Gay Marriage

Ten States File Brief With Federal Court Opposing Marriage Equality

It happened late in the day yesterday in what seems to be a clear reaction to last month's Prop 8 ruling. According to the Associated Press:

Tr Wyoming and nine other states have filed a gay marriage opposition brief to a federal appeals court in California.
The amicus brief sent Friday to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said that the Constitution does not require marriage to include same-sex couples. The 39-page brief also said that states, not federal courts, have final say in whether to allow same-sex marriages.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported that other states who joined the brief against gay marriage are Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. They argued that same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right.

"If public affirmation of anyone and everyone's personal love and commitment is the single purpose of marriage, a limitless number of rights claims could be set up that evacuate the term marriage of any meaning," the brief said. The amicus brief was criticized by Jason Marsden, of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, a Denver-based gay-rights organization. He told the newspaper it was "very puzzling" that Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg joined given that he Wyoming Legislature last year defeated a resolution to ban recognition of gay marriages performed in other states.

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  1. I can't believe the bounless limits to peoples hatred and stupidity.

    Posted by: Andy | Sep 25, 2010 9:29:54 PM

  2. Well there are nine states I won't be spending my money in.

    Posted by: Harry | Sep 25, 2010 9:40:50 PM

  3. "If public affirmation of anyone and everyone's personal love and commitment is the single purpose of marriage, a limitless number of rights claims could be set up that evacuate the term marriage of any meaning,"

    That's right, don't want to "evacuate the term marriage of any meaning." ???? Many heterosexual marriages aren't a shining example there!

    Love & commitment aren't even part of the picture in the meaning of a lot of marriages already - so I guess that doesn't even matter in their definition of marriage!

    A happy marriage is just being a good wife & accepting being barefoot, pregnant and abused by your equally miserable husband, and you just overlook the cheating while pretending to be happy for your kids who aren't as naive as you think they are... Love and commitment? I guess that's not even a part of their definition of marriage anyway!

    Posted by: Deibu76 | Sep 25, 2010 9:45:22 PM


    We're going about this the wrong way.

    We should be pushing the angle "Where does the constitution say that the government is empowered to DENY the marriage of two people marriage based on their gender?"

    Posted by: jexer | Sep 25, 2010 10:01:42 PM

  5. Indeed, Andy. They know they'e lost the hearts and minds of the people. Now they're standing in the doorway block us form entering like Governor Orville Faubus.

    IOW, FAIL!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 25, 2010 10:32:40 PM

  6. "If public affirmation of anyone and everyone's personal love and commitment is the single purpose of marriage..."

    But that's the problem, it's really not the "single purpose" and they know it. There are also hundreds of other rights that come with it.

    Taxes, estates, hospital visitation, death benefits, wills, insurance and on and on. You know the drill.

    If all I wanted was a public affirmation, I wouldn't want marriage.

    I want the LEGAL rights that come with a government sanctioned LEGAL union so that my partner and I can be LEGALLY considered a union that has equal protections of the law so that nobody can come along and block either of us from doing what we want in the normal course of our lives together.

    Assholes. They want to hurry and close the door to a federal statute before anything can happen. And of course, Indiana follows along like the backward haven of idiots that we seem to be swiftly turning back into. Goodbye, Blue State.

    Posted by: johnny | Sep 25, 2010 10:32:59 PM

  7. well at least we're getting to know how much hatred there is for us out there

    the Republican party truly hates us - *openly* - there should be no doubt about that whatsoever after this week's DADT votes

    don't let a picture of Meghan McCain holding an elephant in a NOH8 picture fool you

    Democrats don't like us much either - they won't openly work against us, but they will never put themselves in harm's way to defend us

    we are truly a group without a political party to support us & it absolutely blows

    but I'd rather see that reality now than live with blinders on

    Posted by: neverstops | Sep 25, 2010 10:35:15 PM

  8. Dems do put themselves out. Not all Dems, but the vast majority. It's a numbers game. Get the Dem numbers up, and the balance will tip.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 25, 2010 11:10:41 PM

  9. >>>The 39-page brief also said that states, not federal courts, have final say in whether to allow same-sex marriages.

    So are they also claiming that states have final say in whether or not to allow various hetero-marriages? Can states forbid mixed-race marriages? Can they forbid marriages between 2 blacks or 2 hispanics or 2 asians? Can the criminalize marriages between 2 heteros who happen to be older than child-bearing age?

    Seems like an obvious 14th Amendment problem if any suspect class can have their civil rights stripped away by one of our Asshat States.

    Posted by: Kurt | Sep 25, 2010 11:52:54 PM

  10. @Jexer

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    If there's no federal right to marriage, then the state of California can define marriage as it sees fit.

    So, your angle means game over.

    Posted by: John | Sep 26, 2010 12:10:45 AM

  11. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    This seems to be pretty cut and dry to me.

    Posted by: phineas | Sep 26, 2010 12:20:20 AM


    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the "letter") of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not adhering to the literal wording.

    "Law" originally referred to legislative statute, but in the idiom may refer to any kind of rule. Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language. Following the letter of the law but not the spirit is also a tactic used by oppressive governments.

    Posted by: I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff | Sep 26, 2010 1:49:12 AM

  13. That's 10 states, not 9.

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 26, 2010 4:28:23 AM

  14. See, that's why there are States' AG job openings. Those are for lawyers who don't have the smarts that Ted Olson and David Boies have. Those guys (State AGs) haven't figured out that there couldn't be two sets of rules, one for Black people and one for white people and they haven't figured out that there can't be two sets of rules, one for Gay people and one for haters.

    They just don't understand what the word "equal" means. But that's okay. We will prevail because we are right. They are just showing their stupidity and prejudice.

    Posted by: Van | Sep 26, 2010 4:36:11 AM

  15. The Constitution DOES NOT ban same-sex marriage. Otherwise the bigots wouldn't be trying to put it in there. I agree, it does not require marriage for same-sex couples but it also DOES NOT require marriage for opposite-sex couples.

    From what I'm reading they actually fracture their own argument. There is no single reason for marriage. As a gay man with a partner and two children, I do not have a single reason why I want to get married, but be reassured it's certainly not for affirmation or public recognition, I couldn't give a rat's ass what other people think of my's for private reasons of love and commitment AS WELL AS economic reasons - leaving my partner my social security, having word in decisions if my partner were to get sick, taking care of our children, etc. (Of course they can't say that because then it all makes sense in a dollars and cents, bottom line, factual manner, something our opponents want to avoid.)

    These arguments won't hold water. They are about guessing at motivations rather than facts. And the same arguments can be applied to opposite-sex marriage.

    Bottom line, the Constitution (I keep a copy on my desk) doesn't say anything more about opposite-sex marriage than it does about same-sex marriage. It talks about marriage. It's only bigots who believe it's all about them...and they are Constitutionally WRONG.

    Posted by: Bart | Sep 26, 2010 9:02:43 AM

  16. Here we go again with the Majority wishing to control the lives of the Minority.

    also, the Rights of States do not trump constitutional Rights of Individuals. Over and over again the Supreme Court has deemed Marriage as a Fundamental Right.

    One brief filed by twelve religious groups proves Religious Animus by the very filing itself. Many of these groups by the way openly run Political Agendas and maintain operations in DC.

    Another brief filed claims Gays have higher suicide, drug abuse, disease, etc, and whether true or not, I cannot remember when, say, African Americans' Right to Marry was being threatened on these bases???

    Posted by: customartist | Sep 26, 2010 9:21:41 AM

  17. How very tiresome. Though the fact that these hate-filled knuckle-draggers are even doing this just proves that they know they have lost the war and are fighting like a cornered animal just before it goes down for the count.

    And Virginia? Really? Again? No wonder I no longer admit to people that I was born there...

    Posted by: ichabod | Sep 26, 2010 9:23:44 AM

  18. The Texas AG must have been busy intervening in same-sex divorce cases to file a brief.

    Posted by: LightningBoalt | Sep 26, 2010 10:31:41 AM

  19. One thing to keep in mind about our governmental system: we are a federation of States. The US is the oldest surviving Federation.

    So, in part, these briefs may be serving the purpose of reminding the Federal Court System (and thus the Government) that there is a States Rights vs. Federal Rights issue at stake.

    We the people of the US don't often think much about this separation of powers (entrenched in the US Constitution). We tend to think the Federal Government runs our lives. In actuality, it is far more complex. Many aspects of our lives are governed by the States, separately.

    Now - as to the other reasons this brief has been filed... yeah, there might be bigotry involved also. Which is too bad.

    Posted by: common sense | Sep 26, 2010 10:38:49 AM

  20. Well, now you have an official list of the most profoundly retarded states. Bigotry loves company, I guess.

    Posted by: wimsy | Sep 26, 2010 10:56:16 AM

  21. There is Direct Religious coincidence with the states who have endorsed this brief.

    This just justifies the overwhelming attempt by Religious entities to Opress Constitutional rights when added to the other Brief filed by Twelve Religious organizations.

    Church Attendance by State / Rank State Percent

    National average42%
    1South Carolina58%
    7North Carolina53%
    15West Virginia46%
    19South Dakota45%
    22North Dakota43%
    30New Mexico41%
    37New Jersey34%
    39District of Columbia33%
    39New York33%
    46Rhode Island28%
    48New Hampshire24%

    The first twelve orgs are:

    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
    The California Catholic Conference
    The National Association of Evangelicals
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons)
    The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
    The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
    The Calvary Chapel Fellowship of Ministries of California
    The Christian and Missionary Alliance
    Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc.
    The Council of Korean Churches in Southern California
    Southern California Korean Ministers Association
    Holy Movement for America

    Posted by: customartist | Sep 26, 2010 11:50:21 AM

  22. @JOHN, that would be true if it weren't for the 14th Amendment which is precisely what Judge Walker based his well reasoned ruling on. It's the same basis that the Supreme Court used to require all states to allow mixed race marriages.

    Where are the states that allow same-sex marriages. Shouldn't they be filing amicus briefs in favor of the ruling?

    It seems to me that all of these briefs are more like animus briefs that are much more effective in PROVING Walker's point that anti-marriage-equality campaigns are based 100% on religious animosity toward gay people. The ninth circuit should line all these briefs up and label them: Exhibit A; Exhibit B; Exhibit C...

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Sep 26, 2010 12:31:05 PM

  23. @CUSTOMARTIST, even more ironic, there is a DIRECT correlation between states with high church attendance and "conservative family values" and high divorce, teen pregnancy and abortion rates.

    Taking our family values direction from the Bible Belt and the Republican Party makes about as much sense as taking advice on how to make a marriage last from Elizabeth Taylor.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Sep 26, 2010 12:37:44 PM

  24. "Amicus Brief," my ass! They must think gays are going to start holding recruitment rallies to get their kids. I thought the '60's were crazy, but I was wrong. The way their thinking goes, eventually no one will be allowed to marry because, to paraphrase Dean Martin, "Everybody Hates Somebody, Sometime!"

    Posted by: mad1026 | Sep 26, 2010 12:46:11 PM

  25. "If PUBLIC AFFIRMATION ... IS THE SINGLE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE, a limitless number of rights claims could be set up that evacuate the term marriage of any meaning"

    Since when does the public at large have to approve any marriage? Marriage, to most, is about love, not public approval, and equal marriage for all fits perfectly in that definition.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Sep 26, 2010 12:46:14 PM

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