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Open thread BREAKING NEWS: Stay granted in Alabama case

Adoption Community/Meta

This is an open thread.

UPDATE: The Supreme Court has granted a stay request filed by the mother in a former same-sex relationship. The couple adopted their children and the Alabama Supreme Court invalidated it. The mother who is plaintiff in this case asked the US Supreme Court to put it on hold so that she can see her kids. She has filed her own petition for review, which is still pending. The grant of a stay means she can see her kids until the Court decides whether to take up her case. The request originally went to Justice Thomas, who referred it to the full Court. There were no noted dissents.


  • 1. tx64jm  |  December 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    "The grant of a stay means she can see her kids until the Court decides whether to take up her case."

    According to SCOTUSBLOG:

    "In filings with the Court, the lawyers for the two women disputed what the effect on visitation rights would be from an order like the one issued Monday. V.L. claims her visitation rights will be restored, but E.L. does not agree. It apparently will be up to state courts to say who is right on this point."

  • 2. jcmeiners  |  December 14, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Ok, I'm lost with this case. Is the matter here that the AK state Supreme Court is not recognizing an adoption by a lesbian couple? And because it's a state supreme court, it can be directly appealed to the US Supreme Court, including a request for a stay?

  • 3. VIRick  |  December 14, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    "Is the matter here that the AK state Supreme Court is not recognizing an adoption by a lesbian couple? And because it's a state supreme court, it can be directly appealed to the US Supreme Court, including a request for a stay?"

    Yes and yes,– except that the case is being appealed from the ALABAMA state Supreme Court (AK is Alaska). The US Supreme Court just stayed the ruling of the Alabama state Supreme Court, pending their decision on their accepting this case on certiorari.

    I relish this case (as will the US Supreme Court) because among other exciting points, it involves the Southernese cliche, "states' rights," that is, the state's right of the state of Georgia in granting this triple adoption in the first instance, adoptions which Roy Moore and his cronies at the Alabama Supreme Court refuse to recognize, plus giving cheek as to how they think the Georgia court should have ruled on the original adoption application back in 2007 when it was first granted, thus also challenging the "Full Faith and Credit" clause of the US Constitution. The US Supreme Court will rule in favor of Georgia (and the plaintiff, V.L.), as the Alabama Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction over interpreting Georgia law, nor over how a Georgia court interprets Georgia law.

    Plus, we need this ruling as further precedent building on top of "Obergefell," pushing past marriage to include other related matters like adoption. Plus, I can barely contain myself, waiting for the 4 RATS to be forced to rule in our favor (and the state of Georgia). Besides, Scalia, in particular, may well have a coronary over the entire matter, which will simultaneously solve yet another issue.

  • 4. BuddyinCA  |  December 14, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    LOL! Your reply was so funny. It made my day. 🙂

  • 5. VIRick  |  December 14, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Buddy, apparently my gay double-humor gene was out there on full display, even though I was not consciously exposing it to all and sundry.

  • 6. 1grod  |  December 14, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Rick – your elation -" I can barely contain myself" is felt here, even though we are 3200 k from one another.. Thank you for all that you contribute to this site…..
    The intrigant nine AL probate judges, such as Alfred Booth of Autauga Co [pop 55,515], take note of the disconnect between the thinking of the US Supreme Court and that of your state Supreme Court.

  • 7. VIRick  |  December 14, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Graeme, for the moment, we may be closer to each other in physical location than one might ordinarily presume. I'm in DC, right by the US Supreme Court, and was present when the stay was announced, about the last piece of business to transpire before the commencement of their end-of-the-year holiday break.

  • 8. JayJonson  |  December 15, 2015 at 6:28 am

    "intrigant"? Intransigent? Indignant?

    Graeme, I suspect your last couple of posts were sent from your phone. The one on the previous thread about Harper's appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada was indecipherable. Something about some appointee showing up for work (or not). Please repost that one. I am very interested in the Canadian judiciary and do not quite understand how appointments to the Supreme Court are made and confirmed. Please explain more about how that works and about Harper's (apparently unsuccessful) attempt to pack the Supreme Court.

  • 9. 1grod  |  December 17, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Jay: check out the site map: <a href="” target=”_blank”>
    And read the Supreme Court judgement on the Marc Nadon, the failed appointment to the Supreme Court and ex-post facto unconstitutional move of the PM: see. p 18/19….
    HOW MADE: The Governor General makes appointments to the Supreme Court. Those appointments are made on the 'advice' of the Prime Minister (PM). The PM is provided a shortlist of candidates, having had input from the provincial law societies and others.
    CONFIRMATION? Not as you might understand it. In 2006, PM Harper introduced a hearing process by parliamentarians. Timing of hearing: AFTER the appointment has been made and before the swearing in, but since 2014, the PM has not used it – for his last three appointments. The Globe and Mail newspaper said of the absence of hearing that "the government was worried about tough questions being asked to the new appointment."
    PACKING: PM Harper last appointment: the Toronto Star –
    Thanks for pointing out an misspelling.

  • 10. JayJonson  |  December 17, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Thanks! I look forward to learning more about the Canadian Supreme Court. Harper's last appointment seems to be a nasty piece of work.

  • 11. tx64jm  |  December 15, 2015 at 9:03 am

    "as the Alabama Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction over interpreting Georgia law"

    Not true. States are required to interpret and apply the laws of other states all the time. For instance:

    28 USC 1738B(h):

    "(2)Law of state of issuance of order.—
    In interpreting a child support order including the duration of current payments and other obligations of support, a court shall apply the law of the State of the court that issued the order."

    So for instance, if you file suit in Iowa to enforce a Texas child support order, then the Iowa court must apply Texas law and ignore Iowa law.

  • 12. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 15, 2015 at 9:48 am

    So, the one partner filed suit in Alabama, but the adoption took place in Georgia. Therefore the Alabama court should look at what Georgia law says, not Alabama law, and Georgia law says the adoption was legal..

    SCOTUS will have some fun with this case.

  • 13. VIRick  |  December 15, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    "SCOTUS will have some fun with this case."

    Indeed, Mike, they will. And so will we, as we watch the heads of the RATS all explode, as they are forced to affirm "states' rights" — for Georgia. It's totally delicious.

    The Georgia state court originally granted the triple adoption of the biological mother's children by her then-same-sex partner at the mutual request of BOTH women back in 2007. No one with standing within Georgia ever challenged or appealed the case, so the Georgia state Supreme Court never ruled on this matter. Thus, the lower court ruling still stands, and in adoption cases, in particular, it's important, for the sake of the children, not to be overturning established court rulings. That's why the "guardian ad lidem," the court-appointed attorney for the children, filed in support of the Plaintiff, V.L.

    However, after the two women split up, the biological mother took her 3 children with her and moved to Alabama. In Alabama, both the lowest-level court and the appeals court upheld the Georgia adoption ruling. It's only the Alabama Supreme Court which overturned the original Georgia state court ruling on the specious grounds that, according to them and their flawed logic, the Georgia state court did not rule correctly. However, an Alabama court does not have standing to tell a Georgia state court how it is supposed to rule in a specific case.

    "…. the Iowa court must apply Texas law and ignore Iowa law."

    Thus, in this instance, the Alabama court must apply Georgia law (as already done by a Georgia court) and ignore Alabama law. I'm quite glad to note that our resident troll, Jim in Texas, actually sees and understands this elementary legal point. This is an important start. We may end up "converting" him yet.

  • 14. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 15, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    "We may end up "converting" him yet."

    THAT is something I'd love to see, but with some trolls, 'conversion' is impossible. Jim, I suspect, is one of those 'unconvertible' trolls.

    We can always hope, though.

    Also, Jim apparently hasn't read and digested the first sentence of Section 1, Article IV, of the US Constitution.

  • 15. davepCA  |  December 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    If I remember the instructions in our Gay Agenda handbook, we're not supposed to convert him, we're supposed to 'destroy his American family'. Lewis Black explains how this is to be done.

  • 16. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 15, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    If I am guilty, so are many Gays, Lesbians, Bi-sexuals and Transgenders in hoping for conversion.

    Case in point: During the 1950s and 1960s, my mother was very against anyone who was GLBT. By the 1990s, even before she knew I was Gay, her attitude had gone through a change, and her opinion was 180 degrees different than previously.

    If we are supposed to 'destroy her American family', if destroyed during the 1960s, my very pro-GLBT (half-)sister (born of my mother in 1962) would also have been destroyed.

    I may be very left of center, politically, but I don't think Liberals have EVERY answer.

    Oh, and I don't have sound on my PC, so any YouTube videos are almost certainly for nought.

    Oh, and IF you saw a copy of 'the Gay Agenda', consider yourself a very fortunate GLBT person, possibly unique. In my experience as an out gay (going back more than 40 years), the only persons who have admitted to seeing 'the Gay Agenda' have been the anti-GLBT bigots. If you have seen 'the Gay Agenda', why are you posting pro-GLBT comments here, and not anti-GLBT comments?

  • 17. davepCA  |  December 15, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    just fyi – the Lewis Black video is absolutely hilarious (imo) and he does his usual excellent job of skewering idiotic right wing rhetoric. If you do get a chance to check it out with the sound on, I think you'll like it. Be sure to watch it all the way to the end.

  • 18. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 15, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    And apparently you can't read.

    I stated "I don't have sound on my PC". So tell me how, with no sound, I can turn on non-existent sound and watch the video?

  • 19. davepCA  |  December 15, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    On a different computer, for example. Sheeesh, Mike. What on earth is wrong with you?

    Sometimes you seem to be completely incapable of recognizing simple humor, jokes, and sarcasm, like my comment above regarding the 'gay agenda'. It was a JOKE. Duh.

  • 20. DrPatrick1  |  December 15, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    While I do not want to encourage Mike's ire, and I certainly don't want it directed at me, I hope he rereads this thread and apologizes. Your sarcastic comment was obvious yet still funny. Hopefully he stops trying to berate his fellow commenters, as he is often want to do. I hope he finds some happiness in his life, as I fear he has too little. Perhaps he and our Texan Jim shall have a date an iron out their psychological disturbances together…

  • 21. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 15, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    I won't apologize, because I don't have anything to apologize about.

    I don't go to the library, for example, to view the web on a 'free' computer, and I don't go to a computer cafe. And when I go to visit friends, I go to visit those friends, not to use any computer they might have.

    You or anyone keep up the posts with YouTube links, and I'll continue to ignore them as long as I have this computer that doesn't have sound.

    And sarcasm should be pointed out if delivered in print. It is delivered in print with no indication of sarcasm by people who think EVERYONE thinks as they do. Not everyone does. Therefore, sarcasm in print, unless described as such, should never be attempted.

    And what is this directly responding to a post of mine, but commenting about me in the third person?

  • 22. davepCA  |  December 15, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    What a level-headed and mature response. It's not the least bit petty or weird. I'll point out for you that this is sarcasm.

  • 23. Zack12  |  December 15, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    I hate to get into the wars here (but I'm about to) but the poster in question (Mike) accused me of being a liar and a idiot when I made a honest mistake about which U.S. state had the most Catholics a couple of years ago and never apologized for it, not going to happen here either though he is in the wrong.
    I mean this in the nicest way possible Mike but you really aren't above some of the troll posters we have here.
    You do have knowledge about these cases and the law but when you insult and attack other posters, those qualities get negated.
    There is no excuse for being rude or attacking other posters the way you have, none.
    As I said before, there is no point in asking you to apologize but keep this in mind.
    Keep up the attacks like this and you will get reported.
    So you can either choose to not be suck a jerk in the future or you can get banned, your choice.

  • 24. VIRick  |  December 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Mike. Please. Stop.

    There is no such thing as the "Gay Agenda Handbook." Dave is just being cutely sarcastic and lovably silly.

    However. However. However.

    Taking this page from said mythic "Gay Agenda Handbook," my two favorite EoT boyfriends are fighting with each other,– and here's what I don't like. They're NOT fighting over ME.

    So, if anyone must fight, you absolutely have to fight over ME. At least that's the rule in my own personal "Gay Agenda Handbook."

  • 25. DrPatrick1  |  December 15, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Mike, you (unlike my previous post, which was in reply to DavepCA, this post is in direct reply to you) have some rage issues, and as a professional, I strongly suggest a very patient counselor.

    There is no gay agenda. This is an obvious truth. You, yourself, acknowledged this truth. How anyone could read his (Davep's) reference to it and not understand the sarcasm is beyond me.

    He acknowledged your statement saying your sound is not functional, and simply stated that if ever (you win the lotto and buy a fully functional system, you find yourself in a library, you are kidnapped by Buddhists who deprive you of your freedom but allow you unfettered internet access on a working computer, whatever…) you have access to check out his video reference, you may find it enlightening. He didn't attack you, it seems his patience for you is infinitely greater than mine.

    As a fellow glbt person, I wish you the best. I leave you with but a simple request. Before you respond on this or any other message board, please think if there is any possibility your interpretation of the comment you would like to respond is not actually an attack on you. If there is any possibility of this, maybe, just maybe, the perceived attack really isn't one, and adjust your response accordingly. People here are generally a happy bunch and we have had much to celebrate as of late. Try your best, just a suggestion, not an order, to enjoy yourself. Peace!

  • 26. DrPatrick1  |  December 15, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I believe the couple always lived in AL. They established residency in GA for purposes of the adoption, but all the while continued to live in AL. There may have been grounds to dispute the adoption in GA ( soon after the adoption not so many years later) but that was never done. Now, the AL court is illegally trying to intervene in the merits of the adoption, which they cannot do!

  • 27. VIRick  |  December 15, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    "…. the couple always lived in AL. They established residency in GA for purposes of the adoption …."

    This point may be tangentially true, but during the time they had established residency in Georgia, they were residents of Georgia, even if only temporarily, and thus fell under the proper purview of the Georgia state court during that time interval.

  • 28. DrPatrick1  |  December 15, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Except that they weren't. They lived, worked, were domiciled in AL. They admit that due to more favorable jurisdictions in GA, they rented but never lived in a space in GA. They visited twice, for a required home visit and for the adoption hearing. They continued to live and work in AL, paid their taxes in AL, and never returned.

    All of that would be relevant to a GA appeal of the adoption years ago. It is not relavent to an AL appeal of custody and visitation rights predicated by an uncontested GA adoption decree.

    For the record, my information is based on my own recollections of reading the stay requests and responses in this case. I am totally open to the possibility that I am misremembering.

  • 29. tx64jm  |  December 15, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    No Georgia law says the adoption was not valid. Thats the whole point.

    "Specifically, Georgia law concerning third party adoption states:

    (a) Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter, a child who has any living parent or guardian may be adopted by a third party who is neither the stepparent nor relative of that child … only if each such living parent and each such guardian has voluntarily and in writing surrendered all of his or her rights to such child to that third party for the purpose of enabling that third party to adopt such child."

    Thats the problem … the biological mother of the child did not surrender her rights to the other partner so that she could adopt.

  • 30. FredDorner  |  December 15, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    "No Georgia law says the adoption was not valid. Thats the whole point."

    The Georgia courts already ruled in favor of the adoption, and that ruling is final. It's not up to the Alabama court to second guess that ruling or to make any ruling based on their interpretation of Georgia law. To do so would be a clear violation of Full Faith and Credit, and in this case also a rather clear violation of the Obergefell precedent.

  • 31. VIRick  |  December 15, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    The Georgia court already made a ruling. Period. End of sentence.

    This was a second-parent adoption proceeding, approved by a Georgia state court in 2007.

    In any event, this was not a third-party adoption, so quoting something regarding third-party adoptions is a meaningless exercise, given that it is not applicable to the situation in question.

  • 32. tx64jm  |  December 16, 2015 at 2:36 am

    "In any event, this was not a third-party adoption…"

    See slide 10.

    Third party adoptions are: adoptions done by other than a stepparent or blood relative.

    And since the two ladies werent married and the second lady is not a blood relative…

  • 33. DrPatrick1  |  December 15, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Georgia clearly states that the best interests of the child are one such exception. How could it be that the best interest of a child is not served by having the two women raising the child to both have legal rights and responsibilities in a country which believes that children are most often better served where there are two parents actively involved with raising children?

    Though you may attempt to answer my rhetorical question, I encourage you not to try. After all, this question has already been adjudicated and the court agreed and granted the adoption. The legal question is not whether the adoption granted by Georgia should have been granted, or even whether Georgia had the right to hear the case at all, rather the question is whether AL can disregard the Georgia adoption decree. ALSC says they are not delving into the merits of the adoption, but they find that GA law does not allow an adoption in this scenario, thus they don't have to consider the adoption when determining custody and visitation. How they can consider this question without considering the merits eludes me.

    I predict a 8-1 SCOTUS reversing ALSC. Thomas will be a lone dissenter.

  • 34. tx64jm  |  December 16, 2015 at 2:53 am

    "The legal question is not … whether Georgia had the right to hear the case at all…"

    That is exactly the legal question. If the Georgia court didnt have jurisdiction, then the Georgia adoption judgment is not entitled to full faith and credit.

  • 35. DrPatrick1  |  December 16, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    But AL has to reach the merits of the case to decide that the GA court erred. And they plainly cannot do that.

    Your legal analysis is second to none. I mean, over the last 2 years I think every single one of your predictions was wrong. I think the only value to reading your posts are that the exact opposite of what you want is what ultimately happens. Thank you for your perfectly incorrect record!

  • 36. bayareajohn  |  December 16, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Exactly… no matter how AL Courts say they aren't, they are assuming the role of an appeals court over GA, with some wacky idea that they can overrule GA court decisions on GA's behalf.

    If GA erred, someone with standing needs to appeal in GA if they want a different outcome. The AL court doesn't have standing, isn't a party, can't, shouldn't, won't.

    Full Faith and Credit says they must honor the judgements of other states. They can't reach a conclusion about the validity of the judgement without review of the facts (merits) to find a jurisdiction or any other issue. And they can't, shouldn't, won't.

    Did they invoke BAKER yet?

  • 37. tx64jm  |  December 16, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Well goody… so SCOTUS will tell us. Until then… everyone is just blowing hot air.

  • 38. davepCA  |  December 16, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Nope. Not everybody. Just you. Shoo, troll.

  • 39. tx64jm  |  December 16, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Everybody. Including you.

    1st Amendment, free speech and all that.

  • 40. davepCA  |  December 16, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    You having the right to free speech certainly doesn't guarantee that you have anything meaningful to say. Your comments are consistently wrong and contribute nothing meaningful to the discussion. They amount to little more than wishful thinking on your part in a feeble attempt to prop up your pathetic bigotry.

  • 41. VIRick  |  December 16, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Dave, the only good point in favor of our having a resident troll (or errant child, or mis-behaving puppy) comes from the fact that several other members of EoT, in rejoinder to his tangential side-issues and feeble defense of Alabama, members like Fred Dorner and bayareajohn, have provided excellent summations of the case at hand, summations which should enlighten other readers/members as to the pertinent facts which will need to be dealt with before SCOTUS.

    Next question: Where is my other boyfriend???

  • 42. RnL2008  |  December 15, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Merry Christmas Rick……as always your comment is spot on and a delight to read. Thank You for keeping us all informed as you do.


  • 43. VIRick  |  December 16, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Thank you, Rose. More hugs right back to you.

  • 44. RnL2008  |  December 16, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Thank you and please be safe through the Holiday season……..wishing you the best of the Winter Solstice and Yule <3

  • 45. BuddyinCA  |  December 14, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    This link from NCLR gives a good explanation of the history and current status of the case.

  • 46. Fortguy  |  December 14, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    The deadline for filing candidacies for the 2016 Texas Dem and GOP primaries expired earlier this evening. The Texas primaries will be held on Super Tuesday, March 1, after Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. The deadline applies to all partisan offices from Pres./VP down to county precinct positions.

    Of the 14 major (and I use that term loosely) GOP candidates, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore did not make the cut. They might as well withdraw now as filing in Texas is relatively easy. It requires either a mere $5,000 filing fee or petitions containing 300 names from each of the state's 36 congressional districts. If you can't make that low threshold in the state with the most delegates up for grab by that date, you need to hang it up. I have been keeping track of the Texas Secretary of State's candidate web page much of the day, and I was disappointed to see Frothy Mix's name appear just before the deadline.

    On the Dem side, Bernie, Hillary, and O'Malley will all be on the ballot, but they will be surrounded by a crowd of five others including weirdos such as Keith Judd who, despite being an inmate in a federal penitentiary, received 41% of the vote against Obama in the 2012 West Virginia primary. Filing as a Democrat required a $2,500 check or 5,000 signatures.

  • 47. Fortguy  |  December 14, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Awesome! For the first time in maybe two decades, Texas Dems have candidates running for every statewide office. On the ballot this year are three seats on the Supreme Court (the SC for civil law), three seats on the Court of Criminal Appeals (the SC for criminal law), and one seat on the Railroad Commission (the name is a constitutional anachronism; the Railroad Commission regulates panders to the oil and gas industry while the Dept. of Transportation, under appointed leadership, now regulates railroads). Texas is not electing a U.S. senator this year, and most executive offices are elected in midterm years.

  • 48. A_Jayne  |  December 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    "Texas Dems have candidates running for every statewide office."

    Excellent – and congrats TX Dems! Accomplishing that goal would have taken a lot of ground work. Good for y'all!

  • 49. Fortguy  |  December 16, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    This actually has consequence between progressives who are intensely loyal Democrats and progressives who disdain the two-party system and advocate a multi-party system offering a more robust pluralism of political ideals.

    A complete Democratic statewide slate, under state law, may very well eliminate the Green Party's ballot access for the following election cycle and likely beyond. Any "third party" that has already achieved ballot access must have at least one statewide candidate achieve 5% of the vote in an election to continue their access through the next election cycle. In races where Democrats and Republicans both field candidates, the Greens typically generate only 2-3% of the vote. The Greens have always benefited from races where Dems don't field a candidate. In those races, the Greens have been known to receive as much as 20% of the vote due to Dems who, lacking a candidate of their own, would rather cast an anti-GOP vote in favor of the Greens.

    Should a full Dem slate kick the Greens from automatic ballot access for 2018, the Greens would need to present to the Texas Secretary of State a list of participants in precinct caucuses equal to 1% of the people who cast votes in the 2014 governor's race, a total of 47,183 votes (relevant statute, 2014 results). Considering that a precinct may never contain more than 5,000 registered voters and that none of those participants are allowed to vote in major party primary and conventions or participate in any other parties' nominating processes, that presents a high bar to climb.

    For loyal Dems, this represents getting rid of the "Green Problem" as in when the 3% a Green draws in a closely contested election allows a GOPer to win by plurality in a diverse district. Furthermore, when the state as a whole realizes its true demographic destiny, and the Dems become effectively competitive, then the GOP will then have a "Libertarian Problem".

    Since the early 1970s when the long-defunct La Raza Unida was strong enough to be the only third party to actually conduct a primary, the Greens and Libertarians have been the only meaningful third parties with the Libertarians being the older, more established of the two. Not even Ross Perot's Reform Party in the 90s has ever gotten ballot access.

  • 50. RnL2008  |  December 15, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Here's a article you might be interested in:

    They have been a 100% accurate in predicating the next President since 1975……..and their prediction for who will win the White House in 2016 is a really nice one, if they stay accurate!!!

  • 51. Fortguy  |  December 17, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Trump announced during last night's debate that he would not run as an independent. If he did, he would have to do so while kissing goodbye to Texas' 38 electoral college votes. Texas law would not allow him to run as an independent now that he has filed as a GOP candidate.

  • 52. allan120102  |  December 14, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Colombia: As you can read in here it looks like the marriage case will be decide until 2016,as the judges are going to vacation on Friday, and this link says that the decision is expected until next year. Unless Slovenia legalize same sex marriage then 2015 will end with Ireland and the US as the only countries that legalize this year. I don´t count Luxembourg as the law was passed in 2014 but took effect until this year.

  • 53. guitaristbl  |  December 15, 2015 at 7:09 am

    On the civil union bill in Greece :

    The bill had its first parliamentary reading in the commitee and every party had a chance to state its intentions :

    The greek parliament has 8 parties (and 300 seats) and the bill is not only about the civil unions but it's a multi-purpose bill submitted by the ministry of justice, including some other controversial paragraphs such as the one about allowing imprisoned students more paroles to attend classes. So here it goes :

    The major coalition governmental partner, SYRIZA (left wing – 144 MPs) is of course fully in favour of the bill.

    The minor coalition partner ANEL,7th in power (right wing populist – 9 MPs) is in favour at principle but wants it to be made clear that same sex couples won't be allowed to adopt. The representative of the party in the commitee said "The article about civil unions must clearly ban adoption for same sex couples. We are skeptical. Not only does it open the way as it is now worded but directly allows such adoptions. The adoption is involving a 3rd person, a child and such an intervention is against the european treaty for children's rights and its unconstitutional"

    The major opposition party New Democracy (center-right to right-wing – 75 MPs) is in favour at principle but also reacts to what they consider a "not carefully worded article that may allow adoption" and also other parts of the bill as a whole as I mentioned before. The representative for the party in the commitee (former justice minister btw and a big bigot) said : "Our stance cannot be interpreted by our position to one article of the bill. Under conditions we can agree on the civil unions but our stance as a whole will depend on other issues including the stance of the justice minister and whether he will insist on articles we consider problematic. With the civil unions we essentially legislate civil marriage. New Democracy would agree to the extention of civil unions to same sex couples if some issues are made clear. We will wait to see the improvements, if any, to the articles we consider problematic and others we ask to be withdrawn. The most crucial part for us, which will influence our position, is article 12. It is written in an unfortunate way. It needs to be changed and it needs to be made clear whether the government is legislating adoption for same sex couples."

    The 3rd in power party, Golden Dawn (far right neo-nazi party – 18 MPs) is of course fully opposed. Their MPs have expressed the wish to criminalize homosexuality (although their candidate for the mayoral office in Athens is rumoured to be gay and had made an opening (sort of) to gay voters during the local elections in 2014).

    The 4th party, PASOK (center-right socialist – 17 MPs) fully supports the bill and their representative to the commitee said there is no need for celebrations as "on an international level this legal arrangment is common ground". They do criticize other articles of the bill, irrelevant to civil unions (I believe each article will be voted independently though so no worries there).

    The 5th party, KKE (communist, marxist, far – left – 15 MPs) is fully opposed (a very dissapointing move as they are directly related with that vote with the neonazis of Golden Dawn). Their representative to the commitee said : "We do not consider the homosexual orientation gives birth to rights elevated to family or the protection of children. Any form of cohabitation alone does not create rights. You are elevating a private matter to a family matter. You open the way, politically and legally, for adoption rights for same-sex couples."

    The 6th party To Potami (center to center-right – 11 MPs) is on the lines of PASOK, fully supporting but said there need to be improvements and said the bill is not bold enough, implying they should add a clear equal adoption provision – they are the only ones to say that btw. They consider a red flag other articles of the bill as well, but, again, that will not influence the civil union article itself.

    The 8th party in parliament, Union of Centrists (center progressive – 9 MPs) is in favour in principle but opposes adoption as well. Their representative said : "We are in favour in principle. But there is danger to have child birth for two men with the help of technology. The articles need to be completed as they can indirectly lead to the adoption of children from two women".

    The justice minister, as an answer to the parties claiming the bill allows adoptions said : "The government legislates honestly. If it wanted to legalize adoption it would do so clearly in the bill. It's a matter that interests society and the government would not pass it hidden in an article of the bill. It is clear that this bill does not include adoption rights for same sex couples and if you think there is need for a clarification I will do it".

    Finally there are 2 independent MPs. One comes from SYRIZA and is likely to support it. The other comes from ANEL – the infamous Mr. Nikolopoulos who vulgarly attacked the prime minister of Luxembourg on his wedding saying we are going "from the Europe of values to the Europe of fags". You can guess which way he is likely to vote.

  • 54. itscoldoutside  |  December 15, 2015 at 10:25 am

    22nd of this December? Well that was fast. I haven't even heard of any protests, just of a nasty reaction of one bishop.

    I'm only surprised by the KKE. Those must be some Russian brand of communists, not the gay-neutral ones I've grown up with in my country. A bit shocking, really.

  • 55. guitaristbl  |  December 15, 2015 at 11:46 am

    The youth wing of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) is super embarassed by their stance I assure you. They are old fashioned, stuck in the ages of glory of the USSR but for some reason it was expected they would be in favour of such a stripped down, incomplete bill at least. Ridiculous.
    There haven't been any protests, only some extremists bishops and a far right member of the New Democracy part caused some stir but the bill is generally accepted as common sense – ONLY because it does not have an adoption provision. If it had I think it would still pass (with less support than expected for the stripped down version of course) but it would cause much more stir. As it is, even the candidate for the presidency of New Democracy who is furthest to the right, defecting from a far-right populist party, is in favour of it. Which means that it is a gutted bill imo. But better than nothing.

  • 56. guitaristbl  |  December 15, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    A correction since I can't edit my comment now : PASOK is a center – left socialist party (at least it says so). It is one of the two former major parties of Greece (along with ND) but while boasting about it, it failed to bring a civil union bill to parliament while it had absolute majority in the parliament. Now they have the audacity to call out the current administration for not bringing it forth earlier.

  • 57. VIRick  |  December 16, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Guitar, thank you so much for that truly excellent summary of the parliamentary line-up in Greece on the impending civil unions legislation.

  • 58. guitaristbl  |  December 17, 2015 at 6:51 am

    I learned from the best here in terms of news coverage.

  • 59. VIRick  |  December 15, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Slovenia: Marriage Repeal Voting Began Today, 15 December 2015

    Slovenia’s Parliament approved same-sex marriage back in March 2015, but anti-gay and Christian groups backed by the local Catholic Church successfully pushed the issue to a national repeal referendum. EU politicians, including European commissioner Violeta Bulc, are urging Slovenia to back same-sex marriage, as early voting began today, 15 December 2015, on a referendum that could overturn a controversial marriage equality law.

    If the country supports same-sex marriage, as Irish voters did in May 2015, Slovenia would break new ground, becoming the first Central European, Slavic, and post-Communist nation to do so. In contrast, 12 Western European countries have already implemented same-sex marriage laws. The referendum results will be released Sunday, 20 December 2015. Voters are deciding whether to uphold a Slovenian law passed in March that legalizes same-sex marriage.

  • 60. itscoldoutside  |  December 16, 2015 at 1:08 am

    The new results of a big (and last) poll for Sunday have just been released:

    47% are against, 45% are for the new law and 8% are undecided. 43% of those polled said they will definitely go to the ballot.

  • 61. allan120102  |  December 16, 2015 at 1:32 am

    It will be very close to know how this is going to be decided. hoping for the best.

  • 62. itscoldoutside  |  December 16, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Well, the pope voiced his opposition to the new law today and the news has been carried over the national media. In other words, unless someone can get Hillary on the line, this law is as good as dead.

  • 63. Christian0811  |  December 16, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Why would Hillary have an equal voice to the Pope in Slovenia of all places? Is she particularly popular there for some reason?

    And all is not lost, CC has not had a final say. There's good reason to believe that the Slovene CC will intervene, unlike in many other courts before it. Many of the prior defeats at the CC's of France, Costa Rica, Italy, and Chile had never before addressed LGBT issues and if they had they were before Oliari, Atala, and Obergefell. Don't give up just yet.

    And even if the CC fails, Maine had the same situation and 4 years later another referendum approved the ME law. Even if you lose now, doesn't mean the battle is over.

  • 64. itscoldoutside  |  December 16, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    You know how some obscure bands who haven't quite made it in their own country are big in Japan and no one can explain why? It's the same thing with Hillary and Slovenia. Her and her husband's visit years and years ago was really etched into our collective memory. Popes come and go, but She (peace be upon her) is an institution. People remain completely enamored with her. Especially those of the older generation who will vote against.

    I know they will still try with the CC but the reality remains that we will have been defeated twice in a row. The haters will have their moral victory, whatever happens at the CC.

  • 65. ArizonaLurker  |  December 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I actually signed just to say that I wish I could give you a big hug, itscold. I am incredibly grateful for all of the updates on the ground there for those of us outside the country. I am sorry for whatever happened to make you so depressed.

    Anyway, my thoughts… On paper we never had a chance in a place like Slovenia. A Catholic, Slavic, ex-communist country. Why should we have even bothered? Although I suspect (and have always thought) that we will lose the upcoming vote, the fact that it is even remotely competitive should show that there is hope (almost) everywhere. Remember, we lost in Maine 2009, we lost in California 2008 (sigh we could really have used that help here in AZ), we lost in the NY Legislature, and yet today we can get married in all of those places.

    We WILL win in Slovenia, if not this weekend then someday. One final question. I am hearing two different stories about Slovenian law. Many gay websites are reporting that if there is 20% total turnout, then the vote is valid. Others are claiming that the haters have to get 20% of the population on their side to win. Does anyone know which one it is? If only 20% turnout is necessary, shouldn't our side be boycotting the vote like they did in Slovakia?

  • 66. itscoldoutside  |  December 16, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    It may sound morbid but we actually just need to wait for older, church-going people to die. It's a conflict with the Church, it really is as simple as that.

    The communist (or more accurately, socialist – as we never really had the hard communism of USSR) past is a double edged sword. On the one hand, people who jut out from the vast sea of grey sameness are punished, especially by the older generation. Gay people of course tick that box. And then some.

    But on the other hand, it gave us a wonderful gift of letting organized religion know its place and of course the equality of the sexes. No one dares question the right to abortion here. Nor would anyone ever ask people in a poll about what they think of atheists. And lest we forget, we wouldn't have this new law without the socialists in the government. Even the poll I've mentioned upthread shows that they are our biggest supporters.

    At least 20% of eligible voters need to cast a vote against the law for it to fall. So the turnout of the proponents doesn't matter at all. It's a common misconception even here and it took a former CC judge to clarify the matter and urge the supporters not to stay home as the result will look even worse.

    I'll of course post updates on the turnout come Sunday. And you are too kind. I know there will be other chances in the future should this fail. I'm just sad for all the others who will not emigrate like me. I'm sad they have to go through this again. And for the kid I saw today on the bus, with a badge in support of the new law and bags full of pamphlets. I couldn't even bring myself to look him in the eye.

    Being seen and treated as less than others drains the life out of me and I will never apologize for feeling terrible about it.

  • 67. Christian0811  |  December 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    I don't recall the second defeat at the CC? So far we just have wins as I recall :/ would you care to enlighten me? I like to up to date on constitutional jurisprudence

  • 68. allan120102  |  December 16, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I am not going to loose my hope until its declare we loose. I hope we win this one really bad. If I could pass my statistics class then we can win Slovenia this year.

  • 69. ArizonaLurker  |  December 18, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Turnout for early voting in Slovenia is up more than 50% compared with the 2012 gay rights referendum. Unfortunately, that's not a real good sign for our side. Unless for some reason a lot of people decided to vote early and turnout on Sunday diminishes, we're in big trouble. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll get hit with a blizzard… sigh.… (run it through Google Translate).

    I REALLY hope that no matter what happens in Slovenia, our people in Germany get their frigging acts together. Germany is the key to Central Europe, and without them we aren't going to make much in the way of progress there.

  • 70. allan120102  |  December 18, 2015 at 2:12 am

    Austria might become the first in central Europe if their supreme court strike their ban as they have already hear a case or are going to hear a case not sure. Now that Austrian might adopt and have other rights, not sure why wouldn´t the supreme court extend this right.

  • 71. guitaristbl  |  December 18, 2015 at 3:36 am

    They still need much more than that to win. They need 20 % of registered voters to vote AGAINST the law. It's no easy task.

  • 72. ArizonaLurker  |  December 18, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Going by the referendum results from 2012, election day voter turnout makes up a much greater percentage of the vote than it would in the USA. Based on that if turnout continues like this through election day (and note that I said IF), the total turnout will near 50%. So if the bigots win the vote (which most people are expecting them to do) they will clear 20% pretty easily.

    The last thing I want to do is sound overly negative. I'm hoping just as hard as anybody else for some good news on Sunday night. I don't want those NOM lowlifes to have ANY reason for hope anywhere on the face of this planet. But it doesn't do anybody any good to ignore reality and the facts as we get them.

  • 73. scream4ever  |  December 18, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Early voting almost always is beneficial to our side, at least in the United States.

  • 74. allan120102  |  December 15, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Tabasco just ban surrogacy for same sex couples and foreign couples. I imagine if challenge the law would be found uncunstitutional as is discriminates against some groups and allowing others of this benefits, or the supreme court might find it uncunstitutional on the ground that is prohibit as Tabasco is the only state that have allow surrogacy, a surprise of this state as it borders Guatemala and they are very conservative near those regions.

  • 75. guitaristbl  |  December 16, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I will just say again that I expect the slovenian marriage law to be upheld as the opponents won't reach the 20 % of registered voters they need to vote against for it to be repealed.

  • 76. josejoram  |  December 18, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Venezuela has just elected our first open Transgender/lesbian and our first openly gay legislators.

  • 77. VIRick  |  December 16, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 16 December 2015, in "Torres v. Rhoades," the Wisconsin lawsuit in which the state has been sued for parental recognition on children's birth certificates, the plaintiffs are seeking certification of the suit as a class action:

    Order: "Parties may have until 30 December 2015 to show cause why the class should not receive notice in the event that the court grants the motion for class certification. In addition, the parties should address the question of how notice would be provided if that is what the court orders."

  • 78. FredDorner  |  December 16, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I'm amazed my state is fighting this given that it needs only look to Iowa to see the ultimate outcome, but the two Republican AGs during the Walker administration have both been really dumb bigots and theocrats. In fact when he was running for election the new AG said that he would have defended a ban on mixed-race marriage.

  • 79. VIRick  |  December 16, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Fred, in addition to Wisconsin, there are similar lawsuits moving forward on this same issue related to the state's non-recognition of the second parent of a same-sex couple on the birth certificates of their children in Indiana, Florida, Arkansas, and Nebraska.

  • 80. VIRick  |  December 17, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    And now, we can add a 6th state, North Carolina, to the non-recognition of the second parent of a same-sex couple on the birth certificates of their children's case list:

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 17 December 2015, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit in US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, "Weiss v. Brajer," on behalf Melissa and Meredith Weiss, a married lesbian couple, seeking birth certificates listing both mothers as parents of their two sons. The case has been assigned to Senior Judge W. Earl Britt.

    Lambda Legal's press release:

    Although North Carolina changed their policies after federal courts struck down discriminatory marriage laws, there are children who were born to married same-sex couples in North Carolina before the unconstitutional marriage ban was struck down—those children should have accurate birth certificate listing both of their parents. This lawsuit aims to ensure that all children born to married parents are treated equally, regardless of who they are born to or when they were born.

    On 14 October 2014, Melissa and Meredith requested new birth certificates listing both women as the children’s parent, providing DHHS with the court orders and proof of their 2003 marriage. More than a year later, their children’s birth certificates still inaccurately reflect that they were born to an unmarried woman and list Meredith as the only parent of one child and Melissa as the only parent of the other.

    In May 2015, DHHS issued policies regarding birth certificates for children of married same-sex couples saying that only children born after 10 October 2014 (the date when North Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down in federal court) could receive new birth certificates listing both parents. Inexplicably, DHHS polices do not allow children, like the Weiss children, who were born to married same-sex couples before 10 October 2014, to get new birth certificates naming both spouses as parents, effectively erasing one parent from the family in the eyes of the State and leaving these children more vulnerable, less protected and unfairly stigmatized.

    Today, Lambda Legal filed a complaint on behalf of the Weisses noting that the DHHS policies that refuse to provide new birth certificates to children born to same-sex spouses before 10 October 2014 are arbitrary and harmful and violate the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

  • 81. VIRick  |  December 16, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Can Now Marry Couples in New Zealand

    The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has won the right to marry couples in New Zealand. The satirical church, created in 2005 to protest the teaching of creationism, was granted the license to perform marriages in New Zealand. The announcement was made in the Gazette, from the office of the Registrar-General of New Zealand.

    Followers of the church are called ‘pastafarians’, and often wear colanders on their heads, particularly in driving license photos. As well as wearing the kitchenware, they also speak like pirates.

    The religion’s website reads that it is “not a joke. Elements of our religion are sometimes described as satire and there are many members who do not literally believe our scripture, but this isn’t unusual in religion. A lot of Christians don’t believe the Bible is literally true — but that doesn’t mean they aren’t True Christians. If you say Pastafarians must believe in a literal Flying Spaghetti Monster to be True Believers, then you can make a similar argument for Christians. There is a lot of outlandish stuff in the Bible that rational Christians choose to ignore.”

    The church posted on Facebook after the announcement: “Ahoy Pastafarians! The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was Gazetted on 10 December 2015. You can search for NZ Gazette and the keyword Spaghetti and see fer yerself! We Be Official! R’Amen!”

  • 82. davepCA  |  December 16, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I wonder what the pirate stuff is all about?

  • 83. VIRick  |  December 16, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Dave, I have no clue. When I first heard of this church, they were announcing their arrival in Puerto Rico (in Spanish), so as to be on-hand to officiate at the marriages of any same-sex couple in need of an amenable officiant immediately after legalization of same-sex marriage. In Spanish, I completely did not detect any hint of pirate language. The hilarious headline simply said: "Llega a la Isla la religión del Monstruo de Espagueti Volador."

  • 84. VIRick  |  December 16, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Malta Could Become First European Nation to Ban ‘Gay Cure’ Therapy

    On 15 December 2015, the country’s government unveiled an ‘Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression’ bill which would outlaw so-called ‘conversion’ therapy. The practice of attempting to ‘cure’ someone’s sexuality is considered pointless and damaging by most experts, but is yet to be outlawed in many countries.

    Malta’s Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs, and Civil Liberties, Helena Dalli, presented the bill for its first reading in Parliament, with the aim of prohibiting LGBT ‘conversion therapy’ as a deceptive and harmful act. A public consultation has also launched on the issue, which will remain open for a month.

    The consultation website explains: “Conversion therapy seeks to change and, or to repress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and, or gender expression. Should this Bill become law, Malta will be the first European country to criminalize such practice.”

  • 85. guitaristbl  |  December 17, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Update on civil unions in Greece : The bill advanced from the commitee and will now be going to the full parliament – but not without drama as the coalition governmental partner, ANEL voted against the bill after all in the commitee and the 3 opposition centrist-leftist parties stoop in to save the day.

  • 86. JayJonson  |  December 17, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Important court ruling in Massachusetts where a Superior Court judge has ruled that an all-girls Catholic prep school violated state anti-discrimination law by rescinding a job offer to a man in a same-sex marriage.

    Matthew Barrett was offered a job as Fontbonne Academy's food services director in 2013, but the offer was withdrawn days later after he listed his husband as his emergency contact.

    Barrett sued, alleging that the Milton school discriminated against him based on sexual orientation and gender. Norfolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins agreed, rejecting Fontbonne's claim that hiring Barrett would infringe on its constitutional rights because it views his marriage to a man as incompatible with its religious mission.

    The judge said Barrett's duties as a food services director did not include presenting the teachings of the Catholic church.

    "As an educational institution, Fontbonne retains control over its mission and message. It is not forced to allow Barrett to dilute that message, where he will not be a teacher, minister or spokesman for Fontbonne and has not engaged in public advocacy of same-sex marriage," Wilkins wrote in a ruling issued Wednesday.

    The judge also found that a religious exemption to the state anti-discrimination law applies only if a religious organization limits admission to people of a certain religion. Fontbonne is open to students and employees of all faiths, with the exception of its administration and theology faculty.

    It was not immediately clear if Fontbonne plans to appeal the ruling. In a statement, the school said it is considering its options.

    Fontbonne's attorney, John Bagley, did not immediately respond to a phone message and email seeking comment.

    Barrett's attorney, Ben Klein of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, said the judge has found that Fontbonne is liable to pay damages to Barrett for lost wages and compensatory damages for discrimination. A hearing has not yet been scheduled.

    "Marriage equality has been the law of Massachusetts for over a decade and it is now the law of the land. But you can't have equality if you can get married on Saturday and fired on Monday," Klein said.

    Judge Wilkins' decision may be found here:

    See also:

  • 87. FredDorner  |  December 17, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Very good news and an appropriately swift ruling. I think the oral arguments were just 2 weeks ago.

  • 88. 1grod  |  December 18, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Jay an analogous Canadian example is a 1998 Alberta case of a laboratory coordinator at a religious college who had permanent employment status, indeed a promotion. He was let go because when asked he acknowledged his sexual orientation [Vriend v Alberta]. Case heard by the Canadian Supreme Court. Unlike Massachusetts [now], Alberta did not have protection against discrimination of the bases of sexual orientation on a type of protection found in the provincial charter of civil rights (IRPA). However in 1995 our Supreme Court wrote into the federal charter sexual orientation as a prohibitive grounds Like the USA , the Supreme Court has final say. The Supreme Court wrote into the Alberta's IRPA) a prohibitive grounds such discrimination. Delwin's employment was reinstated.
    "To apply the ministerial exception here [Barrett director of Food Services case would allow all religious schools to exempt all its employees from employment discrimination laws simply by calling them all". says Justice Douglas H, Wilkins (p 20)

  • 89. VIRick  |  December 17, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    On 16 December 2015, in "Miller v. Davis," the Kentucky clerk's consolidated appeal before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, we have the Plaintiffs' Brief:

    "Davis’ appeals incorrectly seek judicial approval to use the authority of her public office to elevate her own personal, religious beliefs over the clearly established rights of others. If accepted, Davis’ argument would have the effect of allowing individual public employees’ personal, religious beliefs to determine the availability of governmental services—even where, as here, the government services are legal prerequisites for the exercise of other individuals’ constitutionally guaranteed rights. Such a result would create a patchwork system in which the availability of governmental services would depend upon the personal, religious views of the various public officials responsible for providing them."

  • 90. FredDorner  |  December 17, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    In vaguely related news, Mat Staver's co-conspirator in the US v Miller case just lost his appeal and will need to go to prison for the next 27 months or so. This criminal case concerns an international child abduction which Staver apparently coordinated when his client lost in the Miller v Jenkins child custody case.

    Unfortunately the kidnapped child is still being hidden in Nicaragua out of reach of US law.

    Justice in time for Christmas.

  • 91. scream4ever  |  December 18, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Isn't the child now an adult though.

  • 92. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 18, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Re: Miller v. Davis:

    Keep in mind all these briefs and prior motions are only about whether the district court was correct in issuing the preliminary injunction. In fact the plaintiff’s brief states that because Kim Davis is technically in compliance with the preliminary injunction the controversy over the preliminary injunction has been mooted and the circuit court does not have jurisdiction concerning whether the preliminary injunction was properly issued by the court below. The mootness issue is the first salvo from the plaintiff’s attorneys in their extensive brief.

    Still to follow: 1) Whether the putative plaintiff class-action status is established.

    2) The alteration of the licenses.

    3) The appeal on the merits of the case.

    It got so crazy that the circuit court, on it’s own, put some of the other issues being appealed on stay until this single issue of issuing the preliminary injunction could be resolved.

    This one is going to be around a long time before final resolution.

  • 93. FredDorner  |  December 18, 2015 at 9:30 am

    "In fact the plaintiff’s brief states that because Kim Davis is technically in compliance with the preliminary injunction"

    I don't think that's correct at all, particularly since pgs 14-16 state that Davis is still not in compliance with the injunction or the release order, and also notes that "Plaintiffs have filed, and the parties have fully briefed, a motion that has been submitted to the district court seeking appropriate relief for the altered licenses being issued by Davis’ office since her release from custody." However what it does state is that the deputies are acting in compliance with the injunction.

  • 94. sfbob  |  December 17, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    I haven't seen any word on this here but per some Facebook posts Scottie is very ill, has been hospitalized with some sort of systemic infection, is currently in ICU and is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning. If you happen to be friends with Scottie on Facebook be sure to send him messages of support.

  • 95. JayJonson  |  December 18, 2015 at 6:14 am

    So sorry to hear this. I hope that Scottie gets well soon. I know we all send good vibes his way.

  • 96. Fortguy  |  December 17, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Some people have peculiar fantasies and fetishes. Some of those can be especially weird or distasteful. And then there is this: Ted Cruz Erotic Fan Fiction Is A Thing You Can Buy And Read Right Now

  • 97. allan120102  |  December 18, 2015 at 1:50 am

    OMG breaking news from Mexico. Nayarit just became the newest State to legalize same sex marriage and it was just passed by their congress. Sweet. Was a pretty big surprise to me when I read it.

  • 98. itscoldoutside  |  December 18, 2015 at 8:15 am

    And the result of another survey, made by a reliable pollster for the national media channel:

    38,3% support the new law in Slovenia, while 49,5% oppose it and 12.2% remain undecided. 45,8% of respondents say they will definitely go to the ballot on Sunday. So, all in all, very bad news for us and the lgbt groups are already bracing themselves for defeat. The pope's words of disapproval had a big impact, as predicted.

    I also have to correct something I've said in one of my earlier posts. The Catholic and the Orthodox Church have come out in fierce opposition of the new law while the leaders of the muslim community have said they don't wish to take sides and will leave it to their adherents to vote any way they want. I suppose they must see we're in the exact same boat they were in a couple years back when the CC blocked a referendum on whether they can build their first islamic cultural centre in the capital. Of course that centre was financed in large part by Qatar so I'm not sure how long they'll be able to remain neutral on this. In any case, being a minority sucks.

  • 99. guitaristbl  |  December 18, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Still a very difficult numerical victory for opponents even with this extremely pessimistic poll. I am sure LGBT groups are out there fighting and are not bracing themselves for anything till the results are in. Still plenty of undecided voters and a very marginal 20 % against the law in the limits of statistical error. Nothing new here, it will be close. But as I made it clear I do not consider you anything close to a reliable source of sentiment and information given your mood. Even in the (not likely imo) scenario of a defeat, all relevant laws can and should be challenged at the constitutional court.

  • 100. itscoldoutside  |  December 18, 2015 at 8:49 am

    If the law should fall, the discriminatory laws will probably be challenged in court. But that will take years. Not to mention the costs of litigation for every single one of them. And of course, no one can say for sure that the CC would side with us. A lot depends on what the Austrian CC will do in the future.

  • 101. guitaristbl  |  December 18, 2015 at 8:58 am

    And since the law wont fall imo this all wont be necessary. And even in that unlikely scenario same-sex couples can challenge all the relevant provisions at once – and I doubt that would take years, a year at most. And with the recent decision of ECHR against Italy there would already be an advantage.
    Anyway it doesn't matter, we will be around celebrating the law going to effect on Sunday anyway imo.

  • 102. itscoldoutside  |  December 18, 2015 at 9:22 am

    From your lips to the haters' God's ears.

  • 103. SethInMaryland  |  December 18, 2015 at 9:48 am

    One thing to remember I think is important about half plan not to show up according to that poll. That could completely change the numbers around. We have to wait until the final numbers come out

  • 104. ArizonaLurker  |  December 18, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Cold, do you know if turnout numbers will be updated during the day on Sunday? The Slovenian elections department has been posting turnout numbers from early voting, but not until the next day. If we knew during the day from officials how high turnout is (and not just "the polling places were crowded/not crowded", but real numbers), it would help prepare us, good or bad, to hear the results.

  • 105. itscoldoutside  |  December 18, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Yes, I'll update you on the turnout throughout Sunday. The State Election Comission usually releases it at least twice during the election day: data for the turnout by noon and by 5 pm.

  • 106. Christian0811  |  December 18, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Actually constitutionally Slovenia has a leg up in this battle. Austria relies solely on the text of the ECHR for its civil liberties and Article 12 is precluding the use of the judiciary in the expansion of civil marriage.

    Where as Slovenia's constitution has a completely gender neutral article on marriage and previous CC case law establishes that sexual orientation is constitutionally protected grounds regarding discrimination. Also remember that 4 of the 9 judges were inclined to allow the NA to block the current referendum, which bodes well in spite of the ill outcome. I suspect the margin would be wider in striking down the actual marriage ban or in rejecting a marriage-repeal bill by a future, more conservative, NA.

    I am not getting my hopes up in this referendum, but I think ultimately this battle will be won and very soon.

  • 107. itscoldoutside  |  December 18, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    I agree but would just add that the marriage-repeal bill would never be introduced even by the most conservative government as taking away once granted rights is a total non starter. That's why the haters are so nervous about this. There really is no going back should this pass.

    And of course sexual orientation is listed in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights so would be protected even without any case law.

  • 108. guitaristbl  |  December 18, 2015 at 9:02 am

    And while we are at it :

    ONLY a mere 1 % voted in 3 days and that's considered high in Slovenia ? And remember, the opponents need 20 % to turnout and vote against, not just vote.

    This may be easier than we make it out to be imo.

    Also interesting is to compare the results of polls from the same company. On the episcenter polls for example, opposition dropped and support rised in a month to margin-of-error differences.

  • 109. ArizonaLurker  |  December 18, 2015 at 10:08 am

    In 2012, in the 3 days of early voting less than 1% of voters (.92% to be exact) turned out, yet by the end of election day more than 30% of voters had turned out. Translation: in Slovenia they don't vote early like they do in the USA. Turnout there spikes massively on election day. Also if you check the Wikipedia article on the previous gay rights referendum, you will see that the polls were COMPLETELY wrong.

    As I said before, I have no clue what is going to happen. We simply don't have enough precedent for this kind of vote in Slovenia. That's probably why it may be safer to be pessimistic to safeguard your heart from being broken. But I do think that it's wrong to completely dismiss someone who is actually THERE, unlike the rest of us.

    Given that there aren't going to be any major news updates until Sunday, it's probably pointless to keep arguing. If I were religious I would pray, instead I'll simply try and think good thoughts and hope for the best (but prepare for the worst).

  • 110. allan120102  |  December 18, 2015 at 10:46 am

    I am not sure if people can still vote on sunday as the results come that day. I imagine tomorrow will be the bigt turnout as Saturday people don t go to work or do other stuff.That is why in Honduras elections are on Sunday . I just really hope this law is upheld. That would put Slovenia as the 22nd country in the world were same sex couples could get marry.

  • 111. itscoldoutside  |  December 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Almost everyone will vote on Sunday. That's why campaign silence starts on Saturday. The voting then closes at 7 pm on Sunday and it only takes a couple of hours to count the results.

    And please remember that it's the fourth advent Sunday so, like in the previous referendum, everyone who is at mass that day will get one last campaign pitch to go the the polls or don't bother ever coming to church again.

  • 112. itscoldoutside  |  December 18, 2015 at 10:57 am

    You're exactly right. The early voting here is such a chore and extremely inconvenient: you have to fill out and send a special form stating you intention to vote early, then go to the clerk's office and wait in line to vote. I don't personally know anyone who's ever done that.

    And 1% is A LOT for early voting here. People were actually surprised by that number.

  • 113. allan120102  |  December 18, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Neither in here. voting from Monday to Friday is pretty difficult in here. People would prefer to work than vote. btw arent people going to vote on saturday? yeah 1% of voting its bad for us. Now I dont see how are we not going to brake the 20% thereshold.

  • 114. itscoldoutside  |  December 18, 2015 at 11:18 am

    No, the last day of early voting was yesterday so voting today or tomorrow in any way is not possible. The polls will open on Sunday at 7 am.

  • 115. allan120102  |  December 18, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks for the answer 😀

  • 116. VIRick  |  December 18, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    "But I do think that it's wrong to completely dismiss someone who is actually THERE, unlike the rest of us."

    Indeed! Plus, I also think it wrong to press and/or berate the person who is actually on the ground there about their opinions/observations/knowledge.

    For example, in the interval just before the legalization of same-sex marriage in the Virgin Islands, I knew that the chief judge of the territory would press forward on this matter regardless of whether or not the legislature would lift a finger to change the law and/or whether the governor would actually issue the executive order. However, I simply could not state in print in advance what I already knew, as it could have jeopardized the entire plan. Even now, please don't ask how I knew in advance what the chief judge intended to do.

  • 117. JayJonson  |  December 18, 2015 at 10:32 am

    From Joe.My.God and the Southern Poverty Law Center on the reparative therapy consumer fraud trial in New Jersey:

    New Jersey Superior Court Judge Peter F. Bariso Jr. granted a permanent injunction today after an agreement by both parties requiring JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing) to shut down entirely and prohibiting founder Arthur Goldberg and counselor Alan Downing from engaging in any form of conversion therapy commerce in New Jersey.

    The jury in the case found unanimously on June 25 that by offering services it claimed could turn gay people straight, JONAH committed consumer fraud and engaged in unconscionable commercial practices. Under the settlement, the defendants will pay the full $72,400 in damages awarded by the jury to compensate the plaintiffs for the fees they paid to JONAH and for remedial mental health counseling for one plaintiff.

    The proposed judgment includes a $3.5 million award of legal fees. The plaintiffs agreed to accept an undisclosed portion of that award, but the defendants will be liable for the full amount if they violate the agreement.

    JONAH will be required to shut down all of its operations within 30 days after the order is entered, and its websites and online listservs must be removed. JONAH also will have to liquidate its assets and permanently dissolve as a corporate entity within six months.

    Former NOM president Maggie Gallagher sits on the board of the legal group that defended JONAH.

  • 118. davepCA  |  December 18, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Excellent news, thanks.

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