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Open thread and news updates 9/18

Community/Meta Marriage equality Transgender Rights

This is an open thread.

– The city of Houston has asked the Supreme Court to take up a case involving same-sex marriage benefits.

– In its lawsuit challenging President Trump’s ban on transgender military servicemembers, the ACLU has asked a district court for a preliminary injunction putting the implementation of the ban on hold pending the outcome of the case.


  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  September 18, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Hurricane Maria Now Category 5 (160 mph) & Still Getting Stronger, Still Aimed Directly At US Virgin Islands

  • 2. ianbirmingham  |  September 19, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Direct Hit On USVI: 175 mph Eyewall of Hurricane Maria…?

  • 3. Elihu_Bystander  |  September 25, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Turner and City of Houston v. Pidgeon

    I was finally able to get a copy of the petition for a Writ of Certiorari to SCOTUS. I was able to get it from the communications director for the mayor’s office. I received it as an attachment from an email: hence, I have no way of sharing it.

    It is well written and is very enlightening as one would expect. It relies primarily on Obergefell and Pavan. Below are a few of the salient arguments.

    “Question: Did the Supreme Court of Texas correctly decide that Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), and Pavan v. Smith, 137 S. Ct. 2075 (2017) (per curiam), ‘did not hold that states must provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons,’ regardless of whether their marriages are same-sex or opposite-sex?”


    “Like the birth-certificate question in Pavan, the issue of equal access to publicly funded employment benefits was litigated in Obergefell. The lead plaintiffs in a suit consolidated into Obergefell challenged the refusal of Tennessee’s State university health insurance system to provide the same benefits to opposite-sex and same-sex married couples. See Tanco v. Haslam.”


    “This case does not involve a ‘tangential question’ that Obergefell ‘did not address.’ Like Pavan, it concerns an issue briefed in and decided by Obergefell. Masterpiece Cakeshop, by contrast, involves First Amendment questions easily distinguishable from States’ obligations to afford same-sex marriages benefits on par with opposite-sex marriages.

    “The Texas court’s strained interpretation of Obergefell is contrary to that decision’s actual holding.

    “The Texas court erred in ruling that Obergefell did not answer whether a State must treat married couples equally in the provision of marital benefits. Obergefell and Pavan both answered that question in the affirmative.”

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