Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Open thread


EqualityOnTrial was at Netroots Nation 2015 all last week, we will have more full posts tomorrow.


  • 1. JayJonson  |  July 20, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Taiwan government prepares to introduce same-sex marriage law.

  • 2. FredDorner  |  July 20, 2015 at 10:20 am

    It's actually a Jim Crow "same-sex partnership" law. I don't know what the politics are on the issue but given that Taiwan already has majority support for marriage equality, it seems stupid and unnecessary not to do the right thing.

  • 3. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 20, 2015 at 10:59 am

    ". . . given that Taiwan already has majority support for marriage equality, it seems stupid and unnecessary not to do the right thing."

    So, given that YOU say polls show a majority of the Taiwanese people are in support of ME, you are dismissing the statement by (current) Taiwanese authorities that "when polls show that the region's population is ready, a gay marriage law will be drafted. "

    Or are you saying that Taiwan is not ready for ME? Does that mean you don't believe the accuracy of the polls? Or does that mean you don't trust the (current) Taiwanese authorities when they say they will draft an ME law when the people are ready?

    BTW – do you have any links to show that the Taiwanese actually are ready for ME? Culturally, the Taiwanese are Chinese, and the Chinese culture is not very approving of anything that will not produce families (preferably 'natural'). Is the Taiwanese culture so different from the mainland Chinese culture that it would forsake the thousands of years of Chinese cultural antipathy towards anything but man/woman marriage? I would hope so, but I have seen no indication of that, and you didn't provide any proof.

  • 4. SethInMaryland  |  July 20, 2015 at 11:24 am

    i wish Taiwan would go straight to marriage, but maybie this will make it easier later for them to go to marriage . I expect the government is wanting to take a similar path UK to gain more momentum in the polls

  • 5. SethInMaryland  |  July 20, 2015 at 11:33 am

    after reading about this law this is still marriage as I understand it . the government is officials are calling it marriage

  • 6. josejoram  |  July 20, 2015 at 11:58 am

    But how in this world could this law "harm" to anybody!

  • 7. SethInMaryland  |  July 20, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    it doesn't , however gov is worried about members that repersent conservative districts. it won't though if they approve this water-down version , they still will lose the election to a much more liberal party that make the law stronger , but if it's not approved the liberal party will still win and then approve a much stronger version. either way a much more liberal party will be in charge next year and will a much stronger version

  • 8. RobW303  |  July 20, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    So they might be considered quasi-married within Taiwan, but what about when they go to other countries that recognize same-sex marriages but not civil unions as an equivalent?

  • 9. FredDorner  |  July 20, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Mike says: "….YOU say polls show a majority of the Taiwanese people are in support of ME"
    I read the linked article. Did you? It states: "A poll conducted by judicial authorities in 2013 shows that more than 53 percent support same-sex marriage."

  • 10. Rik_SD  |  July 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    WOW the comments on that page… homophobia with a huge side of anti-semitism

  • 11. sfbob  |  July 20, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    All of the anti-semitic comments seem to be from the same deranged person. Still gross though.

  • 12. VIRick  |  July 20, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Clerk Prayed over Decision to Stop Issuing Marriage Licenses

    Covington KY. –– A local elected official in a small Kentucky county testified Monday, 20 July 2015, she could not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because signing the document would signal her approval of a union that violates her religious beliefs. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses on 27 June, one day after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide. Davis testified that she prayed and fasted for months before reaching the decision.

    The ACLU sued her on behalf of two gay couples and two straight couples. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear instructed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately. At least two clerks refused. Clerks are elected officials. They cannot be removed from office unless impeached by the state legislature. Impeachment appears unlikely, given the political climate in the state capital.

    The couples have asked District Judge David Bunning to order Davis to issue the marriage licenses. Bunning, who did not rule after today's hearing, could order Davis to issue licenses, and then fine her or put her in jail if she refuses. But he could not remove her from office.

    Davis said today she is a member of a local Apostolic church, which is part of the Christian faith. She said she believes the Bible is “God’s holy word” and that it defines marriage as strictly between one man and one woman.

    Kentucky law requires the county clerk to issue marriage licenses, or the local judge executive if the clerk is absent or the office is vacant. The licenses are valid for 39 days until someone — a minister or other qualified official — performs the ceremony and signs the form. The couple then returns the license to the clerk and has it recorded. The wording on the license says the couple is “hereby authorized” to get married. “If … I authorize that I’m saying I agree with it, and I can’t,” Davis said today in a sometimes tearful testimony before a packed courtroom.

    Bunning asked Davis a series of questions that appeared to suggest he viewed the marriage license process as “simply telling the state the information in the form is accurate.” And he seemed to favor a solution where a deputy clerk’s name, instead of Davis’, would be on the license. Of the six people who work for her, Davis said one has said he or she would be willing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But Davis said she could not ask her employees to do something she won’t do herself. And she said that out of loyalty to her employees, she would not resign.

    Bunning said the earliest he could rule would be mid-August.

  • 13. sfbob  |  July 20, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Now I see the problem. Everyone knows it's not wise to make important decisions when you're hungry.

    To be more serious (only a bit) if you have to pray and fast over whether or not to do your job then it's time to find a different line of work.

  • 14. DrBriCA  |  July 20, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    No kidding. She's been asked to sign off on a license, not to sacrifice her eldest son (something that DOES recur in the Old Testament, mind you). Fasting over this issue seems a bit extreme.

  • 15. bayareajohn  |  July 20, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    When judging extreme, keep in mind that these same people pray and fast imploring god to make their sports team beat other teams.

  • 16. DJSNOLA  |  July 21, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Its like how so many GOP candidates prayed to god to see if he wanted them to run and well by golly he said yes. Strange how he wants all these men to run when only one could possibly win the nomination.

  • 17. DrBriCA  |  July 20, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I read in another article that the lawyers did specifically ask if she had problems issuing licenses to divorced people or interracial couples, to which she replied, "No." Nice to see that they were showing a pattern of her refusing to license only ONE type of couple 'forbidden' in the Bible.

    Her reasoning at the end of your article is just so messed up. "I don't want my deputy clerks to have to do something for me, so no one will issue licenses. And I won't resign because… God."

  • 18. Rick55845  |  July 20, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Do you have a link for that article, Rick? I'd like to see if comments are being posted, and what people think of it.

    I think the clerk must be told that she is required to uphold the law. If the judge says that she doesn't have to grant licenses to same-sex couples as long as someone in the office will, I believe his ruling should be appealed, even if it means that the plaintiffs will be able to get marriage licenses. A ruling like that would simply be wrong.

    The clerk needs to understand that authorizing a same-sex couple to get married by issuing them a marriage license in no way implies that she personally agrees with it. It only means that she is carrying out the law. She must not be permitted to decide what laws she will respect, and which she will ignore.

  • 19. VIRick  |  July 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Here's the citation. I posted a shortened, edited version of the account:

    However, the comments at LGBTQNation are mostly ripping her a new assh-le.

  • 20. VIRick  |  July 20, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Per "Equality Case Files:"

    In "Jernigan v. McDaniel," the Arkansas federal marriage case under appeal before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals:

    On 20 July 2015, the Plaintiffs filed a motion in Opposition to the Suggestion of Mootness and Motion to Dismiss and Vacate the District Court's Order and Judgment.

  • 21. sfbob  |  July 20, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    The important portion of the filing is…let's see if I can summarize it even though I'm not an attorney…that the court should not simply declare the plaintiff's' case moot because Obergefell was not a ruling on this case and that case law indicates that mooting one case because of a final ruling in another similar case is not appropriate.

    It's one of those fine points that has a significant impact. The filing notes that there are situations in which a finding of mootness would be appropriate and this is not one of those situations.

    Rather than mooting Jernigan's case, the lower court should affirm the district court's original ruling which would result in the state being liable for the plaintiff's legal fees. They note that a district court in Idaho came to a similar conclusion and on the same basis.

    "Obergefell has precedential value and informs this Court's decision but it does not dispose of the claims raised by Plaintiffs-Appellees arising out of Arkansas's marriage laws."


    "[The state's argument] ignores well-settled law that 'a defendant's voluntary cessation of a challenged practice does not deprive a federal court of its power to determine the legality of that practice."

    According to the brief, precedent indicates that although Obergefell may be binding precedent Arkansas's discriminatory laws are still on the books and could theoretically be invoked in the future to deprive a future couple of their right to marry. Based on the brief's citations it appears there's plenty of case law on the plaintiff's side.

  • 22. RnL2008  |  July 20, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks for all the information and comments……frankly the Judge should rule that Davis MUST perform the duties to which she was ELECTED and it is clear that her OBJECTION is just specifically towards Gays and Lesbians…….that's DISCRIMINATION!!!

  • 23. 1grod  |  July 21, 2015 at 4:31 am

    Tenth Anniversary:

  • 24. JayJonson  |  July 21, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Good article. I wouldn't trust Harper any further than I could throw him. I am especially concerned about his appointments of anti-gay judges to the appellate courts. But I do think Canadians generally are more committed to fair play and equal rights than Americans are.

  • 25. Sagesse  |  July 21, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    "There is certainly no evidence that the prime minister bears any animus toward gay people, and there is even a “Fabulous Blue Tent” movement of gay Conservatives."

    I don't accept that assessment. He's been very disrespectful to Kathleen Wynne, the premier of Ontario, who is a lesbian. She is also a Liberal, but Harper managed to be civil to her predecessor, Dalton McGinty. In my view, his treatment of the leader of Canada's most populous province just reeks of moral disapproval.

    And then there's his appointment of barely qualified socially conservative judges. I'm with Jay Jonson – I don't trust the man any further than I can throw him.

  • 26. Christian0811  |  July 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    How much longer to this guy's term?? Ugh

  • 27. josejoram  |  July 21, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Good news: The European Court on Human Rights has condemned Italy for its not recognition of same sex couples:

  • 28. davepCA  |  July 21, 2015 at 11:37 am


  • 29. Christian0811  |  July 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    I wonder what ramifications this will have for the constitutional court. The ECoHR seemed somewhat dubious at the previous ruling made the CCoI holding a historically view of the marriage amendment and equal protection amendment without an otherwise persuasive rationale to excluding same sex couples. Could 'Kopf' be in its death throes? Might 'Obergefell' embarrass both institutions into correcting their previous rulings?

    I mean 'Kopf' was in 2010, then in 2012 the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal ruled Case 198/2012 that the Spanish marriage amendment (which mirrors the ECoHR's article 12) to the constitution not only permit marriage equality but may even require it as the gender specifications were only ever intended to give heterosexual spouses equality given many chauvinistic statutory regimes at the time but not prohibit marriages between people of the same sex. Taken in conjunction with the equal protection requirement the Cortes had no choice but to keep marriage equality legal.

    Then 'Obergefell' put the "historical context" of constitutionalism to bed, which was the primary vehicle the CCoI relied in its 2010 ruling. From what I've seen, American jurisprudence is persuasive in other countries even if international case law plays little role in it (with a few notable exceptions, such as Kennedy's reference to the Dudgeon case in Lawrence). The CCoI may now have to reassess its jurisprudence constance if it is to remain a competent institution. And same sex couples may have to hope it does, since Italy's government is unlikely to pass the registered partnerships bill (which is still inherently unequal).

    I don't want to be blinded by hope, but I can't help but be a bit more optimistic with this turn of events 😛

  • 30. JayJonson  |  July 21, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Another reason I am a Canada-phile is that they have hate speech laws, which help curb political extremism. I hope that they are used to punish the doofus of a college professor who, in protest of the flying of the rainbow flag, said that queers should be hanged, not the flag.

  • 31. DJSNOLA  |  July 21, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Im always going to err on the side of allowing free speech no matter how abhorrent. Also, sometimes people coming off as extreme is actually useful as opposed to them being less vocal about their true beliefs.

  • 32. JayJonson  |  July 21, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Hate speech is not free speech; and free speech is not consequence-free. I am glad that the college acted quickly to fire the professor.

  • 33. Raga  |  July 21, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    My quick analysis of the recent European Court of Human Rights judgment:

    It was disappointing to see the Court reiterate its earlier holdings (most recently just last year) that there is no fundamental right to marriage for same-sex couples. Contrary to what some headlines may suggest (eg., Advocate, RawStory, and some other European news sources), in yesterday's judgment, what the Court ruled (unanimously) as a human rights violation is the lack of any legal recognition of same-sex unions by Italy – not its gay marriage ban. Some form of civil unions would be sufficient, the Court said.

    While the judgment was unanimous, the reasoning was split. Four of the seven judges adopted a broad reasoning that the violation was because there is a positive obligation for any member State of the European Union to enact legislation to recognize same-sex unions in some form. The remaining 3 judges reasoned only that the violation was because the Italian Government failed to enact appropriate legislation recognizing same-sex unions despite repeated judgments by its own highest court (Italy's Constitutional Court) that the lack of such recognition violated Italy's Constitution. Has this reasoning been adopted by their 4 colleagues, the applicability of this decision would have been limited to Italy.

    It should also be noted that there is a possibility that Italy can appeal to the Grand Chamber of the Court. (It has previously done so in a different case in 2011, and had succeeded in overturning a unanimous judgment at that time.)

    Nevertheless, this is a step in the right direction for equality in the EU! Italy needs to suck it up and enact civil unions. (It is unfortunate that neither Italy's Constitutional Court nor the European Court of Human Rights has the power to enforce their judgments.)

    On a side note, the public announcement of an impending marriage (I guess the equivalent of a marriage license) in Italy is called a "marriage bann". How ironic!

    Source: Full Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, available at….

    As for any impact of this judgment on Russia, its own highest court has just recently ruled that it's above the European Court of Human Rights:

    Here's a good article on what actually this judgment means and its scope:

  • 34.  |  August 11, 2015 at 11:39 am

    So they might be considered quasi-married within Taiwan, but what about when they go to other countries that recognize same-sex marriages but not civil unions as an equivalent?

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