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READ IT HERE: Same-sex couples’ reply briefs in Supreme Court marriage cases (part 2)

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
On Friday, we posted the reply briefs in the Tennessee and Ohio marriages the Supreme Court will hear in about a week. The reply briefs were all filed by the same-sex couples who are plaintiffs/petitioners in the case. EqualityOnTrial now has the Michigan and Kentucky reply briefs, and we’ll post them here.

You can read the Michigan brief here:

14-571 Michigan Plaintiffs' Reply by Equality Case Files

You can read the Kentucky brief here:

14-574 Kentucky Plaintiffs' Reply by Equality Case Files

The opening briefs, filed by the couples, can be read here, here, here, and here. The states’ briefs can be read here.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings

59 Comments

  • 1. DeadHead  |  April 20, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Off topic: Gene Schaerr spews more twisted crap in a commentary on a site created by the Heritage Foundation which I believe is an effort to target millennials. I think most millennials have more intelligence than what old school CONservatives give them credit for.: “Even in the short time that same-sex marriage has been officially recognized in some states at home and abroad, man-woman marriage rates have declined. … with 1.275 million additional women never getting married, nearly 900,000 more children of the next generation would be aborted as a result of their mothers never marrying. This is equal to the entire population of the cities of Sacramento and Atlanta combined. … In short, forcing states to convert the traditional gendered marriage institution into a genderless institution will very likely reduce man-woman marriages by undermining some of the norms that encourage heterosexual couples to marry, which will in turn increase the number of unmarried women and, hence, the number of children aborted.” Forcing States to Recognize Gay Marriage Could Increase Number of Abortions at http://dailysignal.com/2015/04/17/forcing-states-

  • 2. Rik_SD  |  April 20, 2015 at 9:37 am

    just read it.. what a bunch of happy horseshit. Check out the comment thread too to see the real braniacs

  • 3. Eric  |  April 20, 2015 at 10:24 am

    The superstitious are big on using correlation to imply causation. There is nothing new in the article.

  • 4. davepCA  |  April 20, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I remember how my dad first explained this to me – A researcher notes that a frog jumps when the researcher claps his hands loudly. As an experiment, he then removes the frog's legs, claps his hands, observes that the frog does not jump, and concludes that frogs become deaf when you remove their legs. Okay, perhaps a bit morbid, but I found it to be an amusing way to clearly make the point. It may be worth noting that I was about five years old when he gave me this explanation and I understood it perfectly.

  • 5. RemC_Chicago  |  April 20, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    So what you're saying is that you were smarter at 5 than any adult now associated with The Heritage Foundation? Gotcha.

  • 6. davepCA  |  April 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Yes, it wasn't meant to imply that I was some kind of genius at the age of five, it was more to point out that there's something really , really wrong with adults spewing this kind of idiocy : )

  • 7. mu2  |  April 20, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Kinda like the Tea Party guy who took his car to the shop & told the mechanic "The brakes don't work, put in a louder horn"…

  • 8. RnL2008  |  April 20, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Again, how does Gays and Lesbians having the right to marry have ANYTHING to do with man/woman relationships decline in marriage rates? Or will somehow have an effect on abortion rates going up?

    Throughout history marriage like anything else has had periods of time when the institution of marriage has seen declines and this is again one of those times……we also are over populated and the last time I check the birth rates, roughly 4 million babies are still born yearly……..where these people come up with this garbage I'll never know!!!

  • 9. Eric  |  April 20, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I believe the author's argument distills down to: The Gays shouldn't have their fundamental right to marry recognized, because heterosexuals engage in legal activities.

  • 10. RnL2008  |  April 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Oh I see….well, that certainly makes a lot of sense to me…..umm, NOT!!!

    I always ask folks how exactly my marriage affects them and ya know what…..they really don't have an answer………I mean, I doubt since August of 2008, when we got married that other straight couples who know NOTHING about us getting married were affected, nor was a child aborted because we got married……sometimes, stupid should hurt really bad!!!

  • 11. weaverbear  |  April 20, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Rose, my dear, people like the author of the article, make me sad that birth control isn't retroactive.

  • 12. RnL2008  |  April 20, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    I would have to agree with you assessment:-)

  • 13. RemC_Chicago  |  April 20, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    "nearly 900,000 more children of the next generation would be aborted as a result of their mothers never marrying. This is equal to the entire population of the cities of Sacramento and Atlanta combined. …"

    WHERE DO THEY GET THIS STUFF? A horrible thing to say. Jeepers. Thanks for highlighting this, DeadHead.

  • 14. David_Midvale_UT  |  April 20, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    An angel with a flaming sword. . .

  • 15. RobW303  |  April 20, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Even if there were a meaningful correlation between same-sex marriages and abortions (the logic there escapes me), the world and this country continue to overpopulate at a disastrous rate, so (short of self-control, ha ha) abortions are actually helping to stem our quickly advancing annihilation. But religious types will never acknowledge that their "every sperm is sacred" policy is bringing on an apocalypse of the type they've long awaited, even if they've been so wildly wrong in predicting when and how it would occur from the pronouncements in the supposedly infallible and clear word of God. Yeah, somehow overpopulation will "prove" to have been brought on by same-sex marriage, too.

  • 16. David_Midvale_UT  |  April 20, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Schaerr is a shill for the Mormon club. He believes he has some kind of special mission to perpetuate the bigotry of the Fifteen Old White (and increasingly senile) Men (per his comments on the occasion of his resignation to accept a position with the state's team in Kitchen v. Herbert). Mormonism is based on irrational lies; why should Schaerr act any different.

  • 17. DACiowan  |  April 21, 2015 at 12:16 am

    So does this guy consider the other 300 million sperm cells that didn't fertilize an egg more abortions? Or is it only the couples not forced to shack up and pump out kids? (Also note how he blames the woman in "their mothers never marrying.")

  • 18. A_Jayne  |  April 21, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I wonder how well his ass-umption that "of course women who do not marry will get pregnant and will have an abortion" sits with thinking people anywhere…

  • 19. weaverbear  |  April 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Once again doing a slow burn…..

    I re-read the above for a third time and I'm so ticked off by it, I could spit. (preferably right in his face.)

    Just an aside folks. I deliver babies. As in that's what I do for a living. I will admit when I arrived in California 35 years ago from the east coast, I was surprised at the number of people who were choosing to have children out of wedlock. I remain surprised at the number of folks who cohabitate and have kids, and after 3 or 4 still tell me they're not 'ready' to get married. While that's their prerogative, I don't really understand how one is ready to have a child with someone, but not ready to commit to that individual. Maybe that's me, but perhaps I'm just an old fashioned guy…. I want both the protections and benefits of marriage, to protect both myself and my husband of 34 years. Further, I can only think that my taking advantage of that right and setting the example of getting married, should be a positive thing, and not a discouragement to unmarried straight cohabitants actually taking the leap.

    In the time prior to 2008, I overheard someone straight bellyaching about not being able to get onto his girlfriend's health insurance and how unfair it was that gay people could just 'claim' domestic partnership and get those benefits. I came unglued. I looked at him and as calmly as I could, reminded him he could easily get onto her benefits. When he told me there was no domestic partnership for straight people, my response was, "sorry friend, but you're wrong! It's called marriage. The two of them just had to go down to city hall and get married and he'd get those benefits. Radical concept, no?

  • 20. sfbob  |  April 20, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Both briefs are excellent. The brief from Bourke vs Beshear contains this absolute gem:

    "Under Michigan’s cramped conception of the liberty interest at stake, the right to marry would have vanished with the repeal of anti-fornication laws, leaving the Fourteenth Amendment to protect only sex itself."

  • 21. ebohlman  |  April 20, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I wish a judge (Heyburn, Posner, or Reinhart would have been good candidates) had straight-out asked the defendants' counsel "have you ever been to a wedding without a shotgun?".

  • 22. ebohlman  |  April 20, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Another great one:

    Marriage is defined not by the identities of its participants but by the mutual “rights and responsibilities” afforded them by law.

  • 23. ebohlman  |  April 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Yet another:

    This argument ignores the reality that by constitutionalizing their marriage bans, the States themselves have removed the issue from ordinary political processes.

  • 24. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  April 20, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    That's awesome. I'm glad someone caught that.

  • 25. sfbob  |  April 20, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    The best thing about all four of these briefs is that they have managed to call out and rebut every last arguments the states have thrown at us. If there was a gap until now they closed it. The above are two items that the sort of things which will be noticed by the majority of Supreme Court justices. I don't think that "all you have to do is amend the state's constitution again" is going to fly.

  • 26. VIRick  |  April 20, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    "This argument ignores the reality that by constitutionalizing their marriage bans, the States themselves have removed the issue from ordinary political processes."

    Yes, precisely. Constitutionalizing the marriage bans effectively removed them from the ordinary political process. Therefore, the only remaining avenue by which one can remedy the situation is through the judicial system. Yet, Sutton and Cook are such close-minded ass-hats that they refused to acknowledge this point, leaving us where we are today with the 6th Circuit.

  • 27. Zack12  |  April 20, 2015 at 10:23 am

    In marriage equality news, SCOTUS has just told NOM to take a hike in regards to trying to overturn Oregon's marriage law. http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2015/04

  • 28. VIRick  |  April 20, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    This was the best part of the article:

    "John Eastman, the NOM chairman and attorney for the group, could not be immediately reached for comment."

    From this, I presume he's already out taking his hike.

  • 29. Mike_Baltimore  |  April 20, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    "From this, I presume he's already out taking his hike."

    On the Appalachian Trail? Part of it is less than 60 miles from DC (70 miles to Harpers Ferry, WV if going by train, 55 miles to the 'Bears Den Trail Center' located 150 feet from the Appalachian Trail).

  • 30. VIRick  |  April 20, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Ah, Mike, you're good!

    Not only did you confirm my thoughts (and that of both Zack and SCOTUS) on where Eastman could go, but you quite definitely told him, in very precise detail, how to get there.

    On the other hand, the C&O canal trail runs from Georgetown, DC, to Cumberland, MD, and intersects the Appalachian trail somewhere along the way. So, if he utilized the C&O canal trail, he could hike himself right out of town.

    Oh, and to help him get started, the "Circulator" bus runs from Union Station (a block north of SCOTUS) to Georgetown.

  • 31. davepCA  |  April 20, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Perhaps you guys could email him a screen capture of a Google map to point the way for him?

  • 32. Mike_Baltimore  |  April 20, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Since there is a Northern and Southern end point to the Appalachian Trail (in Maine and Georgia, respectively), I prefer to put him on a hike to nowhere, such as the trail to 'the fountain of youth' or 'El Dorado'.

  • 33. RobW303  |  April 20, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    I think he's too weak from praying and fasting to open his cell phone.

  • 34. davepCA  |  April 20, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Just finished reading both of them. These briefs kick ass.

  • 35. 1grod  |  April 20, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Off topic: US House Committee will not take up DC's Amendment to Rights Act 2014 during this Congress. T. Cruz has introduced an identical [yet to be acted upon] resolution in the Senate: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/04/19/house-c

  • 36. FredDorner  |  April 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Off topic – my state of Wisconsin is apparently dragging its feet on presumptive paternity. I remember Iowa had to be ordered by a court to do the right thing in this area too.
    http://www.weau.com/home/headlines/Same-sex-coupl

  • 37. DrPatrick1  |  April 20, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Presumption of paternity laws totally undermine the anti-marriage side's arguments about marriage being an institution which unites the biological parents of a child with that child. In presumption of paternity, the law grants that children born of a marriage are the legal responsibility of the parties to the marriage. Thus, the law works to bind a husband to the children born to his wife regardless if he is the sperm donor. If he were the bio dad, he would not need to rely on the presumption of paternity. In fact, this law is used to establish someone who is not the sperm donor as the legal father! (My sister gave birth to a biracial child of her second husband while she was separated from her Caucasian first husband. He was later deemed legally responsible for child support with their divorce even though it did not make medical sense that he could be the biological father, and that fact was plain to see. When a few months old and sick with a respiratory infection, the hospital ER would not let his biological father sign him in as he wasn't the child's father according to the state! Marriage in this case proved a barrier legally separating a child from his biological parent!).

    The effect of presumption of paternity laws is exactly the same in GLBT relationships. Any child born to the relationship should be presumed to be a product of the relationship. In the context of presumption of paternity, the actual biology is purposefully neglected or set aside!

  • 38. David_Midvale_UT  |  April 20, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Biological paternity is irrelevant. The law should state (in all of its glorious simplicity) that the lawful spouse of the biological mother is deemed the second parent of the child (until such time as biological paternity is established by civil contract or court order).

  • 39. DrPatrick1  |  April 20, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    This is what presumption of paternity laws are intended to say and do!

    I'd rather the law read simply, "children born during the course of a marriage are presumed to be the product of the parties to the marriage." This wording would protect and respect all couples, not only those with a female member. I don't much like referring to a child as a product, but I am not familiar with a different word that would suffice in this context…

  • 40. David_Midvale_UT  |  April 21, 2015 at 7:01 am

    "Children born during the course of a marriage are the joint responsibility of the parties to the marriage."

  • 41. jm64tx  |  April 21, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Most states have adopted the uniform parentage act. This act establishes parentage as follows:

    Section 201. ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP. (a) The mother-child relationship is established between a woman and a child by:
    (1) the woman giving birth to the child;
    (2) an adjudication of the woman's maternity; or
    (3) the adoption of the child by the woman.

    (b) The father-child relationship is established between a man and a child by:
    (1) an unrebutted presumption of the man's paternity of the child under Section 204;
    (2) an effective acknowledgment of paternity by the man under Subchapter D, unless the acknowledgment has been rescinded or successfully challenged;
    (3) an adjudication of the man's paternity;
    (4) the adoption of the child by the man; or
    (5) the man's consenting to assisted reproduction by his wife under Subchapter H, which resulted in the birth of the child.

    Section 204 says:

    204. PRESUMPTION OF PATERNITY. (a) A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:
    (1) he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born during the marriage;
    (2) he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;
    (3) he married the mother of the child before the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;
    (4) he married the mother of the child after the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, regardless of whether the marriage is or could be declared invalid, he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child, and:
    (A) the assertion is in a record filed with the bureau of vital statistics;
    (B) he is voluntarily named as the child's father on the child's birth certificate; or
    (C) he promised in a record to support the child as his own; or
    (5) during the first two years of the child's life, he continuously resided in the household in which the child resided and he represented to others that the child was his own.

  • 42. Randolph_Finder  |  April 21, 2015 at 11:35 am

    And thus denies any parenting rights to the wives of women who give birth?

  • 43. Zack12  |  April 20, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    In Oregon, NOM's ultimate goal was to try and force the issue to the ballot again.
    Their hopes were that we would lose and send the message that the people aren't ready for it and to bring themselves back into prominence again instead of the laughing stock they are now.
    Thankfully they failed and marriage equality in Oregon is here to stay.

  • 44. JayJonson  |  April 21, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Yes, but it is worth observing that NOM's adopting this strategy also shows how out-of-touch they are. Not only was it a sure loser in court, even had the strategy succeeded, they would have lost at the ballot in Oregon. Now in Alabama there would have been a different outcome. But in Oregon a substantial majority supports marriage equality.

  • 45. Randolph_Finder  |  April 21, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Yeah, Oregon is one that I think right now we'd win at the ballot box…

  • 46. guitaristbl  |  April 20, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Will read the briefs in a while. In the meantime, Lyle is having none of it when it comes to the amici on the side of the states :
    http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/04/preview-on-same

    "In short, these amici tend to acknowledge that the Court to which they are making their plea is not the Court that in 1986 issued Bowers v. Hardwick, with its evident hostility to homosexual lifestyle, but is instead a Court that has changed markedly, and is entirely willing to listen, with apparent sympathy, to the new claims for gay equality — reflecting, of course, the dominant influence and the chosen approach of Justice Kennedy.

    It would be wrong, though, to suggest that there is not some genuine dread emerging in some of these filings."

    "But what these kinds of amicus filings lack in restraint is offset by their lack of numbers; moreover, they give clear evidence that they are more directed at their own constituencies than at a potential majority of the Supreme Court. They stand out because they deviate rather noticeably from the more reasoned advocacy that reflects scores of lawyers’ judgment that the Court cannot and will not be driven by extreme rhetoric."

    "These cases may, indeed, be their last real chance to head off a nationalization of same-sex marriage, and these lawyers and their clients show a determination not to forfeit this opportunity in a heavy and anguished reliance upon anti-gay rhetoric, unmoored in data."

  • 47. David_Midvale_UT  |  April 20, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Short version: "They just pulled this garbage out of their [name your favorite orifice] so stupid people will give them money."

  • 48. VIRick  |  April 20, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Snyder Opposes Recognizing Terminally-Ill Gay Man’s Marriage
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/04/20/snyder-

    Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced in a legal brief filed on 16 April 2015 in "Morgan v. Snyder" that he opposes state recognition of the marriage of a gay man in Michigan who’s terminally ill. In a five-page brief submitted to the US District Court of the Western District of Michigan, Snyder argues Michigan shouldn’t be required to recognize the marriage of Bruce Morgan, an East Grand Rapids, MI, resident who’s suffering from brain cancer and who married his partner, Brian Merucci, in New York in 2013.

    A federal court had struck down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage in March 2014 in "DeBoer v. Snyder," but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, upholding the state’s prohibition on same-sex marriages. That case is now pending before the US Supreme Court.

    Snyder had acceded to another court ruling requiring Michigan to recognize the marriages of 323 same-sex couples who married during a “window” period after the initial court ruling, but before the 6th Circuit Court placed a stay on the case. But the governor says the decision in that lawsuit, "Caspar v. Snyder," isn’t enough for the court to grant state recognition of Morgan’s marriage.

    “The only circumstance cited by Plaintiffs not previously considered by this Court is the decision in 'Caspar,'” Snyder said. “But 'Caspar' is non-precedential and factually distinguishable. Consequently, the legal and factual landscapes relevant to staying this case remain the same as they did when this Court issued the stay, and Plaintiffs’ motion should be denied.”

    The lawsuit, "Morgan v. Snyder," was filed by private attorneys in June 2014, but the case was stayed in August 2014, as marriage litigation was pending before the 6th Circuit Court. Earlier this month, the plaintiff couple filed a motion seeking relief from the stay in the aftermath of the decision in the "Caspar" case.

  • 49. Zack12  |  April 20, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    This is why we are fighting for marriage equality.
    So that injustices like this won't happen in the future.

  • 50. RemC_Chicago  |  April 21, 2015 at 6:35 am

    It infuriates me that all the political officials who behind their Christian moral values are too blind to see actions like these as inhumane and completely lacking in compassion. Excuse me while I call his office and give him a (polite) piece of my mind. (LATER) What does the Governor GAIN from denying a humane gesture of compassion to these two men? He couldn't answer that question, although he claimed to, stating that the state's Constitution doesn't recognize same-sex marriage and that they are looking forward to this issue being settled by SCOTUS in June. What, I asked, if this man dies before June? My neighbor has brain cancer and I've seen what this ordeal has done to him and his family. Get this you guys, did you know that people have been dying for hundreds of thousands of years? I've call the paper in Lansing and left a message with the guy who covers the political beat, after not finding anything about the story online, to alert him and ask if the story was of any interest to the paper.

  • 51. F_Young  |  April 21, 2015 at 2:59 am

    Off-topic: Bathroom Police Could Collect $4,000 Bounty Under New California Ballot Initiative

    ….Modeled after a bill that failed in Kentucky earlier this year, the Act would create a civil claim against individuals for using the restroom in accordance with their gender identity, as well as against whatever government entity allows them to do so. “Such claim includes equitable relief and damages up to a maximum of three times the amount of actual damage but in no case less than $4,000, and attorney’s fees that may be determined by a court,” the proposed initiative reads.

    ….the initiative also hopes to circumvent a precedent established by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Proposition 8 case, which was dismissed because proponents did not have standing to defend it. The bathroom policing initiative declares, “If the Attorney General fails to mount a defense of the Act against legal challenge, or appoint a special Attorney General to do so, initiative proponents shall have the right to act as the agent of California for purposes of any necessary defense of this Act against legal challenge.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/04/20/3648783/

  • 52. DeadHead  |  April 21, 2015 at 3:43 am

    This sounds like something from Nazi Germany! The GOP is so obsessed with people’s genitals. First it was with women’s vaginas, in some states women are forced to have a vaginal probe to get an abortion. Now they'll have people checking out everyone’s sex organs at the toilets. What next, a fuschia colored triangle to identify trans people? Does anyone see a pattern here with these proposed laws and actions?

    From the article: ‘The so-called “Privacy For All” coalition has introduced the “Personal Privacy Protection Act” for consideration as a ballot initiative. It would require that “a person shall use facilities in accordance with their biological sex in all government buildings.” Though never using the word “transgender,” it seeks to erase transgender people by defining “biological sex” as “the biological condition of being male or female as determined at or near the time of birth or through medical examination.”’ http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/04/20/3648783/

  • 53. RemC_Chicago  |  April 21, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Yeah, there does seem to be an unhealthy attention paid to private parts and an unshakeable conviction that it's their business to pry into other people's bodies and lives.

  • 54. davepCA  |  April 21, 2015 at 9:43 am

    … and of course, the part about 'and we get to have standing when this law gets taken to court' is bullshit. Nope, they don't. It just doesn't work that way.

  • 55. A_Jayne  |  April 21, 2015 at 6:46 am

    As the PropH8 campaign and vote proved, the right kind of advertising can trigger the all-too-close-to-the-surface fear and gullibility of too many in the populous, who will then turn out to vote to "protect the children," especially when that fear is stoked from a pulpit. The Anita Bryant effect is still effective.

    When people stop to think about the truth of such circumstances, or if they happen to personally know someone transgender, they will be less likely to succumb to the fear, but will they make the effort to vote against such nonsense? I suppose that depends on how well they know that transgender person, how eager they are to protect that person's privacy. They may just not bother to vote that day, as many do, thinking none of this affects them…

  • 56. David_Midvale_UT  |  April 21, 2015 at 7:17 am

    This issue is a Big Flipping Deal for some of the extremists here in HATU—The Bass Ackwards State. The locals don't have a problem with a sexual predator boinking teenage girls or women who are married to a still-living husband, but they go bananas over the idea that we ought to treat our neighbors the way that we ourselves want to be treated, specifically with a generous measure of respect and dignity.

  • 57. sfbob  |  April 21, 2015 at 7:43 am

    There are several things to keep in mind. First is the fact that California's anti-discrimination laws cover gender identity. It's going to be difficult to square that with this piece of crap. Secondly, the proponents of the measure really are not terribly bright when it comes to understanding how the law operates. The provision granting the proponents the authority to defend the measure if the state refuses to do so guarantees that that state will not lift a finger to defend the measure if it passes and, more importantly, regardless of how much authority it grants to the proponents at the state level is doesn't and cannot give them Article III standing to the defend the law in federal court.

    Still, nobody should be lulled into a false sense of security. We in California should make sure this measure never makes it onto the ballot.

  • 58. JayJonson  |  April 21, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Agree that we should not be lulled into a fase sense of security, but these jerks have tried this before–the people behind this referendum are the same ones who tried to get signatures for a referendum blocking transgender participation in sports in public schools and a referendum blocking the requirement to teach glbt history in public schools. In both cases, they were unsuccessful in gaining enough signatures. Let's hope that their pattern of failure will continue.

    The positive thing about the churches participation in this kind of nonsense is that they have so ruined their brand in blue states that their endorsement is a two-edged sword. They may be able to rally their own members, but at the same time they automatically turn off others.

  • 59. KahuBill  |  April 21, 2015 at 7:43 am

    A word of caution for those in states that fight marriage equality. THIS MIGHT HAPPEN IN YOUR COMMUNITY!

    Yesterday was Patriots Day and the Marathon in Boston. Riding the Red Line "T" back to Cambridge I witnessed the following scene. A couple of guys got on the train proudly wearing their official Marathon rain ponchos and their ribbons and medals from the race. Lots of congratulations from other passengers. They were obviously buddies and university students. One was with his girlfriend and one was with his boyfriend and both showed pride in and affection towards their exhausted and exhillerated partners. When we got off at Harvard Square the two couples parted with hugs all around.

    Imagine – challenge and triumph, friendship and affection, love and joy – all witnessed with appreciation and happiness by everyone on the train – even the kids! Be careful you folks in Alabama, Arkansas, Utah, Idaho and other "Godfearing" parts of this nation. This, too, may happen in your neck of the woods if you let people just be themselves!

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