Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
2014-JUN: 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-MAY
2014-JUN-01: USA: Current status of SSM (same-sex marriage):
Marriage licenses are routinely available and marriages routinely registered for same-sex couples in 19 states. About 44% of Americans live in a political jurisdiction where same-sex couples can marry. The states are: CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, MA, MD, ME, MN, NJ, NM, NY, NH, RI, OR, PA, VT, & WA. With the District of Columbia, this makes a total of 20 political jurisdictions with marriage equality.
- Same-sex marriage (SSM) remains forbidden by state constitutional amendments in 28 states and by state laws only in 3 states [IN, WV, WY]. The bans in all 31 states are currently being challenged by over 70 lawsuits in federal and district Courts.
- Some of the more interesting recent developments were:
- The Illinois legislature passed a same-sex marriage bill. It was signed into law on 2013-NOV-20.
- The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled on 2013-DEC-19 that the state marriage laws were unconstitutional and that SSM was legal.
- Many federal district courts have issued rulings legalizing marriages in their states or requiring their state to recognize marriages solemnized out of state. Almost all have been stayed pending appeal. See the current status.
- A District Court in Pennsylvania declared that state's marriage ban is unconstitutional. Governor Tom Corbett (R) was very widely expected to ask for a stay of the ruling and to appeal the case to a U.S. Circuit of Appeals. However, recognizing that an appeal stood no chance of upholding the ban, he decided to do neither. Same-sex couples are now able to get married in the state.
- 2014-JUN-06: Wisconsin: District Court Judge Barbara Crabb issued a ruling finding that Referendum 1 is unconstitutional because it violates the due process and equal protection clauses in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Judge Crabb did not immediately stay her ruling. As a result, about 550 same-sex couples were able to obtain marriage licenses and be married. Judge Crabb did stay her ruling on JUN-13 after having received briefs from the plaintiffs and defendants. The Attorney General is expected to appeal the case to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The status of the marriages made during the week between the ruling and the stay is uncertain. More details.
- 2014-JUN-16: Equality Michigan issued a statement saying:
"The White House announced that President Obama will issue an executive order requiring that all companies who contract with the federal government must not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The order, expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, is an extension of orders previously issued by past presidents similarly banning employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin among all contractors and subcontractors who do over $10,000 in business with the government in any one year. ..."
Executive Director of Equality Michigan issued a statement saying:
"President Obama is sending the right message to employers and Americans by stating clearly the federal government will not tolerate discrimination in workplaces supported by tax-payer dollars. This executive order extends workplace protections to millions of LGBT Americans, but more must be done to protect LGBT people here in Michigan.
While a vast majority of voters believe the laws should prevent discrimination in the workplace based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity - the reality is that in Michigan and 28 other states the laws do not offer these essential legal protections to LGBT workers. President Obama, several Michigan legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle, and Michigan business leaders have concluded that the time has come. We look forward to seeing Michigan address this unnecessary threat to our economic stability through passage of an LGBT inclusive amendment to Michigan's anti-discrimination law by the end of this year."
- 2014-JUN-17: SSM cases before three-judge panels of three U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal:
- A panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal held hearings on two lawsuits concerning SSM (same-sex marriage) during April. Their rulings should be issued shortly and will almost certainly be appealed to the full Court of Appeal.
- A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal held hearings on a lawsuit from Virginia concerning SSM during May. Their ruling is also expected shortly. Depending upon the wording of their decision, it could strike down SSM bans in other states covered by the 4th Circuit in North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia. The 4th Circuit also covers Maryland, but that state already allows same-sex marriages.
- A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal has just scheduled hearings for AUG-06 on five SSM lawsuits from four states: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Al Gerhardstein, a civil rights attorney who is representing plaintiffs in two Ohio cases said:
"I think the way the court’s approaching it is significant. They see the need to do some basic rulings on core principles cutting across all these state lines. It’s very exciting." 1
This activity will generate eight rulings among three-judge panels at three Circuit Courts of Appeal on lawsuits that originated in seven states -- all dealing with the legality of same-sex marriage. There is a very small possibility that rulings by the full Circuit Courts will come in time to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court during late 2014. If the Supreme Court granted certiorari -- agree to hear one or more cases -- then it could hold hearings in the spring of 2015, and issue its ruling in late 2015-JUN. Their decision could legalize SSM across the entire country, legalize it in some states but not others, declare that same-sex couples have no constitutional right to marry, or make some other decision.
However to be realistic, delays at the Circuit Courts of Appeal will probably result in rulings by the full Circuit Courts being delayed so that the opportunity to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court will probably be delayed by a year.
That would mean a LOT of anxiety during an extra year among many tens of millions of Americans on both sides of the issue that could be avoided if the process could be speeded up.
The ancient Chinese curse comes to mind: "May you live in interesting times."
- 2014-JUN-18: I just tweeted a notice that a watershed moment had arrived in LGBT acceptance: "Discover Los Angeles" sponsored a banner ad on this web site saying that "Every part of L.A. has a unique story. One will inspire you." They listed some of the attractions of West Hollywood referring to its "vibrant gay community" as a tourist draw.
- 2014-JUN-19: March for Marriage: A coalition of the National Organization for Marriage, Tradition, Family & Property, the Family Research Council and over 42 other groups sponsored the second annual March for Marriage in Washington DC in front of the Capitol building. This was not a march to encourage couples to marry. it was a march to reverse the cultural tide and restrict marriages to only opposite-sex couples. The theme of the march was "Every child deserves a mom & dad!" But the groups' main goal was actually to harm children in families led by same-sex parents by preventing them from attaining the status, benefits and protections that come from their parents' marriage. 2,3
According to the Christian Post:
"The National Organization for Marriage, a nonprofit group that advocates for traditional marriage, is expecting tens of thousands of people from across the United States to join their June 'March for Marriage' in Washington to 'show the world that the marriage debate isn't over'." 4
I have always wondered why the U.S. can put people on the moon, but yet seem unable to estimate the size of crowds:
- Thomas Peters of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the American Papist tweeted: "... Thank you to everyone who came and made it possible. 15k participants. We have the last word."
- Jamie McGonnigal tweeted: "There are literally TENS of anti-gay protestors at the Capitol.
- The NOM BLOG referred to the "massive march and rally in support of marriage."
- Think Progress estimated the crowd at 2,000 people.
- Brian Brown, president of NOM referred to "Several thousand Americans — people from across the spectrum of America — Men and Women, African Americans and Latinos, Orthodox Jews, Evangelicals and Catholics, young and old — stood together in defense of marriage between one man and one woman. ... I can't wait for next year as the March for Marriage will grow and continue to stand as a beacon for the truth of marriage and every child's right to experience the love and nurturing of both a mother and a father." 5
- Week of 2014-JUN-19: Appeal hearing scheduled: The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled a single hearing session for same-sex marriage lawsuits from four states Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.
This is a very important development, because it raises the possibility that the Court of Appeals might issue its ruling quickly in time for the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari in late 2014, hear testimony in 2015-MAR, and rule in these cases during late 2015-JUN. That might result in the legalization of marriage for same-sex couples across the entire country as a simlar decision did in 1967 for interracial marriage. Or the Supreme Court might rule against marriage and set the hope of the LGBT community for marriage equality back at least a decade. This is a high-stakes endeavor. 7
- 2014-JUN-20: MA: Massachusetts changes state policies concerning gender therapy services:
Governor Deval Patrick (D) of Massachusetts announced that his state will become the sixth state to enact non-discrimination policies regarding gender transition-related care. Such care has previous been extended to transgender persons by the states of California, Connecticut, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. More details
- 2014-JUN-25: IN: SSM legal: District Court judge legalized same-sex marriage in the state and did not impose a stay. More details
I tweeted twice, using the definition of "North America as the U.S. plus Canada:
- "With Indiana added, same-sex couples in most of the North American political jurisdictions -- 50 states, D.C. and 10 provinces -- can marry. [The 10 provinces are in Canada]
- "Also, 46% of U.S. same-sex couples and 100% of Canadian same-sex couples can marry. Most of the same-sex couples in North America can now marry.
Two milestones in one day!
- 2014-JUN-26: UT: First Court of Appeals rules on SSM: A three judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling upholding the earlier District Court decision that had legalized same-sex marriage in Utah. They placed an immediate hold on their ruling so that no couples will be able to marry yet, pending an expected appeal to the full court.
- 2014-JUN-24: ME: Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) favors same-sex marriage: Susan Collins, a Republican senator from Maine said:
"A number of states, including my home state of Maine, have now legalized same-sex marriage, and I agree with that decision."
She is the fourth Republican senator to publically indicate support for same-sex marriage. The others were: Rob Portman (OH), Mark Kirk (IL) and Lisa Murkowski (AK). Meanwhile, all of the Democratic senators have come out in favor of SSM, except for three: Mark Pryor (D-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
- 2014-JUN-30: UK: Elton John is planning to marry his partner David Furnish sometime in 2015. In a CNN interview, he referred to the vows of celibacy taken by Roman Cathoic priests and the prohibition of mariage to gay and lesbian Church of England priests. He said:
"We live in a different time. If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen.
"He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together, and that is what the church should be about." 8
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- Amanda Lee Myers, "Court to Consider 5 Gay Marriage Cases at Once," ABC News, 2014-JUN-17, at: http://abcnews.go.com/
- "March for Marriage 2014 Participants Explain Why They Oppose Same-Sex Marriage," Think Progress video, at: https://www.youtube.com/
- Zack Ford & Shannon Greenwood, "Religion Motivates The Few Participants In National Anti-Gay Marriage Rally" Think Progress, 2014-JUN-14, at: http://thinkprogress.org/
- Did you see it?" National Organization for Marriage, 2014-JUN-20, at: http://www.nomblog.com/
- Michael Gryboski, "National Organization for Marriage Says 'Marriage Debate Isn't Over;' Rallies Supporters to Join March in Washington," Christian Post, 2014-APR-11, at: http://www.christianpost.com/
- Igor Volsky, "Susan Collins Becomes Fourth Republican Senator To Support Same-Sex Marriage," Think Progress, 2014-JUN-25, at: http://thinkprogress.org/ military
- Andrew Wolfson, "Gay marriage cases combined, to be argued Aug. 6,"The Courier-Journal, 2014-JUN-19, at: http://www.courier-journal.com/
- Breeanna Hare, "Elton John: Jesus would support same-sex marriage," CNN, 2014-JUN-30, at: http://www.cnn.com/
How you may have arrived here:
Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2014-JUN-02
Latest update: 2014-JUL-30
Author: B.A. Robinson