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Archives – November, 2014

READ IT HERE: Idaho plaintiffs’ opposition to rehearing with 11-judge Ninth Circuit panel

Sane-sex couples in Idaho oppose rehearing in the Ninth Circuit.

Continue 31 Comments November 11, 2014

Equality news round-up: Updates in Tenth Circuit marriage cases, and more

Updates from Kansas, and more.

Continue 139 Comments November 10, 2014

Sixth Circuit Loss Could Become Supreme Court Win

By Matt Baume

Well we just capped off the busiest month in marriage equality history, but it’s looking like November’s going to be just as busy. Two judges in the Sixth Circuit just ruled against equality, which sets us up for a Supreme Court ruling in the coming months. And no sooner did the Sixth Circuit uphold marriage bans than a judge in West Virginia issued a ruling of his own, explaining why they’re wrong. Plus, judges overturned marriage bans in Kansas and Missouri, with some complicated rules about who can get married and when.

There is a lot to talk about this week. But first, let’s take a quick look at how far we came in the last month. On October 6, the US Supreme Court denied cert to cases in three states, and marriage started in Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia. The next day, marriage started in Colorado and Indiana, and the Ninth Circuit overturned marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho. On October 10, marriage started in West Virginia and North Carolina. Then Arizona on October 16, and Alaska on the 17th. Marriage started in Wyoming on the 21st, the same day we had our one setback for the month when a judge in Puerto Rico upheld a marriage ban, which is now on appeal to the First Circuit. That’s 12 states. 57 million people. And it all happened in one month.

November’s already looking pretty busy too. Last week the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld marriage bans in a bunch of states. It’s a complicated and very long ruling, but the court essentially just repackaged the arguments of the anti-gay lawyers. They also ruled that courts should simply step back from marriage and let voters and politicians determine whether marriage bans are constitutional. This is obviously a weird position for a court to take, and the very next day a federal judge in West Virginia issued a contradictory ruling. Judge Robert C. Chambers upheld the overturning of West Virginia’s ban, and added that the role of the judiciary is to judge whether laws are constitutional.

The Sixth Circuit plaintiffs have already announced their plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review. This the first time an appellate court has ruled in favor of a ban, which means the US Supreme Court is highly likely to take up at least one of these cases. Of course, “highly likely” doesn’t mean that they will. If the Justices really don’t want to take this case, they could deny cert and let the ruling stand, effectively allowing each circuit to set its own rules. That would leave marriage bans in place across the Sixth Circuit until they could be overturned by voters or politicians, which could take years.

But that’s just one setback. We also had several wins last week. In Kansas, a federal judge ruled that the state’s marriage ban is unconstitutional. Kansas is the last state in the Tenth Circuit without marriage. The judge’s ruling is scheduled to take effect on Tuesday of this week, but the state has asked for more time to appeal the decision. Their chances of prevailing at this point are pretty slim. Officials plan to request an en banc review from the Tenth Circuit, but The Supreme Court has already denied cert in similar Tenth Circuit cases, so they’re pretty unlikely to get a rehearing.

This week saw two separate wins in Missouri. On Wednesday, a state court ruled that Missouri’s marriage ban is unconstitutional. This is another complicated decision, and for now it only applies to couples in St. Louis. Couples in that city can marry as of now, but the rest of the state will have to wait. But maybe not much longer: on Friday, a federal judge also ruled against the ban statewide. That decision is stayed for now, pending appeal. We’re also expecting a ruling soon in South Carolina, so there’s likely to be more big marriage equality news coming any day now.

41 Comments November 10, 2014

West Virginia same-sex marriage ban struck down

A federal judge formally strikes down the state’s ban.

Continue 164 Comments November 7, 2014

Federal judge strikes down Missouri’s marriage equality ban

Big news out of Missouri today, where a federal judge has invalidated the state’s ban on marriage equality.  The ruling comes just two days after a state court judge issued a similar ruling and about a month after another state ruling requiring Missouri to recognize marriage licenses obtained by same-sex couples out of state.

You can read the full ruling below, via Equality Case Files. We’ll have more information on the decision later today!

4:14-cv-00622 #50 by Equality Case Files

117 Comments November 7, 2014

Equality news round-up: Sixth Circuit fallout, and more

Marriage equality heads to SCOTUS, and more.

Continue 23 Comments November 7, 2014

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