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Equality news round-up: News on federal employees, and more

Conversion therapy cases LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials Transgender Rights

– A coalition has been launched to fight against an anti-transgender ballot initiative in California.

– Federal employees’ health plans will be required to cover healthcare needs for people who are transgender.

– In the wake of the South Carolina shooting this past week, LGBT groups are calling for the removal of the confederate flag from government properties.

– Equality Case Files continues to provide updates from the trial against the anti-LGBT group JONAH.

– Forgot to add this one: California AG Harris won’t have to allow a ballot initiative requiring the murder of gay people (by shooting them in the head) to move forward.


  • 1. brandall  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Today @ 3:30pm EST #SCOTUS Marriage Twitter chat with GLAD ED @jansonwu, @ACLU​, @LambdaLegal, and @NCLRights!

  • 2. wes228  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I don't know why it bugs me but it does…EDT!

  • 3. StraightDave  |  June 24, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Me too, but I have found peace in mostly using ET,CT,MT,PT. Works every time 🙂
    And I never have to stop and think.

  • 4. 1grod  |  June 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

    You forgot NT and AT (my time) G

  • 5. VIRick  |  June 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Me too. Puerto Rico, the VI, and the other Eastern Caribbean Islands are on AST, year-round, corresponding with Venezuela time, rather than with Bermuda and the Canadian Maritimes, which are presently on ADT.

  • 6. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  June 24, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I lived in Indiana when a significant portion of the state did not observe Daylight Saving Time. Friends who lived just a few miles north (in Michigan) did. Not correctly specifying EDT or EST on appointments, public events, social engagements/invitations created a large amount of confusion.

  • 7. Mike_Baltimore  |  June 24, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Most of my relatives live in, and have lived in Indiana for decades.

    I remember when most of Indiana was on Central time – the same as Chicago (except for the area around Cincinnati). Gradually, the time zone shifted to the west, and eventually most of Indiana was on ET, but standard time as most of the state refused to observe DST.

    Eventually, most of Indiana 'solved' the time question by saying 'Indiana time' rather than daylight or standard time.

  • 8. brandall  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:22 am

    There is this very cool ME historical summary at (sister site of The Advocate). For those of us who followed every case in every state in the last 2 years, it is a true walk down memory lane.

    It starts with BAKER….please, please SCOTUS. Mention Baker. Get rid of it for once and for all.

  • 9. VIRick  |  June 24, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    "Mention Baker. Get rid of it for once and for all."

    Oh indeed! Jam a stake through it's heart, and be done with it.

    Actually, I suspect they will be forced to do so, given that Sutton and Cook in the 6th Circuit, in the very cases before them, plus the ass-hat judge in Puerto Rico, all stupidly ruled that "Baker" was still controlling. And if given free rein, I suspect the 8th Circuit would rule the same way.

  • 10. wes228  |  June 24, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Baker was not mentioned in oral arguments and I suspect it might not even be addressed. There is absolutely no way any court could look at a favorable decision in Obergefell and find that it somehow does not overrule Baker.

  • 11. SeattleRobin2  |  June 24, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    I would think Baker was disposed of by the mere fact the court accepted cert on Obergefell. Baker was denied for want of a federal question. The court obviously thinks it now is a federal question or they would have once again denied cert despite the appellate split.

  • 12. wes228  |  June 24, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Baker v. Nelson constituted a decision on the merits. Granting or denial of cert is *never* a decision or even a commentary on the merits, and so the fact that they granted cert cannot be construed to overrule Baker.

    For all we know, they could have granted cert. to affirm the 6th Circuit on the grounds that the issue still does not pose a substantial question of federal law (although I find that incredibly unlikely).

  • 13. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 25, 2015 at 2:02 am

    I hope they denounce Baker with the same force they denounced Bowers. I hope Kennedy says that Baker was not correct in 1971 and it is not correct today; Fundamental Rights are always constitutionally protected for all citizens and laws that circumscribe those rights are always up for federal judicial review. It would be odd indeed, if the fundamental right to marry was not a federal question in 1971, but it is now in 2015. The 1971 court was biased and erred in judgement just as the Bowers and Dred Scott Courts did.

  • 14. RnL2008  |  June 25, 2015 at 2:42 am

    That would be great if they put the final nail in Baker's coffin once and for all…….this waiting is almost unbearable………Friday morning CAN'T come fast enough!!!

  • 15. davepCA  |  June 24, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    yeah, but if they spell it out it may help prevent some people from trying to take certain future legal actions against us.

  • 16. VIRick  |  June 24, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Precisely so!

  • 17. Rick55845  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    But if Baker is not explicitly denounced, and if some people do try to use Baker against us in the future, it'll have no legs anyway. Let them waste their breath, and their money.

  • 18. brandall  |  June 24, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Ari Ezra Waldman's piece on "Why Does SCOTUS Wait Until the Last Minute to Decide Gay Rights Cases?"

    There are several reasons why controversial decisions are held until the very end: 1) Practicality, 2) Controversial Decisions Take Longer, 3) Overwhelming Force, 4) Hit and Run, and 5) Tradition.

    Personally, I like to believe at least 5 members of SCOTUS intentionally want to give SF Pride Weekend a bonus gift again! Can you imagine what would have happened if the Stonewall Riots (June 28, 1969) had occurred in February? Three-quarters of the country would be having their Pride Parades in heavy overcoats, gloves, and woolen hats! That would be soooo boring….

  • 19. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 24, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    I like 4) Hit and Run….but also 6) High drama, and 7) keeping the country court watching at the edge of it's seat for months and the entire term for the cliff hanger resolution.

  • 20. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  June 24, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    You failed to acknowledge the importance of the phase of the moon.

  • 21. VIRick  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    I think Tony's #6, "High Drama," is the key reason, although "phase of the moon" might play into Scalia's timing on when it would be deemed most opportune for his consultation with the haruspices.

  • 22. Randolph_Finder  |  June 25, 2015 at 11:12 am

    With significant decisions occuring recently at the end of the term, I still find it bizarre when I here about the protests at the Supreme Court on the anniversary of Roe v Wade occuring during an snow storm/ice storm/20 degree F weather. (It was announced January 22nd)

    And note, if DC had gotten 6 inches of snow on Obama's first Inauguration day, the Right Wing would *still* be crowing about it.

  • 23. davepCA  |  June 24, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Regarding our California State Seal – Notice the bizarre size disparity between the bear and the lady. Is the bear some kind of adorable little mini-bear? Or is the lady some kind of giant, like the statue of Liberty come to life? Discuss.

  • 24. SethInMaryland  |  June 24, 2015 at 10:07 am

    the reason why she is a giant is because she is a God, the Greek God Athena. the bear is a grizzly , the state animal

  • 25. brandall  |  June 24, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Huh? Oh now I get it. Today's EOT headline section.

    At first I thought you must be totally loosing it waiting for the SCOTUS decision and just randomly looking up state seals! How am I going to get any work done in the next 48 hours?

    "The original design of the seal was by U.S. Army Major Robert S. Garnett and engraved by Albert Kuner. However, because of the friction then in existence between the military and civil authorities, Garnett was unwilling to introduce the design to the constitutional convention, so convention clerk Caleb Lyon introduced it as his own design, with Garnett's approval. Garnett later became the first general to be killed in the Civil War, where he served as a Confederate general."

    Considering the Confederate Flag furor going on right now, this was a piece of information I wish I had not learned.

  • 26. davepCA  |  June 24, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Wow, I didn't expect you guys to get all 'Baltimore' about it : ) But hey, it's only 10:30 AM and I've already learned some stuff today! Too bad it's not a cute little mini-bear, though. I had been kinda hoping it was. And yes, Brandall, you are half right, I am indeed totally losing it waiting for the SCOTUS decision : )

  • 27. RobW303  |  June 24, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    It's a Hollywood bear: an Oompaloompa extra in a fake bear suit.

  • 28. davepCA  |  June 24, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I've been doing some searches to see if there is any announcement about a "day of decision' event / rally in San Francisco with details confirming location and start time, but so far no luck. All I find are old pages about Prop 8 & DOMA. But I'm not on Facebook and I don't follow Twitter so I may be missing some stuff – anybody else hear any specific announcements about where & when to meet?

  • 29. brandall  |  June 24, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Rallies are planned across the country. The Castro rally is slated for 6pm on the day of the decision, at the corner of 18th Street and Castro. For updates, see

    Living in the Castro has its' advantages…SFPD is already on notice that the streets will be closed the night the decision is released. Posters are already printed, just like the Prop 8 decision two years ago. Truck for a stage and sound system is on stand-by. Now we just need to keep praying it will be Friday (my hunch along with many others) and not Monday.

  • 30. davepCA  |  June 24, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    THANK YOU, Brandall!! I noticed you mentioned meeting me at 4 PM on that day, which is TWO hours before the 6 PM event. Still want to do that, or meet ONE hour prior, at 5PM?

  • 31. brandall  |  June 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    At the Prop 8 celebration, speakers did not start until 6:30 or 7:00 if I recall. It was the happiest crowd I'd ever seen and this should be even better.

  • 32. RnL2008  |  June 24, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Hi brandall, nice to see you back……was wondering where you have been and hope all is well…… boys are gonna have to spread big hugs around from me…….but I'll be there in spirit.

  • 33. brandall  |  June 24, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    All is well and I had to be on EoT for the Grand Finale. BTW, I saw your comment yesterday about taking pictures. I always have a (real) camera in my hand. DaveCA will be covered at our Castro Rally gathering.

  • 34. RnL2008  |  June 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks Sweetie…….I'll be anxiously awaiting to see you all at the festivities.

  • 35. GregInTN  |  June 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Here's a link to all of the events planned for decision day around the country:

  • 36. davepCA  |  June 24, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Awesome link, thanks!! I encourage you to re-post that at the top of the comments section when we get a new article tomorrow.

  • 37. Mike_Baltimore  |  June 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Maryland is not mentioned in that article. I suspect those who live closer to DC than Baltimore (Montgomery County, PG County, much of Anne Arundel County and all of Southern Maryland) will go to the DC event; those who live closer to Philly (NE Maryland) will go the Philly event; and those who live in Western Maryland (mainly those who live West of Frederick) will go to the Pittsburgh event.

    Also, Maryland, by a vote of the people and the legislature, has had ME for more than 2 years (more than 3 if you go by the legislature's vote only), so the SCOTUS decision, while important, is not as important in Maryland as in other states.

  • 38. 1grod  |  June 24, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Off topic – Ontario's Court of Appeal 'welcomes' newly appointed anti-ME judge.

  • 39. guitaristbl  |  June 24, 2015 at 11:38 am

    There's little he can do to marriage equality in Canada now. Remains to be seen if there is any wider impact for lgbt rights though. 3 bigots out of 21 judges on that court still seems a small number but could be influential..We'll see.

  • 40. Sagesse  |  June 25, 2015 at 3:21 am

    Any other Canadians on this site feel free to disagree with me. Stephen Harper is one scary dude. He's a Christian social conservative. In Canada, we have pockets of social conservatism, but overall the country is not. To be electable, Harper and his Conservative government bury their social conservative impulses, because they won't fly. But in private, they would love to challenge LGBT rights and abortion rights, if they could get away with it.

    Judicial appointments are mostly a non-event in Canada (which should be a good thing, but apparently subject to manipulation), so Harper has been quietly making conservative judicial appointments… these three to the Ontario Supreme Court, and his latest to the Supreme Court of Canada. With respect to the Ontario appointees, it's an embarrassment that these ideologues are supposedly the best choices available. There is probably no real damage to be done, but it's a dangerous, stealth practice that panders to Harper's social conservative base more or less below the radar.

  • 41. 1grod  |  June 25, 2015 at 5:02 am

    Sagesse, to be clear for Americans, we do not circuit courts, nor have supreme courts in each of the provinces. Judges are not elected at any level. While provinces do have their own courts for provincial offenses (ie traffic, municipal by law offenses, small claim civil suits, family matters) with those judges appointed by the provincial government's executive; superior courts (ie criminal law, corporate law offenses) and appeal courts are appointed by the federal government's executive. With an federal election to occur on October 16,and with the possibility that the Conservative government being replaced, the federal executive leader ( PM Harper) may be seeking to ensure the courts have a conservative bent. While judicial appointments might appear to non Canadians as political appointments, the Minister of Justice recommends 3 candidates for each opening. The candidates are advanced to the Minister from a selection committee made up of a representative of the provincial and federal government, the provincial law society, the law society of Canada, the police, and the general public. That committee receives applications. As the election draws near, the more conservative the appointment may likely be 'pandering to Harper's socially conservative base'.

  • 42. guitaristbl  |  June 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    The Austrian parliament votes down marriage equality :

    Only the greens voted for it, not even social democrats because they are in a coalition with conservatives and did not want to upset them, that's how things work there, same with germany..
    And with polls showing that the far right Freedom Party is in the lead as the next elections approach (their leader admires the tea party movement in the US so you can guess what exactly we are talking about..) in a couple of years or so, things are not going to change for the next decade approximately there…

  • 43. SethInMaryland  |  June 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    This will go Austrian High Court and that might be the best place for it to go . The Austrian has been to the lgbt community

  • 44. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 24, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Who will be watching SCOTUSBlog's live streaming of SCOTUS opinions tomorrow at 8AM MST…. (Just kidding) 8AM MDT. I'll have an alarm set. We could have our answer by 8:15 AM MT tomorrow! I don't think I'm going to get any sleep tonight.

    Perhaps with the addition of Friday, the court will finish this term this week announcing the remaining seven decisions tomorrow and Friday and start their three month holiday after announcements on Friday.

  • 45. davepCA  |  June 24, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I already have my alarm set for 7 AM Pacific time and will check in here first thing in the morning, just in case it's Thursday instead of Friday.

  • 46. JayJonson  |  June 24, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I'm in Central. I'll be monitoring the Scotusblog live streaming from 8:30 our time. I don't expect that we will have an Obergefell decision tomorrow, but you never know.

  • 47. allan120102  |  June 24, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I am pretty sure the decision will be on friday, can feel it on my bones.

  • 48. wes228  |  June 24, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I also suspect that they will wrap up the term on Friday instead of Monday. We will know for sure tomorrow because on the second-to-last day the Chief always announces that the following day will be the last.

  • 49. RemC  |  June 24, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Like Jay, I will be on as of 8:30 AM CST, but I suspect "our" case will come up Friday (hopefully)…Just in case, I plan to take my laptop to my hubby's office that morning so I can work off-site while keeping eye on the SCOTUSblog. I want us to be together when the news is announced.

  • 50. RnL2008  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    The wait is nerve racking at best and on the other site I post, there are far worse trolls who are going to do one of two things……go implode and rant on about activist Judges or they are going to be relentless if there is any split on this ruling…….which I seriously doubt would happen……I think like the ruling in Loving were there were only 19 States who had remaining bans on interracial marriages, we have like 13 or 14 depending on how you slice a couple of states, which means I believe the Justices want this issue gone, otherwise they know it will be back in their laps again and again and again…..not something they want.

  • 51. RnL2008  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I'll be on here roughly 6:45 am PDST

  • 52. VIRick  |  June 24, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    NORTHERN IRELAND: Same-Sex Marriage Ban To Be Challenged In Court

    According to the "Belfast Telegraph," the first two gay couples to enter into civil partnerships in the UK will this week mount a High Court challenge to Northern Ireland's same-sex marriage ban. Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles will be joined by Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane to seek a judicial review of the ban. Both couples cemented their relationships in civil partnerships a decade ago in Belfast City Hall. But while Northern Ireland was the first place in the UK to recognize civil partnerships, it is now the only part of the UK and Ireland that has not legalized marriage for same-sex couples. "We are unable to enter into a marriage solely because we live in Northern Ireland," Ms Close stated. In a Facebook post, Ms Close wrote: "This year, December 19th, 2015 Shannon and I, along with Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane, will celebrate 10 years of our civil partnerships. "Northern Ireland was the first place in the UK to recognize civil partnership legislation and is now the last place in the UK and Ireland to recognize equal marriage.

    Northern Ireland's legislature has refused to consider marriage for same-sex couples four times, most recently in late April.

  • 53. whistleblower1  |  June 24, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Does Hillary know something we don't know yet? This very remarkable ad seems like something she'd post after a favorable ruling. Any thoughts?

  • 54. A_Jayne  |  June 24, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Anyone who has ever dealt with the court, backed up by the bloggers at SCOTUSblog, all say the SCOTUS has no leaks. Hillary cannot know; she must, tho, believe she is as good as we are at reading the writing on the wall…

  • 55. whistleblower1  |  June 24, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I hear ya' but I have to think that if some of the justices (i.e. Ginsburg) were Clinton appointees, she may have some sort of clue. If not, boy is she confident.

  • 56. A_Jayne  |  June 24, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Despite their ideologies affecting the way they interpret law and the Constitution, thus resulting in what many see as "political" decisions, the Justices do avoid politics – well, let me rephrase that – those who have integrity do.

    Scalia, Thomas, and Alito attending Koch Brothers' fundraisers seems to me as political as it gets, but apparently they skate on it…

  • 57. ianbirmingham  |  June 24, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    No sane observer thinks Obergefell will rule against SSM – & Hillary is a lawyer.

    We already know who wins; we're just waiting now for the details of how and why.

  • 58. whistleblower1  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    The story of America is a story of hard fought hard won progress and it continues today … new chapters are being written by men and women who believe that all of us – not just some – but all – should have the chance to live up to our God given potential.

    This progress was not easily won. People fought and organized and campaigned in public squares and private spaces to change not only laws but hearts and minds.

    And thanks to that work of generations where millions of individual’s … barriers than once prevented people from enjoying the full measure of liberty … the full experience of dignity … and the full benefits of humanity have fallen away.

    Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct, but in fact they are one in the same. Being LGBT does not make you less human and that is why gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.

    She has woven what Queen L. said at the Grammys, Justice Kennedy wrote in Windsor and what she has said herself in the past. Everyone behind this piece did an excellent job.

  • 59. Rick55845  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    I lament for the generations of individuals who encountered, and who continue to encounter, barriers that have prevented them from enjoying "the full measure of liberty … the full experience of dignity …" without ever having overcome, without ever finding an end (surcease). I find it so sad that bigotry is still so great a force of humanity, that love must struggle so hard to vanquish it.

    And I don't think our potential arises from imaginary beings.

  • 60. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 25, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Nice that she did this and did the voice over….would have been much more powerful if she had actually appeared in it and given an embodiment to the words.

    The ginger with the beard was a bit creepy though.

  • 61. davepCA  |  June 24, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    I recognized the lesbian couple at 0:36. We attended some of the same hearings during the trials here in San Francisco. Nice to see them again!

  • 62. RnL2008  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    My wife, myself and our family are in this video done after the passage of Prop 8.

    We are in the pictures right after the word EQUAL at 2:27. For those who have seen my picture, it's the one with us on our wedding day.

  • 63. JayJonson  |  June 25, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Many of the images in the Clinton video are from other YouTube videos. I have a playlist on my YouTube channel consisting of same-sex marriage videos. There are so many wonderful videos of gay civil unions and weddings, receptions, first dances, etc.

    Here are a few of my favorites:

  • 64. Eric  |  June 25, 2015 at 9:14 am

    No, she's just tying to get ahead of the story to make up for supporting, until a few weeks ago, leaving marriage inequality to the states.

  • 65. VIRick  |  June 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    PHOTOS: Boise Pride Celebrates Equality

    (with lots of twinks and hotties) See:

  • 66. A_Jayne  |  June 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Wonderful photos. Thank you. Lotsa cuties! Love seeing all the young folks, including young couples. They will have much freer lives than most of us have had…

  • 67. mu2  |  June 25, 2015 at 5:41 am

    A far cry from "The Boys of Boise" about 50 years ago.

    oops Sixty years!!

  • 68. VIRick  |  June 24, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    While we're all impatiently awaiting the Supreme Court's announcement of their decision on marriage equality, there's still one more seriously important question, from one of Ru Paul's "Drag Race" stars, which must absolutely be answered beforehand:

    "Why Alaska Thunderfuck Titled Her New Album 'Anus'"

    Might that have been done to "honor" Scalia, in anticipation of his thunderfuck of a dissent??

  • 69. VIRick  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    More from Mexico's Supreme Court, via Canal Judicial and Geraldina Gonzalez de la Vega, one of the clerks there:

    También decidieron reasumir su competencia para conocer de un amparo en el que se cuestiona la constitucionalidad del Artículo 219 Bis del Código Civil de Nuevo León, que limita el concubinato a la unión de un hombre con una mujer.

    The Supreme Court also decided to reassume their jurisdiction over an injunction which questions the constitutionality of Article 219 bis of the Civil Code of Nuevo León, which limits marriage to the union of one man and one woman.

  • 70. Rick55845  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    The translation didn't help much, Rick. What does that mean? (BTW, my husband is from a little town near Monterrey, and we're both very interested in what transpires in Nuevo Leon. He didn't quite get that either).

  • 71. VIRick  |  June 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Putting this decision into USA language, today, 24 June 2015, the Supreme Court of Mexico just granted certiorari to hear the case challenging the constitutionality of Nuevo León's civil code which currently limits marriage to one man and one woman.

    Needless to say, given the binding national precedent, the offending portion of the code WILL BE struck down. But the Supreme Court still has to rule, over and over, one state at a time, until all the states' civil codes are made gender-neutral.

    So, to the list of states with pending cases before the Supreme Court, that is, Jalisco, Yucatán, Durango, and Puebla, we can now add Nuevo León.

    Also, bear in mind that this was just decided today. Decisions are not official until published in the Judicial Gazette in a week or so. Meanwhile, I'm getting my information directly and immediately (in Spanish). Here's a link. Check paragraphs 7-9:

  • 72. almostfamous734  |  June 24, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    So, anyone remember those awful "Restrain the Judges" billboards that were causing a ruckus in Michigan? I thought you guys might be interested in the opposing billboard that just went up in Dearborn. It is absolutely amazing:

  • 73. RemC  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Oh, thanks! I followed that story closely and wasn't aware of the final result.

  • 74. RobW303  |  June 25, 2015 at 9:00 am

    I didn't know God was a Simpsons character! Explains a lot, like Mrs Wiggles, the platypus.

  • 75. almostfamous734  |  June 24, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    AND it seems this billboard isn't even the result of the guy in Michigan who was using gofundme to raise money for opposing billboards. This is the work of some separate national group that has been putting up "God Loves Gays" billbaords all over the country. The local fundraiser is supposed to have its own billboards up too, the designs can be seen here:

  • 76. VIRick  |  June 25, 2015 at 12:02 am

    154 Same-Sex Couples Married at British Embassies and Consulates

    Figures have been released of the number of same-sex couples married, to date, at British Embassies and consulates. Same-sex couples, of whom one or both is British, can be married in embassies and consulates in countries which do not allow marriage between same-sex couples. While embassies abroad are technically considered British soil, the countries in question must also give permission for the marriages to take place.

    Of the total, 120 couples have married in Australia, where the same-sex marriage debate is a hot topic. Australia is still the only major English-speaking nation not to allow marriage between same-sex couples anywhere within its borders.

    The first same-sex marriage recently took place at the British Embassy in Seychelles. After Australia, China has had the second-largest number, with 10 same-sex couples marrying there. Japan has had 7, including that of diplomats Tim Johnson and Ryan Parkins, which was attended by the British Ambassador. The other countries that have held such marriages at British Embassies or consulates are Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Philippines, and Vietnam.

  • 77. josejoram  |  June 25, 2015 at 5:42 am

    My understanding is that should the host government does not allow expressly same sex weddings, the embassy cannot perform them.

  • 78. DJSNOLA  |  June 25, 2015 at 5:45 am

    So this means that all those countries above approved of the marriage? who is deciding for these governments to allow it too? seems like good news that the countries above allowed it.

  • 79. josejoram  |  June 25, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Not at all. When some kind of marriages is not permitted to be performed within the territory of a country, this country does not allow it within embassies on its soil.That is as a general rule. Two examples:

    1. Venezuela does not allow neither civil partnerships nor gay marriage on its soil but some years ago a British citizen could perform a civil partnership with a Venezuelan man at theBritish embassy in Caracas. The Venezuelan government issued a complaints to the British embassy, warning them to ask for permisión or to inform the Venezuelan government prior to perform these ceremonies.

    2. The Spanish government has as a policy y not to perform gay weddings in countries where this is not permitted by law.

  • 80. VIRick  |  June 25, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Jose, for the British, it depends upon the host country in question. There are 3 categories:

    1. If the host country allows a same-sex couple to marry (say Argentina or Brasil), then there's no need for any ceremony to take place at the British Embassy or consulate.

    2. If the host country does not allow same-sex couples to marry, but has given its approval to allow British law to prevail in the British Embassy or consulate (as in the case of the Dominican Republic, Australia, China, Japan, etc.), then the couple can be married in the British Embassy or consulate. In the DR, in particular, a lot of noise was made when a British citizen married a Dominican citizen at the British Embassy in Santo Domingo, thus becoming the first same-sex couple to be married in that country. There are a total of 50-plus countries in this category worldwide. The complete list is surprisingly diverse, and growing.

    3. If the host country does not allow same-sex couples to marry, and has not given its approval to allow British law to prevail within the British Embassy or consulate (as you cited, for Venezuela), then the marriage will not take place.

    So far, as best as I can determine, Britain is the only country worldwide which is attempting to extend its law on same-sex marriage to its overseas embassies and consulates. I wish more countries, like Spain, France, Netherlands, Sweden, etc., would follow their lead.

  • 81. Mike_Baltimore  |  June 25, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Foreign embassies and consulates are NOT property or territory of the host government, but property and territory of the country the embassy or consulate represents. Which means it is the property and territory of the country the embassy or consulate represents.

    If the represented country allows ME, then the embassy and consulate allow ME. It does not matter what the host country says. The only thing the host country can or cannot do is recognize or not a marriage away from the embassy or consulate.

  • 82. wes228  |  June 25, 2015 at 9:43 am

    It is not true that embassy soil is the soil of the representing country. This is a misconception that has pervaded popular culture. International rules dictate that the host country cannot send law enforcement officers into an embassy without the representing country's consent, but if you are standing in front of the American embassy in Paris you are still legally in France.

  • 83. RobW303  |  June 25, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Ahem, isn't India a major English-speaking nation??

  • 84. Rick55845  |  June 25, 2015 at 9:56 am

    No. Only 10% of the population in India speak English.

    Currently about 13% of Americans are native Spanish speakers, and a far larger percentage of Americans speak Spanish. Would you characterize the United States as a major Spanish-speaking nation?

  • 85. VIRick  |  June 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Rob, I simply copied that article, fully realizing what it said in regard to Australia on the language front.

    Instead, I was trying to emphasize the number of couples in Australia who have been able to marry because one or the other, or both, retained their British citizenship. Also, that total does not include those who "up-graded" their British civil unions to full marriage once it became legal to do so. For example, when marriage equality came to Scotland, the very first couple to "up-grade" their Scottish civil union to marriage did so at the British consulate in Melbourne.

  • 86. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 25, 2015 at 4:00 am

    5AM MDT —- 3 Hours to go!
    6AM MDT —- T – 2 Hours!
    7AM MDT —- T-1 Hour and Counting! ScotusBlog Live!

    Live Net Video Coverage at the Supreme Court

  • 87. guitaristbl  |  June 25, 2015 at 6:16 am

    According to SCOTUSblog conventional wisdom has it that King will come down tomorrow and Obergefell on Monday.

  • 88. josejoram  |  June 25, 2015 at 6:28 am

    My gosh! What a torture!

  • 89. DeadHead  |  June 25, 2015 at 6:37 am

    I do hope we get the ME decision tomorrow that would be an awesome symbolic gesture for Pride weekend but I think SCOTUS will rule on the last day.

  • 90. wes228  |  June 25, 2015 at 6:39 am

    I still say tomorrow will actually be the last day of the term. We will know today because the Chief Justice always announces when the last day of the term is on the second-to-last day.

  • 91. Tony MinasTirith  |  June 25, 2015 at 6:44 am

    That makes sense to me. Surely they can release 7 opinions between today and tomorrow, and start their summer vacation by 10:30 AM tomorrow.

  • 92. Dann3377  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:04 am

    They're NOT waiting until Monday. Friday is the logical choice.

  • 93. SethInMaryland  |  June 25, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Two boxes of opinions. Means 3 or 4 opins., probably.

  • 94. mu2  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:03 am

    MSNBC has live coverage at the court if anybody wants to watch

  • 95. wes228  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Thank God…we won the disparate-impact housing discrimination case. HUGE VICTORY!

  • 96. SethInMaryland  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Texas Housing 5-4 ,Kennedy affirmed

  • 97. SethInMaryland  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:09 am


  • 98. JayJonson  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Obamacare upheld.

  • 99. wes228  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Shit just got real y'all.

  • 100. tigris26  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Holy crap!!! 6-3 for the ACA healthcare subsides!!!!

  • 101. JayJonson  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:12 am

    No Obergefell today!

  • 102. wes228  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:12 am

    No more opinions. 5 remain.

  • 103. brandall  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:12 am

    ME decision will be tomorrow! Yippee! Happy SF Pride!

  • 104. wes228  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:14 am

    It could be Monday…we are waiting for today's session to end. If the Chief Justice says tomorrow is the last day, then yes.

  • 105. SethInMaryland  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:14 am

    maybie it will but I thought we get a least get 3 today

  • 106. mu2  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I hope you're right but I don't think so…they aren't going to do 5 tomorrow and there's no way to my mind they'd announce Obergefell Friday and leave 2 or 3 far less contentious decisions languishing over the weekend…talk about anticlimactic…..

  • 107. Raga  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I would disagree that the death penalty case and the Arizona Legislature case are far less contentious. I'm still remaining optimistic they release Obergefell tomorrow, though, you may be right – they may want to polish it a bit over the weekend.

  • 108. mu2  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:40 am

    I think that is highly dependent on geography, I don't think I know one person here in Oklahoma who cares a whit about either of those. See my 10 to 1 wager offering in another post. 🙂

  • 109. RobW303  |  June 25, 2015 at 9:05 am

    That's true: the death penalty doesn't conflict with people's "sincerely held religious beliefs"; despite that folderol about "thou shalt not kill", God exhorted parents to kill their unruly children and told the Jews they could kill people of other races, so clearly a little lethal injection is no problem.

  • 110. mu2  |  June 25, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Or kill anyone working on the Sabbath (Ex 31:15). I've noticed that a lot of so-called "christians" hereabouts have learned these rules pretty well:

    Rules of bible quoting:

    Whenever a bible passage can be used to support someone's belief and bigotry, that passage is clear, stands on its own, and does not depend on any other context or special interpretation.

    Whenever someone points out any of the hundreds of bible passages showing god literally ordering or approving killing of children,
    raping of young girls, correct treatment of slaves, death penalty
    for minor infractions, and genocide, the proper response is

    (pick one or more of the following):

    1. It is taken out of context
    2. Can only be understood by special understanding of context
    3. The OT is not relevant
    4. God can't be understood by humans
    5. This is selective quoting
    6. The quoter doesn't understand the bible
    7. God didn't say that, he was "misquoted"
    8. God meant some special application, such as to Israelites or
    ancient clergy, etc.

    So sometimes the bible means exactly what it says, and sometimes
    it means the opposite. Think of an ox being gored.

  • 111. tigris26  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I'm with you Raga! I'm still really hoping for an Obergefell decision tomorrow.

  • 112. SethInMaryland  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:12 am

    not today , with that 5 left

  • 113. tigris26  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:14 am

    WOW!!! I did not anticipate a 6-3 victory for ACA with both Kennedy and Roberts joining!

  • 114. davepCA  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Okay, not today. I'm going back to bed for an hour : )

  • 115. DrBriCA  |  June 25, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Same here!

  • 116. guitaristbl  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Burwell is out, government wins 6-3. If only we couls get that..
    Also liberals win on disparate impact claims, 5-4 this time.
    Surprising to see King v. Burwell out today really..!

  • 117. guitaristbl  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:27 am

    With 5 opinions remaining and the first big bomb dropped today (not that the housing case was not big of course..) it seems unlikely we will be done tomorrow. I expect 3 tomorrow, Obergefell not included though. The irony is King is not the last case from the February sitting, the one about federql districts from Arizona remains. Then there is the EPA case from March and 3 cases from April – Johnson, Obergefell and Glossip.
    I think we may get Johnson and Glossip tomorrow..

  • 118. mu2  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I will give 10 to1 odds to anyone that Ober wll be the last one…on Monday.

  • 119. mu2  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:29 am

    71 hours 18 minutes to go


  • 120. wes228  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:33 am

    The session is over. No announcement that tomorrow is the last day, so there will be opinions on Friday and Monday. I would now expect Obergefell to be released on Monday.

  • 121. sfbob  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Per SCOTUSblog it's possible all remaining opinions could be released tomorrow with only orders being issued on Monday.

  • 122. wes228  |  June 25, 2015 at 8:04 am

    True, but I find that unlikely at this point.

  • 123. JayJonson  |  June 25, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Everyone said that the ObamaCare decision would be released on Monday. There is no way to predict when Obergefell will be released. It could as easily come on Friday as Monday. We must be prepared for either.

  • 124. guitaristbl  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:34 am

    In general the court had very liberal tendencies this term
    I cant remember many cases where strict ideological lines were drawn and liberals were on the losing end..Din comes to mind only now..
    Zivotofsky was a victory for liberals, Texas housing the same, King the same, Walker the same etc.

    Fingers crossed Obergefell continues that trend. Conservatives are bound to have a victory with Glossip and the EPA case anyway..

  • 125. tigris26  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:40 am

    I'm bummed that we may have to wait until Monday to hear the decision for Obergefell. The waiting is killing me!

    I'm still going to tune in tomorrow in case SCOTUS surprises us.

  • 126. mu2  |  June 25, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Me too, but then I also check the Powerball numbers twice a week.

  • 127. A_Jayne  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Some news, some fun from SCOTUSblog live this morning:

    I have $20 that Scalia is the author of the opinion granting same sex marriage rights to all Americans. Am I going to lose my lunch money?
    by holla bb17 6:34 AM

    Amy Howe I hope you brought a snack.
6:34 A

    Good afternoon from Paris (and hi to those listening to me at NSA, too)
    by Randy in Paris 6:36 AM

    Amy Howe Bon jour! Have a croissant for us!
6:36 AM 

    If Obergefell is ruled in favour of the respondents, will that overturn other courts' decisions that did away with states' bans on same-sex marriage?
    by Connie 6:47 AM

    Tejinder This is a good question–and the answer is both complicated and uncertain. If there are cases pending on an equal protection theory (e.g., the ban has been struck down, but the decision has been appealed, or a petition has been filed and held at the Supreme Court), then this result would compel a result in favor of the states in those cases.
6:48 AM 

    Tejinder If there are past decisions striking down bans that are no longer being litigated, then it's possible that states will have to take some sort of legislative action to revive their bans.
6:49 AM

    How do you apply to be a Supreme Court Justice?
    by Jon Newmark 6:52 AM

    Kevin Russell You can send your application to me. With a $100 application fee…
6:52 AM 

    I've heard the claim that there could be a geographic bias among Supreme Court Justices. That being, most Justices hail from the Northeast and more non-Northeasterners should be nominated. What do you think about that hypothesis?
    by Icarus27k 6:55 AM

    Amy Howe Part of it depends on whether you look at where they lived when they were nominated or at where they grew up. Justices Kennedy and Breyer grew up in California, although Breyer spent most of adulthood in the northeast. Justice Thomas is from the south, although he was in DC by the time he was nominated. The Chief Justice spent his formative years in Indiana, although he too was in the DC area by the time he was nominated.

    How do they ensure clerks don't leak decisions? Certainly they know them early.
    by Duane 6:57 AM

    Eric Citron With the implicit threat of a career-ending reprimand.
6:57 AM

    What happens if the decision is split so there are multiple majorities? Who reads the opinion?
    by robert 7:00 AM

    Eric Citron There is always an opinion described as "announcing the Judgment of the Court." That one goes first.

    From the majority opinion: "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them."
by Kevin Russell 7:15 AM 


    As many of you may remember, the Chief Justice asked basically no questions during the oral argument in this case. But he was the author of the decision upholding the subsidies in the end.
by Amy Howe 7:15 AM 


    From Scalia's dissent: "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare."
by Kevin Russell 7:14 AM 


    The Chief did NOT say that tomorrow will be the last day of the term, which means that it won't be. We will have opinions on Monday,
    by Kevin Russell 7:32 AM

    We have gotten a HUGE number of questions about whether the Court is planning to release gay marriage tomorrow because it is a historic day for gay rights already. That is enormously unlikely, in my view. The main determinant of when a case comes out is when it is ready; the Court barely considers other factors at all. And these matters are largely under the control of the Chief's office, and I think it would be genuinely surprising, given all the things the Court is working on right now, if this kind of coincidence was in mind. The intervening third cause of days in late June being a big day for gay rights is that days in late June are when big SCOTUS decisions come down. The coincidence could hold tomorrow, or maybe not.
    by Eric Citron 7:40 AM

    *chuckle* Scalia's dissent refers to "interpretive jiggery-pokery"
    by Kenn 7:40 AM

    – See more at:

  • 128. RemC  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:56 am

    The one below you quoted was my favorite… as well as the exchanges about a meteor hitting Washington—oh, and the question about the Court rendering an opinion on Batman v. Superman:

    How do you apply to be a Supreme Court Justice?
    by Jon Newmark 6:52 AM

    Kevin Russell You can send your application to me. With a $100 application fee…
    6:52 AM

  • 129. RobW303  |  June 25, 2015 at 8:57 am

    argle-bargle: n. interpretive jiggery-pokery, as in a Justice Alito dissent.

  • 130. tigris26  |  June 25, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I love how the SCOTUSblog people have such a great sense of humor! 😀

  • 131. SoCal_Dave  |  June 25, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Eric Citron of SCOTUSBlog says (in his opinion) that an Obergefell decision on Friday is "enormously unlikely". I know that would disappoint many here, but if it turns out to be Monday, I think we should look at the glass as half-full and say then we will have TWO June dates to celebrate – 26th AND 29th. And hopefully even more in the future.

  • 132. ebohlman  |  June 25, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Actually, what he says is "enormously unlikely" is that the Court would deliberately time the release of Obergefell to coincide with the anniversaries of Lawrence and Windsor.

  • 133. SoCal_Dave  |  June 25, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Ah, good catch, ebholman – thank you. In any case, I'm going to be happy with a positive decision no matter which day it comes.

  • 134. guitaristbl  |  June 25, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Scalia's dissent in King is highly entertaining. He is livid ! Exclamation points, calling the law SCOTUScare, saying the majorith favours this law over others etc He must be doing some yoga to relax this term as I expect even worse language in Obergefell, should I say borderline hate speech ?

  • 135. VIRick  |  June 25, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Scalia: "interpretive jiggery-pokery"

    OMG! So, now we have "interpretive jiggery-pokery" on top of Scalia's infamously nasty "argle-bargle" and his ridiculous "consultation with the haruspices!!"

    This man is too vile to be considered rational. I'm now certain he wants/needs the weekend to conjure up more of his own hateful "interpretive jiggery-pokery" on the subject of marriage equality.

  • 136. davepCA  |  June 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Is it just me or do the phrases "argle-bargle" and "jiggery-pokey" sound like Milton Bradley board games?

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