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The only news update out there is that Liberty Counsel, the lawyers representing Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, has said they plan to file another lawsuit against Governor Beshear seeking a religious accommodation. The press release didn’t specify whether they plan to file in state or federal court.

This is an open thread.

UPDATE: The Sixth Circuit has denied state officials’ motion to dismiss Davis’ appeal of the order that put the briefing schedule for her request for a preliminary injunction on hold, as well as Davis’ request for an injunction blocking the order requiring her to issue licenses, pending appeal.


  • 1. GregInTN  |  September 15, 2015 at 9:29 am

    An AP article on Monday's events in Rowan County had a quote from Matt Staver that I hadn't seen before. He said that Davis had grave concerns that the licenses would be valid without her blessing.

    Previously, I have always seen him use the word "authorization" rather than blessing. If Davis thinks her job is to "bless" the marriages of those she issues licenses to, she really seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of her job.

  • 2. StraightDave  |  September 15, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Isn't that tantamount to Davis saying "I am consciously and deliberately refusing to allow the issuance of licenses that I consider to be valid"? I'll kind of close my eyes to these phony ones, but you won't get any legitimate ones of this office.

    If I were the judge, I toss her back in the slammer until the unedited, state designed and authorized licenses were issued to everyone. I don't see how she gets to change the forms.

    If she just edited the licenses and kept her mouth shut, the judge might let it slide. But now she seems to be thumbing her nose at the judge. I'd haul her in and tell her to "stop screwing with this court.".

  • 3. Fortguy  |  September 15, 2015 at 10:12 am

    It doesn't sound like a desirably auspicious beginning for a marriage to be "blessed" by an admitted adulterer.

  • 4. Zack12  |  September 15, 2015 at 10:10 am

    News out of Alabama.
    It does appear they are getting close to banning marriage licenses altogether there.

  • 5. jpmassar  |  September 15, 2015 at 10:49 am

    The Times reports that judges in 13 out of 67 counties in Alabama stopped issuing marriage licenses following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling.

    Under existing Alabama law marriage licenses are issued by the probate judge, but under the proposed bill, “judges of probate would no longer issue marriage licenses upon proof of eligibility for marriage” but instead would “receive and record civil contracts of marriage presented by parties to the civil contract,” and transmit a copy of the civil contract to the Office of Vital Statistics.

    The bill specifies that the probate judge “would have no authority or responsibility to make determinations of the eligibility of the parties to the contract for marriage, other than age determination.”

    I don't really understand this. Does this end state recognition of those getting married in Alabama? If not, who cares?

  • 6. Bruno71  |  September 15, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I wonder if the civil contract would have to be drawn up in some sort of legal way, or a couple could, say, just write something down on a napkin and present it. There could be extra legal fees involved, depending on how the law is written. It seems that these would still be valid civil marriages recognized by the state of Alabama.

  • 7. davepCA  |  September 15, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Well, there really are very few 'eligibility tests' for entering a legal marriage besides the age of consent determination anyway, but have they REALLY thought about what happens when the position responsible for performing those few determinations stops doing so and the state just records any claim made by any couple that they consider themselves 'married'? Like a claim of a new marriage submitted by people who are already married to someone else, for example? And if this is just done by paperwork being submitted to the office, rather than any kind of face-to-face issuing of the marriage certificate to the actual parties, what prevents someone from submitting a claim to be married to someone else who doesn't know anything about it? Or what would stop a THIRD party from submitting a claim of marriage between two people who BOTH knew nothing about this claim? Sure, it's fraudulent, but if there is no position of authority assuring the couple are legally eligible and that the people listed on the claim to marriage are in fact actually parties in the marriage claim by issuing it to them in person, what would stop those kinds of things from getting filed & recorded?

  • 8. bayareajohn  |  September 15, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    These are already issues in licensed marriages. Fortunately, there's this (licensed!) person called a NOTARY who has the sole duty to witness and affirm that the signatories to a contract/license are both who they say they are and that they attest to understanding the document, as a condition of official recording. Once should not presume that "marriage contract recording" would be constructed more sloppily than for deeds to property.

    While still fraud is possible… it really isn't more likely under a scheme that replaces LICENSING with RECORDING… much more like deeds and DBA's… which we have done for centuries.

    Since "license" is by definition a PERMIT by an authority to do something, I'm not particularly phased by a change to "recording" for marriage. And if it does nothing more than distance us from the relignut disruptive involvement in civil marriage, I'm for it. Why do we even give a chance for the likes of dear Kimmy to be in a position to "approve" a license, implying they have a right to NOT APPROVE?

    It potentially wonks up the divorce laws at the same time, and inter-state recognition needs attention, but it can be managed and it's not certifiably insane to consider this concept. And it can help level the playing field for couples of any sex.

  • 9. sfbob  |  September 15, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Some of what your talking about is actually common-law marriage. With some exceptions, prior to the late 19th Century, at least in the US a couple was considered married if they represented themselves to each other and their communities as married, which basically meant that they lived together and everyone around them knew they lived together. Certainly questions of whether or not children were legitimate or not existed but that really only mattered if there was an inheritance at stake which is why the wealthy tended to go with formal marriage. For everyone else it scarely mattered.

    This created potential for illegal multiple marriages (and history is full of accounts of people–mostly men but not always– living, shall we say, colorful lives, moving from place to place and reinventing their relationship histories), but given that searchable databases are now virtually ubiquitous, I don't think the potential for fraud in this area is any greater than it had been previously and is in fact much lower. Stuff gets out (how do you think we all know so much about Kim Davis's marital history?). No matter how marriages are registered, there is going to be some sort of "under penalty of perjury" disclaimer when people register their relationships and, in addition, if questions arise there are always going to be lawyers to sort things out.

  • 10. VIRick  |  September 15, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    "Some of what you're talking about is actually common-law marriage."

    Exactly, although it's quite ironic that Alabama would even consider reverting back to civil common-law marriages statewide without offering any other choices, given that this entire effort is being driven by the religious nutjobs,– or rather, by weasely politicians fearful of the religious nutjobs.

    But like Dave has stated, I seriously doubt that these Alabama politicians have thought through the various and sundry ramifications and reverberations to switching over to civil common-law marriages only, given that the standards afforded by the other 49 states, as well as by the federal government, are quite different. Even Mexico has adopted the USA standard of civil marriage and does not recognize common-law marriage.

    Instead, and undoubtedly without even realizing it, if passed, this measure would place Alabama behind most of the rest of Latin America. There, for the poorer classes, the movement had been toward recognizing de facto common-law marriages (sometimes also referred to as de facto civil unions, or similar terminology), after a given time interval (usually 2 or 3 years) of the couple simply living together. Such unions can then be registered with the governmental authorities, and are then afforded all the benefits of civil marriage, and are equal to civil marriage. In Latin America, the most progressive latest wrinkle has been toward eliminating the time-wait, thus affording instantaneous recognition of de facto unions (see Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica). But will that really work in Alabama? (Is Alabama even poor enough? Seriously. It only works in instances where the couple has nothing to fight over when they split. It won't work when property, money, and kids are involved.) And will the federal government and the remaining 49 states even be able to recognize such common-law arrangements? I'm doubtful. I'm also fairly certain that Mexico would not be able to recognize such, as their civil codes contain no such provision.

  • 11. VIRick  |  September 15, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Committee Votes to Do Away with Alabama Marriage Licenses

    Montgomery AL — Alabama lawmakers are considering legislation to take the state out of the marriage business in the wake of the US Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage between sme-sex couples.

    The House Judiciary Committee on Monday, 14 September 2015, voted for a bill to do away with state-issued marriage licenses. Instead, couples would bring in a signed marriage contract and file it with the probate office.

    The change would prevent probate judges who oppose same-sex marriage from having to sign licenses for gay couples. A few Alabama counties have shut down marriage license operations altogether rather than issue licenses to gay couples.

    Senators passed the bill last week. House legislators could approve the bill this week. However, it requires a two-thirds vote to pass because it’s outside the governor’s call for the special session focused on budget measures.

  • 12. Zack12  |  September 15, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Sad to say but Alabama takes pride in being backwards, they always have.

  • 13. jjcpelayojr  |  September 15, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Let's hope that per the article it…

    1.) Doesn't get the 2/3rds majority vote to pass since it wasn't one of the topics as to why the Governor called the special session.
    2.) Gets enough negative publicity such that the legislature finds a way to kill it

  • 14. Eric  |  September 15, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    If the only test is age, wouldn't this bill legalize bigamy in AL?

  • 15. Montezuma58_1  |  September 15, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    The whole thing is ill thought out and is is nothing but a petulant reaction to marriage equality. What ticks me off is that this is the second special session of the year and the legislature has yet to pass a budget, which is the only task they are required by the state constitution to do. Yet they're plenty of them they belief this is really important despite having no issues with the current licensing scheme that's been in place for years.

    It's dead for now (see link in my other post).

  • 16. VIRick  |  September 15, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Bill to Abolish Marriage Licenses Dies in Alabama House

    A bill to abolish marriage licenses in Alabama and replace them with marriage contracts failed tonight, 15 September 2015, in the House of Representatives.

    The House voted 53-36 in favor of the bill. But it required a two-thirds vote (60 votes in favor) for approval because it was not part of the governor's call for the special session

  • 17. SethInMaryland  |  September 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Good news today, Nepal's Assembly is voting on the new Constitution article and by article and LGBT will be mentioned in it 🙂 No word on marriage or any civil unions yet, but fingers crossed. Either law would be a first for Asia

  • 18. VIRick  |  September 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 15 September 2015, in "Jernigan v. Crane," the Arkansas marriage case in federal court, the federal judge formally lifted the stay of the district court order from November 2014 that had struck down Arkansas' marriage ban against same-sex couples.

    See the order lifting the stay here:

  • 19. VIRick  |  September 15, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Montana: Non-Discrimination Ordinance Upheld

    A Gallatin County judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Bozeman’s LGBT non-discrimination ordinance, ruling that the five residents who questioned the city’s authority to create the law lack the legal standing to challenge it.

    “The complaint and the undisputed facts demonstrate that there is no present or potential injury to the Plaintiffs," District Judge John Brown wrote in an order issued Tuesday morning, 15 September 2015. "None of them is in a position in which he or she could be named as a party in an action alleging a violation of the non-discrimination ordinance."

  • 20. A_Jayne  |  September 15, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Hilarious ad – laughed out loud, made the cat jump, even tho I covered my mouth to try to minimize the "startle" effect…

  • 21. DeadHead  |  September 15, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Kim Davis May Have Seriously Damaged the Cause of Anti-Gay “Religious Liberty” … On Tuesday, an ABC News/Washington Post poll revealed the most significant post-Davis data point yet—and the results don’t look good for Davis and her admirers. An overwhelming 74 percent of respondents believed that when a conflict arises between religious beliefs and equal treatment under the law, equality should win out. Moreover, 63 percent of respondents said that Davis should be required to issue marriage licenses despite her sincerely held religious beliefs. (That tracks an earlier Rasmussen poll, which found that 66 percent of Americans think Davis should follow the law and issue licenses.) Notably, a majority of only two groups thought Davis should be exempted from issuing licenses: evangelical white Protestants and self-identified “strong conservatives.” That view was also more common among Republicans, less well-educated people, and lower-income Americans.

  • 22. 1grod  |  September 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    DHead: thanks. As you might expect, its also an article in today's Washington Post:

  • 23. VIRick  |  September 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    South Carolina Paying $215K to Gay Marriage Plaintiffs

    Charleston SC — South Carolina is paying about $215,000 in legal fees to two couples who challenged the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in the federal courts. Same-sex couples sued in federal courts in both Charleston and Columbia for the right to be married or for South Carolina to recognize their marriage performed out-of-state.

    In the Charleston case,"'Condon v. Wilson," District Court Judge Richard Gergel last month ordered that the state reimburse Colleen Condon and her partner Nichols Bleckley just over $135,000 for legal fees. The couple last year sued the state to obtain a marriage license in South Carolina. In an earlier petition to the court, they sought $153,000 to cover their court costs. The petition said the figure represented 446 hours of work on the case by seven attorneys.

    In the Columbia case, court documents filed earlier this month show that state Attorney-General Alan Wilson reached a settlement on fees in the other case, "Bradacs v. Haley," agreeing to pay Highway Patrol Trooper Katherine Bradacs and U.S. Air Force retiree Tracie Goodwin $80,000 for their legal costs. The couple, married earlier in the District of Columbia, had sued the state to have their marriage recognized. They had originally sought $92,000 in fees and court costs. Their petition said that included 265 hours of time devoted to the case by three attorneys.

    Gergel noted in his ruling that there was one major difference in the work done by the attorneys in the two cases. He said that attorneys for Condon and Bleckley had to spend considerable time contesting the state’s attempts before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court to block the issuing of their marriage license.

  • 24. VIRick  |  September 15, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    New Hampshire: Conservative GOP State Rep. Eric Schleien Introduces Bill To Ban “Ex-Gay” Torture

    “This year President Barack Obama Called for an End to ‘Conversion’ Therapies for Gay and Transgender Youth. I am in full support of defining this in the law for what it is, abusive and fraudulent. Out of that commitment, I have officially submitted a first draft of legislation that would ban the abusive practice of sexual conversion therapy for minors. It would also declare that anyone putting themselves out there as someone who practices this would be liable for fraud.” said Freshman GOP New Hampshire state Rep. Eric Schleien, posting to his Facebook page. The progressive New Hampshire site Miscellany Blue reports that Schleien has a 97% rating from the “conservative House Republican Alliance.”

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  September 15, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    OK everyone, brace yourselves for some shocking news…

    Homophobic People Often Have Psychological Issues

    …people who have strongly negative views of gay people also have higher levels of psychoticism and inappropriate coping mechanisms … people who cling to homophobic views have some psychological issues, said lead researcher Emmanuele Jannini, an endocrinologist and medical sexologist at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. "The study is opening a new research avenue, where the real disease to study is homophobia," Jannini told Live Science. …

  • 26. Tony MinasTirith  |  September 15, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    It's pretty clear, homophobes and racists are generally afflicted with Narcissistic Personality Disorder…among the other issues listed above.

  • 27. bayareajohn  |  September 16, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Ironically, that Narcissistic Personality Disorder was commonly the "diagnosis" for the roots of homosexuality when I was in college.

  • 28. F_Young  |  September 16, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Article: …..where the real disease to study is homophobia…..

    Fantastic! I hope this has legs!

    Hmmm, I wonder what personality traits correspond to evangelism, Tea Partisanship, Republicanism…

  • 29. VIRick  |  September 16, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    "…. what personality traits correspond to evangelism, Tea Partisanship, Republicanism… "

    All three of those groups have excessively tight anal sphincters.

  • 30. brchaz  |  September 16, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    …Covered with santorum?

  • 31. F_Young  |  September 16, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice

    …..The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults…..Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice…..

    …..what applies to racism may also apply to homophobia. People who were poorer at abstract reasoning were more likely to exhibit prejudice against gays. As in the U.K. citizens, a lack of contact with gays and more acceptance of right-wing authoritarianism explained the link……

    I thought you guys would like this article. Though it was published in 2012, it's still relevant today.

  • 32. Montezuma58_1  |  September 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Alabama's solution in search of a problem has failed to pass.

    Alt least for now. The vote got a majority which would be enough to pass in regular session. Since they're in special session and the bill didn't address the reason for the special session it requires a 2/3 vote to pass. Maybe the histaria will die down befor the regular session next year.

  • 33. Zack12  |  September 15, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I doubt it, the bigots never quit.

  • 34. VIRick  |  September 15, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Kentucky: ACLU Expresses Concerns About Validity Of Altered Rowan County Marriage Licenses

    The AP reports:

    Today, 15 September 2015, the attorneys representing the couples who sued clerk Kim Davis over her refusal to issue marriage licenses are concerned that the altered forms Davis’ deputies issued could be invalid. Davis, on her first day back at work after a five-day stint in jail, announced Monday, 14 September 2015, that she would not block her deputies from issuing licenses. But she insisted they be edited to exclude her name and her title. The forms, a template issued by the state, now read, “pursuant to federal court order” in the spaces meant to list Davis’ position. Kentucky’s governor and attorney-general both said they believe the altered marriage licenses are legal. But lawyers with the ACLU say they “have concerns about the validity,” given the alterations and said they were reviewing their legal options.

    The Liberty Counsel appears satisfied for now. From Kim Davis’ lawyer: “The license that went out today does not violate Kim Davis’s conscience. If it’s satisfactory to the court, then I think we will have found that win-win solution that we have been asking for all along.”

  • 35. GregInTN  |  September 16, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Isn't it interesting that Liberty Counsel has now changed their tune with respect to the validity of the licenses? I guess they realized that if the licenses as modified by Kim Davis aren't valid, then Bunning would find her in violation of his order not to interfere.

  • 36. bayareajohn  |  September 16, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    This isn't turning out how they planned. They looked around and found they had lost what they thought was the high ground and tide was turning ugly. It was time to change the tune, declare what they got as victory, and fold the tents to steal away before anyone asks more questions. This is not the groundswell moment they imagined would be eventually be seen as God's pivot point in history, leading inexorably toward the supremacy of the new Church of America.

  • 37. A_Jayne  |  September 17, 2015 at 5:36 am

    The bad part is they still seek that goal – maybe not this case, this time – they'll find (or manufacture) another case and try another time…

  • 38. bayareajohn  |  September 17, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    The good part is that with each increasingly outlandish and sour loss, they are also losing the hearts and minds of reasonable people of every faith.

  • 39. VIRick  |  September 15, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Contrae Matrimonio Pareja Gay en Ensenada
    (Same-Sex Couple Married in Ensenada)

    En 14 de Septiembre del 2015, Guadalupe Villa Bravo y Ericka Nazaria Navarro Olivarria es la primera pareja gay de Ensenada que contrae matrimonio en el Registro Civil Municipal.

    A las 13:00 horas, Guadalupe y Ericka llegaron al edificio junto con familiares que acompañaron para constatar el enlace. El evento se llevó a cabo sin contratiempos y sin manifestaciones en contra de la unión.

    (On 14 September 2015, Guadalupe Villa Bravo and Ericka Nazaria Navarro Olivarria were the first same-sex couple to be married at the Ensenada Municipal Civil Registry.

    At 13:00, Guadalupe and Ericka arrived at the building along with relatives who accompanied them to confirm the marriage. The event took place smoothly and without demonstrations against the union.

    See more (including photos) at:

    The short, matter-of-fact news article failed to mention the true significance of the event, in that this couple were the very plaintiffs in the landmark suit that went all the way to Mexico's Supreme Court, at which point Baja California's marriage ban against same-sex couples was declared unconstitutional with finality.

  • 40. VIRick  |  September 15, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    La SCJN Reconoce Igualdad Plena de Matrimonios Homosexuals
    (Mexico's Supreme Court Recognizes Full Equality of Same-Sex Marriage)

    La Corte establece que las parejas deben tener el acceso a todos los derechos y beneficios que cualquier otra
    (In a truly blistering decision, the Court states that same-sex couples must have access to all rights and benefits just like any other.)

    CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (14/SEP/2015).- La Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación publicó otra tesis jurisprudencial que reconoce la igualdad plena de los matrimonios celebrados entre personas del mismo sexo, así como el acceso a todos los derechos y beneficios sociales que estos deben traer consigo para los cónyuges homosexuales.

    La jurisprudencia aprobada por la Primera Sala del alto tribunal señala que la Constitución Mexicana no permite ningún tipo de discriminación en contra de las parejas del mismo sexo, por lo que los fundamentos de la institución matrimonial de carácter civil se pueden adecuar a esta nueva forma de unión y de familia.

    Se agrega que para todos los efectos jurídicos relevantes “las parejas homosexuales se encuentran en una situación equivalente a las parejas heterosexuales”, por lo que es “totalmente injustificada su exclusión del matrimonio” y de todos los beneficios que este puede traer consigo.

    En este sentido, se destaca que la exclusión del matrimonio homosexual del marco legal es producto de la discriminación histórica y de los severos prejuicios que han existido, hasta el día de hoy, en contra de las personas según su preferencia sexual.

    “En el orden jurídico mexicano existen una gran cantidad de beneficios económicos y no económicos asociados al matrimonio. Entre éstos destacan los siguientes: (1) beneficios fiscales; (2) beneficios de solidaridad; (3) beneficios por causa de muerte de uno de los cónyuges; (4) beneficios de propiedad; (5) beneficios en la toma subrogada de decisiones médicas; y (6) beneficios migratorios para los cónyuges extranjeros”, señala la tesis jurisprudencial.

    Por lo anterior, la negativa a reconocer plenamente los matrimonios entre dos hombres o entre dos mujeres, es negarle a las parejas del mismo sexo todos estos beneficios materiales, convirtiendo a las parejas homosexuales en “ciudadanos de segunda clase”.

    Por lo tanto, concluye la Primera Sala, la negativa de reconocer el matrimonio igualitario solamente “perpetúa la noción de que las parejas del mismo sexo son menos merecedoras de reconocimiento que las heterosexuales, ofendiendo con ello su dignidad como personas y su integridad”.

    (MEXICO CITY (14 / Sep / 2015) .- The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation published another jurisprudence which recognizes the full equality of marriages between same-sex couples, as well as their full access to all the rights and social benefits that they must be able to bring to their homosexual spouses.

    The decision adopted by the First Chamber of the High Court said that the Mexican Constitution does not allow any discrimination against same-sex couples, so that the foundations of the institution of civil marriage must be able to adapt to this new way of marriage and family.

    It adds that for all relevant legal effect "same-sex couples are in a similar situation to heterosexual couples," making it "totally unjustified, any exclusion from marriage," and all the benefits that this can bring.

    In this regard, it is noted that the legal framework for the exclusion of same-sex marriage is the product of historical discrimination and severe prejudices that have existed, even until today, against individuals based solely on their sexual preference.

    As pointed out in this jurisprudential thesis, "In the Mexican legal system there are a lot of economic and non-economic benefits associated with marriage. Among these are the following: (1) tax benefits; (2) benefits of solidarity; (3) benefits because of death of a spouse; (4) benefits of ownership; (5) benefits in surrogate medical decision-making; and (6) benefits to foreign spouses."

    Therefore, the refusal to fully recognize marriages between two men or between two women, is to deny same-sex couples all these material benefits, making homosexual couples "second class citizens."

    Thus, concludes the Court, the refusal to recognize equal marriage only "perpetuates the notion that same-sex couples are less worthy of recognition than heterosexual couples, thereby offending their human dignity and integrity".

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