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States file their briefs defending same-sex marriage bans in Supreme Court

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

It's time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
It’s time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
State officials in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee are filing their merits briefs in four Supreme Court challenges to their same-sex marriage bans. The states are filing in defense of the bans.

To recap: the Michigan case involves only the question of whether states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Tennessee and Ohio cases involve only whether states must recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other states, and the Kentucky case involves both issues.

Read the briefs here:


14-571 Michigan Brief by Equality Case Files


14-562 Tennessee Brief by Equality Case Files


14-556 Ohio Brief by Equality Case Files


14-574 Kentucky Brief by Equality Case Files

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. DeadHead  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Arkansas’ Republican-controlled state Senate approved a measure today (March 27 2015) that critics warn will sanction discrimination, particularly against LGBT people, on religious grounds. The legislation – House Bill 1228 – now goes back to the Republican-controlled state House for a concurrence vote, and then onto the desk of Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who said on Thursday that he would sign the bill. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is openly gay, took to Twitter Friday to condemn Indiana’s newly signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and to call on Hutchinson to veto Arkansas’ version.

  • 2. ianbirmingham  |  March 27, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Arkansas is a very hostile place for LGBT rights…

    On February 9, 2015, Arkansas State Senate passed, with 24 voting in favor, 8 voting against, and 2 not voting, SB202, a bill that would prohibit counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions in the state from adopting anti-discrimination ordinances that cover private employment and create a protected classification or prohibit discrimination on a basis not contained in state law. On February 13, 2015, the Arkansas House of Representatives passed it, with 58 in favor, 21 voting against, 14 not voting, and 7 voting present.

    Only a few places got their ordinances in before this law happened, including the state's two largest cities (Little Rock and Fayetteville):

    The city of Eureka Springs prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public and private employment. The cities of Fayetteville and Little Rock both prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation only in public employment.

  • 3. RemC_Chicago  |  March 28, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    The briefs speak directly to the perspectives of Thomas and Scalia. Speaking of Thomas, check out this new book that lists Thomas as one of the worst Supremes in history. Hope this link works:

  • 4. Zack12  |  March 28, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    He is indeed, it still drives me nuts that Thurgood Marshall has been replaced by a man who is seeking to reverse everything he fought for.

  • 5. hopalongcassidy  |  March 28, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Well, he IS actually Uncle Tom. Duh.

  • 6. hopalongcassidy  |  March 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    The link works fine. I honestly don't think Thomas is actually as evil as his actions suggest, I believe he's just too fucking stupid to figure out if it's day or night. If he knew 9 more things, he would be a god damned idiot.

  • 7. jpmassar  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    OT: Just tweeted:

    WI will pay 1 million to ACLU who represented same-sex couples in successful challenge to state marriage ban. Stipulation filed today.

  • 8. jpmassar  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    What if SCOTUS were to rule against marriage equality? Could WI demand its money back?

  • 9. A_Jayne  |  March 27, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    First of all, BITE YOUR TONGUE! But second, no, even if SCOTUS upholds the decision of the 6th Circuit, they refused to hear the appeal from WI, so it's all over for them…

  • 10. Dann3377  |  March 29, 2015 at 5:58 am

    You must be very new to this site.

  • 11. hopalongcassidy  |  March 29, 2015 at 6:55 am

    He has been here a lot longer than you.

  • 12. Dann3377  |  March 29, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Ah, yeah no. I've read and commented here since day 1. Thank you

  • 13. hopalongcassidy  |  March 30, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Oh, well then, the EoT software is obviously defective, since clicking on jpmassar's name brings up statistics that say he has 425 posts. Yours says 36. You should report this blatant egregious error to…someone.

  • 14. Dann3377  |  March 30, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Who said anything about the number of posts? I've been reading and following this site every day for years. Grow up! This isn't a contest. I look forward to the day thst this site won't be necessary.

  • 15. Zack12  |  March 27, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Had a chance to read the briefs and the bigots aren't arguing anything new.
    They are basically making the argument that it should be up to voters to decide whether or not we have rights and how much better if we be if we win hearts and minds instead of using the courts.
    In other words, just a bunch of junk.

  • 16. A_Jayne  |  March 27, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    That argument is about all Judges Sutton and Cook left them to argue…

  • 17. RnL2008  |  March 27, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Hey I'm all for voting on the right to marry…..just as long as it INCLUDES the right to marry for opposite-sex folks……but they usually scream Marriage is a Fundamental right and marriage between opposite-sex couples has been around for thousands of years…….and when I post this article:

    Well, I'm sure you can figure out what they say next.

  • 18. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 29, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    I started to read the MI brief – got through page nine. To me, all they were saying was what Regnerus said in his 'study', without mentioning Regnerus.

  • 19. RemC_Chicago  |  March 27, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I got to page 30 in the Kentucky brief before I couldn't take anymore and began skimming. There is the disingenuous interpretation of the Windsor case—which has been done before admittedly–where the critical clause that the states must comply by the Constitution gets conveniently omitted. Denial of immutability. And the claim that there is no animus in any of this. I read fewer pages in the Michigan briefing before stopping. I'll get to them again later, but after a week of Indiana and Arkansas, I could't take anymore hostility, implied, overt or otherwise. In another thread, Zack mentioned "Just another reminder that the bigots truly do hate us." Yes.

  • 20. RnL2008  |  March 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    RemC, I give you kudos and High Five's……I can't get past usually the first 10 pages and then it's starts to sound like this Blah, Blah, Blah…….yada yada …… have way more stamina than I do…….lol!

  • 21. RemC_Chicago  |  March 28, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Rose, I woke up this morning thinking about some of the arguments the continue to put forward—Baker, procreation, the role of the sexes…none of it original but this time being utilized against our arguments. They read and listened and still could not allow rationality to overcome their prejudicial myopia.

  • 22. RnL2008  |  March 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Exactly, and my question that none of these anti-gay folks can or want to answer is this, "How does PREVENTING, DENYING or ELIMINATING the right to marry for Gay and Lesbian couples going to make heterosexuals get married? Stay married? or be more responsible with regard to procreation? Frankly, they'd rather ignore these questions than attempt to answer them because if they HAD to answer them, they'd fail and lose, well guess what…..they are already losing and all of these so called RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACTS that are popping up will ONLY do one thing……show SCOTUS the real animus towards Gays and Lesbians.

  • 23. RemC_Chicago  |  March 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Yes, I do feel/hope that the one good thing that will come out of these bills is a heightened awareness of the animus that is sop revelation in some cases. Judge Posner made your point exactly about the lack of impact these bans had on straight couples, as have other judges since Shelby.

  • 24. RnL2008  |  March 28, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    At least someone sees where I'm coming from……lol 🙂

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  March 27, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Struggling with gay rights in Jacksonville [Florida]'s mayor race
    By Adam C. Smith, Tampa Bay Times Political Editor
    Friday, March 27, 2015 12:34pm

  • 26. RnL2008  |  March 27, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    This is one of the main reasons my wife and I stay in California even though there are States with a lower cost of living, but until this WHOLE Equality issue is resolved, we will stay where at least we have both State and Federal protections…….and that's truly sad when American Citizens CAN'T decide for themselves where they want to live because of the damn WHAT IF'S!!!

  • 27. scream4ever  |  March 27, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    And this time next week, we'll be receiving the briefs from the parties in support of the defendants. THOSE will be fun reads to say the least!

  • 28. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 28, 2015 at 10:46 am


    #BoycottIndiana Continues to Grow In Wake of Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Law

  • 29. Tony MinasTirith  |  March 29, 2015 at 1:02 am

    I am glad to see that back lash goes both ways. I see business in Indiana, doing what they did in Arizona, putting up notices that they serve everyone and discriminate against no one. Let these anti gay bigoted businesses discriminate their way out of business. The few that choose to discriminate will continue to stick out like a sore thumb. I hope these businesses start dying out like the dinosaurs they are (no disrespect to dinosaurs) as fewer and fewer in their communities refuse to patronize hateful bigoted businesses. No one would tolerate a blacks not served here sign, and in a few years a no gays served here business will be just as vile to the community.

    One congresswoman proposed a bill that businesses who wish to use these Religious Freedom laws to discriminate would have to post such a sign, that they choose not to serve gays. It would be great if that were the law so these businesses could be branded with a scarlet letter of discrimination. How soon they'd change their tunes. I'd boycott any business (and already do) that are anti gay such as cracker barrel and chick fil a.

  • 30. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 29, 2015 at 6:36 am

    I think it was actually an Oklahoma state senator that proposed that scarlet letter amendment to OK's current debate on the subject, not sure…

  • 31. DeadHead  |  March 29, 2015 at 7:24 am

    It was in Oklahoma and the right wing certainly was not going to require a business to post a "We Don't Serve Gays [or whatever]" sign at the door. Those types of bigots are just like those ISIS terrorists who hide their faces because they don't want the world to see who they are.

  • 32. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 29, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Yeah, unfortunately…

  • 33. guitaristbl  |  March 28, 2015 at 11:46 am

    The pro equality side had 70+ amicusbriefs on a first count in support of the plaintiffs. Let's see how many the states will have arguing in defense of the bans. We should expect from the usual suspects (NOM, AFA, FRC, Catholic Bishop Conference, Southern Baptists, Black Pastors etc), one already announced after the D&G fallout from so called "children of gay couples" including Oscar Lopez and 3-4 other poster boys/girls and a couple of individual lunatics. Of course we should also expect briefs from GOP states who are not having a case before the court (Oklahoma, Idaho, Texas, Alabama etc) and republican senators (Cruz etc) and members of the house of representatives (Huelskamp and almost every other house republican). I don't think they will have as many briefs in their support as the pro equality side though.

  • 34. scream4ever  |  March 28, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I actually don't think many Congressional Republicans will sign onto such a brief to be honest. The Federal Marriage Amendment only has 33 co-sponsors in the House while the State Marriage Defense Act only has 34 in the House and 14 in the Senate.

    We may also see a brief from Democrats in support of the defendants, although I'm not even sure how many names would be on it (Ruben Diaz, Emmitt Burns, Chuck Reed). If the recent Senate vote is any indication, Joe Manchin won't even sign onto it.

  • 35. Randolph_Finder  |  March 31, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Manchin still goes into the category of "Better than the Republican who he defeated (John Raese)" on the topic. (Raese supports a Federal Marriage Amendment)

  • 36. scream4ever  |  April 2, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Here are the first four:

  • 37. OrvilleKlutz  |  March 28, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    These GOPs have let their religions brain wash them so they do not really understand what they are doing. So far, SCOTUS has ruled in favor of Marriage Equality since they overturned section 3 of DOMA. It is unlikely SCOTUS will change it's position and it will deny these briefs as they are discriminatory against American citizens.

  • 38. RemC_Chicago  |  March 28, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    The briefs speak directly to the perspectives of Thomas and Scalia. Speaking of Thomas, I enjoyed reading about a new book called "Injustices," which lists Thomas as one of the worst Supremes in history.

  • 39. RnL2008  |  March 28, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    It's unlikely that SCOTUS will reject these briefs, but they will see them for what they are……animosity towards Gays and Lesbians….but I think what SCOTUS will see more and will confirm what the plaintiff's have been saying all along is the ANIMUS that is being shown by these DISCRIMINATORY supposedly Religious Freedom Acts……and could backfire on the States if SCOTUS includes them in their ruling.

  • 40. A_Jayne  |  March 28, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    SCOTUS could indirectly "include Religious Freedom Acts in their ruling" only by making gays and lesbians a "suspect class," subject to strict scrutiny. With Kennedy's position on levels of scrutiny in general, that is unfortunately unlikely. But with mention of any recognition of animus, it will pave the way for laws such as Indiana's Pence just signed to be struck down.

  • 41. RnL2008  |  March 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Though the question or issue is NOT before SCOTUS, they could consider it…..anything is possible right now.

  • 42. A_Jayne  |  March 28, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    ??? "anything is possible right now" ?

    Why would this be true? What do you know that I don't?

  • 43. RnL2008  |  March 28, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    It's nothing more than my opinion that ANYTHING is possible, maybe NOT probable.

  • 44. bythesea66  |  March 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    You're right. In theory they can rule quite broadly and go arguably quite beyond the issue at hand but that is unlikely and not necessarily desirable.

  • 45. RnL2008  |  March 28, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Why would it NOT be desirable? I mean by ruling on the issues now, we avoid more lawsuits and save money instead of wasting it…..but again, just my opinion.

  • 46. bythesea66  |  March 28, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I just mean judicial restraint is generally a good idea, but of course in this case I don't favor it. In other horrid recent examples of SCOTUS rulings I would.

  • 47. RnL2008  |  March 28, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I do understand:-)

  • 48. hopalongcassidy  |  March 28, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Matthew 17:20?

    Yeah, that's what it says.

  • 49. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 28, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Off topic:

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is now backing 'clarifying legislation' for the 'Religious Freedom' law he signed on Thursday. No details yet, but he told the 'Indianapolis Star' he has spoken to legislative leaders and he expects such legislation to be introduced 'next week'. He also stated that he didn't expect all the blowback he's received after signing the bill. Considering all the blowback before the law was signed, he just proved how non-observant he is, and how unfit he is to be governor of the state.

    If the legislation was written in very clear and understandable language, and contains NO discrimination (as Pence claims), why is there a need for clarification?

    (… )

  • 50. VIRick  |  March 28, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    In the meantime: Angie's List Cancels Indiana Expansion

    The tech company was ready to break ground on a new project but just pulled its plans. Angie's List is giving Indiana a bad review — so bad, in fact, plans for expanding its headquarters in the state are canceled. Angie's List is making clear that it is "hugely disappointed" by Indiana's discrimination law, signed this week by Republican governor Mike Pence. The web service for reviewing businesses announced today that it has yanked an Indianapolis expansion project from city-county council consideration. The company said it had been just days from breaking ground on the project.

    "We are putting the 'Ford Building Project' on hold until we fully understand the implications of the freedom restoration act on our employees, both current and future," said Angie's List CEO Bill Oesterle in a statement. "Angie's List is open to all and discriminates against none and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents."

  • 51. bayareajohn  |  March 28, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    "He says he didn't anticipate "the hostility that's been directed at our state." "
    Classic misdirection, projection, avoidance. People are not hostile to the STATE, it's the people running it that have garnered the hostility.

  • 52. JayJonson  |  March 29, 2015 at 7:03 am

    The reaction he expected was that his championship of the bill would propel him into the Presidential race, or at least commend him as a Vice Presidential prospect. It still may, but having ruined your state's reputation will be seen as an asset only by the TeaPartiers.

  • 53. DeadHead  |  March 29, 2015 at 7:33 am

    And that photo he had taken of himself with the nuns, priest, monks, minister, rabbi, an Amish guy and the authors of the law standing around him while signing the bill in a private ceremony will play well to his evangelical and dominionist base.

    And there is only black person in that photo and looks like just one other person of color.

  • 54. 1grod  |  March 29, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Dead – thanks – just back from a celebration of Palm Sunday. This picture-link is timely as my reaction to it is an profound embarrassment to the Christian faith I profess to follow, and to the domination in which I thought I belonged. In today's readings, Peter thrice denies knowing the Master. Nuns, priest, monks and minister in being party to this gathering [imo] implicitly did the same. Might the first name of any one of those happily gathered be Judas? Great way for some of these celebrants to kick off their rememberance of Easter. Hypocrites! Separation of church and state anyone?

  • 55. VIRick  |  March 29, 2015 at 11:25 am

    "…. an Amish guy …."

    No. Take another look. The Amish do not participate in other people's pseudo-religious exercises.

  • 56. DeadHead  |  March 29, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Amish men wear hats that look like the one the guy in the photo is wearing. And there are people who do break away from cultural traditions and dogma so it could be that guy is an Amish or Mennonite who isn't orthodox. Or maybe some other dominionist wanting to give the impression for whatever reason.

    "The Amish do not participate in other people's pseudo-religious exercises."

  • 57. bayareajohn  |  March 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Now another scandal – how many people in that picture are in fake costumes to give the appearance of cross-cultural support?

    And how long did it take Pence to say it wasn't him, it was the force of the people who made this law… "just following orders"…..

    The people he listens to are costumed to resemble caring humans.

  • 58. VIRick  |  March 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    "….how many people in that picture are in fake costumes to give the appearance of cross-cultural support? "

    OMG! Excellent point! LOL But it might actually be true!

    A further point about the Amish: If you were to ever attempt to photograph anyone who is truly Amish, you (as the person holding the camera) would be instantly "shunned," meaning that you'd end up with a nice shot of their backside (or if outdoors, of their horse's backside). It is strictly against their deeply-held religious principles to ever allow themselves to be photographed. In actual fact, as a direct result, the Amish have had serious run-ins with the concept of government-issued IDs, and in particular with the stricter voter ID requirements in certain states demanding such.

  • 59. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 29, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    In the 1960s and 1970s, there was a serious backlash from the Amish when the states of (especially) OH, IN, IL, and WI put Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) laws on the books, and came up with the SMV sign. The Amish didn't want to put them on their buggies, or other horse-drawn on-road vehicles, as the Amish thought of them as 'too gaudy' for the 'plain people' (as Amish tend to call themselves). Finally a series of court cases established the SMV sign was for the safety of the Amish, other people on the roads, and the horses that pulled the buggies and/or other on-road vehicles.

  • 60. weaverbear  |  March 30, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Greetings my friend.

    Unless I'm mistaken, the guy in the hat in the 'twittered' picture is the Rabbi. Orthodox, though I suspect not Hassidic from his appearance, I believe (though Lubovitch may be a possibility).

    I'm descended of orthodox Jews on my father's side; my grandfather was a tailor who worked for a Hassidic owned shop in Williamsburg (Brooklyn). Simply said, I recognize the appearance from experience.

  • 61. DeadHead  |  March 30, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    weaverbear, thank you 🙂

  • 62. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 29, 2015 at 2:23 pm


    The person in the hat is Amish? Not very likely. The Amish stay out of politics as much as possible, and they don't wear shirts that require buttons and ties. (I should know, as I used to live in NE Indiana, among some of the largest Amish communities outside PA and OH – there are several in Allen County, Adams County, Lagrange County, Noble County, Elkart County).

    And the black person? She is a nun or sister, as are at least five others in the picture, so I'd count her more of a religious nut than a black person.

  • 63. VIRick  |  March 29, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    "…. they don't wear shirts that require buttons and ties …."

    Correct and correct. No shirt buttons and quite definitely NO neck ties! Excellent observation on both counts.

  • 64. weaverbear  |  March 30, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    See my comment to Deadhead above. I'm fairly certain the man in the hat is the Rabbi.

  • 65. VIRick  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Agreed. And very likely an Orthodox Lubovitcher.

    It has been my observation that both Orthodox Jews and the Amish wear rather similar "frozen in time" costumes (and get off on the whole electricity thing, too).

  • 66. 1grod  |  March 29, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Govenor says bill is about government "overreach". The Indiana's government like the Feds and other states do not undermine anti-discrimination laws. This law protects individuals when they believe actions of government impinge on their Freedom of Religion( ie placing sexual orientation in their state's civil right code?)

  • 67. JayJonson  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    This is simply a lie. Unlike other RFRAs, the Indiana law applies not only to government agencies but also to individuals and businesses.

  • 68. VIRick  |  March 30, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    "…. but also to individuals and businesses."

    And therein lies the problem. It has nothing to do with governemnt "over-reach," but rather, everything to do with allowing private individuals and businesses to refuse service to anyone they so choose based upon their own self-proclaimed "religious beliefs."

  • 69. guitaristbl  |  March 29, 2015 at 8:55 am

    He is steadily making backsteps while shouting "attack!". Pandering to religious conservatives and the tea party or deal with the financial backlash ? Hmm wouldn't want to be in his shoes right now.

    He also ruled out the possibility of sexual orientation to be added as a protected class. I am sure this "clarification" will be more jibber jabber and words on a paper than mean nothing when read.

    Tbh I do not expect the bill to be repealed anytime soon but the backlash was a positive surprise imo.
    Now I can only expect a christian to bring a discrimination claim due to this law to see it falling apart.
    That said it would be interesting in a future possible discrimination case to see whether a judge would take the "substantial burden" quote and simply say that for a business to be required to serve people regardless of their sexual orientation does not "substantially burden" them in any way, thus getting around the law.

    Difficult in a state without legal protections for LGBT people in the field of discrimination but if SCOTUS for example aplies heightened scrutiny, it is very possible.

  • 70. DeadHead  |  March 29, 2015 at 4:58 am

    When will the Republicans learn not to mix religion with politics and governing? They quote the Constitution constantly but don't seem to understand what the separation of Church and State means. We know what happens when religious extremists take hold. See: History of Middle East.

    “So we have: A fledgling proposal to kill the gays out West, laws to deny us goods and services in the heartland, and if the rhetoric of 2016 hopeful Ted Cruz is a barometer, a federal ban on same-sex marriage still on the GOP table. Like others, I had foolishly hoped the upcoming general election would be one defined by bold ideas. Instead, it looks like it's going to be dragged down to a replay of Pat Buchanan's "cultural war" speech, during which he told the 1992 Republican National Convention: "We stand with (George H.W. Bush) against the amoral idea that gay and lesbian couples should have the same standing in law as married men and women" and later followed with "There is a religious war going on in this country. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as the Cold War itself. For this war is for the soul of America." … Once again, our democracy is vexed by a woefully inadequate two-party system. Socially liberal, fiscally conservative independent voters may want to consider the full depth of a candidate's policies before making a decision, but ultimately it may come down to a single-question: to discriminate against LGBT people or not. Unfortunately, the pending 2016 "cultural war" does not allow for much wiggle room beyond that.”

  • 71. RemC_Chicago  |  March 29, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Huzzah!!! I'm the "young man in the audience" that the writer refers to! At 56, I haven't been called a young man in ages!!!!!!!!!

  • 72. VIRick  |  March 30, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    "I'm the 'young man in the audience ….'"

    Aaaww, we need pics. I want to see if this "young man in the audience" is also quite cute!

  • 73. RemC_Chicago  |  March 31, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Rick, it was dark in the auditorium and I must've been sitting at some distance from the journalist. Not so cute, methinks, although I suspect my husband doesn't agree sometimes.

  • 74. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 29, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    "A fledgling proposal to kill the gays out West. . . ."

    The silver lining I see to this is that the 'person' (I call him, at best, a bigot) who proposed this is the same 'person' who proposed a referendum for the state of California to hand out bibbles to all public school students. He didn't turn in signatures, presumably because he couldn't garner enough to place his proposal on the ballot.

    Remember, 2004 was years prior to the voters of California passing Prop H8. I really don't think anti-GLBT feeling has increased in California in the intervening years.

  • 75. Sagesse  |  March 29, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Telling stories.

    An Update: A Voice for Gay Marriage, Now Wed [New York Times]

    "In 2012, I wrote a column about Bob Page, a lonely voice against a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in North Carolina. Mr. Page’s company, Replacements Ltd., a used china and tableware retailer, was the only one in the state to take a public stand against the ban.

    "Despite his efforts, the amendment easily passed….

    "Last fall, a federal judge struck down the North Carolina amendment banning gay marriage as unconstitutional. And on Wednesday, the 26th anniversary of their meeting, Mr. Page and his partner, Dale Frederiksen, were married. The ceremony took place at Replacements’ headquarters in Greensboro, with their 15-year-old twin sons, adopted by Mr. Page in 1999, as witnesses."

  • 76. W. Kevin Vicklund  |  March 29, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    That's pretty cool! I have used Replacements to get replacements for our wedding china, which ended up being discontinued about 6 months after we were married. For whatever reason, the pattern was fairly short-lived, but they not only found replacements for my broken pieces at a good price, we ended up getting an extra four place settings and some additional serving dishes. Pleased to have supported them. And now will definitely be going back to them for the additional four place settings of silverware some time next year (our silverware hasn't been discontinued, so wasn't as pressing).

  • 77. RemC_Chicago  |  March 29, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    If Pence truly didn't see the backlash coming, his blinders must be as large as Romney's, who also didn't see his defeat coming. There's a danger in surrounding yourself with so many other yes-people wearing blinders when you're an elected official. Because my husband is a Hoosier born and bred, and because my sister-in-law is a literal Christianist in Wabash, I've followed this debacle closely. I read more than 400 (I think) comments to an article in yesterday's Indy Star about this whole shebang and was gratified to see very few of them supported Pence; quite a number of straight Hoosiers took the trouble to speak up against him.

  • 78. Zack12  |  March 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    He might not have seen the backlash coming but as another article on the Indy Star reported, this WILL increase his popularity among the religious reich base in Indiana, whom make up a large part of the voting bloc.
    We have to keep this at the front and center for the next year and get our base out to vote, protests won't mean much if you don't vote.

  • 79. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 29, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Conservatives Admit The Truth On Indiana ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill

  • 80. guitaristbl  |  March 29, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    And on april 7 the civil rights ordinance protecting LGBT people in Springfield, Mo. goes to a vote :

    A pastor of a 9000-member megachurch is already campaigning hard to repeal it..I fear for the worst and hope for the best, even if Springfield is a big city in a state that that's not the darkest shade of red some of its neighbours are.

    The usual scare tactics about men dressing as women raping girls in bathrooms have come forward of course..

    I fear it will most probably be repealed, yet another to be gone…Fingers crossed.

  • 81. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 29, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    "I fear it will most probably be repealed. . . ."

    To be repealed, it must first be a law, meaning it is in effect (if some court doesn't put a stay on it).

    Can you tell us why you fear it will be repealed? You want it to be signed into law, and then NOT be repealed?

  • 82. hopalongcassidy  |  March 30, 2015 at 10:37 am

    They've had the nondiscrimination law for a good while. The sonofabitch at the mega church is campaigning to overturn it. Wotta fuckin surprise.

  • 83. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    1. It is a city ordinance, not a law. State and Federal legislatures pass (or not) bills. They become laws upon signing by the governor or President. Ordinances almost always go into effect when passed by the City Council, either immediately or a date certain as specified in the ordinance (some cities allow ordinances to go into effect only after the Mayor has signed the bill the City Council passed). At no time is an ordinance a law, nor is a law ever an ordinance; and

    2. The City Council voted (6-3) for the ordinance on the evening of October 13. 2014. or about 23 weeks ago (less than 1/2 year ago). I don't think MOST people would consider 23 weeks to be 'a good while'.

  • 84. hopalongcassidy  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    For all practical purposes it is a god damned law, you fucking moron. I will be ignoring your goofy ass from now on. Go fuck yourself.

  • 85. DeadHead  |  March 30, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Mr Baltimore an ordinance is a law …. "An ordinance is a law enacted by a municipal body, such as a city council or county commission (sometimes called county council or county board of supervisors). Ordinances govern matters not already covered by state or federal laws such as zoning, safety and building regulations."

    and here

    Mike_Baltimore wrote:
    1. It is a city ordinance, not a law. State and Federal legislatures pass (or not) bills. They become laws upon signing by the governor or President. Ordinances almost always go into effect when passed by the City Council, either immediately or a date certain as specified in the ordinance (some cities allow ordinances to go into effect only after the Mayor has signed the bill the City Council passed). At no time is an ordinance a law, nor is a law ever an ordinance; and

  • 86. VIRick  |  March 30, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    "Go fuck yourself."

    Hop, oh my goodness!!! My "virgin" ears (from the Virgin Islands) may never recover.

    Take it easy, relax, and don't let little things like this get to you.

  • 87. DeadHead  |  March 30, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    "Relax" the banned version (not for virgin eyes & ears)

  • 88. DeadHead  |  March 30, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Hop, calling people names and hurling profane assaults at people is uncalled for in discussions. Yes I know you don't care what I think. Go ahead and hurl a few profane ones at me then delete them like you have done to me and others here in the past.

    Hopalongcassidy wrote:
    “…..For all practical purposes it is a god damned law, you fucking moron. I will be ignoring your goofy ass from now on. Go fuck yourself.”

  • 89. VIRick  |  March 29, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Mexico Same-Sex Marriage Update: Chiapas, Tamaulipas, Baja California

    On 3 March 2015, 51 same-sex couples from Chiapas won the right to marry by having successfully obtained a collective injunction from Mexico's Supreme Court. At the same time, in the same ruling, the Chiapas state Civil Code (19 articles of the Civil Code and 15 articles of the Code of Civil Procedure) was also deemed to be unconstitutional by Mexico's Supreme Court. On 26 March 2015, the Chiapas state Congress denounced the ruling and asked for a review.

    Chiapas is now state #7 to have had its ban on same-sex mariage declared unconstitutional by Mexico's Supreme Court. Chiapas is Mexico's southernmost state, directly abutting Guatemala, and was once part of Guatemala.

    On 26 March 2015, in Tamaulipas state, directly abutting south Texas, a second collective amparo has been successfully granted by a federal judge in Tampico to 68 same-sex couples allowing them to marry. The first injunction there, granted in October 2014, covered 57 persons (and their partners). Tamaulipas state is where they took the idea of filing for an injunction for a single couple, and refined it into these mass collective rulings, a concept which has spread all across Mexico. For example, there are additional pending injunctions for 80 persons (and their partners) in Matamoros, 35 couples in Nuevo Leon, and 320 persons (and their partners) in Guanajuato, the most massive yet filed (and where legislation has been introduced to legalize same-sex marriage).

    In Baja California, on 12 February 2015, a bill was introduced in the Baja California state Congress to fully legalize same-sex marriage in the state, in compliance with Mexico's Supreme Court's ruling (finally). In March 2015, politicians in Tijuana began work on an initiative to legalize same-sex marriage in the city, a move which may not actually be legal, but at least is heading in the correct direction.

    There are only 5 states (of 32 jurisdictions total) remaining in Mexico which have not yet had at least one successful injunction granted, allowing at least one same-sex couple to marry: Guerrero, Hidalgo, Puebla, Tlaxcala, and Zacatecas.

    There are 4 other states with appeals currently pending before Mexico's Supreme Court: Chihuahua, Durango, Jalisco, and Yucatan, all of which will eventually be declared unconstitutional.

  • 90. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  March 29, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Informative and educational update, thank you Rick. It appears as though nationally at least, Canada of course has won the race in North America, it seems as the USA will get the silver, the bronze likely to Mexico, and the rest of countries making up the Central American countries of NA will be runners-up.

  • 91. VIRick  |  March 29, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    I like how same-sex couples all over Mexico are banding together to file for these massive collective injunctions (the closest one can come, under Mexican law, to class-action), and continue to keep winning. In Guanajuato state, with 320 named plaintiffs, it sounds as if the entire LGBT community joined the suit en masse.

    Also, the recent win in Chiapas is significant, as the farther south one goes in Mexico, the more obtuse the political system. And Chiapas is the southernmost, where we hadn't won anything until now. It's also worth noting that Mexico's Supreme Court has now joined lower federal courts in granting these massive collective injunctions. Back when they declared Sinaloa's ban unconstitutional, they also granted 3 injunctions to 3 separate couples from Sinaloa. With this latest ruling, they've granted the collective injunction to 51 same-sex couples from Chiapas.

    "…. the rest of the countries making up the Central American countries of NA will be runners-up."

    Except for Costa Rica, don't hold your breath waiting for the rest of Central America to catch up. In Costa Rica, they will probably soon approve legislation legalizing same-sex civil unions (as was recently approved in Chile). But I don't see any movement in the remainder.

  • 92. F_Young  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:21 am

    Whoops: Indiana’s anti-gay ‘Religious Freedom’ act opens the door for the First Church of Cannabis

    Okay, who's up for establishing the Church of the Holy Brotherhood of Ecstasy?

  • 93. DeadHead  |  March 30, 2015 at 4:34 am

    The Church of Harvey Fierstein, a satire ….

  • 94. DeadHead  |  March 30, 2015 at 4:56 am

    There is also The Peyote Way Church of God that uses peyote as a Holy Sacrament in their ritual. Although it is based in Arizona there are a few other churches similar to it around the country.

  • 95. VIRick  |  March 30, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Oh, maybe that church in Florida that specialized in naked, multi-sex sleep-overs, and which recently lost its tax-exempt status, might seriously think about re-locating to Indiana.

  • 96. JayJonson  |  March 30, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Press release from Lambda Legal, which makes some of the same points I have been making about Indiana's RFRA and how it differs from the federal RFRA and that of other states:

    "Governor Pence continues to deceive the public about this deeply flawed law. Let's clarify a few things.

    Gov. Pence myth: SB 101 is just like Illinois law that then-State Senator Obama voted to support.

    Truth: Gov. Pence fails to point out that Illinois has robust nondiscrimination clauses in its state Human Rights Act that specifically protect LGBT people. Indiana does not. This matters because those seeking to discriminate in Indiana may claim that the lack of a statewide law barring sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination means that there is no compelling state interest in enforcing local ordinances providing such protections.

    Gov. Pence myth: This law only reinforces established law in Indiana.

    Truth: The language in SB 101 is so broadly written that someone can sue even without their religious beliefs having actually been burdened simply by claiming that is 'likely' to happen.

    Gov. Pence myth: SB101 is just like federal law that President Clinton signed 20 years ago.

    Truth: SB 101 is substantially broader than the federal law. The federal RFRA can only be invoked against government action. SB 101 goes much further, inviting discrimination by allowing religious beliefs to be raised as a defense in lawsuits and administrative proceedings brought by workers, tenants and customers who have suffered discrimination. In addition, SB 101 makes it easier to claim a burden on religious freedom than the federal RFRA by defining the 'exercise of religion' as 'any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.'

    "If Governor Pence meant it when he said that SB101 isn't intended to allow discrimination against LGBT people, then why were amendments designed to make that explicit repeatedly rejected during the legislative process? If he truly means what he says, then he and the legislature should work together to add this language: 'This chapter does not establish or eliminate a defense to a claim under any federal, state or local law protecting civil rights or preventing discrimination.' And the Indiana government should include gay and transgender people within Indiana's protections from discrimination."

    We need to keep repeating these points because there is now a concerted campaign by conservatives to pretend that this bill is other than it is. On "Morning Joe" this morning, Joe Scarborough kept repeating the conservative party line that this is the same bill that President Clinton signed and Illinois state senator Barack Obama voted for. They keep pushing these lies. We need to push back with the truth.

  • 97. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 30, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Well put, dear Jay

  • 98. JayJonson  |  March 30, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Thank you, dear Wolf.

  • 99. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  March 30, 2015 at 1:38 pm


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