Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
ADF Media: The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that people who are not legal parents cannot use arguments that they are “psychologically” connected to a child in order to obtain some form of custody.
Indiana Public Media: A federal court in Evansville will hear oral arguments Friday in a same-sex marriage case.
Associated Press: “A federal judge has said that attorneys defending Indiana’s gay marriage ban haven’t given a valid reason why the state should not recognize the out-of-state marriage of a lesbian couple, one of whom has a terminal illness.”
Indianapolis Star: “A federal judge this morning granted an emergency request to force Indiana to immediately recognize the marriage of a lesbian couple who wed in Massachusetts.”
Indianapolis Star: “For the second time in less than a week, Indiana’s law banning same-sex marriages has become the target of a federal lawsuit.”
The Arizona Republic: “Seven Arizona same-sex couples and the surviving spouses of two others filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging Arizona’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples as unconstitutional.”
Indianapolis Star: “Four Indiana same-sex couples filed a federal lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana challenging the state law, hoping to catch a recent wave of successful challenges to similar state laws.”
WVEC: “‘I contend we have marriage laws because we have children, not because we have adults,’ said Austin Nimocks, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom. ‘A lot has changed in the world, but what has not changed is how a child is created and comes into this world.’”
Richard Wolf at USA Today: “‘Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race,’ said Austin Nimocks of the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom. ‘Every child has a mother and a father.’”
Ariane de Vogue at ABC / The Note: “Ken Connelly, a lawyer for a group opposed to same sex marriage called Alliance Defending Freedom, thinks the courts that have used Windsor in part to strike down state marriage laws have ‘simply gotten it wrong, and ignored its holding.’ ‘We are confident that on appeal these district court decisions will be overruled,’ he says. . . . the Virginia ban was defended in court by lawyer Austin R. Nimocks of Alliance Defending Freedom.”
ABC (AP): “Nevada’s attorney general and governor said Monday that they won’t defend the state’s gay marriage ban pending before a federal appeals court, saying a recent court decision made the state’s arguments ‘no longer defensible.’”
Noah Feldman at Bloomberg: “What there isn’t is room for Olson and Boies, two accomplished, intelligent and perfectly charming people who have lumbered into an extremely sensitive and complex area of legal activism in which they are, frankly, newcomers. Their Proposition 8 efforts substantiate this problem. Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit wrote an opinion in the Prop 8 case that was designed to avoid Supreme Court review — because he himself, a former colleague of Kennedy’s and the maestro of pushing the constitutional envelope, judged that the Supreme Court was not quite ready. When the case went before the Supreme Court anyway, Olson and Boies pushed the claim for universal gay rights instead of emphasizing Reinhardt’s narrow holding. They had to — because they were in it for the historic judgment, not to win a one-off case for their clients.”
Charleston Gazette: “A federal judge ruled this week that most of the lawsuit against West Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage could continue but said the lawsuit’s claim that the state should recognize gay marriages from other states can’t proceed without additional plaintiffs.”
AP: “Two federal lawsuits challenging the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage are moving forward, and a hearing on one of the cases is scheduled for Jan. 30.”
NewsOK.com: The group Alliance Defending Freedom, which is doing the legal work for the Tulsa County court clerk in the Oklahoma case, argued in its new brief that U.S. District Judge Terence Kern should ignore the Utah judge’s decision, made on Dec. 20 because its central tenet _ that same-sex marriage was guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution _ was unsound.
Lambda Legal: Lambda Legal today filed a motion for summary judgment asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to rule swiftly for three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry . . . Read the motion.
NJ.com: Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said Sunday that she decided to follow the advice of Lambda Legal, a gay rights law group, to take the bill off the agenda. It was to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon.
Huffington Post: After the couples’ lawyer pointed out the Windsor decision to Kern, lawyers for the Tulsa County clerk said the couples had overstated the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling. “Windsor does not forbid States like Oklahoma from preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman. On the contrary, Windor’s (sic) repeated references to state sovereignty over the definition of marriage bolster the defense of Oklahoma’s Marriage Amendment,” attorney Byron Babione wrote.
“Lambda Legal And ACLU Of Illinois Expedite Marriage For Same-sex Couples Facing Urgent Medical Circumstances”
Lambda Legal: Today, a federal court ordered the Cook County Clerk’s office to immediately issue marriage licenses to all Illinois same-sex couples who, because of a life-threatening illness, cannot wait until next summer to get married.
Lambda Legal: Last April, the Immigration Judge concluded that Anthony had not proved he was gay, pointing to the children, to Anthony’s earlier relationships with women, and to testimony that Anthony had not told his children or their mothers that he is gay. However, in their friend-of-the-court brief, Lambda Legal and CHLP cited several studies documenting that for many LGB individuals, acknowledging that one is lesbian, gay or bisexual is often a prolonged process.
Lambda Legal: Today, Lambda Legal filed a complaint on behalf of Steven White and Matthew McCrea, a gay couple who were unlawfully refused service and forced to exit a Sun Taxi operated taxi-cab after they exchanged a kiss.
ABC: Lawyers for the two Shenandoah Valley couples who filed the lawsuit are asking a federal judge to certify the case as a class action representing all same-sex couples in the state. Judge Michael Urbanski will hear arguments Tuesday morning.
Lambda Legal: Today, Lambda Legal filed a complaint on behalf of Steven White and Matthew McCrea, a gay couple who were unlawfully refused service and forced to exit a Sun Taxi operated taxi-cab after they exchanged a kiss.
Lambda Legal PR:Today Lambda Legal filed its opening brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case on behalf of eight same-sex couples challenging the amendment to Nevada’s constitution and other state laws banning marriage for same-sex couples.
BuzzFeed: On one side, a case filed by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union initially had garnered significant attention, but lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies — and the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which financed the legal fight against California’s Proposition 8 — already were working behind the scenes to join up and serve as lawyers on a case filed earlier by a local law firm in Virginia Beach, a partnership they have since announced.
Lambda Legal: Lambda Legal filed a brief with the Alaska Supreme Court asking the Court to hold that it is unconstitutional to deny survivor benefits to Deborah Harris, whose same-sex partner, Kerry Fadely, was shot and killed in 2011 by a disgruntled former employee . . . The case is Harris v. Millennium Hotel. Read a copy of today’s filing: http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/harris_ak_20131014_opening-brief
AP: The state’s highest court on Friday agreed to hear a case on whether gay marriage should be legal and whether same-sex weddings can be performed while it decides. | Lambda Legal press release and link to the order.
Lambda Legal: In the lawsuit, Lambda Legal, joined by pro bono co-counsel from Tinney Law Firm and Jenner & Block, argues that West Virginia’s marriage ban unfairly discriminates against same-sex couples and their children and sends a purposeful message that lesbians, gay men, and their children are second-class citizens who are undeserving of the legal sanction, respect, protections, and support that different-sex couples and their families are able to enjoy through marriage.
Times Dispatch: The bipartisan legal team that successfully argued California’s Proposition 8 case at the U.S. Supreme Court is now taking its fight to Virginia, taking on the state’s 2006 constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.
‘It’s a fairness issue’: A 9-year legal struggle involving LGBT rights might finally come to a conclusion | Okla. Gazette
Oklahoma Gazette: The conservative, Christian defense ministry Alliance Defending Freedom, the defendant’s attorney, asserted the sovereignty of states in deciding marriage laws. In a brief filed in response to the plaintiffs’ contention that the Windsor decision laid the groundwork for U.S. courts to assess the constitutionality of state bans, a response reads, in part: “Windsor does not forbid States like Oklahoma from preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman. “On the contrary, Windsor’s repeated references to state sovereignty over the definition of marriage bolster the defense of Oklahoma’s Marriage Amendment.”
Lambda Legal: Today Lambda Legal announced a landmark settlement for Cori McCreery, a transgender woman in South Dakota who was terminated from her job after she informed her employer that she would be taking steps to transition from male to female at work. Backed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Cori’s settlement includes $50,000 . . .
“Texas may not violate the federal civil rights of eligible spouses of military personnel,” the lawyer for an LGBT legal group writes. The group is asking the Texas Military Forces to reverse their decision on the issue in the next 10 days.
Lambda Legal: Today, the Supreme Court of Minnesota upheld the decision of an intermediate appellate court overturning the conviction of Daniel James Rick, who is HIV positive, for the alleged criminal transmission of a communicable disease.
Lambda Legal: Today, Lambda Legal and the Indian River Central School District announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed on behalf of Charles Pratt and his younger sister, Ashley Petranchuk. In their agreement, Lambda Legal’s clients and the District have achieved a resolution that involves, among other things, the District hiring a consultant to advise and make recommendations concerning the District’s anti-harassment training and policies.
Chicago Tribune: A Cook County Circuit Court judge heard oral arguments Tuesday on a motion to dismiss a challenge to Illinois’ same-sex marriage ban, with attorneys sparring over ideal child-rearing circumstances and gender stereotypes, among other issues.
Citizen Link: Cook County judge announced today that she will make her decision next month in a case challenging Illinois’ definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
AP: Lawyers for New Jersey are expected to defend the state’s civil unions for same-sex couples as opposed to gay marriage.
Democratic Underground (Dallas Voice): Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group, is defending the Tulsa County Clerk’s Office against a lawsuit involving marriage equality because a federal appeals court ruled the governor and attorney general have no standing.
ACLU: Today we filed another marriage case, this time on the solidly southern soil of Virginia. The case is a joint venture among the ACLU, the ACLU of Virginia, and Lambda Legal on behalf of two lesbian couples who represent a class of same-sex couples who want to marry in Virginia or who are already married elsewhere and want Virginia to respect their marriages. We’re hoping to broaden the conversation around the freedom to marry and to bring compelling stories to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, where we have high hopes for a fair hearing down the road.
Tulsa World: The Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Tulsa County Court Clerk Sally Howe Smith in the lawsuit. Byron Babione, senior attorney for the alliance, said the plaintiffs have asserted in their latest filings that the Supreme Court’s ruling somehow means that Oklahoma’s marriage amendment is unconstitutional. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Babione said. “The Windsor court took great pains throughout its opinion to affirm that the states retain the prerogative to determine what marriage is.”
Houston Chronicle: A Galveston man has withdrawn a federal lawsuit challenging a clause in the Texas Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
The Oklahoman: A federal ruling on Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban has been elusive, but U.S. Supreme Court action on the issue last month may pave the way for a decision in the 2004 case
Las Vegas Sun: They say the judge could rule as soon as Aug. 6, when oral arguments are scheduled on a defense motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
CNSNews: ACLU Challenging Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Pa. — Then N.C. and Va. The ACLU press release: Expanding the Freedom to Marry: Here’s What’s Next ACLU press release: ACLU Seeks Freedom to Marry for Pennsylvania Couples Lambda Legal: Lambda Legal …
AP: It’s a predictable next step in a long-term, incremental legal strategy that is being used at both the state and federal levels, and in state legislatures and executive mansions as well as the courts, to build public and official acceptance of gay marriage.
Lambda Legal: “The demise of DOMA Section 3 marks a turning point in how the federal government treats the relationships of married same-sex couples for federal programs. In New Jersey, where same-sex couples are in civil unions or may have been married in other states, but are barred from marriage at home, this is a game-changer.”
IMPORTANT analysis from legal scholars linked toward the bottom of this post. _________ The opinion is here (official server) and here (Alliance Alert server). KENNEDY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., …
Illinois Review: Gearing up for another attempt to legislate gay marriage in the Land of Lincoln, Illinois Unites for Marriage, the umbrella organization for the same-sex marriage effort, announced that they have hired a campaign manager to lead the effort to get the bill passed this year.
KTAR (AP): A groundbreaking civil union ordinance in the southern Arizona city of Bisbee will lose much of its punch after Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne on Monday said he’s reached an agreement in principal on changes that will remove his opposition and a threat to sue to block it from taking effect.
Judge rules against Christian innkeeper who refused to rent bedroom to lesbian couple | LifeSiteNews
LifeSiteNews: Phone calls made by LifeSiteNews to Mrs. Young’s business line were not immediately returned. But Jim Hochberg, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom who represented Mrs. Young in the case, said the ruling was a violation of his client’s freedom of speech and religion under the First Amendment. “The public needs to be aware of this decision because it has far-reaching consequences,” he told reporters Monday.
A Hawaii Circuit Court judge yesterday held that a bed-and-breakfast violated Hawaii’s public accommodation civil rights law when its owner, apparently for reasons of religious belief, refused to provide lodging to a lesbian couple.
NPR: The court could, as some predict, strike down the section of the law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriages but leave unsettled questions related to state recognition of such unions. If that happens, health coverage problems for same-sex couples could persist, say advocates.
The News-Herald: Jim Campbell, a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom, which backs Proposition 8, stresses the political battle over gay marriage is “at some point in the middle. … The Supreme Court should resist demands to prematurely end the national debate.”
AP: Arizona lawmakers have jumped in to the national debate over the rights of transgender people with a bill being debated Wednesday that would make it illegal for people to use public restrooms not associated with their birth gender.
Lambda Legal: Last April, Amber Hatcher made plans to observe National Day of Silence, a student-led day of action sponsored by Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) in which thousands of students across the country remain silent to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. She asked for permission from her principal, Mrs. Shannon Fusco, nearly a month before the event and provided information from GLSEN and Lambda Legal that explained the observance and students’ legal right to participate. When Principal Fusco threatened Amber with “ramifications” if she participated . . .
(1/17) Lambda Legal today announced that the State of Oregon has changed an employee health care policy to remove all language that denies coverage to transgender people for transition-related health care.
AP on S. Florida Gay News: A federal court challenge to Nevada’s ban on same sex marriage has been turned back in U.S. District Court, but proponents vowed Friday to fight on with an argument that a pair of state laws regarding same-sex unions unconstitutionally make gay couples “second-class citizens.”
Lambda Legal: Today plaintiff couples in Darby v. Orr and Lazaro v. Orr, the lawsuits brought by Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois, met with legislators to urge them to vote in favor of a bill ending the ban on marriage for same-sex couples in Illinois. The bill, House Bill 5710, The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, could be voted on by the Illinois General Assembly in January 2013.
Lambda Legal: A diverse and representative jury is an essential component of a fair and impartial legal system. Unfortunately, many minority groups, including LGBT Americans, continue to face discrimination in the jury selection process. To address this injustice, Lambda Legal has endorsed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in federal jury service. A companion bill was also recently introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ).
Lambda Legal is challenging Alaska’s exclusion of same-sex couples from survivor benefits, on behalf of a woman whose partner was shot dead by a disgruntled former employee.
ABA Journal: Gay marriage may move from the political agenda to the U.S. Supreme Court docket this fall when the justices are expected to consider whether to accept two major cases on how the law treats same-sex couples. But unlike the boisterous debates among candidates, the court’s examination promises to be a relatively understated affair because neither case answers the root question of whether the federal Constitution grants a right to gay marriage.
Florida Courier: The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments Oct. 2 in a possibly first-of-its-kind case pitting two lesbian partners who used in-vitro fertilization to have a child but later ended their relationship. The case could be unprecedented in Florida because the fertilized egg of one woman was implanted in her then-partner, who gave birth.
Democratic Underground: . . . judge Sophia Hall is a lesbian and claiming that means she should recuse herself in the case. The Cook County circuit court judge is handling a challenge to the constitutionality of state laws that define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Gina Miller at Renew America: Thanks to the Lord, the Illinois Family Institute has the support of the Alliance Defense Fund and the Thomas More Society. Through the Alliance Defense Fund, they will be filing a motion to intervene in this case to defend the Illinois marriage law against this wicked assault . . . Pray for the State of Illinois and for those who are fighting for the side of truth. Pray for the Illinois Family Institute, the Alliance Defense Fund and the Thomas More Society, and as always, consider sending financial support to these groups.
“Washington County, MD to Grant Health Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses of Employees Married Out of State”
Lambda Legal: Today, Lambda Legal announced that, beginning in July, Washington County will extend spousal benefits to all eligible county employees married to a same-sex spouse. The County’s decision comes on the heels of a complaint filed by Lambda Legal . . .
Today’s announcement by State’s Attorney Alvarez makes it clear that this lawsuit was an ‘inside job’ from the beginning, a crass political move to force same sex marriage on all Illinoisans without providing the residents of the other 101 counties an opportunity to be heard.
Chicago Tribune (includes video): The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office concedes in a court filing today that the state’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, according to a spokeswoman.
TeutopolisPress.com: State Representative David Reis (R-Ste. Marie) is calling upon Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to recuse herself and the resources of her taxpayer-funded state office from supporting two lawsuits questioning the constitutionality of Illinois’ gay marriage ban
WCTV.tv: The Brevard County case is unprecedented in Florida because the fertilized egg of one woman was implanted in her then-partner, who gave birth. The couple began raising the child together, but a legal battle began after a break-up that included the birth mother moving to Australia with the child.
Chicago Phoenix: “As we feared, civil unions have not turned out to be equal to civil marriages,” Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, said in a statement. “In area after area, couples were either treated unequally or denied their rights. As we learned in history, separate does not make equal.”
MetroWeekly: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) will be joining Lambda Legal and the ACLU in arguing that Illinois’s civil unions law does not meet the state’s constitutional guarantees of equal protection, raising the question of what the Cook County clerk of courts — the named defendant — will do in its response to the lawsuits.
One News Now: “Because yes, they do want the benefits — but what homosexuals want centrally is cultural approval,” explains the family advocate. “They want there to be no formal public recognition that homosexual unions are different from heterosexual unions.”
“Next Battleground: Two prominent gay activist groups sue for same-sex marriage rights in Illinois” | World Mag
World Magazine: Smith added that IFI is working with the Alliance Defense Fund to see whether his group has standing to oppose the lawsuits and to evaluate the legal options. The situation “is discouraging for a lot of reasons,” said Laurie Higgins, a cultural analyst for IFI, not least because the Illinois news media are declining to address key issues. For example, she pointed out, gay rights proponents insist that marriage has nothing to do with gender or having children—but if marriage is just about subjective feelings, why should the government be involved at all?