Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
2014-APR: Accelerating steps towards
marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
We use the acronym "SSM" to represent "same-sex marriage"
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. The acronym "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
See also the previous essay describing events during 2013-MAR
2014-APR-01: USA: Current status of SSM (same-sex marriage):
- Same-sex couples can marry in 17 states and the District of Columbia. About 40% of the U.S. population lives in one of these jurisdictions.
- Same-sex couples in Oregon can marry out-of-state where it is permitted, and have their marriages recognized in Oregon.
- Federal District Courts in 6 states (Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia) have issued rulings legalizing SSM. All have been stayed pending appeals to various U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal.
- Same-sex couples can marry in 17 other countries, and in some states of Mexico. The most recent countries to have achieved marriage equality are England and Wales.
- The Freedom to Marry web site states that there are 60 active lawsuits in 30 states or territories attempting to legalize marriage for same-sex couples.
Most of these are in federal District Courts where plaintiff(s) are:
- Married and seek to have their out-of-state marriages recognized in their home state, and/or
- Are unmarried and want to be able to marry in their home state.
- Currently, rulings by federal District Courts have been issued:
- in five states -- Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia 1 -- a District Court has legalized same-sex marriage, but their rulings have been stayed and are currently being appealed to U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal.
- in two states -- Kentucky and Tennessee -- a District Court has legalized state recognition of same-sex marriages made in other states. However, the rulings have also been stayed and are being appealed to U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal.
- in one state -- Ohio -- where a District Court ruled that a person who married a spouse of the same sex in an out-of-state marriage can have his married state acknowledged, but only on his Ohio death certificate.
- in one state -- Nevada -- where a District Court ruled against same-sex marriages.
- Late last month:
- New York City: As in previous years, the organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City refused to allow LGBT groups to march in the parade while displaying their banner. They could march, but only if they stayed "in the closet" and did not reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity. As a result, Guinness Beer withdrew their support for the parade. In response, Bill Donohue -- president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States -- has proposed a boycott of Guinness.
- Concession by Maggie Gallagher: She co-founded the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Its sole mandate is to oppose marriage for same-sex couples. She is quoted on Huffington Post as conceding that same-sex marriage is inevitable across the U.S. She said:
"As I said last summer, it was clear to me from reading Windsor [the U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor], gay marriage advocates now have five [Justice's] votes for inserting a right to gay marriage in our Constitution. We are now in the 'gay marriage in all 50 states' phase whether we like it or not. What's next? In my view people who believe in the traditional understanding of marriage, and believe that it matters, have to become a creative minority, finding way to both express these sexual views, culturally, artistically and intellectually and to engage with the newly dominant cultural view of marriage respectfully but not submissively." 2
- 2014-APR-03: Co-founder of Mozilla promoted, then resigns: Brenden Eich is a co-founder of Mozilla, who distributes the Firefox web browser. He was promoted to CEO on MAR-24. His $1,000 donation to the "Proposition 8" citizen initiative in California became widely known. Prop. 8 was narrowly approved by the voters and resulted in the end of new marriages by same-sex couples from late 2008 to mid 2013. A firestorm of opposition both within Mozilla and without resulted in his resignation. This reaction promoted a discussion about overreaction. More details.
- 2014-APR-07: New Mexico: Update in the Elane Photography case:
The company had been approached by a lesbian couple who asked them to photograph their planned informal commitment ceremony. This was at a time when marriages of same-sex couples was not allowed in the state. The company refused the request on the basis that such ceremonies violated their personal religious beliefs. The couple filed a complaint with the state's human rights tribunal who found that, by rejecting the lesbian couple's request, the company had violated New Mexico's human rights law. The statute prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender, and other grounds. The couple appealed the ruling unsuccessfully through the courts.
The company finally appealed their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. However that court declined to review the case. Thus the ruling of the New Mexico Supreme Court stands. The photography company stands convicted of violating New Mexico's human rights legislation. More details.
- 2014-APR-10: Utah's same-sex marriage case: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held hearings in the Herbert v. Kitchen case. Almost a dozen similar cases have been appealed to various U.S. Courts of Appeal since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Windsor v. United States on 2013-JUN-26. Windsor was the case that triggered dozens of lawsuits similar to Herbert v. Kitchen in District Courts in Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, and other states. However, the Tenth Circuit court was the first to hold hearings.
Whatever ruling is made by the panel, the case will likely be appealed to the full Court of Appeals and perhaps to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- 2014-APR-10: Indiana: One couple will have their marriage recognized: Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney have been together for 13 years. They married during 2013 in Massachusetts. Quasney has stage four ovarian cancer which she has been fighting for five years. She is now terminally ill. As a result of an injunction issued by District Court Judge Richard L. Young in Evansville, IN, Sandler will be able to obtain a death certificate that recognizes the couples' marriage. This will help her to better take care of her wife's assets and their children.
"We are so thankful that we can move forward and concentrate on being with each other. Our time together and with our daughters is the most important thing in the world to me."
The couple's lawyer is Paul Castillo from Lambda Legal. He said:
"They have to be treated as any other married couple."
Bryan Corbin, a spokesperson for Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher said that the laws in Indiana do:
"... not allow for hardship exceptions."
This injunction is similar to one issued by a federal judge during 2013-DEC in Ohio. It also involved recognizing a same-sex marriage only on a death certificate. The state of Ohio, believing that recognition of one same-sex marriage is one too many, has appealed that ruling to a Circuit Court of Appeals. It is not known whether Indiana will follow the same path.
- 2014-APR-23: France: One year after the Parliament in France passed the marriage equality bill, 7,000 marriages by same-sex couples have taken place. The violent demonstrations by far right political and conservative religious groups have died down. Some lawsuits have been filed against mayors who have refused to solemnize marriages by loving, committed same-sex couples. More details.
- 2014-APR-24: Canada: On APR-11, the Law Society of Upper Canada -- which covers the Province of Ontario -- voted to deny accreditation to Trinity Western University's proposed law school. This decision would prohibit graduates of the law school from applying to the Ontario bar. That is a serious disadvantage because a sizeable percentage of the Canadian population lives in Ontario. The conflict was over the University's "Community in Covenant" contract in which students must accept "... the Bible as the divinely inspired, authoritative guide for person and community life," and abstain from "... sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman."
This would prevent all ethical non-Christians and progressive Christians from becoming students. It would also prohibit sexual activity between any students, and prohibit students who are married to a same-sex spouse. Canada made marriage available to same-sex couples in mid-2005. More details.
- 2014-APR-28: North Carolina: A new lawsuit has been filed in federal District Court to have Amendment One to the state constitution declared unconstitutional, and the state marriage statutes that ban marriage by same-sex couples declared void and unenforceable. Considering that there are over 60 similar lawsuits in different courts, this lawsuit would not be remarkable, except that the main plaintiff is a religious denomination: the United Church of Christ! Other plaintiffs are an inter-faith group of clergy and a group of loving, committed same-sex couples, some of whom have been together for decades. The Charlotte Observer states that this lawsuit is "... the 66th legal challenge to marriage bans now in the courts, three of them in North Carolina." 5 More details
- 2014-APR-30: U.S. Dolly Parton, 68, was born into a Pentecostal family in Tennessee with 11 brothers and sisters. She told Event Magaxine in the UK that:
"I didn’t know any gay people in my childhood. I do have a lot of gays in my family now, but some will never come out. I think everyone should be with who they love. I don’t want to be controversial or stir up a bunch of trouble but people are going to love who they are going to love. I think gay couples should be allowed to marry. They should suffer just like us heterosexuals. Ha ha ha!" 6
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- "Marriage Litigation," Freedom to Marry, at: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/
- Lila Shapiro, "Leading Gay Marriage Opponent On Losing The Battle: 'I Have A Lot More Freedom Now'," Huffington Post, 2014-MAR-30, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- Dave Lee, "Mozilla boss Brendan Eich resigns after gay marriage storm." BBC, 2014-APR-03, at: http://www.bbc.com/
- John Hawkins, "It's Time For Christians To Blacklist Mozilla Firefox And OkCupid," Townhall, 2014-APR-05, at: http://townhall.com/
- Michael Gordon, "United Church of Christ sues over NC ban on same-sex marriage," Charlotte Observer, 2014-APR-28, at: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/
- Cavan Sieczkowski, "Dolly Parton speaks out on gay marriage," The Huffington Post, 2014-APR-30, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
How you may have arrived here:
Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2014-APR-02
Latest update: 2014-MAY-02
Author: B.A. Robinson