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Equality news round-up

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Kentucky state seal– Kim Davis opposes reopening briefing on the same-sex couples’ request to make the case a class action.

– The Supreme Court has released audio of Justice Kennedy announcing the decision in the marriage case.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  October 12, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Kansas: No Court Order Needed for Same-Sex Birth Certificates

    Wichita KS — Kansas officials say no court order will be needed in the future to process birth certificate applications of children from same-sex couples who conceive by artificial insemination. That assurance came in a court filing Monday, 12 October 2015, in the still on-going federal lawsuit, "Marie v. Moser," that challenges the Kansas ban on same-sex marriages. A US Supreme Court ruling has already cleared the way for such marriages in Kansas, but the judge in the case, Daniel Crabtree, has been pressing for evidence that the state was complying with that decision in all aspects.

    The Kansas state defendants also objected to the ACLU even raising the birth certificate issue because none of the plaintiffs in the federal same-sex marriage case are seeking to become parents. The state says nothing has been offered in this or other lawsuits to show paternity laws that recognize biological differences between men and women are unconstitutional.

    Some here have criticized Judge Crabtree's slowness in rendering a ruling with finality. Yet, at the same time, he's been VERY methodical, making the state defendants prove that they have been and continue to remain in compliance with "Obergefell" in ALL aspects. He's had to deal with several impossibly difficult adversaries in the form of Kansas AG Schmidt and Kansas Governor Brownback, to say nothing of the multiple frivolous filings by the WBC and other assorted Kansas opportunist nut-jobs. It has been over 11 months now since his initial 4 November 2014 ruling striking down the Kansas ban.

  • 2. JayJonson  |  October 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Texas: for the first time in Texas history, a same-sex relationship has been recognized as a common-law marriage. Another rebuff to Attorney General Paxton, who unsuccessfully attempted to intervene in this case, arguing that a same-sex relationship that ended (by the death of one of the partners) before Obergefell could not be recognized as a marriage.

    Read the story here:

  • 3. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 12, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    What's so interesting (and disgusting) about the argument that a same-sex relationship that ended (by the death of one of the partners) before Obergefell is that Jim Obergefell legally married his spouse (John Arthur) (on July 11, 2013) almost two years prior to the SCOTUS decision, and Mr. Arthur died on October 13, 2013, well over 20 months before SCOTUS's ruling.

    So for the AG of Texas to argue that 'a same-sex relationship that ended (by the death of one of the partners) before Obergefell could not be recognized as a marriage' is quite contrary to the facts that SCOTUS considered when deciding the Obergefell case.

  • 4. Fortguy  |  October 12, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Texas AG Paxton has demonstrated a breathtaking ignorance of the law not only as a public official but also in his private professional conduct. The criminal charges he faces for investment fraud are not based upon hair-splitting legalities or perceived loopholes discussed in law schools, but violations of common sense that any investor of the caliber he worked with would expect as minimal standards of behavior without the investor being a legal expert.

    Paxton doesn't care about the law. He knows that it is only necessary to convince the dead-enders who control GOP primaries that he upholds "God's Law", "Biblical Law", or "Natural Law". He doesn't care about the taxpayer money he wastes in futile efforts to defend extremist points of view knowing damn well that he will be rewarded for putting up the good fight despite his inevitable losses.

  • 5. JayJonson  |  October 12, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    A nice tribute to Jay and James Stone-Hoskins on YouTube:

  • 6. Fortguy  |  October 12, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    More news from Texas:

    Claire Z. Cardona, The Dallas Morning News: Crowd rallies in solidarity with Dallas LGBT community

    The rally was held in the heart of Dallas' Oak Lawn gayborhood in response to a rash of hate crimes including the murder of a transgender woman and assaults of gay men a couple of which were described in the article as being especially gruesome.

  • 7. VIRick  |  October 12, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Boys Can Now Wear Skirts to School in Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico’s Education Minister has announced changes to a school uniform code that lets boys wear skirts. Minister Rafael Roman confirmed changes today, 12 October 2015, that are intended to make the US territory’s strict uniform policy more LGBT-inclusive and less restrictive. The Puerto Rico Department of Education (like ours in the USVI) requires all students to wear school uniforms, only providing minor exemptions for students on medical grounds.

    However, under new rules, students of any gender can choose to wear either a skirt or trousers to school, regardless of gender, and without risk of punishment. According to the AP, he said the new regulation is meant to be more inclusive of gay, lesbian and transgender students. However, it applies to all students, not just those who identify as LGBT, and bans teachers from disciplining girls for wearing trousers or boys for wearing skirts.

    Same-sex marriage came to the US territory this year, after the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. A subsequent court order brought marriage equality into effect in mid-July, with the first marriages occurring on 17 July 2015.

  • 8. A_Jayne  |  October 12, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Transgender girls can now freely wear skirts, too.

  • 9. SethInMaryland  |  October 12, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    not sure why but that audio doesn't seem to work for me

  • 10. VIRick  |  October 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Justice Sotomayor Presides Over a Same-Sex Marriage

    On Saturday, 10 October 2015, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor officiated the same-sex marriage of a couple with a history of LGBT advocacy, according to one source who spoke to the "Washington Blade," as well as per multiple social media posts of people familiar with the event. The justice performed the wedding of Ingrid Duran and Catherine Pino, who are founders of D&P Creative Strategies. The organization seeks to increase the role of corporate, legislative, and philanthropic efforts in addressing concerns of Latinos, women, and LGBT people.

    According to one source familiar with the event, the marriage took place in DC at Potomac View Terrace. US Treasurer Rosa Gumataotao Rios, Rep. Xavier Beccera (D-CA), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA), and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-CA) were present for the ceremony, the source said. Sotomayor is now the third sitting justice on the US Supreme Court who is known to have performed a same-sex marriage. Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan have previously presided over such ceremonies. In August, Ginsburg also renewed the vows of US ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius, to his spouse, Clayton Bond.

    When the US Supreme Court delivered its historic ruling for nationwide same-sex marriage in June, Sotomayor, an Obama appointee, joined Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion. Sotomayor also was in the majority for the decision against the Defense of Marriage Act, but was in the dissent in the ruling that determined opponents of Proposition 8 did not have standing in court, which restored marriage equality to California. See more at:

  • 11. VIRick  |  October 12, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Alaska: About 284 Same-Sex Couples Marry in Past Year

    Juneau AK— According to the state health department, about 284 same-sex couples have married in Alaska in the first year since a federal judge, in "Hamby v. Parnell," struck down as unconstitutional the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Monday, 12 October 2015, marked the one-year anniversary of the decision striking down a 1998 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. Except for a brief period last October, during which the state unsuccessfully petitioned the US Supreme Court to intervene, couples have been able to apply for marriage licenses.

    Since 12 October 2014, a total of 5,589 marriages have been registered in Alaska, including 284 same-sex marriages, the department said in response to queries from the AP. Registered marriages refer to couples who have married and turned in completed marriage licenses.

    Matthew Hamby, lead plaintiff in the Alaska case, called it gratifying “to have played a small role in standing up and saying, 'We want to be treated equally, just like our straight counterparts.'” Hamby and his husband, Christopher Shelden, were among five couples who sued last year, challenging the constitutionality of Alaska‘s ban on same-sex marriage. Four of the five couples, including Hamby and Shelden, had been married outside the state. The fifth couple was unmarried at the time.

    District Court Judge Timothy Burgess, in striking down the ban, said refusing the rights and responsibilities afforded by legal marriage “sends the public a government-sponsored message that same-sex couples and their familial relationships do not warrant the status, benefits, and dignity given to couples of the opposite sex.” He found the gay-marriage ban violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the US Constitution.

  • 12. VIRick  |  October 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Texas: Thousands of Students Bringing Dildos to Class to Protest New Gun Law

    4,100 students, faculty, and staff at the University of Texas in Austin have vowed to bring giant rubber dildos to class in protest of new gun legislation signed by antigay Gov. Greg Abbott. The event is being held in response to a law signed by Abbott, who opposes both gay marriage and gay divorce, back in June. The law permits licensed gun holders to carry concealed weapons on university campuses beginning in August 2016. The law has been nicknamed the “campus carry” law.

    The official Facebook event page reads:

    The State of Texas has decided that it is not at all obnoxious to allow deadly concealed weapons in classrooms, however it DOES have strict rules about free sexual expression, to protect your innocence. You would receive a citation for taking a DILDO to class before you would get in trouble for taking a gun to class. Heaven forbid the penis.

  • 13. Fortguy  |  October 12, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    There is a terrible irony here. The campus carry law becomes effective August 1, 2016. That day will be the 50th anniversary of the day when gunman Charles Whitman, from the observation deck atop the tower of the administration building at UT-Austin, mowed down 14 people while wounding 32 others during a 96-minute shooting spree. Earlier in the day, he had already killed both his wife and mother off campus. It is widely considered to be the first mass shooting in a public place within the U.S. in the modern era.

    Erica Grieder, Texas Monthly: A Very Special Semicentennial

    Gotta love the Texas Legislature. Not only are they tone deaf, but they're not really good with optics, either.

  • 14. hoodatsayhoodat  |  October 13, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I really don't understand how making it more difficult for decent law abiding citizens to obtain and keep whatever means of self defense they deem proper is in any way "progressive" and it's pretty far-fetched to imagine we would ever have the wherewithal to preserve our hard-gotten gains if the powers that be knew only cops and military (and bodyguards for politicians and captains of industry) would have the legal right to own firearms.

    The approach that so many pearl clutchers embrace reminds me of the guy who had his car towed to the shop and told them "The brakes don't work, give me a louder horn".

    Those who beat their swords into plowshares will be plowing for those who don't.

  • 15. VIRick  |  October 13, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Hmmmm, wouldn't you rather get shot with a dildo rather than with a gun?

  • 16. hoodatsayhoodat  |  October 13, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I suppose so but that isn't relevant. From the comments I see all too often from anti-gun nuts (see, I can use the same word), it almost appears they would rather let a dozen victims be killed than allow any of them even the opportunity to stop an attacker. That is not only stupid, it's insane.

    Regardless of how trite the old adage may appear, its truth isn't in question: " When seconds count, the police are just minutes away." And then there is the fact that police are under no obligation to provide protection for citizens…either as a legal or practical matter.

    Jamaica, a country we loved to back in the 70s and 80s passed a total ban on civilian gun ownership about 20 years ago and has been declining into uncontrollable gun violence ever since. Apparently the criminals didn't get the memo. Any tourist who strays from high security resort areas is playing Russ…er, Jamaican Roulette, another legacy of draconian "gun control" laws. Guns have changed very little in the last 50 years…I was in a gun CLUB at my high school in the late 1950s in a good sized city, we brought our guns to school in the open and nobody freaked out, nobody complained, and nobody ever got hurt. Whatever has changed, it is not the hardware.

  • 17. bayareajohn  |  October 13, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Same song, different alias. You just couldn't stay away… MU2, Hop, HOO.

    Convenient to use multiply-mucked up Jamaica for your example instead of England or Australia where the bans have worked, and their social and political frames more closely reflect (and predict) the USA….

    The statistics don't support the "safety" claims for owning. You are 4 times more likely to die from a bullet if you own a gun. Your friends and family are 5 times more likely to die from a bullet if you own a gun. In this USA.

  • 18. bayareajohn  |  October 13, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    AAAAND time for yet another alias, apparently.

  • 19. VIRick  |  October 13, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    John, indeed! I'm quite glad you spotted this latest ruse, as I hadn't been paying close enough attention to notice. Still, as a separate point, I had already elected not to reply further.

  • 20. bayareajohn  |  October 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Fortunately, the moderators are a little quicker to delete this idiot's vulgar threats now than with the last few aliases. Several doozies are already removed in the last couple hours.

    How small and empty his life must be that his obvious glee in anonymous threatening provides his reason to keep coming back.

  • 21. Fortguy  |  October 13, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Here's an update:

    Dan Solomon, Texas Monthly: The UT Grad Protesting Campus Carry With Sex Toys Is Getting Death Threats

  • 22. Fortguy  |  October 12, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    A reminder that, even though ME is now the law of the land, many states require that public schools demonize us and require the dissemination of falsehoods about us in health and sex-education classes. This is especially tragic for LGBT students who hear this condemning messaging.

    Martha Kempner, RH Reality Check: South Carolina Mom Shows Homophobic Sex Education Isn’t a Thing of the Past

    As an example, the Texas Health and Safety Code Section 163.002 states the following:

    Sec. 163.002. INSTRUCTIONAL ELEMENTS. Course materials and instruction relating to sexual education or sexually transmitted diseases should include:


    (8) emphasis, provided in a factual manner and from a public health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under Section 21.06, Penal Code.

    The Penal Code section referenced since Lawrence now has a hat note stating that statute has been ruled unconstitutional, but the Lege has steadfastly refused to repeal it. Nevertheless, the public health perspective clause still guides school instruction.

  • 23. guitaristbl  |  October 13, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I was thinking the other day when are we going to have the audio of the decision announcment finally 🙂
    Still got the chills even if I knew the result..

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