Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Minister Jailed for Stand on Marriage Equality


By Matt Baume

Alabama has sent a minister to jail for 30 days for defying a local judge and marrying a lesbian couple. Irish voters support marriage equality in a landslide, but marriage could still start in America before they start in Ireland. And one more study shows support for equality on the rise.

Anti-equality groups love to claim that religious officials will be punished for speaking out against marriage equality. But for some reason, they don’t seem to want to talk about Anne DePrizio, a Unitarian minister in Alabama who was sentenced to 30 days in jail last month for her stance on marriage.

After a federal court ruled that Alabama’s marriage ban was unconstitutional, Anne conducted a marriage for two women at a probate office. A local judge ordered her to stop, but she defied him and obeyed for the federal ruling. Her punishment for refusing to vacate the office: thirty days in jail, sixth months probation, and a $250 fine.

Just to be clear: this is an actual example of a religious official who has been sent to jail for exercising her religious beliefs. It is the very thing that the opposition has been claiming will happen to them. And yet none of them are coming to Anne’s defense. Weird.

Meanwhile, across the globe: Congratulations to Ireland, the first country in the world to legalize marriage equality by a popular vote. Well, kind of — it hasn’t been legalized yet. Voters overwhelming supported marriage equality in a referendum last week, but now legislators have to draft a constitutional amendment to reflect the vote. That should happen sometime this summer, and then the order will be signed before the end of the year.

So, what does that mean for the U.S.? Well, it means that now Ireland and America are in a race for marriage to start. We’ll get a ruling from the Supreme Court in June, and if it’s favorable, then marriage could start sometime in the next few months. But if it’s unfavorable, it could take a decade or more to undo.

Finally this week, a new survey from Gallup shows marriage support continuing to rise. No big surprises here, though the jump is big: we’re up seven percentage points in the last year. This is about where Ireland was just a few years ago.


  • 1. SethInMaryland  |  May 26, 2015 at 8:20 am

    any news on Greenland? I can't find anything about it

  • 2. scream4ever  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:41 am

    It passed unanimously!!!

  • 3. StraightDave  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:58 am

    2 not voting.

  • 4. SethInMaryland  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:59 am

    it's in Danish, it's going to be needed translated , which I don't know how to do whatsoever lol

  • 5. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 26, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I was looking for info, but apparently in all the wrong places.

    I started with the Greenland newspapers (both of them), but since I don't speak or read the Greenland version of Danish, I didn't get very far.

    Then I tried the Danish newspapers, but again I don't speak or read Danish, and the only English-language papers I found were printed prior to the Greenland Parliament's vote.

    In other words, I struck out, but others I see didn't.

    Congratulations Greenland (and when can we expect NOM to whine about this, or is everyone expecting silence on NOM's part?).

  • 6. SethInMaryland  |  May 26, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    nom may not say anything about it but deep down they are scared , they know that the Irish momentum is now spreading like a wildfire

  • 7. mjnichol  |  May 26, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I thought NOM would be happy about the result. Didn't they say, just a short while ago, "Let the people vote"?

  • 8. RnL2008  |  May 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    When NOM made that statement, they meant ONLY as long as the vote went their way……lol!!!

  • 9. ebohlman  |  May 27, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I think NOM has pretty much given up on what those of us over 40 once called the "First World". They're now joining with a bunch of lesser-known, though often more dangerous, miscreants to preserve and enhance injustice in eastern Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. It's almost as if the old Cold War boundaries are re-drawing themselves around GLBT issues.

  • 10. davepCA  |  May 26, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I'm not having any luck finding ANY news articles about this except the brief Joe.My.God article. Has anybody else found anything? I'd really like to know more about how this went down. That unanimous vote is just awesome.

  • 11. davepCA  |  May 26, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    …. I found a new Towleroad article, but it's really just a reprint of the JoeMyGod article…

  • 12. StraightDave  |  May 26, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    The best Greenland news article I found is
    it's in Danish which is close enough to Norwegian, which I can ready fairly well (my wife's a native). That coupled with a little boost from Google (weak on Danish but enough to fill in the gaps) got me by.

    The headline says it all, IA celebrates over "gay marriages". IA is the main political party in Greenland. On Scream4ever's link above there is a summary of a dozen bills handled by the parliament today. Each is listed with the result: Adopted/rejected/deferred. Item 100 is "marriage between 2 persons of the same sex – Result: Adopted (Vedtaget). The vote is in the tab labelled Afstemmning. That giant 27 labelled "for" needs no translation.

    This action included "repealing the Act on registered partnership as a result of marriage between two persons of the same sex .

    Having said all that, it is not entirely clear to me when this will officially take effect. As with Ireland and Great Britain, there' sometimes plenty of administrative paperwork before the weddings can begin. Regardless, 27-0 means it's done.
    A recent opinion poll in the same article,"should SSM be possible": Yes 61%, No 35%, don't know? 3%.

  • 13. davepCA  |  May 26, 2015 at 6:31 pm


  • 14. scream4ever  |  May 26, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    I've read in several sources that weddings will begin on October 1st.

  • 15. SPQRobin  |  May 26, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Indeed, the documents at the parliament's URL above say it takes effect October 1st, e.g.

  • 16. VIRick  |  May 26, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Dave, this is all we really need to know, in addition to the unanimous vote, the first ever anywhere on marriage for same-sex couples:

    IA jubler over homoægteskaber.
    En mand skal snart kunne gifte sig med en anden mand.
    Og en kvinde skal snart kunne gifte sig med en anden kvinde.

    IA rejoices over same-sex marriage.
    A man will soon be able to marry another man.
    And a woman will soon be able to marry another woman.

    IA = Inuit Ataqatigiit, the Inuit political party

    By the way, the Danish literally says, "a man shall soon be able to gift himself with another man, and a woman shall soon be able to gift herself with another woman."

  • 17. scream4ever  |  May 26, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I believe Iceland was a unanimous vote back in 2010.

  • 18. VIRick  |  May 26, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Thanks, I stand corrected.

  • 19. davepCA  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    What a lovely 'gift' ! : )

  • 20. StraightDave  |  May 27, 2015 at 5:54 am

    Actually the word "gift" is one of my favorite words, in both Danish & Norwegian.
    It has 2 very common and frequently-used meanings:" married" and "poison". Go figure 🙂

    (and it doesn't really mean gift in the English sense at all. and it's pronounced "Yift". I shoulda put that all in up front)

    Not sure where you got your info VIRick, but it's inaccurate. Not that it's your fault if you relied on the internuts 🙂

  • 21. VIRick  |  May 27, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Yes, and in Danish, it's pronounced "yifta." As a reflexive verb, "Gifte sig med" rather literally means "to give one's self with." So, I "played" with it a just a tad, and re-stated it as "to gift one's self with." And yes, it is NOT a noun when used thus, and does not exactly connote the same meaning as a "present" or "gift" in English,– although davepCA seem excited by the prospect!.

    Instead, as you said, as a noun, it means "poison." I have no idea why, except to remember that on a very basic level, the Scandic languages (and certain "root" words in English, like those with silent 'k' and 'gh,' which have been borrowed from the same source) are reflective of Viking times. Perhaps to the Vikings, marriage was poison.

    In any case, the next time I make a play on words between Danish and English (or French and English, or Spanish and English, or whatever), I will be more careful to identify it as such.

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  May 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    "gift" means poison in German as well. All of the Scandinavian languages are in the "North Germanic" branch of the Indo-European language family tree, while English and German and Dutch are in the "West Germanic" branch. So the meaning of "gift" probably traces back to the ancient Proto-Germanic language, and perhaps even earlier. The Vikings probably didn't even exist yet when the meaning of "gift" was first established!

  • 23. SPQRobin  |  May 26, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    There is indeed little information out of Greenland. For some reason this is not really an issue among Greenland politicians. The government of Greenland was already considering/asking for this as of 2010. Then in 2012 Denmark introduced marriage equality. Then Greenland planned to adopt that law but (also because of early elections) it took until now to get it finally approved.

  • 24. Rick55845  |  May 26, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Quoting from Matt's post:

    "After a federal court ruled that Alabama’s marriage ban was unconstitutional, Anne conducted a marriage for two women at a probate office. A local judge ordered her to stop, but she defied him and obeyed for the federal ruling. Her punishment for refusing to vacate the office: thirty days in jail, sixth months probation, and a $250 fine."

    "Just to be clear: this is an actual example of a religious official who has been sent to jail for exercising her religious beliefs."

    —- end quote —-

    Does anyone know what she was charged with? If it was for failing to "vacate the office", that doesn't sound like "an actual example of a religious official who has been sent to jail for exercising her religious beliefs."

  • 25. VIRick  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Rick, correct. The case was somewhat strange. The minister attempted to marry the couple in question inside the probate judge's office, without the couple's express consent, during the interval while the couple was successfully being issued their marriage license. The office staff first asked the minister to leave their office. When she refused, she was then ordered to leave. She still refused. So, yes, she was arrested for failing to vacate the office.

    As I understand the situation, she was an extraneous, self-invited third party.

  • 26. scream4ever  |  May 26, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    It doesn't really matter though since the other side has made many such claims of persecution when they were merely third parties.

  • 27. Lymis  |  May 28, 2015 at 3:22 am

    I'll agree that the case is not as clear-cut as the news summary would make it seem.

    But at the same time, if a third party clergy would not have been asked to vacate the office for showing up and wishing to perform an opposite sex wedding, then this is just as clearly because of attempting to exercise her religious beliefs about same-sex marriage as it would have been if the charge was more direct.

    And you know darn well if a clergy person had been jailed for opposing same-sex marriage in the same place and at the same time, the right wing would be trumpeting the fact everywhere, and they wouldn't be making any distinction about whether it was an order to vacate or mere religious belief.

  • 28. Arostow  |  May 27, 2015 at 11:29 am

    we should all note that this woman was not put in jail… she was given 6months probation only. The original post is wrong.

  • 29. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 27, 2015 at 11:33 am

    And your source for your 'facts' is ? Faux News, or some web site of its ilk?

    Any word on the fine of $250.00?

  • 30. Arostow  |  May 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    there's not much coverage up there about this… all reports say that jail time was suspended. check for yourself.

  • 31. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Check where?

    IOW – Do you have any links to back up what you say? You may be correct, but if you can't back it up … .

  • 32. Arostow  |  May 27, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    If you search google news for Anne Diprizio, you'll find a handful of stories datelined late May, from PinkNews, Gay Star News and a few others. Here's the link from Rachel Maddow's blog or whatever.

  • 33. Lymis  |  May 28, 2015 at 3:23 am

    A suspended jail sentence is still a sentence of jail time.

  • 34. ebohlman  |  May 28, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Yes. For example, nobody who has ever been sentenced to jail time is allowed to work for a financial institution (thanks to a provision in the post-meltdown reform laws). A year or two ago, a 70-year-old bank teller was fired because he had served 2 days in jail for fighting when he was 18.

  • 35. Arostow  |  May 28, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    true. my point is, she was not "jailed" or sent to jail. The headline on the original story is wrong and there's a big difference between suspended sentences or probation or fines or whatever, and actually being put behind bars.

  • 36. gay_avenger  |  May 28, 2015 at 7:54 am

    The judge gave her 6 months probation for which she has to pay $20 to $40 a month in probation fees. Plus she has to pay court/judicial costs as well. If she doesn't pay the $250.00 AND those costs within the 6 months her probation will be extended until everything is paid.

    The SPL currently has a lawsuit towards a private Alabama probation company read this article for more info

  • 37. SethInMaryland  |  May 26, 2015 at 8:43 am

    better news in Australia: Labour's party leader has said they will forward their own bill with a date , this may put more pressure on the coalition to allow a conscience vote

  • 38. RemC_Chicago  |  May 26, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Rose, have you seen this baseball cap? Seems to be made for you!

  • 39. VIRick  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:15 am

    OMG! Yes! That's Rose in print! LOL

  • 40. RnL2008  |  May 26, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Thank you both for making me laugh:-)

  • 41. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 26, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Off topic, but my housemate was in San Francisco a few years ago.

    He's an Orioles fan, and I'm a Giants fan. While in San Fran, he saw and bought a 'misprint' baseball cap that said Orioles on the front and Giants on the back. Neither team was playing in San Fran or Oakland that weekend. We each appreciate the other team, but the other team is not the favorite team for each of us. And it's very appropriate (IMO) that both teams have team colors that include black and orange.

    Now I'm wondering how much some people would measure the worth of that cap (in dollars).

  • 42. JayJonson  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Greenland's Parliament has just voted unanimously to adopt Danish laws legalizing same-sex marriage and gay adoption. Greenland is an autonomous country within the kingdom of Denmark and is not a member of the United Nations. More than three times the size of Texas, Greenland has a population of about 57,000.

  • 43. Christian0811  |  May 27, 2015 at 9:32 am

    According to the bill itself, it seems that Registered Partnership was repealed as part of the measure. Just as well, in this case Registered Partnerships were a humiliating "separate-but-'equal'" scheme. Compared to PACS in France, which have been open to both same and opposite sex couple since their establishment in the 90s and continue to be so today even with civil marriage being open to same sex couples now.

  • 44. SethInMaryland  |  May 26, 2015 at 11:42 am

    BREAKING NEWS: Greenland Approves Same-Sex Marriage

  • 45. VIRick  |  May 26, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Indiana Paid $1.4 Million in Legal Fees Fighting Same-Sex Marriage

    According to state officials, in their latest up-date, Indiana paid more than $1.4 million in fees fighting five federal court cases that challenged the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

    The cases were resolved in October 2014 when the US Supreme Court refused to hear appeals in two of the cases decided by lower courts in favor of the plaintiffs. The high court's decision not to hear the cases led to the start of marriage between same-sex couples in Indiana.

    According to new information provided by the state Attorney-General's office, Indiana paid more than $1.4 million to attorneys who represented the plaintiffs in the five cases. The state paid an additional $7,000 on other related costs in the lead case.

  • 46. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 26, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I'm glad I no longer live in Indiana (I moved out of that state more than 40 years ago), as those costs will be passed on to the residents in the form of taxes.

    I don't feel good about my sister and mother, though, and several other relatives, as they still live in the state.

  • 47. VIRick  |  May 26, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    So far, as best as I am aware, that's the largest sum yet shelled out to the plaintiffs' attorneys by any state in their vain attempt to defend their marriage bans, as it easily tops Wisconsin's $1.2 million expense.

  • 48. Mike_Baltimore  |  May 26, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    True, but Indiana has a larger population, so the 'expense' will be spread over a larger tax base.

    Population estimates as of 7-1-2014:
    Indiana – 6,596,855
    Wisconsin – 5,757,564

    Still, that is $2.6 million that need not have been spent. And how much additional did the state, in defending the laws, spend? Remember, the moneys detailed above are JUST what the state owes to the plaintiffs' attorneys.

  • 49. DJSNOLA  |  May 27, 2015 at 6:28 am

    The sad part is the taxpayers including those same sex couples who won will have to share in the tax burden for that. Congrats you won your case now heres your taxes to pay to the government that tried to fight you.

  • 50. A_Jayne  |  May 27, 2015 at 6:57 am

    OTOH, the attorneys who fought and won deserve to be paid for their effort. I imagine the small part of that payment each taxpayer will submit is well worth it to supporters while being a bitter pill to deniers. Seems a win-win to me…

  • 51. JayJonson  |  May 27, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Yes. And some of the private attorneys who have won some of our cases have donated part of their fees to gay rights groups. And, of course, when the fees go to Lambda Legal, GLAD, NCLR, and/or the ACLU, they help finance other gay rights cases as well.

    I think that the taxpayers of each state–especially poor states like Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas–need to realize that there is a price to be paid for their bigotry.

  • 52. DJSNOLA  |  May 27, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Obviously its a very small amount in the overall scheme of things but I do think its ironic nonetheless. Your right in saying that the actual couples may win out in the end but other same sex couples not directly involved dont win out so much. Small price to be paid I guess. Main point I was trying to make is that I wish that we had more direct culpability for elected officials. Not one state would pursue these appeals if the elected officials own money were on the line.

  • 53. JayJonson  |  May 27, 2015 at 9:18 am

    I agree that elected officials should be held accountable when they continue to pursue these appeals. As you say, if their own money were on the line, they would not continuing fighting losing battles.

    But I don't get your point about "the actual couples may win out in the end but other same sex couples not directly involved dont win out so much." We all win when justice is done. When marriage equality comes to a state, all gay couples are the winners–whether they are already married in other states or even if they don't want to get married, the very fact that they have the option is important.

  • 54. DJSNOLA  |  May 27, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I phrased my response poorly. Certainly same sex couples benefit that aren't part of the case , I just meant financially for them they are just as responsible for paying the states legal bills as anyone else and didn't personally receive any relief from the courts either. It's not a big issue just pointing out the issues when elected officials pursue needless litigation the populace pays for it. Perhaps if elected officials had more direct repurcussions from pursuing needless litigation they would be more hesitant to do so.

  • 55. RemC_Chicago  |  May 26, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    After watching the Indiana lawyer argue in support of his state's bans before the 7th Appeals, I have to say Indiana was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy overcharged.

  • 56. DJSNOLA  |  May 27, 2015 at 7:23 am

    I think one could argue this was just a way to funnel public money to religious organizations. Clear violation of separation of church in state.

  • 57. RobW303  |  May 27, 2015 at 7:16 am

    I wonder how much Texas will utlimately end up paying, when the legal fees and awards from the lawsuits to follow all these blatantly discriminatory measures are added up.

  • 58. VIRick  |  May 27, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Oh, there are some huge bills still outstanding, as the billing aspect can only commence once the case(s) has been finalized and all appeals have been completed,– and we have won. The money being paid now (i.e., Wisconsin and Indiana) is from cases settled and finalized last October.

    For example, the consolidated double-case from Florida is still on hold on appeal before the 11th Circuit Court. Once the dust eventually clears some months from now, Florida is going to be stuck with a monstrous tab, already estimated at somewhere between $4 million and $5 million.

    Expect another monster bill in the Michigan case, dragging on since 2013, complete with a full trial, and all the endless appeals,– plus the special defense counsel hired to plead before the Supreme Court.. And Kentucky, too, given that that is also a double case, complete with all the endless double appeals,– plus the stupid governor also went and hired outside defense counsel after Kentucky's AG threw up his hands in disgust. However, the billing aspect can not even commence until after the Supreme Court rules in our favor.

  • 59. DrBriCA  |  May 26, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Talk about slow-walking…. Equality Files posted that in the Kansas case (Marie vs Moser), a hearing will be held on the amended claims to get the state fully recognizing and performing marriages on … November 3!

    Hopefully Kansas will throw in the towel after the SCOTUS ruling this summer, or maybe even the 10th Circuit might finally step in. Crabtree must REALLY not want to be the one to tell the state to finally get with the program.

  • 60. Raga  |  May 27, 2015 at 10:21 am

    "If case is not resolved by pretrial motions, a one day trial is set for November 3" – I would assume that a favorable SCOTUS decision would result in a swift pre-trial summary judgment motion that would render the trial unnecessary. Hopefully.

  • 61. SethInMaryland  |  May 26, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    One vote short Now In Australia, it's been confirmed that another mp supports marriage equality and will announce it very soon when he returns to work , right now he is in the hospital recovering from a heart attack

  • 62. Sagesse  |  May 27, 2015 at 4:01 am

    Debate Jun 2, 6:30 – 8pm ET

    The Equal Protection Clause Does Not Require States To License Same-Sex Marriages

    For: John Eastman, Sherif Girgis
    Against: Evan Wolfson, Kenji Yoshino

  • 63. waggleberry1  |  May 27, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Sherif Girgis– isn't that the guy who was excluded as an expert in the DeBoer case?

  • 64. Elihu_Bystander  |  May 27, 2015 at 8:32 am


  • 65. ebohlman  |  May 27, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Amusingly, "Girgis" is the Arabic form of "George" and Mr. Girgis is very much a protege of NOM's Robert George.

  • 66. JayJonson  |  May 27, 2015 at 7:02 am

    If intelligence and knowledge count in this debate, then it will not be a fair match. Evan and Kenji are articulate, informed, deeply learned; Eastman and Girgis are embarassing asshats. I like our odds.

  • 67. tigris26  |  May 27, 2015 at 9:04 am

    As much as I enjoy a good discussion/debate over same-sex marriage, I don't quite understand WHY they are debating it in the context of the Equal Protection Clause…less than 4 weeks away from the Supreme Court's ruling??? Do they think it's going to influence the Court or something?

    Nevertheless, best of luck to Evan and Kenji!

  • 68. StraightDave  |  May 28, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Live Streaming of Wolfson/Eastman debate at…. Jun 2, 6:30PM EDT

  • 69. SethInMaryland  |  May 27, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Big Breaking News in Australia:pm Tony Abbott has indicated he will allow the Liberal Party a conscience vote on marriage equality and that the legislation will be voted on most likely in August.

  • 70. RemC_Chicago  |  May 27, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Here's the latest news per the Sydney Morning Herald:

  • 71. SethInMaryland  |  May 27, 2015 at 10:13 am

    according to that article another mp also announced her support

  • 72. davepCA  |  May 27, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Every time a read a news article that goes into any real depth about the political process in Australia's government I am confronted with just how little I understand about how the hell all of that works in that country…. In some ways they seem so similar to the USA in the way they do things, but then when I get a closer look, like in that article, it seems so completely alien to me….. I don't think I really understood what that article was saying at all : /

  • 73. SPQRobin  |  May 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    * The majority in Labor are for marriage equality, and Labor MPs have a free vote.
    * The majority of the Liberals are against, and they are bound to vote that way (as is usual in a parliamentary system), so the minority in favor have to vote against as well, regardless of their personal position.

    The two issues going on for a long time already are:
    * Some in Labor want a binding vote *in favor* so even the few against would have to vote in favor.
    * More importantly, the main issue is whether to let a free vote in the Liberal coalition so the growing minority in favor can actually vote that way.

    Until now, Prime Minister Abbott always always said it's up to the party room (a bit comparable to a House/Senate party caucus in the US) to decide on a free vote, but essentially imposing "no free vote".
    Now however, he's still saying it's up to the party room, but this article indicates he's essentially giving up and even letting his MPs cooperate with Labor MPs on this, probably because he doesn't want people to think this would be a Labor (opposition) victory.

  • 74. davepCA  |  May 27, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks SPQRobin, but I think I'm still missing a big piece of the picture – What exactly determines whether a party has a 'free vote' (each member voting as they choose) or are forced to vote along with the majority of that party? Is this decided by each party, and if so, how does this arrangement change from one type of vote to the other? I mean, when would the majority within a party EVER decide to allow a free vote, and why? Or is it determined by some decision made outside and above the party, like the Prime Minister, and what makes that happen?

  • 75. SPQRobin  |  May 27, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    In principle, MPs always vote along with their party position. Free votes are the norm in the US, but the exception in parliamentary systems, where there are stronger party structures. So in this case all MPs and Senators of the Liberal party come together in the "party room" to decide on various political issues, including whether to allow a free vote on something. Indeed it's an important question why the majority would allow a free vote knowing the minority in their party would get their way.

    In my country at least (Belgium) it's an unwritten agreement among parties to let MPs handle moral/ethical issues and to always allow a free vote in any party on these issues.
    In e.g. Germany it's much worse: the parliament is just a formality and virtually everything gets decided by the government cabinet (and thus, in case of a coalition, what the parties agreed to do or not).
    See e.g. most MPs aren't even present when a regular government bill is up for a vote 😛

    Oh, and I'm getting off-topic, but there's also the practice of opposition MPs voting with the majority in case one or more of their MPs is absent:

  • 76. SethInMaryland  |  May 27, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    in other words tony abbot and the gov are trying to find a to get credit for this

  • 77. RemC_Chicago  |  May 27, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Terrific, thank you! I always have to remind myself that the Liberal party in Australia is conservative.

  • 78. SPQRobin  |  May 27, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Yeah, they're actually in the same world federation as the US Republicans, which is named International Democrat Union to make it more confusing 😉

    Even more confusing is the Danish conservative liberal party Venstre, which literally means "left".

  • 79. VIRick  |  May 27, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    "…. the party room …."

    Dave, don't feel alone. The concept of "the party room" in "Strine," in tandem with this unrelenting refusal to allow a "free vote," completely left me out in the cold, as all I could imagine at that point was a wild BDSM scene, complete with whips and chains, down in a closeted dungeon somewhere under the parliamentary building.

    It's also worth noting that the Liberal party in Australia (oddly enough) is conservative, the Labor Party is leftist, and the Greens are independent wild cards.

  • 80. davepCA  |  May 27, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    It seems like the form of government in Australia has evolved along some odd diverging path, much like the way all of those animals down there have evolved…

  • 81. StraightDave  |  May 27, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    I'm not sure Tony Abbott would be too fond of being compared to a platypus,but the resemblance is striking 🙂
    Something out of a sci-fi movie that time forgot.

    …at least until the RCC got bitch-slapped and he suddenly awoke, unsure of his new surroundings, but still felt like he had to be Da Dog.

  • 82. VIRick  |  May 27, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks Rem. I've translated the pertinent parts of that article from "Strine." Dave, see if this works:

    Australia's PM Points Way for Same-Sex Marriage Reform

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has set the conditions for a conscience vote in the Liberal Party on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for a parliamentary vote as early as August 2015 so that any successful legislation has been lifted above party politics. That means not allowing a Bill Shorten-sponsored (the Labor Party leader) private member's bill to be debated. Instead, a new cross-party approach will be led by a government backbench MP with Labor backing.

    The move has dramatically increased the prospects of achieving full marriage equality for same-sex relationships in Australia within the calendar year and follows Ireland's historic 62 per cent 'yes' vote in a national referendum last weekend.

    Speaking in the Parliament on Wednesday, 27 May 2015, Mr Abbott, who remains personally opposed to broadening the Marriage Act, acknowledged momentum for change within the community, and within his own party. "If our Parliament were to make a big decision on a matter such as this, I want it to be owned by the Parliament, and not by any particular party," Mr Abbott said. That statement was a response to an attempt by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to seize the initiative on Tuesday, 26 May 2015, through his own private member's bill.

    Mr Abbott believes the reform, if it is to be debated, must be relieved of any such party branding. To that end, he has given his imprimatur to former government whip Liberal MP Warren Entsch to seek a suitable backbencher on the Labor side to co-sponsor a new private member's bill. A free vote would allow all Liberals to vote as they see fit, removing the normal requirement for ministers to vote as a bloc or resign.

  • 83. StraightDave  |  May 27, 2015 at 10:12 am

    So much for giving it a little bit of thought one fine day down the road when you're in the mood, which is the posture he has taken. I suspect his mates tackled him in the hall and told him "Tony, ya gotta get rid of this ASAP. You're killing us".

    All the Liberal Party allies can come out of their particular closet now. I bet there will be a bunch.

    This one's done. Thank you, Ireland

  • 84. scream4ever  |  May 27, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Fantastic news!

    Meanwhile it doesn't appear Germany will follow suit:

  • 85. SethInMaryland  |  May 27, 2015 at 10:48 am

    at this point the only way marriage equality is going to move forward in Germany is when a election occurs and Merkal's party is out

  • 86. SethInMaryland  |  May 27, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Italy's government is now in the process of legalizing civil partnerships , however they are dealing sabotage attempts by other parties , one party on the first discussion brought fourth 2700 amendments , the gov is right now is playing nice and voting on adms because there are other amds from other parties that would strengthen the law however at any time they want they can say f this and go straight to parliament to pass the bill

  • 87. VIRick  |  May 27, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    "…. however at any time they want, they can say f this and go straight to parliament to pass the bill."

    Indeed, that's one of the more "fun" aspects of Italian politics. Also, now that Ireland has marched forward and given the finger to the pope, the Italians are totally obligated to out-do that gesture by boldly giving two fingers to the pope (using both hands, and possibly including an arm gesture for good measure).

  • 88. davepCA  |  May 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I do enjoy a good Italian arm gesture.

  • 89. VIRick  |  May 27, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Kazakhstan ‘Gay Propaganda’ Measure Ruled Unconstitutional

    A proposed law in Kazakhstan that would criminalize dissemination to minors of information supporting same-sex relationships has been struck down as unconstitutional. The measure had been passed by both houses of parliament, but was rejected by the country’s Constitutional Council, Kazakh news agencies said Wednesday, 27 May 2015.

    It would have banned pornography and information seen as promoting violence and “non-traditional relationships.” A similar law in Russia has sparked wide criticism, especially before last year’s Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi. Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, is bidding for the 2022 Winter Games. This month, a group of prominent sports figures, led by Martina Navratilova, wrote to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach calling for Kazakhstan to be denied the Olympics because of the measure.

  • 90. guitaristbl  |  May 27, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Courts in Kazakhstan are as independent as those in fellow ex soviet countries (not at all) so this is pretty much a decision of the re-elected president in light of the Winter Games bidding. If they do not get it, they may as well revive it.

  • 91. Christian0811  |  May 28, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Hmm apparently the bill is only unconstitutional, according to HRC's reporting of the decision, on technical grounds. So it's no greater a victory than the decision of the Ugandan court to revoke the Kill the Gays bill. I hope that if the bill does reach them again, it will be stricken for more moral and altruistic reasons.

    From the few articles I've read, guitar above is correct in assuming the court made its decision with the affirmation of the reelected president. I hope his mentality remains Napoleonic on the matter, so to speak.

  • 92. Sagesse  |  May 27, 2015 at 4:36 pm


    Iowa group nixes anti-gay pledge for presidential hopefuls [Washington Blade]

  • 93. StraightDave  |  May 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Did anyone else detect a rainbow in Vander Plaats' "full-spectrum, pro-family conservatives? I'd say full-spectrum is right on the money, Bob. That means ALL the families, just so ya know. Somebody needs to make a Vander Plaats and The Family Leader finally agree with us ad/story/banner out of this!!

  • 94. VIRick  |  May 27, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Today, 27 May 2015, Nebraska abolishes the death penalty after Legislature votes to over-ride Governor Ricketts' veto.

  • 95. guitaristbl  |  May 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    While I know that the major cases are still to come, to what has been issued so far by SCOTUS that was not unanimous or close, the conservatives have been on the losing end more often than not and it's (as expected) Kennedy or Roberts more often on the side of the liberals..Look at the personal solicitation of campaign funds by candidates for judgeships case, at the Alabama gerrymandering case, the traffic stop case (taking advantage of Scalia's 4th amendment sensitivities) and most recently the article III and bankruptcy courts case announced on Tuesday. It has not been a good year thus far for the conservatives and I can only hope that continues when we go the big fish, and of course Obergefell.

  • 96. Zack12  |  May 27, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Breaking news out of Hawaii, the lawsuit to try and overturn the same sex marriage law has been tossed.

  • 97. SPQRobin  |  May 27, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    The list of Australian MPs who have declared their support for marriage equality in the momentum following the Ireland referendum is growing by the minute.

    Yesterday former Speaker Anna Burke (Labor) and Palmer United Party Senator Dio Wang (… ).

    Now Liberal MP Ewen Jones (literally "because Jesus" :p):

  • 98. SethInMaryland  |  May 27, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    2 more liberal mps just announced Greg Hunt, Mal Brough

  • 99. SethInMaryland  |  May 27, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    another mp Nationals MP Darren Chester , is now a yes vote,

  • 100. guitaristbl  |  May 27, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    The ruling of the Hawaii Supreme Court for anyone interested :

    It's highly procedural but hey we got something to read as we wait for the end of june…

  • 101. RnL2008  |  May 27, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Well that was pretty quick reading and hopefully has put to rest the anti-gay folks making any more stupid challenges to the current right to marry.

    Thanks for the link.

  • 102. Zack12  |  May 27, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    The biggest take away is once again, the bigots are unable to show how they are harmed by same sex couples marrying other then their prejudices not being allowed to be the law of the land anymore.

  • 103. sfbob  |  May 27, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    It's procedural and yet it really isn't. In dealing with the procedural question the decision actually touches on and refutes any number of arguments against marriage equality…even though the appropriateness of marriage equality or lack thereof is not the matter being addressed.

    The plaintiffs basically took the position that because marriage equality offended them, they had a right to contest a law that instituted marriage equality. In order to win their case they, just as any other random bigot, would have to show how allowing gay men to marry other gay men and lesbians to marry other lesbians harmed them in some concrete way. That cannot possibly be done. The only difference here is that the plaintiffs were using their status as legislators to assert standing based on the idea that their credibility might somehow be tarnished if the state legislature as a whole did not vote as they wanted it to. In addition McDermott makes the most interesting claim that the state's passage of the Marriage Equality Act in 2013 somehow "nullified" McDermott's vote in 1997 that placed the contested state constitutional amendment on the ballot. The court rightly noted that McDermott's vote hadn't been nullified because, in 1997, his bill passed, the amendment was placed on the ballot, and the ballot measure passed…just as he had worded it.

    Basically the suit was the result of McDermott and his buddies being crybabies. If you get a bill passed one year and in a different year the legislature decides to revoke the content of that bill, that is simply how the legislative process works. For the court to have decided otherwise would have created a situation where legislators would be constantly going to court if their pet measure didn't pass or if, a few years later, a new session of the legislature decided to amend or strike the original measure. And that is an absolutely absurd consequence.

    Also, granting the legislature the right to define marriage as between a man and a woman does not, unless it specifically says so, also include the additional words "but not in any other manner." That was simply wishful thinking on McDermott's part and the court so concluded. Basically the court concluded that even if it were true that the state, back in 1998, somehow changed the original ballot measure to mean something other than what the plaintiffs intended well…it's essentially too bad. And besides the court strongly argues that that simply wasn't the case based on the plain wording of the ballot measure and the resulting constitutional amendment. So again…too bad for McDermott et al.

  • 104. VIRick  |  May 27, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Bob, thanks for that very clear, detailed analysis to a lingering case which has, at long last, finally been put to rest. Mc Dermott, besides being an unrepentant bigot, displayed an extreme amount of arrogance, given that he somehow seemed to think that he personally "owned" this entire issue and that no one could ever be able to alter/change/modify/overturn his everlasting, lock-tight grip on it.

  • 105. sfbob  |  May 27, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    One final piece of good news: The anti-equality measure in Texas (the one prohibiting state or local officials from being paid if they legally issue a marriage to a gay or lesbian couple) is now really and truly dead.

    If you just read the heading you might think otherwise but what actually got passed was a non-binding resolution basically affirming the state's Republican legislators' homophobia as a matter of opinion. The article is a bit confusing but apparently the state senator who initially appended the House bill to another piece of legislation ended up pulling his amendment. As it was the proponent of the bill on the House side, a Democrat, had already said he would pull his initial bill rather than allow it to come for a vote with the anti-gay (and glaringly unconstitutional) amendment still attached.

    "The anti-gay marriage language was unacceptable to the bill’s House author, state Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, who vowed to kill it if it came back to the House that way.

    With the bill’s defeat in the Senate, Coleman said, the anti-gay marriage provision is dead.

    'I don’t know anything else they could attach it on,' he said."

  • 106. RemC_Chicago  |  May 28, 2015 at 6:26 am

    According to the Huffington Post, Rev Warren Hall, fired chaplain from Seton Hall, has come out as gay. Good for him on all counts. Happy to claim him for our team; he's cute!

  • 107. TimATLGA  |  May 28, 2015 at 8:11 am

    So what's the likely decision date for the SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling? Will it be June 26th, like it was for Lawrence and Windsor? That would be nice symbolism.

  • 108. sfbob  |  May 28, 2015 at 8:28 am

    There's simply no way of knowing. It's entirely up to the Justices. Because the ruling will undoubtedly be contentious it will probably take every moment that's left in the current court term to complete it. Would be nice if the ruling arrived before the last weekend of June but that would be entirely fortuitous.

  • 109. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Monday, June 29th is the final day of conference for this term, so it'll be released no later then that. I know with the Windsor decision they released it a day before their scheduled final day so as to end the session early.

  • 110. VIRick  |  May 28, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Scream, we just visited the US Supreme Court earlier this month, and according to the guide who works there and who escorted us around the building and through the courtroom, the current term of the Court will have been completed on whatever date the Court itself releases the last of its rulings on any remaining cases for which it has already heard oral argument earlier this term.

    When pressed on the point, she refused to state a specific date. Instead, she re-phrased the question, mentioning that the final date can be somewhat flexible, and is solely determined by the Court itself. All the rest of us (excluding the 9 Justices) will only know the final date for the current Court term when the Court issues its final ruling, and it can do so on whatever date the Justices happen to choose. She also politely refused to speculate as to which case(s) will actually be the final one.

    Some in the know seem to feel that it may well be the "King" case, dealing with the Obamacare challenge, and that the "Obergefell" ruling may be released shortly ahead of it, perhaps several days earlier. In a month's time, we will know for certain.

  • 111. wes228  |  May 29, 2015 at 7:11 am

    At the end of announcing decisions on the penultimate day of the session, the Chief Justice will announce that the following day will be the final day of the session. We will get a one day (or three day, if we have to wait a weekend) notice of when the last day of the session will be.

    While it's been taken as a given that this opinion will be announced on the final day, that is not guaranteed. The decision could be announced on any scheduled decision day (the next one is this coming Monday!) and so you should always be on SCOTUSBlog on any of those days just in case.

  • 112. 1grod  |  May 28, 2015 at 8:34 am

    AL Chief Justice R. Moore wants Ruth Bader Gingsburg and Elana Kagan impeached. Gingsburg commented on a case which is before her and under the judicial ethics of federal judges she can't do that. Recuse yourself! And he said Judge C Granade "cannot issue an order to all probate judges in the state of Alabama" …. She knows she doesn't have the authority" in the first place. So she stayed her order to save face he told radio talk-show host Tony Perkins:

  • 113. RemC_Chicago  |  May 28, 2015 at 8:57 am

    You go, Roy! Fling around all the authority feces you want. Everyone knows you're squeaky clean when it comes to not putting yourself above the law.

  • 114. davepCA  |  May 28, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Oh, is that what he wants? Well let's see… I want winged monkeys to fly out of Moore's butt and carry him off to the moon. Let's see if either of us get our wish : )

  • 115. 1grod  |  May 28, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Rem and Dave: Callie has a judicial way to put her backside in Roy's face: use his court's findings to make her case: "the issuance of marriage licenses is a purely ministerial act. See Ex parte State ex rel. Alabama Policy Institute, 2015 WL 892752, * 4, 8 (Ala., March 3, 2015) (discussing and referring to the probate judges’ “ministerial act of licensing marriages”). None of the Defendant Class members are charged with discretion or judgment in carrying out this ministerial duty. Whatever their personal positions are on the
    constitutionality of Alabama’s marriage laws, it is their common obligation to carry out their ministerial duties that give rise to a common defense." p 13. We do not know whether she would enjoy seeing winged monkeys carrying Roy off to the Moon. I rather imagine her wanting the chief justice around a month from now when she lifts her say, and the 11 circuit's appeals court concurs. But I like you imagery! G

  • 116. GregInTN  |  May 28, 2015 at 11:41 am

    It would seem that Moore doesn't understand the difference between the Windsor and Obergefell cases. A federal judge performing a wedding ceremony for a same-sex couple in a jurisdiction in which such marriages are legally permitted is proper under Windsor…that issue has already been decided by SCOTUS. It is not a matter currently before the court.

  • 117. ebohlman  |  May 28, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    It's questionable whether Windsor was even necessary here; Ginsburg's and Kagan's authority to officiate was granted by DC law, not Federal law, and shouldn't have been affected by DOMA 3, since the officiation would not have conferred Federal recognition prior to Windsor.

  • 118. GregInTN  |  May 28, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    You raise an interesting aspect of the issue. Although, having a DC law that authorizes federal judges to officiate at marriage ceremonies within the District does not necessarily mean that DOMA Section 3 could not have been interpreted to prohibit federal judges from performing marriages for same-sex couples. DOMA was vague enough that I'm confident there would have been some people who would have claimed that DOMA did prohibit it.

    I don't think that any SCOTUS justice performed a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple prior to Windsor and I think that was a prudent approach. It avoided the appearance of an ethical question when it came time to decide Windsor.

  • 119. StraightDave  |  May 28, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Such a federal judge would only be acting as a wedding officiant, not as a gov't employee. And in any case, such an action would not be "recognizing a marriage that had previously taken place". The judge might then have been prohibited, pre-Windsor, from recognizing for purposes of gov't benefits the marriage that had just occurred, but that's a whole different deal.

    Why do I even waste my time on these obsolete hypotheticals? Because I have to waste the next 31 days somehow.

  • 120. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 28, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Regarding the Texas anti ME bill and the legal challenge to Hawaii's ME Law:

    They're not only merely dead, they're really most sincerely dead.

    This is a day of Independence For all Texan's, Hawaiian's and their descendants…
    If any.

    Let the joyous news be spread! The wicked old bill and law suit at last are dead!

    …just sayin

  • 121. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Indeed. Now there's absolutely NO reason for the 5th Circuit to wait any longer!!!

  • 122. SPQRobin  |  May 28, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Illinois is likely to join California, New Jersey, Oregon and DC in banning conversion therapy. It already passed the state House, and a vote in the Senate is imminent:… (HB0217)

  • 123. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2015 at 10:39 am

    It'll be curious to see how the Republican Governor will handle this…

  • 124. RemC_Chicago  |  May 29, 2015 at 5:17 am

    So proud of Rep Kelly Cassidy for coming back to fight this again this year. Fingers and toes crossed.

  • 125. StraightDave  |  May 28, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Listening to NPR this AM….
    The Vatican's Secretary of State, apparently in response to a question, stated that he didn't see Ireland's vote as "a loss for the Catholic Church". He thought it was "a loss for all of humanity". (My gut-level interpretation was something like "We weren't wrong but you all are going to hell.")

    I felt like I had suddenly been flung backwards in time 10 years. Did they miss the whole thing, are they all on drugs, is this just "The Big Lie" to make themselves feel better? I mean, this guy didn't have to open his mouth right now. They could have just bolted the doors and had a good long think about it. But no….as they provoke even greater laughter.

    On a brighter light, on the same show was David Norris, Irish Senator and long time gay-rights activist. He was thoroughly enjoying himself this week. I won't try to recount the lengthy discussion, but the thing that got my attention was his recalling how tightly-controlled/suppressed/repressed Ireland was in the 70-80's that he truly thought he was the only gay man in Ireland. He can laugh about it now.

  • 126. seannynj  |  May 28, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    It's about time that the SPLC list the Vatican (not necessarily the Catholic church though) as a hate group. Statements like that "loss for all of humanity" one does nothing but breed hatred towards us.

  • 127. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 28, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    The Vatican IS the Catholic Church.

  • 128. seannynj  |  May 28, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    True, but we don't want to risk alienating Catholics who defy the a-holes in Rome by supporting us.

  • 129. StraightDave  |  May 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Every time I watch some CSI or related show, I have this sudden image flash thru my mind of them shining their magic black lights on some grand 1000-year old marble floor in the Vatican and detecting buckets of semen glowing back at them.
    Does that make me a bad person?

  • 130. mu2  |  May 28, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Although all religions (at least the mono-or-tri-theistic flavors) are paragons of insipid goofiness, the RCC is right up near the top of batshit nuts. I can't even begin to fathom why any sane person would accept advice on morality or ethics from a supposedly celibate old fart who claims a hot line to an imaginary sky-daddy, wears a dress, waves incest around while perambulating in circles mumbling horseshit like "I can play dominoes better than you can"…and more often than not has a stable of altar boys who regularly get buggered in the rectory, so to speak. phukabunchapopes.

    Come to think of it, no sane person would.

  • 131. Jaesun100  |  May 28, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    It's hard to believe we are only 30 or so days away from a decision …….

  • 132. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    One month from tomorrow at the latest!!!

  • 133. Rik_SD  |  May 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    so have we pretty much collectively given up on the possibility of any ruling from the 5th before the big day?

  • 134. bythesea66  |  May 28, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Pretty much, especially when the attorneys seem to have done so.

  • 135. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 28, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Unless they announce they're holding off a decision until the 2015 fall session.

  • 136. VIRick  |  May 28, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Tony, regarding the Supreme Court, I asked that quetion of the guide, as well. She firmly stated that the term is NOT over until the last decision for any/all cases for which oral argument has already been heard has been announced. According to her, once a case has had oral argument, it is the custom of the Court not to hold over the announcement of the decision for next term. Instead, if necessary, the term will be extended until the decision on that last case has been finalized and announced.

    At the moment, cases being held over for the following term are those for which certiorari has just been granted, as oral argument season for this term has been completed. "Obergefell" was heard on the second-last day of this most-recent oral argument season.

    Besides, we already know the decision. The Notorious RBG has all but told us so. The Justices won't delay the announcement any longer than necessary.

  • 137. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Also, Clarance Thomas indicated in his dissent in support of granting the Florida marriage stay that they would issue a ruling by the end of June.

  • 138. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 28, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Who is this "guide" of whom you speak? Is it your spiritual guide? Jake from State Farm?

  • 139. VIRick  |  May 28, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Tony, as a visitor to the Supreme Court, and to be allowed into the courtroom chambers when the Court is not in session, one has to arrange to be escorted by a docent/guide/tour director who is employed by the Court, and who, for security purposes, keeps very close rein on their small group. During our visit, in the question/answer portion, I pummelled her with questions, many of which are the same questions being asked here.

  • 140. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 28, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Oh. Did not know you visited the Supreme Court. I'd have loved to be in the court room for the Obergefell Case.

  • 141. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    When I was outside while the hearing was taking place there was a huge line for those who wanted to spend just a few minutes in the court room. The energy outside was too much walk away from!!!

  • 142. VIRick  |  May 28, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Tony, we visited the Supreme Court on 14 May, well after oral arguments were over, thus doing our tour through the Court when it was not in session (and without the frenetic mob scene).

    Scream, my friend who lives near the Supreme Court, was also there in the plaza in front of the Court on oral argument day. He was the cute guy with the adorable beagle who was taking pictures of everything, and sending them to me as events were happening, as my visit to DC was unavoidably delayed. He was so proud of himself that April DeBoer (the Mighigan plaintiff) graciously posed for him. So did Aaron Huntsman (the Florida plaintiff). But then, so did the heavy-set clown in the pink wig wearing a tutu.

  • 143. scream4ever  |  May 29, 2015 at 12:40 am

    HAHA yah I was practically geeking out myself! I worked on the marriage campaign in Minnesota during both the amendment and legislative phases, so obviously I had to fly quite a ways to get there. I got pictures with the Pennsylvania plaintiffs, Bishop Gene Robinson, and the Perry's in Perry v Brown!!!

  • 144. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 28, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    And which do we beleive will be the bigger/news generating announcement? The ME case, or the Obamacare case? And when are we going to get a new thread?
    Did you propose to DrBri yet???

    I hope we do get the ME decision late next month… we'll finally have equal access to legal state recognized Purgatory.

  • 145. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Obergefell will be the bigger deal for sure. I think they may release it before King v Burell though.

  • 146. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 28, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I meant, if the opinions are released on the same day or within 14 hours of the other, which case(s) will get more attention from the U.S. and world news outlets print, net, TV, and which will be overshadowed.

  • 147. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Marriage for sure. Just look at how much of a worldwide sensation the Ireland vote has been.

  • 148. Zack12  |  May 30, 2015 at 1:13 am

    I could see them doing that, especially if they are going to gut the health care law.

  • 149. scream4ever  |  May 30, 2015 at 2:30 am

    I don't see them doing that honestly, especially if oral arguments are/were any indication.

  • 150. VIRick  |  May 28, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    "Did you propose to DrBri yet???"

    Tony, no, not yet. I think he's in "hiding" after having read our little coy tête-à-tête.

    For us at EoT, the ME case will be the bigger deal. "King v. Burrell" will only be a big deal (in general) if the handful of words in the ACA under contention are knocked out. Still, I can not predict which will be deemed by the Court itself to be the bigger deal, and thus, be the last case announced.

  • 151. DrBriCA  |  May 28, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    I do agree with others that there would be a nice symmetry to have June 26th as the announcement day for Obergefell (as the same date for Windsor and Lawrence). It would also line up perfectly with the start of NYC and SF Prides that weekend (among others). Either June 26 or June 29/30 will put the decision with 2 days of the 46th anniversary of Stonewall.

    And I did see your delightful conversations, but I was away for the Memorial Weekend and just checked in on the site without logging in. Thanks for keeping me in mind!

  • 152. VIRick  |  May 28, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    "Thanks for keeping me in mind!"

    DrBri, you're always on my mind!

  • 153. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 29, 2015 at 2:29 am

    Am I going to get an invitation to the nuptials (if he says yes), or is it going to be a "private" affair?

  • 154. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 29, 2015 at 2:28 am

    I'd also love to see the [pro equality] decision announced on June 26th…or even better…June 5th! Surprise EVERYBODY…the NOMs of the nation would be dumbfounded, and go into Anaphylactic shock‎. Brian Brown would go into seizures and cardiac arrest.

    Do we have a consensus here on EOT as how the decision will come down in favor of ME:

    I'm leaning towards 6-3, but I'd be satisfied with a 5-4.

  • 155. ianbirmingham  |  May 29, 2015 at 3:16 am

    5-4 = Worst case outcome – Kennedy writes the opinion
    6-3 = Most likely outcome – Roberts writes the opinion
    7-2 = Won't happen (Alito hates us, so do Scalia & Thomas)
    8-1 = Won't happen (Alito hates us, so do Scalia & Thomas)
    9-0 = Won't happen (Alito hates us, so do Scalia & Thomas)

  • 156. scream4ever  |  May 29, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I still think Kennedy will write the majority opinion even in a 6-3 decision. Roberts may write a less far reaching concurring opinion.

  • 157. StraightDave  |  May 29, 2015 at 11:12 am

    And Roberts doesn't have Kennedy's way with words, even if he fully joins the majority, at least not on this topic. AK has had 20 years of practice. I just cannot imagine an impressive-sounding Roberts opinion. Please just vote Yes and then stand aside.

  • 158. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I agree. I suspect Roberts will reverse the sixth based on simple sex discrimination, but Kennedy will write for the majority that the bans violate equal protection (impermissible discrimination) and don't survive even rational basis review. The other four (maybe 3) may concur with equal protection but also add that the state bans violate due process (a fundamental right).

    I could be wrong about Roberts, but it makes one wonder why there were not four votes to grant cert last October 6th.

  • 159. StraightDave  |  May 29, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Cert was not granted because everybody had something to lose.
    There were not 5 votes to overturn and the Right just wanted to stall a while longer. Why pick a fight you know you will lose?

    The Left could have taken the cases, but they would have risked someone chickening out later. They already had 3 good results so don't rock the boat. Wait for a bit more momentum to build up.

  • 160. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 29, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    There was no reason for the left to grant cert as the lower courts were doing the lifting. My point was that the right, by that time, did not have the votes to prevail much less grant cert. The game was over on October 6th 2014.

  • 161. VIRick  |  May 29, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Ian, I like your (accurate) phraseology regarding the last three choices.

  • 162. gay_avenger  |  May 29, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    6 to 3 Roberts writes narrow opinion in our favor (less preferred)
    5 to 4 Kennedy writes sweeping opinion in our favor (preferred)

  • 163. wes228  |  May 29, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    There is absolutely no logical way to square Roberts' written dissent in the Windsor case with a pro-equality ruling here. No matter what grounds (Question 1 or Question 2).

    It will be a 5-4 decision in our favor…anything else would truly be shocking.

  • 164. JayJonson  |  May 29, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Yes. The likely outcome will be a 5-4 decision written by Justice Kennedy. That decision will be signed by Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor.

    Roberts and Alito may issue an opinion in which they dissent in part and concur in part. If they do, they will dissent on question 1 and will echo Sutton to the effect that there is no constitutional right for gay couples to marry and that the democratic process should not be subverted and that it would be better for us in the long run if we appealed to the better instincts of the electorate; but they will concur on question 2, saying that federalism compels states to recognize valid out of state marriages of gay couples.

    Scalia will write a scathing dissent and will be joined by Thomas.

  • 165. wes228  |  May 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    If federalism compels states to recognize valid out-of-state marriages then where was the concern of federalism when it came to federal recognition of same-sex marriages? Roberts and Alito could have written a federalism-based concurrence in Windsor (without signing on to Kennedy's equal protection opinion), but they did not.

  • 166. JayJonson  |  May 29, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Their view of federalism gives primacy to state laws. Hence, their reasoning will be that while a state is not obligated to marry gay couples, they are obligated to recognize the marriages of other states as a reciprocal obligation. They may say that a marriage license must be treated the say way a birth certificate or divorce decree is treated as per the full faith and credit clause.

  • 167. wes228  |  May 30, 2015 at 5:56 am

    They can't go the Full Faith and Credit Clause route without bumping into DOMA.

    If federalism requires states to recognize valid out-of-state marriages, then why does it not require the federal government to recognize a state's marriage? Marriage is, after all, the domain of the states.

    Roberts and Alito ruled that the federal government had valid reasons for not wanting to recognize a state's same-sex marriage.

  • 168. JayJonson  |  May 30, 2015 at 6:00 am

    You seem to expect consistency from Roberts and Alito. They will say that since Windsor decided that the federal government had to recognize all valid state marriages, then federalism also requires that states have to recognize all valid state marriages.

  • 169. wes228  |  May 30, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Ah okay, I got it. I still don't think that's going to happen but I understand the logic now.

  • 170. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 31, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    sounds plausible to me

  • 171. scream4ever  |  May 29, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Even Scalia did seem to be open to the partial concurrence/dissent though.

  • 172. guitaristbl  |  May 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    I think Scalia is a more likely yes vote on the 2nd question compared to Alito.
    Except from his usual hissy fit at the beginning of the arguments for the 2nd question ("Finally I can quote something that's in the constitution" – referring to the Full Faith and Credit clause), the lawyer for the states as so bad here that got him quite frustrated at one point (when he more or less said that every state has the right to refuse to recognize every marriage and Scalia answered with pointy irony – "Really ?")…If the case were to go to the 2nd question he could concur (it would be a victory for him anyway to have 5 no votes on the 1st question)..Now he will dissent totally probably out of frustration that he did not get his way on the 1st question.He is well known to have the mentality of a spoiled 5 year old when he does not get his way 100 %.

  • 173. wes228  |  May 30, 2015 at 5:58 am

    I just do not understand how they can rule on Full Faith and Credit Clause grounds so long as DOMA §2 is in effect. That would require ruling on whether or not Congress validly exercised their power under the FFC Clause in passing that law, yet no one (especially Congress) has had the opportunity to argue that point. That hardly seems fair.

    The questions presented were restricted to the 14th Amendment as well. While the Supreme Court can technically do what they want, resolving this issue on any other grounds would properly require an order for re-arguments beforehand.

  • 174. wes228  |  May 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    The cases are not announced by order of "biggest deal" they are announced by order of seniority. Whichever opinion that day was written by the least senior justice goes first.

    If Burwell and Obergefell are announced on the same day, I would guess that Obergefell (written by Kennedy) would come before Burwell (written by Roberts, who as Chief Justice is always most senior).

  • 175. VIRick  |  May 29, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks Wes, that's an interesting and accurate point to remember, including the liklihood as to who writes which of those two decisions, and thus, (assuming a same-day announcement) which of the two is to be presented first. That could well explain why so many court-watchers in DC kept telling me that "Obergefell v. Hodges" will probably be announced before "King v. Burwell."

  • 176. guitaristbl  |  May 29, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Who said the Chief Justice will write King v. Burwell ?
    If anyone saves this case for the federal government it would be Kennedy here primarily if the oral arguments are any indication. The Chief Justice did not say much though and his position is not certain on this one. If he joins a 6-3 majority siding with the feds he will write it, else it will be Kennedy imo on this one as well. Kennedy has written only 3 opinions thus far on this term and my instinct tells me he will write some of the more juicy stuff coming (Zivotofsky, King, Obergefell)

  • 177. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 29, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    I agree. On King, we may not see the traditional conservative, liberal split. We may see a majority with as an odd a composition as Hollingsworth.

  • 178. Steve27516  |  May 28, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    North Carolina governor to veto the bill that would allow magistrates to avoid performing marriages for same-sex couples:

  • 179. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 28, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    That's awesome news! Looks like we're back on a good news roll

  • 180. guitaristbl  |  May 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    A smart republican. And in North Carolina of all places. Good for him. I guess the fact he is not running for president helps. Because all the republicans in the race are trying to beat each other in terms of bigotry.

  • 181. VIRick  |  May 28, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory via press release:

    "I recognize that for many North Carolinians, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, we are a nation and a state of laws. Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath; therefore, I will veto Senate Bill 2."

  • 182. Steve27516  |  May 29, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Alas, Guitar, our NC governor Pat McCrory may be described in many ways, but "smart" is not one of them — which is all the more reason why it is a pleasant surprise that he has done the right thing in this case.

  • 183. StraightDave  |  May 29, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Is it possible he does have a good bone or 2 in his body, but is generally afraid to show them in public in NC? There seems to no end of people like that floating around.

  • 184. VIRick  |  May 29, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Dave, in North Carolina, it seems that the haters, fundies, bigots, and nut-jobs are generally allowed to run around loose on a fairly long leash, yapping, howling, and barking the whole time. But when they finally run out of leash, they are told. They were just told.

  • 185. ianbirmingham  |  May 28, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Brave high school junior in Oregon stands up to local anti-gay protesters with a hand-made 'I heart gays' sign – and is quickly joined by a legion of supporters
    * Makaila Ragan, 16, decided to stage her own protest after being offended by anti-gay protesters in her home of Tillamook, Oregon
    * She suffered verbal abuse from the anti-gay protesters, but held her ground on the curb outside her mother's office
    * More than 40 members of the community rallied around the teenager and fashioned their own signs to join her on the roadside

    …The powerful demonstration led to the setting up of a Facebook page called Tillamook for Love where supporters have been able to follow and join the protests, which have continued since Makaila's first stand.

    A GoFundMe page has also been started to help support the protest and organizations such as the Gay Straight Alliance have pledged support for the cause.

    For days after the initial protest, Mikaila and her supporters have been showing up at sites where one of the anti-gay street preachers, named by the Tillamook Pioneer as Allen Pucket, has been seen,bringing along signs which bear slogans such as: 'If God hates gays, why am I so cute?', 'Hate-Free Zone', and 'I <3 Gays'.

    Megan, Mikaila's mother is one of the many supporters blown away by the swift growth of the movement started by one young girl and a sign. She told the Tillamook Pioneer: 'I am beyond proud of my daughter for having the courage to stand up for what she believes in. …

  • 186. guitaristbl  |  May 28, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Arkansas Supreme Court wont hear new oral arguments on the marriage case :

    So after all the procedural nonsense everything is ready for a ruling now…Which will most likely come after SCOTUS rules.

  • 187. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Or perhaps they've had a ruling ready this entire time :/

  • 188. VIRick  |  May 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Guitar, I've re-worked that article to re-focus its emphasis:

    Arkansas Justices Reject Need for New Arguments in Same-Sex Marriage Appeal

    LITTLE ROCK, AR — Today, 28 May 2015, the Arkansas Supreme Court handed down orders in "Smith v. Wright" which (along with previous maneuvers) will likely delay a state decision on same-sex marriage until after the US Supreme Court ruling, due next month. In its unsigned orders, the Arkansas Supreme Court refused to lift the appeal's year-old stay. It further said it won’t hear new arguments either, even though two of the seven justices joined after the court heard oral arguments in the case in November 2014. This latter decision does mean, though, that all impediments preventing a ruling from the Justices in the same-sex marriage appeal have been removed.

    Judd Deere, a spokesman for Attorney-General Leslie Rutledge, stated, “Now that this important case is ripe for a decision, the Attorney-General looks forward to the court’s final ruling.”

    Separately, in "Jernigan v. Crane," a federal judge also overturned the ban in November 2014. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has delayed action in that appeal until after the U.S. Supreme Court resolves a separate case next month.

  • 189. EricKoszyk  |  May 28, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Oneida Native American tribe legalized same sex marriage Thursday; effective June 10th.

  • 190. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 28, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Woo Hoo!
    Now if the 5th would just announce its decision tomorrow upholding The Texas district court, it would be a great end cap to a great week!

  • 191. FredDorner  |  May 28, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Thanks – I live in Wisconsin but this is the first I've heard of it.
    I think that might be the first tribe in the state to pass it.

  • 192. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 28, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Nationwide Marriage Equality – is coming in 32 Days, 9 Hours, 5 Minutes, 12 Seconds!

    That is 0.00 Years, 1.03 Months, 4.63 Weeks, 32.38 Days, 777.09 Hours, 46,625.20 Minutes, 2,797,512 Seconds!

    Assuming a June 30th announcement at 10AM ET

  • 193. VIRick  |  May 28, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    OMG!!!! LOL, I'm speechless!

  • 194. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 29, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Imagine waiting to be able to get married since 1970.
    If a guy proposed to his fella on June 30, 1970 and ME is effectively legalized on 06/30/2015….they'd have waited 16,436 days.

    So 32 days doesn't seem like too much more to wait.

  • 195. scream4ever  |  May 29, 2015 at 12:41 am

    I still do not expect them to add any additional days onto this term as they almost never seem to, so I'm still sticking by my June 29 deadline.

  • 196. Sagesse  |  May 29, 2015 at 4:08 am

    History and future of the Evangelical organizations – led by the Family Research Council that have influenced Republican politics. No mention of NOM.

    Why evangelicals are having trouble finding a unified voice in Washington [Washington Post]

  • 197. 1grod  |  May 29, 2015 at 5:18 am

    Mobile AL – Ginny Granade is ready, Alabama is ready but Roy Moore is not.

  • 198. StraightDave  |  May 29, 2015 at 6:12 am

    So I was musing about Ireland this morning, and what to do in the north.
    It seemed to me that the Catholics who had been fighting the hardest for so long to reunite the whole island are the same folks who are now blocking marriage equality at home.

    And the Protestants who wanted to remain with the UK were, among other things, trying to avoid being controlled by a country that was essentially owned by the RCC. They didn't want to have religion invading their daily lives. These are the same folks who have generally been the most supportive of ME.

    So….now that the rules and conventional wisdom have all been shattered, and the church has been shown the door, how will that affect the ongoing conversations in NI? Has anyone recovered enough to think straight yet?

  • 199. JayJonson  |  May 29, 2015 at 6:38 am post about the hypocrisy of the anti-gay blog GetReligion:

    Turns out their chief funder is Howard Ahmanson, Jr., who was the biggest individual donor to Yes on Proposition 8.

  • 200. A_Jayne  |  May 29, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Just the kind of person the world needs more of… (/snark)

    From the article:

    Ahmanson, who inherited a vast banking fortune, is a principal supporter of extreme right-wing causes in the United States. He has been associated with the Christian Reconstructionist Movement, which advocates for the government's imposition of Old and New Testament biblical laws and principles, including the prescription of capital punishment for homosexual acts. His purpose, Ahmanson said in 1985, is "the total integration of biblical law into our lives."

  • 201. davepCA  |  May 29, 2015 at 9:49 am

    No new articles here at EoT in three days, even though there have been a number of significant new developments in that time which should have warranted one. What is up with that? This comment section under a three-day-old article reached the dreaded 100 count thread-collapse threshold quite a while ago…

  • 202. A_Jayne  |  May 29, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Scottie was having computer problems. Maybe still is?

    Someone starting a new thread, tho, would be nice – even if just one for open commentary…

  • 203. gay_avenger  |  May 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    They seem to post more frequently whenever they want to raise money for this site and never anything on weekends.

  • 204. Tony MinasTirith  |  May 29, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    You noticed that too huh?

  • 205. sfbob  |  May 29, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I noticed it as well. On the other hand the requests for money usually happen in advance of big trials…the sorts of things that require outlays of money to cover travel and accommodations. So it only makes sense that those are the times they'd be asking for money.

    Given the fact that this site is essentially driven by pending and ongoing legal disputes, which usually go to sleep on Friday afternoon, it rather makes sense that there'd be no new posts over the weekend. I believe I have seen some, in those rare situations where some piece of legal business (a stay request being denied for example) took place off-hours.

  • 206. RemC_Chicago  |  May 30, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Ouch. That seems awfully cynical. Isn't the site non-profit? Unlike other popular LGBT blogs, we're not inundated with ads. I think the crew does the best they can with the resources available to them. Making a habit of an open thread post would be great, however.

  • 207. Raga  |  May 29, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Straight people don't know they're "straight"?

  • 208. sfbob  |  May 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    In the absence of any notion that people differ from you in some important but not readily observable way, why would most heterosexuals have any occasion to question their own sexuality? Look at it this way: part of the problem with growing up as a gay man (or a lesbian or bisexual) is that parents raise their kids presuming that, in terms of their sexual and romantic lives, the kids will basically be just like them when they grow up; they'll marry someone (of the opposite sex), have a career, raise kids, and so on.

    Even if parents are sensitive enough to get that that their child is somehow "different" it would be the rare parent indeed who would have the skill and the foresight to raise a gay kid to become a gay adult. And for most parents it simply never crosses their mind. I don't see this as in some way bad or regrettable; after all if a parent presumes their child is going to grow up to be heterosexual the odds are overwhelming that their assumption will turn out to be correct.

  • 209. wkrick  |  May 29, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I think a good analogy is being nearsighted. When you're growing up, you don't know what is "normal". You don't know how other people see the world. I just assumed that things that are far away are supposed to be blurry… because they're far away. It wasn't until I was in the 4th grade that someone finally realized that I might have a problem and asked my parents to take me to an eye doctor. I'll never forget the car ride back from the doctor with my new pair of glasses. It was like seeing the world for the first time.

    I know this will sound hard to believe, but once had a friend who didn't figure out that she was gay until her late 20s. She didn't know any gay women and had no frame of reference for what was "normal". It never even occurred to her that she might be gay because it was never presented as an option anywhere during her upbringing.

  • 210. sfbob  |  May 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    I can't say it took me that long but I did not realize I was gay until I was about 20 or 21. Most of the people I know–even the ones I knew back when I was that age–had already figured it out. I am in my mid-60's. The fact that there were gay people around seldom came to light in the news back then other than in terms of some sort of scandal. And of course the only information you could find in a library about homosexuality was really clinical and utterly useless for purposes of self-acceptance. Many people seem to feel that things didn't change until the past fifteen or twenty years but from where I sit, the big changes began in the early 1970's with the appearance of the first gay characters on television shows. This represented the fact that our existence was becoming (for want of a better word) ordinary, at least in the eyes of those who decided what got shown on TV. And as inane as most television series might be they actually represented something very important culturally. It might have been better if gay kids had been given gay and lesbian heroes on documentaries back then but the fact that the gay characters being portrayed in sitcoms were funny rather than tragic was of enormous importance.

  • 211. VIRick  |  May 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Mozambique Legalizes Homosexuality

    Homosexual acts will be legal in Mozambique from Monday, 1 June 2015, as the law signed by the president in December goes into effect. The new criminal code no longer contains a murky clause which provided that "measures" could be taken against those who "habitually engage in vices against nature." That clause was written in 1887 when Mozambique was still a Portuguese colony. The country has a population of 23 million, 56% of whom identify as Christians. While the legalization of homosexual acts reduces the number of countries which criminalize homosexuality to 78, there are still no other legal protections for LGBT citizens of Mozambique.

  • 212. guitaristbl  |  May 29, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    It's not a huge deal imo. The existing clause was not enforced against LGBT people as far as I know and Mozambique is known to be much more tolerant towards homosexuality compared to its close neighbours, especially to the north.

    Wikpedia info disagrees with that last line though, as protections in employment at least on paper, do exist :

    "Article 4 of the 23/2007 Labour Law provides for "non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, race or HIV/AIDS status". Article 5 of the law grants employees a right to privacy, relating to "the private and personal lives of employees, such as their family lives, personal relationships, sex lives, state of health and their political and religious convictions." Article 108 of the law provides that "all employees, whether nationals or foreigners, without distinction based on sex, sexual orientation, […] have the right to receive a wage and to enjoy equal benefits for equal work".

    In the 3 big cities support is in the 40ish region for legal recognition of same sex couples and adoption surprisingly (lower for marriage), which is higher than most other (if not all – and that includes RSA) african countries.

  • 213. SPQRobin  |  May 29, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I added that bit to Wikipedia after seeing the above post on Joe My God which indeed incorrectly states that there are no discrimination protections.

  • 214. VIRick  |  May 29, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Key West Installs Permanent Rainbow Crosswalks

    KEY WEST, FL – Pedestrians, bicycles, and cars are traversing a colorful new section of Key West’s Duval Street following the installation of four permanent rainbow crosswalks.

    Completed Thursday at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets — in the heart of the island’s LGBT entertainment district — the crosswalks feature all six colors of the rainbow flag, an internationally recognized gay and lesbian icon.

    Check it out:

  • 215. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  May 29, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    25 cases remaining for the court to issue opinions on, only 5 days listed on the calendar for orders and opinions to be announced ( calendar). To have 5 each Monday seems a bit much, as we had four this past week (Tuesday given Memorial Day). I can see an additional day or two in June given no more oral arguments to occur.

    As to further threads up… This is still a 5-4 decision with Kennedy. I see no way for Roberts to square his decision in Windsor and come home to the gays. Scalia will have the dissent forevermore remembered.

  • 216. VIRick  |  May 29, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Ryan, at this very moment, Scalia is probably busily inventing new words to stick in his flailing dissent to go along with his haruspices divining the entrails and all the rest of the impertinent argle-bargle, after which he will then cruise DC vainly looking for a Latin High Mass.

  • 217. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  May 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    His should just say: I told you so.

  • 218. StraightDave  |  May 31, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    That would be the first correct thing he has had to say about this shit in a long time. He won't leave it there, of course. He'll likely follow up with a disrespectful harangue of his colleagues for letting things even get to this point in the first place, where he was then obligated to point out that "he told them so". He'll exercise every word in the book, and then some. I really can't wait.

    Does SCOTUS put the oral opinion and dissent readings online? The summaries as announced in court, I mean. Mere paper and ink doesn't do Scalia justice – no pun intended, I swear.

  • 219. RemC_Chicago  |  May 31, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Dave, I found this link. Is this what you're looking for?

  • 220. scream4ever  |  May 29, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I think the Monday before last they released at least 6 decisions.

  • 221. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  May 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Some of these cases were just argued in April. I can see an instance where we have only 3 opinions produced this Monday, thereby increasing the number needed weekly to close out by Monday, June 30th. I just see some additional opinion days added at this point. The Thursday conferences are adding cases for the fall, no oral arguments or voting, just a lot of time editing opinions and dissents.

  • 222. RnL2008  |  May 31, 2015 at 1:28 am

    News has been a little slow, so here's something that might help the boredom:

  • 223. RnL2008  |  May 31, 2015 at 1:31 am

    More ASININE idiots:

  • 224. Sagesse  |  May 31, 2015 at 4:26 am

    If Catholic institutions are finding it difficult to navigate a position on LGBT Catholics, recent events in Ireland are only going to make it worse.

    Firing of Seton Hall Priest Highlights a Catholic Debate on Gay Believers [New York Times]

    "Seton Hall has an informal group for gay students called Allies. In that way, it is like many Catholic universities, said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of the New Ways Ministry in Maryland, which advocates on behalf of gay Christians. Almost two-thirds of the nation’s 200 or so Catholic colleges have some sort of gay outreach program or gay student association, Mr. DeBernardo said.

    “Young people — even young Catholic people — are already on board with L.G.B.T. issues,” he said. “So even as the director of campus ministry, what could Father Hall have done or said that could have influenced them any more positively than they already are?”

  • 225. RemC_Chicago  |  May 31, 2015 at 8:14 am

    If you're in Illinois, or know someone in Illinois, please ask them to go to this link and urge the Governor to support HB217, the conversion therapy bill. It's a simple form: fill in name & address, click on HB217 from a drop down menu and select "support." Thanks!

  • 226. PatrickSmithIML2015  |  May 31, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Hey everyone! Have been a longtime lurker since the Prop 8 trial and this is my first post. I love this site.

    Totally off topic but I've been quite busy lately and haven't been paying as close attention as usual. Has SCOTUS announced the final date of their term yet? I know in 2013 they were adding Wednesday sittings to get out their opinions, and wanted to see if that's happened, and if we have a final date of the term yet (which I assume is when our case will be decided).

  • 227. DrBriCA  |  May 31, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    They usually announce when the last day will be only on the penultimate day of releasing decisions. As to whether or not they'll need extra days for releasing opinions, we shall see. June begins tomorrow!

  • 228. wes228  |  June 1, 2015 at 6:20 am

    Good morning folks! It's another decision day at the Supreme Court. Opinions will be announced at 10:00. You can follow the announcements live on SCOTUSBlog.

  • 229. Nyx  |  June 1, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Yes, their live blog is about to begin at 9:30.

  • 230. JayJonson  |  June 1, 2015 at 7:17 am

    No opinion issued in Obergefell today.

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!