October 8, 2014
#28 - North Carolina
The LDS Response
The succession of federal court decisions in recent months, culminating in today's announcement by the Supreme Court, will have no effect on the doctrinal position or practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God. In prizing freedom of conscience and Constitutional guarantees of the free exercise of religion, we will continue to teach that standard and uphold it in our religious practices.
Nevertheless, respectful coexistence is possible with those with differing values. As far as the civil law is concerned, the courts have spoken. Church leaders will continue to encourage our people to be persons of good will toward all, rejecting persecution of any kind based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or non-belief, and differences in sexual orientation.
With a Republican Governor and a Republican-controlled Legislature, you just had to know that Idaho would spend more money so that government could limit the rights of its citizens. Idaho requested a stay of yesterday's decision by the 9th Circuit Appeals Court overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy granted a temporary stay until 5 PM Thursday. Then a more permanent stay will be considered.
October 7, 2014
Idaho & Nevada are 26 and 27 - or maybe vice versa
The 9th Circuit Appeals court has upheld the finding that Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and reversed a finding that Nevada's ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional. Nevada officials had already stopped defending the ban. No stay of the decisions is expected.
Colorado Makes It 25
Colorado has called it quits in the marriage fight. Colorado is in the Tenth Circuit and asked that their appeal be dismissed. And it was. The Colorado Attorney General has ordered all county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples as they would opposite sex couples. Five more states are expected to gain marriage equality over the next few days or weeks.
A Reason To Go To Palm Springs Pride
Parts of Camp Walter will be at Palm Springs Pride this year: Kalliope, their VW Bus, and maybe even their Bug...at least it's depicted on the poster. November 8 and 9 on Amado Road.
Photo by Duncan Rawlinson.
October 6, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court Makes It Legal In Five More States
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals from the Tenth, Seventh and Fourth Circuits, thereby making full marriage equality a done deal in Oklahoma, Utah, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Virginia. Other states in those circuits will have to follow suit as their cases reach the appeals stage...except in those rare states where the administration decides not to waste taxpayer money and just throws in the towel today.
It's 2014 And There's An Election Coming Up
And suddenly the Republican candidate discovers he supports marriage equality. Boy, he just barely got that in before the absentee ballots got mailed out. You'd think an experienced politician would have better timing. The Desert Sun article also says that Nestande brought up the dead horse (or is it a red herring?) about the state not telling churches who to marry. When has any governmental jurisdiction in the U.S. told any church who to marry? Maybe he had to throw in some stupid to keep his base happy.
October 1, 2014
California Bans "Gay Panic" Defense
California has become the first state to ban the "gay panic" defense" which has been used successfully as a defense when some apparently straight male has unquestionably beaten, tortured or killed a perceived gay man. The text of the bill signed by the Governor on September 27.
(f) (1) For purposes of determining sudden quarrel or heat of passion pursuant to subdivision (a), the provocation was not objectively reasonable if it resulted from the discovery of, knowledge about, or potential disclosure of the victim’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, including under circumstances in which the victim made an unwanted nonforcible romantic or sexual advance towards the defendant, or if the defendant and victim dated or had a romantic or sexual relationship. Nothing in this section shall preclude the jury from considering all relevant facts to determine whether the defendant was in fact provoked for purposes of establishing subjective provocation.
September 8, 2014
The 7th Circuit Appeals Court Decision
I'm late, I know, but here are some of the more entertaining parts of the appeals court's decision to affirm the lower courts' rulings against the Wisconsin and Indiana bans on same-sex marriage:
- "Our pair of cases is rich in detail but ultimately straight-forward to decide. The challenged laws discriminate against a minority defined by an immutable characteristic, and the only rationale that the states put forth with any conviction—that same-sex couples and their children don't need marriage because same-sex couples can't produce children, intended or unintended—is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously. To the extent that children are better off in families in which the parents are married, they are better off whether they are raised by their biological parents or by adoptive parents. The discrimination against same-sex couples is irrational, and therefore unconstitutional even if the discrimination is not subjected to heightened scrutiny, which is why we can largely elide the more complex analysis found in more closely balanced equal-protection cases."
- "Indiana has thus invented an insidious form of discrimination: favoring first cousins, provided they are not of the same sex, over homosexuals. Elderly first cousins are permitted to marry because they can't produce children; homosexuals are forbidden to marry because they can't produce children. The state's argument that a marriage of first cousins who are past child-bearing age provides a 'model [of] family life for younger, potentially procreative men and women' is impossible to take seriously."
- "Indiana's government thinks that straight couples tend to be sexually irresponsible, producing unwanted children by the carload, and so must be pressured (in the form of governmental encouragement of marriage through a combination of sticks and carrots) to marry, but that gay couples, unable as they are to produce children wanted or unwanted, are model parents—model citizens really—so have no need for marriage. Heterosexuals get drunk and pregnant, producing unwanted children; their reward is to be allowed to marry. Homosexual couples do not produce unwanted children; their reward is to be denied the right to marry. Go figure."
- Wisconsin argues that "the decision whether to permit or forbid same-sex marriage should be left to the democratic process, that is, to the legislature and the electorate. And fourth, same-sex marriage is analogous in its effects to no-fault divorce, which, the state argues, makes marriage fragile and unreliable—though of course Wisconsin has no-fault divorce, and it's surprising that the state's assistant attorney general, who argued the state's appeal, would trash his own state's law."