

  • 110. netoschultz  |  November 21, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    In Montana and South Carolina i don't think there are any counties not issuing marriage licenses

  • 111. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 21, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    The first question you ask ("how many counties issue licenses and how many do not?") could be a bit misleading for Kansas – if no one applies for a license (not probable, but possible since there are at least five counties with less than 1600 total population, and another seven with between less than 1600 and just over 2000), the county might allow an application, but if no one applies, there is no way to actually tell if the county will let the application 'to go through' or not, even if they say they will let it go through.

    And the second question can be misleading also – in Kansas, a license can be issued to anyone otherwise qualified, whether a resident of Kansas or not, and the license can be used anywhere in the state. In some states (MD, for example, the application and license MUST be used in the county where issued (Baltimore City, for almost all purposes, is treated by the state as a county).

  • 112. netoschultz  |  November 22, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Will ACLU sue the Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, Osage, Butler, Elk and Greenwood counties for denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples?

  • 113. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I don't know. I'm not a member of the ACLU, nor have I seen the amended law suit.

    Presumably, the ACLU amendments to their original suit will cover the situation, but since I've not seen those amendments, I can't say yes or no.

  • 114. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    One of the main reasons I haven't seen the amended law suit is because the ACLU still hasn't filed the amended suit (AFAIK). They are amending the suit, and the amended suit might, or might not, include the governor.

    "Bonney [the lead ACLU attorney in the law suit] plans to amend the lawsuit to include provisions to allow same-sex married couples to receive spousal employee benefits and change names on driver’s licenses, the [Wichita] Eagle reports."


    "Bonney says his legal team is still working out how to amend the suit to assure that same-sex couples receive all rights and benefits associated with marriage, according to the Associated Press."
    (… )

    The article was posted at 2:15 today (November 24), and since I haven't seen any updates to the filing, I presume the amendments to the suit have not yet been filed.

  • 115. Zack12  |  November 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Not a shocker.
    These hypocrites will do anything to take attention off themselves.

  • 116. nicolas1446  |  November 21, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    But that is a weak answer. The sad fact is that applying strict scrutiny to any marriage claim will lead to strict scrutiny against polygamy and incest bans. Given that fact, the job of the lawyers is to have a well thought out answer on why it will survive strict scrutiny. Either that, or stop making the due process argument and stick to equal protection. That is the reason the 9th and 7th circuit did not rule on due process grounds (because of the slippery slope argument).

    You can also have an argument on why polygamy is not marriage. With incest, it is marriage but that has many compelling interests on banning it. You can also say that thinking the marriage barriers would change because homosexuals are no longer discriminated is illogical.

    But anyhow, if one sticks with the equal protection and gender discrimination arguments there is no slippery slope whatsoever so I think people should stick to that.

  • 117. Eric  |  November 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Avoidance is the weak answer. If consanguinity and bigamy don't survive strict scrutiny, such is the nature of fundamental rights.

    The burden is on the state to justify the restrictions.

  • 118. wes228  |  November 23, 2014 at 6:04 am

    People who seek to enter into a polygamous or incestuous marriage are not seeking the fundamental right to marriage protected by the Constitution. They are seeking a new and different right, a "right to a polygamous/incestuous marriage" that does not exist.

    Same-sex couples are not seeking a new and different right. The Supreme Court has already ruled that in the eyes of the law, there is no difference between homosexuality as status and as conduct (Christian Legal Society v. Martinez). So while a ban on polygamous marriage is simply a ban on the act of marrying multiple people, a ban on same-sex marriage is NOT simply a ban on the *act* of marrying someone of the same sex; it is a ban on gay *people* themselves from ever getting married.

  • 119. nicolas1446  |  November 23, 2014 at 8:29 am

    See that argument is great when one only argues the equal protection clause but when one uses the due process clause, opponents argue that same sex marriage does not meet the requirements to be called a fundamental right. Mainly because it's not rooted in this nation's history etc. Yes, gays have a right to marry, just like heterosexuals do but that logic is derived from the equal protection clause, not the due process clause.

  • 120. wes228  |  November 23, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    That's not true. The whole "are they seeing the same right to marriage or a different 'right to same-sex marriage'" is the Due Process Clause argument.

    A right must be deeply rooted in the nation's history, but the full manifestations of that right may become clearer over time (see the last paragraph of Lawrence v. Texas). Marriage is a right that is deeply rooted in the nation's history. Over time, we have come to realize that there are some people who are innately attracted to members of their own sex, and that by prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, we are not merely controlling a lifestyle choice, but forever prohibiting a certain segment of the population from ever exercising their constitutional right to marry.

    It's the same argument of "there is no constitutional right to sodomy." The point isn't that there is a constitutional right to sodomy; there is a constitutional right to make decisions regarding intimacy that cannot be denied to gay people.

  • 121. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I disagree with you completely and I think people here have repeated the reason to you why they think so again and again, and I agree with them.

    The fundamental right to marry was never considered to encompass multiple partners or consanguinity. It has always been in our jurisprudence the joining of two legal strangers which cannot be denied over the class of person you are. Your class of person has nothing to do with whether you'd like to have multiple married partners or if you wanna marry a relative…those are issues that stand completely apart from sexuality/gender/race. You are conflating recognizing classes of people to be allowed to marry as their fundamental right to do so with some weird idea of people having to have due process regarding choice as a broad idea. That just doesn't work.

  • 122. nicolas1446  |  November 23, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    "The fundamental right to marry was never considered to encompass multiple partners or consanguinity. "

    It was also never considered to include a marriage between members of the same sex . You may disagree but judges do not. That is why judges either rule only on equal protection grounds (7th and 9th circuit) or they say that polygamy and incest bans can survive strict scrutiny.

    "Your class of person has nothing to do with whether you'd like to have multiple married partners or if you wanna marry a relative…those are issues that stand completely apart from sexuality/gender/race."

    Again, the key word is class. That is the equal protection argument. I agree with what you said but that can only be said when ones makes the equal protection argument, not the due process one.

    And what I said about choice is not my opinion. That is just how the 4th circuit ruled. The 4th circuit court said that people have a right to same sex marriage because they have a right to choose one's spouse.

  • 123. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    "Again, the key word is class. That is the equal protection argument. I agree with what you said but that can only be said when ones makes the equal protection argument, not the due process one."

    Wrong. Dead wrong.

  • 124. nicolas1446  |  November 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Why are you making this an argument? Second my point was that when one says you cannot treat a similarly situated class differently, one makes that claim using the equal protection clause. Yes, strict scrutiny is used in some equal protection case (for example race, or religion) but that level of scrutiny is not yet applied to sexual orientation by the courts. It does meet the requirements to get that level of scrutiny though which is why 3 circuits apply intermediate scrutiny to sexual orientation cases (the 7th, 2nd, and 9th). However, since the Supreme Court has not yet been presented with the question of what scrutiny to apply to sexual orientation, most lowers courts strike down same sex marriage bans on rational basis only. Most do not apply strict scrutiny to simple equal protection challenges. However, some have applied strict scrutiny based on the due process clause (the 4th and the 10th circuit courts).

  • 125. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 23, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Because you keep ignoring that I'm talking about strict scrutiny in terms of due process. I don't understand your fixation on equal protection. Fundamental rights are a due process issue, not equal protection. Clearly you didn't click my link or read the article contained. I'm done. Keep blathering on endlessly about equal protection all by yourself.

  • 126. nicolas1446  |  November 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I did not engage you in this debate. You jumped in with some immature angry attitude. In fact, the people I was discussing with agreed with me. They either said that it was up to the state to give compelling reasons to ban polygamy/incest, or they said that those cases will rise or fall on their own merits. We were all having a civilized debate on the slippery slope argument and I brought in my take on due process. No one was arguing and no one was mad until you came in. It's sad that you would rather spend your energies arguing with someone on the same side of you rather than arguing for something worthwhile, such as an opponent of same sex marriage. We are a group here that are all fighting for same sex marriage so I don't know why you feel the need to start conflict. In fact, this is my safe spot out of all the websites where I can discuss the legal development for gay rights without worrying about someone attacking me for giving my respectful opinion or for asking for their take on some aspect of a gay rights case. But anyhow, my fixation on equal protection? All I said was that I like the equal protection argument much better than the due process one. Something that I share with the 9th circuit court of appeals and the 7th circuit court of appeals (6 federal judges in total) because they struck down gay marriage bans solely on equal protection grounds. Why? Because they did not want to entertain the due process argument because they did not want to touch polygamy or incest cases, as said by the judges on the oral arguments of the 7th circuit cases. I agree with those judges, and that is all I have been saying. Why you think that is worthy enough to argue and basically insult me, is hard to grasp. But anyhow, goodbye.

  • 127. wes228  |  November 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    The government would not have to show a compelling government interest that is as narrowly tailored as possible (i.e. satisfy strict scrutiny) in order to defend a ban on polygamous or incestuous marriages.

    Just because you're dealing with the issue of marriage does not mean you get a free pass to StrictScrutinyLand. The people fighting for incestuous/polygamous marriage would first have to prove that they're being denied the ***constitutionally recognized*** right to marry to begin with, an argument they would not win.

  • 128. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 24, 2014 at 5:24 am

    That's exactly what I was trying to explain to him, Wes, and he decided that I was throwing a fit and responded in kind.

  • 129. nicolas1446  |  November 24, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Exactly, what I was saying. My point was I don't like the due process because you have to admit that it might lead to cases on polygamy or incest. You were saying it will not because gay people are certain segment of the population and therefore they have the same fundamental rights. This is where I said that is the equal protection argument, and with that argument there is no slippery slope to deal with (which is why I like it better).

  • 130. wes228  |  November 24, 2014 at 7:40 am

    It might lead to cases on polygamy or incest, but it doesn't mean that they would win those cases.

  • 131. nicolas1446  |  November 24, 2014 at 7:45 am

    It will be very unlikely for them to win. Especially the incest ones. I was just worried about there being a case in the first place. The right will will turn that into an "I told you so".

  • 132. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 24, 2014 at 5:23 am


  • 133. nicolas1446  |  November 24, 2014 at 6:17 am

    LOL? How old are you? And no, you were not explaining what Wes said because I said I hate how lawyers don't have a good enough answer as to why those bans pass strict scrutiny, so if I started with that from the beginning, there is no way that is what you were telling me. And second, you know little about the law. What you were babbling on about is fundamental rights and then provided a link to strict scrutiny. That was not all all related to what I was talking about. I said I don't like the due process argument because I think it's weak. And you for some reason you think strict scrutiny is applied to gay people, which its' not. So actually no, I was not wrong. You just had no clue what I was talking about. And you were throwing a fit. Let me quote you.

    "I'm done. Keep blathering on endlessly about equal protection all by yourself.". …… Oh and also when I said that what you made was the equal protection argument all you did was write "Wrong, Dead Wrong" as if were are some children showing off who is right.

    But about that, what i said had nothing to do with the link you provided. You provided a link to the explanation of the highest level of scrutiny. How that renders what I said wrong is hard to grasp. Actually, impossible because it does not.

    So getting mad and then telling me I'm wrong just because you have no clue what I'm talking about is really annoying. When I reply to a person, the reply goes to their email, so apparently if you think I am not listening, that still has nothing to do with you.

  • 134. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 24, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Old enough to know that you're taking all of this way too seriously. You could've that this whole time instead you decided to get combative and I gave it right back.

    Are you a lawyer? I'm thinking you're not. My comment first said I disagree with you and you got all butthurt. I still disagree with you. I'm sorry you take that part so personally.

    Keep it up if you wish, I really am done at this point.

  • 135. nicolas1446  |  November 24, 2014 at 6:49 am

    No, I replied respectfully the first time and then you got annoyed because apparently you thought I was not listening. And you are the one taking this too seriously. You said you just HAD to reply to my comment because you could not leave what you thought was wrong information standing, well that sounds like taking this too seriously. And what you call "butthurt" is me having zero patience for any conflict whatsoever in the comment section. Because being disrespectful, even in the slightest, reminds me of arguing with bigots on other websites and that is too depressing to want to remember. Oh and finally, you are right. I am not a lawyer but I think the law classes I took, and what I have learned from the lawyers I know, is all the knowledge I need to comprehend the 14th amendment. And thank you. I have been trying to end this for a while. Goodbye, have a nice day.

  • 136. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 24, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Neener neener

  • 137. hopalongcassidy  |  November 24, 2014 at 6:28 am

    You forgot Neener Neener

  • 138. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 24, 2014 at 6:55 am

    My mistake. I'll remember that next time. Lol.

  • 139. nicolas1446  |  November 23, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    One person apparently was annoyed by my comment so to avoid conflict I have just deleted it.

  • 140. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 24, 2014 at 5:27 am

    One person.

    I was annoyed that you weren't listening, not with what you were discussing. If you cannot handle the possibility of being wrong, then you shouldn't be here. We're all here to learn. I was responding to your comments. That's what happens when you comment. This isn't Facebook. You don't just get to make a claim and have everyone click "Like." If I think you're wrong about something, I will say so.

  • 141. nicolas1446  |  November 24, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Again, yes the comment is in the thread, but if you did not receive it to your email as my reply, it's not yours so don't reply to me. You are disrespectful and apparently think this is some contest to be right or wrong. But again, I was not wrong. You may have not liked some of my opinions, but they were that, opinions. The few facts I used were right.. You were actually the one who is wrong. Claiming that the fundamental right was never understood to be polygamy or incest. well then guess what, that means it was never understood to be gay marriage. So if we follow that, that is where that debate ends. If you think it does not include other relationships then it also does not include same sex couples therefore gay marriage is not a fundamental right. The end. —— Oh and also, you immediately said that polygamy and incest were out of the question. But Then comments later you said that the state had to have compelling reasons to ban it which does not make sense because if polygamy and incest does not fall under the fundamental right to marry, then the case would stop there and the state would not need to provide any reasons for banning it other than it wants to.———————–

    But again, it's you who is not listening because you then went on to saying that sexuality is a class just like gender etc. And then here is where I pointed out, that any argument related to a class is the equal protection argument. And that is where you threw your anger fit. Umm, I'm sorry I stated a fact. What you are having trouble grasping is that you misunderstood what I said, but your ego will not let you admit that so you just keep saying I was wrong.

    But goodbye. I am not in the mood for this so I'm ending this.

  • 142. Raga  |  November 21, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Yes – response to summary judgment motion is due November 24. And a reply is due 14 days after that. Oral argument may or may not be scheduled after that.

  • 143. mario315  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    MISSOURI: Besides the federal case mentioned above, isn't there also another case we won at the state level which now goes to the Missouri Supreme Court for final review ? Which, if we win there, would bring ME statewide to Missouri without us having to worry about 8h Circuit review ? Similar to the Arkansas Supreme Court review also potentially helping us skip the 8th Circuit….

    If so, and assuming these 2 state courts go our way, could we not get to 37 states (counting Arkansas & Missouri) before SCOTUS rules next June ? …

  • 144. scream4ever  |  November 22, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Yup the governor and attorney general have announced their intention to appeal to the state supreme court so the ruling will apply statewide, but the stay being lifted in the federal lawsuit would do the same thing essentially.

  • 145. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2014 at 6:43 am

    I am not sure the MO Supreme Court has enough time to rule tbh..Of course it does not have to freeze procedures once SCOTUS takes up the issue or it may as well will if it is to decide the issue based on the federal constitution (a decision appelable to SCOTUS).

  • 146. scream4ever  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Right now I think it's likely that the stay in the federal case will be lifted and that will essentially be the end of it, especially since the governor and attorney general seem unlikely to object to such action. I also think that may happen with the Florida stay set to expire. Sure Bondi is fighting it but the 11th Circuit is likely more friendly to us then the 8th. I also hope that should the 11th grant the stay, we appeal to the Supreme Court and ask for it to be lifted.

  • 147. DrBriCA  |  November 23, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Since Thomas is the circuit justice for the 11th, he'd possibly be an extra roadblock to lifting a stay. He might just issue the stay in his own right (given his recent dissents), thereby necessitating an appeal to the full court.

  • 148. scream4ever  |  November 23, 2014 at 6:08 am

    True, but even he knows the full court will end up voting on it anyways.

  • 149. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2014 at 6:50 am

    So..What are we waiting for now in the upcoming weeks ?

    a) A ruling in Mississipi on the preliminary injunction.
    b) Judicial actions in Kansas for the recognition of marriages from state agencies.
    c) Ruling from the Arkansas Supreme Court.
    d) Ruling from the federal district court in Arkansas.
    e) A ruling on the merits in South Dakota federal district court.
    f) Action from the 9th to the en banc hearing requests from CPM and Idaho. Similar action from the 10th on the Kansas case and probably from the 4th in the NC and SC cases.
    g) Hearing on January 9th in the 5th circuit.
    h) SCOTUS conference in January after replies have been submitted.

    Anything else I possibly forgot ? There is going to be some kind of progress in MO in state courts and the 8th CA but there is no time schedule on those..And we do not wait any ruling soon in the cases in North Dakota, Nebraska, Alabama and Georgia.

  • 150. DACiowan  |  November 22, 2014 at 7:04 am

    There is the pending request for the Missouri federal judge to lift his stay, which if granted and not stayed from the 8th Circuit, would lead to marriages throughout the state and leave the subsequent legal wranglings entirely on paper.

  • 151. scream4ever  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:18 am

    There likely will be no requests for a stay sent to the 8th Circuit since both the Governor and Attorney General didn't request on with the state district court ruling in St. Louis.

  • 152. mario315  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Great list !…. I think you forgot about the big mess down in Florida…. I've lost track of all the dates in all the cases which are active there…

    Various Florida courts (state, federal) have weighed in and there are appeals all over the place between AG Bondi and different plaintiffs…. Plus 11th Circuit deadlines, State Supreme Court deadlines, stay deadlines ending, stay delay requests, etc…. Would be nice if someone here has kept track of this sad saga from Florida and can summarize it here to see if we can keep track…

  • 153. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I don't even want to go there..And I don't think we have any dates for oral arguments set in any of these case, filings are still made. It's a huge mess indeed which won't be resolved before SCOTUS decides I think.

  • 154. JayJonson  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:46 am

    There is a state case in Louisiana, which we won, Costanza v. Brewer, handed down on September 22. The state said it would appeal directly to the Lousiana Supreme Court. Any information on when it will be heard?

  • 155. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I haven't heard anything on that but I believe the process could drag years actually – and we can't expect anything good, the Louisiana Supreme Court is very conservative I read.

    On the other hand the Mississipi Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for the Czekala-Chatham divorce case for January 21. Not much to expect there either but it's relevant nevertheless.

  • 156. DrBriCA  |  November 23, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Especially when you consider that we've passed the year anniversary this month of the Texas Supreme Court hearing for a same-sex divorce case and they STILL haven't issued a ruling!

  • 157. jpmassar  |  November 22, 2014 at 8:53 am

    BILLINGS — As many as four deputies in the Yellowstone County Clerk of District Court's office have indicated their unwillingness to issue wedding licenses for same-sex couples, and for now they won't have to.

    Kristie Lee Boelter, clerk of Yellowstone County District Court, said Friday that one deputy has religious objections. That deputy — and the three others who say they also object — won't be required to issue the licenses, she said. Boelter said that decision was made on direction from county Human Relations Director Dwight Vigness after consulting with the County Attorney's office.

    Boelter declined to identify the employees.

    "I have been told," Boelter said, "that I can't require (deputy clerks) to issue licenses. Right now it's not a problem, because we have enough deputy clerks willing to do this."

    That doesn't mean Boelter agrees with the directive.

    "It is my responsibility to uphold the law and follow the law," Boelter said Friday morning. "My directive to deputy clerks who took the same oath I did is to follow the law or we have issues.

    "In my opinion, some of those same religions (objecting to the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples) also disagree with divorce, and yet we deal with many divorce cases in this office," Boelter said. "I don't think that's fair."

  • 158. Jaesun100  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Hmmm wait until we see the more southern states responses …I have a feeling this is tame compared to what's coming up in Texas and Louisiana Mississippi and such…. Kansas so far has taken the cake for that imfamous honor.

  • 159. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2014 at 10:06 am

    I am still very surprised at the very tame reaction Oklahoma had at this. I had them in my mind as the darkest shade of red. Apart from Fallin's initial hysteric reaction, no clerk objections surfaced, we have not heard yet about any crazy bills from the legislature, everything ran smoothly in terms of recognition thus far and even the OK Supreme Court recognized parental rights for non biological partners…Am I missing something here about Oklahoma ?

  • 160. Dr. Z  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Maybe the foaming-at-the-mouth variety of homophobe isn't as prevalent as they'd have the rest of the country believe ("We speak for the VAAAAAST MAJORITY!!!")

    The last several dozen NOM rallies have drawn crickets but little else.

  • 161. hopalongcassidy  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:44 am

    It has been surprising to me too, as a longtime Okie…very little hysteria over it. If it's not a calm before a storm, it must be that most folks have just decided the fight is too much trouble…?? I don't remember even hearing any local people around here (eastern part of the state) talking about it. Very strange.

  • 162. bayareajohn  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I don't really have a problem with some staff not wanting to participate if there is no interruption of service due to it. If there's a commitment to provide the license with no more than trivial delay (getting another staff member), and no overt degradation or scene over it, it's a staff assignment accommodation I can live with.

  • 163. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I have to agree here, given the circumstances. If I do not have to face any kind of discomfort while applying for a state issued license , meaning I have to wait for another deputy to come to issue it etc, I won't be directed to another deputy to do so etc, they can do whatever internal changes they can. They can have only deputies willing to treat everyone equally who issue marriage licenses and have the bigoted ones do other things.
    The problem will occur, as the Yellowstone clerk county said, in small counties with a small number of deputies. If there is one deputy on the issuance of marriage license, they'd better do their job or resign.

  • 164. Dr. Z  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Once you voluntarily give up the right to be treated on an equal basis as everyone else, you will never get it back again.

    This is an important principle. Marriage equality isn't going to end homophobia and we have many more years of struggle ahead. If you compromise away equal treatment now, you are going to saddle future generations of LGBT with more state-sanctioned discrimination.

  • 165. bayareajohn  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:48 am

    The fight has been to get legal, not to try to mind-control bigots. If the department has a commitment to full service that they meet, you really want to insist that each person in the department must serve equally too?

  • 166. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Yes. Just like ANY civil servant (local, state, or Federal) they took an oath of office to serve everyone equally.

    Would African-Americans want a clerk, deputy clerk, etc., to say their marriage is not worth it, and to get someone else to accomodate them?

    Would an Irish couple want a restaurant to tell them that Irish are not served, so go find a different restaurant?

    Would an Asian couple want a tailor to tell them that Asians are not clothed in that store, and to go to some other store to get clothed?

    Half equality is NOT equality, just as half a loaf is NOT a full loaf. We are fighting, not only for the ability to get married, but to be treated as EQUALS in marriage. And applying for a marriage license is part of that attempt for equality.

  • 167. DeadHead  |  November 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    These people are paid to serve us all, partly through the taxes we pay (property, sales, income) and the associated fees one pays for the issuance of a license to get married so if these clerks don't want to serve the people who help pay their salaries, then they need to find another job.

  • 168. Dr. Z  |  November 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Your well intentioned exception will only be used to drive a wedge in future. Is the department still offering the service if you have to drive hundreds of miles to the state capital to obtain it? (Twice, in the case where there is a waiting period.)

    And where does it stop? Changing names? Processing tax returns?

  • 169. hopalongcassidy  |  November 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    If each person is employed to do that particular job, hell yes.

  • 170. Jaesun100  |  November 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I agree that's reasonable I don't mind as long as there is away for all couples to be accommodated .

  • 171. ebohlman  |  November 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Accommodating a deputy who objects to same-sex marriage by having him/her not issue marriage licenses at all (trading duties with other staff to achieve this) is a reasonable accommodation. But allowing a deputy to pick and choose which couple's he/she will issue licenses to is not a reasonable accommodation, because as I understand the law on the matter, a reasonable accommodation does not "fundamentally alter" the duties of the position, and allowing an employee to treat a purely ministerial duty as if it were discretionary is, IMHO, a fundamental alteration.

  • 172. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    That's my position as well, but it seems it was misunderstood by the people here judging from the thumbs up/down. Either be responsible of issuing licenses and issue them to everyone or do something else entirely.

  • 173. davepCA  |  November 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I disagree. Would it be acceptable for a state office to shuffle job duties around to "accommodate' a racist employee who was opposed to interracial marriage so that he no longer issued any marriage licenses? No. Of course not. Then why make such an accommodation for someone who opposes equal civil marriage rights for same sex couples?

  • 174. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 22, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    "Accommodating a deputy who objects to same-sex marriage by having him/her not issue marriage licenses at all (trading duties with other staff to achieve this) is a reasonable accommodation."

    And what if there is no one to trade duties with? Or the only person who is willing to follow the law (in ALL manner) is sick or on vacation? People are supposed to just wait until that person returns? Travel (possibly dozens or more) miles to another office?

    That is why there is a need for ALL to follow the law, and not 'trade' positions with another person who is willing to follow the law. Either the person follows the law (and NOT use excuses to not follow it), or they need to find a different job.

  • 175. ebohlman  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Under those circumstances there simply aren't any reasonable accommodations (since another aspect of a reasonable accommodation is that it doesn't impose an undue burden on the employer, and rendering the employer's facility unable to provide its full scope of services at certain times is an undue burden).

    In those cases the deputy has the choice of issuing licenses to everyone, quitting, or getting fired.

  • 176. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    What if in an office of 10, 5 will and 5 won't follow the ENTIRE law (including the head of the office, the person who makes the final decision on hiring and firing). Over a matter of 1 year, 5 get new jobs (all 5 who will follow the ENTIRE law, not just selected parts), and thus the office has 7 (5 remaining, 2 new hires, and 3 vacancies) who won't follow the entire law, just selected parts? Who trades jobs with whom?

    The response is for ALL to follow the ENTIRE law, not just the parts they want to follow, or they find a new job (either by getting fired or finding a new job before they get fired).

  • 177. JayJonson  |  November 23, 2014 at 7:12 am

    In Washington state, soon after the referendum that brought same-sex marriage to the state was passed, a state judge announced that because of his religious beliefs he would not marry any same-sex couples. A complaint was filed against him. The complaint was upheld because to make such a declaration was discriminatory on the surface. It telegraphed to gay and lesbians who may appear before him on other matters that he was prejudiced.

    As I recall, he was issued a reprimand of some kind and agreed that he would henceforth perform no marriages at all.

    Inasmuch as the performance of marriages was not an obligation of his position (only an option that Washington state judges have), the decision of the judicial committee was greeted mostly positively, perhaps because no previous complaints of anti-gay prejudice had been lodged against him.

    However, his decision imposed an extra work load on his colleagues, and also raised other questions about what other religious convictions he might have that would cause him to refuse to do his job.

  • 178. hopalongcassidy  |  November 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    But this is a genuine "slippery slope" accommodation. If it is permitted, what would prevent, say, a homophobic ambulance driver to refuse to carry an injured gay person to the hospital on 'moral objection' grounds when there are other ambulances "available"?

  • 179. ebohlman  |  November 22, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    For an ambulance driver, the timeliness of attention provided to patients is an essential job function, i.e. one that cannot practically be delegated to others, and an accommodation is not reasonable if it eliminates an essential job function.

  • 180. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 22, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Tell that to the DC Fire Department, ambulance personnel and doctors at a reputable hospital who didn't treat Tyra Hunter properly. The ambulance personnel and doctors should have especially been aware that treating an injured person ASAP and with care are essential, but they didn't seem to care. Emergency medical technicians at the scene of the accident uttered derogatory epithets and withdrew medical care after discovering that she was male assigned at birth, and ER staff at DC General Hospital subsequently provided dilatory and inadequate care.

  • 181. hopalongcassidy  |  November 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Yeah, in a perfect world. If you are sure no ambulance driver would never "get lost" on the way to or from a patient pickup if he/she was dispatched to a well known gay venue or discovered the person's orientation on arrival (perhaps with interaction with that person's SO), I'm afraid you have some Pollyanna characteristics.

  • 182. Steve84  |  November 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    They are just low level bureaucrats. Nothing more. They need to do their job or be fired. It's just fucking paperwork. What's next? Can bureaucrats everywhere refuse to fill out paperwork dealing with same-sex couples?

  • 183. Jaesun100  |  November 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    If an office wants to shift duties around amongst its staff and it has enough employees and it does not affect usual order , so be it . What happened to compromise?

  • 184. RnL2008  |  November 22, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    If these folks are PUBLIC employees……why should they be allowed to NOT do their jobs? Would it be okay if these same folks did this to Black people? Jewish folks? Asian folks? If it's NOT okay to discriminate against those folks…why should it be okay to discriminate against Gays and Lesbians?

    By the way…it has NOTHING to do with compromising…….but EVERYTHING to do with NOT allowing folks to get away with DISCRIMINATING against American Citizens who are Gay or Lesbian!!!

  • 185. hopalongcassidy  |  November 22, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Compromising with bigots is like sticking only one finger instead of your arm into a rattlesnake's hole.

  • 186. KnottiBuoy  |  November 22, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Where does it end? A government contract manager doesn't want to process purchase orders for Apple computers because the CEO of Apple is gay? Or do you limit it to just marriage licenses? Should we include county clerks who don't like muslims or immigrants? Where is this constitutional right to compromise spelled out in the constitution? A little clarity is in order.

  • 187. Jaesun100  |  November 23, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Well maby the difference of opinion comes fom living in a ME state or not……as long as I can go to the clerks office pick up my license and I'm legally married with no issues I don't give a rats ass what the clerks do with each other's duties behind the scenes… Don't get me wrong I understand some offices this isn't possible but places where it is what's the biggie if they can accommodate ? I personally would rather be served or married by someone whom wants to and if they really didn't want to, I don't want to know about it….. As I said normal order can't be disrupted….
    A very good Lesbian couple friends of mine went to their local clerks office in Columbus County NC (the one where two clerks quit) the day after it became legal and they were completely offended when the 1st shift clerk told them to wait for the second shift clerk….. They came back and second shift clerk let them take pictures of the whole ceremony and kiss it was a much better experience than they would have had with the first clerk even they agreed ….now that was a disruption in normal order what the first clerk done and was totally unacceptable (and yes they did file a complaint)…however if the clerks office can assure everyone is treated equally I don't see how shifting duties around is that big of a deal…

  • 188. wes228  |  November 23, 2014 at 5:59 am

    It grossly expands the understanding of what does and does not violate someone's religious beliefs.

    These clerks are in what is purely a non-discretionary ministerial position. Issuing a marriage license is not the same thing as blessing or presiding over a marriage ceremony (like a priest would). The clerk's sole duty is to look at the two people and affirm that they are legally eligible to enter into the marriage they are applying for. By saying that they are eligible to marry, the clerk is not offering her personal opinion on the marriage or giving her personal blessing to the marriage, she is simply recording the reality that these two people are, under our laws, eligible to marry.

  • 189. Jaesun100  |  November 23, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Correct , but when they entered the job it wasn't a duty they had to do …. going forward Clerks will know what they are signing up for , but I do have a small amount of sympathy for the ones that hold sincere beliefs (even though they are wrong) it does seem like it is forced on them and if their employees can accommodate that within the office I don't see a problem…..The key would be going forward the office shouldn't hire anyone that can't do the job…..
    I'm just saying if these people can be placed in other office/clerk jobs and everybody can be happy on both sides to me that's compromise…but maby I'm just being overly diplomatic and sensitive.
    I get that it's not a religious job ,but the concept of marriage is very religious to some if not many—- they think marriage truly is pure religion …..if you worked at an animal shelter who rescued dogs and all of a sudden they decided to also turn it into a gas chamber to kill homeless pets would you stay or do the job? Your job would be to now kill pets …would you ask to transfer to the accounting department or would you leave altogether ?

  • 190. wes228  |  November 23, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Their job hasn't changed: their job before was to determine if the people applying were eligible to marry. Their job now is to determine if the people applying are eligible to marry.

    The laws have changed…but laws change all the time. This would create chaos if when the government hires someone, for that person they have to freeze the laws in time. That's ridiculous. Also, marriage is not purely religious even if people may mistakenly think it is. The government does not have to accommodate fantasies.

  • 191. sfbob  |  November 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

    There are plenty of things I have to do in my job that weren't requirements when I first started. And yet I still have to perform those additional tasks. Otherwise I am considered to be insubordinate. I'm a real estate appraiser and have been for over 35 years. I work for the federal government. I have to do stuff to implement programs that didn't exist when I started out. More to the point, when I began, real estate appraisers didn't have to be licensed and didn't have to take continuing education classes to maintain their licenses. My job pays for my continuing education but not for my license so renewing my license is money out of my pocket that I'm not being compensated for; others at my grade level don't have professional licenses that they need to maintain. So do you think I have to keep on renewing my license at my own expense until I retire? You'd better believe I do unless I want to be demoted.

  • 192. RemC_Chicago  |  November 24, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Your observation—as are others here—is worthy of being broadcast more broadly. Consider turning your points into a Letter to the Editor the the Billings newspaper (

  • 193. wes228  |  November 23, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Another point too is division of labor. Presumably these people opting out are still being paid the same amount of money (I doubt they get paid per marriage license issued).

    If I'm gay and my religion is against STRAIGHT marriage, can I refuse to issue those licenses? In some Montana counties I might probably go days or even weeks without having to lift a finger.

  • 194. rob2017  |  November 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Would a devout Muslim bus driver with sincerely held religious beliefs be able to forbid scantily- clad (in his eyes) women from boarding the bus? No burka, no ride. Actually, I would love to see this happen to some Christian fundamentalist haters.

  • 195. bayareajohn  |  November 23, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    OK now, the what-if examples are running now mighty wide of the facts we started with, a lot like the Right's characterization of the Polygamy slippery slope. This hill has slopes on both sides, and I'm not sure how to honestly dismiss one and champion the other.

    I do want to thank everyone for the debate that hasn't included personal insults or much profanity. It has helped me reconsider how much leeway in accommodation of intolerance I ought to be comfortable with. That leeway remains more than zero, but closer to it than when I originally posted.

  • 196. Zack12  |  November 23, 2014 at 4:07 am

    For those saying it's okay for these clerks to get a pass from doing their jobs, let me tell you this.
    Here in NY some clerks have been doing this crap and getting away with it.
    That has led to some business owners and renters wanting to be able to do the same thing.
    NEVER make an exception for bigots, period.
    if you do, they will want more and more.

  • 197. Jaesun100  |  November 23, 2014 at 7:01 am

    If I'm not mistaken didn't a Venue in NY get sued and fined for not allowing Same sex weddings ? every time a case comes up and is pursued we win ….I think if it's a problem people should put it through the courts …I'm suspecting no one has complained yet or took legal action..

  • 198. sfbob  |  November 23, 2014 at 8:48 am

    A venue yes. They were determined to be a public accommodation and therefore had to provide their services in a non-discriminatory manner. The issue allowing a public servant deny a service to any individual or couple which that individual or couple has a legal right to obtain, based on the religious beliefs of that public servant is a distinct matter. The law requires that service to be provided in a non-discriminatory manner and yet a specific person is being permitted to continually violate the law without any consequences. That is a BIG problem.

  • 199. RQO  |  November 23, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Refusing legally required job tasks on moral grounds and being supported in doing so, in a public, governmental job, is JUST NOT POSSIBLE. Jaesun and others may be happy with "the next clerk", but the fundamental implications of allowing this to happen are entirely untenable. Conscientious Objection is permitted, but you don't get to join the military and some pacifist desk unit. Just try not paying the portion of your federal income taxes destined to the military or the NSA. Just because your family has had grazing rights in a National Forest for 140 years does not mean you own the land, or the government cannot change the rules.
    We have a HUGE amount of individual liberty and diversity of opinion in this country, but in necessarily cooperative efforts, like government, we are obligated to follow the law. Letting public employees pick and choose is an accommodation too far, and only feeds the horrendous balkanization and polarization of public and political life. The country would soon be ungovernable, an ultra-libertarian, anarchist hell.
    For our Republican friends – would your allow your employees to pick and choose which customers they would serve? And even if you would, would you be fine with the government telling you you COULD NOT fire them?

  • 200. Jaesun100  |  November 23, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Yup, I'm cool with my civil ceremony not being officiated by a Bigot. I'd rather the person want to do it… long as the State provides the person that wants to do it when I show up at the counter ,I don't care what happens behind the scenes ….
    If I had a business as an employer I would be as sensitive to my employees as possible as long as it didn't disrupt or compromise normal business for ALL and I don't think that's being unreasonable and every employer should have that right…. but that's a perfect world where everyone is happy and WE all know people will take advantage and cross each other's boundaries and rights… I think each side just needs to be a little more sensitive to what the other is saying because one side is getting what they want the question is how hard and far each side is going to push the other before either side is happy ? Once we have won the battle we don't won't to look like a non compromising group with no respect for the individual, especially those that have a difference of opinion not law….

  • 201. JayJonson  |  November 23, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Canada faced this issue when a marriage officiant in Saskatchewan (iirc) refused to offer his services to same-sex couples but said that he would connect them with another marriage officiant who would perform the requested ceremony. In the litigation that followed, it was revealed that the marriage bureau in Toronto had an unofficial policy to allow volunteers to preside at same-sex weddings. This policy was cited as equivalent to what the Saskatchewan officiant was doing. Their argument was that as long as there was no delay and no lack of respect was shown to the couple, then the couple's dignity was not hurt and therefore there was no injury.

    Canada's Supreme Court rejected that argument. Although the Canadian Charter respects both religious freedom and sexual orientation (the latter as read into the Charter by the Supreme Court of Canada), the Court held that in this instance sexual orientation protections trump religious freedom.

    The ruling considered the fact that the position of marriage officiant is a ministerial position and the fact that the position itself was originally established as a means for people who did not want a religious ceremony to be married.

    The Court pointed out that before the position was established, people could be married only by clergy or at a courthouse. The position was established to accommodate people who wanted a wedding outside of a courthouse or town hall but did not want a religious ceremony. Hence, the very purpose of the position was to provide secular weddings, so religious objections would amount to an imposition of the officiant's religious beliefs on others.

  • 202. Jaesun100  |  November 23, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Well technically that is making someone go against their religion even though it is cherry picking and no one made them go into that job …it might not pass our Supreme Court so easily this is where the line will get gray if other accommodations can be made to respect both sides….despite what you want religion is still highly protected and respected by the conservative court here….
    I'm surprised there hasn't been some kind of litigation here on this yet …..that old saying "give it time" I see this becoming an issue…..I hope I'm wrong, and we can all work it out and do what's legally right….. More lawsuits aren't good …. IMO it makes us look like bullies with an agenda running an attack on religion ….. Great info btw thanks for sharing !
    And I understand people aren't willing to compromise in those states that don't have ME I was the same way…..Once you get it you may be open to listening more to the other side since they can't influence the outcome …..I have noticed that is the case for me once you feel like you won you are in a much better mood to make compromises if it makes your experience more pleasant in the clerks office…

  • 203. sfbob  |  November 23, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Before you say that insisting a court clerk or a justice of the peace marry us even if they personally object to our marriage makes us look like bullies, keep in mind that this argument is PRECISELY one being made by the religious right. And they do so not just with respect to civil marriage but with respect to ALL of our civil rights. By insisting that we have the same rights as heterosexuals, they claim, we are bullying people who believe we should remain in quietly the closet lest we offend someone. It is simply another version of blaming the victim and accusing us of being "uppity." Either we are equal before the law or we are not. There really isn't any middle ground.

    A few years ago a Louisiana justice of the peace refused to marry an interracial couple because he "did not approve of their marriage" (were approximately his words if I remember correctly). Although the couple were able to be married by a different officiant they complained and they were right to do so. If I'm not mistaken he chose to resign from his position rather than be terminated.

  • 204. Jaesun100  |  November 23, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I feel legally they should be bound to don't get me wrong however Some went into the job with "traditional" ways of doing things ….so far they have all done the right things and stepped down I just think future ones are gonna challenge it and if offices can shift things around and it doesn't cause hardship or chaos at the counter for GLBT then that's great .
    As far as the bully thing would I feel guilty forcing someone to marry me? well maby now that I have that power I kinda want the person to want to do it and if they didn't want to I would probably feel like a bully if someone else was available….

  • 205. sfbob  |  November 23, 2014 at 9:29 am

    When I first assumed my job many years ago I was told that it was understood that not everyone is comfortable around every other person. Many of the examples we were given were of a superficial nature, because in general within civil service the last thing you want to do is be controversial. For example we were told that we might find the way people decorated their homes, which we would have occasion to enter as part of our jobs, to be in poor taste. But we were told in no uncertain terms that while we were entitled to our opinions about the people we might come into contact with we were to keep those opinions to ourselves while performing our jobs. In the lunchroom or over coffee or after work we were fully free to make whatever remarks we wished to. But while we were on the job, the rule was to shut our mouths, do our jobs and be equally respectful to everyone we came into contact with regardless of our opinions.

  • 206. Jaesun100  |  November 23, 2014 at 9:36 am

    The politically Diplomatic approach I would like is a pipe dream I know ….Most Clerks offices are understaffed in small counties to accommodate ….. so don't bend the rules it's business as usual or leave your post …..
    You're right jobs change…

    . If one can't handle the heat they should probably walk away bend the rule for one and problems will ensue…..they do have that choice to just walk away but will they leave peacefully ? ….

  • 207. sfbob  |  November 23, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Well here's the thing. We constantly interact with people providing services to us. In these interactions, either person may have some opinion (based on anything or nothing) about the person on the other side of that interaction. And yet the transaction still takes place regardless of what those opinions are because in the context of the transaction what either person thinks of the other is not pertinent. That's necessary in order for life to be navigible. We don't have the luxury of walling ourselves off from people who differ from us in some visible fashion and we certainly have no way of avoiding people whose differences from ourselves are not visible. For example I don't know the politics of the people I interact with unless of course they choose to make that a topic for discussion. And even if they do I still get to do my job in a professional manner.

    I'll cite another instance of a problematic situation here: several years ago a clerk at a California DMV office found standing in front of them a person who was clearly transgender. If I remember correctly their clerk's first response was to decline to serve; when told they had no choice they were rude. And later (since of course if you're renewing your license the person behind the desk has access to your mailing address) the transgender person received religious literature the source of which was quite obvious. Needless to say the DMV clerk got into serious trouble. I believe they lost their job.

    A civil servant who issues a marriage license or even solemnizes the marriage is not tasked with offering an opinion on the couple he or she is marrying. If the couple meets the legal requirements to be married and the proper fee is paid the service should be provided no matter what the man or woman behind the counter thinks of the clients. It should not enter the transaction in any way. That is basic professional behavior.

  • 208. Jaesun100  |  November 23, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Excellent way to put it….but I still have that mentality when I go to the grocery store as long as the item I need is on the shelf I don't really think about how it got there.,..
    If one is in the market for a doctor would they pick a homophobic doctor with no experience with GLBT or will they shop around and find the better doctor? It is good to have choices sometimes ….just as the grocery store as long as I have a good quality product when I get home I'm satisfied…..but when the product isn't on the shelf it gets me wondering why and then I begin to worry ….I am definitely thankful and always know how hard the fight is and continues to be to get this product to the shelf and I won't be happy until it's on all our shelves. …,,, this has been a good healthy debate and ..this is my last post on this topic and then I'm going to shut up before I'm completely voted off the island. I will never knowingly let or force a bigot to marry me,bake me a cake , take my wedding pictures if that makes me a horrible person so mote it be….i do understand though there needs to be a legal standard when GLBT couples apply there should be no hic ups so I agree clerks should be legally bound to serve all couples so everyone gets equal treatment….it should be a basic job requirement…..and they need to have all that sorted out by the time We show up at the clerks office…..I am not quiet sure what to expect when I show up at mine…..I do expect and hope for it to be pleasant and not awkward and the same for all the other couples….

  • 209. KnottiBuoy  |  November 23, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    "I have noticed that is the case for me once you feel like you won you are in a much better mood to make compromises if it makes your experience more pleasant in the clerks office…"

    The encounter with the clerks office regarding how to register for a Domestic Partnership in the day. "Oh, you want to register for a Domestic Partnership? They are handled over there, the window that says 'Dog Licenses.'"

  • 210. weshlovrcm  |  November 23, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    What about my religious beliefs? If I feel that homophobia is a sin and that God approves of marriage for His beautiful gay children, why should I be discriminated against for my sincerely held religious beliefs?

  • 211. DACiowan  |  November 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    That argument got us marriage equality in North Carolina.

  • 212. andrewofca  |  November 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

    (off topic) New Chief Judge for the 9th Circuit. He sounds awesome.

  • 213. guitaristbl  |  November 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Well he is a Clinton appointee without a blog with profanities which a step forward from Kozinski, a republican appointee (no hard feelings towards Kozinski of course – he is siding with the right people on the 9th more often than not).

  • 214. andrewofca  |  November 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Endorsed by LGBT-issues expert & court watcher Carl Tobias

  • 215. guitaristbl  |  November 23, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Who Thomas or Kozinski ?

  • 216. andrewofca  |  November 23, 2014 at 5:29 pm


  • 217. JayJonson  |  November 24, 2014 at 7:03 am

    The position is determined on a purely mathematical basis: the judge with the most seniority who is neither a senior judge nor one who has previously served as a chief judge and who is less than 65 years of age. Interesting formula. The Chief Judge serves a 7-year term.

  • 218. dlejrmex  |  November 23, 2014 at 11:55 am

    The link opens to a story has a large photo of a woman judge(?). I kept reading the story waiting for a surprise ending but finally realized the photo must be the person writing about the new Chief Judge. The related stories link shows a photo of the judge.

    He does sound like he will do a good job.

  • 219. Raga  |  November 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    He was on Obama's shortlist in 2010 for the Supreme Court:

  • 220. jpmassar  |  November 23, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    The former director of an "ex-gay" ministry that endorsed "straight boot camps" has married his same-sex partner.

    John Smid, who was director of the Memphis-based conservative ministry Love in Action, married Larry McQueen in Oklahoma Nov. 16, according to the Memphis Flyer.

  • 221. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 24, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Yay! I'm all about people realizing who they are and finding love because of it! 😀

  • 222. jpmassar  |  November 23, 2014 at 10:38 pm


    A majority of Wyomingites support same-sex marriage, according to a University of Wyoming poll. Researchers interviewed state residents by telephone from Oct. 13 to Oct. 28 — as gay marriage was becoming legal…

    Interviewers asked respondents whether they agreed with the statement: “Homosexual couples should be allowed to get married.” Fifty-three percent of people agreed; 39 percent disagreed.

  • 223. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 24, 2014 at 5:04 am

    Would you prefer Wyomingans or Wyomingers? Maybe Wyominglings? Bahahahaha

    Wyomingite is the official demonym, believe it or not:

  • 224. F_Young  |  November 24, 2014 at 12:36 am

    16 North Carolina Judges Quit Following State's Legalization of Gay Marriage

  • 225. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 24, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out! 🙂

  • 226. F_Young  |  November 24, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Yes, as far as I'm concerned, this probably shows they were unsuited to be judges in the first place. In effect, this clears out some dubious apples, and leaves us with a better judiciary.

  • 227. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  November 24, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Exactly. 🙂

  • 228. Jaesun100  |  November 24, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I Hate things got to this point. I think everybody should be able to Pickett peacefully

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