December 30, 2014
Equal marriage rights begin today in Scotland. Here we see Joe and Malx.
December 22, 2014
New Year's Carol
Commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, New Year's Carol by Ola Gjeilo was just one of the numbers in their incredibly impressive holiday concert. The chorus will perform most of the concert three times on Christmas Eve in the Castro Theater. Tickets are still available, but they will surely sell out. If you are in the Bay Area I encourage you to get to the Castro on Christmas Eve.
December 19, 2014
Florida: January 5 for sure
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request for a stay of the ruling that Florida's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The current stay expires January 5. Which means, barring some tomfoolery, same-sex marriages will commence in Florida on that date. It appears the entire court voted on this one and the results were 7-2 with our favorites Scalia and Thomas in the minority.
December 8, 2014
Florida Scheduled For January 5
When a federal judge ruled some months ago that Florida's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, he put a stay on his decision to last until January 5, 2015. The appeal has not yet been heard so the State of Florida asked for an extension of the stay. The 11th Circuit said "No." You can't get a much clearer signal that the 11th Circuit expects itself to uphold the judge's decision. The U.S. Supreme Court could still interfere and extend the stay, but recently they have turned down similar requests.
November 19, 2014
Montana, No Stay
Federal Judge Brian Morris has declared Montana's ban on same sex marriage to be unconstitutional. Much of the reasoning is based on Latta v. Otter, which is binding in the 9th Circuit. The decision issued today included no stay, so marriage licenses should be flowing now.
Judge Morris is a new one. He was appointed to the seat last year and confirmed by the Senate in December 2013. Before this position he was on the Montana Supreme Court, an elected position.
November 12, 2014
U.S. Judge Richard Gergel ruled today that South Carolina's bans on same-sex marriage "unconstitutionally infringe on the rights of Plaintiffs under the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and are invalid as a matter of law." The decision has been stayed until November 20.
Judge Gergel is a native of South Carolina who got his law degree from Duke. He was nominated to the District Court in 2009 by President Obama. He was confirmed in August 2010. His nomination was supported by South Carolina members of Congress of both parties.
November 7, 2014
On Wednesday (November 5) of this week, a Missouri state judge declared that state's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstituitional. St. Louis County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately. Now, two days later, a federal judge has come to the same conclusion. That federal decision was stayed, but the state judge's decision still holds in St. Louis County, at least.
The Sixth Circuit's Appeals Court decision that bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional will encourage the U.S. Supreme Court to render a clarifying decision some day. Read the Sixth Circuit decision here. "The traditional definition of marriage goes back thousands of years and spans almost every society in history," the court wrote, failing to address the fact that non-traditional definitions of marriage go back thousands of years and span almost every society in history.
Judge Daughtrey's dissent (begins on page 43 of the PDF version of the decision) should be read too. She starts out...
The author of the majority opinion has drafted what would make an engrossing TED Talk or, possibly, an introductory lecture in Political Philosophy. But as an appellate court decision, it wholly fails to grapple with the relevant constitutional question in this appeal: whether a state's constitutional prohibition of same-sex marriage violates equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. Instead, the majority sets up a false premise—that the question before us is "who should decide?"—and leads us through a largely irrelevant discourse on democracy and federalism. In point of fact, the real issue before us concerns what is at stake in these six cases for the individual plaintiffs and their children, and what should be done about it. Because I reject the majority's resolution of these questions based on its invocation of vox populi and its reverence for "proceeding with caution" (otherwise known as the "wait and see" approach), I dissent.
"...although my colleagues in the majority pay lip service to marriage as an institution conceived for the purpose of providing a stable family unit 'within which children may flourish,' they ignore the destabilizing effect of its absence in the homes of tens of thousands of same-sex parents throughout the four states of the Sixth Circuit."
November 4, 2014
A federal judge in the Tenth Circuit has granted an injunction that bars the State of Kansas from enforcing its ban on same-sex marriage. An interesting twist in this case is that the defendants (the state) argued that common-law marriage provided a separate but equal alternative to ceremonial marriage. The judge issued a stay until November 11.
The state Supreme Court's hearing on the matter of Johnson County is still scheduled for Thursday.
Live! It's The Kansas Supreme Court!
See what passes for justice in Kansas as it is live streamed from their Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case of a Johnson County judge who directed a clerk to issue a same-sex marriage license in October are scheduled for 10 AM (Central Time, 2 hours ahead of Pacific) Thursday, November 6.
November 3, 2014
Russia Protecting The Children
Those silly Rooskies seem to have been under the impression that every single Apple employee is a card carrying heterosexual. But now that Tim Cook has come out (what? he was in?), the truth has been revealed: that every single Apple employee is a card carrying homosexual and all those Apple devices are just tools to seduce and convert Russian children. But they got on the ball (you know, with that typical Russian efficiency) and tore down a memorial to Steve Jobs that had been erected (erected, I said, erected) by a Russian group of companies called ZEFS in St. Petersburg, thereby foiling the global plot before any children were hurt.
No word yet as to whether they will be burying all their iPhones and iPads in landfills.