Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Open thread


Seems to be a slow news day. Let us know if we missed anything in the comments!


  • 1. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 23, 2015 at 11:28 am

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruling of June 26 apparently has had more influence in Australia than the Irish vote:

  • 2. Zack12  |  July 24, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    We'll know for sure next month when the marriage equality bill is introduced.

  • 3. davepCA  |  July 24, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Come ON, Australia, get this DONE!

  • 4. scream4ever  |  July 26, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Australia has the votes for marriage it seems!!! Now all we need is for Tony Abbott to allow the Liberals a conscious vote:

    This whole thing I must say is shaping up like the situation with the New York Senate. Hopefully (and I suspect) we'll get a result the same as the 2011 vote by the end of the year.

  • 5. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I'm wondering if the current pro-ME campaign of the Australian PM's sister will change any minds, especially in the Australian Parliament. I hope it does, especially in the Australian Parliament. Forster, like her brother, is a member of the Liberal Party, which in Australia is actually the conservate party.

  • 6. ianbirmingham  |  July 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Jim Obergefell, Lead Plaintiff in SCOTUS Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, to Be Honored by Equality Florida

    Equality Florida has announced that Jim Obergefell, lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in the United States, will be the recipient of the group's 2015 Voice for Equality Award. The award will be given to Obergefell at Equality Florida's annual Broward Gala on November 15 at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six in Fort Lauderdale.

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  July 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Gay couple kicked and pepper sprayed by far-right mob in Kiev
    Zoryan Kis and Tymur Levchuk were attacked by group of 15-20 young men after deciding to test people’s reactions to them holding hands

    …although violence against LGBT people has always existed in Ukraine, the video showed most Ukrainians are tolerant and the main cause of the problem is a small, aggressive far-right minority. He said he hoped it would raise awareness of discrimination and encourage the president, Petro Poroshenko, to include protections for LGBT people in the new constitution that is being drafted. Referring to conservative policies in Russia, including a law against so-called gay propaganda, he said: “Ukraine has definitely made some progress, and the fact that there isn’t state homophobia in Ukraine is probably the reason why ordinary people weren’t aggressive towards us. But if Ukraine wants to move on and get closer to Europe, the government must act to protect us from people like those attackers.”…

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  July 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Equality Act: Congressional Democrats introduce most comprehensive LGBTQ rights bill ever

    … The Equality Act would effectively expand the Civil Rights Act, originally passed in 1964, to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, housing, public accommodations, education, and various other settings. But the proposal faces tough odds in a Republican-dominated Congress, which has shown no interest in bills that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace and education — much less a more comprehensive bill that expands nondiscrimination protection to practically all settings covered by federal law. …

    "There's no substitute for being explicitly listed in the law," Ian Thompson, LGBTQ legislative director at the American Civil Liberties Union, said. "I also think it's a very powerful statement to see that it is the law of the land that discrimination against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is wrong and illegal."

    … a 2013 series of studies by Laura Barron of the US Air Force Management Policy Division and Michelle Hebl of Rice University found laws that ban workplace discrimination appear to decrease discrimination based on sexual orientation. …


    Across the board, the studies found nondiscrimination laws reduce signs of prejudice. People in places with existing nondiscrimination laws were more likely to be aware of the protections, and they were less likely to discriminate. Among the 229 participants in the mock interviews, those who believed a local law prohibited discrimination were also less likely to discriminate, based on metrics that gauged negativity toward gay and lesbian people.

    The reason civil rights laws are effective, Barron and Hebl suggested, isn't necessarily that people fear the punishment of the law — but rather that civil rights laws authoritatively set the morals of a community. "[T]hese effects occur because anti-discrimination legislation can create social norms that govern what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviors to display toward stigmatized individuals," the researchers wrote. …

  • 9. 1grod  |  July 23, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Am I reading to much into AL's Crenshaw probate judge James Petdue differentiating between issuing licenses and being an officiant. He indicate that the discretion in leglislation is in being an officiant and that he has a duty to issue licenses. Any one else read it this way? If so, has be not provided a pathway to bringing the other reluctant judges on board?

  • 10. ianbirmingham  |  July 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Yes, but in the most knuckle-dragging way imaginable…


    On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a majority opinion
    legalizing same-sex marriages in our country. I believe their decision to define marriage contrary to God’s definition of marriage was wrong. Sadly, the action of five Supreme Court justices who sit on the highest court in our country has become the law of the land. The staggering impact of their decision upon government offices and agencies, upon lower courts, and upon the private sectors of our state and nation is yet to fully unfold.

    Marriage is clearly defined in the Bible. Before there was government, before there were courts and laws, God established and blessed the institution of marriage between a man and a woman. God’s definition has not changed, and I agree with God.

    As Probate Judge, I will not perform any marriages — either for couples of the opposite sex or for same sex couples — an option I have by law.

    I have had much to consider regarding the issuance of marriage licenses. I have
    sought spiritual and legal counsel and have carefully examined spiritual and legal principles upon which my decision must be based. As a result of the ruling of the Supreme Court, with which I do not agree, same sex couples now have a LEGAL
    right to apply for and receive marriage licenses.

    Unless the law changes or unless the State designates another government office to issue marriage licenses, the Probate Office of Crenshaw County will issue marriage licenses along with other licenses to which all its citizens are LEGALLY entitled.

  • 11. davepCA  |  July 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Sheesh, our government is just full of completely ignorant MORONS who do not know what marriage really is or where it really came from. Marriage existed long before that particular religion did, and that religion didn't even have any interest in getting itself involved in the secular business of peoples marriages until many centuries after it began.

  • 12. 1grod  |  July 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Dave, Morons or not, belief or unbelief is in the sphere of the personal. In the sphere of the Public, has Petdue provided an insight in how to encourage other judges to issue licenses. How would to use his statement to convince others? G

  • 13. Bruno71  |  July 23, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Just a minor point: James Perdue was appointed to another position, and the current probate judge of Crenshaw County is Will Tate.

  • 14. Sagesse  |  July 23, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Robert George's protege. These 'natural law' proponents give me the creeps. They use the word 'truth' to describe the religious concept of 'revealed truth' – truth told to us directly by a deity. Revealed truth is a logical fallacy – an argument from authority. But it has the word 'truth' in it… so it must be… 'true'?

    Overruled: Conservatives' Favorite New Anti-Gay Book On Marriage Falsely Claims Ideology Is 'Truth' [New Civil Rights Movement]

  • 15. Sagesse  |  July 23, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Boies & Olson Together Again, Backing Federal Equality Act To End LGBT Discrimination [New Civil Rights Movement]

  • 16. davepCA  |  July 23, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Very good!

  • 17. Sagesse  |  July 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Maybe the time has come.

    Watch This Amazing Video Of A Dozen Top Democrats Asking America To Support A New LGBT Equality Bill [New Civil Rights Movement]

  • 18. VIRick  |  July 23, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Indiana: Fired Clerk Cites Leviticus In Federal Lawsuit Over Same-Sex Marriage

    Former Harrison County, Indiana, employee Linda Summers has filed a federal employment discrimination lawsuit against her former boss and the county, alleging religious discrimination after being terminated last year for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Summers logically cites Leviticus as proof of her having been wronged:

    "Plaintiff, Linda Summers has a sincerely held religious belief, based upon the tenants of her faith and biblical teaching, such as Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27, I Cor. 6:9-10; and I Tim 1:9-10, that it is a sin for persons of the same sex to engage in sexual relations and, based upon Genesis 2:18-25, and other biblical authority, that persons of the same sex cannot and should not be morally or legally-recognized as husband and wife, and that God will judge individual Christians, as well as the society of which they are a part, who condone or institute same-sex marriages."

    This case, "Summers v. Whitis and Harrison County," was filed in federal District Court for Southern Indiana in New Albany. New Albany immediately faces Louisville KY across the river, and Harrison County is the next county west of it.

    Note: Summers was not the head clerk, but rather, one of the underlings. Sally Whitis was and still is the head clerk for the county, is the person who did the firing, and is now the person being sued. Just on the face of it, it would appear that she has every right to do so if one of her employees refuses to do their job.

  • 19. A_Jayne  |  July 23, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    What religious "authority" did she cite for this part:

    God will judge individual Christians, as well as the society of which they are a part, who condone or institute same-sex marriages?

    I mean, as long as she's citing verses, I'm curious where she found that verse in her text?

  • 20. brchaz  |  July 23, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Doesn't matter; as long as she believes it, her proper course of action is to resign.

  • 21. Rick55845  |  July 23, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Too late to resign. She was fired.

  • 22. VIRick  |  July 23, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Yes, she was fired in December 2014 after having point-blank refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple who had applied there in Harrison County. The license, of course, was duly issued, but not by Summers.

    She has only filed suit now, 7 months later (as she may have had some difficulty finding an attorney goofy enough to take on her case). Her suit, long on Biblical citations and quotes, is very weak otherwise (and is almost as lame as the nut-job in Nebraska who sued all gays). For example, her filing claims that there are several attachments, including something from an Indiana Supreme Court ruling. However, in actual fact, there are no attachments to be found.

    Remember, Indiana was one of 5 states whose cases were denied certiorari by the Supreme Court back in October 2014. Statewide, Indiana began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately thereafter.

  • 23. Zack12  |  July 24, 2015 at 2:31 am

    She has no case, just like none of the other clerks who think they can hide behind religious beliefs do.

  • 24. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 24, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Technicality – In Indiana, you must go to the court house to apply for a license. There is a 3-day waiting period from issuance of the application to when it may become a license, unless that waiting period is waived (usually by a judge). After the ceremony, and after witnesses sign, the application then automatically becomes a license if all other terms and conditions for marriage in Indiana are met (not beyond 60 days after issuance of application, wedding takes place 3 or more days after application, etc.).

    Most people in Indiana, though, call the application an unsigned license, or just a license, ignoring the fact (but observing) that there needs to be the appropriate waiting period, signatures, etc.

  • 25. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 23, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    A step forward in Poland (and a slap in the face of the Vatican?).

    As pointed out in the article, the Gender Accordance Act does not address citizenship, health care, parental rights, divorce and other trans-specific issues in Poland, but it is a step forward, IMO.

  • 26. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2015 at 4:00 am

    The religious freedom cases on the ACA contraception mandate bear watching. To what extent can religious exemptions be allowed to burden the rights of others? The 'complicity' argument is up there with 'redefining marriage' and 'child bonding rights' and 'responsible procreation'.

    A Religion Case Too Far for the Supreme Court? [New York Times]

  • 27. sfbob  |  July 24, 2015 at 9:30 am

    The phrase that sticks out is this one from East Texas Baptist Church v Burwell:

    "The acts that violate their faith are the acts of the government, insurers, and third-party administrators, but R.F.R.A. does not entitle them to block third parties from engaging in conduct with which they disagree.”

    As noted that sentence comes from a decision issued by the Fifth Circuit. If you can't get the Fifth Circuit to agree with you, you're probably out of luck.

    The entire thrust of the claims being made by county clerks and others like them is that they can't countenance the possibility of a gay or lesbian couple marrying even if all they are doing is paperwork. That claim is simply not going to fly. If it were otherwise then county clerks and the people who work for them could simply refuse to accept and file marriage certificates already completed by others.

  • 28. RnL2008  |  July 24, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I agree with ya and another issue in the Hobby Lobby ruling was stated that one's religious beliefs CAN'T be used to discriminate……like most rulings, they are applied sometimes on a narrow bases and Hobby Lobby was ruled specifically concerning 4 specific contraceptives, NOT all contraceptives.

    I believe that SCOTUS will continue to see these sorts of religious claims as what they are a form of NOTHING more than DISCRIMINATION towards a group of individuals……I mean we WOULDN'T allow one to say that one's religious beliefs would justify DISCRIMINATION based on the color of one's skin, so why would we allow it based on one's sexual orientation?

  • 29. Rick55845  |  July 24, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    While I believe they are no different from a moral perspective, discrimination based on race is not the same, legally, as discrimination based on sexual orientation. Race is a protected class under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Sexual orientation is not. That is why in most states and localaties, a person can legally be fired by an employer, denied housing, or discriminated against in other ways because of their sexual orientation, provided such discrimination is not otherwise forbidden, as with many public accommodation laws affecting businesses. But people are protected from such such discrimination on the basis of any of the protected classes (race, religion, national origin, age, sex, etc).

    Thankfully, protected class status is not why people who are trying to claim a right to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples will fail. They will fail because same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, and to equal protection of the laws generally. The national RFRA does not grant individuals the right to block third parties from exercising their rights, as sfbob mentioned. The mini-RFRAs that purport to grant such rights will eventually be found to violate the constitution, probably for just such reasons.

    If sexual orientation were granted protected class status, that would certainly help make short work of these religion-based discrimination issues. But I believe we will prevail over the bigots even without that.

  • 30. RnL2008  |  July 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Not necessarily true Rick, as I guess the EEOCC or the one that just ruled that to discriminate against Gays and Lesbians is basically sex discrimination covered under the 1964 Civil Rights Act…….but I could be wrong.

  • 31. DJSNOLA  |  July 25, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Well they ruled it under the issue of ones gender,,, it is a technical way of achieving the same thing but still isnt specifically addressing sexual orientation.

  • 32. RnL2008  |  July 25, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Oh, makes sense, I think that there is enough evidence out there that shows that one's sexual orientation is not changeable and therefore should be a protective class, but why Judges are reluctant to do that is mind blogging.

  • 33. 1grod  |  July 24, 2015 at 9:36 am

    100 weddings:

  • 34. Deeelaaach  |  July 24, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I apologize if this has been posted elsewhere. I have not followed this extensively so I'm not sure of the whole history, so I can't comment on it in any way that I might consider intelligent.

    The TX Supreme Court has ruled that Houston must either repeal their equal rights ordinance or essentially (as I understand it) put the referendum of that ordinance on the ballot.

  • 35. guitaristbl  |  July 24, 2015 at 11:43 am

    A true pity. A huge fight must be put forward to shield the ordinance from the far right lies and keep it in place.

  • 36. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 24, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Wasn't one of the arguments by Ohio that the people voted on the definition of marriage? And how far did that argument get before SCOTUS?

    And I believe 'Romer v Evans' might have some (maybe more than some) applicability to this case.

    Besides, the ruling by the highest court in the state can be appealed to SCOTUS. If SCOTUS accepts the case, the state's highest court's ruling is not the final word in the case.

  • 37. ianbirmingham  |  July 24, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    The reason being that opponents gathered signatures for a repeal referendum and the City Secretary formally determined that there were enough valid signatures. After that, the Mayor decided that some of the signatures were on invalid petition pages and blocked the referendum. The ruling is that the City Secretary's approval counts and the Mayor's doesn't, so the referendum must proceed. So now the people of Houston (the 4th largest city in USA) must vote on whether or not to repeal the equal rights ordinance. Given that the city's Mayor was both elected and doubly re-elected while openly lesbian, the referendum would seem to have little chance of passing.

  • 38. tx64jm  |  July 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Mayor Parker is term limited and cant run again. Also, a number of city council positions are up for election. So, this election will not be limited to the politically affluent inner city, but will also reach the suburbs. Thus, a lot more people will be involved in this election, a mere 4 months away.

  • 39. scream4ever  |  July 24, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    The suburbs are not actually a part of the city, and therefore have no say in this ordinance.

  • 40. Fortguy  |  July 24, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Here are more reports about the Texas Supreme Court's HERO ruling:

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Court: Houston Must Repeal Ordinance or Put it on Ballot
    Craig Malisow, Houston Press: Texas Supreme Court Suspends HERO Ordinance
    Scott Eric Kaufman, Salon: Victory for anti-gay and trans bigotry: Texas Supreme Court suspends Houston’s anti-discrimination ordinance

    The HERO repeal petition campaign was marked by a loathsome level of transphobic fear-mongering based upon the presumption that transgender women are really male pervs who enter restrooms in order to behave like teenage Mike Huckabees.

    There is no way SCOTUS is ruling on this before November, so there will be a vote on HERO. Houston voters are very fickle. As Deeelaaach's link to the Houston Chronicle points out, pro-LGBT ballot measures have failed in the past, and Mayor Parker will not be on the ballot due to term limits. Sure, Houston voters did elect her twice as mayor, but she campaigned on her positions regarding a broad range of public policy decisions facing the city and never as a single-issue vote-for-me-I'm-lesbian candidate.

    Harris County is very purple. It supported Obama in high-turnout presidential years while defeating Wendy Davis in a moderate-turnout midterm. Houston is more progressive than the county as a whole, but odd-year elections always have low turnouts in which grumpy old white folk vote disproportionately. There will not be any state or federal candidates on the November ballot; instead, there will be seven proposed constitutional amendments that will generate as much enthusiasm as a dish rag.

  • 41. tx64jm  |  July 24, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    In addition, in Houston every city council position is up for election, including the at-large districts which cover the suburbs. So the entire city will be voting, and only the inner loop is purple … Outside the loop is big time red.

  • 42. scream4ever  |  July 24, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Pretty sure the ordinance only covers the city limits though.

  • 43. tx64jm  |  July 24, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    I guess you dont realize just how big the City of Houston is.

    Here is a map of the council districts … 675 square miles. Everybody in a council district will be voting on the HERO ordinance, because those council persons voted on the ordinance.

  • 44. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 24, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    "I guess you dont [sic] realize just how big the City of Houston is … 675 square miles."


    Jacksonville, Florida is 885 square miles. More than 200 square miles larger than Houston, and that 200 square miles is larger than most cities in total size.

    New York City is about 469 square miles, but has about 8.5 million population (Houston's population is about 2.2 million). The metro population of New York City is about 20.1 million (the metro population of Houston is estimated at 6.22 million).

    Do all CONs think the only thing that matters is 'bigger is better'? Sure seems that way to me.

    Even so, Jacksonville, FL is bigger than Houston, TX, and there are several cities with larger populations than Houston.

  • 45. VIRick  |  July 24, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Yay for Jacksonville, the most-extensive, spread-out city in the entire USA, stretching from Baldwin to Atlantic Beach, from Mayport to Orange Park, and from Jacksonville Beach to some god-forsaken weeds some distance north of the JAX International Airport !!! LOL

    Of course, Mike, Miami-Dade did the same thing (by annexing the entire county), so with Dade going well into the middle of the Everglades, might that make Miami-Dade even larger in area than Jacksonville-Duval? I know it has a larger population.

  • 46. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 24, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    You are correct. Rick, since Miami-Dade has a size of 2,431 square miles, or well over 3 times (almost 4) the size of Houston at 675 square miles.

    Although I was just pointing out to the idiot from Texas that there ARE cities that have a larger 'footprint' (in areal size or population) than Houston in the US. I'm sure there are other examples that can be found.

    And if we expand our search to worlwide … .

  • 47. VIRick  |  July 24, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    There's Kansas City MO, too, which has jumped out of its core county and annexed large swaths of three adjacent counties.

    And Oklahoma City and Indianapolis have done something similar, as has Columbus OH. And don't forget Phoenix.

  • 48. Fortguy  |  July 24, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    From Wikipedia: List of United States cities by area

    From the list, it's clear that both Alaska and Montana have freakishly large cities by area although in both cases these represent city-county or equivalent consolidations.

    Fun factoid: the City and County of Honolulu includes Oahu and all the lesser isles of the Hawaiian archipelago beyond the eight main islands up to Kure Atoll with the exception of Midway which is an unorganized, unincorporated U.S. territory. The Census Bureau, however, only counts a judicial district comprising most of Honolulu's urban core as a "census designated place". Otherwise, Hawaii establishes no other municipal governments.

    I apologize if some have already seen this. I posted this before, but an edit conflict seems to have kept it from displaying here, although it showed up in recent posts in the left column.

  • 49. sfbob  |  July 25, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Other oddities: Some pretty big cities aren't on the list at all because the list includes only cities with more than 70 miles of land area. Washingon, DC doesn't make the list; Oakland, CA doesn't make the list and San Francisco doesn't make the list either. Meanwhile there are 13 cities with a population of less than 10,000 on the list.

  • 50. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 24, 2015 at 8:42 pm


    I thought of Indianapolis, but then remembered that most of the counties in Indiana are rather small (Allen County is the largest at 660 square miles, and Marion County [where Indy is located] is much smaller [403 square miles]). Add in that there are three cities [Beech Grove, Lawrence, and Southport] and one town [Speedway] in the county that did not join UniGov when it was created in 1970 [and still haven't]). (I grew up in Indiana, and learned about Indiana history from elementary school through high school and college. Plus one of my ancestors lived in NE Indiana almost 200 years ago. It is said he couldn't see the lamps of 'neighbors' for the first 10 years he lived in the state.)

    I could look up the other cities you cite, but frankly I think two examples of cities of larger areal size, and three cities with larger populations (US only, not worldwide) than Houston should shut the idiot from Texas for a few minutes, at least.

    (Slightly modified on 7-25-2015 to add a bit of information.)

  • 51. brchaz  |  July 25, 2015 at 5:10 am

    "On November 13, 1997, voters changed the name of the county from Dade to Miami-Dade to acknowledge the international name recognition of Miami."

    "Unlike a consolidated city-county, where the city and county governments merge into a single entity, these two entities remain separate. Instead there are two "tiers", or levels, of government: city and county. There are 35 municipalities in the county, the City of Miami being the largest.",_

  • 52. Fortguy  |  July 24, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    From Wikipedia: List of United States cities by area

    From the list, it's clear that both Alaska and Montana have freakishly large cities by area although in both cases these represent city-county or equivalent consolidations. Otherwise, Oklahoma City is also huge.

    Fun factoid, the City and County of Honolulu includes Oahu and all the lesser islands of the Hawaiian archipelago beyond the eight main isles up to Kure Atoll with the exception of Midway which is an unorganized, unincorporated U.S. territory. The Census Bureau, however, only counts a judicial district comprising most of Honolulu's urban core as a "census designated place".

  • 53. VIRick  |  July 24, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Three cheers for Jacksonville (Amended Version):

    Yay for Jacksonville, the most-extensive, spread-out city in the entire USA, outside of those 4 monstrous amalgamations in Alaska.

    (I had originally bowed to Miami-Dade, but that turns out to be its own unique hybrid).

  • 54. Fortguy  |  July 24, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Correct. The ordinance only covers territory within the Houston city limits. Harris County is very extensive by East Texas standards and includes numerous municipalities other than Houston as well as plenty of unincorporated communities. Some of these municipalities, such as Pasadena and Baytown, are quite decently sized cities in their own right. Also, Houston does include a small amount of territory in adjacent counties within its city limits.

  • 55. Fortguy  |  July 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    This is a must-read on the HERO ruling:

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: Supreme Court rules HERO must be repealed or voted on

  • 56. ianbirmingham  |  July 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Oregon lesbian couple who were refused wedding cake by bakery tell their side of the story

  • 57. VIRick  |  July 24, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Per "Equality Case Files:"

    On 24 July 2015, in "Lawson v. State of Missouri," the withdrawn Missouri marriage appeal before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, an order has been granted related to attorney fees, granting the plaintiffs' (Appellees') Attorney Fees in the amount of $27,883.50.

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

    Taiwan: Taipei City Government To Ask Court To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    "Asia One" reports:

    The Taipei City Government Department of Civil Affairs yesterday, 23 July 2015, stated its decision to petition to the Constitutional Court to make a decision about whether the Constitution forbids the government from restricting marriage rights from same-sex couples and to seek a decision that would require the government to legalize same-sex marriage. Countries all over the world have started to legalize same-sex marriage, Civil Affairs officials said, citing a gradual change in values in the past years.

    However, when asked whether they supported the right of same-sex couples to marry, during their confirmation hearings before the Legislature, four of the current grand justices of the Constitutional Court said they could not support such a right. In a democratic country, the guarantee of civil liberty is a major issue that governmental bodies must be aware of, but since the Constitutional Court has yet to hand down a decision regarding same-sex marriage, the Civil Affairs department has decided to appeal to the court. It is estimated that the documents supporting the appeal will be delivered to the Ministry of the Interior next week.

    Taipei currently grants same-sex couples limited partnership rights. About 2.7 million live within the city limits of Taipei, with about 7.5 million in the metro area.

  • 59. SethInMaryland  |  July 24, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    what I think will happen is the supreme court of Taiwan will urge the Parliament to hury up and act , but not legalize it right away

  • 60. scream4ever  |  July 24, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Right, like what happened in Nepal, although I expect Taiwan will follow suit pretty quickly.

  • 61. josejoram  |  July 29, 2015 at 6:54 am

    What's the basis for your presumption? I know nothing about Taiwan's legal system.

  • 62. VIRick  |  July 24, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Alabama Up-Date

    Per the latest "Ballotpedia" count on 24 July 2015:

    Apparently, like Henry and Houston Counties, both Clay and Coosa Counties have resumed issuing marriage licenses to everyone.

    On the other hand, both Chambers and Covington Counties, like the other nine already cited yesterday, Autauga, Bibb, Choctaw, Clarke, Cleburne, Geneva, Marengo, Pike, and Washington Counties, are not issuing any licenses to anyone. This brings the county count to 56 counties issuing to everyone and 11 not issuing to anyone. Although somewhat improved for Alabama, this still remains, without question, the worst compliance rate of any of the states.

    Yet, the 11 counties in question, all rural with low population, only account for 6.4% of the state's total population. In Alabama, couples can obtain their marriage license from any county statewide.

    In addition, there are still 6 counties (of 120, and accounting for 2.3% of the population) in Kentucky and 5 more (of 254, and accounting for .08% of the population) in Texas which are not ready to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. All of the remaining states are at 100% compliance (at least on this basic issue).

  • 63. Bruno71  |  July 24, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Ballotpedia still lists Greene County, Alabama as not issuing either due to some sort of technical delay. That info is not recent, though. They also don't list Casey County, Kentucky, which as we all know is one of the most egregious offenders. Their info on Texas has gibed fairly well with other sources.

  • 64. Fortguy  |  July 24, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Those Texas counties are Irion (pop. 1,599, county seat: Mertzon) where the county clerk's "sincerely held religious beliefs" disqualify her from doing her job, Mills (4,936, Goldthwaite) where the clerk doesn't seem to grasp the concept of governmental transparency in a democratic society, and three counties awaiting software or paperwork resolutions: Loving (82, Mentone), Swisher (7,854, Tulia), and Throckmorton (1,641, Throckmorton). Of these, I'm least concerned about Loving. Statistically, there are probably no more than two adult gay people in the entire county, only a 50% chance they are both of the same sex, and even less likely that they would both be so fond of each other as to want to marry in the first place.

  • 65. Randolph_Finder  |  July 27, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Loving county gives the absolute minimum government services it can, not from a sense of libertarianism, but simply due to cost. I agree that it may be *years* before Loving county's first SSM…

  • 66. 1grod  |  July 24, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Rick – In the last four days Clay, Coosa, Crenshaw, Henry and Houston Counties began issuing licenses. Autauga, a county with the largest population of the non-equality counties, was issuing licenses until the designated individual resigned. Hopefully, with his replacement, it will once again be an equality county. 84% of counties are currently issuing licenses. As you point out these are relatively smaller populated counties with populations ranging from 13633 (Choctaw) and Autauga (55514), and the median populated county being Clarke Co (25161)

  • 67. Christian0811  |  July 25, 2015 at 4:24 am

    I was reading DC 2013-669(French Constitutional Council) which upheld the marriage equality bill, and it sounds, by reading sections 20-23 specifically, that the ruling impliedly overturned the 2011 decision upholding the marriage ban. Am I correct in thinking this?

  • 68. RnL2008  |  July 25, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I'm tired of those with religious beliefs THINKING they have the right to prevent others from freedoms just because these religious objectors have issues:
    Nevertheless, the religious right is not taking the decision lying down. Kevin Stormans, president of the company that owns Ralph’s Thriftway, along with the conservative legal group, the “Alliance Defending Freedom,” have vowed, in the name of “freedom,” to continue their fight to use religious beliefs to restrict the freedom of others: “We will appeal this ruling,” says Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom.

  • 69. RnL2008  |  July 25, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I'm tired of those with religious beliefs THINKING they have the right to prevent others from freedoms just because these religious objectors have issues. This time it's a dad who is a State Representative in Missouri thinking he can control birth control for his daughters.:

  • 70. VIRick  |  July 25, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Alabama: Marriage Equality Plaintiffs Finally Win Their Adoption Battle

    "" reports:

    Nine years later, Khaya Searcy has two legal parents. On Friday, 24 July 2015, retired Baldwin County Circuit Court Judge James Reid granted the adoption for Cari Searcy in Mobile County Probate Court. His approval of the measure ended a winding and politically fraught legal battle for Searcy and her wife Kim McKeand, Khaya's biological mother.

    Their four-year-long quest to adopt the child led to a federal judge, Judge Granade, in "Searcy v. Strange," overturning the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage earlier this year.

    "It was such a surreal feeling when (Reid) said 'it's in the best interest of this boy to have two legal parents,'" Searcy said. "For me, that's when I broke down. It's very emotional and a day we've been waiting for a long, long time."

    Searcy first filed paperwork in Mobile County Probate Court in 2011 to legally adopt the boy, whom she has raised since birth. After a brief hearing, Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis rejected the petition in April 2012, citing the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals later upheld that decision. In February, a federal judge ruled that Searcy could not be denied her desire to adopt Khaya, clearing the way for same-sex marriage in Alabama.

    Searcy filed a second lawsuit after Davis indicated he would not give final approval of the adoption until after the US Supreme Court case resolved the same-sex marriage issue. Subsequently, Davis recused himself from the case citing a second lawsuit, and the adoption was put into limbo until Chief Justice Moore could appoint a judge. The US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide last month, striking down any remaining barriers to Searcy's adoption.

    In a moment of irony, Moore, one of the nation's most outspoken gay marriage opponents, appointed Reid to oversee the case, clearing the way for Friday's adoption.

  • 71. josejoram  |  July 28, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    In Argentina, National authority on registry recognized a three-parents family.

  • 72. brchaz  |  July 25, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    BBC News – Why My Own Father Would Have Me Killed (for being gay)

  • 73. Fortguy  |  July 25, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    This is why I was ecstatic when I heard President Obama very publicly push for gay rights in the joint press conference today with the Kenyan president in a nation where gay sex between men can be punished with up to 14 years imprisonment. Obama's Africa trip takes him to Ethiopia tomorrow. I hope he continues speaking out for us there, too.

  • 74. brchaz  |  July 26, 2015 at 4:07 am

    The Kenyan President responded with words to the effect that Kenyans don't give a flying shit about gay rights and that it was just Kenyan culture to oppress gay people, and he was enthusiastically applauded for basically telling Obama to go fuck himself.

    I just don't see "ecstatic" as the correct response to this particular situation.

    Also, the article refers to Islamic State and Iraq. Those terrorists already know exactly what the West thinks about gay rights. That's why they keep publishing videos of blindfolded gay people being thrown off the roofs of tall buildings and then being stoned (with rocks) by bigoted crowds of religious fanatics. Telling them once again that gay rights should be respected won't change their sadistic culture.

  • 75. Sagesse  |  July 26, 2015 at 5:20 am

    Ted Cruz wants to rewrite the constitution on the judicial branch of government. Chances are he won't be the GOP presidential nominee (on Friday he called Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor, a stunning breach of Senate etiquette), and this hearing is just grandstanding, but….

    John Eastman of NOM is one of his witnesses. The second link is to the testimony.

    GOP Outrage With Roberts Court Over 'Judicial Tyranny' Reaches Fever Pitch [TPM]

    With Prejudice: Supreme Court Activism and Possible Solutions
    Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts

  • 76. Sagesse  |  July 26, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Schadenfreude is sweet.

    Michigan’s loss in gay marriage fight could cost $2M [Detroit News]

  • 77. A_Jayne  |  July 26, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Well-earned by those who fought this fight for April and Jayne. The state of MI should quietly write a check and be grateful it isn't more…

  • 78. Zack12  |  July 26, 2015 at 7:06 am

    It should come out of the bigot's pockets and not the taxpayers.

  • 79. JayJonson  |  July 26, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I would like it to come out of the bigots' pockets as well, but after all they were elected by the taxpayers and professed to be opposing same-sex marriage on behalf of their constituents.

    I think it would be interesting if people could evade their share of the taxes used to pay the attorney's costs by signing affidavits to the effect that they did not vote for the officials who authorized the resistance to same-sex marriage. I bet we'd find that a huge majority of Michiganders, if money were on the line, would say that they were in favor of same-sex marriage all along and had no idea that the conservative bigots they elected would be wasting their money. LOL.

  • 80. VIRick  |  July 26, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    From the "Detroit News," revised and edited:

    Michigan’s Loss in Marriage Equality Fight Could Cost State $2M

    Detroit — Lawyers for a Hazel Park couple who helped legalize same-sex marriage across the nation, in "DeBoer v. Snyder," asked a federal judge on Saturday, 25 July 2015, to force the state to pay more than $1.9 million in legal fees. The request finally puts a price-tag on the state of Michigan’s failed opposition to a landmark case that lasted more than three years.

    Court records describe a shoestring battle and the hardship endured by lawyers whose clients couldn't afford the fight. One lawyer sold her house to keep alive the case that ended in a landmark ruling. Lawyers for Hazel Park couple April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, whose relationship was at the heart of the Supreme Court case, said if anyone is suffering from sticker shock over the legal fees, blame the state for waging a protracted fight.

    “This case was both rare and difficult because plaintiffs’ counsel were defending members of an historically unpopular minority,” lawyers Carole Stanyar and Dana Nessel wrote in the federal court filing. “Although public opinion has shifted considerably in the years that this case has been pending, when filed, a decided majority of the Michigan population were opposed to marriage by same-sex couples.”

    There was no immediate comment from spokeswomen for Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney-General Bill Schuette, the public officials who served as the face of opposition in the case.

    The couple’s legal team justified asking for $1,927,450 in fees, and "all other relief to which they may be entitled," by citing the complex nature of the case. That included a two-week trial in federal court in Detroit, an appeal of that decision by the state to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and then, an additional appeal to the Supreme Court, as well as argument in front of the Supreme Court. The request includes fees for six lawyers even though the couple’s legal team included eight attorneys, seven law clerks, multiple paralegals, and experts from Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Lansing. The six lawyers each billed at $350 an hour.

    “The questions presented were unquestionably novel, complex, and difficult,” the couple’s lawyers wrote. “This was the first trial in history challenging the Michigan Marriage Amendment to the state constitution, and Michigan’s statutory marriage and second-parent adoption bans.”

  • 81. F_Young  |  July 26, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Jamaica Revises Security And Safety Guidelines To Combat LGBT Bullying In Schools

  • 82. seannynj  |  July 27, 2015 at 7:01 am

    OMG. Finally all those tourist dollars are having an effect. Hopefully Haiti and DR will follow.

  • 83. VIRick  |  July 27, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Sean, a more effective way to cause change is to rub it in their faces that there are a plentitude of places within the Caribbean right now that already have marriage equality, and to remind them that LGBT tourism dollars are currently being actively steered toward those far-more-friendly locales. Given the very competitive nature of the various tourist economies, if they wish to participate, they need to change their own restrictions forthwith.

    Jurisdictions within the Caribbean which already have marriage equality include Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, all of the French islands (St-Martin, St-Barths, Guadeloupe, la Desirade, Marie Galante, Isles des Saintes, and Martinique), plus the Dutch islands of Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Bonaire. The Dutch islands of Sint Maarten, Aruba, and Curacao provide recognition of same-sex marriages. And then, there's Quintana Roo, Mexico, on the mainland, but which also happens to border on the Caribbean.

    It might also be well worth noting that ALL of the jurisdictions currently with marriage equality provide a much higher per capita level of income for their local residents than do almost all of the remaining jurisdictions which still refuse to provide for marriage equality. Said another way, most of the wealthier jurisdictions have no problem with marriage equality, while the poorer ones are still groveling around in their own poverty and ignorance.

  • 84. F_Young  |  July 27, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    VIRick: "Sean, a more effective way to cause change is to rub it in their faces that there are a plentitude of places within the Caribbean right now that already have marriage equality, and to remind them that LGBT tourism dollars are currently being actively steered toward those far-more-friendly locales.
    ….. Said another way, most of the wealthier jurisdictions have no problem with marriage equality, while the poorer ones are still groveling around in their own poverty and ignorance."

    Excellent points, Rick!

  • 85. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 27, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    When do you think Cuba will enact Marriage Equality?

  • 86. VIRick  |  July 27, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Not until after Fidel is finally gone.

  • 87. Sagesse  |  July 26, 2015 at 10:40 am

    The vote is on Monday.

    Boy Scouts Expected to End Ban on Gay Leaders [New York Times]

  • 88. Randolph_Finder  |  July 27, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Everything seems to be summed up in one quote: “It doesn’t mean the Mormons have to pick a gay scoutmaster, but please don’t tell the Unitarians they can’t.”

  • 89. Eric  |  July 27, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Yep, just as they were free to refuse black scoutmasters when BSA integrated.

  • 90. Randolph_Finder  |  July 27, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Please let me know what year you considered BSA to have integrated. There were Negro troops led by Negro Scoutmasters at *least* as far back as 1916 and while the "South" did have separate Negro districts, nothing in BSA's rules *ever* prevented a school in Cleveland (for example) from having a Negro Scoutmaster with a troop that wasn't entirely Negro.

    While I'm not sure either way whether the priesthood was required for men who were called by LDS units as their Scoutmasters (which would have prevented African American men from being scoutmasters until 1978), there would have been *nothing* preventing African American women from being called as den leaders or the Assistant Scoutmaster for the 11 year old scouts.

    This is actually *much* closer to the situation with Women. When BSA allowed women to be Scoutmasters, there was viewed as nothing wrong with LDS troops continuing to limit the job of Scoutmaster to men.

  • 91. FredDorner  |  July 27, 2015 at 11:32 am

    The BSA allowed whites-only troops and whites-only scout leaders until 1974 when they settled out of court with the NAACP regarding an LDS troop which only allowed whites to be scout leaders.

    Apparently as a reaction to that the SBC and LDS voting members moved the BSA headquarters from CT to TX, and then in 1978 they banned gays for the first time in the BSA's history.

    So with the vote today they'll essentially be returning to the same pre-1974 segregationist policy where they allow each troop to decide whether to be bigoted, only the target of that hate now is gays instead of blacks. It's a half step forward which will result in the return of corporate donations to troops and councils which don't discriminate, and that will have a big impact in the long run.

  • 92. Randolph_Finder  |  July 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    The case involved defacto racial discrimination in youth leadership, not adult leadership, but I agree that the settlement out of course removed the ability to have local option adult leadership and general membership.

    As long as BSA allows sponsoring organizations (like LDS wards) to select youth leaders without any contribution of the youth, this will need to be watched for. (A troop where the boys vote will be considerably harder to have a case on any sort of descrimination) However frankly an LDS youth who has come out will have significant issues regardless of whether they can be Senior Patrol Leader…

    I think the next step legally is probably *not* going to be LDS, it will be the ability for a Conservative Protestant sponsoring organization to kick a boy who has decided they are gay out of their troop.

  • 93. Eric  |  July 27, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Why do you keep trying to frame this as a legal issue? One need look no further than the Scout Oath and Law to know that the discriminatory policies promoted by the LDS and SBC violated both.

  • 94. FredDorner  |  July 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Actually the NAACP lawsuit concerned both black youth and black adults. Leadership positions in LDS troops were only open to males eligible for the priesthood, something which the racist LDS cult denied to blacks. The lawsuit itself involved a 12 year old scout but the larger issue was the racist policy in LDS troops and the fact that the BSA allowed troops across the country to be as racist as they liked.

    Up until 1974 there were both Mormon and Southern Baptist troops which had whites-only policies. The BSA also (correctly) argued in 2000 in an Arkansas case that they're still free to discriminate on the basis of race.

  • 95. VIRick  |  July 26, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Via Rex Wockner, and as per the "Marianas Variety:"

    Lesbian Couple Marries in Northern Mariana Islands

    SAIPAN – Mayor David M. Apatang officiated at the marriage of a Chinese lesbian couple in his office on 22 July 2015, the first same-sex couple to be married in the Northern Marianas. Although a devoted Catholic, Apatang said he believes that his religion also requires him to abide by the law of the land. “I cannot deny them because that’s my legal obligation to perform,” he said, referring to the marriage of the two women.

    On June 30, Apatang said Attorney-General Edward Manibusan issued a memorandum revising the marriage application and record of marriage rules. The memo noted that on 26 June 2015 the US Supreme Court, in "Obergefell v. Hodges," held that persons of the same sex have a constitutional right to marry. “As a result of this ruling, all the states and territories, including the CNMI, are bound by the court’s decision,” Manibusan’s memo stated.

    Currently, the attorney-general said the commonwealth’s marriage statutes require a man and a woman for a valid marriage. “That requirement is now illegal and unenforceable,” he added. Manibusan said the purpose of his memo is to “furnish [the mayor] with marriage forms for use until the legislature amends our local statutes.”

  • 96. VIRick  |  July 26, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    San Luis Potosí » Matrimonios Igualitarios Serán Legales Desde 13 de Agosto
    (San Luis Potosí: Marriage Equality Will Be Legal from 13 August 2015)

    San Luis Potosí, SLP – En torno a la iniciativa de integrar en la ley los matrimonios igualitarios, se reunirán las comisiones de Justicia y Derechos Humanos para definir el dictamen, el cual se conduce a favor, así lo señaló el diputado Jorge Escudero Villa, integrante de la Comisión de Justicia del Congreso del Estado.

    Por lo anterior, dio a conocer que se plantea que dicha iniciativa ingrese a votación del Pleno legislativo, el próximo 13 de agosto, en concordancia con el punto de acuerdo emitido por el Congreso de la Unión que exhorta a legislar sobre el tema, con lo cual se estarían armonizando con la tesis jurisprudencial.

    (San Luis Potosí, SLP – The initiative to integrate marriage equality into the law has been approved by the Commission of Justice and Human Rights, according to Deputy Jorge Villa Escudero, a member of the Justice Commission of the San Luis Potosí State Congress.

    Therefore, it was announced that it is proposed that this initiative will be voted on by a plenary session of the state congress on 13 August 2015, thus keeping in accord with the point of agreement issued by the Federal Congress that calls on all state legislatures to legislate on the subject, so that the state of San Luis Potosí would be in harmony with the jurisprudential thesis of Mexico's Supreme Court.)

  • 97. VIRick  |  July 27, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Rainbow Appears over Ethiopia as Obama Arrives, Terrifying Homophobes

    A rainbow has appeared in Ethiopia ahead of a visit from US President Barack Obama, who is expected to raise the country’s anti-gay law with leaders. During an interview with the BBC’s John Sopel prior to his visit Africa, President Obama said he would be “very blunt” about the need for equality in the country. He did not disappoint during his visit to Kenya, publicly challenging Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta over state discrimination against gay people.

    As the US leader now heads to Ethiopia, where gay people can face up to 15 years in prison, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, spotted an omen in the sky. He wrote: “President Barack Obama just landed in ‪Addis Ababa, ‪Ethiopia,‬ for his three days official visit. Stunning ‪‎Rainbow‬ on the skies of Addis as he landed.

  • 98. VIRick  |  July 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Hundreds Attend Satanic Statue Unveiling in Detroit Despite Terrorist Threats

    Satanists unveiled a statue of Baphomet in a secret ceremony, despite Christian protests.
    Detroit became a flashpoint over the role of religion in a secular government this weekend, as Satanists unveiled a monument to Baphomet, the "Independent" reports. Christians protested the display, depicting a human body with a goat's head, wings, accompanied by statues of an adoring girl and boy. Some reportedly went so far as to threaten to blow up the warehouse hosting Saturday's ceremony.

    The nearly nine-foot-tall bronze statue, said to have cost $100,000 and weighing a ton, was originally planned as a form of protest, according to the AP, after Oklahoma officials allowed a monument to the Ten Commandments to be erected on the grounds of the capitol. Other religious groups, from Hindus to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, had also applied for permission to install their own statues, reportedly claiming that the state monument promoted the Christian and Jewish faiths above others. But as "Time" reported, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruled in June the Ten Commandments monument must be removed for violating the separation of church and state.

    The Satanists currently plan to move the statue to Arkansas, where Governor Asa Hutchison authorized the erection of a privately-funded Ten Commandments statue on state property. Hutchison made headlines in April when he declared he saw "no urgent need for" LGBT civil rights protections after a revised "religious freedom law" was enacted.

  • 99. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 27, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Religious Freedom. Deeply Held Beliefs.

    Oh yeah.. "Religious Freedom" is really code for Freedom for "Evangelicals" to dominate and discriminate. It's not Religious Freedom for everyone, just Freedom to dominate for the Evangeliastas and Cathaholics.

  • 100. VIRick  |  July 27, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Threatening to stick this bronze Satanic cult figure onto the grounds of the state capitol in Oklahoma City had the desired effect of convincing the Oklahoma Supreme Court to rule in favor of the separation of church and state.

    Now we get to wait and see whether the same threat of its placement on the grounds of the state capitol in Little Rock will have the same effect in Arkansas.

    Sooner or later, if these religionists and dominationists keep it up, someone will be stuck with this monstrous satanic beast right in their faces. Hiding it in an industrial warehouse in Detroit (although causing heads to explode there) is clearly not the long-term "solution." In fact, once Arkansas has been convinced to remove its Ten Commandments thingie or be stuck with the beast, I'd suggest the next destination for Baphomet ought to be aimed at the Alabama Supreme Court.

  • 101. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 27, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    This is a brilliant strategy… using religious freedom to fight "Religious Freedom Restoration Acts". All these Evangeliastas are going to regret trying to install religion into govt, the first time Strict Muslims gain a majority somewhere and institute Sharia Laws.

    Speaking of satanic statues… did u see that 9 foot Red Satan Statue with a 7 foot tail and 15" erection that appeared overnight on an empty pedestal… I think somewhere in Canada? Now if religious freedom and deeply held beliefs are the law of the land… you could have a copy of that statue… erected, so to speak, in the Ala'Obama and VI court houses… no?

  • 102. VIRick  |  July 27, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    "…. and 15" erection …."

    Tony, No, I definitely have NOT seen that!!

    We need pics so we can glowingly "behold the wonder." LOL

  • 103. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 27, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Here you go:

    If they can erect a 10 commandments monument, you can erect this monument to your deeply held beliefs pretty boy.

  • 104. VIRick  |  July 27, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    As prepared by the Campaign for Southern Equality, and dated 27 July 2015, here's the latest "Fact Sheet on Marriage Non-Compliance in Alabama:"

  • 105. 1grod  |  July 28, 2015 at 6:38 am

    RIck -thank you. Hard to find info. The information on counties however may not be complete: "Probate judges in 13 counties have ceased issuing any licenses as of July 9". Houston and Henry began issuing by July 22. On the 24, Crenshaw's probate judge issued a media release to saying that this office was issuing licenses. On page 1, it is said that Coosa Co is not issuing licenses as of the 24th, but on page 2 Coosa is not included in the list. You reported on the 25th that as of the day-before, Ballotpedia was reporting that Coosa and Clay were issuing licenses.
    Not withstanding these small differences, the report on the number of couples by county and their aggregated [313 couples, 55 with chiidren] presents a compelling picture, one that calls for action. But with less than 7% of the citizens of the state residing in counties not issuing licenses, its not easy to determine if there are any changes.

  • 106. Bruno71  |  July 28, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Now that Obergefell is being finalized by SCOTUS (, maybe one or two more counties will reconsider. There's also a likely judgment from the AL SC due sometime soon regarding their previous orders for clerks to cease and desist issuing licenses to same-sex couples. Depending how that goes, there may be more converts. But I expect 5-10 permanent holdouts. They will likely not be in violation of Alabama law on the matter, and it may or may not be adjudicated in federal court a la Rowan County, KY.

  • 107. VIRick  |  July 28, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    1grod, whether or not the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) listing is perfectly up-to-date (and I suspect we've got a more-recent accounting, just as you've outlined, immediately above), the real reason I posted CSE's fact sheet on marriage non-compliance in Alabama is because this organization may be hinting that they are positioning themselves to sue Alabama. I read their fact sheet more as documentation on both recent and continuing obfuscation. Here, we're focused more on what's continuing, while they're focused on both, in the way one gathers evidence showing a recent and continuing pattern of behavior to present to a court.

    After all, CSE, with Roberta Kaplan in the lead, successfully sued Mississippi on this same matter,– and then quickly took them to task in court a second time when an assortment of county clerks attempted to obfuscate and delay once the stay there was finally lifted.

  • 108. RnL2008  |  July 28, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Counties that are losing revenue because NO marriage licenses are being issued AREN'T going to stand around much longer WITHOUT doing something……..this is simply NOT acceptable!!!

  • 109. VIRick  |  July 27, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    VI Same-Sex Marriage Executive Order to be "Attested To" Today, 27 July 2015

    ST. THOMAS – A month after the US Supreme Court ordered that the US Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, an executive order enabling benefits and rights for same-sex couples in the Virgin Islands is expected to finally be counter-signed today, 27 July 2015. The Mapp administration has been unable to formally issue the order on marriage equality because Gov. Kenneth Mapp and Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter have not been in the territory at the same time.

    Executive orders require the counter-signature of the lieutenant governor, which he cannot provide if he is absent from the territory, or is acting at the time in the governor's absence. V.I. law provides a fix for this problem, by granting the Senate president, currently Sen. Neville James, the authority to counter-sign such documents in the lieutenant governor's absence or when the lieutenant governor is serving as governor. However, James refused to do so.

    How we got here:

    On 30 June, Mapp told the territory he would issue the executive order because of the US Supreme Court's 26 June ruling. In a televised press conference, Mapp said that the nation had arrived at full marriage equality, with the court saying that marriage was a fundamental right for same-sex couples. After the document was drafted, Mapp signed the executive order on 9 July, but the lieutenant governor was already out of the territory.

    With Potter absent, James, who becomes acting lieutenant governor whenever Potter is unavailable or is himself serving as the acting governor, declined to counter-sign, saying he has moral issues with non-traditional marriage. "I will not sign it," James said after the paperwork arrived in his office earlier this month. "There's no secret why I'm not going to sign."

    Potter returned from the insurance conference on 15 July, but Mapp had already left the territory on 14 July for the mainland. Since, in Mapp's absence, Potter was now legally the acting governor, he could not counter-sign the order in the role of the lieutenant governor. "When the lieutenant governor returned to the territory" after his Montana trip, "he was then acting governor and he couldn't sign the executive order for the same-sex marriage," Kim Jones, the communications director for Government House, said late last week.

    The governor was scheduled to be in the states through Sunday, but he returned Wednesday after deciding to skip the summer meeting of the National Governors Association, and Potter is expected to return from the Pan Am Games in Toronto today, 27 July. "When he returns again on Monday he will be returning as lieutenant governor, now that the governor's back in the territory," said Jones. Jones said she expects the executive order to be "attested to" as soon as Potter returns.

    In the meantime, the VI Superior Court moved forward on its own, issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples since 13 July 2015, and allowing for such marriages to be legally-performed in the territory since 21 July 2015.

    Still, the executive order is necessary at it effectively dumps the offending language from the VI Code and will require the VI government to provide health insurance for same-sex partners of employees who have coverage; will allow employees to designate their same-sex spouse as a beneficiary; will allow such married individuals to have medical decisions made by their spouse in times of emergency or at the hospital; and will let married same-sex couples file joint tax returns with the Internal Revenue Bureau.

  • 110. F_Young  |  July 27, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks for the thorough update, Rick. I would never have imagined it was so complicated.

  • 111. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 27, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    It's about damned time.

  • 112. VIRick  |  July 29, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    ST. THOMAS – Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter finally returned to the territory and on Tuesday, 28 July 2015, actually countersigned the governor's executive order that enforces marriage equality.

    The order requires that "all entities, departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Virgin Islands of the United States immediately comply with the ruling of the US Supreme Court."

  • 113. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 27, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    The headline on the NBC News web site is:
    'Boy Scouts of America Votes to Allow Gay Scout Leaders'

  • 114. Dann3377  |  July 27, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Membership must be waning!

  • 115. Sagesse  |  July 28, 2015 at 3:48 am

    The plot thickens. A good half step forward, nevertheless. Freedom of religion means never having to accept when they tell you they respect your freedom of religion. A new take on the slippery slope.

    Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Leaders, Over Protests by Mormon Church [New York Times]

  • 116. guitaristbl  |  July 27, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Congrats to the boy scouts for finally taking an important step forward !

  • 117. VIRick  |  July 27, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    México: Morelos » Firman iniciativa para matrimonios igualitarios
    (Mexico: Governor of Morelos State Signs Measure to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage)

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Este lunes el gobernador Graco Ramírez Garrido firmó la iniciativa para matrimonios igualitarios y dio a conocer la reforma del artículo 120 de la Constitución Política del Estado de Morelos, además de reformas a los artículos 22, 65 y 68 del Código Familiar, a fin de armonizar la norma estatal a la jurisprudencia sentada por la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN); Ramírez Garrido dijo estar consciente de que enfrentará resistencias de grupos, pero insistió en que se trata de una modificación obligada

    (On Monday, 27 July 2015, Governor Graco Ramirez Garrido signed the initiative for marriage equality which includes the reform of Article 120 of the Constitution of the State of Morelos, along with amendments to Articles 22, 65 and 68 of the Family Code, to harmonize the state standard to the jurisprudence of Mexico's Supreme Court (SCJN); Ramirez Garrido said he was aware that he faces resistance, but insisted that the modifications are obligatory).

    Morelos state is sandwiched between the Federal District and Guerrero state.

  • 118. Fortguy  |  July 27, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    To be clear, although this is a good thing, it does not appear to be a done deal. The governor's initiative does not sound like an executive order but more a legislative proposal:

    Edmundo Salgado, El Financiero: Graco envía propuesta al Congreso para aprobar matrimonios gay

    Animal Político: Tras resolución de la Corte, gobernador de Morelos presenta ley a favor del matrimonio igualitario

  • 119. VIRick  |  July 27, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    A second and third read from several different sources has convinced me that you are correct and that the governor signed onto a comprehensive legislative proposal which, if promptly enacted, would bring Morelos state into compliance with Mexico's Supreme Court ruling.

    My biggest problem, in addition to the complexities of Mexico's judicial and legislative systems, arises from the fact that many of the reporters writing for the provincial newspapers in Mexico are themselves rather ill-prepared for the task, like the one recently in Querétaro state who focused on the number of marriages between same-sex couples already performed within the state, rather than on the larger number of amparos already granted there.

  • 120. Randolph_Finder  |  July 28, 2015 at 6:28 am

    So at this point, SSM is not given in Moreles without Judicial intervention? (I'd say isn't legal yet, but at this point I don't know what that means in Mexico any more)

  • 121. VIRick  |  July 28, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Supreme Court Marriage Cases

    SCOTUS issued Judgment in the four 6th Circuit cases on 28 July 2015: "Obergefell v. Holdges," 14-556; "Tanco v. Haslam," 14-562; "DeBoer v. Snyder," 14-571; "Bourke v. Beshear," 14-574.

    "THESE CAUSES came on to be heard on the transcript of the record from the above court and were argued by counsel.

    "ON CONSIDERATION WHEREOF, it is ordered and adjudged by Court that the judgment of the above court are reversed with costs."

    And that's it. But is this what certain folks in Alabama were waiting for? If so, it's just a simple written notification (certified copy of the judgment) addressed to the Clerk of the 6th Court of Appeals informing him of what we already know.

  • 122. 1grod  |  July 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Issued by the Judgments/Mandates Clerk. It may also be what certain folks at the Alabama Supreme Court have been waiting for to enable them to revoke their temporary injunction. Interesting that John Enslen of Elmore County [who together with Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Programs] brought the petition for Writ of Mandamus, is currently issuing licenses. Thanks Rick for posting. G

  • 123. 1grod  |  July 28, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Lyle Denniston's observations on this formality:

  • 124. F_Young  |  August 5, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Alabama fight against gay marriage has few options, professor says

  • 125. VIRick  |  July 28, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Couple Celebrates V.I.'s First Same-Sex Marriage

    ST. THOMAS – As the territory waited for Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter to return to the islands and co-sign the executive order regarding same-sex marriage, a St. Thomas couple decided they had waited long enough.

    Rick Weinstein and Tom Eggleston, retirees living in Mahogany Run, tied the knot on 8 July 2015 in a private wedding ceremony at Pretty Klip Point. Officiated by Stuart Scott, the two men were the first same-sex marriage in the territory after the ground-breaking ruling in June by the US Supreme Court.

    But Weinstein said it wasn't really a big deal. "This thing about being the first same sex-couple marriage on the islands is purely accidental," he said Monday. "We've been married for 44 years in our minds. It was – I can't say it was a burning desire to have a marriage certificate, though I think both of us are very happy. We do call each other husband," he said. Weinstein, 68, and Eggleston, 73, have been together since 1971 when they met in Washington, D.C. But on 8 July, they actually spoke the words and heard Scott pronounce them a legally married couple.

    Weinstein said the process of gaining their marriage license was memorable because of the reaction of a clerk at the courthouse. "She is probably the best government worker that exists. This woman was sweet, friendly; she was probably more excited than we were. She was totally delightful. I can't say enough about her. Our experience was absolutely wonderful," Weinstein said.

  • 126. davepCA  |  July 28, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Wonderful! : )

  • 127. josejoram  |  July 29, 2015 at 2:12 am

    Your sweet story recalls me when my husband and I were in Toronto, Canada, we went to City Hall to ask how to get married there and a very enthusiastic, white haired and very sympathetic lady took care of us delighted.

  • 128. JayJonson  |  July 29, 2015 at 5:51 am

    I am glad that so many of us have pleasant memories of the process. We were married in Provincetown. The clerks at Provinctown City Hall were marvelous. When we returned after the three day waiting period to pick up the license, they gave us a book bag emblazoned, "Provincetown. More than a Summer Romance."

  • 129. josejoram  |  July 29, 2015 at 6:58 am

    We finally got married in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And the judge was very joyful and joking sometimes.We loved it! (the whole thing), haha.

  • 130. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 29, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Now all we need to complete this… is to find Rick a husband.

  • 131. RemC  |  July 31, 2015 at 7:50 am

    A Rick in the Virgin Islands! My heart skipped a beat, thinking it was you, until I remembered that you're single. Drat.

  • 132. josejoram  |  July 29, 2015 at 2:08 am

    In the meanwhile, Italian Civil Union Bill advances to Senate next week.

  • 133. VIRick  |  July 29, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    "Hard v. Bentley" (SPLC representing Alabama widower seeking recognition of his Massachusetts marriage), the wrongful death, evil mother-in-law case in federal district court in Montgomery.

    On 29 July 2015, the Clerk of the Court is directed to disburse funds to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Client Trust Account in the amount of "$552,956.69, plus ninety percent of all interest earned to date that is due for distribution to Plaintiff Paul Hard." (the other 10% of interest is payable to court as a fee for handling the funds)

    Final judgment is here:
    Also, the Order denying the Intervener-Defendant Pat Fancher's motion (the evil mother-in-law, goaded on, and along with, Roy Moore's "non-profit") to set aside said judgment is here:

    Furthermore, the state of Alabama (office of the A-G), as Defendant, gets stuck paying for Plaintiff's legal expenses. Done.

  • 134. davepCA  |  July 29, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Find a new hobby, troll. You lost. Move on.

  • 135. VIRick  |  July 29, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Dave, what absurdity did the troll, Jim in Texas, have to say this time? I missed it before it got deleted.

    I know why he's really here. He wants to see the naked pics of the hot gay guys posing in the middle of Avenida Paulista, full frontal, and all (see below).

  • 136. davepCA  |  July 29, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    It was some vague nonsense about how the development in the Alabama widower case will now (paraphrasing) 'open the window for a suit in state court where the Alabama State Supreme Court has jurisdiction'. Yeah right. Cuz state courts don't have to adhere to the mandates and principles of the federal Constitution…. uh…

  • 137. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 29, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    The Supreme Court of the United States is specifically created by means of Article III of the US Constitution.

    And the troll from Texas should read Article VI of the Constitution. (Can trolls read?)

    Besides, if SCOTUS accepts the case, a state's highest court does NOT have the final say in a case. So even if a case goes the state court route, there is a definite possibility that any such case could end up at SCOTUS.

  • 138. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 29, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    This troll just copies, pastes, and runs. He, she, it, never comes back to defend its malarkey. But he wants to impress everyone by insinuating he's a "1 percenter"".

    All these anti equality people are pained to the bone that they lost… and can't undo ME. Currently they are on their internet soap boxes screaming about lawless judges. It's just a matter of time before wringing their hands, ripping their clothes, and gnashing their teeth… if they haven't started. It's time to give them a Haldol. Nationwide ME zips here to stay… for always and forever.

    They should be shaking their fist at their diety… who either didn't care enough to intervene… or is about as alive as the Gods of Ramses.

    Just sayin…

  • 139. sfbob  |  July 29, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Or maybe, just maybe, their deity favors marriage equality. After all, they prayed and marriage equality won. So either prayer doesn't work or God overruled them. All of which is of course giving them massive attacks of cognitive dissonance. That's probably why they're all so worked up.

  • 140. davepCA  |  July 29, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    God answered their prayers. His answer was 'no'.

  • 141. sfbob  |  July 29, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Yup. And if everything that happens is God's will then…well clearly they are acting in defiance of God's will. Aren't they?

  • 142. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 30, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Or, most like It's about Me Damned time. WTF took you humans so long to get that Love is Love. If my only 'begotten" son had two fathers (me and Joseph), then that's good enough for all mankind. I saw same gender marriage…and it is GOOD. Now quit shooting each other.

    …I saw it in a BurningBush somewhere.

  • 143. Chuck_in_PA  |  August 4, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I think that a lot of people overlook the fact that just as many if not more people were praying that the members of their family circles would be able to marry. And everyone of those people believes that God did listen to our prayers and help the Supreme Court arrive at a decision that was morally and constitutionally sound and both ethical and compassionate as well. Almost everyone I know was praying intensely that justice would be upheld, and now we are all praying that Ruth Bader Ginsberg will outlive Scolia and Thomas.

  • 144. Nyx  |  July 30, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Rick, thank you for posting this.

    You have no idea how important this case is to me personally. I lost my first husband (partner [at most consided a "roommate" by the inlaws]) in the late 80's.

  • 145. VIRick  |  July 29, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    This is especially for Tony, as I love the guy with the Superman tattoo:

    Gay Couple Strips Naked in Streets of São Paulo, — for a Good Cause

    Brazilian couple Felippe and Marlon wanted to raise awareness about homophobia in their country. So they stripped nude and posed for a photo shoot on Avenida Paulista, one of the busiest streets in the heart of São Paulo. (I lived near-by, on Cincinato Braga, just a block away).

    Gay News Network reports that the couple teamed up with photographers Fabio Lamounier and Rodrigo Ladeira for the shoot. Their goal was to create a metaphor: Stripping naked strips away prejudices, and, in the process, opens hearts and imaginations.

    The uncensored pics are here:

  • 146. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 29, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    For me Tony??? Or some other Tony?

    Either way, you've got some good taste! Or you taste good.. not really sure, but I digress…

  • 147. VIRick  |  July 29, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Tony, there's only ever ONE Tony,– and that's you!

  • 148. VIRick  |  July 29, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    And this is especially for the troll, Jim in Texas, whose head will probably now explode:

    In a 27 July 2015 email, Neel Lane, a partner in the San Antonio office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, asked the Texas Department of State Health Services to revise a death certificate of a man who died in January 2015. Lane asked the state agency to identify the man's surviving same-sex spouse as a husband on the death certificate. The couple had married in New Mexico in 2014, and then the man died in January this year.

    "Both the marriage and the death took place before the US Supreme Court issued its historic ruling in 'Obergefell v. Hodges,' which eliminated Texas' ban on same-sex marriages. At the time of the man's death, Texas issued a certificate on which his surviving spouse, John Allen Stone-Hoskins, was not listed as a husband."

    Given that the very heart of the "Obergefell" case concerned itself with a state's refusal to recognize and thus issue a death certificate listing the spouse as the spouse, plus the fact that, just today, the federal district court in Alabama, in "Hard v. Bentley," ruled to recognize the spouse as the spouse, even though the death had occurred before the marriage equality ruling, the Texas Dept. of State Health Services had best follow suit, or another lawsuit appears imminent.

  • 149. Fortguy  |  July 29, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Although I am a proud Texan, my name is definitely not Jim nor do I troll. (However, if the local high school theater club needs an older guy to portray one in a musical version of Three Billy Goats Gruff, I can't imagine anyone in my community who could provide a more fabulous or realistic rendition. They won't even have to waste any effort on makeup!)

    Your post mentioned Neel Lane who, I should point out, was the plaintiffs' lawyer for De Leon in which he successfully had the state's marriage ban thrown out, although stayed pre-Obergefell, pending 5th Circuit review.

    Although I've linked to this some weeks ago, here's a reminder of a report on a transgender widow needing recognition of her marriage.

  • 150. VIRick  |  July 30, 2015 at 12:06 am

    Fortguy, the troll is tx64jm. We call him Jim in Texas in a vain effort to make him appear human. He posted some ridiculousness in retort to my report on the final judgment in "Hard v. Bentley," the wrongful death, evil mother-in-law case. His comment is already deleted, and thus, is something I missed, but which davepCA caught, and responded to.

    In any event, thanks for linking to yet another still-pending (for 5 years) Texas marriage case, "Delgado v. Araguz," involving an unrecognized/contested marriage, a dead spouse, his firefighter death benefits, a wicked mother-in-law, plus a wicked first wife. Talk about an evil cast of creatures deep in the heart of Texas!

  • 151. tx64jm  |  August 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

    In Texas, we have two kinds of property – separate property and community property.

    Community property is everything acquired during a marriage, with the exception of property a spouse gains by inheritance or gift.

    Separate property is all property that a spouse had prior to marriage, plus everything they get via inheritance or gift during a marriage.

    If these folks were married in 2014, and the guy died in January 2015 there would be no community estate and by law he has no legal claim to the other persons separate property.

    So just trying to figure out why all the hoopla about being listed on the death certificate … not sure it will do anything for him.

  • 152. dlejrmex  |  August 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    You may think it is hoopla but if my spouse passed, I would want to be listed on the death certificate. Not everything is about money or property. It can even affect things like burial plots. We all need to stop thinking these marriages are special… they are marriages just like everyone else and they deserve the same respect.

  • 153. TomPHL  |  August 2, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Your facts might have some relevance if we were discussing a divorce rather than a death. However if he died married and without issue but intestate who else would be entitled to the estate? If there was a will it would means less or no taxes.

  • 154. tx64jm  |  August 2, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Under Texas law if he died intestate the surviving spouse would only be entitled to half the community property … the other spouses family gets the other half of the community estate plus all separate property.

  • 155. Fortguy  |  July 30, 2015 at 12:47 am

    ¡Ay, Houston!

    You would think that the haters would rejoice that they won the battle. The Texas Supreme Court, all of whose justices are elected as GOPers, has forced Houston to either repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) or place it on the November election on the same ballot for the city's mayor and council. As I linked earlier in a previous post on this thread, the council has to choose between 1) placing the ordinance on the ballot subject to the whims of a low-turnout electorate on a truncated campaign or 2) repealing HERO and starting from scratch not knowing whether the city will have an LGBT-friendly mayor or council majority. The big money is on a November referendum.

    Since then, our opponents just don't seem to understand they've won the battle if not the war. Weirdly, they just don't know when to stop. I credit the very excellent Houston politics blogger Charles Kuffner for the following reports, not least because he responsibly links his own sources and other reports in local media.

    Hall for all the haters Ben Hall is the biggest anti-LGBT candidate for mayor.

    Woodfill is still pursuing his anti-same-sex benefits lawsuit Harris Co. GOP voters defeated Jared Woodfill last year when he sought reelection as county party chairman. Party officials are supposed to have no favorites in primaries. He violated that rule supporting extreme Tea candidates. Now he's just a cheap suit with a big mouth who refuses to accept that ME is the law of the land.

    Judge rules Wilson petitions must be counted I don't even know where to go with this. Apparently, anyone can sign any petition now. You don't even have to prove you're registered to vote, live in the jurisdiction, or that your signature is yours instead of someone else's handwriting. Who knew? Dave Wilson is a vitriolic anti-LGBT loon who last won election to the Houston Community College board by claiming his residence was a warehouse.

  • 156. 1grod  |  July 30, 2015 at 3:03 am

    AL's supreme court's chief justice again violated ethics claims SPLC [ssm]

  • 157. Zack12  |  July 30, 2015 at 4:28 am

    He needs to be removed from the bench again.

  • 158. guitaristbl  |  July 30, 2015 at 6:28 am

    He has to be removed from bench for good this time with no right to be on the ballot to be elected again. There is already a judicial ethics complaint pending against him since his initial shennanigans.

  • 159. montezuma58  |  July 30, 2015 at 9:01 am

    As it stands now ole Roy can't run for reelection. He will be over 70 after his current term is over (he is 68 years old now). He could run for other offices but those over 70 are ineligible to run for the Supreme Court.

    There was a proposed amendment floating through the legislature that would raise the age cap. I don't think it got past the legislature.

  • 160. 1grod  |  July 30, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Ten years post ssm, public officials still make dumb comments:

  • 161. Elihu_Bystander  |  July 30, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Re: HERO in Houston: A group of Houston plaintiffs with standing need to take this situation to Federal District Court. It is so similar to Romer v. Evans that they would have a reasonable chance of success. Or, do they have to wait until harm actually happens ie. the referendum actually nullifies HERO?

  • 162. scream4ever  |  July 30, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Probably the latter.

  • 163. Fortguy  |  July 30, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Only SCOTUS can overturn the ruling by SCOTX (appropriately rhymes with "Kotex" and a deeply red one at that with no Dem justices) requiring the city to either repeal HERO or place it on the November ballot. SCOTUS is in summer recess and will not convene until October. Even if SCOTUS rules on a motion for an emergency preliminary injunction before the election, HERO supporters can't wait until then. SCOTX has already left them with a truncated campaign timeline, and they need to begin mobilizing electoral support yesterday, not October.

  • 164. Elihu_Bystander  |  July 30, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Re sfbob supra: "Or maybe, just maybe, their deity favors marriage equality."

    As a person of god who happens to also be gay, Bob, I absolutely agree with your observation. Justice Kennedy's majority opinion is fully in consonance with Catholic teachings on social and economic justice. I can't understand why the Catholic hierarchy are so blind that they cannot see that. 60+% of lay Catholics in the pews in the US also agree with the majority opinion.

  • 165. Chuck_in_PA  |  August 4, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Strong agreement from this lapsed Catholic. Everything I was brought up believing during the Vatican II years incorporated a strong belief in decency and equality, treating everyone with love and compassion, and that God hated and punished bigotry and injustice. I'm not much of a believer anymore, but the ethics I was taught still guides my outlook, and hopefully, most of the time, my actions. I don't understand how so much of the Catholic Church hierarchy chose to navigate down the wrong path in the last 20 or 30 years.

  • 166. F_Young  |  July 30, 2015 at 10:35 am

    The Olympics and "Gay Propaganda" in Kazakhstan

  • 167. StraightDave  |  July 31, 2015 at 6:54 am

    The 2022 Winter Olympics were just awarded to Beijing today, probably a slightly better LGBT environment…relatively. And by 2022, it can only improve as China continues to try to become part of a changing modern world.

  • 168. DJSNOLA  |  August 2, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Exactly… very glad to see the olympics being blunt about why Kazakhstan didnt get it

  • 169. VIRick  |  July 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Here's Krissychula on U Tube and her amazing rant "Homophobia Much???"
    The language is strong (to say the least), but appropriate.

  • 170. bayareajohn  |  August 1, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    ++++++1 for Krissychula! This was great.

  • 171. VIRick  |  July 30, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    South Carolina Marriage Plaintiffs Can Now Seek Legal Fees

    Charleston, SC — Now that the US Supreme Court has ruled same-sex marriage is the law of the land, the way is clear for couples who challenged South Carolina’s marriage ban for same-sex couples to seek tens of thousands of dollars in court costs for their suits in federal court. Same-sex couples earlier sued in Charleston and Columbia for the right to be married or for the state to recognize their marriages performed out-of-state.

    While a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision cleared the way for marriages between same-sex couples in South Carolina and other states in that circuit late last year, state Attorney-General Alan Wilson appealed, arguing a decision by another circuit upholding said marriage bans would have to be resolved by the Supreme Court. The 4th Circuit Court combined the South Carolina cases and put requests for attorney fees on hold until there was a decision by the Supreme Court. That decision came last month.

    Last week, the 4th Circuit granted Wilson’s motion to voluntarily end the appeal. Federal judges in both Columbia and Charleston have now set court schedules for resolving the issue of attorney fees. In the Charleston case, "Condon v. Wilson," attorneys for Colleen Condon and her partner Nichols Bleckley, who sued last year to get a marriage license, have asked to be reimbursed $153,000 in legal fees. The figure represents 446 hours of work by seven attorneys.

    In the second South Carolina case, "Bradacs v. Haley," which has been in the courts for almost two years, Highway Patrol Trooper Katherine Bradacs and U.S. Air Force retiree Tracie Goodwin sued to have the state to recognize their same-sex marriage that was earlier performed in Washington, D.C. Their attorneys have not yet filed for fees, but court documents show that a federal judge has now given them until Tuesday, 4 August 2015, to do so.

    Judges can order losing parties to pay opponents’ fees, and almost inevitably do so in civil rights cases.

  • 172. VIRick  |  August 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    South Carolina Marriage Plaintiffs Seek almost $250,000 in Costs

    Charleston, SC — The two couples who challenged South Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban in federal court are seeking almost a quarter-million dollars in court costs. Same-sex couples had sued in Charleston and Columbia for the right to be married or for the state to recognize their marriages performed out-of-state.

    In the Columbia case, Highway Patrol Trooper Katherine Bradacs and U.S. Air Force retiree Tracie Goodwin sued to have the state to recognize their marriage performed in Washington, D.C. They filed documents Tuesday, 4 August 2015, seeking almost $92,000 in attorney fees and court costs.

    In Charleston, attorneys for Colleen Condon and her partner Nichols Bleckley who sued to get a marriage license, earlier asked for $153,000 in legal fees.

  • 173. VIRick  |  July 30, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Bucks County PA Judge Rules Same-Sex Widow Entitled to Benefits

    In state court, a Bucks County judge determined a Doylestown Township woman is entitled to survivor’s benefits from a same-sex, common-law marriage even though her spouse died before same-sex marriages were recognized in Pennsylvania.

    Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. issued his decision Wednesday, 29 July 2015, stating that Sabrina L. Maurer and Kimberly M. Underwood "entered into a valid and enforceable marriage under Pennsylvania common law on 2 September 2001, and remained married under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania until the time of Kimberly M. Underwood’s death on 20 November 2013."

    Once again, Texas take note.

  • 174. Fortguy  |  July 30, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    The idea of eviscerating state spending, denying essential services, and reducing the size of government until it fits into your bedroom while blaming it all on the feds would be a dream-come-true among Texas pols. Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick would get wet and sticky underwear at the mere thought!

  • 175. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 31, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Double note to Texas:

    Pennsylvania has since (as of January 2, 2005) outlawed 'common law' marriage created within the state, while creation of 'common law' marriages within the state are still legal in Texas.

  • 176. tx64jm  |  August 1, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Texas Family Code 2.401:

    "(b) If a proceeding in which a marriage is to be proved as provided by Subsection (a)(2) is not commenced before the second anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased living together, it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to be married."

    So yes, we allow common law marriage, but if you dont sue for divorce or otherwise within two years after seperation, it is presumed there was no common law marriage.

  • 177. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 1, 2015 at 9:48 am

    And did I mention divorce?


    So why bring up divorce when it wasn't mentioned?

  • 178. bayareajohn  |  August 1, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Mike, you bring up new details all the time and it's just fine.
    Someone else does it and you want to attack them for it.

  • 179. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 1, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Did I mention divorce in the comment I made?


    Is there an indication that Maurer and.or Underwood wanted a divorce?

    None that I am aware of.

    When someone brings up new details, one cannot respond to the new details, whether they agree or not? I was not the commentator who brought up divorce – it was 'tx64jm' who brought it up. How does Texas law apply to this case in Pennsylvania?

    Why the comment about divorce?

    Maybe to divert the conversation away from a couple being declared as a 'common-law' married couple?

    All I was doing was pointing out to 'tx64jm' that Texas also has a law allowing for 'common-law' marriages, and that PA had eliminated 'common-law' marriages as of January 2, 2005.

  • 180. bayareajohn  |  August 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    You consistently find far more devious and clandestine motivations than actually exist. I know because you've frequently told me what I mean when it was entirely in your head, not mine.

  • 181. gay_avenger  |  August 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Mister Baltimore, you having a bad hair day gurl?

  • 182. VIRick  |  August 1, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Mike is correct (and his hair is fine). The troll, tx64jm, in his usual, "authoritative," copy-and-paste mode, brought up a completely extraneous issue (divorce), which has no bearing on two different Texas cases still pending in the courts. Instead, both revolve around Texas' inability to understand that their marriage law not only is currently unconstitutional, but that it was always unconstitutional, and had always been unconstitutional right from the very day it was first passed. Thus, the retroactivity factor needs to be addressed.

    If a court in Pennsylvania can retroactively recognize a 2001 common-law same-sex marriage as valid for estate purposes, surely Texas can recognize an actual 2014 New Mexico same-sex marriage as valid for estate purposes and for death certificate purposes within Texas. In addition, Texas certainly should be able to recognize its own 2008 marriage license legally procured by a transgender woman and her now-deceased husband right there in Texas. He died in an on-the-job accident in 2010, and she's been fighting for the death benefits ever since.

    Neither case involves divorce, and neither case involves "common-law" unions.

  • 183. bayareajohn  |  August 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Forgive me for sometimes finding "completely extraneous" issues to be related enough to be an interesting sidelight, or at least not deserving Mike's familiar whip.

    And forgive me for not finding TX's posts to be as trolling as you apparently do. His "cut and paste" "authoritative" submissions are not nearly as pompous or didactic as dear Mike's,

  • 184. VIRick  |  August 1, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    "…. dear Mike's …."

    Dear John, now if you were to just say that with some affection, like you really meant it, a minor miracle of transformation will undoubtedly occur.

    I like Mike. And I like saying that I like Mike. Try it yourself. You'll be impressed. Seriously.

    Oh wait! And I like bayareajohn, too. I can't imagine having any issues with him, either.

  • 185. bayareajohn  |  August 1, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I like Mike 75% of the time, when he's not on a rant about another imagined violation of the Mike rules of posting. But like Larry Bird said about the phrase, "I'm not gonna sing."

    I like VIRick for his dedication on posting valuable news stories. I like his devotion to Mike and his hatred of TX64jm a lot less.

    I frankly like TX64jm, and think that his skeptic/cynical/trolling reputation here is not fairly earned. I think his contributions are positive, even if sometimes depressing. We should not all have to be Pollyanna.

    Maybe you should try saying "I like tx64jm".

  • 186. JayJonson  |  August 2, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Sorry, bayareajohn, anyone who likes tx64jm fails the test of discernment. tx64jm has wasted our time again and again with his trolling. He is a distraction.

  • 187. F_Young  |  August 1, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Here's another article on the same story:
    Judge Deems Gay Couple as Spouses After 1 Partner's Death

  • 188. VIRick  |  August 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    F_Young, thanks for posting that much more-detailed account of the same lawsuit and its judicial decision. The retroactivity factor is huge, certainly for Pennsylvania, and quite probably for other states which once allowed or still allow common-law marriage (like Texas).

    "Is this going to create an avalanche of issues that are going to crop up?" said family lawyer Helen Casale, who helped the ACLU win the case in Pennsylvania, "Whitehead v. Wolf," that overturned the state's same-sex marriage ban in May 2014. "I think it's very possible, for better or worse."

    The effects of Judge Fritsch's decision could also be thorny, especially if judges around the state concur. Courts would have to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a common-law marriage applied, and whether petitioners should be granted alimony, marital assets, inheritance-tax refunds, or even backdated marriage licenses.

    To succeed, in Pennsylvania, they would have to show they considered themselves married before the state's common-law marriage provision ended on 1 January 2005.

    Maurer does not expect an appeal. She has settled with an insurance company over Underwood's death benefits, and said the state, which under Gov. Tom Wolf did not contest her suit, seems poised to refund her inheritance taxes.

  • 189. VIRick  |  July 30, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Colombia’s Constitutional Court Held A Hearing For Global Marriage Equality

    Colombia’s Constitutional Court hosted a parade of international voices in a day-long forum on marriage equality, suggesting that it feels it must choose a side in a global debate not just national law. Colombia’s top court held the day-long hearing on Thursday, 30 July 2015, on whether it should interpret its constitution as giving marriage rights to same-sex couples, framing the debate in a wider discussion about whether international standards now dictate that marriage equality is a fundamental right.

    Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, Colombia’s Constitutional Court weighs foreign precedent and international human rights law in its decisions. To discuss the question of marriage equality in Thursday’s debate, the Court’s judges invited a broad range of international opinions, including representatives of the United Nations’ human rights office, the U.S.-based conservative legal group the Alliance Defending Freedom, and Albie Sachs, the former chief justice of South Africa’s Constitutional Court who authored that country's 2005 marriage equality ruling.

    The case concerns several technical questions of Colombian law; namely. whether the constitutional clause defining marriage as between a man and woman trumps other provisions ensuring equality and the rights to family protections. But the list of participants may signal that the justices see themselves as also adjudicating a question that extends far beyond their country’s borders: Now that marriage equality is becoming the norm in almost all of the world’s developed democracies, should it be considered a fundamental right in countries that strive to meet a gold standard for human rights (like Colombia)?

    And if the court concludes that this is the key question in this case, those arguing to uphold the existing marriage law appear to face an uphill battle.

    Colombia’s Constitutional Court first took up a marriage equality case in early 2011. In late-June 2011, the court held that same-sex couples were entitled to the same legal protection as heterosexual couples and said the kind of partnership status that has been open to them since 2007 were insufficient. But it didn’t actually use the word “marriage,” nor did it immediately change anything for same-sex couples. The court held that Congress was obligated to change the family law within two years. As a backstop, the ruling said that if the deadline passed without new legislation, couples would be allowed to “formalize and solemnize a contractual link that permits them to constitute a family.”

    Congress failed to legislate, so from late-June 2013 same-sex couples began trying to marry, and the officials that perform marriage split over exactly what the 2011 decision meant. Many interpreted the decision to mean the court meant a “solemn union” to be a new kind of partnership status distinct from both the existing partnership status and marriage, but around 40 couples (so far) were able to find judges who married them under their interpretation of the 2011 decision.

    Based on yesterday's hearing, a decision in the current case is expected later this summer.

  • 190. davepCA  |  July 31, 2015 at 9:48 am

    This is really interesting. I didn't know Columbia weighed foreign precedent and international law in their rulings. Very interesting!

  • 191. allan120102  |  July 31, 2015 at 10:17 am

    It will probably rule in a month. So by the end of August or early September Colombia might become the 23rd nation to allow same sex marriage counting Slovenia.

  • 192. scream4ever  |  July 31, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Indeed. I feel both will go out way, plus it's basically de facto legal in Mexico now.

  • 193. SethInMaryland  |  July 31, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Australia is likely going to be next , word on the street is the vote is going to occur sometime in August. I found it very interesting that the Colombian supreme court invited a South African justice to the discussion , that might be a hint at what the ruling is going to look like

  • 194. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 31, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    It is even more interesting that the South African justice was the person who authored that country's 2005 marriage equality ruling.

    That fact alone tells me the direction the Columbia Supreme Court ruling is heading. And no matter how many lies ADF tells, it was brave of the court to invite them to the discussion (were they invited for the comic relief?).

  • 195. Chuck_in_PA  |  August 4, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    I have not been posting much for the last several months, but I have often wanted to post something, but someone quicker and more articulate than I usually beat me to it. Anyway one thing I will post although it has been said before is to thank you for the immense wealth of information you have provided regarding ME in Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands. It's amazing how you can stay on top of so many developments. We are all enriched by your contribution. Now for one impolite question … are you really as terrific looking as your icon?

  • 196. VIRick  |  August 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    "…. are you really as terrific looking as your icon?"

    Chuck, that's me,– but alas, once upon a time, some years ago.

  • 197. 1grod  |  July 31, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Equality vs religious freedom

  • 198. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Great article. The comments are good too.

  • 199. sfbob  |  July 31, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Indeed they are. I haven't read all of them but none of the comments I have read thus far suggest that the woman should have had to move. This one was the most interesting:

    "[T]he Haredi rules governing diet, travel, clothing and social interaction exist for the sole purpose of putting a burden on the believer. Following them cements the relationship between members of the group and emphasizes their separation from outsiders. Their result and purpose is to foster the identity of the group and prevent assimilation. The members of the group voluntarily take on the burden for the good of the group. The rules are not directed at outsiders, and should have no impact whatsoever on outsiders."

    So there is the broadly hinted-at suggestion (which I agree with by the way) that not only did the man have no claim to being accommodated because of his beliefs but in asserting such a claim he violating the rules of the religion he claims to profess.

  • 200. davepCA  |  July 31, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Oooops. Busted! For that, he gets one of these:

  • 201. sfbob  |  July 31, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Unfortunately most of the Haredi don't have a clue about the fact that the Law is meant to restrict them and only them, or else they don't care…as witness what happened at Jerusalem Pride the other day.

  • 202. F_Young  |  July 31, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Gaming convention Gen Con courts Chicago and Orlando over Indiana’s religious freedom backlash

  • 203. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Good to see that the pressure is still on. These states have to get the message that their LGBT citizens deserve to be protected, and that it will cost them if they don't.

  • 204. F_Young  |  July 31, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Cayman Islands: Foreign & Commonwealth Office weighs in on same-sex unions

  • 205. VIRick  |  July 31, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Although the quoted article is written in the Cayman Islands and is specific to the Cayman Islands, it is worth remembering that in addition to that group, the other British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean area include the Turks and Caicos Islands, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and Montserrat.

    So, if the Cayman Islands is obliged to comply with applicable requirements under the European Convention on Human Rights, it would seem to be perfectly logical that said convention would apply equally to the other remaining British Overseas Territories with the same force.

  • 206. DJSNOLA  |  August 2, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Makes sense to me!

  • 207. F_Young  |  July 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Pride and the United Nations

  • 208. F_Young  |  July 31, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Texas delays altering gay spouse's death certificate

  • 209. F_Young  |  July 31, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Netherlands: Half of gay couples don’t dare walk hand-in-hand: survey

  • 210. VIRick  |  July 31, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Mexico: First Same-Sex Marriage Scheduled for Puebla

    In November 2014, a lesbian couple filed for an amparo and were then subsequently granted the requested injunction to marry. However, the state appealed the decision. On 10 July 2015, the Appellate Court upheld the ruling in favor of the couple. Their marriage ceremony, the first for the state of Puebla, has been scheduled to take place on 1 August 2015 (today).

    Once this marriage has occurred, only 3 states remain in Mexico which have yet to have had at least one same-sex marriage take place within their jurisdictional area: Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, and Zacatecas.

  • 211. VIRick  |  August 2, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Via Rex Wockner:

    The wedding pictures from Puebla are here:

  • 212. VIRick  |  August 4, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Via Alex Alí Méndez Díaz:

    As per his current amparo map of Mexico, Alex points out that Hidalgo state has also already had a successful injunction allowing a same-sex couple to marry.

  • 213. VIRick  |  July 31, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    México: Matrimonios Colectivos Abiertos a Parejas del Mismo Sexo en Querétaro
    (Mexico: Collective Marriages Open to Same-Sex Couples in Querétaro)

    En lo que resta de la campaña de matrimonios colectivos, podrán participar parejas del mismo sexo sin necesidad de tramitar un amparo, dio a conocer Leonel Rojo Montes, director del Registro Civil de Querétaro. En entrevista vía telefónica dijo que a la fecha y desde el inicio de la campaña no se ha llevado a cabo ningún matrimonio igualitario, aunque no se descarta que pudiera haber interesados.

    “El matrimonio colectivo va dirigido a todas las parejas y nosotros no tenemos restricción para casar alguna pareja de matrimonio igualitario que solicitara unirse en la campaña”, aseveró. Refirió que a la fecha se han celebrado cerca de 300 matrimonios como parte de la campaña, en la cual los interesados pagan menos de la mitad al unirse por la vía legal.

    (Same-sex couples may participate in the remainder of the campaign of collective marriages without having to process an injunction, as stated by Leonel Rojo Montes, director of the Civil Registry of Querétaro. In an interview by telephone he said that, to date and since the beginning of the campaign, he has not had any same-sex couples, although they would not be excluded if they were interested.

    "Collective marriage is aimed at all couples and we have no restriction to marry any couple who seek marriage equality to join in the campaign," he said. He added that to date there have been over 300 marriages, in which participants pay less than half the regular fees.)

    In effect, the civil registrar of Querétaro is inviting same-sex couples to participate in his collective marriage scheme, and that, additionally, they can do so without bothering any longer with obtaining an amparo. Just be there, and he'll marry one and all.

  • 214. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 1, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Another historical Gay Marriage discussion from a 1991 Phil Donahue episode. This was before the internet and ubiquitous smartphones…. before Lawrence v. Texas. It seems like so long ago, so far away a dream, an ideal to reach. Yet it also seems like just yesterday…that some of us had those hair styles…wore those late 80s's early 90s clothes. Twenty Four years, it's taken. I wonder if Craig Dean and Patrick Gill ever got legally married or are still together. I know Bob Paris and Rod Jackson broke up a couple of decades ago. Looking back on this, 24 years seems like the blink of an eye….and yet the last 4 years, when I first really started following the ME movement on literally a daily and sometimes even hourly basis, seemed to take decades, as we watched states be added one by one, slowly turning the country blue on our Wiki Map. And it's only been ONE MONTH today since the Freedom to Marry (A phrase Phil unknowingly mentions in this show) is legal now in ALL 50 States! I wonder what people would have said then, if they knew of where things finally stand today. It's been only one month since June 26th, and it still feels surreal to me that the US is a Full Marriage Equality Nation. Even back in early 1991, when I watched this program, I knew that legal SSM would come… I just didn't know it would take an entire generation. I just hope now that the pockets of resistance and defiance to Obergefell just die down and fade away like dying embers and don't become a grass roots movements to put republicans in office who would stack the court and reverse Obergefell. Looks like we made it!

  • 215. F_Young  |  August 1, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Nations push Guyana to repeal anti-LGBTI laws

  • 216. F_Young  |  August 1, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten: Dutch activists call for Caribbean Netherlands to adopt gay rights

  • 217. F_Young  |  August 1, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Northern Ireland: Belfast Gay Pride: 'Why can't we get married here?'

    Warning: Clicking this link causes a BBC video to play automatically.

  • 218. F_Young  |  August 1, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Lawmakers to Kerry: Yank Visas for Diplomats’ Spouses from Countries that Don’t Allow Gay State Dept. Spouses

  • 219. F_Young  |  August 2, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Profiles in posturing: Lawmakers’ lame ‘pro-gay’ stand

  • 220. ianbirmingham  |  August 1, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    [Bernie Sanders] voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and supported Burlington’s first pride march when he was mayor in 1983.

    Bernie Sanders will make awesome Supreme Court nominations!!!

    #FeelTheBern at

  • 221. VIRick  |  August 1, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Proponen en Michoacán Matrimonio Gay
    (Same-Sex Marriage Proposal in Michoacán)

    Morelia, México, 31 julio 2015 – Obligados por una resolución judicial, diputados del Congreso de Michoacán presentaron hoy una iniciativa que legaliza el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en la entidad.

    "La propuesta que hoy se plantea pretende reformar el Código Familiar para el Estado de Michoacán, para establecer que el matrimonio será la unión de dos personas", refiere el proyecto de ley. "Lo anterior, en base a que la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos no prohíbe la posibilidad de matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo."

    El documento fue presentado por 12 de los 40 diputados que conforman la Legislatura local, la mayoría de la bancada del PRD y diputados independientes.

    (Morelia, Mexico, 31 July 2015 – Forced by a court decision, members of the Congress of Michoacán today presented an initiative to legalize same-sex marriage within the state.

    "Today's proposal aims to reform the Family Code of the State of Michoacán, to establish that marriage is the union of two people," as stated in the prospective law. "This, on the grounds that the Constitution of the United Mexican States does not prohibit the possibility of marriages between persons of the same sex.")

    The document was presented by 12 of the 40 deputies who make up the state legislature, mostly members of the PRD and independent deputies.

    Several weeks ago, a similar measure was defeated in the Michoacán Congress. Still, the court order, to change the Family Code and legalize same-sex marriage, remains in effect, and has now moved into the penalty phase. Time is of the essence, and is quickly running out in Michoacán before the penalty phase begins to become painful.

  • 222. VIRick  |  August 2, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    More from Michoacán:

    Prevén Arriben a Congreso 19 Sentencias Más Sobre Matrimonios Igualitarios
    (19 More Judgments in Favor of Marriage Equality to Arrive before Congress)

    Morelia, Michoacán, 31 Julio 2015 – Alrededor de 19 nuevas sentencias de amparos ganados a favor de matrimonios igualitarios, se esperan arriben próximamente al Congreso local, lo que evidenciaría aún más la obligación de la Cámara para legislar en la materia.

    Así lo refirieron en rueda de prensa las diputadas Talía Vázquez Alatorre y Cristina Portillo Ayala, quienes en compañía de los diputados Leonardo Guzmán Mares y Fernando Orozco Miranda, lamentaron la actitud asumida por los diputados del PAN y PRI de oponerse a legislar en torno a matrimonios igualitarios pese a que la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación ha emitido criterio a favor.

    (Morelia, Michoacán, 31 July 2015 – Around 19 new amparo judgments in favor of marriage equality are expected to soon arrive before the state Congress, as further evidence of their obligation to legislate in this area.

    This news was reported at a press conference given by Deputies Talía Vázquez Alatorre and Cristina Portillo Ayala, together with Deputies Leonardo Guzmán Mares and Fernando Orozco Miranda, all of whom regretted the position taken by the deputies of the PAN and PRI to oppose legislation regarding marriage equality even though Mexico's Supreme Court has delivered judgment in favor.)

    Judges in Michoacán must be pissed with the obfuscation of the politicians, as 19 amparos, all granted almost simultaneously within the past two weeks, pushing the number up to 25 (at least), is way over and beyond anything that has occurred previously in any other state in Mexico.

  • 223. Fortguy  |  August 2, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Thank you, F_Young and VIRick for your insightful news links. Please allow me to contribute those I've found that I hope y'all will find important to know.

    HERO update: Houston Mayor Annise Parker no longer supports placing on the November ballot two municipal charter amendments regarding term limits and the city's revenue cap. The fear is that having HERO on the ballot will suck so much oxygen out of the campaign that neither the public nor the press will give either measure the proper discussion they deserve. Instead, these issues will need to be resolved by her successor and the future council.

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: If HERO then no other ballot items

    In contrast, Harris County commissioners proceeded in placing four bond referenda on the ballot totaling $848 million. Clearly, county officials believe the sheer dollar amount buys a lot of oxygen.

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: Harris County will have a bond issue on the ballot

    In odd-year elections, all politics are especially local. There will be no federal or state candidates on the ballot. Statewide, only seven proposed constitutional amendments will be on the ballot. Typically, none of these are inspiring as we are always having to vote on mundane issues that other states with better constitutions handle legislatively.

    Just like on 60 Minutes or any other news magazine that provides you with a collection of news stories, I would be remiss to not provide you with one with a human interest. The haters are upset that, since its now okay to be out of the closet, we are seemingly in every direction they look. Worse, they are apoplectic that we're importing LGBT people from elsewhere. If any of these LGBT people are refugees seeking asylum due to well-founded threats against their well-being in their home countries but don't have proper documentation, they behave like caged, angry apes flinging their feces. "Illegals! Amnesty! Child-Perverts!" My best wishes to Sulma. Life will continue to be a challenge for her regardless of the outcome.

    Lyanne Guarecuco, Texas Observer: Fearing Deportation, Guatemalan LGBT Activist Finds Sanctuary in Austin Church

    BREAKING NEWS: If the arc of the universe bends toward justice, then expect it to bend away from the unjust. If your political career amounts to laying Baby Ruths in other peoples' punch bowls, then expect to find that one day your morning coffee might be quite unsavory.

    Associated Press via Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Prosecutor: Texas attorney general indicted in securities fraud case

    This will be a big story going forward. Put on your seatbelts and stay tuned!

  • 224. Sagesse  |  August 2, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Anyone taking bets as to whether the voters of the great state of Texas would re-elect him anyway?

  • 225. Fortguy  |  August 2, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    That's an easy question. Paxton had already admitted to one charge of misleading investors and paid a $1,000 fine to the state securities regulating agency before last year's election. GOP voters didn't care then because they don't care about ethical violations against laws passed by "liberal" legislators. Paxton feeds them what they want to hear: he is a crusader against moral violations including marriage equality, LGBT non-discrimination, Obamacare, immigrants, or anything else that the Kenyan Muslim anti-colonial socialist illegaly occupying the White House proposes that will inevitably result in sending storm troopers to take guns away from God-fearing old grumpy white folk and force them into concentration camps in the basements of recently closed WalMart stores.

    If demographics are destiny, Texas will inevitably turn purple and then blue. If the 2014 election results say anything, they say that day is not just around the corner.

  • 226. Zack12  |  August 3, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Indeed and even if he is given the boot, another jerk will simply take his place.

  • 227. F_Young  |  August 2, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Meet Vietnam’s Gay Power Couple: U.S. Ambassador and His Husband

  • 228. brchaz  |  August 3, 2015 at 2:14 am

    Also here (with much better photography):

  • 229. 1grod  |  August 2, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Ten years later, the blurring of secular and religious ideas continues in Canada, and are not dissimilar to those prophets of doom articulated by some US clergy { ie S F's Sal Cordieone)…. Sorry to be dragging you back to such discredited, convoluted arguments but it does provide a perspective: cultural change does take time!

  • 230. JayJonson  |  August 3, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Thanks for posting the link to this absurd article. It does provide a perspective on the desperation of our opponents and their lies. They equate an "an erosion of religious freedom" with the loss of their ability to deny equal rights to others. It does remind us that cultural change takes time, but it also tells us that in Canada same-sex marriage is so firmly entrenched that the bigots feel completely besieged and are reduced to calling for "diversity" and "tolerance" for their beliefs. (They also repeat the lie that "traditional marriage" is now antiquated: I rather suspect that heterosexuals are still permitted to marry in Canada.) But we need to be wary of Harper's apparent program of putting religious conservatives on the appellate courts.

  • 231. 1grod  |  August 3, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Jay, you are so right: In Canada, same-sex marriage is so firmly entrenched that the bigots feel completely besieged and are reduced to calling for "diversity" and "tolerance" for their beliefs.. I found this article… helpful in considering the cultural change taking place within religious communities. While there are regular commentators to this blog who have little regard for institutional religion, from a sociological perspective, institutional religions do influence many people's habit of moral thought, and religious leaders do actively participate in the public forum. The push back, framed as an attacked on religious freedom regretfully finds footing in the opinions of the dissenters to Obergefell v Hodges. The LGBT community, particularly those of faith, need to be present during that dialogue [imho]. G

  • 232. JayJonson  |  August 4, 2015 at 6:31 am

    1grod, I agree entirely with what you say about the need for us to be present during the dialogue about religious freedom and cultural transition. It is worth noting that a crucial element in achieving marriage equality in Canada was the support of the United Church of Canada, the country's largest protestant denomination. The UCC actively lobbied in support of marriage equality, in contrast to the Roman Catholic and Evangelical churches fierce opposition, and the neutrality of the Anglicans.

    Alas, my favorite website,, the encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender culture, has recently folded. Luckily, however, their entries are archived. Here is a link to their entry on United Church of Canada, including its role in passing marriage equality:

    From that article: In 2003, the United Church published a congregational guide entitled Of Love and Justice: Toward the Civil Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage. Later that year, after courts in Ontario and British Columbia had ruled in favor of the rights of gay couples to marriage, the General Council called upon the Government of Canada to recognize same-sex marriage throughout the country.

    In the subsequent struggle for a national bill recognizing same-sex marriage in Canada, the United Church played a pivotal role. Not only did representatives of the Church testify on behalf of marriage equality, but they also actively lobbied in favor of Bill C-38, the authorizing legislation. This lobbying effort was crucial, for it exploded the myth that all Christians–and all Christian denominations–were opposed to same-sex

    On behalf of the General Council, Jackie Harper and Choice Okoro wrote Prime Minister Martin that "The United Church unequivocally supports the rights of same-sex couples to have access to civil marriage; it also unequivocally supports the rights of communities of faith to decline to perform such marriages."

    The Church's Moderator, Rev. Dr. Peter Short, not only editorialized in national newspapers in favor of same-sex marriage, but also wrote members of Parliament that the Church's decision to support same-sex marriage "has been reached not by abandoning Christian faith, tradition, and values, but by implementing
    them. I write to you in the hope that you will resist the assumption that anyone who speaks from Christian faith, tradition, and values must be against equal marriage."

    Dr. Short went on to say that "For me, Christian faith, tradition, and values contribute to our hope for that day when earth once more is fair and her children one, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people–all her children." He concluded by reiterating that "The General Council of The United Church of Canada believes that equal marriage is a step on the path to justice, peace, and the common good."

    The United Church's eloquent testimony in favor of equal marriage rights contrasted vividly with the sometimes disrespectful comments and specious reasoning of representatives of other evangelical denominations and of the Roman Catholic Church in opposition to same-sex marriage. The positive response of the Church also contrasted with the official silence on this issue by the Anglican Church of Canada.

  • 233. 1grod  |  August 4, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Thanks Jay. I had forgotten the role of the United Church…. Here's another example of religious intolerance of equality in Canada. I provide the link to illustrate that while laws may change, attitudinal change, particularly by leaders of some churches takes significantly longer.

  • 234. SethInMaryland  |  August 2, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    it took the death of a woman at pride in the streets of Jerusalem as a wake up call , but right now thousands of Israelis are protesting the lack of lgbt protections and right

  • 235. guitaristbl  |  August 3, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I may sound cynical but it may wake up the israeli government to finally introduce civil marriage for everyone..

  • 236. RnL2008  |  August 3, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Is there a chance of getting a new thread or information on what's going on regarding the Clerk in Kentucky. Thanks

  • 237. DrBriCA  |  August 3, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I remember reading that the judge wasn't planning to issue a decision before early/mid August, so we probably still have a week or two. But a new thread would be nice!

  • 238. RnL2008  |  August 3, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Oh, I thought it was closer towards the 1st part of the month…..and yes, a new thread would be nice.

    Hope all is well with you and yours:-)

  • 239. VIRick  |  August 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Miller v. Davis (Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk who won't issue marriage licenses)

    Today, 3 August 2015, Plaintiffs have filed a motion for class certification. "Specifically, the Plaintiffs seek class certification of the group of potential plaintiffs that is comprised of all present and future individuals who, though legally eligible to marry in Kentucky, will be denied a marriage license pursuant to the Defendants’ policy of refusing to issue marriage licenses."

    If accepted, class-action certification will change the entire dynamics of this case, escalating it to cover all present and future applicants.

  • 240. Raga  |  August 3, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Ginsburg would have further expanded the equal protection discussion, but chose not to write a concurring opinion because "it was more powerful to have a single opinion." She should have totally written a concurring opinion! I don't understand why she didn't do it, despite her explanation for not doing so.

  • 241. A_Jayne  |  August 3, 2015 at 11:13 am

    The article also mentions the book of Brandeis' "unpublished opinions" she keeps in her office. Years from now, I wonder what a book of Ginsberg's unpublished opinions will hold…

  • 242. JayJonson  |  August 3, 2015 at 11:28 am

    I see her point about the decision being more powerful if it is not fragmented. Considering that some presidential candidates seem to think that they can easily ignore or reverse Obergefell, it would not be good if they were able to characterize the decision as splintered and unstable. Justice Kennedy's opinion is beautiful and solid.

  • 243. Raga  |  August 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    I see her point about fragmented decisions, but I just don't see how a concurring opinion that joins the majority in full (like Rakihi mentioned below) but just adds a couple more pages expanding a portion of the discussion could be considered as "fragmenting". (I do see how it would be fragmented if a concurring opinion only agreed with the result, but disagreed with the reasoning.) On another note, I disagree that Kennedy's opinion was solid. I agree with Judge Posner's assessment of Kennedy's opinion and also his response to some of the dissents:

  • 244. JayJonson  |  August 4, 2015 at 6:13 am

    You mischaracterize Posner's assessment of Kennedy's opinion. He does not say that it is not solid. He says, "Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion invalidating state laws against same-sex marriage is convincing, though I would have preferred to see it longer on facts and shorter on sonorous quotations from previous Supreme Court decisions."

    That simply reflects a different approach to writing decisions. SCOTUS opinions are characteristically grounded in precedent, and Kennedy's characteristic style in his gay rights opinions is grounded in appeals to liberty interests. Obergefell will join a short list of SCOTUS opinions revered for their deep humanity and concern with justice.

    Having said that, I love Posner's charcterization of the dissents in Obergefell and especially his general disdain for Roberts.

  • 245. Raga  |  August 4, 2015 at 7:13 am

    You misunderstand me. I didn't say Posner said it's not solid. He didn't say it was solid either. For me, "convincing" does not imply "solid". Kennedy could have done better. He has written much better and clearer opinions. If there's one thing in the dissents that I agree with, it is his utterly confusing explanation of the equal protection and due process synergy or whatever it is he is trying to say. I think it was Roberts who pointed it out and I agree with him that that portion of the opinion was a mess. Just my opinion (and some of my lawyer friends' as well). I don't mean to take away anything from the judgment itself or rub anyone the wrong way, and apologies if my comment comes across as that.

  • 246. JayJonson  |  August 4, 2015 at 7:55 am

    I cannot imagine that that Posner of all people would find a decision "convincing" if he did not think it "solid."

    In any case, he certainly did not find anything unclear about the decision.

    I suspect that Roberts and Scalia did not actually find Kennedy's reasoning confusing or unclear either. Because they had no real argument, other than the talking points of the religious right or the sudden reverence for democracy invoked by Sutton, they took the occasion to mock Kennedy for his humanity and for taking seriously the notion of equal rights under the law. That's what they find confusing in Kennedy's decision.

    IMHO, it is the dissents that are models of confusion and inconsistency and question begging.

    There is no need to apologize for your comment. We simply disagree. I respect your opinion and knowledge.

    Perhaps you could be more specific as to what you find confusing about Kennedy's analysis of equal protection and of the dynamic relationship between equal protection and due process. I would certainly trust that your analysis would be made in good faith, something that I do not believe is the case in the dissents by Roberts, Scalia, Alito, or Thomas.

  • 247. Rakihi  |  August 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Couldn't Ginsburg have joined Kennedy's opinion in full and ALSO wrote a concurring opinion?

  • 248. JayJonson  |  August 4, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Yes, she could have. But I think she wanted an uncomplicated but decisive ruling with no ambiguities. A concurring opinion would have given the impression that the Court was splintered. The 5-4 decision, with a solid majority speaking with one voice, and four separate dissents which are all over the place, gives the impression that it is the minority that is splintered, united only in their prejudice as they grasp for ways to say no.

    I am glad that Justices Ginsburg and Kagan and Sotomayor (who may have been tempted to reach the same result but on different grounds) deferred to Kennedy, who throughout his tenure has been our most eloquent defender on the Court.

  • 249. Raga  |  August 4, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I agree. Like I said above in response to Jay, I don't mean to offend anyone, but I feel that Kennedy's opinion, while filled with eloquent quotes that I'll cherish and never forget, could have been much better structured and better reasoned on equal protection. (His due process analysis is excellent.) This is where a united concurring opinion from Ginsburg for the liberals could have added much value and support. It would add, not fragment/splinter (which is what she says she wanted to avoid).

  • 250. guitaristbl  |  August 4, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    What I missed from the majority opinion or a potential concurrence is the clashing with the dissents. I do not disagree that especially Scalia's and Thomas's ( The "slaves had dignity" argument) were not worth of much attention but I would love an eloquent concurrence by Ginsburg that furthered the equal protection conversation (towards the heightened scrutiny side ? possibly..) but also a part in this concurrence or one written by Breyer that answered to Roberts at some parts.

  • 251. Sagesse  |  August 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Family week in Provincetown. Must read.

    How A New England Beach Town Changed The Course Of Gay History [Huffington Post]

  • 252. Sagesse  |  August 3, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Pennsylvania State Rep Brian Sims Announces 'Nondiscrimination 2.0' [New Civil Rights Movement]

  • 253. A_Jayne  |  August 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Not that I don't trust the New Civil Rights Movement, but he says this new proposal gets bipartisan, business, and Catholic heirarchy approval —

    "We've essentially been trying to introduce the exact same bill for the last 10 years, and times have changed," Brian said. "They've changed in the Commonwealth, and they've changed nationally. And the law that we are introducing needed to be changed."

    I wonder what's different in the bill that all those groups agree with it now?

  • 254. Sagesse  |  August 3, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Just a guess, but Pennsylvania is a northeastern state. It always was out of step with the other early ME states in not having LGBT anti-discrimination protections. It is not Louisiana. A likely candidate to be one of the first states to extend protection in the wake of nationwide marriage equality.

  • 255. A_Jayne  |  August 3, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    IIRC, Utah did as well — well, sorta…

  • 256. scream4ever  |  August 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    The religious protections laid out in the Utah bill were exactly what were already written into current law for the state, and nothing new.

  • 257. VIRick  |  August 3, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    SCJN Revisará Prohibición a Parejas del Mismo Sexo para Adoptar (de Campeche)
    (Mexico's Supreme Court will Review an Adoption Ban on Same-Sex Couples (from Campeche))

    Via Rex Wockner:

    Por tratarse de un caso de especial relevancia, la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) resolverá en los próximos meses una acción de inconstitucionalidad en contra de la legislación del estado de Campeche que prohíbe de manera absoluta la adopción a parejas del mismo sexo, informó su Presidente, Luis María Aguilar Morales.

    Al inaugurar el Segundo Periodo Ordinario de Sesiones (en 3 Agosto 2015), el ministro Presidente del máximo tribunal agregó que también fue impugnada esa misma ley por el impedimento que se les impone a las parejas homosexuales para compartir la guardia y custodia de un menor de edad.

    De acuerdo con la Corte, en la acción de inconstitucionalidad con el expediente 8/2014, los ministros tendrán que analizar si dichas prohibiciones, previstas en el artículo 19 de la Ley Regulatoria de las Sociedades Civiles de Convivencia del Estado de Campeche, son contrarias a los principios de igualdad y no discriminación que establece la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

    (Since this is a particularly important case, in the coming months, Mexico's Supreme Court will resolve an action regarding the claim of unconstitutionality against the legislation of the state of Campeche which absolutely prohibits adoption for same-sex couples, said the court's president, Luis María Aguilar Morales.

    Inaugurating the Second Regular Session (on 3 August 2015), the President of the Supreme Court also said the same law has been challenged in that it imposes an impediment on same-sex couples to share in the guardianship of a minor.

    According to the Court, in a law already declared unconstitutional in August 2014, the justices will have to consider whether such prohibitions, under Article 19 of the Regulatory Law of Civil Societies of Coexistence of the State of Campeche, are contrary to the principles of equality and non-discrimination established by the Constitution of the United Mexican States.)

    So, Mexico's Supreme Court is back from its break, and has jumped right in, agreeing to hear a case from Campeche banning same-sex couples from adopting (in a law they already declared unconstitutional last year, but which has yet to be changed).

  • 258. bayareajohn  |  August 3, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Does anyone else get the feeling that Elvis has left the building?

    Nearly 2 weeks into the last posting, an open thread.

    I mean, VIRick and Sagesse and others are doing a great job and demonstrate that there's lots of equality news still out there… but the management here seems to have slipped away in the wake of SCOTUS.

  • 259. FredDorner  |  August 3, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    If you need some marriage equality amusement, there's always Alabama….
    "Washington County Probate Judge Nick Williams is urging the state's high court to issue a "landmark" ruling challenging the U.S. Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage.
    And he wants Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who had earlier recused himself because of his outspoken stance against gay marriage, to be able to vote on it."

  • 260. guitaristbl  |  August 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    That was fun to read. The amusing (or sad depending on how you look it) thing here is that these so called "judges" on the Alabama "Supreme Court" may take his advice and do some grand standing against SCOTUS.

    Oh Alabama…you'll never learn..

  • 261. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 4, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I've been wanting to say that for a while. This thread is as stale as last weeks bread.. though not the news updates. I think this forum/site is going to go the way of Freedom to Marry, The American Foundation For Equal Rights, and the Dodo. Like the two former, there is no more fund raising life left.. and thus we who remain are watching EoT on life support. I'm now just waiting for Ferris Buller to come out as and say… You all are still here?! What are you doing here. Go home. Go home now.

    I must say, it has been an honor and pleasure following the Marriage Equality Journey with you fellow EoTers from California, to England, to Uruguay, and back to Washington DC. I have read more legal opinions and learned more about the judicial process since following the ME debate since I first started following the Prop 8 trial, than I did in school. I even shuttered my Facebook account when it was clear that not one single one of my Facebook "Friends" had the slighted tiniest bit of interest the various ME progress news and comments I had been posting. Here I found people with interest, passion, and personal stakes in this movement. I won't feel the movement is complete until Australia, Germany, Italy, and the rest of Western Europe have full Marriage Equality. Of course I'd like to see Asia and more of Africa gain marriage equality, but alas, Ill only be around one more generation and it'll probably take two, three or more generations to see ME come to those continents.

    Thanks again everyone for sharing this Marriage Equality Journey with me, and being a witness to History. Just to note, today in history August 4th 2010, Judge Vaughn Walker issued his decision that Prop 8 was unconstitutional under the same equal protection and due process claims as Obergefell… and Mexico's Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Mexico City's Marriage Equality Law. I hope to see all your wedding videos and marriage proposals on YouTube.

    I say, if it's love, the Lord
    won't mind. There's enough
    hate in the world."
    – Mrs. Sapphire Hall
    Harlem, 1940

  • 262. Chuck_in_PA  |  August 4, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you too Tony, you have brought much value to this site as well. Will you return to Middle Earth? (Just kidding of course, but I could certainly marry one of those hunky elves.)

  • 263. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Yes, alas, I will be returning to Gondor…unless I find someone to marry and get a green card ;).

  • 264. Sagesse  |  August 4, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Wish it weren't so, but I can't help thinking its only a matter of time. It's too bad, because there is much work left to be done under the banner of Equality on Trial. I can still follow the news, but the quality of the commentary from this group will be hard to replicate. We should make a pact to search for a new home for this community, but I can't think of one offhand.

  • 265. VIRick  |  August 3, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Same-Sex Couples Denied Marriage Licenses in Philippines

    Two same-sex couples have applied for marriage licenses in the Philippines. The couples, Maria Arlyn Ibañez & Joanne Reena Gregório, and Crescéncio Agbayani & Marlon Pelipe, hoped to raise awareness of LGBT rights in the predominantly Catholic country. Same-sex marriage is illegal in the Philippines.

    According to "The Straits Times," the couples’ applications were denied by the government in Quezon City on 3 August 2015, with officials noting that it was the first time a same-sex couple had tried to obtain a marriage license. One of those who applied for a license, Maria Arlyn Ibañez, told the AFP: “We expected it would be denied but we tried it anyway … we thought maybe there would be a miracle and it would be approved.”

    The right to marry is not the only issue LGBT Filipinos face. There are no anti-discrimination laws covering hate speech, and lesbian couples cannot access IVF services. This is largely due to the influence of the Catholic Church on legislation. The Philippines is the only country in the world where divorce is not permitted, and abortion is illegal.

    Ibañez and her partner still plan to marry later this month, whether the state recognizes their union or not.

  • 266. VIRick  |  August 4, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Filipino Same-Sex Couples to Challenge Marriage Ban at Supreme Court

    MANILA, Philippines — For some same-sex couples in the Philippines, the main obstruction to their “happily ever after” is the law. In a coordinated move on Monday, 3 August 2015, same-sex couples endeavored to prove this, heading off to their respective localities’ civil registries to try to apply for a marriage license—and to be denied.

    “We really felt we were rejected. It’s painful to be rejected by your own city hall,” said Crescencio Agbayani Jr., founding pastor of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Straight (LGBTS) Christian Church Inc. Agbayani had applied for a marriage license for himself and his partner for 10 years, Marlon Felipe, at the Quezon City hall, but weren’t entertained, as the government staff told him that under the law, marriage could only be between a man and a woman.

    Although Agabayani had expected the rejection, he explained that the “injury” of the experience would bolster the certiorari petition he and other LGBT members would file in the Supreme Court, questioning the prohibition on same-sex marriages. “I’m not blaming the civil registry or the city government. It’s the law that doesn’t recognize us,” Agbayani said. “This is not an issue of religion but of equal protection. We’re also taxpayers, a part of society that needs to be recognized,” Agbayani said.

    Agabayani added they would like to bolster the Supreme Court petition of lawyer Jesus Falcis, who earlier asked the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional some parts of the Family Code limiting marriage between a man and a woman.

    “If that [phrase] is deleted, same sex marriages will be allowed,” said Falcis, who had accompanied Agbayani on Monday. Agbayani’s rejection “is the actual case and controversy that the Supreme Court will look upon,” Falcis said. “Definitely, there’s injury. These are stable, long-term committed couples, with the intention to legalize their marriage under the law” and weren’t allowed to do so.

    Note: As an ex-US territory, the Philippines has a court system which is almost identical to the USA.

  • 267. VIRick  |  August 3, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks to the Supreme Court, Some Straight Marriages are Finally Legal in Tennessee

    When the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States, Robin Lovett and Lee Owen were ecstatic. They’ve been a couple for about two years, and while they aren’t currently engaged, marriage is a future possibility. Still, many people who know the couple had no idea the same-sex marriage decision affected them. That’s because Robin is a cisgendered bisexual girl, and Lee is a bisexual trans guy. In Tennessee, where both of them were born and raised, this means that Lee is legally barred from amending his birth certificate to reflect his male gender identity, despite living as man, and despite the fact that many of the people who know him are unaware of his trans status.

    “We’re a nice boy-girl couple. We go to church together, we do community service together, we’re the kind of couple conservatives want to see married,” Robin explained, smiling wryly.

    There are only four U.S. states in which transgender men and women are prevented from changing the gender designation on their birth certificate. (According to Lambda Legal, the other three are Idaho, Kansas, and Ohio.) Some trans people in these states may be able to change the gender marker on other forms of identification, such as a driver’s license, but the prohibition on changes to birth certificates can cause complications in many common situations where a birth certificate is the document most commonly used to establish US citizenship, and it may be necessary in order to start a new job. While, in theory, the gender marked on a birth certificate is of historic interest only, in practice, gender mismatches between documents can lead to all sorts of bureaucratic headaches. Trans individuals whose paperwork does not “match” may open themselves up to discrimination or to suspicion of identity fraud. Until the 26 June Supreme Court decision, in Tennessee, the gender on a person’s birth certificate determined whom they were and were not legally allowed to marry.

    Among the four states that don’t permit gender changes to birth certificates, Tennessee has the dubious distinction of being the only one that has written the ban into law. (The Tennessee Code states, “The sex of an individual will not be changed on the original certificate of birth as a result of sex change”). The other 3 states have policy bans only.

  • 268. RnL2008  |  August 3, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Wow, thanks for the article Rick…….there are still many battles that lie ahead, but little by little though issues will be dealt with.

  • 269. ebohlman  |  August 4, 2015 at 12:06 am

    This is extremely important: when there are no gender requirements for marriage, nobody is forced to prove (usually by having to jump through offensive and degrading hoops) that they're the "right" gender to get married.

    This aspect really demolishes the stupid claim by some on the far Left that marriage equality only benefits upper-income white males and does nothing for transgender people.

  • 270. JayJonson  |  August 5, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Yes. I remember being incensed a couple of years ago when Jennifer Boylan, who ought to know better, dismissed the marriage equality movement (and gay rights crusaders in general) in a NY Times op-ed as elitist and diverted attention away from the needs of transgender people. In a comment, I pointed out that often transgender people are prevented from being married to the people they love and that transgender people can be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or asexual.

  • 271. Fortguy  |  August 3, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    It's Monday, and the Collin County grand jury indictments against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have been unsealed. Paxton surrendered to the local sheriff, was booked into the county jail where his mugshot was taken, and then released on a $35,000 bond.

    Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune: Paxton Surrenders in Securities Fraud Indictment

    The article includes the text of the three felony indictments against Paxton.

    Meanwhile, Paxton somehow just isn't feeling the love from his fellow Republicans in the state party establishment.

    Christopher Hooks, Texas Observer: Ken Paxton Suddenly Finds Himself with Few Friends
    Aman Batheja, The Texas Tribune: Top Texas GOP Officials Offer Measured Support for Paxton

    In the case of the Batheja article, "measured support" is press-speak for when once enthusiastic GOPers no longer want their woodies measured after the name Ken Paxton is spoken.

    Both of these articles refer to the tepid support for Paxton offered by the Republican Party of Texas. Paxton has put them between a rock and a hard place. Since the Democrats have been cast out to the electoral desert for so long statewide and in suburban north Dallas area Collin County, Democrats have left no fingerprints on any of this process. The special prosecutors were appointed by a GOP judge, the judge hearing the case is a Republican as is the county sheriff, and the grand jury was drawn from a red county. The state party is forced to walk a tight line between supporting Paxton and not throwing local GOP officials under the bus.

    Terri Langford and Morgan Smith, The Texas Tribune: A Guide to the Legal Players in the Paxton Case

    So what happens moving forward? The Legislature will not meet again until 2017 unless Gov. Greg Abbott calls a special session. Therefore, the Lege can't impeach and remove him without Abbott explicitly wanting them to do so. If Paxton is convicted of a felony, he is no longer eligible to continue in office; however, we're months away from a trial and jury verdict. Here's one scenario:

    Erica Greider, Texas Monthly: The Existential Conundrum of Covering Ken Paxton

    My take? I think Abbott will want to hold his nose and keep Paxton around as AG long enough into 2016 until he can appoint a replacement to fill out the remainder of Paxton's term through the 2018 election. This means Paxton has to stay in office long enough for his successor to not be subject to being on the ballot with opponents in the Nov. 2016 election for an unexpired term. The 2016 election calendar has the party primaries tentatively scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 1. However, the state's redistricting plans for both the U.S. House and state House districts are both still in federal court with that shoe fixing to drop at any time potentially pushing the primary calendar back and possibly forcing a special session of the Lege.

    Our state leaders constantly want to remind us how straight and hetero they are, yet they sure do love acting like drama queens!

  • 272. VIRick  |  August 3, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    "…. 'measured support' is press-speak for when once-enthusiastic GOPers no longer want their woodies measured after the name Ken Paxton is spoken."

    Fortguy, thank you so much for the wonderfully apt, yet excitingly-graphic, double-entendre "translation!" LOL

  • 273. tx64jm  |  August 4, 2015 at 3:37 am

    "Since the Democrats have been cast out to the electoral desert for so long statewide and in suburban north Dallas area Collin County, Democrats have left no fingerprints on any of this process."

    Bull…. It was the notorious Texans for Public Justice that filed the complaint … and guess where they get their funding? None other than George Soros. This is a democrat tar pit and has democrat fingers all in it.

  • 274. Zack12  |  August 4, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    And yet, this case was investigated by the Texas Rangers, who are certainly NOT arm's of the Democratic party.

  • 275. Fortguy  |  August 4, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Correct. In the past, these investigations would have been conducted by the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney's office. The Republicans never trusted this office as the Austin area's very blue voters always elected Dems as DA and provided grand jury panels with a more left-leaning political view indicting Tom DeLay and Rick Perry.

    In the last session of the Lege, the GOP succeeded in passing "reforms" such as investigations by the Rangers who are part of the Department of Public Safety which is headed by a political appointee of the governor. They also allowed the cases to be presented to grand juries in officials' home counties where officials have greater ties and influence.

  • 276. Fortguy  |  August 4, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    More good reporting and commentary on the state GOP and its Paxton Problem:

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: Ken who?

    The fun part is reading about complaints against Paxton coming from his fellow GOP officials who were swindled in his investment schemes.

  • 277. tx64jm  |  August 5, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    "Some of the Texas Republican Party’s most staunchly conservative figures say they have state Attorney General Ken Paxton’s back."

    "And they’ve started to return fire, seizing on the Paxton indictments’ mention of a House ally of Speaker Joe Straus to dismiss the Paxton prosecution as payback by Team Straus for Paxton’s defeat of former Dallas Rep. Dan Branch in last year’s GOP nominating battle for attorney general."

    "“This is Perry Indictment, Part II,” Sullivan wrote. “The indictment against Ken Paxton is a sick joke. It is retribution from sore-loser Dan Branch’s political cronies, like disgraced state Rep. Byron Cook …, after their man got trounced by voters. After reading it, the indictment is an embarrassment to Texas’ criminal justice system.” Branch was close to Straus, who has presided for four sessions over the House. Galling activists such as Sullivan, Straus has enjoyed support from traditional Republicans and many Democrats."

    "On Facebook, although Openshaw waved at suspicions that the prosecution is politically inspired, he wrote, “I will ALSO NOT assume there Is no ‘there’ there. I will wait to hear the details and let things work out. … Texas conservatives need to maintain a high standard; we aren’t Democrats.”

  • 278. 1grod  |  August 4, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Alabama Supreme Court asked to limit scope of Obergefell

  • 279. Zack12  |  August 4, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Time to send in the troops if that happens.

  • 280. 1grod  |  August 6, 2015 at 3:38 am

    Piedmont (pop 4878) in Calhoun and Cherokee Co AL, both counties issuing marriage licenses, postponed for two weeks decision to add gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation to the list of protections against discrimination. Many residents and some councillors in attendance at city council were opposed. "What's next?" they asked.

  • 281. 1grod  |  August 4, 2015 at 4:17 am

    Aaron-Bush v Strange: Plaintiff's response to motion to dismiss and Notice of proceedings in the 11th Circuit –
    It notes that the 11 Circuit has yet to rule in Searcy v Strange, Strawser et al v Strange, Strawser et al v Russell and Russell v Strawser et al. The parties to Searcy and Strawser filed their position statements and motions on July 17. Those pleadings were attached as Exhibit A and B . The parties to the Florida case have also recently filed their positions with the 11th Circuit in Grimsley v Armstrong and was included in Exhibit C

  • 282. 1grod  |  August 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Given the non-compliance of 11 counties noted below, it was of interest to learn more about the status of Strawser in the Southern District Court (Judge C. Granade): Found in this link is: The District Court is likely to enter final judgment very soon and any issues concerning the class certification order may be address in an appeal from a final judgment. Doc 32 p 2. At some juncture, the number of non-compliant counties will be so few, that they too will fall in line. If Autauga Co (pop 55514) which had been issuing licenses until the individual resigned, were to begin again, the population with the next highest number of citizens would be in the mid-30,000.

  • 283. 1grod  |  August 4, 2015 at 4:35 am

    AL's Colbert Co probate judge Rosser asks AG for an advisory opinion whether probate judges can permanently stop issuing marriage licenses [ Colbert Co is issuing licenses] –

  • 284. FredDorner  |  August 4, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    In the end I think they'll find that a fundamental right cannot be unduly burdened in that way, nor will equal application sustain the pretext.

  • 285. Rick55845  |  August 4, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    At what point does the burden become undue? When one has to travel 10 miles instead of 2? 20 miles instead of 4? 40 miles? 50? 100? How would a court decide that?

  • 286. A_Jayne  |  August 5, 2015 at 9:44 am

    It would seem to me that a couple (of any orientation) having to travel to a location not served by public transportation from their location to it would constitute an undue burden. Therefore if public transportation does not flow between counties, it would include every couple in a non-issuing county.

    My reasoning for that is, when licenses are not issued in the county of residence, obtaining a license from an adjacent county requires the added expense of owning a vehicle (or hiring one) in order to access a governmental service that would otherwise be available (and for which one's taxes pay) locally.

    And all for the sake of one person's "religious objection"? Give me a break!

  • 287. allan120102  |  August 4, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    This news were from three weeks ago.

  • 288. 1grod  |  August 4, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Allan, when posting this item, I was aware that the news item's posting was not recent, but the topic is current imo: at least nine counties are not issuing any licenses, and a couple are issuing them to straights only. As Fred above said a fundamental right cannot be unduly burdened in that way. It has not been reported in earlier threads that the AG had been asked for an advisory opinion, or that a spokeswomen for the Attorney General said that it can "take several months for an opinion to be issued.", implying that one would be issued in response to this request. I considered that to be significant thought wonder why it might take long given the number of public statement that AG Strange has made post-Obergefell.

  • 289. allan120102  |  August 4, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    They are 12 not issuing to anyone. The rest are issuing, and I agree after I read it completely they were parts like you mention above where I couldn't read it in other similar news. So thanks.

  • 290. 1grod  |  August 5, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Allan: Are these the counties? Autuaga, Bibb, Choctaw, Clarke, Cleburne, Clay, Coosa, Covington, Geneva, Marengo, Pike and Washington Counties whose citizens together represent 6.4% of the population of the state?

  • 291. Bruno71  |  August 5, 2015 at 11:23 am

    While I'm not totally sure, I'd substitute Chambers in place of Coosa, and Clay is a question mark still.

  • 292. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 4, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Today in history, August 4th 2010, Judge Vaughn Walker issues his decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional under the same equal protection and due process holdings as Obergefell… It would take another three years for the stay on his ruling to be lifted and ME to go back into effect in California. And…Mexico's Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of Mexico City's Marriage Equality Law.

    …just sayin.

  • 293. JayJonson  |  August 4, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    NOM loses another case over its refusal to reveal its donors.

  • 294. Sagesse  |  August 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Sweet justice on the day that NOM is finally forced to reveal its donors.

  • 295. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 4, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    and just think of all that money they're spending on defending themselves in these lawsuits instead of on their propaganda machine.

  • 296. JayJonson  |  August 5, 2015 at 6:28 am

    I am really interested in learning who is on the list. Is there some individual who would be very embarrassed were his or her donations revealed? Or is it just that all their money has come from the Roman Catholic and LDS churches? Would that implicate these churches in money-laundering schemes? Have the churches diverted money that was donated to them for schools and hospitals and food programs to NOM?

  • 297. davepCA  |  August 5, 2015 at 8:49 am

    All good questions, and yes, it will a very good thing when this is all finally revealed.

  • 298. ebohlman  |  August 5, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Over the last few years, I've been coming to think that NOM's real goal isn't so much opposing marriage equality but trying to get campaign disclosure rules overturned.

  • 299. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 7, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Oh… their objective is to stop marriage equality, and now to reverse marriage equality… and that coincides with their other main goal… extracting as much cash from their followers as possible… with a side goal of propagating their anti gay propaganda as much as possible and where and whenever possible in the main stream media. There agendas go hand in hand… rally, inflame, and extract cash from conservatives and evangelicals… by vilifying the lgbt community.

  • 300. 1grod  |  August 8, 2015 at 4:46 am

    Whatever NOM's motivation, or that of their donors, they have been totally discredited imo and what's more their disrespect and abuse of the judicial system is a disgrace to the not-for profit (registered charity) sector. In Canada, registered charities can only direct 10% of their funds to support advocacy. Those activities must be non- partisan and can not be used to organize or call for political action such as calling for a law to be changed/retained. USA ought to set similar.requirements.

  • 301. ebohlman  |  August 8, 2015 at 8:25 am

    In the US, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (one that can raise money through tax-deductible donations) can support legislation and/or ballot issues as long as such legislative work doesn't account for a majority of its activities. It is forbidden from supporting candidates or parties.

  • 302. iocbyux  |  August 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Jamaica to hold its first gay pride celebration in the island’s capital
    Weeklong event that was previously almost unthinkable in a Caribbean country long described as the one of the globe’s most hostile places to homosexuality

  • 303. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 4, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Come back to Jamaica, what's old is what's new.
    Come back to Jamaica, we have gay pride 4 u.

  • 304. Fortguy  |  August 4, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Jamaica and Belize have both funded aggressive TV ad campaigns in the U.S. aimed at encouraging tourism and foreign investments. I wish some LGBT advocacy group could afford ad time to counter each of their ads with PSAs describing the horrible lives their own LGBT citizens are forced to endure.

  • 305. JayJonson  |  August 5, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Excellent suggestion. I remember some activists confronted the Jamaican PM when she was in New York trying to encourage investment in Jamaica; she obviously knows that their discrimination and hatred makes them vulnerable.

  • 306. guitaristbl  |  August 4, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I suppose the AG of American Samoa is still reviewing that opinion..he must be a slow reader or he simply does not think that it bears any effect on them..

  • 307. Fortguy  |  August 4, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    He can read until the cows come home. Now, if some couple demands a license and insists on making a federal case out of it, then I imagine he'll have to hire a speed reader.

  • 308. Fortguy  |  August 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Hate, HERO, and the next Houston mayor: one HERO opponent also wants to be hater-in-chief.

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: Hall for all the haters again

    Kuffner also remarks, not only the crucial role the LGBT community will play, but also the challenge and imperative to broaden the electorate, especially to younger people, in order to pass HERO and elect an inclusive mayor and city council.

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: Defending HERO

  • 309. DrBriCA  |  August 5, 2015 at 9:58 am

    The Kentucky Rowan County Clerk, Kim Davis, just won't give up! She hasn't even received the ruling from her first lawsuit last month and yet she is already starting her own lawsuit against Gov. Beshear for stating that all clerks should do their job or resign. She of course is still arguing about her religious convictions (even though she has no issue with prior divorcees or mixed marriages, as noted in the other federal hearing). She also wants the Gov to pay for these other lawsuits she is continues to face. Additionally, she is suing the state librarian who printed out the gender-neutral licenses!

  • 310. RnL2008  |  August 5, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    She's going to lose and frankly, I think she needs to be tossed in jail for contempt of a Court order…….Evangelistic Fundamentalist like this person need to know that their religious beliefs DON'T give them Carte Blanche to DISCRIMINATE against others just because they DON'T agree with who they are or who they want to marry.

  • 311. F_Young  |  August 5, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Republican Committee Quietly Rejects Anti-Gay Marriage Resolution

  • 312. JayJonson  |  August 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Judge Orlando Garcia has ordered Texas officials to issue a death certificate recognizing same-sex marriage and has further ordered AG Paxton to appear in court next week to explain why he should not be held in contempt of court for refusing to recognize same-sex marriages.

    “The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether Defendants should be held in contempt for disobedience of this Court's July 7, 2015 order, permanently enjoining Defendants from enforcing any Texas's laws that prohibit or fail to recognize same-sex marriage.”

  • 313. VIRick  |  August 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    New Orders Against Texas State Departments

    In the renamed case, "DeLeon v. Abbott," once known as "Deleon v. Perry," the original Texas marriage case in district court:

    John Allen Stone-Hoskins today, 5 August 2015, filed an emergency motion to intervene in this case to:
    (1) request the court to compel the state of Texas to issue an amended death certificate for John's deceased husband listing John as his husband's surviving spouse and;
    (2) hold defendants in contempt for having refused to recognize the marriage in the first instance.

    The Court has granted the motion to intervene and has ordered that the "Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, immediately issue an amended death certificate for James H. Stone-Hoskins to state that John Allen Stone-Hoskins is the surviving spouse of James, and in doing so, fully recognize their legal out-of-state marriage."

    As to the motion for contempt, the Court orders defendants to appear at a hearing on Wednesday, 12 August 2015, "to determine whether Defendants should be held in contempt for disobedience of this Court's 7 July 2015 order, permanently enjoining Defendants from enforcing any of Texas' laws that prohibit or fail to recognize same-sex marriage."

    Take that, Texas. We told you so,– multiple times.

    The motion to intervene, etc., is here:
    The order is here:

  • 314. Fortguy  |  August 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Oh, Mary! Sucks to be you, Kenny Paxton. Worst. Week. Ever.

    More reporting:

    Liz Crampton, The Texas Tribune: Judge: Texas Must Name Gay Spouse on Death Certificate
    Robert Wilonsky, The Dallas Morning News: Update: Ken Paxton could be held in contempt for refusing to grant same-sex death certificate

    This is such a horrible story. I feel so bad for this couple.

  • 315. davepCA  |  August 5, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Oh man I would LOVE to be at that contempt hearing next week. Anybody in Texas have time to check it out & report back here?

  • 316. Fortguy  |  August 5, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    I'd love to be there, too! It's a shame I live around 450 miles away. The last time I was in any city approaching Interstate 35 was nearly 30 years ago.

  • 317. JayJonson  |  August 6, 2015 at 6:50 am

    I am so happy that Judge Garcia acted so quickly and so decisively. IF the death certificate, which he ordered to be issued "immediately," has not been issued by the time of the hearing, you can be sure that Paxton and Cole (the interim head of the office of vital statistics) are going to be in very hot water indeed.

    Here is another article about the plaintiff and the gratuitous cruelty he has faced from Texas officials, as well as Arkansas Christianists.

    If anyone gets any information as to whether the amended death certificate, which Judge Garcia ordered to be issued immediately, has actually been issued, please post here.

  • 318. tx64jm  |  August 6, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Theres a question about whether Judge Garcia has jurisdiction here. Since the one guy died back in January 2015, Judge Garcia might not have jurisdiction to order the death certificate change. As you may remember, Anna Nicole Smith aka Vickie Lynn Marshall had a probate case that went to SCOTUS, where SCOTUS basically ruled that federal courts had no jurisdiction in probate matters (aka the probate exception to federal jurisdiction).

    Since determining who is the spouse of an intestate deceased person is a probate matter, the State is probably going to raise the probate exception.

  • 319. JayJonson  |  August 6, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I know I shouldn't reply to this troll, but I can't help telling him that he is just whistling in the wind. I do not think Judge Garcia will brook delay in complying with his very specific order made in emergency circumstances.

  • 320. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 6, 2015 at 11:03 am

    DO NOT FEED THE TROLLll!! I don't even bother down voting it anymore as that seems to feed it's ravenous ego. I can imagine it laughs and gets a kick ouf of how many negative votes and the negative attention it gets. If everyone would stop responding or down voting it, it would wither and die for lack of attention and lack of narcissistic supply. "It" never actually debates or brings news… it only comes to throw sticks in the mud, and spread dis-information…as if that's of any use.

  • 321. sfbob  |  August 6, 2015 at 10:40 am

    There is no probate issue involved. all the plaintiff wants is to have his spouse's death certificate reflect the reality that the two of them were married.

  • 322. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 6, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I think you are correct. A probate court decides the validity of a deceased person's will. This is not what is at issue here. The issue is why Texas is not obeying a court ruling to recognize a valid marriage license and the rights that flow from it. Judge Garcia is not a probate Judge, as far as I'm aware. Judge Garcia is a Federal District Judge who has a federal rights challenge before him (I"m presuming, I haven't actually read the complaint yet). This judge obviously believes he had jurisdiction to hear the federal challenge in front of him, otherwise he'd have thrown out the case. Yes, the state may question his jurisdiction, and it would be up to the 5th circuit to determine if Judge Garcia does or does not have jurisdiction… not a forum troll. If Judge Garcia is acting as a probate judge and determining the validity of a will, then perhaps not…but I don't think that is the question before him. Again, I haven't read the case before him, but this is what I gather from everyone's postings.

    And I hope Paxton or whomever is responsible is hit with contempt charges and carted off to jail, or prison or whatever they do with contemptible people in Texas. But you know Texas…It's like a whole other country.
    Oy Vey…

  • 323. sfbob  |  August 6, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Yes, that's correct. Garcia is a federal district court judge; he is neither a probate judge nor is he acting as one. The original case sought recognition of a marriage legally solemnized in another state for the specific purpose of showing the status of the deceased as "married" rather than single. Just FYI that was the precise issue in question in Obergefell when it was decided at the district court level.

    And yes I believe it is Paxton, as the representative of the state of Texas, who is being asked to appear before Judge Garcia. Because he would be in contempt of federal court it would not matter how Texas treats people found to be in contempt but what the federal courts do. Which is that they imprison and fine people found to be in contempt and release them only when they agree to stop acting in contempt or, I suppose, when some other judicial action takes place which renders the contempt citation moot.

  • 324. tx64jm  |  August 7, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Hmmm … seems the State of Texas disagrees with you, just as I predicted:

    "The fact-specific inquiry this Court foreclosed here includes such matters
    as the reopening of estate distributions already made under then-enforceable
    Texas law. See Willis v. Snodgrass, 302 S.W.2d 706 (Tex. App.––Texarkana
    1957, writ ref’d n.r.e) (defendants required to pay into the registry of the courtsums wrongfully distributed). Other issues include clawing back and
    redistributing life insurance payments or reassessing tax benefits for surviving
    spouses. Such considerations are the hallmark of the retroactivity analysis
    Stone-Hoskins eschews, and this Court’s order has foreclosed.

    In addition to a separate suit to assess retroactivity, Stone-Hoskins could
    have obtained the relief he seeks through a Texas probate proceeding to
    determine heirship. Texas statutes provide an avenue for an heir omitted from
    a judicial determination of heirship to assert a later claim. See TEX. EST. CODE
    § 202.001-.206 (judicial determination of heirship). Particularly in cases where
    equal protection issues may be implicated, Texas courts have provided a means
    for heirs to establish a right to inherit. See Dickson v. Simpson, 807 S.W.2d
    726, 728 (Tex. 1991) (despite strict statutory limitations, illegitimate child
    must be accorded “fair opportunity to establish her heirship.”); see also Turner
    v. Nesby, 848 S.W.2d 872 (Tex. App.––Austin 1993, no writ). "

    And in a footnote:

    1 At most, Obergefell applies retroactively to existing marriages, but under Texas law, Stone-Hoskins’ marriage did not exist on June 26, 2015, because his spouse had died. See, e.g., Claveria’s Estate v. Claveria, 615 S.W.2d 164, 167 (Tex. 1981) (holding that marriage—whether ceremonial or common-law—
    is terminated upon death or court decree); Curtin v. State, 238 S.W.2d 187, 190-91 (Tex. Crim. App.—1950) (holding that a putative marriage is terminated by the death of either of the parties or removal of the impediment).

    2 Moreover, by granting the intervention, this Court enabled Stone-Hoskins to bring his distinct claim in a forum where neither he nor the State Defendants reside, and where none of the alleged events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391 (general venue statute).

  • 325. JayJonson  |  August 6, 2015 at 11:21 am

    sfbob, Precisely. The issue is the enforcement of Judge Garcia's order that the state of Texas stop enforcing Texas's bans on performing and RECOGNIZING same-sex marriages. It has nothing directly to do with probate issues, though of course a recognition of a marriage may indeed be significant in settling probate questions.

  • 326. guitaristbl  |  August 6, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Will Paxton be able to be there ? He seems to be a courr room favourite lately..Not a good week for Ken !

  • 327. F_Young  |  August 5, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Poll: Truce sought between LGBT, religion, but gays lose in 'cultural war' 4-1

  • 328. JayJonson  |  August 5, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    This poll was conducted by Fox News contributor Pat Caddell, a disaffected former Democrat who has made no secret of his own opposition to same-sex marriage. I would not trust it any more than I would any of the other fulminations from Fox News.

  • 329. scream4ever  |  August 5, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Indeed. Every poll I've seen has gays pretty much tied or winning the so called "culture war".

  • 330. VIRick  |  August 5, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Come to Jesus, with Seminary's 'Second Coming' Condom

    Conservative Christians are outraged (to the point that their hemorrhoids are popping) that the Chicago Theological Seminary is distributing condoms with a bawdy slogan printed on the package at festivals across the nation.

    The seminary is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, a liberal and LGBT-inclusive denomination, and hosts an LGBTQ Religious Studies Center.

    The latex condoms come wrapped in packaging that shows a rainbow-colored version of the church's logo and the slogan "Take Two (for the second coming!)." Faculty and students handed out the condoms at Chicago's LGBT Pride parade, at the church synod's Pride Day, and at a Christian music festival in North Carolina.

  • 331. Fortguy  |  August 5, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    The was another huge court decision today. A panel of the 5th Circuit ruled the Texas voter ID law unconstitutional. This was a surprise! Did Obama pack the 5th and didn't tell anybody? Anyway, the law remains in effect until the lower district court can work out the details.

    Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune: Court: Texas Voter ID Law Violates Voting Rights Act
    Bobby Blanchard, The Dallas Morning News: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals says Texas voter ID law violates Voting Rights Act

    The state, ie. Ken Paxton, can appeal either to an en banc hearing of the 5th or to the Supreme Court. I hope Paxton's appellate strategy is to try to impress the court with his personal awesomeness.

    I suspect the voter ID law will be resolved before the presidential election. However, it looks like Houston is stuck with it this year.

  • 332. tx64jm  |  August 5, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    No, a panel of the 5th circuit did NOT rule the Texas voter ID law unconstitutional. In fact, it found for the State on the issue:

    "For the reasons stated above, we VACATE the district court’s judgment
    that SB 14 was passed with a racially discriminatory purpose and REMAND
    for further consideration of Plaintiffs’ discriminatory purpose claims, using the
    proper legal standards and evidence. We VACATE the district court’s holding
    that SB 14 is a poll tax under the Fourteenth and Twenty-Fourth Amendments
    and RENDER judgment for the State on this issue. We need not and do not
    address whether SB 14 unconstitutionally burdens the right to vote under the
    First and Fourteenth Amendments; therefore, we VACATE the district court’s
    judgment on that issue and DISMISS those claims.
    We AFFIRM the district
    court’s finding that SB 14 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act through
    its discriminatory effects and REMAND for consideration of the appropriate

  • 333. Fortguy  |  August 5, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Sadly, I have to concede a factual error on my part that the 5th did not rule the law unconstitutional, but merely in violation of the VRA. The articles I posted had not yet been updated to include the text of the court decision when I first posted. True to form, the 5th recognizes no citizen's inherent right to vote, and upholds the right of the states to define their own electorates provided they don't discriminate under the VRA. Otherwise, should the VRA be repealed or overturned, they would be totally fine with efforts to keep citizens from voting, just as they will continue to be after the district court merely broadens acceptable forms of ID, with no empirical evidence, to conform with their ruling.

    This absolutely must go to SCOTUS.

  • 334. tx64jm  |  August 6, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Just out of curiosity … for what? Because you cant use a forged utility bill that you printed on your home printer as ID to vote?

    The State is basically giving out free ID cards, just go to the drivers license office and get one … even the copy of your birth certificate as proof of citizenship is free for this purpose.

  • 335. gay_avenger  |  August 6, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Your statement (below) is untrue, all states charge a fee to obtain a copy of one's birth certificate and that fee varies. I live in Texas but was born in Ohio and had to pay $20 to Ohio to get a copy of my birth certificate just to renew my Texas driver license. You are just another right wing troll spreading lies about voter fraud. The real fraud is the propaganda being spun by older white CONservatives, mostly coming from the racists within your party.

    "… even the copy of your birth certificate as proof of citizenship is free for this purpose."

  • 336. tx64jm  |  August 6, 2015 at 7:27 am

    You dont know what you're talking about.

    "SECTION 1. Section 191.0046, Health and Safety Code, is
    amended by adding Subsections (e) and (f) to read as follows:
    (e) It is the intent of the legislature to not impose a cost
    for obtaining certified records for the purpose of obtaining an
    election identification certificate issued pursuant to Chapter
    521A, Transportation Code. Notwithstanding any other law, the
    state registrar, a local registrar, or a county clerk shall not
    charge a fee to an applicant that is associated with searching for
    or providing a record, including a certified copy of a birth record,
    if the applicant states that the applicant is requesting the record
    for the purpose of obtaining an election identification certificate
    under Section 521A.001, Transportation Code.

    So yes, in Texas, a copy of your birth certificate is FREE if you state that you are using it to get a Voter ID card.

  • 337. sfbob  |  August 6, 2015 at 10:37 am

    You've failed reading comprehension here.

    "I live in Texas but was born in Ohio and had to pay $20 to Ohio to get a copy of my birth certificate just to renew my Texas driver license."

    The Texas law you cited may help native-born Texans; it does not good for people born elsewhere who've relocated to Texas.

  • 338. tx64jm  |  August 6, 2015 at 11:01 am

    No I understood he was born in Ohio.

    His assertion was: "Your statement (below) is untrue, all states charge a fee to obtain a copy of one's birth certificate and that fee varies."

    That is not a correct assertion for native Texans, as both you and I have pointed out.

  • 339. gay_avenger  |  August 6, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Yes I do know what I am talking about. Birth certificates ARE not free:


    “You can use this application to order Texas Vital Records online including:

    Birth Certificate or Verification
    Death Certificate or Verification
    Marriage Verification
    Divorce Verification

    Ordering & Payment

    Payment can only be made with a credit card or major-brand debit card (Visa, MasterCard).
    Most orders are processed within 10-15 state business days.
    Once your order is confirmed, it cannot be cancelled. If the record requested is not found, the fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.
    To request records in person or through alternative methods, or to request amendments to birth or death records, follow the instructions on the Texas Vital Statistics website.
    To request vital records from other states, visit the National Center for Health Statistics website.

    Shipping & Delivery

    Overnight or next-day deliveries are not available online.
    Orders can be delivered to the United States, U.S. territories and commonwealths, and U.S. military addresses (APO, FPO). For deliveries to other locations, follow instructions on the Texas Vital Statistics website.”

  • 340. tx64jm  |  August 6, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    No, you dont.

    "The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is adopting a rule amendment which waives the fees charged under Title 25 of the Texas Administrative Code, Section 181.22 for a certified copy of a birth record for an individual who requires a certified copy in order to obtain an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) issued by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). "

  • 341. VIRick  |  August 5, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Court Ends Nebraska's Ban on Same-Sex Foster Parents

    Lincoln, NE – Today, 5 August 2015, Nebraska state District Court Judge Colborn of Lancaster County (Lincoln) ruled, in "Stewart v. Heineman," that Nebraska’s discriminatory treatment, policy, and practice toward gay and lesbian foster parents is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause. The ACLU of Nebraska, the ACLU LGBT Rights & HIV Project, and the New York law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell filed suit on behalf of three same-sex couples who wanted to be foster parents for children in Nebraska. The policy stems from a 1995 memo, "Memo 1-95," issued by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

  • 342. JayJonson  |  August 6, 2015 at 6:46 am

    This is wonderful news and demonstrates the power of Obergefell. Lots of discriminatory laws across the country are going to fall as a result of the marriage equality ruling.

  • 343. davepCA  |  August 6, 2015 at 9:47 am

    TWO WEEKS since any new articles or even a new "Open Thread" have been posted here at EoT, even though, as we have seen in the comments, there have been plenty of news events worthy of a new article. The comment section under the current open thread article is now way too big to navigate. What is going on with this site?

  • 344. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 6, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Two things Dave:

    1) The Marriage Equality war has been won, for all intents and purposes. EoT was founded to "Bring LGBT news from the Courts". While there have been LGBT cases still going to court… apparently the cases are just small clean up items and not obviously news worthy… enough.

    2) The powers that be don't feel the remaining and lingering cases are big enough to warrant or spur another $10,000 fund raising campaign to cover another junket to cover a new 1-2 hour court case in another city. So, unless another $10,000 fund raising campaign to cover a 2 hour junket court case can be started, it looks like EoT will be shuttered with the likes of Freedom to Marry and the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

    The LGBT court cases that remain, are mainly those that only affect the specific individuals involved (birth certificates, death certificates, venues, services etc). The upcoming suits are more indirect than direct influences on nationwide or statewide changes. Though granted, if you issue a death certificate for one, it'll follow that all will be granted death certs. Many of the new and upcoming cases will be imbued with a "religious liberty" vs Gay rights aura, than Equality…though in actuality the issues are about equality. The new 2015 LGBT Equality movement is currently being launched in congress instead of the courts, though that could change in the future. So the next generation of Equality isn't "On Trial" as much as it is a political football and LGBT mission.

  • 345. davepCA  |  August 6, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I'm not talking about anyone going on a field trip to a trial or other event, I'm talking about just putting up a new article to report about any of the various news items that we have been discussing here in the comment. For example, the ME developments in the US Virgin Islands. I'm talking about the site just continuing to do business as usual, same as it was doing during all of the preceding long stretches of time between any kind of trip to any trial or any other event. Such as – why no new article about the new bill for comprehensive LGBT anti-discrimination protections?

  • 346. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 6, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I don't think you got what I was saying.

    To simplify… It appears that unless this site can raise thousands of dollars for a two day junket…there is no incentive to keep it running. Obviously there are costs in running the site, but who is going to donate to raise $10,000 again to keep the site going? Hopefully everyone is saving up for their summer wedding. 🙂 Or to buy wedding gifts.

    If anyone wants to get me a wedding gift…please,..nothing that collects dust or has a face.

  • 347. davepCA  |  August 6, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I hope you're wrong about that, and I question it because the site began and then ran for a long time simply for the purpose of providing a central forum for providing and sharing information about ME issues and news, not as an excuse to collect money for trips to visit out of town trials.

    Maybe I'm just being a little less cynical / more naive today than others might be. But if you're right, and the admins are no longer interested in maintaining the site for whatever reason, they should say so and wrap things up, as is being done by some of the various organizations that existed to work for ME.

  • 348. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I hope I'm wrong too. I joined this site in late 2014, but had been reading it occasionally when I found it about a year earlier.

    But as you can see, many here, including and especially VIRick have found plenty of information and news to share…a lot of it that's not that obvious in google news (though a lot of it is too). So, as gay avenger says…why no new threads for 2 weeks? It can't take but a minute to post a new thread. I bet VIRick wouldn't mind volunteering to take over that duty. Heck I would do that. I think over the past 9 months (at least), we've gotten more news and trial info from VIRick and others than from Scottie.

    I am curious though. How many regulars here on EoT would donate to a new $10,000 fund raising campaign for "a field trip" as you call it to a one day congressional committee hearing? If you would donate to a new campaign… reply or vote up. If you wouldn't donate, vote this comment down. If you don't care one way or the other, don't vote at all.

    I agree with you too… if the organizers of this site think it's no longer relevant or too costly to run, they should announce it's being closed… or say they're waiting to maintain it until they can come up with a new fund raising campaign.

  • 349. gay_avenger  |  August 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Being a former owner of two large niche sites similar to this one, I can tell you that webhosting fees for a platform such as this one is not very expensive. One of the sites I co-owned has Facebook like features with almost 50 thousand users we spent less than 100 a month for hosting fees. If EoT decides to phase this site out they should first offer some of the main commenters here an opportunity to take over the existing threads allowing the site to become user operated.

  • 350. gay_avenger  |  August 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I also think VIRick would be real good running this site if Scottie doesn't want to start new threads. VIRick has been on top real good, no pun intended.

  • 351. F_Young  |  August 6, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Tony Minas Trith: "How many regulars here on EoT would donate to a new $10,000 fund raising campaign for "a field trip" as you call it to a one day congressional committee hearing? "

    I wouldn't donate for a trip, but I would donate to keep this site alive.
    So, I am posting my own question. If you would donate to maintain this site… reply or vote up THIS COMMENT. If you wouldn't donate, vote THIS comment down. If you don't care one way or the other, don't vote at all.

  • 352. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 6, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    F Young… That's all fine and noble, but does it take $10,000 or more per year to run this site? According to others here, no. And besides providing an outlet for people's personal opinions… what would be the mission of the site… that would actually and concretely support GLBT equality? I'm supposing the next equality mission is getting the 2015 Equality Act passed thru congress and signed by whoever is President at the time. How would this news exchange and discussion board concretely and effectively propel that agenda… or what agenda and mission should this site have going forward.

  • 353. F_Young  |  August 7, 2015 at 2:42 am

    "That's all fine and noble, but does it take $10,000 or more per year to run this site? According to others here, no. And besides providing an outlet for people's personal opinions… what would be the mission of the site… that would actually and concretely support GLBT equality?"

    I was not assuming that it would cost $10,000 a year. I assumed that the cost would be low enough that it could be be financed by donations if there is sufficient interest.

    As for its mission, I assumed that it would be news sharing along the lines noted by DavepCA I encourage anyone with other ideas for its mission that would be consistent with a low cost volunteer effort to post their ideas below.

    To inform this discussion, you should be aware of the following post by davepCA:

    "The one alternative that comes to mind first is "Equality Case Files" which operates on Facebook. It's run by Kathleen, who was one of the original participating commenters here on this site back when we were the "Prop 8 Trial Tracker". She provided the site with a TON of accurate, timely, and relevant information similar to what our dear VIRick is doing today, but with even more of an emphasis on insight into the specific legal questions of a given news story."

    Also, VIRick has for some time been regularly posting news to a NSFW de facto site:
    For more information about that site, see VIRick's earlier post in this EoT thread:

  • 354. EricKoszyk  |  August 9, 2015 at 7:21 am

    If they don't at least give us an explanation, I for one will never donate money to them again. It's rude and it's against Fundraising 101.

  • 355. gay_avenger  |  August 6, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    It doesn't take much effort or time for anyone at EoT to start a new thread but I suspect since there will be no more dollar donations coming in for this site Scottie is unlikely to expend much effort on this site.

  • 356. 1grod  |  August 7, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Tony, yes the site has been focused on marriage, but the caption under Equality on Trial is Bringing You LGBT News From the Courts suggests a much wider mandate.

  • 357. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 7, 2015 at 8:45 am

    I'm quite aware of that… and yet there is still no effort to post anything new from Scottie or anyone else on any news front, marriage or otherwise. Perhaps there is a good reason, or perhaps it's as Gay Avenger and I have said… with no more $10K junket campaigns, there is little incentive to continue to update this site. Maybe there is another reason… and if so, how hard is it to post a quick couple of sentences explaining why the "lgbt news from the courts" has suddenly stopped? I hope I'm wrong, because there is a good community of passionate and interesting contributors here. But we can't just continue posting to this last endless thread indefinitely. We went into the weeds with this thread days ago and are moving into the woods. Who's even left to read this far down… and why are we talking about this instead of actual equality news and progress.

  • 358. ianbirmingham  |  August 7, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    It's much easier if you use the "Sort Comments By Last Activity" link at the top of the comments section. But you still get the collapsed sub-threads whenever the comment count exceeds 100. So it would be best to have a new thread at least every week. It probably wouldn't be too hard to write a script to do that (creating a new thread once a week) automatically.

  • 359. F_Young  |  August 7, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    ianbirmingham: "So it would be best to have a new thread at least every week."

    Once a day would be better.

  • 360. A_Jayne  |  August 6, 2015 at 10:40 am

    What's going on with Scottie? For a while, it seemed as if he was (at least periodically) reading the thread – now I see no evidence even of that. Is he okay? Has something happened to him that keeps him from the site?

    I see Matt Baume posting things elsewhere, but not here.

    It's a puzzlement, for sure…

  • 361. gay_avenger  |  August 6, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I suspect EoT realizes there won't be much $$$ flowing into the coffers for THIS site since ME is the law of the land and probably is looking at some new ways to get people to donate money. Scottie only followed these threads closely during their fundraising campaigns. Rarely did he or other EoT staffers ever respond to these threads as they probably are involved in several other internet discussion boards.

    The regular nonpaid commenters and donors made the site what it was.

  • 362. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 6, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Finally…..someone who gets what I was saying. No more fund $$,$$$.$$ raising, no more EoT site. I think this site is or was an off shoot of California's Courage Campaign.
    Though if a campaign to raise $$$ for a junket to public Congressional committee hearings could get going…. This site would continue.

    Thanks Mr. Avenger.

  • 363. Rick55845  |  August 6, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    It would be nice if this site gets left up and continues to be available for historical reference, but the IntenseDebate commenting system should be turned off if the site is no longer going to be monitored. It'll be a spammer's haven before long, if left to itself.

    Are there any other forums where GLBT issues are discussed in such erudite fashion as they have been here? If so, it's probably time to pack up here and emigrate.

  • 364. davepCA  |  August 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    The one alternative that comes to mind first is "Equality Case Files" which operates on Facebook. It's run by Kathleen, who was one of the original participating commenters here on this site back when we were the "Prop 8 Trial Tracker". She provided the site with a TON of accurate, timely, and relevant information similar to what our dear VIRick is doing today, but with even more of an emphasis on insight into the specific legal questions of a given news story.

  • 365. Rick55845  |  August 6, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks for that info, Dave. It won't work for me, though. I don't have a Facebook account, nor any desire to create one. But for those who do, it could be a good alternative.

  • 366. davepCA  |  August 6, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Yeah, same here. In fact that one Facebook page would be what could convince me to finally become 'Facebooked" if anything could do so, but I'm still holding out.

  • 367. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 7, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Same for me… I quit Facebook because no one I knew had a single bit of interest in marriage equality, not even my gay family or lesbian colleagues…and they still don't. Other than the page you mention, I find no redeeming qualities in Facebook whatsoever. Facebook is mainly the venue for narcissists to escape and post the minutuea of their lives and repost joke memes. But if the care takers of this site are abanonding it, I would like to find and follow another similar forum… that's not on Facebook.

  • 368. Bruno71  |  August 6, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I've noticed he's been active on Facebook since this thread was posted, occasionally posting on EQCF threads.

  • 369. 1grod  |  August 6, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Scottie, I noted that in 'the comment section' on developments in Deboer v Snyder (July 26) and in the Hard v Bentley case (July 29th) you do so on Equality Case File's facebook. I too wondered why there and not also here. G

  • 370. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 7, 2015 at 9:22 am

    While I appreciate Matt Baum's efforts to read us all the weekly Marriage News headlines, he was never really an interactive contributor to this forum. This site was just a place to post his link and get clicks/traffic. Not that there's anything wrong with that… he just wasn't a contributor or part of the EoT community that came to be. I'm sure I'll still click and watch his video posts on YouTube. They're not award material, but they're not bad.

  • 371. VIRick  |  August 6, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Guys, the world will not (totally) come to an end if EoT were to fold up. Here's why:

    Almost everything I've ever posted here regarding marriage equality (plus a lot more, dating back much earlier than my actively joining EoT), along with selected, edited commentaries many of you have made, is all posted and archived on another website.

    Granted, EoT has a much higher tenor of intellectual discourse. Therefore, it would be my preference that EoT continue to function. However, the other site, <a href=",” target=”_blank”>, because it is primarily geared to an entirely different issue (small dicks), won't be disappearing anytime soon. Over there, once you've accessed the "Forum Index" page, run down the listing (ignoring everything else) until you find the off-topic forum entitled "Rant, Rave, and Review." All of my posts (plus edited versions of some of yours) are re-posted there, but filed somewhat differently. All marriage equality court cases pertinent to a given state are filed together under that state's heading. Later, once appealed, cases are then filed under the relevant circuit court heading and/or the Supreme Court. In addition, special entries have been made for a host of various foreign countries, but with a special focus on Mexico.

    Because of the different formatting, (and as a short-cut) the archive feature at… is actually easier to utilize. I refer to it constantly. Join me there if you wish. In the meantime, I'll continue posting the same material at both locations.

  • 372. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2015 at 12:44 am

    I've been an admin on a site called Real Talk and it's a free site, folks need to register just like here and folks can set up new threads as need be…….pretty cool, but I for one would be sad to see this site shut down and lose contact with all of the folks I consider to be friends. Some have already moved on, but in my opinion, the battle is NOT over and folks want to go someplace to chat with like-minded individuals, also find solutions to upcoming issues.

    I'm wondering why Scottie HASN'T stepped in and said something, at least let us know what is happening.

  • 373. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 8, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Thanks Rose.
    Do you have a link?

  • 374. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Here ya go:

    If you go up to the top of the page, there's a place to register……..but if you just want to check it out look up Real Talk or reta.forumotion

  • 375. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2015 at 9:29 am

    This is were you can create your forum and set it up.

  • 376. salton22  |  August 8, 2015 at 1:17 am

    Hi everybody (thanks for all you do),
    I have never commented on this site, today is a first. Here is what I just sent to Courage Campaign. I'll let you know what, if and when I get an answer.

    I have been following EoT since the very early days of Prop8. Now that it looks as if it is
    going to the dogs, I think it's time for me to cancel my small monthly donation. I live in
    France, so I'm only remotely interested in what else is happening in California. On the other
    hand, EoT has been going on only due to the commenters who are still feeding the
    discussion without any incentive from Courage Campaign. The very small input from your
    team seems to have dwindled even theough there is still much to be done in the area of
    LGBT rights. Please let me know what are your intentions concerning EoT so I can act
    Thank you for your prompt answer.
    Charles H. MIchel

  • 377. Sagesse  |  August 8, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    I will miss this community. It has been a very special place to meet people who genuinely care about equal treatment for everyone, who engage the legal and social issues in a thoughtful and intelligent way. I have been coming here since Day 3 of the Prop 8 trial.

    For some reason, the sponsors of the site don't think it's important enough to end things properly and say good-by. It's been nice knowing you all.

  • 378. davepCA  |  August 8, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    As another one of the folks who have been here from the start, I'll really miss you, Sagesse!

    I really hope that this site will get back on track, or if not, perhaps a lot of us who care to might find another site and move there….

  • 379. Sagesse  |  August 9, 2015 at 5:43 am

    I'm not moving on just yet, but I didn't want to wake up one morning and find this site gone, without having said my piece.

    I have been thinking about where I might go to replace the quality of the daily posts-that-used-to-be and the community discussion, which to my mind has always been 80% of the value of site.

    For content, I'm thinking Slate. Their legal commentary by Dahlia Lithwick is excellent, including the Amicus podcast interviews. And for general LGBT issues, the Outward blog and Mark Joseph Stern in particular. And the comments are good. I have not mentioned it here because they recently set up a paywall, which would not work for many here. I don't pay-subscribe to much on the net… the New York Times, the Dish (in the day), and now Slate (and my local and Canada's national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, but it doesn't count because it comes to my door every day).

    As for the community, I don't think it can be duplicated. The civility (mostly) and the sincere interest and quality of the news contributions and observations, on LGBT rights matters, does not exist anywhere else that I have found.

  • 380. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Let's NOT give up on them yet…….and let's see about finding a place to move to if this site does go away…….but there is just to much still to fight for and to share our thoughts with others.

    Hope we all hang around for a bit, but I did give a link to Tony and maybe a site is what we need to continue to share ideas with.

  • 381. RnL2008  |  August 6, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I find this site to be informative and have less confrontational posters than another site I am on, which is why I continue to pop in here to see what's going on and the opinions you all post…… lose this site, would be disappointing in my opinion and just because we have marriage Equality, DOESN'T mean the fight or work is done……..hopefully this site continues going forward.

  • 382. VIRick  |  August 6, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    New Demands for Marriage Equality Placed Before Mexico's Supreme Court

    On 5 August 2015, Alex Alí Méndez Díaz has filed new sets of separate paperwork with Mexico's Supreme Court demanding marriage equality now for both Oaxaca and Sinaloa, given that the Supreme Court of Mexico has already TWICE declared that the Family Code provisions of both states, the first in 2013 and again in 2014, and the second in 2014 and then again in 2015, to be unconstitutional. In the interim, neither state has bothered to alter its code to remove the unconstitutional marriage provisions banning same-sex couples.

    As for the first, Alex said, "Vamos por el matrimonio igualitario en Oaxaca… Congreso demandado ante la SCJN." (We are going for marriage equality in Oaxaca. (The state) Congress is the defendant before the Supreme Court).

    As for the second, he stated, "Si el Congreso de Sinaloa no reforma su Código Familiar… pues los demandamos en la SCJN." (Since the state Congress of Sinaloa refuses to reform its Family Code … we will thus demand it of them at the Supreme Court).

  • 383. 1grod  |  August 7, 2015 at 4:22 am

    Alabama has few options

  • 384. 1grod  |  August 7, 2015 at 4:30 am

    Committee of Alabama's Legislature approves bill to remove issuing marriage licenses from probate judge duties

  • 385. montezuma58  |  August 7, 2015 at 10:12 am

    This is nothing more than a cheap attempt to score right wing brownie points. It doesn't make the state any more or less involved with marriage. Plus it is likely to create more problems than it solves. Also they are wasting time on this during a special session called to sort out a budget.

  • 386. RnL2008  |  August 7, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    The supposed Contractual Agreement would CREATE more issues than resolve and DON'T think for one second that HETEROSEXUALS would sit back and allow this to actually take place………this supposed bill is just an ASININE way to basically bring back Civil Unions, which AREN'T recognized by the Federal Government or in other States……and the cost would be OUTRAGEOUS!!!

  • 387. Bruno71  |  August 7, 2015 at 11:56 am

    This article suggests that ME holdout Jerry Pow of Bibb County's tenure is coming to an end. Doesn't say when or why.

  • 388. JayJonson  |  August 7, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Texas finally issues amended death certificate to widowed spouse in response to Judge Orlando Garcia's order. Attorney General Paxton and Interim Director Cole still scheduled to appear before Judge Garcia to explain why they should not be held in contempt for not issuing the death certificate in the first place.

  • 389. Bruno71  |  August 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Finally an update on rogue counties from Ballotpedia. Unfortunately, not much has changed:

  • 390. 1grod  |  August 7, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Bruno thanks. I've been looking for this info. With respect to Alabama, Ballotpedia indicated that in their August 7 survey of AL counties, Coosa and Clay are issuing!. That bring issuing counties to 55 – 93.6%.of the state's citizens reside in equality counties! In reality, future change is likely to be incremental and likely pushed. Consider Houston Co. AL (pop 101,000). They had received only 1 application since June 26. But one visibly couple (there was a rally) contributed to the probate judge's change of mind – announced immediately after that rally. All of these counties have less than half or the population of Houston.

  • 391. Bruno71  |  August 8, 2015 at 9:28 am

    They'd listed both Coosa and Clay as issuing in the previous update, too. Keep in mind, though, that they are not giving 100% accurate info, since they've left off Casey County, Kentucky for many weeks now. As far as these holdout counties go, they'll hold out as long as their citizenry lets them hold out. If people get upset that they have to travel long distances to get a license, they'll likely cave eventually. Change may also come when new probate judges are elected or appointed. But don't expect these current probate judges to experience much impetus to change: the rural counties they represent are strongly anti-gay, and seem to support their decisions to opt out of the marriage business.

  • 392. 1grod  |  August 8, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Bruno: I take your point, but the impact of probate judge's decision on straight couples is significant!. Drawing on AL State's Vital Statistics: Marriages by County 2011 [M] as representative of any year, and 2010 data SPLC recently published on the number of same sex couples per county as representative of potential 1-time-couples [C], the following picture emerges:- Bibb Co – M: 254, C: 4; Cleburne – M: 146, C: 5; Choctaw – M: 171, C:10; Washington – M: 634, C: 11; Marengo – M 134, C: 16; Clarke – 145, C: 29; Geneva – M: 247, C: 31; Covington – M: 370, C: 32; Pike – M: 206, C: 35; Chambers – 288, C:42 and Autauga – M: 408, C: 66. That is Total M: 3003 and Total C: 281
    Obviously the impetus for change will come from straight couples. Consider Washington Co stats and $s lost. Could straight and gay couples together be the agents of change?
    I'm sure we and others bloggers agree when considered in the context of fundamental individual rights, any deprivation is unjust.. The probate judges are shafting a lot of couples and potentially breeding a lot of negative emotions against LGBTers. SICK if that is what they hoped for,

  • 393. ianbirmingham  |  August 7, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    A federal judge Wednesday ordered [Texas Attorney General Ken] Paxton and another state official to appear at a contempt hearing next week because they violated his July ruling instructing state officials to recognize same-sex marriages following June's Supreme Court decision. ..

  • 394. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 8, 2015 at 4:38 am

    I can't wait to hear the outcome of that hearing.
    Perhaps we'll be on comment 897 by Wednesday on this thread.

  • 395. 1grod  |  August 8, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Which begs the question why we all do not use the next earlier thread [below] with 37 comments. Start tomorrow!. We are the one who keep contributing to the site and benefiting from others' contributions. Impressed by Charles from France who said, if you can not monitor the site, I'll stop my monthly contribution!

  • 396. F_Young  |  August 8, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Jamaica’s first LGBT Pride celebrations signal turning tides

    First dubbed by Time magazine as "the most homophobic place on Earth" in 2006, Jamaica bucked its reputation with the hosting of the English-speaking Caribbean's first Gay Pride celebration.

    "…English-speaking Caribbean's first Gay Pride celebration"

    VIRick, has Puerto Rico never held a Gay Pride or is it considered to be not a part of the English speaking Caribbean?

  • 397. VIRick  |  August 8, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    F_Young, Puerto Rico has gay performances of one kind or another all the time. However, Puerto Rico is also over 90% Spanish-speaking and maybe 10% English-speaking (as one's primary language, although many people are fairly bi-lingual, and the government uses both as official languages). Here in the USVI, we're about 60% English-speaking, 35% Spanish-speaking and 5% French-speaking (again as one's primary language, although a fair number are also bi-lingual, with the government also using both English and Spanish as official languages).

    Usually, the phrase "English-speaking Caribbean" is a shorthand way of collectively referring to all of the British and ex-British islands as a group. Neither Puerto Rico nor the USVI were ever British. Yet immediately next door, the BVI would definitely be included as part of the "English-speaking Caribbean."

  • 398. F_Young  |  August 9, 2015 at 3:11 am

    Thanks for the clarification, Rick. I would never have thought that the USVI were not part of the "English Speaking Caribbean." Also, I was unaware of the French speaking presence in the USVI.

    Have there been any gay pride celebrations on the USVI?

    By the way, everyone, I'll continue to post replies to comments in this overloaded "Open Thread," but I will be posting my own new posts only in the older "Equality News Roundup," at least until it too starts collapsing.

  • 399. ianbirmingham  |  August 8, 2015 at 11:13 am

    The mom who fights back with rainbow paint: Proud mother of bisexual teens paints over anti-gay graffiti that was scrawled on their garage

  • 400. Deeelaaach  |  August 9, 2015 at 3:53 am

    In case it sounds like it below, I want to be clear that I'm not writing this site off or those who run it. Not yet anyway.

    I've been on this site since the days we were discussing whether or not the Prop8TrialTracker logo was fair use as a parody of another organization's logo (I forget which one, but my faulty memory says it was the logo of the Prop 8 proponents). Regardless of whether this site lives or dies, I thank those in charge for their contribution in creating the site in the first place, and then for running it for all these years, and for writing daily articles and keeping up with stuff that I could never keep track of myself, at least not without this site.

    I also thank the regular contributors to this site, both current and former. The site would not work without them, nor would it have worked without the regular contributions by Scottie, Matt, etc. If this site does go the way of all good things, I will miss it, and you, just as I miss contributors past who have left for whatever reason or who simply lurk behind their keyboards and displays.

    I don't post much myself these days, but I've probably read every article posted on this site since its inception, and probably 95 percent of the comments. Yeah, I've tried to read the other 5%, but mental fog caused by my illness allows too easily the confusion caused by the intricacies of law found in these comments. So I don't read all of them simply because I can't understand them; I start to read them but I have to stop when my brain hurts too much, lol. But almost every day, I'm on this site trying to catch up. It's at the top of my browser speed dial, and the first site I'm on at the beginning of most of my days.

    I do hope though that the site can and will be maintained. If I had the $1,000 per year or so that it would take to maintain the site, I'd consider taking it over myself. Since I'm living paycheck to paycheck (one financial disaster away from the street, aside from the medical one that created the paycheck to paycheck situation), that is out of the question. So I can understand if the site folds because the contributions to the yearly site costs dry up. If the money ain't there, the money ain't there.

    So to all, owner, author, and contributor alike, thank you. Thank you for enriching my life.

  • 401. EricKoszyk  |  August 9, 2015 at 7:13 am

    I will say this, if they abandon the site without even a short explanation, I for one will never donate any money again to them or the Courage Institute. No matter how much good work they've done in the past.

    They at the very least owe us an explanation on what their intentions are.

  • 402. EricKoszyk  |  August 9, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Has anyone heard from those running this site?

    I hope they haven't abandoned it since there will be plenty of other court cases regarding LGBT issues (housing, employment, etc etc) and since if they abandoned it it will probably be taken over by trolls eventually, which would be a shame since it's still a great resource.

    I hope they would at least maintain it enough to post news once a week. After all, many of us gave money to them for their trouble.


  • 403. 1grod  |  August 9, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Eric I'm one of those donors. I agree! G

  • 404. 1grod  |  August 9, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Hi, as of today, I and others have been using the next site below with 47 comments to post new items. I suggest that it is less cumbersome that here with every additional comment on a particular item collapsed. Not much motivation to post if not one is aware that they are there. If Scottie, Jacob or others don't give the site the attention it needs, we should finds ways to continue to make our efforts meaningful here. G

  • 405. EricKoszyk  |  August 9, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Another good site is which gives a daily rundown of all news relating to marriage equality worldwide. Unfortunately it doesn't give analysis or commentary.

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