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News round-up and open thread


– In Alabama, Paul Hard’s mother-in-law has appealed the decision in his favor in the marriage case. She also asks for an injunction preventing him from receiving the proceeds from the wrongful death lawsuit.

– The Sixth Circuit has denied a request for a stay pending appeal in the case involving the Rowan County clerk’s refusal to issue marriage licenses.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 27, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Thursday Morning August 27th:
    Defiant Kentucky Clerk’s Office Again Refuses Marriage License to Gay Couple Hours After Losing Latest Court Battle

    Lets see how long her defiance lasts after sanctions (Fees and or Jail time) are imposed. It's easy to be stubborn and defiant from the comfort of her county office and behind closed doors. I bet she won't last 48 hours once Federal Marshals have booked her. But I wouldn't be surprised if someone's already started an online fund raising campaign to pay any fines that are imposed on her. As long as it's only fines and no jail time, she may continue to drag this out for months with the financial donations of some evangelistas.

    As Rose would say, this woman (and I use the term loosely) NEEDS to be completely REMOVED from office NOW. Someone said Davis is now on her 4th Marriage.

  • 2. DrPatrick1  |  August 27, 2015 at 8:36 am

    I'll be ok if they wanna donate to pay her fines. Let that total climb as high as possible. Those who would donate extra money to help her, would willingly donate to causes which hurt us. With elections next year, I'd say let them waste as much money as possible. Lock her ass up, keep the fines piling up, and let someone else issue the licenses in her place. That is my dream scenario!

  • 3. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 27, 2015 at 8:49 am

    I like your thinking DrPatrick.

    I recall reading somewhere that one of the the deputy clerks was willing to issue licences. Has anyone got a copy of Judge Bunning's order? Someone just needs to go ask him if his stay is now lifted or not, and then ask him to impose sanctions for contempt of court, unless Davis can get Kagan or all of SCOTUS to grant her a temporary restraining order today. I'd love to see Mrs. Davis in leg and hand cuffs in her nice Orange Jump Suit. I hope someone told her to prepare for a body cavity search. That's gotta be a fun job.

    Resistance is Futile Kimmy. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!

  • 4. sfbob  |  August 27, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Yes in fact I DO have Judge Bunning's (original) order. Right here:

    Kagan will not be so foolish as to simply deny a stay on her own. She'll take it to the entire court, who will deny Davis's request. Let's see her appeal THAT.

    One caveat though: if Davis is incarcerated she becomes legally "absent." That allows the judge executive to issue marriage licenses in her stead which he is willing to do. The problem is that doing so could render the plaintiffs' case moot. And if that happens Davis will be free to come back and start denying marriage licenses all over again to new couples.

  • 5. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 27, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Other couples. gay or straight can simply ask to join the current suit. And there are, to my knowledge four plaintiff couples. If one of the couples is not in a big hurry, say they're planning a june wedding, they could continue the suit.

    I don't think Kagan will deny the stay herself either. The court seems to have developed protocol around marriage related stay requests. Though I wonder if she'd issue a temporary 48 hour stay until the rest of the court weighs in. It would seem pretty clear, that if the court denies a stay in this case, there is no reason to think they'd do so in the future with substantially similar requests from Texas, Alabama and elsewhere. Perhaps Liberty Council and others will get the hint.

  • 6. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 27, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Do you have a copy of Judge Bunning's August 17th stay order?

    Never mind. I found a copy of Judge Bunning's Clarification of his stay. The relevant language is

    …IT IS ORDERED that the Court’s temporary stay of its August 17, 2015 Order shall expire on August 31, 2015, absent an Order to the contrary by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    So, unless the 6th "ordered" an immediate compliance with the original Injunction, it looks like the Stay expires on Monday August 31st.. I would think the stay is expired at the open of business on Monday.

    Clarification Order

  • 7. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 27, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Does anyone know the exact time of the end of the Stay?

    I can easily see 4 times when the Stay expires:

    At midnight as soon as August 31 arrives (IOW, as soon as August 31 is the day's date);
    Upon normal start of business for the office and/or the court;
    Upon normal close of business for the clerk's office and/or the court; and
    At midnight just before August 31 turns into September 1.

    I'm hoping the Stay expires with the first above, although there really isn't any real difference between 1 and 2 if the two offices open at the same time. If 3 or 4, then the 'clock starts ticking' for the September 2 opening of the office at normal time. Ms. Davis's attitude rules out almost all possibility of her office opening early or staying open after normal closing time.

  • 8. Nyx  |  August 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Technically, I'm thinking the stay would expire at midnight August 31, the moment September 1 arrives. But enforcement would not begin until the beginning of normal business hours later Tuesday, September 1.

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    "I would think the stay is expired at the open of business on Monday."

    Tony, that's my understanding of when the stay is to expire, as well.

  • 10. sfbob  |  August 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I'm thinking it might be more likely (or at least as likely) to apply as of the close of business on Monday since that would give the defendant time to comply with the order during the day. If it's not wrapped up by closing time, she gets fined.

  • 11. VIRick  |  August 27, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Bob, I see your point.

    The clerk and/or someone in her office needs to comply with the order at some point during the business day on Monday, 31 August 2015, and begin issuing marriage licenses to everyone. If, by the end of the business day on that date, they're still not in compliance, then they're in violation. They have all day, Monday, to change their minds. Of course, they could also change their minds tomorrow, Friday.

    My earlier comment was based on my (incorrect) assumption that, of course, they'd be in immediate compliance, and begin issuing licenses, starting from the beginning of the business day on Monday (which, absent any stay, is what they've been ordered to do).

  • 12. Bruno71  |  August 28, 2015 at 11:57 am

    The point of Bunning's temp stay until August 31st was to give Davis time to try and get a stay from higher courts, which includes SCOTUS. SCOTUS can act on her motion after business hours on August 31st, so I presume nothing would occur until September 1st. That is, assuming SCOTUS either hasn't acted on the emergency stay motion, or denied it.

  • 13. sfbob  |  August 28, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks Bruno. That's a very comprehensive explanation. I'm not sure Bunning's stay referenced SCOTUS but he more than likely anticipated the case heading there.

  • 14. FredDorner  |  August 28, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I'd be very surprised if Kagan refers the issue to the full court given that there's no legal issue to decide. This is settled law.

  • 15. sfbob  |  August 28, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    No I think she will do precisely that. There are undoubtedly justices who'd be more than willing to issue a stay because of their own ideological biases but I doubt there are five such justices. In any event, while we don't think there are actual legal issues to decide, if one or more justices thinks there are actual legal issues here then their views trump ours even if their views are laughable.

    Kagan is too smart to allow Davis and her counsel to go judge-shopping.

  • 16. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 27, 2015 at 10:20 am

    While Mrs. Davis continues to defy the courts…the good news is she continues to be pushed further and further in between a rock and a hard place.

  • 17. Zack12  |  August 27, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I hope that couple is there the next day after the stay expires and if she refuses to issue the license, throw her in jail.

  • 18. VIRick  |  August 27, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Brenner/Grimsley v. Scott," the consolidated Florida federal marriage cases, we have a whole collection of happenings, filings, and motions, as Florida continues to fight tooth and nail:

    The Defendant Florida Department of Health filed a Motion for Clarification of the Preliminary Injunction:

    "Specifically, the Department seeks clarification whether the Order, especially in light of the United States Supreme Court's recent decision [Obergefell] … may be read to require issuance of birth certification to married same-sex parents, notwithstanding the provisions in chapter 382, Florida Statutes."

    RESPONSES to the Department's motion:
    – Equality Florida (and notice of related case):
    – Grimsley Plaintiffs:
    – Brenner Plaintiffs:

    The Grimsley Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Summary Judgment:

    The Defendants filed their Opposition to Summary Judgment and filed a Motion to Dismiss as Moot:

    The Defendants also filed a suggestion of mootness in its 11th Circuit appeal:

  • 19. sfbob  |  August 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Wow. They really went here?

    "Specifically, the Department seeks clarification whether the Order, especially in light of the United States Supreme Court's recent decision [Obergefell] … may be read to require issuance of birth certification to married same-sex parents, notwithstanding the provisions in chapter 382, Florida Statutes."

    There's only one kind of married couple: the kind with a license. If you issue a birth certificate to legally married opposite-sex parents then you do the same to married same-sex parents. I believe Obergefell was quite clear that the ruling applies not only to marriage itself but to all the incidents thereof. So to the extent that Section 382.013 of the Florida Statutes conflicts with Obergefell it is to that extent constitutionally invalid.

    Sheesh. Next they'll be asking if, since Obergefell was issued on a Thursday, does it also apply on other days of the week.

  • 20. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 27, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Obergefell was issued on Friday 26-June.

  • 21. sfbob  |  August 27, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    In any case…

    "Next they'll be asking if, since Obergefell was issued on a Thursday; Friday, does it also apply on other days of the week. "

  • 22. RobW303  |  August 27, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Since it's what they'll be asking, I think you had it right the first time. ;-}

  • 23. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 28, 2015 at 5:17 am

    The Florida Department of Health could take a lesson from the Texas Department of State Health Services document Revised Policies and Procedures Vital Records Requests from Married Same-Sex Couples.

    With the exception of the minor clarifications requested by the Plaintiff-Intervenor John Stone-Hoskins this is a well composed document.(even if it was developed out of legal necessity). The Florida Department of Health could save itself a lot of time and money by adopting the same policies and procedures.

    But I forget, these are not words of reasonable people (Thank you Judge Heyburn).

    The document is attached as Exhibit A:

  • 24. VIRick  |  August 27, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "DeLeon v. Abbott," the TX marriage case in district court:

    The Response to the state defendants' notice to the court from the Intervenor-Plaintiffs is here:

    The state's notice, in which it asks to have the contempt hearing cancelled, is posted here:

  • 25. sfbob  |  August 27, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    We knew this was coming of course but Kim Davis and her brilliant counsel are now filing a request for a stay with SCOTUS.

  • 26. RobW303  |  August 27, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Did she have an option to approach the full 8th Circuit bench for a stay? if so, will she still have this option if SCOTUS says, "Um, no"?

  • 27. scream4ever  |  August 27, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    I don't believe she will now that they're appealing to the Supreme Court.

  • 28. sfbob  |  August 27, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    That's the 6th Circuit, not the 8th. Since this is a preliminary injunction there is no option for an en banc hearing; en banc hearings are only available when dealing with a final opinion and an appeals court review of that opinion, not at the preliminary injunction stage. Davis has now chosen to go to the Supreme Court for a stay. If they turn her down (and I think the odds favor that result) she's S.O.L.

  • 29. VIRick  |  August 27, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    No, there's no further option on a stay request after the Supreme Court denies it.

    Also, Kentucky is within the 6th Circuit Court's jurisdiction, a circuit which is based in Cincinnati.

  • 30. VIRick  |  August 27, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    KENTUCKY: Office Of Kim Davis Again Turns Away Gay Couple On Morning After Smackdown By 6th Circuit Court

    Yesterday afternoon the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals told Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis to suck it. And today, 27 August 2015, her office again turned away a gay couple seeking a marriage license. On Thursday morning, a deputy clerk in her office refused to issue a marriage license to William Smith Jr. and James Yates. It was their third attempt to get a license. The same deputy clerk in Davis’ office told Smith and Yates that the office believes Bunning’s stay remains in effect until 31 August. He refused to give his name or give them a license.

    The AP notes that Davis hid in her office this morning and refused to meet reporters. The Liberty Counsel is expected to file her appeal on the denial of the stay to the US Supreme Court shortly.

  • 31. 1grod  |  August 27, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    RIck : IMO. it would be desirable for Liberty to file with the Supremes as their denial of a stay will speak volumes to other counties/states. I'm thinking of the 11 Alabama Counties, but I'm also thinking of the 11th Circuit who has yet to have taken up the Class Action in James Strawser v L. Strange. Would it not also be guidance to the AL Supreme Court, however the [unwise] AL Supremes paid more attention to the dissent of Justices Thomas and Scalia (February 2015), that the majority.

  • 32. RemC  |  August 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    It would seem that the LIberty folks—or at least David & her followers—are in need of a head-stinging reality check. Let it go already, people. ME is here to stay and the world isn't melting. People are still getting married…Sheesh.

  • 33. 1grod  |  August 28, 2015 at 5:21 am

    While picks up the article from Associated Press, the balance found in the comments gives hope that the 11 Counties will eventually come on board – if probate judges are sensitive to public opinion. However except for Autauga, these counties were among those not issuing licenses to same gender couples in late February

  • 34. ianbirmingham  |  August 27, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Myanmar spirit festival offers rare space for gay community

  • 35. SethInMaryland  |  August 27, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Anyone think we might hear something from the high court in Colombia in the next few days?

  • 36. scream4ever  |  August 27, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    I'm expecting/hoping for good news!

  • 37. VIRick  |  August 27, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    TS Erika Up-Date

    As of the 11 PM up-date on 27 August 2015, the center of Erika was located at 16.6N and 65.3W, or about 85 miles SSW of St. Croix and about 130 miles SSE of San Juan PR.

    Surprisingly, it has maintained a more southerly course all day, which means that it is passing by further away from us than originally forecast. However, its forward speed has slowed, and they keep predicting a turn to the NW. Presently, we're on the "bad" side of it, and we're still in the windy portion. The deluge of rain is yet to come, but when it does, we can expect 4-12 inches (based on what has already occurred further east in the Leeward Islands), which will create flooding and mudslides. But, for the moment, the electrical power continues to remain on. And the chocolate chip cookies have not yet been depleted.

    Also, the Dominican Republic is beginning to panic that the entire storm mass, now on an altered trajectory, will eventually slam directly into that country, creating a nationwide disaster.

  • 38. weaverbear  |  August 27, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I will be holding you in my thoughts and prayers as the storm hopefully passes by with no major consequences, Rick.

  • 39. F_Young  |  August 28, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Do you still have power, Rick? I hope you weather it unscathed.

  • 40. VIRick  |  August 28, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Yes, we successfully made it through the storm, and the power remained on the entire time (although I certainly did not expect it to stay on for the duration). At present, it's still quite cloudy/overcast/muggy, but calm,– finally.

    There have been a few minor disruptions. For example, this afternoon, my bakery was shuttered, so I was unable to replenish the chocolate chip cookie supply.

    Btw, as mentioned last night in my earlier up-date, it now appears more certain than ever that the Dominican Republic will bear the full brunt of this storm, as it's really closing in on them now,– and Haiti is next.

    Here in the USVI, St. Croix is a disaster. All of the island's electrical feeders, except for the one that supplies the hospital, were knocked out, due to downed trees, flooding, etc. Here, only two of ours were knocked out, which shows the fickle nature of these storms, and what 40 miles in distance can do. Plus, we're just learning that 20 people died as a result of some terrible flooding on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

  • 41. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 28, 2015 at 7:05 am


    The equivalent of Kitchen v Herbert (the Utah same-sex marriage case) for Roman Catholics happened at a Catholic high school in Portland Oregon yesterday.

    “In a landmark decision for LGBT employees at Catholic institutions, St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Oregon, has altered its employment policies to be more inclusive, in response to what was a growing backlash against administrators’ decision to withdraw an employment contract with a lesbian counselor, Lauren Brown.

    “In a Wednesday night meeting of the school’s board, members voted to expand employment policies to welcome gay staff and administrators will attempt to reconcile with Brown, whose job offer was rescinded after she came out as a lesbian woman to school officials.

    “‘Effective immediately, St. Mary’s has added sexual orientation to its equal employment opportunity policy.

    ‘St. Mary’s is a diverse community that welcomes and includes gay and lesbian students, faculty, alumnae, parents and friends, including those that are married.’”

    You can read more here: scroll to 27-August-2015.

    This is huge for LGBT people of ALL faith traditions, especially Roman Catholics.

    Rose: please note they said “those that are married” just plain married without any modifiers. Some people do get it.

  • 42. JayJonson  |  August 28, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Thank you for calling attention to this development. I think the key to the change is the activism of the students and the fact that one of the school's largest donors found the discrimination intolerable.

  • 43. 1grod  |  August 28, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Elihu: potential sea change: "The Archdiocese of Portland [ headed by Very Rev Alexander Sample] is aware of the decision made by St. Mary’s Academy and will continue its conversation with school officials." Diocese website. Also see

  • 44. AlexRixan  |  August 20, 2016 at 3:01 am

    my thoughts and prayers as the storm hopefully

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