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Indiana will recognize another couple’s same-sex marriage in the event of death


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A federal judge in Indiana on Thursday approved an agreement for the state to recognize the marriage of a same-sex couple while the state appeals a ruling overturning its same-sex marriage ban.

Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court this week asking a judge to order Indiana to recognize their Illinois marriage because Rivera has advanced ovarian cancer, reports the Northwest Indiana Times.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen acknowledged the agreement and stayed the case while Indiana appeals a separate ruling that struck down its same-sex marriage ban in June.

In the agreement, Indiana said it would recognize the couple’s marriage and, in the event of Rivera’s death, issue a death certificate listing her as married and recording Romero as the surviving spouse.

The Indiana State Department of Health also agreed to assist local health departments, funeral homes, physicians, coroners and others involved in completion of a death certificate to understand their duties in the couple’s case.

The agreement comes following an order in a separate federal case in which Indiana was ordered to recognize the marriage of another lesbian couple. That emergency order, issued by U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, applies only to Munster residents Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, who also is fighting advanced ovarian cancer.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement that while he has a duty to defend the laws passed by the Indiana General Assembly, he must respect previous decisions by the courts.

“Our 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has previously made an exception to Indiana’s existing statute and recognized a plaintiff’s out-of-state marriage under similar, difficult circumstances.” Zoeller said. “In this new case, the stipulation both sides filed mirrors the 7th Circuit’s earlier approach.”

The challenge to Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban involving Sandler and Quasney is one of seven cases that have resulted in marriage bans being overturned in Indiana, Wisconsin, UtahOklahoma, Virginia and that have been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court will conference on the cases on Sept. 29, and could decide to hear one or more of the cases in the coming months, potentially leading to a national ruling on marriage equality.

Via: NWI Times
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“I’m a senior GOP spokesman, and I’m gay. Let me get married.” says James Richardson.


James Richardson

James Richardson, a former spokesman and adviser for the Republican National Committee.

James Richardson, a former spokesman and adviser for the Republican National Committee and Governors Haley Barbour and Jon Huntsman, comes out publicly in the Washington Post, and opines on being gay, Republican, and his desire to marry.

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Indiana to ask U.S. Supreme Court to stay same-sex marriage ruling


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Attorney General Greg Zoeller (R-Ind.)

Thursday, September 4, 2014 Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to stay a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that found the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Thursday that it seems clear the issue will have to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Zoeller says his office will seek a stay while it appeals the decision.

Zoeller says he hopes the nation’s highest court will decide the issue “sooner rather than later.”

The federal appeals court inChicago on Thursday affirmed a federal judge’s June 25 opinion striking down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Richard Young’s ruling was stayed three days later.

The attorney general’s office says that stay remains in effect.

© 2014, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.

Wisconsin AG says he will appeal same-sex marriage ruling to U.S. Supreme Court


Wisconsin Attorney General says he will appeal same-sex marriage ruling to U.S. Supreme Court

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R-Wis.)

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R-Wis.)

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s attorney general says he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a federal appellate ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s spokeswoman, Dana Brueck, said in an email to The Associated Press that Van Hollen has always believed the case will be decided in the that court.

U.S. District Judge Barbra Crabb struck down the ban as unconstitutional in June. Hundreds of gay couples married in the week between her decision and her order staying the ruling pending appeal. Van Hollen asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse Crabb but the court refused on Thursday, saying the ban violates the U.S. Constitution.

Brueck says the stay remains in place until all appeals are exhausted.

© 2014, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.

Federal appeals court rules gay marriage bans in Wisconsin & Indiana unconstitutional


Judge Richard Posner, an appointee of Repubican President Ronald Reagan in 1981, wrote Thursday’s opinion for the panel. During oral arguments, it was Posner who fired the toughest questions at defenders of the bans, often expressing exasperation at their answers.

The ruling echoes his comments during oral arguments that “hate” underpinned the gay-marriage bans, saying, “Homosexuals are among the most stigmatized misunderstood, and discriminated-against minorities in the history of the world.”

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Jake Miller, 30, and Craig Bowen, 35, right, kiss after being married by Marion County Clerk Beth White, center, in Indianapolis, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Michael Conroy, AP

CHICAGO — A U.S. appeals court ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana violate the U.S. Constitution, in another in a series of courtroom wins for gay-marriage advocates.

The unanimous decision by the three-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago criticized the justifications both states gave for the bans, several times singling out the argument that marriage between a man and a woman is tradition. There are, the court noted, good and bad traditions.

“Bad traditions that are historical realities such as cannibalism, foot-binding, and suttee, and traditions that from a public-policy standpoint are neither good nor bad – such as trick-or-treating on Halloween,” it said. “Tradition per se therefore cannot be a lawful ground for discrimination-regardless of the age of the tradition.”

Same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Bans that have been overturned in some other states continue to make their way through the courts. Since last year, the vast majority of federal rulings have declared same-sex marriages bans unconstitutional.

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B Van Hollen said he would appeal Thursday’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Legalizing gay marriages only affect yours if one of you is gay


gay marriage doesn't affect yours unless you are gay

Marriages Of Transgender People Ruled Valid By Courts In Arizona And California


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Recognition of gender identity as well as transgender people’s right to marry and have children. An Arizona Appeals Court ruled today that the marriage of Thomas Beatie and Nancy J. Beatie was indeed valid, and could thus be dissolved via divorce. A previous court had ruled that Beatie was legally female because he had not been sterilized and because he had given birth to the couple’s children, and therefore held their marriage was invalid because of Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Read the whole story at Transgender Law Center

Appeals court won’t grant stay of Va. same-sex marriage ruling


Appeals court won’t grant stay of Va. same-sex marriage ruling

Without intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex couples could begin marrying in Virginia next week

 welcome to virginia

 

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court refused Wednesday to delay its ruling striking down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban, which means that same-sex couples could begin marrying in the state as early as next week.

The state would also need to start recognizing marriages from out of state by next Wednesday, assuming the U.S. Supreme Court does not intervene.

A county clerk in northern Virginia had asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to stay its decision, issued in late July, while it is appealed to the high court. The appeals court’s order did not explain why it denied that request.

While clerks in other states within the 4th Circuit – West Virginia and the Carolinas – wouldn’t technically have to begin issuing licenses as well, federal courts in the state would likely make them if they don’t, said Nancy Leong, a law professor at the University of Denver. Maryland, another state in the circuit, already allows same-sex marriages.

The 4th Circuit decision “shows that there’s no longer a justification to keep same-sex couples from marrying,” Leong said. “Given how many different judges in so many different parts of the country … have reached the same result, it seems highly likely that the plaintiffs will ultimately prevail on the merits, and I think that, in turn, explains why the 4th Circuit was not willing to grant a stay.”

Ken Connelly, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Prince William County Clerk of Court Michele B. McQuigg in the case, said the group will seek an emergency stay from the nation’s highest court “as soon as possible.” That request will go to Chief Justice John Roberts, who is responsible for the 4th Circuit.

Connelly said he expects the stay to be granted, “given that there isn’t any substantive difference” between the Virginia case and a federal case in Utah, in which the Supreme Court has twice granted delays in the state’s fight to keep its same-sex marriage ban.But Adam Umhoefer, executive director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which argued against Virginia’s gay marriage ban, said “Virginia’s loving, committed gay and lesbian couples and their children should not be asked to wait one more day for their fundamental right to marry.”

Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2006 that banned gay marriage and prohibited the recognition of such marriages performed in other states. The appeals court ruling overturning that ban was the third such ruling by a federal appeals court and the first in the South.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring – who has said he will not defend the state’s ban and believes the courts ruled correctly in striking it down – asked the Supreme Court last week to review a lower court’s decision striking down the state’s ban.

Herring said he believes the case will prove compelling to the high court because of the “stringent, discriminatory nature of Virginia’s marriage ban” and other factors.

A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati last week considered arguments regarding six cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Some observers have said the 6th Circuit may be the first to uphold statewide gay marriage bans after more than 20 rulings in the past eight months striking them down.

The order is here.

Developing story. This report will be updated.

© 2014, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.

Utah files same-sex marriage appeal to U.S. Supreme Court


Utah files same-sex marriage appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

us supreme court

SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah filed its appeal of a gay marriage ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, becoming the first state to ask the justices to review a state same-sex marriageban since the high court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

Utah officials announced last month they would take the state’s case directly to the high court rather than seek a review from the appeals court that in June ruled states cannot deprive gay and lesbian couples of the fundamental right to marry. That decision upheld a December ruling by a federal judge overturning Utah’s ban.

The unanswered and “immensely important” question before the Supreme Court is whether the 14th Amendment prohibits state same-sex marriage bans, the state wrote in its filing.

“The issue presented has been ‘percolating’ for 40 years. Dozens of cases are challenging state marriage laws, and erratic use of stays has created legal chaos,” the state wrote. “It comes down to this: Thousands of couples are unconstitutionally being denied the right to marry, or millions of voters are being disenfranchised of their vote to define marriage. Either way, the court’s review is necessary, and this case is the right vehicle to do so.”

Peggy Tomsic, lead attorney for the three gay and lesbian couples who sued Utah, said in a statement that they “vehemently disagree with the notion that states can deny one of the most foundational rights to the millions of same-sex couples living across this great land.”

Utah attorney general Sean Reyes said in a statement that he has a responsibility to defend the state constitution and hopes the case is resolved quickly.

If the U.S. Supreme court decides to take the case, it would be the first time the top court considers gay marriage since justices struck down part of a law that that prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage. Since then, courts around the country have ruled in favor of gay marriage in more than 20 cases.

The high court is under no obligation to take Utah’s case, and it could wait for more rulings from other appellate courts with gay marriage cases pending, legal scholars say.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Virginia’s state’s voter-approved prohibition on gay marriage is unconstitutional. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said Tuesday his state also plans to go to the Supreme Court to review that ruling.

Arguments are scheduled for August and September in three different appellate courts for cases out of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky,Tennessee, Nevada, Idaho, Wisconsin and Indiana.

In any of the appellate cases, the losing party can appeal directly to the Supreme Court, or first ask for the entire appellate court to review the ruling.

Legal experts say the Supreme Court eventually will take a gay marriage case after one or more appeals court rulings, but that won’t happen until 2015 at the earliest.

The petition is here.

© 2014, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.

Attorney Generals are starting to understand: Marriage Discrimination is indefensible


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It may not even be that some of these attorney generals are pro same-sex marriage.  It’s simply a losing battle.  There is no valid argument for discriminating against love between two people.

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