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Happy holidays from EOT!


Hey everyone,

Happy holidays! What are you all planning to do? This is an open thread to discuss whatever.

EqualityOnTrial will be back in January. Between the Fifth Circuit arguments and the Court’s decision to hold a conference on five marriage cases on January 9 to determine whether they’ll take up a case this term, 2015 promises to be a really big year.

Thanks everyone!

– Scottie and the EOT team


  • 1. sfbob  |  December 24, 2014 at 9:20 am

    A brief titled "76 Scholars of Marriage Amicus Brief" was submitted in response to each of the Sixth Circuit cases. I'd naively assumed it was from real scholars and managed to locate it on Scribd; I won't bother linking it here. All of the citations are from right-wing hacks. Regnerus is cited three times; Maggie Gallagher at least once.

  • 2. Scottie Thomaston  |  December 24, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Many of the people are NOM-affiliated. Robert George, Jennifer Roback Morse, etc. Also lots of people from BYU.

  • 3. sfbob  |  December 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I started scanning for Regnerus, bumped into Gallagher on my way, then gave up. But yes, it's a cavalcade of NOM-sters.

  • 4. hopalongcassidy  |  December 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    If I were to bump into Gallagher, I would race home tearfully, fill the bathtub with Clorox, get in and soak for several…minutes, at least.

  • 5. brandall  |  December 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Since it is "open thread" day……A cheer we used to cite during my days at Bring'em Young University:

    Where the girls are girls,
    And the boys are too!

    We stopped the cheer when the witch hunt began and friends were being expelled and excommunicated.

    Scottie, I hope you have a very happy holiday. Rest up, January is going to be a thriller!

  • 6. hopalongcassidy  |  December 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Kick 'em in the knee!

    Kick 'em in the other knee!

    From elementary school, circa 1955.


  • 7. Zack12  |  December 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    A big who who's of the bigots but not much else.

  • 8. Sagesse  |  December 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

    A quick scan of the list of 76 scholars is enlightening. Most represent religious universities, often with multiple representatives of the same institution. There are also several from South America. They wanted to get Plato and Blackstone and Bertrand Russel… but of course they're deceased.

    And why are they babbling on about no-fault divorce?

  • 9. sfbob  |  December 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Blackstone might have been sympathetic but Plato was best friends with noted admirer of boys Socrates. And Bertrand Russell was a self-proclaimed atheist. He died before the topic of same-sex marriage was a thing (1960 or thereabouts) but was also had a gay best friend–Ludwig Wittgenstein.

  • 10. DACiowan  |  December 24, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Not one, not two, but five different citations for Monte Python Stewart.

  • 11. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2014 at 11:21 am

    So, we are having a cherry/blackberry glazed ham, a small turkey roast, green bean casserole, candied yams, cranberry sauce and stuffing for dinner.

    For breakfast we are enjoy some oj and orange danishes and then for snacking…some olives, deviled eggs, wheat thins and triscuits with ranch dip and carrots/celery for healthy snacks.

    For dessert, we will have a no bake cheesecake, pumpkin pie and homemade cookies…….so, come on over and share in the festivities!!!

    Lots of love to you all,
    Rose and family

  • 12. brandall  |  December 24, 2014 at 11:30 am

    We are having almost the same home-cooked meal minus the turkey and add one walnut pie. You are only about 2 hours from our place, I would make the drive to you if we didn't have guests and family coming!

  • 13. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Brandall, we'd love to see you folks anytime…….Lee aka my wife is allergic to walnuts….but your meal sounds as wonderful as ares…….let's see about getting together soon.


  • 14. ebohlman  |  December 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Got a recipe for walnut pie? I've never heard of it but I love pecan pie and the idea of walnut pie sounds delicious.

  • 15. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    My paternal grandmother used black walnuts for cooking – not the 'whole' Persian or English walnuts one normally sees in stores, but walnuts gathered off the land in NE Indiana. Much more difficult to get out of the shell (large 'safety-pins' help and the shell is much 'rougher' so don't hold too tight), but Black Walnuts almost always have a lot more flavor. (My grandmother preferred the wood-cooking stove over the electric range in her kitchen. She claimed she could better control the temperatures in the wood stove than when using the electric range.)

    As to a walnut pie – there are several recipes on the Internet. Search for 'walnut pie' to find those recipes (some sites even say 'walnut and pecan' pies). I'm not a baker, so I can't tell anyone what is more, less, added, detracted or substituted from a pumpkin pie recipe.

  • 16. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Just in time for X-mas cooking (maybe too late for many), today's (12-24) 'Washington Post' has an article on pies, concentrating on making the crust, including do's and don'ts when making a crust, and why. A link is included to a UCLA article (from July 2013, reprinting a recipe for pie crust from 'Cook’s Illustrated', originally published in November 2007).

    (… )

  • 17. brandall  |  December 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I have to be honest…..Whole Foods. And it is delicious. But, I am cooking everything else from scratch.

  • 18. ebohlman  |  December 25, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Is it a seasonal item or is it year-round? There's a Whole Paycheck opening about a mile from me in the next few weeks.

  • 19. BillinNO  |  December 25, 2014 at 8:12 am

    After I was flooded out in Katrina I relocated to the mountains of Southwest Virginia. The fall of '05 brought a bumper crop of walnuts which, disoriented and jobless, I went gathering to pass the time. I substituted them in place of pecans and made heaps of 'Mountain Pralines'. So Walnut Pie makes sense to me 🙂

  • 20. sfbob  |  December 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I'd invite myself over but alas I have at the very least a cold; was running a slight fever a while ago, which concerns me. I got a flu shot this year as I always do but apparently this year's version missed a couple of important strains. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Actually went into work today; I'm retiring next week and need to start cleaning out my desk. My boss took one look at me and told me to go home. Everyone else had to stay until noon.

  • 21. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Hey, you'd fit right in…..the grandchild and wife feel just like you…please get better soon.

    Congratulations on your retirements.

  • 22. sfbob  |  December 24, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks Rose! And Happy Holidays to you and Lee and the grandkid….and of course to everyone else here as well.

  • 23. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Bob, hope you feel better soon……and if ya are……maybe you can come and celebrate the New Year with us:-)

  • 24. Chuck_in_PA  |  December 25, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Let me add my best holiday wishes to everyone here. I don't post as frequently as I would like, so many of you beat me to the punch when I think of something to contribute or simply say things more clearly than I could. But I read almost every posting, learning much, and feeling solidarity with my GLBT brothers and sisters, and our straight allies who care so deeply about Marriage Equality. So, have a great rest over the holidays and then let's work hard in 2015 to make it the year we reach ME in all 50 states.

  • 25. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I'm going to a family of friends this evening and we're celebrating our rich Hispanic culture here in central California–home made lightly fried soft taco shells, carnitas, chili verdi, chicken enchiladas, burritos, pico de gallo, red beer al mechelada, et. al.

    Christmas Day it's to the Sierra Foothills my neighbor across the pool invited me for a prime rib roast with his family.

    New Year's Eve it's a grand buffet at the Gateway Restaurant with complimentary champagne, live music with dancing, and complimentary limousine pick up and drop off.

    It has been a very good year. Congratulations to everyone

  • 26. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    What no homemade tamales? I spent Christmas one year with my ex and her family makes the tamales the night before and then cooks them all night long….they are so good…….yummy….I miss homemade tamales, but not my ex….lol!!!

    Be safe and Happy Holidays.

  • 27. sfbob  |  December 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Oh my…you brought back some memories. My current partner is as white and redneck as you can get, but his predecessor (passed away in 1992) was Latino. His mom made the BEST tamales; every Christmas we'd go to his folks' house for Christmas and gorge ourselves on them.

  • 28. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    I really enjoyed learning the process and there is nothing like a homemade tamale…..yummy!!!

  • 29. VIRick  |  December 25, 2014 at 10:17 am

    "…….yummy….I miss homemade tamales, but not my ex….lol!!!"

    Oh Rose, that brings back some memories,– especially the second part. LOL

    But you do have a way with words, so succinct, and to the point.

  • 30. RnL2008  |  December 25, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I would agree with ya…love homemade tamales, but I don't need the ex……she was not a nice person….in fact the best thing she ever did for me….was leave me…..because I wasn't smart enough to walk away from an abusive relationship back when I was younger.

    Hugs to you and yours:-)

  • 31. Zack12  |  December 24, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    We are going to have ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, salad and pumpkin pie.
    Should be a good holiday meal.

  • 32. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Hey Zack, are ya making the pumpkin pie? Because if ya are…..swap out the evaporate milk and add condense sweeten milk… makes the pie a lot more creamer and my wife loves it that way now:-)

  • 33. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    From the 'Washington Blade':

    'Arkansas appeals marriage ruling to Eighth Circuit'
    (… )

  • 34. Raga  |  December 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I'm going over to my ex-landlady's (we're good friends) this evening for a sleepover. We'll have Indian food tonight (my cooking), then pumpkin pancakes (her speciality) tomorrow morning. We're going to try out an exotic recepie for a cauliflower-crust pizza for lunch tomorrow. Between meals, we're just going to hang… watch movies, work on her traditional annual Christmas puzzle, etc.

    A great year so far 😉
    (It'll be even greater if it ends with Arkansas coming out and Hinkle clarifying reiterating Florida-wide ME.)

    Happy Holidays to All!!!

  • 35. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Definitely reiterating. He's one pissed off federal district court judge. He feels cheated by the state, and will respond in kind!

  • 36. hopalongcassidy  |  December 24, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Prime rib roast, medium rare, twice baked garlic potatoes, artichoke heart & tomato casserole, Yorkshire pudding & Key lime pie. And some very cold Riesling, we don't much care for red wine.


  • 37. brandall  |  December 24, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Yorkshire pudding! I have not had that in years with prime rib. If I started driving right now, I make to your place by Friday. Darn!

  • 38. hopalongcassidy  |  December 25, 2014 at 9:42 am

    If my partner wasn't using the plane, I'd come get you! Hope ya have a Merry anyway!

  • 39. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Quite similar here for dinner at my parents with my better half (which is why we will be having huevos rancheros for breakfast the day after Christmas), the manifest will be:
    – Breakfast: Creamed Chip Beef with scrambled cheese eggs, sliced ham, and cinnamon rolls.
    – Mid-Day appetizers: Fondue, BBQ sausage, shrimp cocktail, dill weed dip with veggies.
    – Dinner: Prime Rib (more rare than medium rare), Yorkshire pudding, poppyseed noodles, asparagus, and then for dessert raspberry mold, chocolate silk pie, and apple pie.

  • 40. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    From 'The New York Times' (by way of the 'Advocate'):

    'Chinese Court Rules 'Gay Conversion' Clinic Must Pay Victim'
    (New York Times article:… ,
    Advocate article:… )

    I know little to nothing about the mainland Chinese court system – is this decision appealable to a higher court? I know the ultimate decision (if one is made) would be by the Communist Politboro, but until then is this final or not?

  • 41. netoschultz  |  December 24, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Of the 53 clerks who responded to the AP survey, 46 said they wouldn't grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples because they lack legal authority. Six clerks said they hadn't made up their minds; Only one clerk outside Washington County, Osceola County's Armando Ramirez, said he would issue the licenses.

    Oh sh*t

  • 42. VIRick  |  December 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Don't worry. It's not over til it's over and the fat lady sings. It's the bottom of the 9th, no out, and the bases are loaded. Besides, Judge Hinkle is pissed, and Bondi just officially screwed herself. We will win Florida with finality on 29 December when she has to publicly admit to both deceit and defeat in her last court response, due on that date.

  • 43. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I believe you are right….nothing like a pissed off Judge to ring in your New Year…….lol!!!

  • 44. VIRick  |  December 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Ah Rose! You have just the right touch with words,– Happy New year with a pissed off judge!! I love it. LOL

  • 45. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    I do try……but I'm not always successful……and I seriously WOULDN'T want to be a clerk in Florida come January 6th……not me…!!!

  • 46. VIRick  |  December 25, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I've been in a number of county court clerks' offices in Florida, and can vividly envision the scene, from the antiquated, tight, cramped set-up in MacClenny (Baker county) in rural, piney-woods northern Florida, to the suburban-sprawl modern lay-out in posh downtown Sarasota (Sarasota county), to the impressive monumental edifice thingie in downtown Orlando (Orange county). I'd love to be in all 3 places at the same time come 6 January (with husband-to-be in tow, of course!).

  • 47. RnL2008  |  December 25, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I spent 3 1/2 months in Florida when I attended Navy boot camp back in 1981. There wasn't much I liked nor do I miss……….I remember the first time I was off base with some friends and we were at this hotel, this security guy walked by and told me it wasn't good for me to be in Uniform were I was out because it was in a part of Orlando that was known to be a hang out for Gays….and I hadn't actually realized I was a Lesbian…….and the guy I was with, I didn't really want to be with, so we were waiting on a taxi to take us back to the base!!!

  • 48. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    100% in concurrence there. With Judge Hinkle's order today in reply the ignorant County Clerk in Washington County (really, she thought she ONLY had to issue one and only one marriage license), the stage is set for a definitive slap down between 12/30/14 and 1/5/15 from Judge Hinkle to AG Bondi, the Florida Executive Branch, and every county clerk that thinks they didn't have to issue a marriage license. Hinkle has taken this motion from one county clerk and will use it to emphasize what is already clearly stated in his August 21st opinion and order: when the stay ends (which it does with the approval of not only the 11CA but the SCOTUS), each and every state officer must abide by his order in paragraph 4 to provide marriage equality to all citizens of Florida, and recognize those marriages from other jurisdictions. PERIOD.

  • 49. ebohlman  |  December 25, 2014 at 8:03 am

    and Bondi just officially screwed herself

    When I read that, my first thought was "that's right; Florida was one of the states affected by Lawrence."

  • 50. hopalongcassidy  |  December 25, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Bondi just officially screw…………………..

    okay I want video.

  • 51. hopalongcassidy  |  December 25, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Woah, hang on there…if it's the bottom of the 9th, the home team is at bat and is behind…with bases loaded and no outs they have a good chance to score. Not sure which team we are!

    /smartass mode

    Happy Festivus!

  • 52. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    i hadn't seen this memo, but it was sent from our side by the NCLR to all of the county clerks, educating them on federal cour procedure, that a memo from their association's counsel does not trump or bind them in any way, and they'd be wise to issue marriage licenses starting 1/6/15. This, along with the letter sent by Brenner's lawyer and with Judge Hinkle's forthcoming order on the Wahington County Clerk of the Court's motion to clarify, should give us a walk-off HR to end the game for Bondi & Co.

  • 53. VIRick  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Ryan, did you see this up-beat, positive comment, part way along in the Miami Herald article about Gay South Florida, dated 22 December 2014?

    "Flagler County Clerk Gail Wadsworth told, a nonprofit news website, that she and her deputy are ready to issue same-sex marriage licenses on 6 January 2014. 'It may apply only to Washington County. I hope not,' Wadsworth told 'I hope they don’t do something in one piece of Florida and not another, let’s let the rule be uniform.'"

    Flagler County is located between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine on Florida’s east coast. Its hideously modern county courthouse is located in the scruffy little country crossroads of Bunnell. However, most people live in Flagler Beach, an ultra-laid-back, whatever-floats-your-boat type of community, full of hotties.

    And Rose, I know it should read, "… ready to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples…" but I didn't want to alter the quote.

  • 54. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 6:50 am

    That was nice to read! I can't find anyone though who has been as supportive as the Osceola Clerk, saying he's set for the 6th of January and will open at 12:00am EST. I can't determine if Flagler is saying their ready but awaiting clearance to do it or otherwise.

  • 55. VIRick  |  December 27, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Hopalong, stop it! You know which team we are, and who will win. Judge Hinkle's at bat for our side, and on Monday, he's going to slam that line-drive home run right up the Bondi . . . hoo-hee hoo-ha.

  • 56. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 6:48 am

    It's been about 9 years since I've been around a hoo-hee hoo-ha, but I'm sure it would come back to me!

    Can't wait to read Bondi's brief on Monday. You have to wonder if Judge Hinkle is already writing his order in the motion to clarify, or wants to start from scratch once he reads Bondi's admission?

  • 57. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    My guess is that Judge Hinkle will basically repeat his paragraph 4 from his earlier ruling, then (in polite, judicial language, of course), ask what part of the paragraph Bondi didn't understand.

    I'm not sure Bondi will be able to respond, even in a nitwit manner.

  • 58. StraightDave  |  December 29, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I hope he does a Posner-dance on her head, just to bang it straight thru her thick skull. Needs to dumb it down to 3rd grade level. Look you assholes, everybody gets married, everywhere. Same rules for everybody. Gender don't matter. Got it? Ya see this contempt form I got in my desk, all warmed up?

  • 59. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    i think you're being disingenuous to 3rd graders lol!

    She basically gave Hinkle a softball lobbed up there to slam out of the park however he so chooses. Welcome Govenor Scott, AG Bondi, and each and every 67 county clerks to the order. All y'all's asses are enjoined now!

  • 60. DACiowan  |  December 24, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I'm doing my Christmas this weekend, heading to see family, so today feels more like the 22nd, i.e. some weekday before Christmas.

  • 61. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Christmas lunch tomorrow with my man's family and Hanukkah/birthday dinner at my parents' apartment. I'm making golden mashed potatoes from scratch on the morning to bring to dinner. 🙂

  • 62. RQO  |  December 25, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Such a lot of progress this year, both in the courts and in society. It reminds me of how I felt 11 years ago when Lawrence v. Texas came down. Sometimes it seems rough, because our opponents are vocal, having been forced out of their own closets by all the lawsuits. But in spite of polarization and balkanization being the dominant political trend of the past 20 years, they can't seem to win at making us, the tiny minority, the demons anymore.
    On a macro level, I was amazed at how the super-conservative government of Arizona back tracked on their "religious freedom" law once the word "Superbowl" was mentioned; the assumption being the larger world was prepared to sanction them for their vindictiveness. And kudos to Tim Cook for flying back home to Alabama several times to remind people there being anti-gay is being anti some of your best citizens. And thanks to super-conservative CO Attorney General John Suthers who pledged to fight for the states ME ban till the cows came home, and when the cows DID come home Oct 6 got both fedferal and state case paperwork accomplished and ME firmly in place in 24 hours flat.
    On a micro level, I am encouraged that after I married in Vermont a year ago, and announced this widely in our very conservative CO neighborhood, there has been no backlash. Some have been enthusiastic and even brought gifts, others polite through gritted teeth. But it's remained a civil society of neighbors who stand ready to help each other.
    The horrors of gay bashing go on (see Philly), but now it's reported, and condemned, nationally. Full citizenship looms in our future? It seems possible, even plausible, now.

  • 63. BillinNO  |  December 25, 2014 at 8:15 am

    After lunch I've got to start laying in a supply of brickbats for the Fifth Circuit Decision here.

  • 64. kohltd  |  December 25, 2014 at 8:24 am

    The wikipedia page shows Missouri solid blue……did I miss something?

  • 65. Raga  |  December 25, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Just checked the Eighth Circuit docket. No ruling on the stay issue yet. The State of Missouri has filed their response in opposition just yesterday though. I thought Missouri didn't oppose lifting the stay? How come they changed their mind?

    Marriages are happening in Missouri due to a state court ruling which was appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court, but without a stay. It's still only one or two counties, I think?

  • 66. VIRick  |  December 25, 2014 at 11:05 am

    According to the latest information I have, through 12 December 2014, the tally for legal same-sex marriages in 3 jurisdictions in Missouri stands at:

    126 St. Louis City
    80 St. Louis County (Clayton)
    130 Jackson County (Kansas City/Independence)

    A marriage license obtained by Missouri residents from any one of those 3 jurisdictions (in 4 locations) is valid state-wide, and is recognized for all purposes, state-wide, by the state of Missouri.

    Missouri seems to be sliding into marriage equality on a semi de facto basis (if that makes any sense), as Kansas City/Independence is totally de facto. The decision there in "Lawson v. Kelly" has been stayed and appealed to the 8th Circuit Court (as you referenced), but Kansas City/Independence is going ahead with it anyway, and no one has challenged them, and the state of Missouri is recognizing the marriages.

    St. Louis City Hall
    1200 Market Street
    Saint Louis, MO 63103

    St. Louis County Circuit Court
    7900 Carondelet Ave.
    Clayton, MO 63105

    Jackson County Courthouse
    415 East 12th Street
    Kansas City, MO 64106

    Historic Truman Courthouse
    112 W. Lexington
    Independence, MO 64050

    As of the same date, we should also be paying attention to this:

    The Missouri Supreme Court, having now heard the arguments (in early December) in the same-sex divorce case, "M.S. v. D.S.," is expected to rule in a matter of weeks. The decision is forthcoming.

  • 67. 1grod  |  December 25, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Rick, those 2 of the 114 counties represent 28% of the population of the state. G.

  • 68. VIRick  |  December 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Yes, St. Louis county is #1, while Jackson county is #2 in population.

    St. Louis city was once the main core of St. Louis county, but has recently been split off and is now considered an independent city, separate from the remaining county. I can understand this division.

    On the other hand, sprawling Kansas City covers portions of 4 separate counties, Jackson (the main core), Clay, Platte, and Cass counties. I can't grasp how this works. SSM is (de facto) legal in Jackson county, but not in the other 3, yet Kansas City itself got sued, lost, now allows SSM in the core county, but not in the remaining 3??

    And btw, Clay county MO is #3 in population, and contains most of the rest of Kansas City north of the Missouri River, while Platte county is #5 in population and is home to the Kansas City airport (still within city limits).

  • 69. 1grod  |  December 25, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Rick, the more exciting news is that according to Wikipedia, during the week of Dec 22, six more counties were added to the count of licenses issuing counties in Kansas. If so this brings the county count to 54/105, which comprises 76% of the population of the state. Can anyone verify: Grant, Haskell, Morton, Seward, Stanton, and Stevens Counties

  • 70. VIRick  |  December 25, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    According to what I understand, the "Yes/No" decision as to whether or not marriage between same-sex couples is to be allowed in Kansas has been left up to the discretion of the chief state district judge in each of Kansas' many state judicial districts. At the moment, 17 of 31 have said "Yes."

    This convoluted interpretation is based on what Kansas' AG Schmidt claims to be his understanding of the Kansas Supreme Court's ruling in "Kansas v. Moriarty," while he simultaneously and conveniently ignores the federal District Court's injunction issued by Judge Crabtree in "Marie v. Moser."

    The 6 counties you reference form a 3 x 2 block in the very southwest corner of Kansas. Therefore, it would appear that yet another chief state district judge has recently approved at least one marriage license for a same-sex couple from one of those 6 rural counties. The sole town of any consequence is named Liberal (Seward county).

    On the other hand, at least 8 chief state district judges, covering 28 counties, are adamantly saying "No." I have no idea what the remaining 6 chief state district judges covering the remaining 23 counties might be thinking.

    Still, just the week before, I got quite excited when I suddenly realized that SSM had triumphantly run the haters out of Dodge (Ford county).

  • 71. 1grod  |  December 26, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Rick, here a link to a map dated Dec 23rd:….

  • 72. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 26, 2014 at 10:07 am

    It may be helpful to go back and reread the KSSC’s last response to Kansas ex rel Schmidt v. Moriarty.

    Among other things the KSSC said: Put simply, while arguably only two judicial districts are directly affected by the injunction, the federal district court's rationale underlying its order is not as localized as the State argues. But we need not make an express determination about the breadth of the federal injunction for the purposes of deciding the limited issue before this court. Rather, we only determine the State's arguments to be unpersuasive on the question of whether the October 10 temporary stay should remain in place in the Tenth Judicial District. And we have determined the temporary stay should be lifted.

    With the temporary stay lifted in the Tenth Judicial District, this court next must \decide whether the State's mandamus action should be held in abeyance while the federal litigation in Marie continues on its path to final resolution. This decision is important because the unconstitutionality of the state's same-sex marriage ban, if so determined, may serve as a defense for Chief Judge Moriarty and Clerk McCurdy to the State's request for issuance of mandamus relief. See Smith, 242 Kan. at 383-84.

    Finally, we address the State's request that this court expressly "consider providing guidance to all the judicial districts-whether in the form of administrative guidance outside the scope of a case, whether as non-binding dicta in this case, or whether in a separate case" on how the preliminary injunction currently in effect in Marie applies statewide to the 29 nonparty judicial districts. We decline to do so because, among other things, Kansas courts do not render advisory opinions. Gannon v. State, 298 Kan. 1107, 1119, 319 P.3d 1196 (2014).

    As I see this order of the KSSC, they didn't make any ruling. They just lifted the temporary stay in the KS Tenth Judicial District.

  • 73. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 10:55 am

    How in the hell can a federal injunction that enjoins a state amendment from being enforced only apply to certain parts of a state? Especially in this case where Kansas is in the 10CA which is bound by Kitchen and denied cert of SCOTUS? I need to re-read the federal district order and see what the judge wrote, as this should be no different than the BS in Florida we are dealing with.

  • 74. netoschultz  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Because some judges have enjoined the state from enforcing the ban (Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Virginia, …) which applies statewide, and other judges have enjoined the defendants from enforcing the ban (Florida, Kansas), which makes confusion about who can enforce and who can not enforce the ban.

  • 75. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I just read the order again. This is total bullshit (again) that Kansas isn't complying in every county and the state level. That preliminary injunction order is even more clear than in Florida (no "confusing" additional paragraphs about a specific clerk). Wow, I can't believe Kansas is still in any form of limbo. Injunction is issued, no stay granted by 10CA and SCOTUS, and certain counties and the state is getting away with contempt of court by violating the order? What is the Judge wwiting for?

    I do get your point on enjoining the state vs. the defendants, but still it is crazy that this hasn't been clarified yet and uniformity happening in Kansas.

  • 76. VIRick  |  December 26, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    According to Kansas law, a marriage license which is applied for and obtained by Kansas residents in any one particular county is valid for use ANYWHERE within the state (just like in Missouri or Florida), thus explaining the initial rush on the part of many same-sex couples going to Sedgwick county (Wichita).

    So to me, the nastiest protracted angle as to what's currently happening in Kansas right now focuses, instead, on the state's adamant refusal (other than for a single department) to recognize those very same marriages between same-sex couples, even those currently being performed in certain counties within Kansas, for other state purposes. From Equality Kansas:

    "Sadly, however, the Brownback administration is refusing to acknowledge the reality of marriage equality. The only state agency that is currently recognizing our marriages, whether performed in Kansas or out-of-state, is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which is under a court order to do so. While there have been scattered reports of individuals successfully updating their name on official state documents, such as drivers’ licenses, the landscape is dominated by refusals. We have also talked to one couple that was able to update their license, only to be sent a letter a week later demanding the license be returned because of an “error” in the name change. Marriages are not being recognized in adoptions, people can’t get their spouses on their employer benefits, and at least one bank is refusing to recognize marital status in the issuance of mortgages."

    Plus, there's Kansas' "other" problem, namely Brownback's tax cuts which gutted Kansas' budget, and cost the state $700 million in lost revenue (so far). The fiscal situation has become so dire that in order to help plug the hole in the state's budget, Kansas has been reduced to auctioning off their wonderful collection of reposessed sex toys.

    Question: When Kansas ultimately has to pay the plaintiffs' legal fees at the end of the litigation process, will they attempt to do so with more reposessed sex toys???

  • 77. Rick55845  |  December 26, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    "The fiscal situation has become so dire that in order to help plug the hole in the state's budget, Kansas has been reduced to auctioning off their wonderful collection of reposessed sex toys."

    I'd like to hear more about these repossessed sex toys!

  • 78. VIRick  |  December 26, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    From what I recall of the incident, whose headlines varied from "Cash Strapped-on" to "Filling the Budget Hole with Sex Toys," the state seized quite an amazing assortment of them in a raid on a wholesale business for their on-going failure to pay state sales tax. Thus, the glorious state of Kansas, much to their disdain, ended up with the nation's most complete state-owned collection of every imaginable and unimaginable hoo-ha doo-dad ever invented. They recently auctioned off the entire lot in a state-sponsored public sale. I also understand that the WBC was apoplectic about it (possibly because they weren't aware of the sale beforehand, and lost out on some major cheap-thrill goodies that could have pacified them while they're out there picketing??)

  • 79. 1grod  |  December 26, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Rick, thank you – while above you indicate 28 counties say NO, on December 23, Equality Kansas list only 17 counties that said No. Together those counties comprise10% of the population. Check the list beneath the Map linked above. We both agree, at 76%, this [unnecessary] implemention struggle is all but won. IMO, as you explain, the more significant issue is Recognition. While Ryan, Netoschultz as well as Elihu have address aspect of licensing decisions, I still don't understand what additional Order is needed to ensure a reluctant State's departments and agencies RECOGNIZE 'In' & 'Out of' state marriages: ASAP!

  • 80. netoschultz  |  December 26, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Because Kansas Governor said to state agencies don't recognize the marriages since they were not prohibited from enforcing the ban by the federal judge

  • 81. VIRick  |  December 26, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I can account for the 11 county discrepancy on the "No" side. Early on, Equality Kansas itself reported (and then forgot?) that the chief state district judge for a 2 x 2 block of counties in east central Kansas (Anderson, Franklin, Coffey, and Osage) said "No." Later, an irritated woman from Finney County in west central Kansas tweeted in to them that another chief state district judge for a 3 x 2 block of counties (Greeley, Wichita, Scott, Hamilton, Kearney, and Finney) had refused her a marriage license. Equality Kansas apparently failed to take notice of this incoming tweet. And the Graham county clerk on her own has said, "No, don't even walk in the door."

    In terms of population, the most significant "No" counties are Reno (Hutchinson), Saline (Salina), Montgomery (Coffeyville), and Finney (Garden City). The remainder, in both the "No" and the "???" categories, are VERY rural.

    However, like you, I'm particularly annoyed that the state won't even recognize their own in-state marriages for other state purposes. But that's why a new plaintiff couple has joined the on-going federal lawsuit, "Marie v. Moser." One of the two is an employee of the Univeristy of Kansas, and their spouse has been refused spousal benefits by the state-sponsored health plan.

  • 82. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Speaking of the Wikipedia map (and I'd love to hear from those who go to battle on that page with others), I do not agree that the state's of MI, OH, TN, and KY are colored the same as states such as ND, AL, & GA. Those states in the 6th CA have won a significant legal case in district court, albeit overturned on appeal, but now awaiting SCOTUS review via certiorari. There should be some distinguishment in color between those four – which are further along legally and have a basis for relief in the district ruling – than states like GA and AL which have no district ruling. I liked the favorable ruling stayed pending appeal (although I know it's currently overturned on appeal, so some modification of that). My two cents anyhow…

  • 83. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 26, 2014 at 9:22 am

    As for the map, I think they try to go by current functional status rather than make large differentiations between case minutiae. They do make note of what's happening with the Sixth Circuit in the article itself. It would be nice if the map was a little more detailed, yes…including breakdowns by county for Kansas and Missouri.

  • 84. Randolph_Finder  |  December 26, 2014 at 10:28 am

    There are Kansas and Missouri Maps by county on the articles about Same Sex Marriage in those states. The big map really only has the ability to color at the state level. We had similar issues with New Mexico and Utah.

    And yes, there is a base map of counties in Florida which is available to do the same thing in a week or two. (Though the Federal Judge in Florida is sounding *pissed* in his most recent rulings, wonder how Pam Bondi would look in an Orange Jumpsuit)

    Also, the wikipedia map is *really* atypical for images on Wikipedia both that it changes *considerably* more often than most (how often do you need to change a picture of Stonehenge) and it is also used externally considerably more than most. Here's hoping that in the year 2015, we'll color it all blue and walk away from it. 🙂

  • 85. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Agree with you on all fronts, I just go back to the same color is given to states (e.g. North Dakota) that has no federal ruling whatsoever as well to the state's in the 6CA that all have pro-ME rulings which are overturned on appeal and now facing certiorari to SCOTUS.

    I just see that as a fundamental difference that should cause those four states to have a different color and definition on the map itself: "Same-sex marriage ban affirmed on federal appeal, pending review by U.S. Supreme Court" as an example. It's not just "Same-sex marriage banned" like in the burnt red colored states as depicted.

  • 86. Randolph_Finder  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:02 am

    The discussion is that-a-way ( 🙂

    About half of the major contributors are on EOT as well. (and the rest may well be, the discussion there have nothing to do with support of Marriage Equality)

    Red comes down to "There is no governing legal decision in support of ME".

  • 87. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I prefer this proposed map:

  • 88. DACiowan  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I did too, but it wound up stalemating due to fears of another color overhaul being too confusing for readers.

  • 89. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Those states holding out hope will be changed by June of 2015…..if not sooner!!!

  • 90. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I can't wait!!

  • 91. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Me neither and I wish I could be in the court when that ruling comes down…….lol!!!

  • 92. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Read a lot on MO, KS, and now Florida, but didn't see anything on the four states in the 6CA. I guess I'm the only one thinking it's odd that they are just dark red like th rest, even though there are contradicting legal decisions in those four states which is under review by SCOTUS, whereas that's not the case in the other dark red states. I will just return this conversation to the privacy of my head and not go on about it. Thx for the talk page!

  • 93. Randolph_Finder  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:45 am

    DIdn't mean to scare you away from the subject and goodness knows we'd love more people giving ideas on the talk page.

  • 94. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:58 am

    It's all good – not scared away, just recognizing my thought likely is not relevant to the larger audience, amd probably just a manifestation of me growing up in MI and wanting it recognized in a differemt way than dark red given how far along in the federal process and rulings that have been made. Maybe once certiorari is granted by SCOTUS on the adverse ruling of the 6CA, we can color them something different! 🙂

    Honestly I've never written on the talk page, and I can count on my left hand the number of times I've read a wiki talk page. It was an enlightening read though, so I'll keep lurking and maybe at some point dive in with a comment. Thanks again for the insights!

  • 95. Randolph_Finder  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    On the one hand, I'd love Michigan to be *the* case given Regerus, but I can see the arguments that some of the other cases were decided on broader grounds, so I'd love to see them affirmed. I'm not sure that SC cert would color them different, (but we'd sure discuss it. :)) but sending it back to the 6th for reconsideration en banc might.

    Fewer choices for the SC than California (that one there was serious discussion of *nothing* getting 5 votes)

    I'm glad someone got good things out of reading though the talk page, I generally just get nausea. 🙂

  • 96. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I'm hoping SCOTUS takes up more than one case and includes the Michigan case in the mix! 🙂

  • 97. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Kansas and Missouri are in a light blue….very few states are actually red in color……but not to worry….they will all be taken care of sooner than later or later meaning June of 2015.

  • 98. scream4ever  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:07 am

    There is a map down on the page which details the status of each state on the legal front.

  • 99. DACiowan  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:01 am

    As the person who did the coloring (Dralwik), it boils down to:

    1. We aren't getting anywhere on deciding how to color Kansas.
    2. Missouri is closer to equality than Kansas.
    3. Since Kansas is solid blue, let's make Missouri dark blue with an extensive footnote.
    4, Talk page agreement

    It's trading a more complex and accurate map for a simpler one and transferring complexity to the footnote.

    Then the same guy behind the "two legal counties in Kansas" argument tried to make the footnote read only St. Louis legal instead of "various jurisdictions issue" and it turned into a fistfight.

  • 100. scream4ever  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Makes sense. I would also suggest adding Missouri to the table with the population numbers, and also updating that one to reflect the 2014 population estimates.

  • 101. DACiowan  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I've got the 2014 numbers in, and I'll propose adding Missouri as well.

  • 102. scream4ever  |  December 26, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Great! You included DC as well right? Someone removed it for some reason and I had a hell of a time adding it back in!

  • 103. DACiowan  |  December 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Yeah, I used the Census Bureau page that includes DC in the total.

  • 104. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I honestly have good intentions in asking this… Was there any discussion on how to color the 4 states in the 6CA once they overturned the district court decisions, or was it a clear-cut, shame dunk, return them to the dark red dustbin of inequality with no judicial rulings in favor? (Promise (again) this is the last time I'll ask. :))

    And do you think it would at all change if SCOTUS grants cert in the 6CA case(s)?

  • 105. DACiowan  |  December 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    There was, somewhere in the archives, but it fizzled out due to (iirc) a combination of the case map already showing SCOTUS states and a lack of agreement on what the new appeal-to-SCOTUS color would be. I doubt SCOTUS taking a case would change that.

    So… is likely going to stay the one source on the Wiki page showing the states at SCOTUS.

  • 106. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Ah! I'm happier now that I see this map and see its location (much) further down in the Wikipedia article. (I do recall someone in this thread or an earlier one that there was another map…didn't scroll far enough to see it I guess.)

    The only quirk (which I imagine is discussed on the talk page) is that Florida is not stayed pending appeal as it is color coded. The stay ends while the appeal is on-going. I know, not possible to catch it all, but that would indicate FL won't have marriage equality until at a minimum the 11CA rules on Brenner v. Armstrong.

    Thanks for showing me this!

  • 107. brandall  |  December 25, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Suddenly, out of nowhere on Christmas Day I received a news alert…..Florida's 3rd District Court of Appeal issued a same-sex divorce ruling on 12/24/14. Anyone remember Oliver v. Sufflebeam from 2012? It was a same-sex divorce case that did not challenge the Florida ban, but tried to dissolve in Florida an out-of-state same-sex marriage.

    The CA's decision was based on "a court need not recognize as valid a marriage which is valid in the jurisdiction where consummated where recognition would affront the public policy of the forum state.” Anderson v. Anderson, 577 So. 2d 658, 660 n.3 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991)" and the court said it will not enter into the current fray about the ban.

    While the case is no longer of any relevance because it was not a direct challenge to their ban and considering our advances in 2014, it is interesting to note how bloody long it took….16 months. Oral arguments were held 3/18/14. So, it took 9 months to render an 8-page decision. Assuming the Paretto and/or Shaw cases follow the same timeline, it will be at least a year before the Florida Supreme Court could hear either of these cases which are direct challenges to the ban.

    Here's to January 6th!

  • 108. RnL2008  |  December 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    So, is the couple divorced now? or what? This is what has always bothered me about the patchwork of states recognizing this marriage, but not that marriage……this is why SCOTUS is going to fix this issue once and for all.

  • 109. VIRick  |  December 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    No, it's a total "or what."

    With less than two weeks to go before marriage equality arrives statewide in all of Florida, a fact about which they must be keenly aware, and after sitting on this appeal for well over 9 months, the ass-hats at Florida's 3rd DCA (for Miami-Dade/Monroe counties, the same ones to be hearing the "Pareto/Huntsman" marriage equality appeals) still continue to claim, even after the positive, recent "Brassner v. Lade" same-sex divorce decision in neighboring Broward county, a decision that was publicly known since September:

    "Given Florida’s exclusive right, subject only to the confines of our Federal Constitution, to define both marriage and its dissolution within this state and Florida’s recognition of marriage as only between a man and a woman, same-sex couples do not have standing to seek in our courts the dissolution of a marriage that by Florida law does not exist…… We affirm dismissal of the petition filed in this case. "

    The only positive note I can find in the ruling is this:

    "Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing."

  • 110. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Not directly related, but my best friend is a family law attorney in south Florida. And just on Monday he co-authored and submitted an amicus curiae brief to the 3rd DCA in Florida (the appellate level in Florida before the FL Supreme Court) on behalf of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) in support of the Florida courts upholding the lower level court decisions to strike the amendment and statues as unconstitutional.

    If anyone would like a copy of the amicus curiae brief to read, I'd be happy to email a version. Just shoot me an email at [email protected].

  • 111. RnL2008  |  December 25, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    You have mail:-)

  • 112. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 25, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Right back at ya!

  • 113. RnL2008  |  December 25, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Cool……I'll read the brief later……gonna go glaze the ham and turkey and watch How to Train your Dragon 2

  • 114. AndresM11  |  December 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Hi guys!!! And Merry Christmas to y'all!

    I'm traveling with my family (I miss my boy sooo much 🙁 but my parents had wanted to spend Christmas in Florida from several years, so I decided to spend some days with them over here).

    I wanted to thank each and every one of you for becoming part of my mornings at the office 🙂 I live in a very bigoted and conservative country (Venezuela) and being able to read your comments remind me every day that there's a better world out there 🙂 and that I must keep working hard in order to (hopefully) move out of the country with my bf soon and marry <3). It's been an incredible year since Judge Shelby's decision in Kitchen v Herbert and our community has made soooo much progress!! Marriage Equality is now the Law of the Land even in places like Idaho and South Carolina 🙂 Hopefully 2015 will be the year when SCOTUS renders a historic rulling (something tells me DeBoer V Snyder will be a rulling that will make history and will be studied during decades!).

    Also, I wanted to thank you for everything I've learned by reading you 😀 I'm a Venezuelan civil procedure law professor (hahaha that sounds like I'm such an oldie hehe but I'm only 26), so I find our discussions regarding procedure to be thrilling!

    Hope you're having a Merry Christmas with all your loved ones!! 😀 and that 2015 brings lots of health, happiness, joy (and new rights *-*) to our dear community!

    Andres M.

    (Ps: I'm soooo happy we chose Florida for our vacation hehehe. Hopefully, I'll be here when Judge Hinckle "clarifies" (I think reiterates would be a more appropriate term, since his order seems pretty clear to me) his order and all the loving commited couples in Florida start marrying) 🙂

  • 115. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Merry Christmas to you Andres! Hope you are enjoying your holiday in my state of Florida! Agree on all counts above, and hope you're here long enough to read Judge Hinkle's clarifying order (I still envision a scathing order), which I don't see being any later than Friday, January 2nd. Cheers to you and your family…enjoy Florida (I'm in Broward County – Ft. Lauderdale).

  • 116. guitaristbl  |  December 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Merry Christmas everyone 🙂 !
    Amidst the fruitless bigotry and incompetence of a governor and an AG, a number of state agencies, a majority of court clerks and a silly law firm out of which a single fair minded tries to make some sense, I want to wish that floridian same sex couples are also looking forward to a happy (equality) new year as well though..!

  • 117. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 25, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Indeed we are!

    I'm actually rather shocked that only one (that I'm aware of – Orange County with Orlando) county clerk has said they'd issue a marriage license on 1/6/15. You'd think down in South Florida with the more liberal electorate, that County Clerks in Miami-Dade and Broward would move ahead. I may have read the Monroe County (Florida Keys) would issue, so that'd be two. They really must be abiding by their association's counsel (as silly, absurd, and ignorant as it is in this case). Thankfully by 1/5/15 we will have an order from Judge Hinkle in the motion to clarify his August order that'll take the state officials, association counsel, and clerks to town.

    Happy New Year to all of us!

  • 118. VIRick  |  December 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    In early December, right after the 11th Circuit Court refused to extend the stay, but before the Supreme Court weighed in, after which the spin became hyper-negative, the following counties all said they were good-to-go, once the stay is lifted, effective from 6 January:

    Monroe (Key West)
    Miami-Dade (Miami)
    Broward (Ft. Lauderdale)
    Pinellas (St. Petersburg)
    Hillsborough (Tampa)
    Orange (Orlando)
    Osceola (Kissimmee)

    But immediately after the Supreme Court refused to extend the stay, the spin, and the resulting obstinacy set in. All of the following (and more) quickly said, "No:"

    Nassau (Fernandina Beach)
    Duval (Jacksonville)
    Clay (Green Cove Springs)
    Seminole (Sanford)
    Lake (Tavares)
    Manatee (Bradenton)
    Lee (Fort Myers)
    Brevard (Titusville/Viera)
    St. Lucie (Fort Pierce)
    Martin (Stuart)
    Hernando (Brooksville)
    Pasco (Dade City)

    And that's just in the peninsula portion of the state. Without even asking, we all know the pat response from the Redneck Riviera.

    No matter what, though, count on Amy Heavilin, the court clerk for Monroe county, to do the right thing, as she has stated she wants to be the first clerk in the state to marry a same-sex couple. And count on Aaron Huntsman and Lee Jones to be first in line, thus accounting for all the parties in the suit, "Huntsman v. Heavilin." Btw, Aaron's a total hottie.

    Also count on Osceola County Clerk of the Courts, Armando Ramirez, as he fully intends to re-open his office and begin officiating at 12:01 AM on 6 January. Plus, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has agreed to officiate at a big mass same-sex wedding at City Hall at 9:00 AM on 6 January,

  • 119. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 25, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Great recap Rick! I was rather surprised by recent comments from Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach county clerks saying they were going to have to await further word, versus having a spine and following the law. This association of theirs counsel really sold them up a river with no paddle.

  • 120. VIRick  |  December 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Agreed,– but that's why I've suddenly become so vocal on the other side.

    You know, the Tampa Bay Tourist Board (with some serious main-line business backing) has a major SSM ad campaign ready to roll the instant the stay is lifted, focussed on the gaYBORhood (Ybor City) and old St. Pete, and is quite eager to flip their image into the Marriage Capital of the South for same-sex couples, with special ads for the crowd in the panhandle, the rest of Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas, potentially knocking y'all and Key West right off the map.

    Watch the money talk, while the haters get to walk. Certain tourist-oriented locales, like Fernandina Beach, right on the Georgia line, will flip the minute they sense that the big gay wedding money is heading elsewhere, right past them down I-95.

  • 121. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 25, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Something I missed (and I suspect several others did also):
    From Great Britain's 'The Independent' newspaper:
    'Anti-LGBT preacher Gaylard Williams arrested for 'grabbing and squeezing' man's genitals'
    (… )

    The minister is not from GB, but from Seymour, Indiana (located about 1/2-way between Indianapolis and Louisville, KY).

    What I find very funny is that a deacon at Willliams' church was not shocked at the touching part, but the finding of pornographic material in Willliams' vehicle (… ).

  • 122. DeadHead  |  December 25, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    lol and his first name "Gaylard" another anti-gay bigot gets busted. And with a first name like that bet he becomes the butt end of a lot of jokes now.

  • 123. josejoram  |  December 27, 2014 at 3:10 am

    What ashamed I am that the worst (anti-gay) Human beings happen to be gay.

  • 124. bythesea66  |  December 25, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Lol! Ah, thanks for the Xmas laugh Mike_Baltimore. Happy Holidays!

  • 125. franklinsewell  |  December 26, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. I managed to stay off the computer all day yesterday, and for the first time ever, cooked almost the entire meal for my family.

    I just reexamined the brief from DeBoer v Snyder, and I have to say that I remain unconvinced that this is the best vehicle for our needs. The sole question presented is whether or not bans on same-sex marriage violate the 14th amendment. 3 of the other cases (Louisiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky) present both celebration and recognition cases. Ohio only presents the recognition case.

  • 126. scream4ever  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    They are likely to be consolidated, although I expect the Louisiana will be remanded back to the 5th Circuit.

  • 127. F_Young  |  December 26, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Off topic: How To Put an End to LGBT Discrimination Behind Bars

    This is a lengthy overview of what policy changes are needed, published by Newsweek.

  • 128. Jen_in_MI  |  December 26, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Thanks everyone for sharing your Christmas plans, that was nice to read. I spent the holiday alone except for my dog, since my wife is in the hospital and most of my family has either disowned me or moved away. This was the loneliest, saddest Christmas of my life, and I wish better for all of us in 2015. Nationwide ME, here we come!

  • 129. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 26, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I wish for a much better year for you as well, Jen. I hope your wife is at least doing a little better. I'm sorry to hear that she's still hospitalized.

  • 130. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Sorry to hear that Jen……..we have friends in Washington State that had a year last year like you are having now……our positive energy and prayers are continually being sent to you and your wife…….try and be strong and know we are all there with you in spirit.


  • 131. Randolph_Finder  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:08 pm


  • 132. josejoram  |  December 27, 2014 at 3:14 am

    Sadness sometimes is unavoidable. On December, 16th, a dear friend of mine was bruttally assassinated.

  • 133. RemC_Chicago  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I wish we could lighten your loneliness and speed your wife's recovery by the power of our internet hugs. They are there, regardless!

  • 134. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Here's an article about SCOTUS:

  • 135. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Question becomes do they pick a case or cases at their 1/9/15 conference, or do they do this "relisting" before granting that they have now inserted into their certiorari process. I think given this is hardly new territory for them (arguably more motions and writs on marriage equality have hit their docket than any other issue in recent history), they just need to pick the best vehicle(s) to ensure both celebration and recognition are handled, grant cert on those on the 9th, get the remaining briefing schedule set, and know orals will be late March or likely early April.

  • 136. RemC_Chicago  |  December 26, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    My father-in-law drove down from Michigan to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with us. We did our traditional Eve dinner at the Chicago eater, Lawry's, then attended services at our progressive St Pauls UCC (where the main pastor welcomes "families of all configurations" and the associate pastor is gay). The service was inspirational, joyful. Last year, I kept thinking about Utah—this year, in addition to being grateful for the onward march of ME, I kept thinking of Florida. The kids were besides themselves with excitement due to Santa's arrival and slept in until 7:30 (!!). A quiet day with a turkey dinner ended with a fun visit from a (Jewish) mom and her kids who were seeking company…Santa brought me a stack of historical biographies of Titian, Raphael, a book about Leonardo's Last Supper, historical books about Jane Austen and her times, and a picture book of La Streisand. I announced to the family that we're getting a White Shepherd puppy in the spring, now that I'm healing from our last one on Veteran's Day 2013. This took my husband completely by surprise: he burst into tears. The End.

  • 137. VIRick  |  December 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Here's some Holiday Greetings for Scottie, datelined 14 December 2014:

    Blue Cross Extends Health Coverage to Married Same-Sex Couples in Alabama

    MONTGOMERY, AL — Alabama’s largest insurer now offers spousal coverage to legally married, same-sex couples in order to comply with a federal rule that insurance companies must treat married couples the same regardless of sexual orientation. A spokeswoman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama said the company began offering same-sex spousal coverage for underwritten plans in early 2014, “in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ regulations that prohibit health insurers from discriminating in health plan coverage on the basis of sexual orientation.”

    The state of Alabama does not currently recognize marriages between same-sex couples and also has a ban on such marriages written into the Alabama state Constitution. However, the federal Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines in March 2014 reiterating that same-sex couples who were legally married in any of the states that currently authorize marriage between same-sex couples, are entitled to the same health care coverage as heterosexual couples.

    “Under this CMS rule, if a health insurer offers coverage for opposite-sex spouses, then the insurer must also offer coverage to same-sex spouses that are legally married in any state regardless of the state of residence,” company spokeswoman Koko Mackin wrote in an email.

    In March 2014, the Obama administration urged insurers to voluntarily comply. It becomes a requirement for coverage beginning from 1 January 2015, according to the HHS guidance. The requirement applies to underwritten insurance plans, and includes both those sold on the federal insurance exchange and many, but not all, of the plans sold directly to individuals and companies.

    Plans grandfathered in under the Affordable Care Act and self-insured plans, where large employers run their own programs, were not affected by the federal rule.

  • 138. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Okay Guys…….you might not think this funny, but I did:
    A father and son went hunting together for the first time.
    The father said, "Stay here and be very QUIET. I'll be across the field."
    A few minutes later, the father heard a bloodcurdling scream and ran back to his son. "What's wrong?" the father asked. "I told you to be quiet." The son answered, "Look, I was quiet when the snake slithered across my feet. I was quiet when the bear breathed down my neck. I didn't move a muscle when the skunk climbed over my shoulder. I closed my eyes and held my breath when the wasp stung me. I didn't cough when I swallowed the gnat. I didn't cuss or scratch when the poison oak started itching. But when the two chipmunks crawled up my pant legs and said,'Should we eat them here or take them with us?' Well, I guess I just panicked."

  • 139. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I would have been out of there the instant the snake appeared at any distance.

  • 140. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I know, right? Why wait until the other stuff happens……!!!

    Just wanted to share a bit of humor today:-)

  • 141. daveinasheville  |  December 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    30+ years ago, I actually HAD a chipmunk crawl up the inside of my jeans leg while I was sitting on my porch here in the North Carolina mountains. I leapt up and did a creditable war dance, which shook the critter back out of my pants leg. There were scrapes on my shin where s/he was scrabbling for traction… :-O

  • 142. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    To funny….I mean glad neither got hurt…….but funny nevertheless:-)

  • 143. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

    For decades, I've not liked chipmunks. While growing up, we had a cat that didn't like chipmunks, squirrels, etc. One day, she got into an 'argument' with a chipmunk, got bit on the nose and septum by the chipmunk, and the cat died the next day.

    Chipmunks are nasty creatures, in my opinion.

  • 144. hopalongcassidy  |  December 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    So are cats, generally. We have 2 cats and we love them dearly, but the old stories about cats being 'clean' are just nonsense…they are actually pretty filthy animals. They walk on and through the nastiest stuff in the yard, sidewalk and street yet we let them come in and plop down in our laps and on our beds. That really is pretty stupid, but we do it anyway. Chipmunks are no more nasty than any other wild or most domestic animals.

  • 145. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 28, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Dogs rock.

  • 146. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Dogs can rock, but cats can also.

    Besides, most dogs also walk through just about anything, as do humans (especially when they have rubbers, boots, etc., on) and track it through a house. And many people let their dogs "plop down in [their] laps and on [their] beds. And how many people let a dog 'kiss' the human?

    By the way I – almost all my life, I have been around dogs (as small as Miniature Dachshunds to as large as German Shepherds and Old English Collies, and many sizes in between) and cats. Few dogs care for the rats and mice found on a farm, and few cats can ignore them. Each has a purpose and reason, and each has advantages and disadvantages.

    Besides, not all dogs and (especially) cats go outdoors. Some go out about once a year, and some don't go out at all (especially cats – most dogs need to be 'walked' 'outdoors' several times a day).

    BTW II – Currently, there is a dog and three cats in my house.

  • 147. Zack12  |  December 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Watched football with the in-laws yesterday.
    I wish all same sex couples can be as lucky as the hubby and I have been.

  • 148. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 26, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Ditto here…albeit it was my hubby being forced to watch football at my parents with my Dad and me. He didn't mind when we went to watch the Steelers in person in Atlanta though!

    Regardless, wish everyone had the comfort of extended family and all the rights of marriage and acceptance as some do in this country. Hopefully by next Christmas, at least we can remove inconsistency of marriage rights across the nation from the mix.

  • 149. bayareajohn  |  December 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    My husband and I are celebrating the First Anniversary of our marriage, and the 21st anniversary of being together. And everything still works….

  • 150. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Awesome and Congratulations!!

  • 151. josejoram  |  December 27, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Congrats, bro! I have been for 18 years with the most respectable and decent person I kńow and one year ago we got married in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  • 152. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Congrats to you and your husband Jose!

  • 153. josejoram  |  December 28, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Thank you very much, KELL. I look forward to validate my marriage before Florida authorities next time I be there. Happy Holydays!

  • 154. jpmassar  |  December 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    INDIANAPOLIS — A battle is shaping up in the Indiana state legislature over a religious freedom bill that opponents say would legalize discrimination against gays and others.

    The bill, expected to be introduced in the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly by State Sen. Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis,) is similar to a highly publicized measure passed earlier this year in the Arizona state legislature.

    That bill, SB 1062, would have also allowed business owners to refuse service to people based on religious beliefs, but was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer after intense backlash from business and civil rights leaders.

  • 155. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    These idiots DO understand that this discrimination bill will allow folks to discriminate against these so called Christians, right? If these types of bills pass, they will be challenged in lawsuits and my guess is it will the Christians suing because their bill was reversed and used on them!!!

  • 156. JayJonson  |  December 28, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Yes, it will be interested to see the unintended consequences of these bills. In Louisiana, a bill was passed that was intended to increase public funding for religious schools. It was heavily supported by both the Roman Catholic Church and an association of Christian Academies (mainly Baptist and Pentecostal schools). But many of the legislators who supported the bill, which overwhelmingly passed, were angry that among the first private schools that qualified was a Muslim school. They can't seem to understand that "religious freedom" extends beyond their own religion.

  • 157. FredDorner  |  December 28, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    >>>"These idiots DO understand that this discrimination bill will allow folks to discriminate against these so called Christians, right?" <<<

    Actually I suspect they realize that's precisely what it won't do, because religion is a protected class under federal and state employment and public accommodations laws, as are several other classes like race and gender.

    The real point to these "religious freedom" bills is to target those classes which aren't yet protected by those states or at the federal level, like marital status and sexual orientation. The proponents of these laws might be bigots but they're not complete dummies.

  • 158. RnL2008  |  December 28, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    This bill if passed will be used against Christians regardless of religion being a protected class…….I have my religious beliefs……and if I was an owner in a place that had this bill in place, I could ask questions and discriminate using my beliefs which by the way, are in direct conflict with Evangelistic Fundamentalist……and there would be NOTHING those idiots could do about it!!!

  • 159. Eric  |  December 28, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Yep, there are all kinds of ways to get around belief, and discriminate based on perceived behavior.

    One can't discriminate against fundagelicals, but one can discriminate against those that engage in the behavior of baptism.

  • 160. FredDorner  |  December 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I think the businesses which started the "If you're buying" campaign in Mississippi had the right idea as a response to these "religious freedom" bills – it's really pissed off the bigoted bible-thumpers who prefer to remain anonymous under their white sheets and pointy hoods.

  • 161. montezuma58  |  December 29, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Theoretically it these "religious freedom laws" could be turned around and used against their current proponents. From a practical standpoint that is unlikely.

    The judiciary in states where these laws are being seriously considered will most likely side with the state.

    Also, there aren't too many business ran by people with minority beliefs that would likely wish to discriminate against the majority. Both because those proprietors know it is the right way to act regardless of the law and they know it would be a big blow to their bottom line to do so.

  • 162. RnL2008  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Again, UNLESS the bill or law signals to a SPECIFIC Christian belief, which again would make it discriminatory……my guess is it will cover ANY and ALL religious beliefs……and it DOESN'T matter what the belief is, it can be used against ANY one.

  • 163. montezuma58  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Can and will are two different things. The judiciary in states like AL, MS, KS, or TN will likely give a Christian slant to interpretation. Except for a few businesses, not many would last actively turning away the majority.

    Barring radical demographic shifts in some areas the practical impact on those in the minority will be radically disproportional to impact on the majority. As it stands now those pushing for the laws can easily shrug off any tables getting turned for the moment. They can easily let the "free market" take it's course and take their business elsewhere. The ones being discriminated against won't have it as easy, especially in rural areas.

  • 164. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Indiana has several large corporations that can bring pressure on the governor.

    Included are:
    – Eli Lilly and Co. (one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world);
    – Bayer (although headquartered in Germany, it has several large plants and laboratories in the South Bend area, many making Alka-Seltzer, and other medicines);
    – Cummins Inc. – the world leader in the manufacturing and distribution of diesel powered engines;
    – Several financial groups, including 1st Source Corp., AMB Financial Corp., Ameriana Bancorp, CNO Financial (formerly known as Conseco), CTI Group, etc.
    – Various others who have a need for high-tech personnel, such as CTS Corp. (manufacturers and suppliers of electronic components and equipment), Angie's List, etc.

    In addition, major universities located in the state include Notre Dame (presumably won't lobby against such a bill), Indiana, Purdue, Indiana State, Ball State, Valpo (who knows since the university is closely aligned with the Methodist, then Lutheran, Churches), Ivy Tech, IUPUI, IUPUFW, Vincennes, Butler, and multiple others (most universities are in dire need of people who can teach [thus know] high tech. One thing most institutions of higher learning do not want to do is to ignore and/or irritate the GLBT community and supporters of the community.).

    Mike Pence, as governor of Indiana, will not be lacking for people and companies lobbying against this bill.

  • 165. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Is Mikey (Pence that is, not you) still considering a White House bid in 2016?

  • 166. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 27, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I haven't heard him say he is not considering such a bid yet, so I presume he is. Even among the CONservative GOTP primary voters, though, I give him about a 5% or less probability of winning the GOTP nomination.

    He is termed out after the 2016 election, and the only Senate seat up for election in 2016 in Indiana is Dan Coats – I really don't see Pence successfully running against Coats (who has probably just above the level of intelligence of Danny Quayle. My opinion of Dannyboy is he was one of the stupidest VPs the US has ever had, and was one of the least smart ever of US Senators and/or members of the US House.).

  • 167. hopalongcassidy  |  December 28, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Mister Potatoe Head

    heh heh

  • 168. FredDorner  |  December 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    In fact the executives of Eli LIlly have already publicly opposed these anti-gay efforts, and testified to the state legislature in opposition to a proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage. The Cummins corp did so too.

  • 169. Eric  |  December 28, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    When will we see tech companies step up and say that their software is unavailable for license or use in states that pass these kinds of laws?

  • 170. guitaristbl  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I am trying to find my "surprised" face but I can't I am afraid. Well a year ago the equality side was fighting hard to strip the proposed amendment of the civil unions ban. And if it wasn't for the ruling the same amendment would be discussed instead of this bill. So yeah it is SOME progress that they don't have an amendment to talk about now. Whatever. Let them pass it, ruin themselves financially and challenge it to federal court as well to see how that goes as well.

  • 171. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 26, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    New Jersey may soon join California in prohibiting the so-called 'gay panic defense':

  • 172. Zack12  |  December 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    As a couple of the posts above have mentioned, get ready for a whole slew of "religious freedom" bills come next month.
    Get ready for them to be proposed and sadly passed.
    All I can say is this, have the lawsuits ready to go.

  • 173. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    What's going to be funny is the first time some pro gay business owner or a Gay business owner freely discriminates against one of these supposed Christians and there is NOTHING they will be able to do seeing as they are the one's seeking these amendments in the first place.

    Can't you see some pro-gay business owner asking every customer what their religious beliefs are and then when one of those customer's states they are an Evangelistic Fundamentalist and the business owner front and center tells them , "We don't serve your kind here", now get the hell out……..that person will be screaming persecution and swearing to get justice and sue……my response would be…see ya in Court!!

  • 174. F_Young  |  December 27, 2014 at 8:50 am

    How Florida Officials Plan To Undermine A Federal Marriage Equality Order

  • 175. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Of course I read it, and mistakenly went down to read the comments, and there was an asshat there who is claiming the ruling only applies to the one named defendant, the clerk of Washington County. So of course I had to respond.

    Why in the hell do people care if we get married so much???

  • 176. RnL2008  |  December 27, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Oh come now Ryan……if they DIDN'T have us to think about….what would they truly have to do in their pathetic lives? I mean these folks who claim that what Gay men do is disgusting, yet they're the ones posting all of the details and the one thing I've learned about trolls(while posting on the blog site topix's) is that most tend to be so hateful because of how they feel about themselves and their own inability to come out per say.

    There is one topix poster who goes by the nic KiMare and this person claims they are a hermaphrodite or male lesbian married, yet everyday this person calls our marriages marrages because he feels that only a diversified male female couple compliments each other and can have babies……..we all just laugh at him and then the other troll whose name is Pete…..he likes to bring up what he believes marriage is and that the ONLY reason for marriage is so the State can regulate sexual behavior……, here's his comment:
    Pietro Armando wrote:
    &lt;quoted text&gt;
    "Get it right this time"?! What did they get wrong? Acknowledged tge states have the authority to define marriage? Acknowledged there are two sexes? Acknowledged marriage is a conjugal union?
    &lt;quoted text&gt;
    … long as it upholds the right of the state to do just that!
    &lt;quoted text&gt;
    Quite simple. Sex makes babies. See Baker vs Nelson.
    &lt;quoted text&gt;
    Thats not what the NYS Court of Appeals thought, or the Federal judge in Puerto Rico, or Nevada, or the 6th circuit. HHmmmmm… seems they all recognized a simple truth that human societies throughout history have known. Marriage is a union of the sexes, and a means of regulating sexual behavior of the sexes. But you knew that already.

    And my reply:
    First off…..Baker vs Nelson is DEAD…….and is NO longer a valid argument, if it truly ever was one!

    Secondly, YES…..get it right…….what the 6th got wrong was stating that the State has a right to discriminate by DICTATING what gender a person MUST marry.

    Thirdly, SCOTUS is NOT going to uphold the ruling from the 6th and if they were going to rule in a manner you would agree with….they had plenty of opportunity to do so with the rulings from the 4th, 7th and 10th……which they did NOT overturn.

    Fourthly…..NOT all sex makes babies and once again you need to be informed that PROCREATION is a fundamental right, but it DOESN'T need to go hand in hand with one's right to marry.

    Actually NO, marriage DOESN'T regulate sexual behavior, NOT of the individuals, nor of the sexes……that would be a SERIOUS violation of our privacy.

  • 177. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I guess there just is more wrong in their own lives they want to ignore and spend time ensuring our lives have more issues than theirs.

  • 178. RnL2008  |  December 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

    As sad and pathetic as that is……I believe its true. As a Veteran, I believe in the rights of others, but what's sad is when the rights of others somehow means denying rights to myself and others simply because of who we are and who we love.

    I served under Former President Reagan and under his absolutely NO Homosexuals in the Military, which caused some Gays to marry Lesbians to hide who they were…….yet, before the repeal of DADT, 2 Lesbians were prosecuted for fraud because they married 2 men who were willing participates to the fraud……folks can't have it both ways.

    Sorry, my last comment was so long……but just showing a point on how I've come to the place I am now.

  • 179. VIRick  |  December 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Rose, don't be "sorry" for posting a long comment. I've noticed that I (and some others, like Ryan) have a tendency to do the same thing. Besides, in general, longer comments seem to be far more substantive than most short, one-line quips. Perhaps, too, we also feel we've found a safe place where we can "let it all hang out."

    And just on a personal note, I like people with passion,– and you have passion. So does Ryan.

  • 180. RnL2008  |  December 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks……believe it or not, my wife is more the writer than I am, but when necessary, I can get my message across.

    One thing I know is that it is easier to have a debate with folks willing to listen and see both sides of the issue, than with folks who just want to bash us and repeat the same lies.

    My topix troll Pete keeps trying to make an issue of marriage as something that can only be between a man and a woman, using words like conjugal, or conjugality, which I seriously doubt is even a word and makes other asinine comments regarding why should our relationships be designated a marriage…..and when I explain it to him….it's like it goes over his head. I get more response from chatting with the wall than him…

  • 181. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I do tend to be more passionate (and as my husband says long winded) in writing than I am verbally. I will be much more succinct and to the point when speaking, whereas Rick noted I tend to let it all hang out when I have the chance to write and put it down on paper (figuratively).

    I have no problems with length in posts, so long as they are substantive. Repeating the same thing within the same post over and over isn't necessarily wise, but a substantive post full of fact and commentary is how we help educate one another.

  • 182. josejoram  |  December 28, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Great, clarifying post, RnL2008.

  • 183. RnL2008  |  December 28, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks, wishing you a very Happy New Year

  • 184. VIRick  |  December 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Long comment coming up for Rose and Ryan, as 16 Florida counties and cities have submitted an amicus brief in favor of marriage equality, in the case of 'Brenner v. Armstrong,' on appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and submitted on 23 December 2014:
    "Amicus Brief of Counties of Alachua, Broward, Orange, and Palm Beach; Cities of Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Gainesville, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, Coconut Creek, Hallandale Beach, Key West, Wilton Manors, South Miami; and Village of Biscayne Park.


    Amici have prepared this brief at the request of our elected City and County Boards, Commissions, and Councils. Unable to obtain the legal recognition of the State, our citizens have looked to us, as local governments, to advocate on their behalf and to request that the Court strike down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution. We reject the state’s contention that any legitimate governmental interest is served by denying marriage equality to Florida’s gay and lesbian couples. To the contrary, the ban impedes and interferes with many of our real governmental interests. Florida’s prohibition on marriage for gay and lesbian couples impedes our ability to fulfill our core mission of providing for the health and welfare of our residents, thereby eroding the very legitimacy of our governments. The marriage ban interferes with the administration of our business as employers. Lastly, the marriage ban denies our taxpayers tourism revenue."

    In particular, note Alachua county (Gainesville) from north central Florida, as that's another we can count on, come 6 January.

  • 185. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I'm glad to see the counties and cities are stepping up and joining that brief. I'm not at all surprised that my home city of Wilton Manors is listed (it is 50% gay by population with a gay mayor and several city commissioners), nor my home county of Broward. Great to se Alachua on there for Gainesville, college town and all. A little surprised to not see Oscela, as the clerk there is one of the few that said already he would be issuing licenses (must not have as much support at the county commissioners level). Also great to see my neighbors to the north with Palm Beach county and WPB sign on. Disappointed that Miami-Dade didn't join, nor Monroe County, but got their cities of Miami Beach and Key West.

    You know my opinion on January 6th: All 67 will be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples…the only decision is what time to open up the clerk's office?

  • 186. VIRick  |  December 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    From the "Osceola News-Gazette," datelined 18 December 2014:

    "The Osceola County Courthouse (Kissimmee) will open for a couple hours, from 12:01 AM on 6 January 2015, the moment that Florida’s voter-approved ban on marriage between same-sex couples expires, and will be available to issue marriage licenses and possibly perform services. Osceola County Clerk of the Courts Armando Ramirez said he expected to process up to 30 licenses that night for same-sex couples who have long-waited for the right to marry.

    "My wife and I will also be there personally to witness the historic moment,” Ramirez said. “I believe marriage is just a legal pact between two adults, and there needs to be a separation of church and state.” Ramirez got approval to open the second-floor courthouse office where passports and marriage licenses are issued from the Osceola County Commission this week.

    He's so modest! Only 30?? He might be there all night.

  • 187. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    And he got the permission from the Osceloa County Commissioners to boot!

    Yeah not really sure where he got the 30 number from. There is likely some pent up demand for licenses, just not idea what the count would be in Kissimmee (although a significant amount of Disney's workforce is in both Oscela and Orange counties – where I do my consulting work at). Then there are those couples like me where I didn't wait for Florida and went and got hitched in D.C. this summer.

    In less than 48 hours, we will have the State's reply to Judge Hinkle's order on the motion to clarify! Very excited to read it and see which direction the state takes: the high road and assert all clerks are bound by the decision, or ignorance of the law and our judiciary and require Judge Hinkle to do the heavy lifting.

  • 188. RnL2008  |  December 27, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Thanks for the update… makes me still have faith in the system and to know that come the 6th, there will be some Counties willing to follow the Court orders.

  • 189. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 28, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I may be being (oddly for a change) glass-half-full, but I honestly believe after the Washington County Clerk's motion to clarify (THANK YOU!), Judge Hinkle chastising the state in his procedural order for replies to that motion, the upcoming reply brief by the State of Florida tomorrow, and the order on the motion to clarify, we will have all 67 counties complying with the injunction come 1/6/15 and marriage equality fully in the state.

    Also with Brenner stating right here on EoT that both the security of $500 was paid (in August right after the decision) and each County Clerk has been served with the order per paragraph 4 of the order which is the injunction. BOOM!

  • 190. scream4ever  |  December 28, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Yup, and Kansas and Missouri will follow suit soon too!

  • 191. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    I'm still very perplexed by Kansas. It has a federal court order enjoining the state, backed by a 10CA precedent in Kitchen, and no stay pending appeal (denied by 10CA and SCOTUS). How is the State getting away with not recognizing the marriages and some counties not granting licenses???

  • 192. VIRick  |  December 28, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Ryan, they're getting away with it because of the presence of two major asshats-in-charge:

    1. Kansas Governor Brownback has ordered all Kansas state governmental departments (except for KDHE) to not implement any change in policy, thus blocking the state recognition aspect of marriages between same-sex couples for other Kansas state governmental purposes, like providing spousal benefits for state employees.

    2. Kansas AG Schmidt continues to assert that his own personal legal opinion is the sole legal opinion that matters, and HE has determined that each of the 31 chief state district judges can independently decide for themselves whether or not they wish to approve a marriage license for a same-sex couple.

    Of course, neither has a legal leg to stand on.

    At the moment, #1 continues to be the more acute problem, as 17 of the 31 state judges, so far, have chosen (perhaps much to #2's chagrin) to approve marriage licenses for same-sex couples, thus nearly defeating #2's strategy.

  • 193. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Well what the hell is Judge Crabtree waiting for? Why isn't he as pissed off as Judge Hinkle and domsomething about it? I'd be all over that if a state executive and agencies were in blatant violation of my order.

    Amend the order and put the Governor and the 31 chief state district judges as enjoined by the order. Done and done.

  • 194. DrBriCA  |  December 28, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    The state officials are not throwing in the towel through looking for any loophole by having the narrowest reading possible of the order. Hopefully their briefs for the recently amended complaint (that included more plaintiffs and defendants) is either due or has already been submitted so that the judge can clarify things there with broader implications for issuing AND recognizing marriages.

  • 195. montezuma58  |  December 29, 2014 at 1:05 am

    When someone is relying on nit picky technicalities or tenuous loopholes it's a good sign they've already lost. Only in this case the people who count, attorneys that officially represent FL government entities, are being vague or silent (except for a couple of states attorneys saying they won't prosecute clerks for abiding by the court order).

    Remember the firm that issued the memo is not officially tied to any government function in Florida. The name of the firm's client gives the memo the appearance it is some sort of opinion from an attorney representing the state. The memo essentially carries no more weight than the unsolicited legal advice NOM has sent to county officials in other states as different suits played out.

    In my opinion the advice from the attorneys representig the clerks association is bad advice. While it is technically possibly correct interpretation, it glosses over the fact that the role of clerks in other counties is legally indistinguishable from the clerk's role in Wahongton county. Therefore any action to keep enforcing florida's ban will very likely meet the same fate.

    You can find an attorney to tell you what you want to hear but a good one will tell you both the pros and cons. To me the attorneys' for the clerk's association is just taking a CYA position as the state is more likely to take immediate adverse action against clerks acting in favor of marriage equality than the Feds would against clerks dragging their feet, even though either is not really very likely.

  • 196. DrBriCA  |  December 29, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Excellent points about the Florida situation! I was talking more about Kansas in my specific reply. I apologize if I wasn't as clear!

  • 197. VIRick  |  December 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Another amicus brief has been filed with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the plaintiffs in "Brenner v. Armstrong," signed by dozens of major corporations, among them: Amazon, AT&T, Bloomberg, CBS, Delta, Deutsche Bank, eBay, Electronic Arts, General Electric, Levi Strauss, Marriott, Oracle, Pfizer, Staples, Symantec, Target, and Viacom. From the brief:

    "We are located and/or do business in Florida, Georgia, or Alabama, all of which prohibit marriages between couples of the same sex and refuse to recognize existing same-sex marriages. State laws and constitutions denying marriage to gay and lesbian citizens are bad for our businesses. Amici are forced to bear unnecessary costs, complexity, and risk in managing our companies, and we are hampered in our efforts to recruit and retain the most talented workforce possible—all of which places us at a competitive disadvantage. Our success depends upon the welfare and morale of all employees, without distinction. The burden, imposed by state law, of having to administer complicated schemes designed to account for differential treatment of similarly-situated employees interferes with our business and creates unnecessary confusion, tension, and ultimately, diminished employee morale. We write to advise the Court of the impact on employers of the disparate treatment mandated by states that refuse to permit or recognize marriages between same-sex couples."

  • 198. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    If anything talks, it's big business! So I'll never turn away their support in this matter. A bit surprised to not see Disney on that list, nor any major banking institutions.

    So speaking of Brenner v. Armstrong (hand obviously tipped by 11CA with them not granting the stay pending appeal), is there a finalized briefing schedule? Curious as to when that is all said and done so that the 11CA clerk can schedule it for orals.

    Follow-up to that: When (not if) SCOTUS certiorari in one or more of the 6CA cases on the 9th or 16th, will the 11CA simply put Brenner on hold pending judgement in those cases?

  • 199. micha1976  |  December 28, 2014 at 3:49 am

    As a German, I am a bit miffed when you say "no major banking institution" while our biggest bank is among the amici… 😉

  • 200. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 28, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Crap… I went right by Deutsche Bank – it even says BANK! My sincere apologies, as it was a late night oversight. :). Glad to see some country's bank is stepping up to the plate – where the hell is Citi, JPChase, and BofA?

    I'd down-vote myself if I could! Others, feel free! 🙂

  • 201. VIRick  |  December 28, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Ryan, that's not necessarily a complete list of all the national corporations that signed on to that amicus brief. Note:

    "….signed by dozens of major corporations, among them:…."

    I copied that commentary from a posting on another website, and didn't take the time to hunt down the original brief so as to record the entire list of corporations that had signed on, unlike my diligence in hunting down the original amicus brief in the companion filing, so as to note the entire list of Florida counties and cities supporting marriage equality, by having already enacted their own local LGBT non-discrimination ordinances (all of which were cited in the brief).

    In other words, they're saying, "Look judges, despite the State of Florida's continuing refusal, we're already there in Alachua, Broward, Orange, Palm Beach counties, etc."

  • 202. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I should just not reply after a certain time in the evening and/or depending on how many drinks I've had. Obviously "dozens" is more than what is listed!

    I'm going back to watching football for the day! GO STEELERS #HereWeGo

  • 203. sfbob  |  December 27, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I'm basing the following on a Daily Kos post by Frederick Clarkson, a staunch supporter of LGBT rights. He is generally quite gracious about being quoted and I assume he won't object to me quoting or paraphrasing him here.

    Somewhat off-topic (but not really) is the fact that today is, December 27, marks the anniversary of the passage, in 1786, of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom which is commemorated each year on (for some reason) January 16th. Before you misunderstand the import of this and assume as the Christian Right does that it marks some sort of triumph of religious privilege, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, authored by Thomas Jefferson, and shepherded to passage by James Madison, prior to both of them helping to draft the Constitution, rejected the establishment of ANY religion as the official religion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is the basis of what most of us here understand by the phrase "separation of church and state." It further served as the basis of the wording of the First Amendment and of the "no religious test" clause of the Constitution.

    The Act "provided that no one can be compelled to attend any religious institution or to underwrite it with taxes; that individuals are free to believe as they will and that this 'shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.'"

    The so-called "religious freedom" laws that are currently being proposed or passed in any number of states for the express purpose of allowing supposed religious views to trump civil equality are in fact in direct opposition to the intent of the Act and of the meaning of Religious Freedom Day.

  • 204. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I would argue that the Maryland Toleration Act of 1649 was a forerunner of any later religious freedom acts. Rhode Island, through a series of colonial legislative acts beginning in 1636, also preceded the Virginia act.

    Rhode Island said ANY religion, the Maryland act only applied to Trinitarian Xians.

    The Maryland Toleration Act of 1649 was repealed in 1654 when Maryland Colony was invaded by Puritans from Virginia at the behest of Oliver Cromwell. It was reinstated after the Puritans were evicted from Maryland, but repealed again in 1692. And even when the law was placed back on the books, there was another law that was passed at the behest of Oliver Cromwell that prohibited Catholicism from being practiced. That law was on the books until the American Revolutionary War era (a major reason there are many 'private chapels' spread around the state of Maryland).

    Although many think of Maryland being 'a Catholic colony', Catholicism was never the majority belief in the colony. And even today, adherents of Catholicism make up about 23%-24% of the state's population, less than many other states (in Rhode Island, for example, the latest estimate is more than 60% of the population is Catholic).

    The Maryland Toleration Act of 1649, as well as the acts ratified into law in Rhode Island, were (IMO) thus forerunners of the Virginia act, even though there were major differences.

    The colonial laws in Rhode Island are credited with the 'separation of church and state' idea, but I would argue that the idea (if not the exact phrasing) was created in 1634 when the Maryland colonial governor placed the Governor's mansion directly between the colonial legislative building (what would be considered today the 'state legislative building' and the colony's chapel in the then-capital of the colony, St. Mary's City (Annapolis became the capital of Maryland colony in 1694).

    (Some of my ancestors [they were Protestants, not Catholic] were aboard the original colonial ships [The Ark and The Dove] the original Maryland colonists emigrated from Great Britain on. After arriving in the New World, the ships were burned, thus they carried colonists to Maryland only once.)

  • 205. sfbob  |  December 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you Mike. I appreciate the perspective. Some of those twists I was aware of, others not at all.

    I'm inclined to think that the tortured history of religious "tolerance" in Maryland served as a lesson to the Commonwealth of Virginia and to Jefferson and Madison. Going back and forth about what's acceptable and what isn't is really not a thing; better to throw the doors wide open and use the Constitution as a means of ensuring that they stay that way.

  • 206. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I think Jefferson and Madison used the experiences of both Maryland and Rhode Island as the basis for their proposals.

    One thing I think really scared them was a provision in the Maryland Toleration Act that sentenced to death anyone who denied the divinity of jebus. In that respect (and toleration of ALL religions), IMO, the Rhode Island laws were superior to those in Maryland.

  • 207. VIRick  |  December 27, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Here's what I posted at the time of its happening (on a different website):

    "As of 14 November 2014, the Florida AG has finally and at long last submitted the state of Florida's opening brief to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta in their appeal of Judge Hinkle's ruling in both 'Brenner v. Armstrong' and 'Grimsley v. Armstrong.'"

    She did so on the last possible date, previously having asked for, and been granted, a 30-day filing extension, while she diddled around appealing the assorted state court decisions during her "let the Florida Supreme Court decide" mode, ignoring the fact that Judge Hinkle's 91-day clock on his stay in the federal suit had began ticking on 6 October 2014. At the time, I'm certain she assumed she would be granted a stay extension by either Judge Hinkle, the 11th Cicuit Court, or the Supreme Court.

    Later, I then posted this:

    "As of today, 16 December 2014, the plaintiff-appellees have also filed their reply briefs with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in the on-going appeal of the same cases, 'Brenner v. Armstrong' and 'Grimsley v. Armstrong.'"

    Bondi's final response brief is now due, after which the 11th Circuit Court can schedule the hearing date for the two cases. However, once the Supreme Court grants certiorari to any one (or more) of the 5 cases presently before it for consideration, it's very likely that the 11th Circuit Court will place its proceedings on hold, pending the decision handed down by the Supreme Court.

    Still, this whole appeal deal of Bondi's is a futile waste of taxpayer money (although I'm certain she'll plod on with it), as marriage equality will come to Florida, as per Judge Hinkle's order, at 12:01 AM on 6 January in Kissimmee and Key West (if nowhere else in the state until regular morning court hours).

  • 208. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Bondi's final reply brief is now due? Do we know when the due date was/is, and if they have filed that final brief? I assume it an automatic opt-out of the final brief if not submitted on time.

    I agree with this scheduling of oral arguments upcoming and the 5CA hearing in early January, once SCOTUS grants certiorari on the 6CA cases, I imagine everything gets put on hold – vibe it by the Circuit Courts themselves or by way of a motion to stay the proceedings.

  • 209. VIRick  |  December 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Bondi's final reply brief has yet to be filed. However, unless she managed to obtain a filng extension, I do believe it's due by 30 December (someone correct me if I'm mistaken).

    The poor thing must be totally over-worked. She gets to deal with Judge Hinkle on the 29th, then immediately turn around and file the same-old same-old something, already trite and worn-out, with the 11th Circuit Court.

  • 210. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Must make it difficult to find that fourth husband when she has to read those briefs put together for her by others that she might not understand (okay…was that too low of a blow?).

    Well looks like we will have some reading to do this upcoming week then, with two briefs from Bondi and a like order from Judge Hinkle. Who knows, maybe even an Arkansas SC ruling!

  • 211. VIRick  |  December 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    FOURTH husband??? Since a "commitment ceremony in the Cayman Islands" is not legally-recognized by the State of Florida as a valid marriage, the present-day #3 doesn't count. That glitch in her personal life legally reduces her down to the status of being guilty of "heterosexual cohabitation," a practice which is still barred by Florida statute.

  • 212. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Where is a social conservative State Attorney when you really want one?

    Although a commitment ceremony in the Caymen Islands doesn't sound too shabby!

  • 213. RnL2008  |  December 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    I saw this and was wondering WTF……but then I realized it was regarding Bondi and it all made more sense…….lol

  • 214. Raga  |  December 27, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Wow… Posner is getting quoted even in Indian news articles! The two approaches currently underway in India to get its archaic sodomy law repealed are (1) legislative action (2) petition for Supreme Court rehearing of the Koushal case ("curative petition"). The chances of success on both avenues are extremely slim, if not nonexistent. This article proposes a novel new approach, which it claims is already underway – utilize the poor reasoning behind the Koushal judgment to narrow its scope. It cites parallel approaches from both the UK and US:

    "Richard Posner, the renowned American jurist, describes this as “boiling the frog.” The unpleasant analogy is that if you want to boil a frog, you put it in warm water and gradually turn up the heat — if you were to drop it in boiling water, it would jump out at you. Koushal’s emasculation has begun. The water may not be boiling — but it is warm."

  • 215. VIRick  |  December 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    OMG! So, one of Posner's many choice posnerisms, specifically this one regarding "boiling the frog," will forever live on as a key element of Indian jurisprudence!

    Go figure.

  • 216. yyyAllenyyy  |  December 28, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Boiling the frog isn't new to Posner. It's a famous metaphor that goes back decades.

  • 217. Raga  |  December 28, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Yeah, but I guess Posner first applied the analogy to the legal scenario? I tired to find a quote of him online, but couldn't.

  • 218. VIRick  |  December 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    "….Posner first applied the analogy to the legal scenario…."

    Yes, Posner is reknowned for taking quaint, well-established colloquial expressions and applying them to case law. Once successfully utilized in such a manner, the application then becomes known as a posnerism.

    One of my favorites is his flippant use of "Go figure" as a summation of his opinion, after destroying circular argumentation, by carefully following its line of reasoning, step by step, all the way around the circle, right back to its starting point.

  • 219. Sagesse  |  December 28, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I don't have a source, but I heard about 'boiling a frog' when I was a kid… a long time ago… when the earth was cooling.

  • 220. hopalongcassidy  |  December 28, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    heehee…I suspect the first neanderthal who thought "that thing looks tasty, I'll try cooking it" discovered the principle.

  • 221. JayJonson  |  December 29, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Can someone clarify a few questions about Florida marriage law?

    Can a Florida marriage license obtained in one county be used in another?

    Is there a waiting period after applying for the license to its issuance?

    Is there a waiting period after obtaining the license and then having the ceremony?

    If there are waiting periods, may they be waived by paying an additional fee or by presenting a good excuse?

  • 222. 1grod  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Q: Do both persons have to appear in the county clerk’s office to obtain the license?
    A: Generally – yes. If one of the persons to be married is not able to go to the clerk’s office because of illness or other reason, he or she should contact the clerk to see if special arrangements can be made.
    Q: Use of license and for how long are marriage licenses valid.
    A: Marriage licenses are for use within the State for sixty-60 days. They must be returned to the Clerk's Office for recording within 10 days after the marriage is performed
    Q: Waiting Period and waiver
    A: If either partners is a Florida resident, there is a 3 day delay in the effective date of the marriage license, unless the Florida resident completes a premarital course by a provider who is registered with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.Exceptions to the delayed effective date must be granted for individuals asserting hardship who have been granted a waiver by a county court judge. If only one of the couples is a Florida resident and the Florida resident takes the course, there is no waiting period. There is no waiting period for couples from out of state.
    Q: What if I have been married before?
    A: If either applicant has been previously married, the exact date of the last divorce, death, or annulment must be provided. In some counties, proof of how the last marriage terminated must be present e.g., divorce decree or death certificate.
    Q: What is the county/state fee for obtaining a marriage license?
    A: The marriage license fee is $93.50. There is a reduction for all couples who complete the premarital preparation course, making the marriage license cost $61.00 for these couples.
    Q: Are witnesses required to sign the marriage certificate?
    A: Although the marriage certificate has spaces for two witnesses to sign, witnesses are not specifically required by law.

  • 223. guitaristbl  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Gosh marriage licenses in Florida are expensive !

  • 224. josejoram  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    What's the procedure (where can I read it) to getting recognition of my Argentinean marriage by Florida authorities?

  • 225. JayJonson  |  December 30, 2014 at 5:44 am


  • 226. wes228  |  December 29, 2014 at 6:49 am

    So no word yet on that brief on the motion to clarify the order in Florida that was due "by Monday"? (What is it with this judge and these vague deadlines…the brief is due "by Monday"…the stay ends "at the end of the day" January 5…what about an exact time here?).

    Also, the Arkansas Supreme Court presumably has only today, Tuesday, and Wednesday to issue its marriage equality decision. Is anyone who is familiar with the Arkansas judiciary expecting this to go into next year? Wouldn't they have to re-do oral arguments before the new panel of justices taking their seats on that court?

  • 227. franklinsewell  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Re: Arkansas… They released opinions on Monday, December 22, outside of their usual Thursday release date. I hope we will hear from them before Wednesday,

  • 228. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:26 am

    I expect the State of Florida, through their eminent Attorney General, will supply their reply to the procedural order on the motion to clarify by 5pm EST. What I don't know is how the hell to get a hold of it other than waiting for a newspaper to post it or Raga to post on here.

  • 229. wes228  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Equality Case Files on Facebook posts everything.

  • 230. sfbob  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:51 am

    You can also find the specific briefs on Scribd:

  • 231. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Fifth Circuit Panel Released: Higginbotham, Smith, Graves. Reagan, Reagan and Obama respectively. Higginbotham authored a majority opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas, upholding the University's affirmative action policy. That was appealed to SCOTUS, which vacated and remanded back to the Fifth, asking them to apply strict scrutiny. Higginbotham again wrote the majority opinion, again upholding affirmative action even under strict scrutiny. (The Fifth then denied rehearing en banc and the case is back on its way to SCOTUS.) Forget Smith. Our best hope for a 2-1 victory now is if Higginbotham and Graves vote to strike down the bans. Graves is an Obama appointee, but he was also a Mississippi Supreme Court Justice before that. Higginbotham's Wikipedia page lists notable cases which, collectively, don't paint a terrible picture of him.

    A while back, many of us discussed the worst judges of the Fifth Circuit, and Higginbotham and Graves weren't on that list. Does anyone know more about these two?

  • 232. SethInMaryland  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:21 am

    i can't say for say for certain but i think we just got the best we could hope for, we might actually might win in the 5th with this panel

  • 233. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Considering there are several Clinton, Carter, and two more Obama appointees on the Circuit besides Graves, we could've done better in the judge lottery.

    Oddly enough, Reagan appointees aren't necessarily a bad thing as Walker and several other equality-friendly judges are/were Reagan appointess and so is Justice Kennedy.

  • 234. JayJonson  |  December 30, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Of course, if we do win with this panel, the states will ask for an en banc review, and we will lose there.

    But in fact I don't expect an opinion ever to be issued in these cases. Once SCOTUS grants cert in a marriage case, everything will stop.

  • 235. Zack12  |  December 30, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Indeed and that is what I'm hoping for.
    Those thinking we can survive en banc in the 5th and 8th circuits are kidding themselves.

  • 236. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Why is Smith a write-off, Raga?

  • 237. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:11 am

    If he is as bad as some of the people who have clerked for him, we're in trouble.
    Tom Cotton, the U.S. Senator from Arkansas is one of them.

  • 238. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Oh geez…that guy.

  • 239. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:20 am

    I remember that he made the list of worst judges in the previous discussion on the subject. Don't remember the specifics.

  • 240. guitaristbl  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Only the way he handled ACA proves it IMO : He asked DOJ to file a letter explaining Obama's views on judicial review after he questioned the authority of SCOTUS to strike down the law.
    Other than that he striked down affirmative action etc etc
    That said Higginbotham also upheld a Ten Commandments plaque in the Texas state Capitol. He vigorously defended affirmative action in Fisher but that does not say much IMO. Drawing lines between those two cases is dangerous given that when it comes to SCOTUS for example such a comparison works against us given Schuette.

  • 241. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Reading the comments on the ECF post on Facebook. One commentator, Mark Szabo, has some positive things to say about Higginbotham. I think he's more likely to be on our side than not:

  • 242. guitaristbl  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Thanks for the link ! All the information provided is encouraging (plus that he was in the run up for SCOTUS but Kennedy was nominated instead) but its still a longshot to say he would strike down all 3 bans in the circuit in the bastions of conservatism. Not that he has anything to lose if he does so but still.

    Oh and I finally got to see what our webmaster, Scottie, looks like lol !

  • 243. guitaristbl  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:17 am

    It could be worse of course (We avoided the likes of Edith Clement, Leslie Southwick etc) but it is a no no and no in my opinion, still meaning a unanimous anti equality opinion. I expect Smith to be the most vicious one, even at oral arguments. He is a right wing hack of the worst kind. Higginbotham seems kind of more moderate and practical but I expect him to be a slightly worse version of Sutton as well. And then out of the three Obama appointees we had to get the least likely one to rule in our favour. A Mississipi democrat who has served on the state Supreme Court and practices one of the most fundumentalist forms of Christianity. It will be the most moderate or 2nd most moderate no here.
    All in all SCOTUS must grant cert soon or I can see Smith already starting to write a vicious opinion and release it a day or two after oral arguments.

  • 244. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:55 am

    If this is indeed such an awful panel, they won't care about SCOTUS granting cert. They'll still write, regardless.

  • 245. guitaristbl  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I don't think it is as awful to do that, try to ignore SCOTUS. Smith may be actually but I expect the other 2, whether they are for equality or not, to be more reasonable at least on this subject.

  • 246. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Personally, if they are going to rule against us, I would have rather gotten the Clements and Southwicks.
    I hate how some anti-equality folks think there is a "nice" way to tell us that we're going to stay second class citizens.

  • 247. GregInTN  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Panel announced for 5th Circuit cases

  • 248. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Having looked up James Graves Jr's bio, I have a bad feeling that if SCOTUS doesn't grant cert (which would put a halt to all cases) we are going to see the first Obama nominee rule against us.
    He is a practicing Seventh-day Adventist and all you need to know about them is that they are a very, very conservative sect of Christianity.
    If you want to know what they think of the LGBT community, simply look to Uganda and Nigeria where they have been very active in passing the anti-gay laws there.
    This doesn't mean he won't rule against us but it is a big red flag to me, especially the interviews he's given where he states that he brings his faith to his job.
    We'll know soon enough but I think we should take the lessons of the 6th circuit to heart.
    If a judge sounds like he or she is going to rule against us, they probably are.

  • 249. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Senior and high-ranking Mormon Judge Kimball in Utah upheld the validity of the marriages performed in the interim in a very thorough and well-written opinion. We'll have to wait for orals for more info.

  • 250. guitaristbl  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I do not think its wise to compare judges in more western states to southern judges. There is a good reason the south is so notorious when it comes to backwards mentality.

  • 251. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Agreed, but my point is different: it is also not wise to compare judges based on their personal religious affiliation (alone). However, Zack does say he has given interviews that he "brings his faith to his job" which concerns me.

  • 252. guitaristbl  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:34 am

    I am stepping on a fine line here but it should be noted that Mormons handled ME with much more dignity and respect when it came to Utah and the Mormon church even supports basic anti discrimination protection for LGBT people.
    The southern churches (baptists and all that jazz) still do not allow for sodomy laws to be officially repealed even if they cannot be enforced and they will push "license to discriminate" bills as soon as ME comes to the likes of Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. They would hang us on a stick if they could any day.

    I am not trying to say the Mormons are good, especially not after what they did with prop 8 but I am just comparing actions and reactions here.

  • 253. A_Jayne  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:39 am

    OTOH, Judge Robert Jones, (R-Mormon) upheld the NV anti-gay law and amendment in October, 2012, calling "gay marriage" a "new right" as opposed to recognizing that, as equal citizens, gay people deserve the same rights…

    (His decision looks at the marriage equality fight in much the same way as Sutton, Cook, Friedman, Perez-Gimenez have done since…)

  • 254. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    IMO, Judge Robert Jones should have had a complaint filed against him even though it wouldn't go anywhere.
    He had his mind made up before arguments were even made then recused himself so he wouldn't have to issue the gay marriage order.
    There is no way for anyone to say with a straight face that his religion didn't play a part in that.
    He's a totally unprofessional right wing hack like many of the judges George W put on the bench and should be gone.

  • 255. Steve84  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:50 am

    That is outweighed by two extremely homophobic Mormon judges and BYU graduates upholding the bans in Hawaii and Nevada.

  • 256. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Ha ha. Of course. Again, I'm just saying that it can't be taken for granted that one's religious affiliation alone dictates how they would rule. That's all.

  • 257. samiscat  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:25 am

    One of these is Robert Clive Jones, in Nevada, right? Could you give me the other name for Hawaii?

  • 258. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    The judge who ruled against us in Hawaii was senior Judge Alan Kay, who spouted the same crap all the other anti-gay judges have in that the legislature and the voters are the only ones who get to decide on civil rights.

  • 259. netoschultz  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Agree, he was also the judge who signed in denying fast-track in the 5th circuit marriage cases, he signed the stay in Mississippi saying its good the possibilities of a reversal, etc.

  • 260. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Indeed, anything can happen but when a judge says something like that. it's a safe bet he will be a no vote.

  • 261. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:02 am

    A week from Friday is SCOTUS' conference…is everyone in as much suspense as I? :o)

  • 262. franklinsewell  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I am in much suspense, and require daily wiggles. 😉

  • 263. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Don't we all? Hehehe

  • 264. StraightDave  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Not really. I can't imagine any plausible way they can deny cert to all of those cases from the 6th, not after the events since Oct 6. The only real suspense is whether the orders come on Jan 12 or 19, and which cases. Denying all or relisting more than once is <10% IMO. It's going to be more like "OK, here we go, just like everyone figured".

  • 265. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Oh, come on, SD. Humor me. Hehe.

  • 266. StraightDave  |  December 29, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was being much too technical – my wife's pet peeve. Not trying to be a downer, really. I do share your anticipation, excitement, hope, etc. Cert would be another big step forward along the path and worth a big celebration. Cert now, coupled with the Oct 6 denials pretty much tells the story, +/- gory details and the inevitable Scalia sideshow. I was just expressing what I felt was the limited suspense/mystery and my naive taking it all for granted. I would genuinely be shocked at no cert. (though LA may be denied outright as premature)

    PS: Wish we could get a recording of Scalia's dissent from the bench. Can you image it being replayed in gay bars coast to coast as entertainment?

  • 267. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 29, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Much better! That's the enthusiasm I was looking for! 🙂

    Gods…I would love to watch Scalia argle-bargling himself all the way home while we're doing our victory dances, hahaha.

  • 268. VIRick  |  December 29, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Scalia's next frantic, unhinged argle-bargle with be priceless, complete with foaming mouth and bulging eyes, and perhaps so extreme that even Clarabel won't sign on to it.

  • 269. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:49 am

    It is their first conference after winter break. They have 25 petitions to consider (including three relists from the previous conference). Five out of these are marriage cases. That's 20% 🙂

  • 270. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Remind me please…Is it the case that cert grants typically get announced the day of the conference, and then an orders list comes out the following Monday (assuming no federal holiday) which is where the list of those not being granted come out?

    I thought we'd hear on the 9th if it was granted, the 12th if it was somehow denied (NOT HAPPENING), or if we hear neither, then we know it'll be delisted for the 16th likely.

    Am I smoking something?

  • 271. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I just checked SCOTUSblog, and the Justices most recent conference was on Friday, 12/12, and that afternoon, four new cases were granted, with the "Order List" released the following Monday indicating cases that were not granted or view of the SG were requested:

    "On Monday the Court issued additional orders from the December 12 Conference, which Lyle covered here. No new cases were granted. The views of the Solicitor General were called for in one case. The Justices granted four new cases from the December 12 Conference on Friday afternoon; Lyle reported on those grants."

    So we should hear on Friday afternoon of the 9th if any of the ME cases are granted cert. If not, then we likely wait another week, as I can't imagine it'll show up on the Orders List on Monday 1/12/15 showing cert denied.

  • 272. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Yeah, this term, the practice seems to be that the cases granted are made known the afternoon of the conference day itself. And a second orders list is released on the Monday after the conference informing us of the fate of the other cases (denied or relisted).

  • 273. franklinsewell  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Here's an Uh-Oh re: Arkansas:

    No news on a possible decision this year. A quote from the Supreme Court's communications person: "Alas, I have no news for you. I do not anticipate that we’ll see a decision before the new term, but anything is possible. As I’ve explained before, I am not allowed to announce decisions before they are handed down, so I couldn’t tell you anyway. But I’m not optimistic.

    If anything DOES happen, though, I’ll let you know immediately."

  • 274. hopalongcassidy  |  December 29, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Well, in 58 hours it will have its new composition and its new term…

  • 275. DrBriCA  |  December 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    One thing I've been wondering: Why does the impending Republican switch of the court matter for this decision?

    Shouldn't the decision have been voted on by the judges who actually heard the case? I believe that with SCOTUS, for example, if a new justice is appointed to the bench, that justice can't cast a vote in cases he/she didn't hear. So even though the make up of the Arkansas SC is about to get more conservative, why wouldn't the pending decision have been voted on and written by the current crop of judges?

  • 276. bythesea66  |  December 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Good question. I have been wondering the same thing when I see fears being expressed about the composition, but don't the justices that heard the case have to be who rules on it regardless?

  • 277. F_Young  |  December 29, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Back in the Shadows: The Perils of Being LGBT in India

    Raga, I'm curious what you think about this article from Newsweek.

  • 278. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Long, but well written, with personal stories that make it appealing, I would think, to the larger population as well. What do you do when even the police, who are supposed to protect you, are against you? I've heard worse horror stories, closer to where I'm from (Chennai). Here is a sample:

    The culprit is ignorance, and the fear that it spawns. Easier identified than eradicated 🙁

    The article said it best – unlike in the West, there is no openly gay culture here, no Ellen DeGeneres show on television, no Harvey Milk in politics, no Jason Collins in sports. Even during the four years during which homosexuality wasn’t a crime, gays and lesbians still failed to break into popular culture. “To Indians, we don’t exist,” says Anis Ray Chaudhuri.

  • 279. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm


  • 280. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Any one up to snuff on Federal procedure and what is the specified deadlines for a order given by a judge when only the date is provided and not a specific time?

  • 281. Pbrover  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I have been checking online since this morning awaiting news of their reply. I have found that EOT has been the best source to be informed of breaking news. And all of the comments from this group are so spot on and interesting! You guys are great!

  • 282. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I'd like to hold AG Bondi in contempt of court. SHOW ME THE BRIEF!

    I think she's scared to admit to the ignorance shown thus far.

  • 283. 1grod  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    (4) “Last Day” Defined. Unless a different time is set by a statute, local rule, or court order, the last day ends:
    (A) for electronic filing in the district court, at midnight in the court's time zone;
    (B) for electronic filing in the court of appeals, at midnight in the time zone of the circuit clerk's principal office;
    (C) for filing under Rules 4(c)(1), 25(a)(2)(B), and 25(a)(2)(C)—and filing by mail under Rule 13(b)—at the latest time for the method chosen for delivery to the post office, third-party commercial carrier, or prison mailing system; and
    (D) for filing by other means, when the clerk's office is scheduled to close.

  • 284. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Not specifically related to this brief that is due by her Office, but since it's related to her:

    FL AG Pam Bondi was named the FL Politics Loser of the Year by the Tampa Bay Times:

  • 285. hopalongcassidy  |  December 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    "…Bondi has a bright political future ahead of her — if she moves to Mississippi."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA…no shit.

  • 286. GregInTN  |  December 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    While we're waiting for Bondi, here is the reply from the plaintiffs:

  • 287. sfbob  |  December 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Not sure if this has come out previously but the plaintiffs' brief notes the following:

    "The Health and DMS Secretaries [two of the named defendants; not sure what 'DMS' stands for] acknowledge that the injunctions as to them would have statewide effect, because the Secretaries have statewide duties and the order preliminary enjoins them from enforcing the marriage laws."

    And their stay requests to the Eleventh Circuit and to SCOTUS are specifically referenced.

    In case there was any doubt that the state and the clerks are lying about the breadth and effect of Hinkle's injunction well…doubt no further.

  • 288. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Yes, but the argument they're making is that clerks of court are not agents of these state officials, but agents of the respective counties. Even if this flimsy defense is assumed to be true and they are not "agents", the clerks are, at a bare minimum, surely acting "in concert with" these state officials, and hence paragraph 4 should cover them as well. This has been neatly articulated in the Plaintiffs' brief.

    The other part that is pointed out in their brief is the severability aspect – the statute that criminalizes issuance of licenses cannot stand on its own, once the statute prohibiting issuance itself has been held unconstitutional. Prime analogy – Loving, where the statues criminalizing issuance of the licenses were automatically held toothless once the statute prohibiting such marriages was held unconstitutional.

    I fully expect Hinkle to put an end to this tomorrow or Wednesday.

  • 289. GregInTN  |  December 29, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I noticed that the Dec. 15th memorandum from the attorneys for the Clerks association doesn't even mention paragraph 4 of Judge Hinkle's order. It only quotes paragraph 6.Talk about cherry picking!

  • 290. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    So narrow minded, so tunnel visioned they were all to Paragraph 6, not realizing that it was the specific part from the order (like paragraph 5 for the death certificate) to grant relief to the Plantiffs, whereas those paragraphs received their capabilities based on the opinion and application of paragraph 4.

    Okay, it's obvious at this point we aren't getting this reply from AG Bondi until 11:59pm on the west tip of the panhandle.

  • 291. VIRick  |  December 29, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Ryan, Tallahassee is on Eastern time, not Panhandle time. She's filing wih Judge Hinkle in Tallahassee, not with some newly-elected clerk in Washington county (which IS on Panhandle time).

    Still, Bondi does have a habit of delaying until the absolute last minute to file/appeal/whatever.

  • 292. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Precisely… So somehow she will rationalize that since this is a statewide issue now, she has until 12:59am EST / 11:59pm CST to file her reply.

    I can't believe its not been filed as of yet. Could we maybe just not have access to it?

  • 293. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    BAH! I just read that in the Plantiffs rely myself. Well shit, what's left for Bondi to really say other than she doesn't believe that County Clerks are agents or work on concert with the defendants and they need added as proper defendants per what is in the original order to ensure all relief can be given.

    DMS = Department of Management Services. Florida agency that a lot of administrative tasks are handled under, and where County Clerks interface with the state.

  • 294. VIRick  |  December 29, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    DMS – Department of Management Services, the office which, among other items, provides the State of Florida marriage license forms to each of the 67 county clerks of court.

    Each county clerk clerk does not independently invent their own form for their county. Instead, they utilize a standard form authorized by the State of Florida, and issued to them by the State of Florida, and which on its heading states: State of Florida Marriage License. Just on this point alone, it appears rather obvious that these 67 county clerks are all agents of the state.

    Plus, the counties themselves are creatures of the state, that is, they were created by the state and receive their authority from the state. Thus, any/all county officials are acting on behalf of the state.

  • 295. sfbob  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    I finally figured out what DMS stood for (I've got a headcold; that's my excuse du jour) and was in the process of updating when Raga responded to my comment.

    I most heartily support the notion that the county clerks, the marriage forms and legally-specified marriage rules and processes are creatures of the state and any attempt to pawn them off as independent is utter nonsense.

  • 296. flyerguy77  |  December 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    It sounds like Bondi has a lot of explaining to do… I suspect the judge will tell the clerks you must issue marriage licenses or contempt of court..

  • 297. weaverbear  |  December 29, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    IANAL, but my husband is. He postulated this weekend there is another possibility for what SCOTUS might do at their Jan 9th conference, other than grant or deny cert in the cases from the 6th circuit and it was one I wasn't familiar with. He suggested one further possibility would be to kick the case back to the 6th citing other case law and suggest to the 6th they got it wrong based on already decided case law.

    Anybody else out there think this is a likelihood ore even a possibility?

    Raga, any thoughts?

  • 298. flyerguy77  |  December 29, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I have same thoughts about how SCOTUS could vacate the 6th Circuit of Appeals decision and tell them to rehear the case and base the decisions to cite other cases and previous decisions from SCOTUS I have a feeling that they don't want to hear these cases if they really need to..

  • 299. DrBriCA  |  December 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    It would certainly be amusing, but others have noted on previous threads that Fundamentalist Sutton is not going to budge on his ruling. He overturned the rulings based on Baker v Nelson but still discussed the merits as he saw them. So even if SCOTUS told him that Baker is no more, he still could be stubborn and reissue the ruling again excluding the old Baker precedent. Thus, SCOTUS would have to likely remand and tell the 6th to address both Baker being dead as well as throw enough recent case law at Sutton that he'd be forced to rethink the opinion. By that point, the justices would already be halfway toward writing an opinion anyway.

    The 5th will also likely rule against marriage equality unless SCOTUS definitively rules, so avoiding the topic with non-precedent-setting means will still just kick the can toward another round of cert petitions in a couple months.

  • 300. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Indeed, there really is no point in trying to get Sutton and Cook to change their minds, they are pretty set.
    And even if that happened, the 5th and 8th circuits will certainly rule against us, there is really no reason for SCOTUS to keep dragging this out.

  • 301. Rick55845  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I believe RBG stated in an interview about a month ago that SCOTUS would not turn away a case that was properly before them.

  • 302. 1grod  |  December 29, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Is there doubt that the 5th and 11th circuits would also take note.

  • 303. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Yes, it is called a GVR (Grant-Vacate-Remand) – Grant certiorari, Vacate judgment, Remand back to the lower court, all in one order. If Sutton had stopped after saying that this is a matter for the democratic process and not the courts, that would make sense, as SCOTUS could tell him to get to the merits. But Sutton did not stop there. He went on to cite all the existing case law (Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth) saying they all got it wrong, then considered all the arguments on the merits and upheld the ban on rational basis. A GVR wouldn't accomplish much in this case, IMHO – Sutton would simply delete the part that talks about deference to the democratic process and the rest of the opinion would still be relevant.

    But there is no knowing what SCOTUS would do, of course. If they indeed deny the Louisiana petition and GVR the Sixth Circuit petitions, I sure hope they are very very specific in stating what they want Sutton to do. Also, a GVR is unlikely to come out on the 9th itself. They will have to take time to write something, and there could be one or more dissents, and so on. If they keep relisting, we'll know something's up.

  • 304. DrBriCA  |  December 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Hehe, we posted nearly the same thing at the same time! I was actually referencing your very statements from earlier threads in my own response. I bow to the eloquence of your own posts.

  • 305. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Ah, thank you! I also just went back to Sutton's opinion and he is very thorough. He discusses each and every Supreme Court case that our side brought up for support – Loving, Cleburne, Zablocki, Turner, Glucksberg, Romer, Lawrence, Windsor – all of them. It would seem foolish for SCOTUS to remand back to the Sixth asking Sutton to reconsider in light of the other circuits and case law – he already did all that and has clearly told the world what he thinks about them.

  • 306. ianbirmingham  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I think you are making the assumption here that on remand it would go back to the same 3-judge panel. Do we know that to be the case? Could it be remanded to the 6th Circuit generally so that a new set of 3 judges would be selected, or remanded to the 6th Circuit en banc?

  • 307. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    That is usually the case, unless someone in the panel retires, dies, or otherwise becomes unavailable. Sutton's opinion is the Sixth Circuit's opinion. The identity of the panel, strictly speaking, should not play a role in the interpretation of its judgment. Therefore, when SCOTUS remands, it doesn't remand to a specific panel but the lower court, which, almost always, will try to assign it to the original panel, when available.

  • 308. ianbirmingham  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Suppose it got remanded and the same panel issued a new opinion. That new opinion could then be appealed to the 6th Circuit en banc, correct? Not sure why the original 6th Circuit ruling didn't get appealed to the 6th Circuit en banc instead of to the Supreme Court – looks like they skipped an important step!

  • 309. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Yes, but the reason they skipped it is because, given the conservative makeup of the Sixth Circuit, the chances of a reversal en banc seemed slim, and moreover, everyone wanted to get the issue to SCOTUS as soon as possible for a nationwide resolution. We've waited long enough.

    I looked up the Sixth Circuit rules on panel assignment. See page 99 (92) of

    "In appeals after this court returns a case to the lower court or agency for further proceedings, or after the Supreme Court of the United States remands a case to this court, the original panel will determine whether to hear the appeal or whether it should be assigned to a panel at random."

    So, the decision of whether a new random panel should hear the case on remand lies with the original panel.

  • 310. ianbirmingham  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    According to Wikipedia the 6th Circuit makeup is:

    Nixon appointees – 1
    Carter – 2
    Reagan – 6
    Former VP Bush – 3
    Clinton – 5
    "W" Bush – 8
    Obama – 2

    I count 9 left (including Daughtrey), 3 center-ish, 15 right (including Sutton & Cook). With a couple of defections from the right, an en banc decision could be very productive. If it goes the other way then no harm done, the Supreme Court is still available.

  • 311. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    "With a couple of defections from the right, an en banc decision could be very productive." – only for the Sixth Circuit. Knowing full well that the Supreme Court is going to settle this question nationwide in the end (losing side will surely appeal), we just want said end to be sooner rather than later.

  • 312. ianbirmingham  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    We don't know that. I remember nearly everyone being so sure the Supreme Court would take up this issue the first chance it got (even though there was no circuit split) – and it didn't. The Court may still be uninterested in hearing these cases if there is a relatively easy way to just GVR the 6th Circuit back to its senses. Then the Supremes could revert to the standard practice of denying cert when the state appeals.

  • 313. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    "We don't know that." – True, but we don't know how the other hypotheticals might play out either. IMHO, the chances of the Supreme Court eventually being the final decider of this issue nationwide are much better than getting all of the remaining circuits (First, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Eleventh) rule in favor of marriage equality without their intervention.

  • 314. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    The 6th circuit is NOT going to rule in our favor.
    Many of the conservatives on there before were bad enough but the George W ones are neocons on steroids.
    Sans Helene White, the other seven George W judges are NOT going to rule in our favor and we need to quit hoping otherwise.
    Same with the 5th and 8th. We are NOT going to get favorable rulings out of there that will survive, we just aren't.

  • 315. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Whoever devised the order at which all these federal lawsuits went through the various circuits in order to get us favorable circuit rulings first then to more conservative courts, kudos!

  • 316. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    That was kind of the plan.
    You start out with the places you are likely to win at first before you go into the harder places.

  • 317. David_Midvale_UT  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Interestingly, national LGBTQ organizations gave Mark Lawrence and Restore Our Humanity a huge pile of grief for initiating Kitchen v. Herbert, saying essentially that the Utah case was the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong plainitiffs. No one expected a Utah judge to be on the bleeding edge of the marriage equality issue. We would nominate Judge Shelby for sainthood, except in Mormon-speak, he already is.

  • 318. ianbirmingham  |  December 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    And pretty much every organization that we pay to actually fight and win same-sex marriage cases opposed AFER's federal lawsuit against CA's Prop 8 (which won marriage equality in the 9th Circuit). Timidity doesn't work; federal lawsuits are what works!!

  • 319. ianbirmingham  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    The First is an easy win. The 11th is looking good (they denied a stay in the Florida case). The 6th might get GVR'ed. The 5th & 8th are up in the air – if one of these two joins the 6th, then the odds would favor intervention by the Supremes.

    The Supremes got burned when they loudly popped the balloon in Roe v. Wade. Now they are learning new ways to just let the air out of the balloon very, very slowly. They would rather not pop the balloon if they can reasonably avoid it, and if they must, then they want it to be as small a balloon as possible by the time they get involved.

  • 320. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    There is no if about the 5th and the 8th ruling against us.
    If they don't rule against us with the original three judge panel, they will certainly do so en banc.
    SCOTUS let the air pop out of the balloon slowly with their actions on Oct. 6th.
    Now it's time to go all the way.

  • 321. StraightDave  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    After FL, there won't be much balloon left. The streets have been amazingly quiet. The only noise is coming from posturing politicians from backward states who look rather foolish. The mainstream press has turned, big business has turned very strongly. Six more months from now…. a big fat yawn.

  • 322. ianbirmingham  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Stats on the 5th & 8th Circuits:

    5th Circuit – 8 left, 4 center-ish, 12 right

    8th Circuit – 4 left, 3 center-ish, 11 right

    In both circuits it's possible to get a 3-judge panel with two left-of-center judges.

    Also, many of the judges who have ruled in favor of marriage equality have been appointed by right- wing presidents, so further defections to our side are to be expected.

    Both the 5th and the 8th Circuit could indeed go our way.

  • 323. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    And those three judge panels will get overturned en banc.
    Also, just because a Democrat appointed a judge doesn't mean said judge will rule in our favor.
    I'm sorry but the fact is there will be no favorable rulings coming out of the 5th or 8th, period.
    If a three judge panel rules in our favor, the en banc panel will reverse it.

  • 324. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Assuming the "6th gets GVR'ed" into marriage equality (which I don't think is going to happen), then, even if we win at the 5th, it is almost sure to get reversed en banc by the state officials (assuming they have the sense to petition for rehearing en banc rather than petition for cert) at which point, SCOTUS would have to step in.

    I agree with your second paragraph – by denying cert in October they made the balloon significantly smaller. That, combined with the encouraging polling that we're seeing, I think, means the balloon is small enough and more than ready to be popped this term.

    On the other hand, the fact that they denied the Florida stay seems to suggest that they are ready, and don't care about "popping balloons" anymore.

  • 325. ianbirmingham  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    No, denying the Florida stay is the same as denying cert when the state appeals. It's being pro-SSM without saying so – their stealth strategy in action.

    As I explained above, both the 5th and the 8th could rule in our favor, both in small panel and en banc. And the Supremes may want to see all those possibilities exhausted first, so they can avoid breaking out their sharp needles.

  • 326. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I disagree. This is the first time they denied a stay without the circuit court making a decision on the merits. If they cared about popping balloons, they would have granted a stay pending appeal until the Eleventh rules. That would, according to the "slower is better" theory, be even slower than allowing marriages to happen in Florida immediately. Plus, it would have been consistent with their previous stay decisions.

    And I also disagree with your explanations of the 5th and 8th possibly ruling in our favor and those rulings not getting reversed en banc.

  • 327. SethInMaryland  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    i agree with that , we might win this panel in the 5th but there is no way to win a enbanc in this circuit and no possible that 8th enbanc will rule in our favor

  • 328. ianbirmingham  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    The theory isn't "slower is better" – it's "let it happen without our fingerprints being on it". The Florida district judge (Hinkle) ruled on the merits in favor of SSM. No reason to touch that – it's already headed in the right direction.

    As to the 5th and 8th circuits, look at the 10th Circuit case. One judge from the left and two judges from the right. But Holmes defected from the right, giving us the win. The same thing can happen – en banc too – in both the 5th and the 8th.

  • 329. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Agree to disagree? We'll wait and see what SCOTUS does.

  • 330. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Holmes is the exception and not the rule.
    All due respect, you are simply ignoring the nature of most of the judges on the 5th and 8th circuits, just as many did with Judge Sutton hoping he would rule in our favor.
    That despite his history and the questions he asked during oral arguments that basically told us he would be a no vote.
    We are not winning in these circuits and dragging this out in those various circuits is a waste of time and unfair to same sex couples nationwide.

  • 331. JayJonson  |  December 30, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Not only is he ignoring the nature of most of the judges on the fifth and eighth circuits, he is also ignoring the fact that our majority on SCOTUS is itself very precarious. We must get SCOTUS to rule soon. Otherwise, we face the possibility of Kennedy or Ginsburg or Breyer or even Kagan and Sotomayor stepping down. If we should lose even one member of the Windsor majority, all bets are off.

    The Republicans will not approve any Obama nominee to the Court, and sad to say there is a distinct possibility that someone like Jeb Bush or Chris Christie will be the next President. The son of the President who gave us Clarence Thomas and the brother of the President who gave us Alito and Roberts is not likely to make any SCOTUS appointments that will be in favor of equal protection under the law. The fact is that time is not on our side right now.

  • 332. ianbirmingham  |  December 30, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    The 2016 election winner will likely appoint replacements for Scalia, Kennedy and Ginsburg:

    2016 is a year in which many more Republican Senate seats are at risk than Democratic seats, so the odds that Democrats will retake the Senate are pretty good.

  • 333. Zack12  |  December 30, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    We have to win at least four seats while defending two of our own.
    I wouldn't be so cocky if I were you.

  • 334. ianbirmingham  |  December 30, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    There are 34 U.S. Senate seats up for election in 2016. Of those seats, 24 are currently held by Republicans and only 10 are held by Democrats.

  • 335. SethInMaryland  |  December 30, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    don't forget we have to make our preisdent is democrat as well

  • 336. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    One advantage of having SCOTUS make a ruling on ME is that it automatically goes into effect as soon as it is announced (or very, very soon thereafter) in all 50 states, and in all US territories. This means no more court cases to get ME (however I never bet on the bigots just giving up – look for a plethora of 'religious freedom' bills in a legislature near you).

  • 337. wes228  |  December 30, 2014 at 10:51 am

    There is no reason to GVR because there hasn't been an intervening Supreme Court decision that undermines the holding of the 6th Circuit. For instance, if there were a Supreme Court decision on some other gay-rights issue where they rule that strict scrutiny is required to adjudicate distinctions based on sexual orientation, then that would be a reason to GVR "in light of [that decision]" so that the 6th Circuit can re-examine the issue under strict scrutiny.

    The Supreme Court does not GVR for the sole purpose of saying "Nope, try again."

  • 338. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Bondi's Response:
    Opening line: "This Court is best situated to determine the reach of its own order." Nevertheless, Bondi contends (citing what seems to be sound authority) that "a clerk is not in privity with the DMS and Health Secretaries, represented by them, or subject to their control. Instead, a Florida clerk of court is an independent constitutional officer." She concludes rather lamely, asking the court to be more explicit if the court intends for its injunction to enjoin all the clerks. My simple response to this is that even if the clerks are not agents of the state and are independent officers, they do act in concert with the named state officials, so the injunction should bind them.

    Amicus Curiae Memorandum by Equality Florida and NCLR:

  • 339. sfbob  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    A three page brief followed by 190 pages of appendices? Really?

    I don't know for sure but I don't believe the fact that the clerk of the court is an elected position necessarily pertains to the question of whether or not the clerk of the court's duties are ministerial or judicial. As I understand it the clerk of the court serves to administer the marriage process in conformance with the law and makes no independent determinations. If that's the case then Bondi's argument would not appear to amount to much of anything and I think Hinkle will see right through it.

  • 340. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    And opens up with the court is best suited to determine the reach of its own Order, using precedent by none other than the 5TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEAL!

  • 341. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    (Side note – the appendices were required. Hinkle ordered her to submit a copy of all filings made before the Eleventh Circuit and the U. S. Supreme Court on the stay issue. So she had to.)

  • 342. sfbob  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    True and I'd forgotten about that part. The order sort of sounded like a remedial homework assignment to me.

    Still, that three pages of…whatever…seems pretty thin.

  • 343. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Which I imagine they had on hand quite easily. So again, from last Tuesday I believe it was until now, it took the FL AG's office this long to produce an essentially two page letter (double spaced) indicating they don't know anything and the judge should clarify.

    What a bunch of bullcrap.

  • 344. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Wow – what a useless piece of…I can't believe my taxes go to pay that salary.

    Total cop out, going with it was all just about the one marriage license and one clerk. And clerks are not part of the state, blah, blah, blah. I can't believe it too this long to pen a three page brief and attaching 190+ pages of previous briefs. My contempt for her has reached a new high.

    Judge Hinkle is going to either rip the state a new asshole or take a high road, but either way, his order on the motion to clarify is going to be quite specific and extensive in names.

  • 345. GregInTN  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    I get the feeling Scott/Bondi are getting ready to pull a Brownback and have the rest of FL state agencies not recognize the marriages even if Hinkle clarifies that clerks are required to issue the licenses.

  • 346. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

    It wouldn't surprise me if there have been several phone calls from the governor's office of Florida to the governor's office of Kansas, asking for the minutiae of how Kansas is allowing marriage licenses to be issued, but otherwise not allowing any other recognition of marriage, getting such information as to how the various parties were notified, etc. And I'm sure there have been others involved (Lt. Gov., AG, aides, etc.) in those conversations.

    Is it two or three need to be involved for conspiracy charges to be brought?

  • 347. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Ha ha… this Sun Sentinel article's opening line is hilarious: "Just two hours before a midnight deadline, the state obeyed a federal judge's order to clarify Florida county clerks' role in issuing same-sex marriage licenses — by asking the judge to clarify it himself."

  • 348. StraightDave  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    What the hell does Bondi mean by footnote 2 at the bottom of pages 2-3?

    "the state defendants have never suggested that they have authority to issue marriage licenses (or compel others to do so). Nor has any plaintiff pleaded any claim for any marriage license against any state defendant. "

    Is she trying to claim they sued the wrong officials?

    "[not] pleaded any claim for any marriage license". Really? Isn't that what the case is all about? Is this just a disingenuous shell game?

    Makes no sense to me. But it is pretty much what I expected to see.

  • 349. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Beats me! Hinkle is probably scratching his head too… well, he asked for it!

  • 350. sfbob  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I believe the plaintiffs' response brief did a very good job of showing how responsibility and authority for the regulation of marriage comes about in the state of Florida…who does what and on what authority. I don't think Hinkle will have any difficulty cutting through Bondi's b.s.

  • 351. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I think Hinkle may be doing something other than scratching his head right now. I can think of some gestures and verbal tirades he could be using.

    Agree, he can reuse his original order, order on the motion to clarify, the Plantiffs response to that, and then chastise the hell out of the state for their disingenuous agreement on being the proper defendants to grant relief, add in the Gov, AG, and all 67 clerks of county court to the order and deem that additional statute on penalty of issuing licenses as null and void. Done, and Done.

  • 352. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I'm reminded of a remark by two NYC detectives on a TV rerun when asking fellow detectives if they should avoid a certain person. The response they got was to stay out of that person's sight, and the other detectives formerly didn't think that person knew some of the language they heard coming from him.

  • 353. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    ". . . "the state defendants have never suggested that they have authority to issue marriage licenses (or compel others to do so)."

    If the above is true, then the reverse is also true – the state defendants in no shape, matter or form can tell another (including clerks) to NOT issue a marriage license.

    Wasn't one of the 'methods' to bring about 'state uniformity' plans to bring charges against any clerk who had the temerity to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple? And wouldn't bringing such charges be tantamount to Bondi herself doing so, since the state prosecutors would be acting under her authority?

  • 354. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Their defense continues to be this circular pattern of contradicting itself all over the place. They basically admitted in their stay extension application to 11CA and SCOTUS that without the stay, the statewide impact of the decision will take affect.

    This all goes away by Friday I say, as I imagine Hinkle is actively completing his ORDER in the Motion to Clarify.

  • 355. GregInTN  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    According to the Hillsborough County Clerk's web page:

    "The Clerk of the Circuit Court acts as an agent for the State of Florida for issuing licenses per Florida Statute 741."

    Similar wording appears on the Monroe County Clerk web page:

    "In Monroe County, the Clerk's Office is the issuing agent of Marriage License for the State of Florida"

  • 356. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    As if the federal stay "confusion" isn't enough:

    I guess it's possible that Miami-Dade could get marriage equality hours before the rest of Florida, but other than that, what's the point?

  • 357. brandall  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Oh heavens, I feel like it's Colorado all over again only now on steroids. The only thing we're missing is a pro marriage equality clerk who defies the state and starts issuing marriage licenses tomorrow.

  • 358. VIRick  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    The 11 AM hearing on Monday, 5 January, would appear to be on a "Motion to Clarify," given that the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts requested such of Judge Zabel as to whether the stay in the state case, "Pareto v. Ruvin," will continue past Monday, 5 January, when the federal stay expires.

    This gives Judge Zabel the perfectly-timed opportunity to state that her stay will expire simultaneously,– and eliminate any possible further obfuscation on the part of any state officials to claim otherwise.

  • 359. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Ya, but the thing is, it doesn't matter if there are a hundred other stays in place – if the one stay of the federal ruling is lifted, (and I'm sure Hinkle will spell out in the next couple of days that his injunction will bind all clerks,) then there is no question that the Miami-Dade clerk must also issue licenses, regardless of whether Zabel's stay remains in place or not.

  • 360. VIRick  |  December 30, 2014 at 1:43 am

    I'm in perfect agreement with you, but you're taking the higher road, and I'm taking the lower road, as I've lived there, and just don't trust the haters to give it up very easily.

    I also know Judge Zabel, and expect she will utilize the opportunity to reiterate what Judge Hinkle spells out in that his injunction has statewide application and binds all county clerks of court,– and ALL other state government officials, including agents and underlings, in each and every last one of Florida's governmental departments statewide. (We have to be certain that the opposition can't come back and say, "OK, so you can get married, but the state department of ass-hated-ness, or whatever, won't recognize it," as that will be their next desperate rear-guard maneuver).

    Judge Zabel will add, "And yes, that includes Miami-Dade, whether or not we've had a court ruling, whether or not that court ruling has been appealed, and whether or not that case has been stayed pending its appeal. The federal injunction takes precedence, and it's mandatory that all counties, and all state governmantal officials in each and every last department in each and every last county abide by it." She's excellent at spelling out matters of this nature. Besides, Clerk Ruvin requested clarification. Clerk Ruvin will be clarified.

  • 361. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 30, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Sounds like I need to send Judge Zabel a bottle of champagne for New Years then!

  • 362. Raga  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:28 am

    That'll be one cool order to read!

  • 363. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias predicts that Higginbotham will be the "swing vote" in the Fifth Circuit cases:

  • 364. SethInMaryland  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    according to him Higginbotham has moved from the far right to the center over the years, and said graves will likely vote in our favor, looks like we might a 2-1 win, i wonder though if we do win in the 5th will they go to the supreme or enbanc because it may be too late for them if chose enbanc

  • 365. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    It shouldn't matter, because, even if the Fifth issues a "bench ruling" (does that even happen in appellate courts?) on the 9th, it will be too late to get a cert petition in time for SCOTUS to take it up for a decision this term.

  • 366. Zack12  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I guess it will depend on whether or not Graves can leave his religion at the door.
    We'll know more after the arguments next week.

  • 367. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    They have the cover of the 6CA now, so easy for them to just add to the pile.

  • 368. MichaelGrabow  |  December 30, 2014 at 8:34 am

    I constantly see him quoted. I live in Richmond and I really love seeing it for some reason.

  • 369. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    By my calculations, an optional reply brief by Bondi at the Eleventh Circuit is also due today (in another 34 minutes). I checked the docket just now, and she hasn't filed it yet.

  • 370. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Unless someone reminded her office, they likely forgot or just said, "Ah that's a federal court, they don't control us! Screw them. They'll just decide on their own anyhow since they denied our stay extension."

  • 371. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Nothing. I guess she waived her reply!

  • 372. davepCA  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    huh. Interesting!

  • 373. SethInMaryland  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    she knows she can't win so there is really no point

  • 374. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Well, she did wait until just two hours before midnight for her reply to Judge Hinkle, so she probably is planning on that same strategy with the 11CA.

  • 375. VIRick  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    I may be wrong, but I thought she had through the 30th to file the optional reply brief.

  • 376. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Oh? But the response brief was filed on the 15th. Which means the reply is due 14 days from then, which is the 29th?

  • 377. VIRick  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:34 am

    At the time of its happening, I recorded this note on a different website:

    "As of today, 16 December 2014, the plaintiff-appellees have filed their reply briefs with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in the on-going appeal of the two cases, 'Brenner v. Armstrong' and 'Grimsley v. Armstrong.'"

    My note shows a date/time stamp of 3 PM, 16 December, but it's possible it was filed the day before, and only recorded then.

    So actually, I'm hoping you're correct, and that I'm wrong, and that her deadline has passed.

  • 378. Raga  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Yeah. Checked PACER. They filed Dec 15. Nothing from Bondi after that. Not even a motion asking for extension of time.

  • 379. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 30, 2014 at 10:21 am

    She deserves no extension, as there is nothing else to say after her stay extension was denied by both the court she'd submit the reply to and SCOTUS.

    This case is done in federal court, writing on the wall in 11CA, and I imagine she is thinking why waste a time on the brief is SCOTUS grants cert and the case gets placed on hold pending that (although not sure she knows how that works to even realize it, unless someone told her).

  • 380. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Just like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from the same state, Judge Hinkle, you sir, are on the clock… T-minus 168 hours and 30 minutes.

    [My reference above to Tampa Bay is they are the first pick in the NFL draft in April due to having the worst record in this year's season.]

  • 381. flyerguy77  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    It shows that AG Bondi IS REALLY A blonde!!!!!!! sorry hehehe It was really clear that Judge Hinkle's decision applies STATE WIDE not one county nor a only one couple.. Maybe this is new strategy for anti-gay people, just play dumb and say we don't understand your decision. I hope he orders BONDi to court by Monday and asks her do you understand what i m saying/ ordering….

  • 382. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 29, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I'm beyond annoyed by Bondi. I mean I know this didn't come from her per se, but still. To act all "we never said we could issue licenses" and that "the clerks aren't a part of the state" with their reply, is just underhanded, childish, and beneath the office of Attorney General.

    I hope Judge Hinkle reads her the riot act.

  • 383. RnL2008  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    It's ridiculous how the Clerks are this or that depending on what side of the issue one is on… PA, when the one Clerk was issuing marriage licenses, he was called a Rogue Clerk violating the State law……then while other Clerks got to issue marriage licenses for Same-Sex couple, he had to wait to have the sanction lifted.

    Every State that has tried to buck the rulings of a Federal Judge seem to think that the County Clerks are part of the system, when they want to make sure they DON'T issue licenses or acting on their own when they DO issue licenses…….I wish that the AG's would just be honest and state that the County Clerks are under the direction of some Government official and then order them to follow the laws!!!

  • 384. VIRick  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Basically put, Bondi, in her response, told Judge Hinkle to go clarify it yourself.

    And I'm quite certain he will!! When he's done with her, she will be sooooo totally clarified her eyeballs will bulge and her ears will ring.

  • 385. KnottiBuoy  |  December 30, 2014 at 1:49 am

    Holding her in contempt of court would be wishful thinking on my part 🙁

  • 386. Steve84  |  December 30, 2014 at 4:51 am

    It's exactly what AGs do. They usually aren't qualified lawyers, but selfish career politicians who are only interested in higher offices.

  • 387. brandall  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    For those of you who are old enough to remember or or very good in history, Bondi and Scott are now the George Wallace of this era and issue. I don't think for one minute Bonding is making any of these moves without the support of Scott.

    The strategy has radically changed in the last few months when it comes to marriage equality legal fights. Instead of taking an obvious's and strong negative position, the polls in favor of marriage equality are forcing politicians and attorney generals to hide behind the "will of the voters" and our job is to "uphold the law."

    Bonding"s reply to judge Hinkle's questions is not a legal brief. It is an emotional response that really says I don't like you, I don't like your ruling, I don't like your authority, so screw you.

  • 388. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 30, 2014 at 5:19 am

    "Bonding"s reply to judge Hinkle's questions is not a legal brief."

    That was exactly my impression upon reading her response. Thank you for your confirmation.

  • 389. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 30, 2014 at 6:36 am

    She should be held in contempt of court for not replying to Judge Hinkle's order. Seriously, he posed a question, provided a deadline, and her response did not even attempt to answer the question. As noted above, it's not a legal brief of any sort, but a "uh, I dunno, why don't you just tell me instead" memo of two pages of argyle-garble.

  • 390. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 30, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Paragraph 1 of Judge Hinkle's Order Setting Procedure on the Motion to Clarify: "The response must explicitly set out the Secretary’s position on whether paragraph 4 of the preliminary injunction binds a Florida clerk of court."

    The State's reply for Secretary of DMS via AG Bondi: "This Court is best situated to determine the reach of its own order. See Ala. Nursing Home Ass’n v. Harris, 617 F.2d 385, 388 (5th Cir. 1980) (“Great deference is due the interpretation placed on the terms of an injunctive order by the court who issued and must enforce it.”). If the Court intends for paragraph 4 to bind a Florida clerk of court (or all Florida clerks of court), additional specificity may be appropriate to place any such clerk on proper notice. Cf. id. at 387-88 (requirement of specificity and detail “ensures that individuals against whom an injunction is directed receive explicit notice”)."

    Does NOT comply with the Order, and cites 5CA precedent. Nothing but contempt!

  • 391. jm64tx  |  December 30, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Ryan … not that I am disagreeing with you … but you may remember that the 5th circuit was the court of appeals for Florida before the existence of the 11th circuit. So the ruling she is citing may be binding appellate precedent on Hinkle.

  • 392. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 30, 2014 at 7:23 am

    That's a very good and valid point – thank you for posting that out. I have to assume the 11CA was split out after 1980 given her using that as precedent.

    **confirmed, 11CA was created on October 1, 1981. I retract my twice stated now assertion of incorrectly using 5CA precedent incorrectly.

  • 393. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 30, 2014 at 10:55 am

    When the 11CA was split from the 5CA, the precedents of 5CA were initially the precedents of 11CA. In the 34+ years of the 11CA, it has set several new precedents (and thus made the precedents of the 5CA moot as they pertain to the territory of the 11CA, probably to the extent that there are very few 5CA precedents now applicable in the 11CA).

  • 394. David_Midvale_UT  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Here in HATU—The Bass Ackwards State (Utah), we already have (dis)credited Gary “Chaos!” Herbert as the George “Segregation Forever” Wallace of this era and issue.

  • 395. SethInMaryland  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    well it's now 2:23 eastern time , still nothing , i think we assume she wavied it over

  • 396. Raga  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Well, there is a procedure that could allow her to file a late brief along with a motion asking the court to excuse her and accept it. I don't know how lenient the Eleventh is in these matters. Barring that, yes, no reply brief in Brenner+Grimsley.

  • 397. VIRick  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Perhaps she could begin, "Excuse my blondness, but with so many cases, so many pending appeals, so many motions to clarify, I just can't keep anything STRAIGHT anymore."

    And in so many ways, she'd be so correct.

  • 398. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 30, 2014 at 6:39 am

    She's a tool. Whoever is running her office should be fired. I normally wouldn't stoop to name calling like that, but it just is what it is at this point, akin to Palin (I'm still mad at John McCain for that pick and putting her that close to the presidency). Ugh!

  • 399. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 30, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Several weeks ago, I received a jury duty summons from the Baltimore City Circuit Court (the state court, not the Federal court – they are located about 6 blocks apart) for January 2, 2015. I was not eager to perform the service, but I would have if necessary (I've received about 25 jury duty notices in the just over 30 years I've lived in Baltimore City). The envelope the summons arrived in, the summons itself, and the envelope to respond in all contained the seal of the court.

    A bit over a week ago, I received a post card (blank on one side) that stated the court had accepted my 'request to be excused' (a request I never submitted); and that, at some future date, I would be rescheduled for jury duty.

    Upon receiveing the post card, I called the clerk of the courts' office to find out what was going on.

    The reason for the card? The judicial system decided that January 2, 2015, would be a holiday. If the courts are not open, then there is no need for juries.

    I asked why that was not explained on the post card. The response was that they had the card I received on hand, so instead of creating a new card (one with the court seal on it), they went with the card I received, even though it was not entirely accurate (about the only thing accurate was that I was not called for jury duty on Jan. 2).

    I told the person anwering the phone that the card and wording were extremely 'sketchy', and in the future the court needed to consider being absolutely truthful when notifying potential jurors. After all, if they had been truthful, they wouldn't receive near as many phone calls from potential jurors attempting to get to the bottom of the information of why they received a jury summons (with court seal), then a post card (without court seal) saying they didn't have to observe that jury duty summons. (Failure to appear for jury duty is an automatic bench warrent in Maryland [and I presume in several other states], and if convicted, a fine and/or jail time can and is imposed).

    Another case of whoever is running the office who should be fired.

  • 400. JayJonson  |  December 30, 2014 at 6:14 am

    What do you think were the biggest gay news stories of 2014? Here is the annual review from GLBTQ.COM. I pretty much agree with it, but would perhaps put them in a different order.

  • 401. David_Midvale_UT  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Nice summary. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. Of course, Karma (Hawaii's Future Today, California Prop. 22, etc.) demands that Judge Shelby's decision in Kitchen v. Herbert be included in huge bold text in the middle of the the Number One Story. I'm sure it was there in spirit. If I squint really hard, i think I can see the actual text. 😉

  • 402. brandall  |  December 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Florida now beats Colorado as the state with the most marriage equality lawsuits.

    Two new cases just filed trying to prevent county clerks from performing marriages. I'm trying to find out whether these were filed in state or federal court.

  • 403. franklinsewell  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Brandall: Here yo go … Florida Family Policy Council or whatever:

  • 404. sfbob  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:18 am

    They're being filed in state court. I'll go with "whatever," if that's okay.

    Good luck convincing anyone that state courts can enforce laws that the federal courts have struck down. If they insist on proceeding they should also insist that Bondi be prosecuted for violating Florida's still-valid (and apparently still occasionally enforced) statute banning "fornication." After all she's never married her partner and yet they live together. And that's illegal.

  • 405. Raga  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:20 am

    And of course, they find a way to blame Obama for all this as well!
    If they want to burn their money and get burnt, who are we to say no? Watch what happens when Hinkle issues his "clarification".

  • 406. micha1976  |  December 31, 2014 at 5:49 am

    No need for standing in Florida state courts?

  • 407. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Need. Marriage. Equality. News. *pants*

  • 408. Steve27516  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:47 am

    You need pants, Wolf?

  • 409. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 30, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Apparently not since everyone would prefer otherwise, hahaha!

  • 410. hopalongcassidy  |  December 30, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I prefer no pants.

    heh heh

  • 411. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 30, 2014 at 10:40 am


  • 412. RnL2008  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Whoa……way to much information for my lil virgin eyes…….lol!!!

  • 413. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 31, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Sure, hahaha

  • 414. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 30, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I'm with you on this one!

  • 415. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 30, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Not in Upstate New York, you wouldn't, lol!

  • 416. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 31, 2014 at 6:43 am

    I'm from Michigan…been commando my whole life. Pants or not pants. Although I have to say, a lot easier now living in Florida. 😉

  • 417. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 31, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Commando all the time? That's some feat! hahaha

  • 418. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 31, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Well not at work with slacks…that'd be a little too obvious. Otherwise, yes. Especially sleepomg…never understood how one could sleep with clothes on.

    This is DEFINITELY off topic.

  • 419. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  December 31, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I don't have a problem with it ;o)

  • 420. montezuma58  |  December 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Pants, they all look pretty much the same on the bedroom floor.

  • 421. SethInMaryland  |  December 30, 2014 at 11:14 am

    i'm really starting to like our chances with Higginbotham, In an interview last August, Higginbotham described himself almost as if he were a judge out of another era on his court. “When I joined the 5th Circuit, I may have been the court’s most conservative judge,” he told the Texas Lawbook. “Now, I’m probably left of center, even though I don’t think I’ve changed my views at all.”

  • 422. StraightDave  |  December 30, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I take that as more a measure of the rest of the 5th than of Higginbotham.
    "most conservative judge" in a TX/LA/MS court in 1982 doesn't exactly impress me.
    Knowing when he did with his 32 years would count for more. Sorry, but Sutton has jaded me.

  • 423. SethInMaryland  |  December 30, 2014 at 11:39 am

    i know , he feels like a sutton to me as well , but maybie just maybie we can get this sutton to go our way this time

  • 424. SPQRobin  |  December 30, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Need news? Here are some news bits out of my corner of the world 🙂


    – As known, as of 1 January, same-sex couples will be able to marry in Luxembourg. This should've been years ago, but well, better late than never.


    – Also as of 1 January, a law goes into effect that gives automatic parenthood for both mothers (the non-biological mother no longer needs to adopt the child). I.e. actual equality.

    – A week ago, a jury sentenced four people to life imprisonment for murder motivated by hate based on sexual orientation. It's the first time in Belgium a crime is officially recognized as a homophobic hate crime.

    – In May next year, our conservative Catholic Archbishop will retire. Most people don't really care about the Church, but the Catholic Church is still the largest one. The likely successor is the progressive bishop of Antwerp, who recently made calls to modernize the church, e.g. recognizing same-sex marriages. (See… & ) He may even get an award by our local LGBT organization. Who knows he might be able to influence things in the church. At least we will get rid of the controversial comments of our current Archbishop.

  • 425. Raga  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Two more filings before Hinkle:
    (3) Grimsley Plaintiffs' Response:
    (4) Amicus Curiae Memorandum by Florida Family Action, Inc.:

  • 426. RnL2008  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    More BS from an anti-gay group….what a surprise…..NOT!!

  • 427. Raga  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Actually, the amicus memorandum is a bit interesting. I'm not sure what to make of it. Certain parts of it are obviously trash and/or facts that may be half-truths at best (as you elegantly put it, BS), such as claiming that court clerks do not act in concert with the named state officials, and that "to the extent a clerk can ever be deemed to be acting as an agent of, or in concert with, the Surgeon General concerning marriage, such agency or active concert would necessarily be limited to the Surgeon General’s proper scope of authority, which does not include the issuance of marriage licenses."

    But then, they bring up a procedural hurdle that prevents Hinkle from doing anything other than clarifying his original injunction, e.g., altering, revising, or issuing an amended injunction. I think on this point they could be right, because, as we all know, the injunction is on appeal at the Eleventh Circuit, and "the filing of a notice of appeal is an event of jurisdictional significance—it confers jurisdiction on the court of appeals and divests the district court of its control over those aspects of the case involved in the appeal."

    The amicus's claim that "Plaintiffs shouldn't have had to sue the Washington County Clerk if they are correct in claiming that the injunction would bind all clerks anyway" had me worried a bit. The amicus continues: "Plaintiffs, however, did sue the Washington Clerk, presumably because they understood that there was no other means or mechanism for this Court to require the Washington Clerk to issue Plaintiffs a marriage license. The Washington Clerk has an independent statutory duty to issue marriage licenses to qualified applicants, and the only available means for judicially expanding that duty to include issuance of a marriage license to Plaintiffs was to bring the Washington Clerk before this Court. The same is true for every other Florida clerk in the other sixty-six counties, whom Plaintiffs did not name in their suit and who are therefore not properly before this Court."

    And they also likely, technically, have a point that the Plaintiffs' "complete relief" arguments are without merit, because all the twenty two named Plaintiffs will get the relief they requested even if none of the other clerks issue marriage licenses. And admittedly, this wasn't a class action suit. The brief concludes thus: "the Court may not expand the Preliminary Injunction as an after-thought, to afford relief that no one requested, benefiting persons who are not plaintiffs, at the expense of clerks who are not defendants."

    IMHO, it should be more than sufficient if Hinkle just clarifies that clerks do act in concert with the named state officials in matters involving the issuance of marriage licenses. That would not require him to do any of the above that the amicus insists he can't.

  • 428. Steve27516  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    As always, Raga, you provide interesting and illuminating analysis. Thanks!

  • 429. Raga  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    You're welcome 🙂

  • 430. hopalongcassidy  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    But, their position is almost tantamount to claiming that clerks operate in complete autonomy and not under the aegis of any supervisory level of government. If that were the case, it would not only be a very strange anomaly in the United States, it would pretty much vitiate any claim BY the state's jurisdictional authority to control the actions of the clerks in any meaningful way, wouldn't it? Very strange.

  • 431. Raga  |  December 30, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Yes, that's the "trash / half-truth at best" part I was referring to. As the Plaintiffs point out, "Florida law specifically requires the “active concert or participation” of county clerks with the State defendant Secretary of Health with respect to marriages. Clerks issue marriage licenses, but the Department of Health is tasked with “uniformly enforc[ing] the law throughout the state” with respect to vital records, including marriages. Fla. Stat. §§ 382.003(3), 382.002(5) and (16). The Department is also charged with “adopt[ing] and enforc[ing] all rules necessary for the acceptance, use, production, issuance, recording, maintenance, and processing of” vital records, including marriages. Fla. Stat. § 382.003(10). Clerks are required to use Department of Health-approved forms for certifying marriages and to send marriage records to the Department."

    All this must be sufficient to hold that the court clerks are, at a bare minimum, acting in concert with the Department of Health and are hence bound by Paragraph 4.

  • 432. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  December 31, 2014 at 7:03 am

    All I can say is, I would have expected something like this from the Florida AG versus the piece of crap two pager of "ummmmm, I dunno, you tell me" we received from AG Bondi's office. At least this is somewhat persuasive in certain areas as Raga points out.

    I don't know how this was submitted on 12/29 however having written that part about how Bondi's response included a section on how Judge Hinkle could clarify (amicus almost lost it and called the AG all but a babbling idiot), unless they had a copy of this quite a bit ahead of time. Conspiring?

  • 433. sfbob  |  December 30, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    I don't think there is really a concern about limiting the extent of the ruling to those couples who have brought the suit. Since the Judge Hinkle's ruling is that that state's exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is facially unconstitutional rather than that the state scheme is unconstitutional as applied to the specific circumstances of the plaintiffs.

    Also there was (somewhere here? I can't find it specifically right now) a concern raised that the fact of the appeal would limit the scope of the ruling. Again since the ruling is that the state ban is facially unconstitutional, the fact that it is under appeal is neither here nor there. There is precedent, cited in the Grimsley plaintiffs' brief in a footnote at the bottom of page 5. "Absent a stay, the court's decision is effective even if an appeal is pending."

  • 434. GregInTN  |  December 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    I took a look at the Petition the Prop 8 proponents filed with the CA Supreme Court in July, 2013 after SCOTUS told them didn't have standing in federal court. Just the table of contents looks very similar to the current Florida arguments:
    * The court lacks authority to apply its injunction beyond the four plaintiffs
    * The injunction cannot bind state officials
    * The State Registrar does not have authority to supervise or control county clerks issuing marriage licenses

    The CA Supreme Court declined to hear their case

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