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READ IT HERE: Opening brief in Mississippi’s appeal in religious liberty case involving marriage


Fifth Circuit Court of AppealsThe governor of Mississippi has filed his opening brief in Barber v. Bryant, a challenge to HB 1523. The plaintiffs challenging the so-called “religious liberty” law, passed to stop religious people from having to participate in same-sex marriages, won in the district court and the governor appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Robert Kaplan, who successfully fought and won a challenge against Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as well as Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban, is one of the main lawyers in the case.

You can read the brief here.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. scream4ever  |  October 27, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Roberta Kaplan also was the lawyer who struck down the state's gay adoption ban. They hate her down there for a good reason!

  • 2. JayJonson  |  October 27, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Or, conversely, many LOVE her there and elsewhere for a good reason! She also won the marriage equality case there.

  • 3. VIRick  |  October 27, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Guernsey, Gibraltar, and Jersey: Status of Same-Sex Marriage Bills

    On 21 September 2016, lawmakers on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel approved a same-sex marriage bill, but Queen Elizabeth II has yet to sign it into law through royal assent, after which it will then be promulgated by the Privy Council. It has been estimated that same-sex couples will be able to marry there by mid-2017.

    And yesterday, 26 October 2016, Gibraltar's Parliament unanimously approved a same-sex marriage bill. In due course, and following the same procedure, it too will need to be signed into law by royal assent and then promulgated.

    We're also still awaiting the lawmakers on the island of Jersey to give their final approval to the pending same-sex marriage bill there, which will also then need to be signed into law by royal assent and promulgated through the Privy Council.

  • 4. Randolph_Finder  |  October 31, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Anyone know whether 40 days (more or less 21 September to now) is a long time to wait for Royal Assent?

  • 5. VIRick  |  October 31, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    The Royal Assent must be granted. The Queen and her Privy Council do not have discretion. So, for a time comparison, here's the time-frame for the Isle of Man Marriage Bill:

    Today, 26 April 2016, the Manx Legislative Council passed its Marriage and Civil Partnership (Amendment) Bill, with six votes in favor and three against. The bill amends marriage laws to allow same-sex couples to marry, as they can in Scotland, England, Wales, and the Republic of Ireland.

    The Lower House previously approved the Isle of Man's marriage bill, 17-3, in March 2016, and now the Legislative Council did the same, 6-3. The bill will be signed in Tynwald Court, and then sent on for the Royal Assent.

    Then, as for the second step:

    Today, 19 July 2016, the bill allowing same-sex marriage to officially become law in the Isle of Man passed its final hurdle. Confirmation was made in the Tynwald (the local legislature) that the Royal Assent had been granted to this legislation by the Privy Council in the UK. The new marriage legislation will become effective from Friday, 22 July 2016. (The first same-sex marriage actually occurred there on 30 July 2016.)

    Based on this previous bill, it would appear that the entire process takes just short of 90 days. Given the same time-frame, the Guernsey legislation might be able to go into effect as early as 19 December 2016, and that for Gibraltar by around 23 January 2017.

  • 6. VIRick  |  October 27, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Minnesota: Transgender School Policy Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 27 October 2016, in the federal case, "Privacy Matters v. US Dept. of Education," wherein which Parents/Students, represented by the ADF, are suing the federal government and a Minnesota school district to block a policy that protects transgender students from discrimination, consistent with federal Title IX guidelines, Judge Wright has granted Jane Doe's (filed with pseudonym) Motion to Intervene. Doe will be permitted to participate in oral argument in the hearing on the Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction on 16 November.

    The Order Granting Motion to Intervene is here:

    Jane Doe, through her mother, Sarah Doe, is a trans-gender student in the Minnesota school district in question.

    This is another ADF suit, whereupon denying the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction, the judge should then request plaintiffs to amend its complaint by a certain set date to include a fact essential to its claim. And unable to do so, plaintiffs will then be forced to request a Voluntary Dismissal, just as was done to the very recent ADF case in Iowa.

    Just to refresh everyone, when this case was first filed on 9 September 2016, the complaint alleges violations of:
    (1) the Administrative Procedure Act, in issuing the Title IX guidelines,
    (2) Title IX,
    (3) constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right to privacy,
    (4) parents' constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children,
    (5) right of free excercise of religion,
    (6) Minnesota Constitution, art. 1, §16 [freedom of religion],
    (7) Religious Freedom Restoration Act ["RFRA"]

    If anyone can figure out how "religion" has anything to do with bathroom use, let alone how one does it with the mis-spelled word, "excercise," please feel free to provide all of us with that explanation.

  • 7. allan120102  |  October 27, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Nepal closer and closer in getting to be the first country in Asia to legalize ssm, I am actually believing it might beat Taiwan.

  • 8. allan120102  |  October 27, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Territory of Saint Helena delays ssm bill Executive ask to be approve asap.

  • 9. VIRick  |  October 27, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Buffalo Public Schools New Gender Identity Policy

    The "Buffalo News" reports:

    The Buffalo Public Schools have a new gender identity policy to dictate how transgender students are treated. The polarizing policy allows a transgender student to use the restroom and locker room that corresponds to the student’s consistently expressed gender identity at school. Students can access the alternate restrooms as soon as their parent or legal guardian declares a gender identity other than the one listed in other records, such as medical or birth records. The school board voted Wednesday, 26 October 2016, to approve the new policy, 8-1. The only board member voting against the measure was the viciously notorious Trump surrogate, Carl P. Paladino, who said that by adopting the policy, the district is in violation of public lewdness law.

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