Archive for the ‘marriage equality’ Tag

CMB Music: The Dixie Cups – “Going To The Chapel”   Leave a comment

…given today’s news from the Supreme Court concerning marriage equality, is there not a more appropriate song for tonight’s musical selection….I think not!  😉


Posted October 6, 2014 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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Supreme Court Extends Marriage Equality In 11 More States   1 comment

…to quote Joe Biden’s infamous words, “this is a big f’n deal”…

The Supreme Court on Monday denied appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin in which those states sought to prohibit same-sex marriage. The decision also means couples in six other states — Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming — should be able to get married soon.

The development effectively raises the number of states with legal same-sex marriage from 19 to 30 — a majority of U.S. states — and means that as many as 60 percent of Americans will be living in states that have legalized the practice.(U.S. News & World Report)

So, basically, what the Supreme Court did here is that, in declining to hear appeals from the 4th & 10th Circuits, they effectively rules in favor of overtuning same-sex marriage bans in the states directly affected – and by extension, the other states in the two particular circuits.

As the saying goes, the arc of justice is long but it truly does bend towards justice…

Posted October 6, 2014 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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North Carolina AG Declines To Defend Anti-Marriage Amendment   Leave a comment

Following today’s decision by the 4th Circuit that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, North Carolina’s Attorney General – and presumptive 2016 gubernatorial candidate – Roy Cooper, announced earlier today that his office wouldn’t defend the Old North State’s respective ban (known as Amendment 1) when and if it ever goes in front of a judge…quoting WRAL:

Following a federal appeals court ruling Monday that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said his office would no longer oppose challenges to the state’s constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.(WRAL, Raleigh)

In his announcement, Cooper – speaking through the AG’s office – stated that:

“It’s time to stop making arguments we will lose and instead move forward, knowing that the ultimate resolution will likely come from the United States Supreme Court”(WRAL)

Adding that…

“All federal courts have rejected these arguments each and every time, so it’s time for the state of North Carolina to stop making them,” he said. “There’s really no argument left to be made.”(WRAL)

For what its’ worth, its’ about damn time; as far as I am concerned, marriage is a civil right and it should never have been brought before the voters of this state…both common decency and the rule of law make it clear that rights are and should never be subject to the whims of a fickle majority. AG Cooper’s decision also makes sense legally: ever since the 2013 Windsor decision, state after state (including a bunch of very-red states, I might add), have seen their respective marriage bans overturned and it was only a matter of time before North Carolina’s got to the head of the line; better to go ahead and stake a position on the issue now before the courts rule.

H/T to Daily Kos

Utah Federal Court Strikes Down State Marriage Ban   Leave a comment

Given how conservative Utah is politically, this is, if I’m reading the article’s premise correctly, to borrow Vice President Biden’s quote, “a big f’n deal”…quoting Think Progress:

United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, was not the clearest opinion the justices have ever produced. Although that opinion was firmly rooted in the Constitution’s guarantee of equality for all Americans, it contained just enough states’ rights language to give anti-gay lawmakers in the states some hopes that marriage discrimination could remain alive in conservative enclaves throughout the country. If a Utah federal judge’s opinion that was released Friday is upheld on appeal, however, there will no longer be any doubt that marriage equality belongs to all Americans. “The Constitution protects the Plaintiffs’ fundamental rights, which include the right to marry and the right to have that marriage recognized by their government,” Judge Robert Shelby concludes in his opinion striking down Utah’s ban on marriage equality — and this right applies to everyone. The same Constitution, Shelby explains “protects the choice of one’s partner for all citizens, regardless of sexual identity.”

Although Shelby largely relies on the argument that marriage is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution, he also made sharp nods towards the promise of equality. “Rather than protecting or supporting the families of opposite-sex couples,” he explains, Utah’s “Amendment 3 perpetuates inequality by holding that the families and relationships of same-sex couples are not now, nor ever will be, worthy of recognition.”(Think Progress)

Now, as Think Progress points out, this decision in Utah isn’t quite as broad as the New Mexico decision earlier this week that legalized same-sex marriages in that state; there, the court held that,

“[b]ecause same-gender couples (whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, hereinafter ‘LGBT’) are a discrete group which has been subjected to a history of discrimination and violence, and which has inadequate political power to protect itself from such treatment, the classification at issue must withstand intermediate scrutiny to be constitutional.”     (Think Progress)

The difference in these court decisions in this manner: the Shelby decision in Utah was centered on the right-to-marry whereas the Nex Mexico decision held that these laws must meet the highest levels of constitutional scrutiny, effectively giving LGBT individuals the same legal status as other minority groups within American law.

As VP Biden once said, if this case eventually becomes settled law, it would be a big f’n deal, for all Americans.

Posted December 20, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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SCOTUS Declines To hear Prop 8 Supporters’ Challenge   Leave a comment

Almost immediately after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court then released its’ decision on California’s Proposition 8(i.e. Hollingsworth v. Perry), ruling in a 5-4 decision that the Court lacked standing to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision. The impact of the decision in this case means that Judge Walker’s original ruling back in August 2010 now stands as the law within the state of California; however, as Think Progress’s Ian Millhiser points out, 

The likely impact of this decision is that Walker’s injunction against Prop 8 will allow California to perform same-sex marriages once again — or at least that California’s top elected officials will be able to read Walker’s opinion this way — although there is some uncertainty whether Walker actually has the power to enjoin an entire state. For this reason, the status of Prop 8 is, for the moment, unclear.

The long-and-the-short of today’s Prop 8 decision is that marriage licenses should start to begin being given to same-sex couples as they had been prior to Prop 8’s passage back in November 2008.

Posted June 26, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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SCOTUS Strikes Down DOMA   1 comment

The Defense Of Marriage Act is no more…so says the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision handed down a little more than an hour ago; here is the crux of today’s 5-4 decision in the Windsor case, as explained by SCOTUSBlog’s Amy Howe:

Here’s a Plain English take on United States v. Windsor, the DOMA case: The federal Defense of Marriage Act defines “marriage,” for purposes of over a thousand federal laws and programs, as a union between a man and a woman only. Today the Court ruled, by a vote of five to four, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy, that the law is unconstitutional. The Court explained that the states have long had the responsibility of regulating and defining marriage, and some states have opted to allow same-sex couples to marry to give them the protection and dignity associated with marriage. By denying recognition to same-sex couples who are legally married, federal law discriminates against them to express disapproval of state-sanctioned same-sex marriage. This decision means that same-sex couples who are legally married must now be treated the same under federal law as married opposite-sex couples.

So the gist of the matter is that DOMA is now unconstitutional, meaning that, for purposes of federal law, same-sex couples will begin receiving the same benefits as are currently received by opposite-sex couples(for example, in regards to tax law, Social Security, etc.). The immediate question that now arises is whether this question will eventually apply to the states; by last count, over 30 states had some sort of marriage restriction in place, which means that the fight for marriage equality now moves from the federal arena down to the states.

Posted June 26, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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Is DOMA Down For The Count?   Leave a comment

If SCOTUSBlog’s analysis of today’s second set of hearings concerning marriage equality before the High Court are any indication, it probably is down for the count. For what it’s worth, this is an easier call to make than over Prop 8 in that, in my honest opinion, DOMA is an unconstitutional violation of the Constitution’s Full Faith & Credit clause and should’ve never seen the light of day back in the 1990’s, nonetheless gotten signed by Bill Clinton.

Hopefully the Court, even with some of the geniuses who are currently sitting on the bench, will throw DOMA into the ashheap of history.

Posted March 27, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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