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Equality news round-up: News from NOM, the Westboro Baptist Church, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Fourth Circuit map
Fourth Circuit map
– The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has filed an appeal in the Fourth Circuit in its case against the IRS for publicly disclosing donor information. They appeal the court’s decision to deny attorneys’ fees.

– The Westboro Baptist Church filed an amicus brief in the Kansas marriage case; they oppose a decision to recognize existing marriages.

– There is a hearing scheduled in the Nebraska marriage case in federal district court, on January 29. The judge hearing the case is the same one who ruled in favor of gay rights in Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning. That decision was reversed by the Eighth Circuit.

– Some advocates for transgender military service are hopeful that the current policy will change soon.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 16, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Can you imagine? The same district court judge as CEP v. Bruning?!

    Excuse my cafeteria spirituality for a moment, but this feels like hardly a coincidence. *wiggles*

  • 2. StraightDave  |  December 16, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I think that was god's "make-up call" after foolishly pulling Sutton out of his hat. He realized that was a mistake and is trying to atone for it.

  • 3. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 16, 2014 at 10:57 am


  • 4. RnL2008  |  December 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Sweetie……still here and having to use a browser I'm not overly crazy about, but here nevertheless.

  • 5. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Hi!!! Yay, you're here!

    Which browser is that?

  • 6. RnL2008  |  December 16, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I am currently using IE, but the one I have the issue with is Chrome

  • 7. hopalongcassidy  |  December 16, 2014 at 9:18 am

    That WBC brief reads like something cobbled together by a precocious 8th grader with a highly inflated ego, it's replete with slang, colloquialisms, and juvenile terms. Not the arguments of serious people. (Actually, the arguments of seriously deranged people.)

  • 8. sfbob  |  December 16, 2014 at 9:30 am

    The kind of blew it in their first paragraph: "…forcing their way onto the partner's health insurance." So they are now admitting that gay people can have partners. If that ain't waving the big white flag of surrender already I don't know what is. Whatever happened to "fags" and "sodomites?"

    Other than that, yeah…we're so mean insisting that gay married couples be treated like other married couples. How dare we?

  • 9. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 16, 2014 at 9:33 am

    They had to tone it down a little for court, right?

    I mean, that didn't really stop that Psalmist Watchman whatever guy, but still…

  • 10. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 16, 2014 at 9:49 am


    Don't you know that according to WBC, if it weren't for the "fags" and "sodomites", the US would have won in Korea, and in Viet Nam, that peace would extend all across Iraq and Afghanistan, that peace would extend around the world, the US would be considered by everyone to be the undisputed and sole Superpower in the world today, and everyone would believe and worship EXACTLY as WBC?

    I wonder who WBC would be picking on if it weren't for the "fags" and "sodomites?"

  • 11. StraightDave  |  December 16, 2014 at 10:37 am


  • 12. hopalongcassidy  |  December 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Of course. But I'm having a bit of trouble imagining "Phelps" as a historically Native American surname…

  • 13. davepCA  |  December 16, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Looks to me like they 'kind of blew it' all the way through their brief. I got a few chuckles out of their repetitive sky-is-falling nonsense about how granting an injunction will plunge the state into "chaos and confusion", including this gem: "millions of dollars of investment in technology and computer programming would be impacted and possibly lost" ( ?!?) Typically, states have been able to implement this change with little more than a tiny modification done to the marriage application form, and have even done it using correcting fluid on the existing forms. No "chaos" ensues, unless some idiots try to treat these marriages differently from others, like Kansas is doing.

    I especially liked the lengthy section where they try to justify the DMV not recognizing the marriages – if a gay person marries and changes their name, all sorts of horrible things will happen including false arrests by confused police officers…?!? …who don't seem to have any such confusion NOW, when a woman marries a man and changes HER name…..

  • 14. bayareajohn  |  December 16, 2014 at 11:38 am

    The "attorneys" that filed this should have their licenses reviewed.

  • 15. A_Jayne  |  December 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Indeed. For having enjoyed such good reputations as attorneys in the past, the legal work of the WBC family has certainly slipped.

  • 16. RnL2008  |  December 16, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    It is extremely pathetic for the WBC or ANYONE for that matter to demand or even request that the plaintiffs MEET all four elements for a junction relief WITHOUT themselves needing to reach all four elements for a Stay that has been granted many times over this issue!!!

  • 17. tornado163  |  December 16, 2014 at 9:47 am

    "By previous order of this Court, plaintiffs are allowed to marry same-sex in Kansas." In what way does that make sense either logically or grammatically?

    Some nice circular reasoning. Herbert v Kitchen doesn't control because plaintiffs have to file this lawsuit in the first place. Plaintiffs are filing the lawsuit because Kansas refuses to allow and recognize same-sex marriages. Kansas refuses to recognize the marriages because they say Kitchen doesn't apply.

    Also, what is a "cocked hat"?

  • 18. David_Midvale_UT  |  December 16, 2014 at 10:34 am

    A cocked hat is a wide-brimmed hat where the brim is turned up on two or three sides. Popular in the late Eighteenth Century, the most recognizable examples would be the hats worn by the officers of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

  • 19. David_Midvale_UT  |  December 16, 2014 at 10:43 am

    To be “knocked into a cocked hat” is an old phrase that means to be severely beaten.

  • 20. guitaristbl  |  December 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Already a hearing in Nebraska ? Makes you wonder why the cases in states like Alabama, Georgia and North Dakota are taking so long really…I suppose it has to do with the judge and how urgent they think the matter is (and lets face it if they think its urgent they are most likely pro equality). Having the same judge as in Bruning is extraordinary in terms of luck honestly and symbolic too if you think about it.He is the first federal judge to rule in favour of marriage equality and at times of much more hostility towards LGBT people in the public and political sphere.
    Anyway it my not even matter as by then SCOTUS SHOULD have granted a case anyway.

  • 21. A_Jayne  |  December 16, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Per the WBC brief: "the real issue is that they want the government to force every citizen, including every state employee, to give moral approval to their manner of life" – no, the real issue, what everyone really wants is for the government of KS (and, indeed, the USA) to stop attempting to force the moral disapproval of those like the WBC on anyone in our society.

    Also: "to do so would involve this Court telling these state officials to simply ignore well-established long-standing and organic law" – really, WBC? WTH is "organic law"? And, of course, what the injunction will do is tell those state officials to honor their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution. What don't they get about that?

  • 22. bayareajohn  |  December 16, 2014 at 11:29 am

    HELP, I'm in the mobile pages!
    I entered as normal, got the regular home page, the first topic loaded properly, but this topic goes into the mobile pages every time, no matter what I do. I can restart and get the same. This is so irritating!

  • 23. davepCA  |  December 16, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Yes, I'm still randomly getting the mobile app version too. Very annoying……..

  • 24. sfbob  |  December 16, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Sometimes hitting the refresh button after hitting the "full site" button fixes the problem. Other times it does not. I agree; very annoying. And weird.

  • 25. hopalongcassidy  |  December 16, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I don't think so, I've been trying IE, Chrome, Firefox (my usual) and Opera…they all show this aberrant behavior at what seems to be completely random times.

  • 26. A_Jayne  |  December 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I have that same random problem using Safari…

  • 27. hopalongcassidy  |  December 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I do believe that rules out any problem with browsers then. Why is this so difficult to debug? Any competent programmer should be able to figure this out in a few minutes.

  • 28. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Ask any competent programmer about intermittents and they'll tell you that some can be cleared up in minutes, and some can take weeks. Just ask anyone who has worked on the PPACA, a state health system, space launches, Social Security programs, internal governmental or private industry programs, etc.

    You could ask Microsoft about their Windows 8 Operating System (really not much more than computer code). They are skipping Windows 9, and by the end of 2015, Microsoft will introduce Windows 10, even though they attempted to correct the majority of the worst errors with Windows 8.1.

    Sometimes an intermittent can be fixed quickly, but usually it can take a while (even when the result is known) for the competent programmer to fix the problem.

    A few decades ago, I had a programmer tell me that for every 10 lines of hand-entered computer code, expect to find at least one error. Even if that number has now increased to 100 lines, with any discussion software, you are talking about 10s of thousands (if not millions) of lines of code that are hand-entered. And in those lines of code, there can be errors that make a difference in the result, or not. It can take time to figure out what is, and what is not, an 'error', and then what 'errors' are, and what are not, important.

    It's similar to human DNA. Almost all humans have at least one 'error' in their DNA, some of those 'errors' making a difference in a person's life (good or bad) and some not. Some 'errors' are not actual 'errors', but a benefit – Sickle Cell Anemia used to be thought of as totally bad, but then it was found that those who have a gene (but not two copies, one inherited from each parent) for Sickle Cell Anemia are MUCH less prone to certain tropical diseases.

  • 29. bayareajohn  |  December 16, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    These are the reasons programmers archive versions as they go. The site behaved pretty much flawlessly for a while until a couple weeks ago. One wonders why they don't just reload the code as it was then (presuming they didn't change the data formats, it might be easy with no loss) then rethink what they did when it broke. Offline.

  • 30. hopalongcassidy  |  December 17, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Well, I wrote C and Fortran programs for a living over many years so I'm kinda familiar with the process. Many were over 8 to 10 thousand lines…when some anomaly popped up after a change, if I couldn't find it within a couple hours, I'd take it offline and reinstall a previous version. I don't see how or why that couldn't be done here.

  • 31. hopalongcassidy  |  December 17, 2014 at 9:48 am

    I wonder who the asshole is who downvotes every post I make? Some microdicked little shiteater, no doubt, who is too much of a chickenshit coward to admit it.

  • 32. RnL2008  |  December 17, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I understand your frustration……I had the same issue yesterday and most of the stuff I was commenting to was replies to my issue with Google Chrome not working correctly on this site……but people will be people and those who do it just can't figure out that we are commenting with other adults not children….at least I would hope so.

  • 33. Sagesse  |  December 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I continue to have intermittent problems… am in the mobile version at the moment <sigh>.The changes are erratic, but I get the sense that, when they add a new post and update the history and the links, the site tends to show as the mobile site, then rights itself after a while. I can usually get back to the regular version (tho not always immediately) by going to the main page, and clicking the link to the most recent post. I use Firefox… on a Mac.

  • 34. RnL2008  |  December 16, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Bob, I have tried EVERYTHING…..cleared cookies, refreshed, signed out/signed back in and still I have some strange version of this site….at the bottom, I have a XHTML telling me I can use these tags, TrackBack URL | RSS feed for comments on this post.

    I have folks avatar on the right of the page, no ability to reply directly to a comment, no up/down voting and no points by my nic…….hell, when I hit the report a bug button, it DOESN’T even give me a form to fill out.

    It was working fine on Sunday and once yesterday I even got the mobile version…..but for the most part…’s like what I have stated in the last 24 hours!!!

  • 35. sfbob  |  December 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I've had those sorts of things happen as well. At times I've shown both as logged in and NOT logged in. If clicking the button doesn't work you can try the suggestion at the very bottom of the page:

    "Having technical problems? E-mail equalityontrial AT couragecampaign DOT org for assistance!"

    I have done that more than once myself. Sometimes I get a response, sometimes I don't.

  • 36. RnL2008  |  December 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Exactly….and I'm not sure why people feel it necessary to basically down vote almost every comment I've made today……folks, seriously if ya have an issue with my comments….just ignore them……..but I will continue to post here and about the bug issue until it is corrected……sorry you all have no understanding or ability to be compassionate!

  • 37. Jen_in_MI  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Hi friends.

    OT: my wife was taken via ambulance to the ER Sunday and has been hospitalized ever since with serious diabetic complications. Any good thoughts you could spare for us are greatly appreciated. She lost the use of her legs and we are both scared! Thanks for your support; this community means the world to me. <3

  • 38. davepCA  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about this, Jen. My thoughts are with you and yours.

  • 39. Rick55845  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Jen. I'm so sorry to hear about this. I hope that your wife recovers fully, and soon, and that you can both get on about your lives.

  • 40. Zack12  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Best wishes to you and your wife.
    We will be thinking of you and hoping for a full recovery!

  • 41. SoCal_Dave  |  December 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Sending positive thoughts and energy your way.

  • 42. RnL2008  |  December 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Sorry to hear the news about your wife……as a diabetic myself, I know how hard it is to follow all of the do's and don'ts…….our prayers and positive energy is being sent to you both.

  • 43. A_Jayne  |  December 16, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Hoping all the complications are resolved quickly and well. Holding you both in my thoughts.

  • 44. Raga  |  December 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Sorry to hear this Jen – best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  • 45. JayJonson  |  December 17, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Best wishes for your wife's complete and speedy recovery.

  • 46. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I wish her the best and all the healing in the world!!!

  • 47. AndresM11  |  December 17, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Best wishes to you and your wife Jen! When I was a child, I spent a lot of time with my great-grandma who suffered from diabetes. I hope she fully recovers soon so you spend a lovely Christmas together.

    I'm sure both of you are and will be in all the prayers from this awesome community until she regains her health.

    Hugs and lots of love,


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