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BREAKING: Supreme Court allows marriage equality to move forward in Florida

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It's time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
It’s time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
The Supreme Court has just denied a request by the state of Florida to put same-sex marriages on hold pending the outcome of appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. According to the order, Justices Scalia and Thomas would grant the stay.

There is no circuit precedent allowing marriage equality in the Eleventh Circuit currently, so this case is different from the denial of stays in Kansas, and other recent states that were bound by existing decisions.

Marriages are set to begin January 5.

UPDATE: Florida AG Pam Bondi responds, via the Washington Blade:

β€œTonight, the United States Supreme Court denied the State’s request for a stay in the case before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals,” Bondi said. “Regardless of the ruling it has always been our goal to have uniformity throughout Florida until the final resolution of the numerous challenges to the voter-approved constitutional amendment on marriage. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has now spoken, and the stay will end on Jan. 5.”

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. DeadHead  |  December 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    What a great Christmas present!

  • 2. josejoram  |  December 19, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Buff! Very, very, very happy.

  • 3. fireman452  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:36 am

    This is Jim Brenner of Brenner v. Scott – now Armstrong that brought us here – and MY HUSBAND is just sitting here grinning as he places under our tree a copy of the SCOTUS order. Yes it is a GREAT day for all of us, and now I guess we wait for the 6th of January when we will finally become full fledged citizens of this country.

  • 4. NorthernAspect  |  December 20, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Wow. Congrats! You should be proud. And thank you.

  • 5. Scottie Thomaston  |  December 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Congratulations and thanks for posting here and for fighting!

  • 6. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Jim – As others have said, thank you, especially for those of us who live in Florida, are married (mine was in D.C.), and as of 1/6/15, will be recognized by the state of Florida.

    One question if I may: You are quoted in an article on Friday saying your lawyers will be going back to Judge Hinkle requesting an amended order that would be more specific and ensure that all 67 county clerks comply with the order (not just in Washington County). It seems as though it'll be necessary as many county clerks are saying they won't comply with issuing licenses on 1/6/15.

  • 7. fireman452  |  December 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Yes and that should be corrected. I misspoke. I could have SWORN our attys said that but what I sm being told is that we will wait until a clerk refuses then whoever is turned down needs to contact Bill Sheppard in Jax. Believe me you do NOT want to get on his bad side. He will take it from there and contact Judge Hinkle. Like Bill says the difference between a District Judge and God? God does not think he is a district Judge.

  • 8. fireman452  |  December 21, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Can not find your reply to this one BUT. BILL Sheppard is the man responsible for this win. He is our atty. If you go to Wikipedia and look up Brenner v. Scott there is a link there to his law firm. As a civil rights case the plaintiff does not pay the court fees.

  • 9. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 21, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks for providing a reply regardless (with over 200+ comments on this thread now, not easy to find the question anymore!). Well here's a big ole thanks to Bill Sheppard, too! Glad you found someone to represent you that you feel strongly about and have 100% confidence in.

    It'll be interesting to see which is the first county clerk to not comply with the injunction (there will no doubt be at least one out there in some conservative, red county in northern Florida), and then how swiftly Judge Hinkel deals with it.

  • 10. fireman452  |  December 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    By now I assume you know, Our Attys sent a letter to all of the clerks making certain that they know AND understand the full import of Judge Hinkle's Injunction especially Paragraph 4. The Washington County Clerk requested clarification of the Injunction just for Her County but the judge decided to make it clear to everyone. WE believe that his order last week was a clear fitness of the Department of Management Services and the Surgeon General (Department of Health). We know, and they know that the clerks are agents of the Department of Health – the "Licenses" they issue do not have the letterhead of the clerk and the county, they have State of Florida letter head. So the authority comes from the state NOT the county. It will be interesting to see how the Department of State and Health attempt to wiggle off this hook they have created or if the will finally be totally honest with the people of Florida and admit that this whole case is OVER.

  • 11. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Indeed, thank you Jim! Glad to see that the stipulation at the end of paragraph was fulfilled by each county clerk receiving notification of the ruling. I'm not sure what the whole $500 security deposit is about or for, if that gets paid in order to make the injunction begin or once someone is denied a license.

    Also was good to read the memo sent to all county clerks from Equality Florida and the NCLR regarding why the order with injunction binds them all.

    To your point, now we just see what the state says on Monday by way of response to Judge Hinkle's (he's the man!) order in the motion to clarify. I can't wait to see if AG Bondi falls on the proverbial sword and says all clerks must comply, or if she pleads ignorance and makes Hinkle do her work for her.

  • 12. fireman452  |  December 28, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Both bonds were paid in August right after the ruling, the 500 for paragraph 4 and the 100 for paragraph 6 ( Steve and Ozzie getting married) be assured that our lawyers are RIGHT on top of things

  • 13. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 28, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Figured that would have been taken care of pronto, just wasn't really sure why it was a necessary part of the order for the injunction to take place (not sure I recall that in preliminary injunctions in other federal cases). Do you get it back at some point?

    So with that paid off, and notices having been issues to each clerk, all we need now is January 6, 2015 to arrive, and we have marriage equality in FL! Along the way we will get to read an amusing brief by Bondi and depending on that brief, a nice smack down or concurrance from Judge Hinkle. πŸ™‚

  • 14. VIRick  |  December 27, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Counties are creatures of the state. That is to say, they were created by, and draw their authority from, the state. Bondi, and all other state officials, must already know this.

  • 15. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 28, 2014 at 11:25 am

    She might still be waiting to take her training wheels off…

  • 16. pdheld98  |  December 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Welcome, Florida!

  • 17. fireman452  |  December 20, 2014 at 4:02 am

    While this is a GREAT day, (Brenner here of Brenner v. Scott) our Attys. want everyone to know that IF a Court Clerk in any way shape or form tries to refuse to issue a license that they need to let us know – Bill Sheppard will come down on them like a duck on a june bug, Bill is located in jacksonville and you can find him on the internet at :

  • 18. DrBriCA  |  December 19, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle! (Sorry Wolf, couldn't resist!)

    Many congrats to Brenner (fireman) on this great victory!

    Well, now that SCOTUS is allowing district-level decisions go ahead in circuits without an appeals-level ruling, I think it's becoming clearer that we're headed toward a favorable decision in the future!

  • 19. Lymis  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Sure looks that way to me! I'll be surprised if the ruling isn't as narrow as they can squeak it, but It sure seems likely to be positive!

  • 20. fireman452  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:28 am

    Thank you sir – and now is the time for the LGBT community to show their metal, now is the time for us to show we are BETTER, FAR better than the bigots that have put us down for thousands of years, now is the time for us to move FORWARD!!!!!!!!

  • 21. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 20, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Thank you for this reply. Yes it may be very difficult, but it is best if we can be gracious winners. Let's use our freedom appropriately. However, we must remain vigilant. Other fights are already beginning to loom.

  • 22. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 20, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Couldn't wait, eh?

    That's okay!

    My turn:


  • 23. bythesea66  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Um, that's a big deal, no?

  • 24. sfbob  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Yes. πŸ™‚

  • 25. davepCA  |  December 19, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    bythesea66: Um, that's a big deal, YES! : )

  • 26. Eric  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Definitely, Thomas isn't the complete a** we thought he was, he's just mostly an a**…mostly.

  • 27. franklinsewell  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I do think that if anything, Thomas, at a minimum respects the processes of the Court.

  • 28. Scottie Thomaston  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    VERY big deal! District court opinion, no appeals court opinion, and not even an appeals court PRECEDENT allowing marriage equality. It's awesome news!

  • 29. NorthernAspect  |  December 19, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    It could be argued that the Supreme Court is simply deferring to the Circuit Level Courts on the issue. The 11th Circuit Court decided a stay wasn't warranted, so the Supreme Court wasn't going to interfere.

  • 30. palerobber  |  December 19, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    then why didn't they defer to the 10th Circuit when it declined to stay the district level ruling in Utah about this time last year? SCOTUS interfered back then, so why aren't they now? what has changed?

  • 31. fireman452  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:42 am

    That stay was temporary – until the full court could rule – I thought it was really odd considering that it was placed by a liberal judge but I guess she felt she had to – not sure why because we responded to SCOTUS in this case (Brenner here) by 5 PM on Thursday and they took 24 hours to get us a decision – that is FAST in anyones book.

  • 32. Lymis  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    It would seem so. In all the other cases so far, the Supreme Court has upheld or imposed stays until the applicable Circuit Court ruled on the state-level appeal. Then, once the rulings at that level were in, they declined to hear appeals by states who lost at the Circuit Court level – meaning marriage went forward, while so far, letting appeals from states who won go forward (though the first of them are only now arriving before the court.)

    That made it look like they would always wait until the Circuit ruled – but that isn't true in this case, and they are letting marriages begin anyway. That certainly seems like SCOTUS doesn't plan to turn around and stop marriages down the line.

  • 33. Dr. Z  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Sounds like the SCOTUS wants to let the air out of the balloon slowly rather than pop it all at once.

  • 34. josejoram  |  December 20, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I agree with you. But I would add that SCOTUS- or at least the majority- thinks that "marriage is for the states should they do not infringe rights…and Federalism is the quid of our role on marriage issues".

  • 35. NorthernAspect  |  December 19, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I pleased with the decision, but it could be argued that the Supreme Court is simply deferring to the Circuit Level Courts on the issue. It was the 11th Circuit that made it pretty clear they wouldn't turn around and stop marriages down the line by deciding a stay wasn't warranted themselves.

  • 36. DrBriCA  |  December 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    True, but the 10th Circuit was clear that they were not going to stay Kitchen or Evans for Utah, and yet SCOTUS still issued stays for both cases back then. SCOTUS's action today is in stark contrast to the Kitchen stay a year ago.

  • 37. DrBriCA  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Very. The Kitchen decision was a year ago, and SCOTUS kept the stay going on that (as well as the Evan decision later on for Utah). Even in the summertime, they stayed the circuit-level ruling in Bostic. Now they are finally letting district-level rulings go forward without even waiting for the circuit to chime in! It's happening!!!

  • 38. jpmassar  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    It's a BFD

  • 39. DeadHead  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    So I am wondering what our chances might be getting an expedited ruling in the Georgia case? My husband and I had to go up to Maryland least year to get married and we would love to have our marriage recognized here.

  • 40. franklinsewell  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Georgia is in the 11th Circuit. So, we can hope for a quick resolution to the Florida case in the 11th Circuit. πŸ˜‰

  • 41. fireman452  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:47 am

    Yes – AND – BRENNER here again – the folks in BOTH Alabama and Georgia should thank Pam Bondi for using Florida Tax Payer dollars to PAY for their ability to have their marriages recognized. As the named Plaintiff in the Florida case it really gauls me that the citizens of Florida re-elected a person that is so free with their resources – NOT that I begrudge the folks in GA and AL at all I think that is GREAT – but all that money spent on something that she KNEW she could not win. SAD – very very sad

  • 42. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2014 at 5:19 am

    I think you should wait for the 11th circuit because the judge the Georgia case has on district court level does not sound very eager to rule in favour of equality if he is not bound by precedent.

  • 43. Zack12  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    If anyone has any doubt about there being enough votes to overturn the ban, this should put it to bed.
    We've won folks, now all we need is SCOTUS to grant cert and write an option telling Sutton and Cook that their ruling belongs in the bigot dustbin of history.

  • 44. JayJonson  |  December 20, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Yes, we have won. . . . as long as Justice Ginsburg and the other Windsor majority justices remain on the court. Please be sending good thoughts that they remain in good health and resolute in their commitment to equal rights.

  • 45. franklinsewell  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I love this! My favorite words in the world … "… and by him referred to the court is denied." I think we may have a 6-3 or 7-2 (dare I hope) decision coming down the pike in June 2015. I think Roberts and Scalia may have switched sides.

  • 46. sfbob  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Not Scalia, but Alito. Scalia would have extended the stay; says so in the decision. Or maybe not; apparently someone named "Scalian" would have voted to extend the stay. Even the Supreme Court is not immune to typos.

  • 47. fireman452  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:32 am

    This is Jim Brenner – you may be right but this thing called the Internet allows folks to change history fast – the one I saw clearly says Scalia —

    (ORDER LIST: 574 U.S.) FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2014 ORDER IN PENDING CASE 14A650 ARMSTRONG, JOHN H., ET AL. V. BRENNER, JAMES D., ET AL. The application for stay presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied. Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas would grant the application.

  • 48. sfbob  |  December 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I assume the typo was corrected pretty quickly.

  • 49. Zack12  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I don't think they have switched sides, only that they won't grant stays.
    I simply have a hard time believing Roberts and Alito would say it's okay for the Federal Government to discriminate against same sex couples and turn around and say the states can't.

  • 50. sfbob  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I'm assuming that while they may not sign on to a favorable decision, they've concluded that one is inevitable.

  • 51. franklinsewell  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    You're probably right … I can dream for a 6-3 or 7-2 decision though.

  • 52. Concern_troll  |  December 20, 2014 at 6:18 am

    But regardless of what they said in Windsor, Windsor is now precedent so they should follow the precedent and not what they feel.

  • 53. JayJonson  |  December 20, 2014 at 7:10 am

    The ruling is going to be 5-4. We do not know how Alito and Roberts voted in regard to the stay, only that they did not join Scalia and Thomas in wanting their votes known. It is inconceivable to me that after Windsor Roberts and Alito would change their mind. How can one vote in favor of a federal ban on same-sex marriage and then support the idea that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional? There is no way to reconcile those two votes.

    I find it reassuring that Roberts and Alito have basically decided that they do not want to be known as deadenders on the question of equal rights. Hence they are not going to follow Scalia and Thomas. But that does not mean that they are going to vote positively in June.

    I expect a mealy-mouth dissent from Roberts, joined by Alito, basically echoing Sutton, saying that federalism dictates that states should make decisions regarding marriage, and that SCOTUS should exercise judicial restraint.

    Scalia will write and Thomas join an intemperate dissent saying the world is coming to an end because gay people can marry. He will emphasize that the ruling not only tramples on states' rights, but also on the right of a people to define morality.

    Kennedy will write the majority opinion based on equal protection. Ginsburg will write a concurring decision, joined by Sotomayor and Kagan, raising questions of scrutiny and discrimination on the basis of sex.

    And then marriages will begin in even the most benighted of red states. And the sky will not fall.

  • 54. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 8:22 am

    ^^ What he said. πŸ™‚

  • 55. Waxr  |  December 20, 2014 at 10:24 am

    It is true that Roberts and Scalia voted against the federal government recognizing ME, but that is now over. When it comes to the states, Roberts and Scalia could easily reason that if the federal government recognizes ME, then the states should recognize it.

    In other words, it is a matter of being consistent: Either the federal government and the states both recognize ME, or neither of them do.

  • 56. Zack12  |  December 20, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Scalia will never ever, EVER vote for anything in our favor.
    He has made it clear he views us with complete and utter contempt.

  • 57. JayJonson  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:23 am

    No. Scalia is a homophobe. As Zack says, he will never, ever vote for anything in our favor.

    Roberts is also a homophobe–at least, he has never so far voted for anything in our favor. He is also a federalist and an exponent of judicial restraint. It would be entirely inconsistent with not only his entire record as a judge, but also his judicial philosophy for him to agree that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

    I know hope springs eternal, but I strongly doubt that Roberts or Alito or Scalia or Thomas are going to have a Damascus moment about marriage equality.

  • 58. sfbob  |  December 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Apart from that, the court does not appear to be terribly concerned with being consistent with anything, including things like the 14th Amendment and rules for issuing stays and for creating suspect classes, in fact I believe that after stating in Hobby Lobby that the decision could not be used to permit discrimination, the court turned around a few days later and did precisely that.

  • 59. Zack12  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Your point about Roberts can also be applied to Judge Sutton which is why I knew from the start we were going to lose in the 6th circuit.
    A person that has always believed that minority groups should always go to the voters or the state as Sutton and Roberts do and have ruled as such are NOT going to change their tune and people need to quit thinking otherwise.
    It will be a 5-4 ruling in our favor, period.

  • 60. micha1976  |  December 21, 2014 at 4:42 am

    I will disagree insofar as I think Kenndy will base his decision on due process, maybe both… πŸ˜‰

  • 61. DeadHead  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    In his blog Lyle Denniston says “Although it appeared that Friday’s order had the support of seven Justices, that may not necessarily have been so; Justices do not always publicly note a dissent.”

  • 62. franklinsewell  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Of course, Lyle is right. I know that. I still want to dream of a 6-3 or 7-2 decision.

  • 63. DeadHead  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I hoping for a 7 -2 or 6 -3 too. I was responding to another comment don't why it appeared here. This site keeps switching between mobile and regular versions.

  • 64. wes228  |  December 19, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Anyone who thinks Alito will vote for marriage equality is on crack-cocaine. There. I said it. Let's stop this pipe dream right here

  • 65. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 19, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    This will be the same majority as in Windsor. While the court subscribes to stare decisis, I presume Roberts and Alito do not consider this to be settled law, and therefore will vote as they did in Windsor.

    This will be another 5-4 vote with Kennedy writing the opinion and Scalia the dissent – giving both sides something, but ultimately equality in marriage.

  • 66. ijsnyder  |  December 19, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    While I don't think that we're going to win any of the right-leaning justices other than Kennedy, esp. after the vote in Windsor, I think that we might see a concurring anti-ME opinion by Roberts, perhaps joined by one or two others, focusing more on allowing the democratic process to run its course, rather than being filled with vitriolic language. Think about the opinion we would have gotten 35 years ago. Roberts may write something quite different and that sets the tone.

  • 67. RnL2008  |  December 19, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I disagree, with the silent no granting of cert in October and then no granting of Stays pretty much, I believe we could see a 6-3 ruling even possibly, NOT probably a 7-2 ruling, but I'd be happy with a 5-4 ruling in our favor and I do believe that ruling is coming.

  • 68. DrBriCA  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Is it greedy to also want a favorable ruling from the Arkansas SC to issue today? πŸ™‚
    Okay fine, something to hopefully see next week!

  • 69. StraightDave  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I'll take it whenever it happens, but the message is now as clear as it ever could be: Don't bother appealing if the state loses.

  • 70. micha1976  |  December 21, 2014 at 4:44 am

    If the AR SC decides on the basis of the AR Constitution, they can't appeal…

  • 71. jpmassar  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    That ream of invective now issuing from Tallahassee? That would be a mic in Pam Bondi's office.

  • 72. hopalongcassidy  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    The bans: stick a fork in 'em, they're done.


  • 73. NetAmigo  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I'd say the justices have agreed to make any decisions on this issue together. And it is fairly clear what the final answer will be.

  • 74. Rick55845  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Ah, this is great news! Now we just need SCOTUS to grant cert in one or more cases during their next conference so we can finally get the denouement.

  • 75. nicolas1446  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    And with that it's a definite that we will win at SCOTUS. Who knew that it would only take 11 years to go from 1 to 50 states.

  • 76. Pat_V  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    So on January 5th, Florida starts issuing licenses for sure, right?
    Then we will have 36 states +DC with marriage equality, and slightly over 70% of the population!!! (if we count Kansas and exclude Missouri).

  • 77. scream4ever  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    We will also likely get Arkansas any day now too!!!

  • 78. franklinsewell  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Pat – Several commenters on this site and one of the plaintiffs in the Florida case are concerned that all the clerks in Florida will not start to issue licenses, because they've received advice from counsel that only an appellate ruling with precedential value applies to them, meaning – only a ruling from the 11th Circuit. The Supreme Court refusing to extend the stay does not, unfortunately, have the force of precedent.

  • 79. MichaelGrabow  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Has anyone seen any information regarding this since the decision came down?

  • 80. franklinsewell  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I have not. The clerks' counsel reissued their guidance yesterday. That's on Equality Case Files.

  • 81. Eric  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    That guidance is not coming from the clerks' counsel. The guidance is coming from the counsel for the clerks' association. Their guidance is worthless other than to illustrate how anti-gay Greenberg Traurig really is and that HRC should downgrade the firm's rating.

  • 82. Jen_in_MI  |  December 22, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Just a curious note: "traurig" in German means SAD. That's what their actions are on this issue – sad and desperate.

  • 83. josejoram  |  December 27, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Yes! Precisely this I thought initially.

  • 84. fireman452  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:58 am

    Brenner Here – I posted above – as I said there – you do NOT want to cross Bill Sheppard, he maybe 70 but he is a vet, and he will go after ANY clerk that refuses to issue a license to a Same Gender couple like a Duck on a June Bug – Count on it, Bill told me that he can not ask the judge to send in the federal marshals UNTIL they actually refuse to issue, THEN he can move and WILL. But I really think this decision by SCOTUS has taken the air out of their tires – the advise from Greenberg (the jack abermoff law firm) – well that "Dog will not hunt" and they know this full well now.

  • 85. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 21, 2014 at 7:15 am

    I'm not aware of Bill Sheppard – who is he? A Marshall?

  • 86. Rick55845  |  December 21, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Sheppard is one of the attorneys who filed Brenner v Scott. Have a look at the Wikipedia page:

    Also, it's great to see the photo of the plaintiffs in that case on the Wikipedia page too.

  • 87. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Thanks Rick for that information.

  • 88. hopalongcassidy  |  December 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Marshal. Marshall is a surname, and the imposition of quasi-military law is Martial. Of course it would be possible for Marshal Marshall to enforce Martial Law.
    I love English. Usually. πŸ˜€

  • 89. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I like the cowboy hat Jim! πŸ™‚

  • 90. brandall  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Here is the September article that started this new debate on whether Hinkle's ruling applies to only 1 county clerk or the entire state. From what I can ascertain, Florida's law is different from most other state bans in that "Florida not only banned same-sex marriage, but made it a criminal offense to issue a same-sex marriage license."

    For this reason, the clerks are seeking advice on what to do. Is Bondi going to arrest and charge a clerk that goes ahead and performs a SSM?

  • 91. bythesea66  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    She doesn't sound like it (so far at least).

  • 92. A_Jayne  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    The following is item 4. of Judge Hinkle's injunction:

    "4.The defendant Secretary of the Florida Department of Management Services and the defendant Florida Surgeon General must take no steps to enforce or apply these Florida provisions on same-sex marriage: Florida Constitution, Article I, § 27; Florida Statutes § 741.212; and Florida Statutes § 741.04(1). The preliminary injunction set out in this paragraph will take effect upon the posting of security in the amount of $500 for costs and damages sustained by a party found to have been wrongfully enjoined. The preliminary injunction binds the Secretary, the Surgeon General, and their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys—and others in active concert or participation with any of them—who receive actual notice of this injunction by personal service or otherwise."

    Florida Statutes § 741.04(1) is the law that prohibits clerks from issuing licenses to gay couples, so that law is covered in his ruling.

  • 93. ebohlman  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    It's a good thing I wasn't drinking any hot liquids when I read about that $500 bond.

  • 94. NorthernAspect  |  December 20, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Anyone know why the Judge wouldn't have made the injunction language broader? Why were the Governor and the Attorney General removed as Defendants?

  • 95. DeadHead  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    No, the ruling allows for couples all over the entire state to marry NOT just one county.

  • 96. franklinsewell  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    DeadHead – See below. Clerks of Court in Florida may face criminal penalties for issuing marriage licenses in the absence of an Appellate (not District) court decision.

  • 97. wes228  |  December 19, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    That would only apply to state appeals courts. If this federal District Court truly applies to all clerks throughout the state (and it may given it applies to the head honchos and anyone "working in concert" with them), then the clerks cannot seek protection under a state law requiring an order from an appeals courts. The states cannot pass laws saying which federal court decisions they will and will not follow.

  • 98. netoschultz  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    The state is saying that it may sue any other county issuing licenses to same-sex couples

  • 99. flyerguy77  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    a Federal Court decision applies statewide…….. These rumors say only one county only can issue marriage licenses ARE BULL$H&&^T

  • 100. netoschultz  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Don't say that to me, say to that bigoted Attorney General that are saying the ruling doesn't apply statewide. I also want we get another state before Supreme Court certiorati, but..

  • 101. RnL2008  |  December 19, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    The anti-gay folks tried that here in California saying that Judge Walker's ruling ONLY applied to two counties, but that issue was resolved rather quickly!!!

  • 102. fireman452  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Brenner here – and it will be here too, our lawyers have told me that we CAN NOT start sending in Federal Marshals to a Clerks Office because they SAID they would not issue licenses – they have to ACTUALLY refuse to do so and THEN we can send in the Marshals with handcuffs in tow.

  • 103. SPQRobin  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:54 am

    There's a big difference. The California ruling was upheld by the appeals court, and SCOTUS let that ruling stand. This Florida ruling is just a district court one and is still ongoing on appeal.

  • 104. micha1976  |  December 21, 2014 at 4:46 am

    The appeals court decision was VACATED by the SC. The only thing in effect in CA is Judge Walker's decision. Same thing in FL without a stay, whether the appeal is still pending or not.

  • 105. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Since it was a ruling of a court of Federal jurisdiction that covers the entire state, the ruling covers the entire state.

    So it is for more than just one county, but the ruling covers the entire state.

  • 106. brandall  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Mike, please check the article I posted 2 root threads down that is on this same topic. I get the part about the ban stating clerks can be charged for performing SSM's, but I'm not following this law firms logic on only SCOTUS or the FSC can strike down a state law. Looking for your thoughts on this.

  • 107. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    And jails and prisons all across America are filled with innocent people.

    And just about every case in courts have a 'winner' and a 'loser'.

    Remember who is telling the clerks they will be prosecuted – the state through Pam Bondi and the attorneys the court clerks have retained to defend them in courts if they get sued for any reason. And who would be doing the suing? The state (meaning Pam Bondi), in state court. The party that just 'lost' at SCOTUS. Do you really believe that the state can defy SCOTUS, and get away with it forever?

  • 108. DeadHead  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    I think you are right on track Mike the update at the top with the quote from Bondi's response also comes across as conceding so I figure she and the Gov's office are not going to press charges against any clerk who issues a license. btw I love reading your stories πŸ™‚

    From the top of this page:

    UPDATE: Florida AG Pam Bondi responds, via the Washington Blade:

    “Tonight, the United States Supreme Court denied the State’s request for a stay in the case before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals,” Bondi said. “Regardless of the ruling it has always been our goal to have uniformity throughout Florida until the final resolution of the numerous challenges to the voter-approved constitutional amendment on marriage. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has now spoken, and the stay will end on Jan. 5.”

  • 109. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 19, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    One advantage of being older (I'll be 64 in less than a week) is having the opportunity to have lived through many experiences, some of which have occurred since I was 45, even 50.

  • 110. sfbob  |  December 19, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Right behind you Mike. I turn 64 in May (and am practicing my rendition of a well-known Beatles song in preparation).

  • 111. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 19, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I loved the Beatles while growing up, but I think my favorite (well, one of them) non-Beatles song was the full version of 'MacArthur Park' performed by Richard Harris.

    And Bob,

    Is it 'Yellow Submarine', 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da', 'Hey Jude', 'Yesterday', 'Love Me Do', or some other Beatles song? (My brother was the one in the family who preferred [for who knows what reason] the 'Rolling Stones'.)

  • 112. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 19, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Huge, huge fan of Hey Jude.

  • 113. DeadHead  |  December 20, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Come February I'll be 61. I've been down many roads around the world and met so many from all walks of Life mostly after I turned 40.

  • 114. netoschultz  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I may be crazy, but is there a possibility that Alito and Roberts concur saying that they would struck down the bans because they also prohibits any recognition like civil unions or domestic partnership and that's why it's unconstitucional? They wouldn't say marriage should be a allowed to same-sex couples but it would still struck down the ban.

  • 115. nicolas1446  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I can see Roberts but not Alito. I can see Roberts because he hates a divided court and doesn't want the court making big decisions among party lines. (See the recent Affirmative Action case and the Affordable Care Act case) If he knows marriage equality wi
    ll come with or without his vote then I feel he would want the court to appear more united when making such a big decision and therefore he would vote in favor. He refused to join Alito's dissent in Windsor and refused to join Scalia's part of the dissent that criticized the Windsor majority. He also worked behind the scenes to get a favorable ruling in Romer. Given that, it will not pain him too much to vote for marriage equality. The man is not a homophobe. He's not Scalia. Also he has a legacy to worry about and voting against marriage equality will not look too good. Since Scalia and Thomas wanted to grant cert back on October, knowing that, the only logical explanation to why the court didn't grant cert was that there was not four votes because Roberts joined the Windsor majority. Finally, some may say that he voted against striking down Windsor. Well if you read his dissent, he believed that the case was not a major one. I could see him striking down gay marriage bans without reversing his DOMA vote by going with the sex discrimination argument, or the suspect class argument, or more evidence of animus. I expect and hope for a 6-3. I guess we will know by what he says in oral argument.

  • 116. A_Jayne  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    I agree with you. Roberts' dissent re: Windsor had very little to do with the fact of marriage equality itself. I believe he will be in the majority when the SCOTUS strikes down discriminatory marriage bans.

  • 117. JayJonson  |  December 20, 2014 at 7:29 am

    The idea that Roberts will join the Windsor majority in striking down state marriage bans is delusional. Roberts is certainly a homophobe, just not as loud and obnoxious as Scalia. He has never ruled in favor of equal rights for gay people.

    He made his position clear in his dissent in Windsor, in which he not only said that the issue was not important–it was just a tax case that should have been settled by the IRS rather than brought to SCOTUS– and the case lacked standing, but also gratuitously added that DOMA was constitutional. Just because he does not bluster the way Scalia does, does not mean that he is less homophobic.

    It is inconceivable that one could say that DOMA is constitutional but that state bans are not. That makes no sense at all. Moreover, a holding that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional would violate a key tenet of federalism, that states should regulate marriage, as well as his vaunted defense of "judicial restraint."

  • 118. nicolas1446  |  December 20, 2014 at 9:20 am

    How can you call someone a homophobe for a few vague words on one supreme court decision? He is not a homophobe. He worked to get a favorable ruling in Romer, before he was a Supreme Court justice. His lesbian cousin also said that he wasn't a homophobe. And why would his judicial restraint philosophy matter if same sex marriage will win with or without his vote. He also is willing to put his philosophy aside to do what is best for the court, just look at his Obamacare vote. Obviously affirming over 30 pro gay marriage court decisions over 3 is the best thing for the court.

  • 119. JayJonson  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:35 am

    The work Roberts did on Romer was done because that was the position of his law firm. It had nothing to do with any belief of his own. That work involved no grand legal strategy. He simply gave some advice about how to appeal to Kennedy.

    Every gay rights case he has heard, he has ruled against equal rights.

    The very fact that he ruled against his lesbian cousin should tell you something. He obviously is able to divorce any familial feeling from his conviction that the court should not advance equal rights.

    The man has a very clear judicial philosophy, the cornerstones of which are federalism and judicial restraint. He will write a dissent emphasizing the fact that states have traditionally regulated marriage and that in a democratic society social questions should be settled by popular will not by courts. It was on the basis of this philosophy that he built his judicial and political career. He was appointed Chief Justice precisely because of this philosophy. He will not forget who brought him to the dance.

    Roberts not only thought that Edie Windsor's case was insignificant and that she lacked standing to bring it, but he went out of his way to say that DOMA was constitutional. If a justice of the supreme court is on record as saying that DOMA is constitutional, then how can he suddenly decide that state bans of same-sex marriage are unconstitutional? It is absurd.

    I could understand a conservative justice saying that DOMA is unconstitutional because it fails to recognize states' rights–in fact, I was afraid that that might be Kennedy's position and am relieved that it is not. But it is inconceivable that someone who believes DOMA is constitutional also believing that state-level DOMA's are unconstitutional. It just doesn't compute, which is why the decision in June will mirror the decision in Windsor.

    It only takes 5 votes to make the right decision, but it is wise to keep in mind how precarious our position is. Should the health of Kennedy or Ginsburg or Breyer or Kagan or Sotomayor fail or they otherwise decide to step down, then we will lose. Barring that, we will win on a 5-4 decision.

  • 120. brandall  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Take THAT Pam Bondi! Maybe you should move to Uganda now.

  • 121. Eric  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    She won't move, Uganda isn't too keen on adulterers.

  • 122. davepCA  |  December 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    oh snap : )

  • 123. DeadHead  |  December 20, 2014 at 2:39 am

    She can move to Russia maybe she'll have better luck keeping a husband there. Or hookup with Putin.

  • 124. hopalongcassidy  |  December 20, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Siberia…she can see Alaska from there.


  • 125. Zack12  |  December 19, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    To be clear, SCOTUS hasn't decided to take up a case yet but I can't imagine they are going to let a split in the circuits last for another year or so.

  • 126. KahuBill  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I know SCOTUS will usually seek to resolve splits among the Circuit Courts, but is that always the case? To me this is obviously a strong signal to the Eleventh Circuit. Sutton and Cooke were too ideologically deaf to hear it so now it is somewhat amplified. I'd like to ask any SCOTUS historians out there if the Court has in the past refrained for a period of time to resolve Circuit splits? Might they defer granting cert leaving the 5th Circuit and Uncle Remus land out there? With a Republican Congress coming in soon maybe that is the conservatives game plan.

  • 127. Zack12  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    They can take their sweet time if they want but I really don't see SCOTUS putting this off another year now that they have the split.

  • 128. JayJonson  |  December 20, 2014 at 7:38 am

    I don't doubt that the conservative game plan is to hope for a delay, but I do not think the Windsor majority (Kennedy plus the moderate justices) will allow that delay. They know full well that the issue needs to be settled asap.

  • 129. DeadHead  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Hello 5th Circuit judges see what SCOTUS has done for us now πŸ™‚ You wanna go down on the wrong side of history like the 6th? Brian NOM Brown's head must spinning round and round right now.

  • 130. Zack12  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    They won't care about being on the wrong side of history any more then the other bigoted judges who have ruled against us will.
    Some people hate us, plain and simple and they happen to sit on the courts.

  • 131. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm


    The end of 'mixed-race marriages' is now almost 50 years in the past, but today there are still many segregationists still living among us (Louisiana JP Bardwell, for example), would not (if they could get away with it) marry such couples, and probably many of them are sitting on judicial benches.

  • 132. Zack12  |  December 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Indeed, and if someone's religious beliefs tell them that same sex couples are sinners, NOTHING will change their mind.
    See when the Windsor case was decided at the 2nd circuit for proof of that.

  • 133. A_Jayne  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Judges should know better than to apply their religious beliefs to their legal opinions, but we all know how that goes in real life…

  • 134. Zack12  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Indeed, it shouldn't shock anyone that Chester Straub, the judge who wanted DOMA upheld is a life long Catholic.

  • 135. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2014 at 5:31 am

    If 6th circuit republicans from purple Ohio did not care about being on the wrong side of history on this, don't expect Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi republicans to care. Just do some research on most 5th circuit justices and you will see. A female judge that not only said that a teenage cheerleader has to cheer for her rapist playing for the school team but also pay monetary damages to the school for bringing a fruitless lawsuit is to be trusted to rule on anything ?

  • 136. josejoram  |  December 27, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    So, conservatives are plain and simple against Human rights and individual freedom?

  • 137. montezuma58  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I think this is a bigger message than the denial of cert in October. If there were any doubt about the ultimate outcome the SC would at least wait and see what the circuit court does. I don't think there's been any issue that's been as thoroughly considered by district courts, circuit courts, and the Supreme Court itself. There's really nothing left to present. Stick a fork in the singing fat lady, it's done.

  • 138. Raga  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    This is monumental. Is there any reason why plaintiffs in cases pending appeal in Fifth and Eighth circuits shouldn't try to have them lifted now? (A motion to lift stay and in the alternative, expedite appeal is already pending from Missouri at the Eighth.) Suppose the Mississippi plaintiffs appeal the Fifth's stay to SCOTUS? It could be a way of finding out whether today's denial was simply the Supreme Court respecting the appellate court's decision (one of the possibilities that Lyle suggests), or something more than that.

  • 139. scream4ever  |  December 19, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    They should attempt to, but I expect the Supreme Court to defer to the Circuit Courts and whether or not they grant stays. I do think this makes it much more likely for the 8th to lift the stay of the Missouri case though.

  • 140. Zack12  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I'm not holding my breath on the 5th or 8th doing any favors for us.

  • 141. scream4ever  |  December 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Sorry if I wasn't more clear. I think they will lift the stay in Missouri both due to the Supreme Court's recent actions and also because the governor and attorney general have both made it very clear that they are not opposed to lifting the stay. I also expect that they would keep the stays in place in the 5th Circuit cases.

  • 142. Raga  |  December 20, 2014 at 9:55 am

    If the Eighth vacates the Missouri stay (and perhaps independently of that), then the Arkansas Plaintiffs in the federal case should ask Baker to do so as well, citing this development. We could have marriage equality in Arkansas before the Arkansas Supreme Court rules.

  • 143. montezuma58  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    What are the Haruspices saying about the entrails now?

  • 144. hopalongcassidy  |  December 20, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Need a little salt


  • 145. Zack12  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    One more thing to keep in mind.
    It's been one year since District Court Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah's gay marriage ban.
    That got the entire ball rolling into what we see now.

  • 146. montezuma58  |  December 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    This is warp speed on the judicial time scale.

  • 147. Iggy_Schiller  |  December 20, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I remember that, and by the end of december 2013 Sean Reyes (Utah's AG) asked Sotomayor for a stay. I thought that she would just ignore him, but when they granted the stay in January 6, I was a bit worried about what SCOTUS would do when it had to decide on ME. Now there is no more reason to think they will not rule in our favor πŸ™‚

  • 148. RnL2008  |  December 19, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I see I'm late for the Celebrations……Congratulations to all of the Couples in Florida who have waited so long… on to Michigan and the states from the 6th Circuit!!!

    These stay requests in my opinion show what some have thought……..we could (I know it's expecting way to much) have a 7-2 ruling from the Court in June of 2015 in our favor……but for now, I'm just happy that some on SCOTUS see the writing on the wall!!!

  • 149. JayJonson  |  December 20, 2014 at 8:39 am

    It is delusional to expect a 7-2 ruling from SCOTUS. Not going to happen. But that makes no difference. A 5-4 ruling will be just fine.

    Roberts and Alito have resigned themselves to a 5-4 ruling. They have declined to do the kind of breast-beating that the deadenders Scalia and Thomas are doing, but that does not mean they are going to join the Windsor majority in June.

  • 150. A_Jayne  |  December 20, 2014 at 9:04 am

    We'll see…

  • 151. RnL2008  |  December 20, 2014 at 10:01 am

    First off jay, I clarified my comment and to call me delusional just ISN'T cool. I know that a 7-2 ruling is highly unlikely, that's why I stated possible, NOT probable in my other comment.

    Maybe you are right, maybe it will be a 5-4 ruling…..and I'm way okay with that as well!

  • 152. JayJonson  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I'm glad you clarified your comment, rose. It is NOT delusional to say it is expecting way too much but that you hope for a 7-2 ruling. But that is not what you said. As for whether it is possible to have a 7-2 ruling, well yes it is. It is also possible to have an 8-1 ruling or a 9-0 ruling. I'd be delighted with a unanimous ruling in our favor. But there is zero reason to think that there will be one.

  • 153. RnL2008  |  December 20, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    We can certainly hope for a United ruling without dissent, but at the end of the day, a 5-4 ruling does the same thing as a 6-3, 7-2, 8-1 or Unanimous ruling does.

    Merry Christmas Jay to you and yours….and may the New Year bring this fight to an end…….there will be other battles brewing though, and our side will handle them as well….but the next battles will(in my opinion) clearly start to show the animus towards us.

  • 154. RemC_Chicago  |  December 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    A big hug and smooch to all my dear friends (including plaintiffs) in my former home state who now join the rest of the country in being treated equally in regards to marriage. It's so huge a decision that I still haven't processed it all.

  • 155. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 19, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Nice to know my DC marriage will be recognized in my home state of FL come 1/6/15.

  • 156. josejoram  |  December 27, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    My argentinean marriage too…:)

  • 157. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2014 at 5:51 am

    I am way too late for the party with all the time differences from where I live to the US but a big congratulations to the plaintiffs primarily and mr.Brenner especially who is on the forum and every same sex couple in Florida then ! I do hope all county clerks issue marriage licenses on January 6th and Bondi cooperates in order to achieve uniformity.
    The importance of this decision has been highlighted by many of the commenters above. A district court ruling without a decision from the regional court of appeals has not been stayed further from SCOTUS. One year ago the court has granted a stay to an identical situation when the 10th CA refused to stay Kitchen.
    If only the Mississippi decision has been a few weeks late…It would be interesting to see how things would play out.
    What will be interesting though is to see how the 8th will handle the stays now. I have no doubt they will want to grant them to Missouri, Arkansas (that may not matter soon – we'll see) and possibly soon South Dakota but they will have to try other things from referring to SCOTUS's stay to the Utah case. The most interesting one should be South Dakota if it comes down soon enough (briefing has been complete and we wait for a decision now on the merits after the motion to dismiss was denied) : Will the district court grant the stay ? If not will the 8th and on what grounds after yesterday's action from SCOTUS ? And finally if the 8th grants the stay can the plaintiffs go to SCOTUS and ask them to lift the stay ? Although I very much doubt the justices would not show respect for a court of appeals decision to grant a stay (although they did not show such respect to the 10th circuit last year who made the opposite decision), if they did lift the stay that would create a rush from plaintiffs in Texas, Mississippi and Missouri to have similar stays lifted. The question here is : was the decision on the Florida case a decision made out of respect to the court of appeals decision on how to handle the stay or a clear indication from SCOTUS on how it feels on the merits this it would reverse a stay granted by the 5th or the 8th ? We may not have to find out as soon as cert is granted anyway. And we may be heading there with 37 states (with all the problems that may occur in Florida and we already have in Kansas) in the bag, which is pretty much a "Lawrence majority" I think.

  • 158. cpnlsn88  |  December 20, 2014 at 7:18 am

    This is of course a big deal. apart from all of the other reasons given, the ones I think are important are (1) this is SCOTUS's commentary on arguments about Baker v Nelson being controlling (though one might have thought denial of cert effectively resoved that if there was still any doubt about it) and. implicitly, a commentary on the whole of the 6th circuit ruling (2) for any states that might not have got the message yet, SCOTUS isn't interested in placing stays in such cases (it may of course allow Circuit and District court stays to remain in place). If they aren't going to put stays in place prior to Circuit rulings, there certainly isn't going to be any mileage in asking for one where the Circuit has already ruled. (3) If this isn't 'tipping their hand' I don't know what is!! This is a quick message to any court and indeed states as to where things are going (11th Circuit, Arkansas Supreme Court, 8th, 5th circuits and a gentle encouragement to find accordingly and certainly not to put any weight on Nelson v Baker (4) If there is a clear majority on SCOTUS in favour of marriage equality (and I believe there has been for some time) then they want their eventual ruling to be fully expected, factored in and greeted with a yawn, with news reports saying things like "As expected, the Supreme Court today……." as the third item in the news and people to go "yeah we were kind of expecting that – nothing new here" and for it to affect as few states as possible at the time.

  • 159. DeadHead  |  December 20, 2014 at 8:18 am

    The bigots just don’t know when to stop, do they? Coming out of SC, a new bill being introduced:
    Judges Who Take Gay Marriage Cases in South Carolina Could be Fired… “A bill, HB 3022 , filed in the South Carolina legislature would prevent state judges from recognizing or upholding marriage rights for same-sex couples, and stipulates that judges who do not dismiss cases regarding these rights will be automatically removed from the case and not be paid.”

    “to amend the code of laws of south carolina, 1976, by adding section 20-1-235 so as to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds and payment of government salaries and benefits for activities related to the licensing and support of same-sex marriage, to prohibit government employees from recognizing, granting, or enforcing same-sex marriage licenses, to prohibit the use of taxes or other public funds to enforce a court order to issue a same-sex marriage license, to require courts to dismiss certain legal actions related to the licensing and recognition of same-sex marriage and to award attorney's fees and costs in those actions, and to provide for the protection of the state from liability for certain conduct.”

  • 160. Zack12  |  December 20, 2014 at 8:45 am

    There is no possible way a law like that can be constituional.

  • 161. A_Jayne  |  December 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

    And I'll bet these same elected officials claim to support the Constitution, right? They don't even understand what it says; they just want to be able to twist it to suit their owns desires…

  • 162. Steve84  |  December 20, 2014 at 9:44 am

    They read the constitution the same way they read the Bible.

  • 163. A_Jayne  |  December 20, 2014 at 9:51 am


  • 164. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2014 at 9:39 am

    What does this bill mean exactly ? As I read it they essentially try to stop judges from enforcing the constitution and they introduce a new law that bans marriage equality, when a similar law has been rendered unconstitutional. This bill won't stand a minute in any court if t becomes law.

  • 165. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:14 am

    IF this bill becomes law (and even the introduction of it), IMO, it shows animus to a particular set of people – GLBTs and anyone who supports them.

    A display of animus is one of the things (if not the single thing) that could turn many anti-homosexual rulings and judges into pro-homosexual rulings and judges.

    In this state (along with Kansas), I think the anti-homosexual people have 'jumped the shark'.

  • 166. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 8:44 am

    This is what we are going to be dealing with country by county in Florida until Judge Hinkle issues an amended order that explicitly includes each county clerk (even though I believe the order as is does the job) to issue marriages licenses to same-sex couples:

    "Orange County Clerk of Courts (includes Orlando) Tiffany Moore Russell said earlier this week that she will not grant same-sex couples marriage licenses without a specific court order. Clerks in Seminole and Lake counties said they would follow the association's advice (to not issue licenses to same-sex couples)."

    Glad to read this from our brave friend on here Fireman: "James Brenner, one of several people who sued the state in the Tallahassee federal case, said Friday that his lawyers plan to ask Hinkle to clarify his ruling and explicitly order all Florida court clerks to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples."

  • 167. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Here's the memo put out by the association of county clerks lawyers:

  • 168. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Please note that the date of the letter from Greenberg Traurig is December 15, and the SCOTUS opinion is December 19. Greenberg Traurig is discussing a state law, and the Constitution makes it clear that state laws are inferior to Federal laws (see Article VI).

    Also, the stay that expires at COB on January 5 is for the ruling by the Federal district judge, and the stay keeps the ruling from going into effect until COB January 5. In the ruling that goes into effect at COB January 5 is a provision that says the law that says clerks can only issue marriage licenses to straight couples is null and void. As of COB January 5, the law is null and void, similar to the law in Louisiana still on the books that prohibits male/male or female/female contact. It may still be on the books, but it is UNENFORCEABLE.

    (And besides, an attorney's opinion is opinion, not law. A court's decision is law unless a higher court overturns the lower court's decision.)

  • 169. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    With you on this 100% Mike – completely agree in principle to what you say. However the memo is dated after the 11CA ruled, and calls out very much Judge Hinkle's ruling of the Federal District court, and with statements such as this: "Therefore, because Judge Hinkle’s decision is not binding on another court, state or federal, it unfortunately does not provide a clerk of court who was not a party to the case in the Northern District with protection from being criminally penalized in another court for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple."

    Just living here in Florida and reading comments by County Clerks saying that some are going to abide by the ruling, while others are not, just seems like it'll unfortunately be a Kansas like situation. I'd just l like a definitive order from Judge Hinkle on or before the stay expires indicating it is binding (as WE all know) on all officials related to marriage in the state of Florida, as the state constitutional amendment and state laws are no longer enforceable given they have been ruled unconstitutional.

    Again, in COMPLETE agreement with you on the facts. Just that I feel as though many of the GOP in this state and many of the country clerks will ignore those facts until they are presented with an order directly to them.

  • 170. scream4ever  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Fortunately we have 2 weeks to sort it out before the stay expires. Also, Bondi's response to the denial of the stay tells me she will not move to punish any clerks that issue licenses.

  • 171. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Except the 11CA HAS NOT RULED, and SCOTUS is above 11CA. The STATE law will still be on the books when the stay expires, but SCOTUS has not overruled the District Court (and I don't expect it to do so now).

    And the law, even though it will be on the books, becomes unenforceable, just as no state can allow slavery now, even if they still have laws on the books allowing it, because the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution says slavery is not valid in the US.

    Similar to those states prior to the US Civil War that had laws on the books prohibiting state residents from assisting 'slave catchers'. Many of the state laws remained on the books for several years, but when SCOTUS ruled that everyone legally was required to assist 'slave catchers' because the 'Fugitive Slave Act' was not found to be unConstitutional, the laws remaining on the state books became unenforceable (until they became totally moot with ratification of the 13th Amendment).

    Yes, there are courts above Judge Hinkle, but none above SCOTUS.

    Or are you going to argue that some court has jurisdiction over SCOTUS? And that President Obama (last I heard, he was on our side in the fight for ME) will think it too much trouble to send in Federal Marshals to arrest those clerks who won't obey a SCOTUS court order?

  • 172. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Mike, Mikey, my brother…Like I said, I agree with you 100% that the SCOTUS denial of the motion to extend the stay puts the district court ruling into force. [Edited: My statement on the 11CA ruling was on the request to extend the stay, not the merits of the case…my apologies for not being specific enough.]

    All I am saying is that there are 67 county clerks in Florida, and with only one of them being named, for SOME REASON (of which I don't agree with) several clerks are saying this injunction doesn't apply to them and they won't be issuing licenses on 1/6/15. So all I am saying is that it may be a messy situation unless Hinkle clarifies his ruling or each clerk is taken to court to enforce the injunction.

    I'm not sure how you are construing 100% in agreement with you as to me arguing that a court has jurisdiction over SCOTUS. I'm just going to apologize for the sake of apologizing, and step away from this thread of mine. Merry Christmas!

  • 173. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm


    Does 'end of day' (the wording in the stay) mean the normal COB January 5, 2015, when the sun sets or midnight January 5? (Years ago, there was a question raised about the term '12:00 PM' – was that noon or midnight? Not sure if it went to court or not. How to interpret was solved by putting a number in the law, ordinance, court order, insurance policy, etc., of a specific time other than '12:00 PM'. Thus most insurance policies now read '12:01 AM' for the beginning and '11:59 PM' for the end of the policy.)

    If the normal close of business is 5:00 PM (local time), could one or more clerk offices stay open later than customary, and the recognition of out-of-state ME licenses be observed after normal closing times for the courts?

    And no, I am not the one implying that there is a superior court to SCOTUS. And I am not the one implying that an attorney is ALWAYS correct. And the laws the clerks are relying on are specifically named in the suit's District Court ruling as being null and void, so their reliance on those laws is also, in effect, null and void.

  • 174. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    I've been informed locally that when the offices open on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, they will be issues marriage licenses to both opposite sex and same sex couples.

  • 175. hopalongcassidy  |  December 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Well, part of Florida is on Central rather than Eastern time…which complicates the issue a tiny little bit. haha

  • 176. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Always makes election night interesting as well, as the networks always want to call a race at 7pm ET but forget about the panhandle. Granted, for the big ticket races, it can never be called until way after midnight!

  • 177. RnL2008  |  December 20, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Ryan, some of the clerks here in California tried that same stunt after Judge Walker's ruling went into affect and they were told by our AG, do your job or face the consequences….and that's what should happen in Florida…..and anyone giving bad legal advice should be fined as well, but I don't believe they can.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours and hopefully the little details will be cleared up before the 5th of January.

  • 178. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 21, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I'm hoping that is the case as well, that all 67 clerks will comply come January 6th and we won't have to deal with any of that. Fortunately for Cali, you had AG Harrris saying that; in Florida we have AG Bitch Bondi, the one attempting at all costs to keep marriage equality from happening. Although her quote on indicating the stay will end along with wanting conformity across the state may signal a change. We shall see!

    And a very Merry Christmas to you Rose and your family! Here's to a Happy New Year with 36 states + DC with marriage equality and hopefully only another six months until every state and territory has ME. Cheers!

  • 179. RnL2008  |  December 21, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Thanks Ryan and yes, hopefully 2015 brings an end to at least the ME fight……but we also need to be ready for the next one as well……it's always something, ain't it?

  • 180. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Agree, always will have the next fight on the horizon. I know with the incoming Congress that ENDA won't have a chance in hell, which means we just need to get ready for the 2016 elections and get some people elected who will fight for our causes.

  • 181. RnL2008  |  December 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    By the way, I wanted to share something with ya…..the VA just recently acknowledged my wife as my spouse and added her to my disability award….which means I will be paid for not only myself but my wife as well. We also have finally resolved all issues with the IRS for both our 2011 and 2012 tax years……both are huge acknowledgements because it truly means that both our State and now the Federal Government see us for what we are….married.

  • 182. JayJonson  |  December 22, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Congratulations, Rose. Sometimes justice is done.

  • 183. RnL2008  |  December 22, 2014 at 11:54 am

    It's taken a couple of years to get this done, but at least it is done going forward and the retro should happen any time now.

  • 184. bythesea66  |  December 21, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I think Bondi's response indicates a lack of defiance after SCOTUS denied the stay. I suspect FL will come around after 1/6 at least as fast as CA adjusted to it's ruling despite some dithering. I have to think the FL haters must have far less hope for possible eventual victory (by far) now, than the CA haters did just after the prop 8 ruling based on standing.

  • 185. RnL2008  |  December 20, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    I think this is bad advice to the Clerks and it won't be the legal firm paying the penalties.

  • 186. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 9:02 am

    I still don't understand why part 4 of the order doesn't cover everything: "The preliminary injunction binds the Secretary, the Surgeon General, and their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys—and others in active concert or participation with any of them—who receive actual notice of this injunction by personal service or otherwise."

    Part 6 dealing with Washington County just refers to relief required for the one case. How is that construed to be what is only binding on all clerks?

  • 187. palerobber  |  December 22, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    can anyone explain to me why a County Clerk in FL would be taking advice on this matter from a private law firm hired by Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers and FACC Services Group, LLC, instead of from the FL Attorney General's office?

    does the Florida Association of State Troopers ( advise their members on what type of traffic stops they should and should not be making?

  • 188. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2014 at 9:47 am

    While unrelated I found it quite funny : Washington county, Florida, the county that has been directly ordered to issue marriage licenses, is only one of two Florida counties that is a totally dry county (and you should see my face today when I discovered that counties and states can still completely ban alcohol from being sold and consumed and more than 100 counties in the US do so – I checked my calendar to see what year it is and if the 18th amendment has been re enacted or something. When I saw that the county in Tennessee where jack daniel's is produced prohibits selling alcohol I laughed I have to admit – the USA is still a very peculiar place…)

  • 189. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Peculiar indeed. We have these 50 individual governments, regional peculiarities in voting and culture, then this national government including the federal, legislative, and judiciary that is somehow supposed to work together and keep everyone happy. Peculiar indeed…

  • 190. montezuma58  |  December 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Alcohol is pretty unique in that the 21st Amendment gave the states authority to regulate alcohol in ways that they could not get away with with any other industry. The states get to enact all sorts of strange and peculiar rules that would be shot down in a heartbeat under the commerce clause if applied to any other product. It's actually a pretty scary glimpse into how states would regulate other areas of business if the states weren't checked by the federal government.

  • 191. montezuma58  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    They do sell Jack Daniels in commemorative bottles at the distillery. The county is pretty small area wise so you wouldn't have to go far to buy elsewhere.

  • 192. bythesea66  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    They don't usually ban consumption at all, nor possession, but those laws are usually all about retail sales and those at bars/restaurants.

  • 193. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    In Maryland, the entire state is 'wet', but in Montgomery County (locally called MoCo, and the most populous with just over a million population), the sale of liquor is ONLY in county-run 'package' stores. MoCo has three adjoining counties (with Carroll Co. [non-adjoining] a short trip through Howard or Frederick Counties), and DC also adjoins. Across the Potomac River from MoCo lies Virginia, which has state-owned 'package' liquor stores.

    Also in Maryland (but not in MoCo), some counties allow beer sales in grocery and some convenience stores, some counties don't. No liquor sales, though, in those grocery and convenience stores.

    Ohio used to allow sales of 'near beer' (alcohol content of 3.2% or less) to those at least 18, while full beer (alcohol content of more than 3.2%) to those 21 and above. (Hint – it is almost as easy to get drunk on near-beer as beer – drink one more and you're there. Those of us who lived in Eastern Indiana [whether we drank or not] learned those mechanics very early in life. Until I was almost 11 YO, I lived within 3 miles of the IN/OH state line, then until I was 18, I lived about 26 miles from the state line. When I went to college [about 35 miles from the state line], I knew several other students who grew up in Ohio, and had lots of knowledge of the drinking laws in Ohio.)

    On my way home from work one night a couple decades ago, I overheard some foreign visitors comment that the US probably had the most laws on the books, yet (according to what they saw) the US was among the freest countries in the world.

    The state of Indiana only has a license plate for the back of a vehicle, and a state law that makes it illegal to park 'back in' style – if you park 'back in', the police cannot see the license plate unless they 'go around' the vehicle. (From what I have seen, many police officers in Indiana could use the exercise.)

    Yes, the US can be a very peculiar place.

  • 194. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 21, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Ohio no longer allows sale of near beer to 18 year olds?

  • 195. Raga  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Aha! The Eighth has been informed that there is no reason for stays of district court rulings anymore, even when the circuit court hasn't ruled on the merits:

    If the Eighth agrees, Arkansas plaintiffs should also ask (first Judge Baker, and then if necessary, the Eighth) to vacate their stay. It'll be a race then to see if marriage equality comes to Arkansas from the federal courts or state courts!

  • 196. scream4ever  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    That would mean marriage will likely be coming to South Dakota as well since a ruling will likely be handed down at anytime now!

    As I mentioned before, I expect they will lift the stay in Missouri largely due to the fact that officials in the state do not object to it. Arkansas may be different, although likely moot given that the state Supreme Court will rule in our favor any day now.

  • 197. Raga  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Opening brief of Mississippi filed at the Fifth Circuit:

  • 198. Iggy_Schiller  |  December 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    They mention Posner in page 13 to defend that Baker is still good law… Go figure.

  • 199. Raga  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Hawaii Supreme Court oral argument audio from yesterday:

    I listened to it, and the court seemed deeply skeptical that the 2013 Marriage Equality Act is unconstitutional under the Hawaii Constitutional Amendment of 1998. The Justices seemed divided only in whether the merits should be reached at all due to serious standing issues, and if so, the rationale for upholding the Act's constitutionality. One Justice in particular repeatedly inquired whether the question of the constitutionality of the 1998 Amendment itself (under the federal constitution) should be reached, despite neither party raising it – he seemed disturbed at the idea of judging the constitutionality of the 2013 Act under the 1998 constitutional amendment which itself, according to the staggering majority of federal courts, was unconstitutional under the federal constitution.

  • 200. Zack12  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I've reached the same conclusion.
    The bigots are grasping at straws, they truly are.

  • 201. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    So a case brought by ME opponents might actually get the 1998 amendment itself struck down instead of the marriage law challenged under this amendment. Sounds like this backfired for good !
    Although a dismissal sounds more likely, I would love to see this amendment (even if it does not prohibit ME) struck down thanks to a case a bigoted republican brought.

  • 202. sfbob  |  December 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    My impression was slightly different from yours. Most of the judges seemed rather surprised that the state was not arguing that the 1998 amendment was unconstitutional. I did understand what the state was saying: it is only a combination of the amendment with a law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples that would be unconstitutional. The amendment does not (despite McDermott's counsel's arguments) require the state legislature to ban marriage equality, in fact it doesn't require anyone to do anything. It does appear to strip the state courts of authority to legalize marriage equality; if there's anything unconstitutional about the amendment that would appear to be about it since it is a very arbitrary diminution of the balance of powers, limited to a single subject.

  • 203. Raga  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Yes, I recall listening to that part of the argument – when counsel for the state made the claim that it is only the amendment in combination with an implementing statute was unconstitutional, the Justice immeditely asked her whether an implementing statute is required to declare a constitutional amendment unconstitutional, and counsel (reluctantly, it seemed to me) said no.

    While the effect of the amendment right now is to strip state courts of the authority to legalize marriage equality under the state constitution (which is only relevant if something unlikely happens and marriage equality is suddenly revoked by courts or legislature), in 1998, it authorized the legislature to overrule state courts and prohibit marriage equality.

    Anyway, the amendment will be rendered toothless once SCOTUS legalizes marriage nationwide.

  • 204. Zack12  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:38 am

    For those who are wondering why we still think the ruling will be 5-4, simply read Robert's dissent.
    He did everything he could in it to try and make the ruling as narrow as possible and claimed it still left marriage to be determined by the states.
    He wrote that even while Scalia called BS on that and correctly predicted the ruling Kennedy wrote would do exactly what it's done, bring marriage equality to different states.
    Roberts tried to blunt the Windsor ruling, the idea he will vote in our favor now is a very, very long shot and not one I would bet any kind of money on.

  • 205. JayJonson  |  December 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Precisely. Roberts' dissent in Windsor makes it absolutely clear that he deeply disapproves of the Windsor ruling. Unlike Scalia, who was more interested in venting his bombastic rhetoric, Roberts attempted valiantly to downplay the significance of Windsor, which is the traditional way dissents limit majority opinions. There is no way Roberts can get from his dissent in Windsor to suddenly embracing the idea that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

  • 206. Zack12  |  December 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    It might have worked too if Scalia hadn't gone off the rails.
    But sadly for Roberts, Alito and Thomas, Scalia couldn't keep his options to himself and has basically stated what many of the bigots already know.
    The state bans are doomed.

  • 207. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    If anything was going to be 6-3 or 7-2, it would have been Windsor as the CJ and Alito could have rationalized the fact that the federal government must not discriminate against the rights of citizens in an area reserved, definition wise, to the states.

    However, by Windsor being 5-4 with as noted above by Jay with Roberts' dissent, I would put a >95% likelihood on DeBoer v. Snyder (still my pick for who gets cert) being a 5-4 majority opinion written by none other than the first gay Supreme Court jurist, Justice Kennedy (I say that in the same way Clinton was deemed the first black president in the '90s…obviously not meaning Kennedy is literally gay, just given Romer, Lawrence, Windsor, and soon to be DeBoer, it's just as good).

  • 208. scream4ever  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    And how some call Obama the first gay President.

  • 209. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Indeed…his "evolution" on the topic of marriage equality, driving to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the military, ENDA for federal contracts, etc.

  • 210. Fledge01  |  December 20, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Robert's opinions in his Windsor dissent are only a voice of how he would have voted in THAT case. But what Roberts believes even more than what he wrote in his dissent is that precedent is very important in law. When he rules on a future Marriage Equality case, he will be basing his opinion not on the law as it existed prior to Windsor, but the law that now exists after Windsor.

    Furthermore, Roberts tends to push for large majorities. If you look at the court since he came on, the majority of the rulings have been unanimous. That is in large part to his push to find rulings crafted in a way that bring along the most justices.

    I don't think Roberts would be remaining silent on these recent denial of stays unless he wanted to encourage more states to rule in favor of marriage equality. He wants more states to rule in favor of marriage equality because he realizes that this is the way at least five other justices will rule. And, he can use the practical impact of allowing these marriages to continue across the U.S. (tax filings, probate, removal of a right granted) to create a stronger legal basis for him and possibly one other justice to join those other five justices. (The greater the harm from overturning the ME rulings, the stronger the case to allow them to remain). Just like Brown v. Board of education, this future ruling by SCOTUS will be hard for much of the country to accept and he wants a ruling that will be accepted by the largest number of people; in contrast to the number of people that would accept the ruling if it were a 5-4 split with him on the loosing side.

  • 211. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 21, 2014 at 7:25 am

    That's my <5% chance (stated above) that the ruling is not 5-4 then. πŸ™‚

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

    I don't doubt that Roberts wants the entire issue to go away. That is why he is not a deadender like Scalia or Thomas. But he is not going to vote in favor of marriage equality. That is completely contrary to his entire judicial philosophy.

  • 213. StraightDave  |  December 22, 2014 at 11:27 am

    What aspect of Roberts' *judicial* philosophy is so contrary, as opposed to his political/social philosophy? Is it purely states rights to do whatever they damn well please, 10th Amendment, …..?

  • 214. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 20, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    DOJ declares Civil Rights Act protects transgender public employees from discrimination:

  • 215. Raga  |  December 20, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    According to Freedom To Marry, the Mississippi divorce case, Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham v. State of Mississippi, is coming up for oral argument before the Mississippi Supreme Court on Jan 21:

    I couldn't find any info on the oral argument from the official case docket, though:

  • 216. netoschultz  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    In a state with 10-20% of the population supports gay marriage i don't think we can win at state court, i think the plaintiffs in the federal case should ask the SCOTUS to vacate the stay.

  • 217. netoschultz  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    The injuction in some states that the Florida judge should have issued.

    Alaska – The Court IMMEDIATELY ENJOINS the state of Alaska, including state officers, personnel, agents, government divisions, and other political entities, from enforcing Alaska Constitution Article 1, Section 25 and Alaska Statute Sections 25.05.011 and 25.05.013 to the extent that the laws prohibit otherwise qualified same-sex couples from marriage and refusing to recognize lawful same-sex marriages entered in other states.

    Virginia – The Court ENJOINS the Commonwealth from enforcing Sections 20-45.2 and 20-45.3 of the Virginia Code and Article I §15-A
    of the Virginia Constitution to the extent these laws prohibit a person from marrying another person of the same gender.

    Montana – The Court PERMANENTLY ENJOINS the State of Montana and its officers, employees, agents, and political subdivisions from enforcing Article XIII, section 7 of the Montana Constitution, Montana Code Annotated section 40-1-103 and section 40-1-401, and any other laws or regulations, to the extent that they prohibit otherwise qualified same-sex couples from marrying in Montana, and to the extent that they do not recognize same-sex marriages validly contracted outside Montana.

    Utah – The court hereby enjoins the State from enforcing Sections 30-1-2 and 30-1-4.1 of the Utah Code and Article I, § 29 of the Utah Constitution to the extent these laws prohibit a person from marrying another person of the same sex.

  • 218. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    This is exactly the wording that needs to be made across the board, you are absolutely right. Kansas as well.

  • 219. netoschultz  |  December 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    It would also be a problem in Missouri if the 8th circuit vacates the stay. Take a look at the injuction:
    For these reasons, the Court Permanently enjoins Robert T. Kelly, in his official capacity as Director of the Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds, from declining to issue a marriage license based on the genders of the applicants or otherwise enforcing the prohibition on issuing a marriage license except to a man and a woman.

  • 220. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 20, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Is it a problem with just how the judge is writing the order, or was there a better way to file the lawsuit and the named defendants to remediate the problem? Given we are now in the 36th state, one would think the judiciary would be in a position to know how to word the order so that it has the effect of covering the full state.

  • 221. netoschultz  |  December 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    IMO the problem is the way the judge writes the order, if he/she is not very clear, the bigoted people won't follow saying it doesn't apply to them.

  • 222. DACiowan  |  December 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I'm curious why we haven't got a clarified order out of Kansas yet, It's now been a month and a week since the Supreme Court removed the Kansas stay.

  • 223. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 20, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    You took the words right out of my mouth…

  • 224. 1grod  |  December 20, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    DA, imo your observation is on point! As of December 16, reportedly 47/105 counties were prepared to issue marriage licenses. These counties comprise 73% of Kansas' citizens. This number has grown incrementally. Residents of the other counties need to travel to made application. The other injustice – an odious one – is that only the Department of Health & Environment is recognizing "in" or "out of" state marriages – it being subject to Crabtree's original order: Kansas Equality Coalition.

  • 225. DrBriCA  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I wondered the same thing as well earlier this week. I don't know how to access the docket or whatnot to verify this, but I believe the judge is waiting on a reply from the state to the amended complaint from the plaintiffs that added more plaintiffs and (importantly) more defendants to the claim.

    The ruling against allowing the Westboro Baptist 'Church' from intervening in the amended complaint came out a couple days ago. IANAL, but it seems as though a judge typically rules whether or not to include a requested intervenor before giving the ruling on the actual case at hand. (For example, the Oregon judge waited to toss that ban until he heard the very late motion to intervene by NOM, and Childs first ruled she would not allow that one religious nutjob to intervene just before she finally ruled on marriage recognition for SC.) So perhaps he first needed to clear out the WBC distraction before addressing the amended complaint at hand.

    If you look at the ruling dismissing the WBC, the principle reason (among many) that the judge uses is that Kansas itself is already vehemently defending the ban, so the WBC intervention would add little. I remember seeing somewhere in the ruling that the state's reply to the amended claim was still pending, so it's likely that he is allowing the state to say its piece on its continued bigoted ways before he finally rules that the entire state needs to issue licenses and recognize those licenses as well.

  • 226. Christian0811  |  December 20, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Doesn't the 11th Circuit have precedent allowing the state to deny homosexuals the right to adoption and forming a family?

  • 227. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Does it?

  • 228. micha1976  |  December 21, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Lofton vs. Sec. of the Dept. of Children and Family Services, upholding the gay adoption ban in FL, and rejecting heightened scrutiny…

  • 229. netoschultz  |  December 21, 2014 at 11:12 am

    The 4th circuit also had a ruling upholding Don't Ask, Don't Tell and we won there; In 2003, i think when Lofton was decided, the 11th circuit was very conservative, now it has 5 obama judges in 11 active judges (which also has 3 clinton judges)

  • 230. netoschultz  |  December 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    If the court doesn't rule soon, a conservative judge will replace a equality judge and that's a really problem for us.

  • 231. wes228  |  December 22, 2014 at 6:30 am

    I think we'll get a ruling before 2015. I'm still hoping that it's either today or tomorrow. I don't see why they would continue to sit on it.

  • 232. guitaristbl  |  December 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

    If it is just one judge replaced I believe we will still get a pro equality opinion (alas with a more narrow majority). What worries me are the whole implications with the retaliation from the Arkansas legislature against the judges with a proposed constitutional amendment to allow judges to be recalled. Also even if the decision is issued now, the state can petition for a rehearing in 18 days meaning that the new composition will most probably consider that petition and based on how much the dynamics change, it may grant it and reverse.
    Most probably ME won't be coming to Arkansas as soon as the state SC rules and I did not even consider if the ruling will be based solely on state law or federal law as well, allowing the decision to be appealed to SCOTUS.

  • 233. scream4ever  |  December 22, 2014 at 10:03 am

    But even if it does there likely won't be a stay of the ruling.

  • 234. netoschultz  |  December 22, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I don't know, i think clearly there are 2 judges agains us in Arkansas SC(Courtney Hudson Goodson and Josephine L. Hart), besides that we don't know yet about the chief judge and the special judge (because one has refused), if one of those two is against us and the equality judge retires, it will be a 4-3 vote against us

  • 235. bythesea66  |  December 22, 2014 at 10:59 am

    So a vote against us in early 2015 only to be overturned months later by a nationwide SCOTUS ruling? Maybe they'll just not bother with that…

  • 236. StraightDave  |  December 22, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I could maybe see SC doing something that …. just because.
    But AR never seemed quite that broken to me. There will be some noise down there, no doubt, but overturning their own precedent 18 days later would stink so much of politics, and be so short-lived, that they might just let it go.

  • 237. Zack12  |  December 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Arkansas has been taken over by right wing hacks so nothing they would do at this point would surprise me.

  • 238. josejoram  |  December 22, 2014 at 5:51 am

    The Advocate's incomprensible article over marriage in Florida:

  • 239. F_Young  |  December 22, 2014 at 6:22 am

    From the article: "As recently as 2011, the state was still prosecuting heterosexuals who lived together without marrying, thanks to a 19th-century law against cohabitation."

    Words fail me…

  • 240. MichaelGrabow  |  December 22, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I would really like to see an example of this.


    Between 2007 and 2011, nearly 700 Florida residents were charged with misdemeanors for living together

    Interestingly, the law doesn’t punish same-sex couples living together.

    Of note, cheating on one’s spouse is also a crime in Florida. If one partner commits adultery, BOTH (???) partners can go to jail. However, this prohibition is seldom enforced.

  • 241. StraightDave  |  December 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

    It's both of the adulterous couple that get punished, not the married couple. But still, the whole thing is crap. Where's the ACLU?

  • 242. MichaelGrabow  |  December 22, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Ah, ok. That makes a lot more sense…in some bizarre reality where any of this makes a lick of sense.

  • 243. JayJonson  |  December 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

    From joemygod: "Any Florida clerk who refuses to follow the Constitution's command and who withholds marriage licenses from couples once the stay expires is on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the law. A discredited memo from a law firm won't provide much protection against the risk of being sued for unconstitutional actions and being held liable for any damages – and attorney fees – incurred by couples as a result of withholding the freedom to marry. There is one Constitution, Florida is one state, and all Floridians are entitled to equal treatment throughout the state." – Shannon Minter, Legal Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, via press release.

  • 244. StraightDave  |  December 22, 2014 at 9:41 am

    That's why the state of FL needs to make a definitive public declaration of all clerks' responsibilities now. I read Bondi's initial comments after the stay denial as being very ambiguous. Without even trying very hard, I read it as her saying she really was hoping for uniformity, but SCOTUS took that away from us by denying the stay in that one county case, but they're the boss and we have to live with it – i.e., live with the non-uniformity, NOT live with statewide ME.

    “Tonight, the United States Supreme Court denied the State’s request for a stay in the case before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals,” Bondi said. “Regardless of the ruling it has always been our goal to have uniformity throughout Florida until the final resolution of the numerous challenges to the voter-approved constitutional amendment on marriage. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has now spoken, and the stay will end on Jan. 5.”

    She's certainly not celebrating uniformity. She's bemoaning it's loss, or bemoaning something. I think she just got the wrong kind of uniformity.

  • 245. franklinsewell  |  December 22, 2014 at 11:29 am

    So … Everyone seems upset with Greenberg Traurig, the lawyers for the Clerks' Association. I am not. Here's why: the Florida law provides criminal penalties if the clerks issue a license to a same-sex couple. While we might disagree with GT's reading of the law, they are representing their client to the best of their ability, and that doesn't mean that the whole firm is homophobic. In Florida in 2007, they represented a gay dad, pro bono, who wanted to adopt his foster children (see here:….

  • 246. scream4ever  |  December 22, 2014 at 11:42 am

    The ruling clearly enjoined all government officials though, therefore it applies statewide. I highly doubt Florida officials will even attempt to arrest county officials as it would just benefit our side that much more.

  • 247. josejoram  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm


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