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Equality news round-up: Arizona, Oregon marriage news, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

– Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced its final rule prohibiting discrimination by government contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The rule was required based on President Obama’s executive order, signed this past summer. You can read the rule itself here.

– The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its mandate in the Oregon marriage case.

– A group of House Republicans have asked Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote on the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA). But a panel of House Republicans have rejected passage of ENDA.

– The Arizona marriage cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have been placed on hold pending the Supreme Court’s consideration of several petitions in marriage cases.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. rob2017  |  December 4, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Why has the case in Arizona (9th Circuit) been stayed pending the outcome of the De Boer (6th Circuit) case? I thought the 9th Circuit ruling was binding on Arizona – case closed. Could Kansas and South Carolina seek a stay in the 10th and 4th Circuits, respectively, by citing De Boer as well? Obviously, I'm not a lawyer and hope I'm wrong.

  • 2. A_Jayne  |  December 4, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I also wonder – I cannot access the Scribd document linked without downloading their app, which I choose not to do. Someone with access, can you tell us why this was stayed? It sounds completely outside the norm here…

  • 3. davepCA  |  December 4, 2014 at 10:43 am

    It says only this:
    The parties’ stipulation to stay appellate proceedings until the Supreme Court disposes of the cases currently seeking review of the De Boer opinion, is granted. This court notes that the cases currently seeking review of De Boer opinion are
    Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556;
    Tanco v. Haslam , No. 14-562;
    De Boer v. Snyder, No. 14-571;
    Bourke v. Beshear , No. 14-574.

    This case is stayed until March 25, 2015. On or before the expiration of the stay, appellants shall file the opening brief or file a status report and an appropriate motion. If appellants file the opening brief, the answering will be due April 24, 2015. The optional reply brief will be due within 14 days after service of the answering brief. The filing of the opening brief or failure to file a status report shall terminate the stay.


    It gives no justification for this.

    : /

  • 4. A_Jayne  |  December 4, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Their use of the plural (parties') seems to imply that plaintiffs agreed to this. But with a Circuit precedent in their favor, that makes no sense…

  • 5. SeattleRobin  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Marriages are taking place in Arizona, right? (It's easy to lose track woth so many cases at so many different stages.) Since people are marrying, there's no benefit to our side to spending time and money in court. So stipulating to putting things on hold pending a SCOTUS decision makes sense.

  • 6. A_Jayne  |  December 4, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Thank you. That was my initial confusion – I don't live in AZ, and don't have a list of resources for news there, so I wasn't sure what might be going on with this action. As it has become clear as the day went on, I understand more and am upset less. Your comment helped.

  • 7. franklinsewell  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:54 am

    The Arizona assistant attorney general decided to appeal the decision in order for the state to be off the hook when it came to paying plaintiffs legal fees.

  • 8. StraightDave  |  December 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    AZ will only be off the hook if SCOTUS eventually upholds the bans. Otherwise, AZ will end up paying even more by dragging out the appeals. It's a foolish and losing bet.

  • 9. RnL2008  |  December 4, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Why has the marriage cases in Arizona been placed on hold? They are part of the 9th circuit and that binding precedent has already been dealt with!!!

  • 10. rob2017  |  December 4, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Great minds think (or are pi$$ed off) alike 🙂

  • 11. RnL2008  |  December 4, 2014 at 10:52 am

    I saw your comment and thought the same thing…

    And Dave, I agree…what is the justification for staying the case in Arizona when the 9th has already ruled on Marriage Equality.

    Does Kansas and South Carolina and Montana get the same free pass? This is ridiculous and ANY judge that is allowing this should be fined for NOT doing their job!!!

  • 12. BenG1980  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I don't think this means the rulings are stayed, just the appeal proceedings. Therefore the district court's decision and order overturning the Arizona ban will continue to be enforced while the appeal just sits at the Ninth Circuit waiting for SCOTUS to act on DeBoer.

  • 13. A_Jayne  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

    That makes a lot more sense. Thanks for clarification, and I sure hope you're correct.

  • 14. davepCA  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:27 am

    aaah…. of course…… not enough coffee in me yet. or…. something…. Thanks!

  • 15. A_Jayne  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Me, too.

  • 16. RnL2008  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:26 am

    That still makes NO sense Ben, when Arizona is in the 9th Circuit not the 6th circuit. There is no reason to stay any of the proceeding because the 9th has already ruled on this area.

    At least that's my thought process on it.

  • 17. BenG1980  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I agree it's silly, but Arizona is hoping that SCOTUS will uphold Judge Sutton's opinion so they can then use that newly-minted Supreme Court precedent to win in the Ninth Circuit. The odds seem stacked against them at this point, but that's what's happening.

  • 18. RnL2008  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:39 am

    If ANYONE believes that SCOTUS is truly going to uphold the ruling from the 6th, they are bigger idiots than I thought.

    I seriously doubt that SCOTUS would allow the 6th ruling to stay and create a huge mess with rulings from the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th in favor of Marriage Equality and allowing the 6th, possible 8th and 11th to be against it and then this mess gets bigger as states like Montana, Kansas, South Carolina, Arizona all think they can follow the 6th's ruling and NOT their own Appellate ruling……just don't see SCOTUS reversing the other rulings to accommodate the 6th!

  • 19. ANYONE_1  |  December 4, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    RnL2008, why are you picking on me? I didn't say anything.

  • 20. RnL2008  |  December 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Who the hell are ya? My comment WASN'T to you or about you, but please continue to whine about something that DIDN'T happen!!!

  • 21. ANYONE_1  |  December 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Rose, It's actually Brandall. I just could not resist picking up on the ANYONE statement. You know me… I have to keep some sense of humor as we enter the 9th inning on this long road. I hope you are laughing now.

  • 22. RnL2008  |  December 4, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Well, ya got me……now I feel silly, but yes, laughing as well……..hugs<3

  • 23. brandall  |  December 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Whew! Same back. Now returning to the serious stuff of today.

  • 24. RnL2008  |  December 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Love ya sweetie……..still today is just bizarre that some pastor in Arizona thinks that by killing all of the Gays and Lesbians he will rid the world of AIDS and nothing get's done to this man…….good thing he has wish the President dead and is on the Secret Service radar……ugh!!!

  • 25. RQO  |  December 4, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    9th inning? I used to live there, in the 9th (Seattle & P.S.) and wish I missed the C.A. as much as the cities. Being in the 10th, with a bona fide denial of cert from SCOTUS, is currently much more pleasant, especially in CO where any and all opposition to ME was ended in 24 hours flat.

  • 26. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:21 am

    IANA, the AZ stay of appellate proceedings only stays the appeals process; it is a cost savings procedure for both sites. It has no effect on the ruling or order of the AZ district court that is not stayed. Same-sex couples retain their fundamental right to marry the person of their choice.

  • 27. A_Jayne  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Thank you.

  • 28. davepCA  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Ah yes. In the immortal words of Emily Litella –

    "Oh… Well. That's different. Never mind".

    : )

  • 29. RQO  |  December 4, 2014 at 7:37 pm


  • 30. franklinsewell  |  December 4, 2014 at 11:56 am

    From Wikipedia: On November 18, Arizona announced it would appeal the district court ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The state solicitor, Robert Ellman, said the state hoped to avoid paying the original plaintiffs' attorneys fees should the U.S. Supreme Court uphold bans on same-sex marriage.[17] On December 1, all parties asked the court to suspend proceedings pending action by the U.S. Supreme Court in similar cases from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.[18] The Ninth Circuit agreed to that request the next day, suspending proceedings until March 25, 2015.[19]

  • 31. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Off topic (but related to Arizona):

    While searching for how this ruling might affect couples in the state, I came across this article in the 'Arizona Republic' about the latest antics of Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio and his 'interactions' with a certain Federal judge:

    (You have to read fairly far down into the story to learn how the dog fits in. And to me, it looks like 'sheriff joe' is treating the dog better than how he treats many humans.)

  • 32. SPQRobin  |  December 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Finland technical update (= in theory important, but in practice the decisive vote has already happened last week.):

    Yesterday, the Grand Committee voted 17-8 in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage per the citizens' initiative bill. Immediately thereafter, the full parliament held the first reading. There must be at least three days between first and second reading, so next week the parliament will hold a final vote in favor of the same-sex marriage bill.
    The bill, which has only a few sentences, currently contains an effective date of 1 March 2017, and includes a clause requiring the government to immediately begin preparing a bill to update other relevant laws, to be approved before 31 December 2015. I hope they will then change the effective date to an earlier one.
    FWIW, elections are scheduled for 19 April 2015.

  • 33. wes228  |  December 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    The 5th Circuit grants Mississippi's request for a stay pending appeal. I'll be curious to see what the Supreme Court's policy is going to be regarding stays in states not under circuit precedent. No stay for Florida (11th Circuit) but a stay for Mississippi (5th Circuit). Will they defer to the Circuit Courts in each, or will they put in place one policy over the other?

  • 34. guitaristbl  |  December 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    They also granted the request to expedite and it will be heard along with Louisiana and Texas, they set an extremely tight briefing schedule.

  • 35. guitaristbl  |  December 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    The order :

    "We have little difficulty concluding that the legal questions presented by this case are serious, both to the litigants involved and the public at large, and that a substantial question is presented for this court to resolve. In reaching the merits of this appeal, this court will be confronted with a potential conflict between the state’s historic “power and authority over marriage” and “the constitutional rights of persons” to make decisions in the most intimate and personal aspects of their lives.Further, while the majority of circuits to confront this issue have determined that marriage bans similar to the ones at issue here do not comport with the values of our constitution, that conclusion has not been universally shared."

    I want to stick to the part of the order that talks about a "substantial question presented". Did this motions panel just undermine Baker willingly or not ? Seems to me like that.

    "Finally, while we recognize that Plaintiffs are potentially harmed by a continued violation of their constitutional rights, this harm is attenuated by the imminent consideration of their case by a full oral argument panel of this court."

    Well at thet very least they recognize that a potential violation of constitutional rights may exist, that's progress coming from the 5th.

    They do mention the stay to the Utah district court ruling as well, ignoring the denial of cert on the 6th although they may have a point in that since as of now the court has not denied a stay to an order fresh out of district court, without a decision from the regional court of appeals.

  • 36. A_Jayne  |  December 4, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    The way I read the parts you quote here,

    1. Yes, they just said Baker no longer applies, and
    2. They specifically call the right to marry one of the "constitutional rights of persons," which is in direct conflict with the decision of the District Judge in LA.

    And, yes, that they already recognize the potential harm of the bans – well, I see that as a very good sign.

  • 37. guitaristbl  |  December 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    It's just a motions panel, they do not have any binding authority with what they write. I do not believe their intention (given the composition of the panel) was to trash Baker, I believe they did it without knowing it, when the sentence was written.

    They are calling them "potential" constitutional rights essentially, they are jus being as nice as they can imo.

    It's a well written order given that we talk about the 5th but it says little. Even if it didn't, we still don't know the panel that will hear the marriage cases anyway. We could get a panel with Edith Jones, Edith Clement and Leslie Southwick. The first is racist that got away with it, the 2nd is the worst kind of originalist (could be worse than Scalia) and the 3rd a downright bigot, the worst imo in the 5th. That would be a smack.

  • 38. BenG1980  |  December 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I wouldn't put it past Graves to have slipped that in on purpose! Either way, good for him.

  • 39. guitaristbl  |  December 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I do not trust Graves the least personally.

  • 40. BenG1980  |  December 5, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Ok, you've piqued my curiosity. Why is that?

  • 41. Eric  |  December 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    They allege the harm is potential, not the "continued violation of their constitutional rights." I was unaware that that was the standard. I was taught that any violation for any amount of time was impermissible harm.

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