Best gay blog. Towleroad Wins Award

ACLU Hub



04/19/2007


ACLU Says Challenge to Pennsylvania Marriage Ban Should Proceed Without Trial

ACLU of Pennsylvania

When the ACLU challenged Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban last summer, the trial was originally scheduled to be held this June. However, the ACLU this week filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge John Jones to rule without a trial .

From the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

A trial became unnecessary after the commonwealth stated that it will not call any experts to counter the plaintiffs’ argument that there is no rational reason why lesbian and gay couples are excluded from marriage, nor does it plan to dispute the specific harms caused to the plaintiffs by the marriage ban. All legal papers in the case will be filed by May 12, meaning a ruling could come at any time after that date.

The commonwealth filed its own motion for summary judgment on Monday.


Colorado Military Vets Speak Out For Marriage Equality In New PSA - VIDEO

Gay_psa_1

Why Marriage Matters Colorado — a new effort organized by the LGBT PAC One Colorado, the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, and the national marriage equality group Freedom to Marry — just released their first advertisement. It features active and retired military servicemembers discussing why they support equal rights for one of their gay troopmates.

The video’s description reads:

Three military veterans who, together with their friend, U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant T. Ashley Metcalf — who is still actively serving his country — represent 45 years of military service. Sgt. Metcalf is gay, and his band of brothers — former Army Staff Sgt. Izzy Abbass, retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Dennis Mont'Ros, and former Marine Sgt. Will Glenn — talk about the importance of the freedom to marry for everyone.

Colorado currently has a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Why Marriage Matters Colorado says, “We can win marriage either by amending the constitution by a vote of the people or by winning in the courts. Both paths are being pursued simultaneously. Whatever our path, it’s important to have this public conversation about why marriage matters to us all.”

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Colorado Military Vets Speak Out For Marriage Equality In New PSA - VIDEO" »


ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Michigan To Recognize 300 Gay Marriages

Michigan

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan, asserting that the state is "obligated to extend the protections that flow from marriage" to the approximately 300 same-sex couples who were married there last month. The unions took place immediately after a federal judge struck down that state's ban on same-sex marriage. The suit was filed on behalf of eight of the same-sex couples who were married during the brief window county clerks issued licenses. 

-04b455fc83cee3afFrom the ALCU's press release

The lawsuit argues that once same-sex couples are legally married in Michigan, they gain protections that cannot be taken away retroactively. Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution compels state officials to recognize those protections regardless of the ultimate outcome of the appeal of Judge Friedman’s ruling.

The lawsuit is separate from the original federal case challenging Michigan’s marriage ban, which is on appeal before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. That case was brought by private attorneys on behalf of an Oakland County lesbian couple – April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse – who have been together for more than a decade and are raising three adopted children. The ACLU of Michigan filed a friend-of-the-court brief in that case.

Read the full legal complaint here.

The US government has announced it will recognize those marriages.

Watch moving testimony from Clint McCormack, one of the couples included in the lawsuit, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Michigan To Recognize 300 Gay Marriages" »


Three New Lawsuits Seek the Freedom to Marry in Arizona and Indiana

Macpherson_stolen
Rob MacPherson and Steven Stolen, plaintiffs in the ACLU Indiana suit.

Yesterday we reported that the ACLU filed a lawsuit in Florida demanding recognition of gay marriages from out-of-state.

Also filed yesterday were two others, in Arizona and Indiana.

ArizonaflagFreedom To Marry has details, on Arizona:

Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit - Majors v. Roche - in Arizona on behalf of seven same-sex couples - and the surviving spouses of two other same-sex couples - seeking the freedom to marry or respect for legal marriage licenses received in other states.

"Every day that same-sex couples in Arizona are denied marriage, the government sends a message that their families are not worthy of equal dignity and respect," Lambda Legal Senior Council Jennifer Pizer explained.

The plaintiffs include married same-sex couples, couples who want to marry in Arizona, and individuals whose same-sex spouses have passed away without Arizona ever respecting their status as a married couple. The lead plaintiffs are Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey (pictured), who are both in their 70s and have been together for more than 55 years.

IndianaAnd Indiana:

Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit - Baskin v. Bogan -on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in Indiana.

The plaintiffs include: Rae Baskin and Esther Fuller, who have been together for 24 years; Bonne Everly and Linda Judkins, together for over 13 years; and Dawn Lynn Carver and Pamela Eanes, together for 17 years. All of the couples are unmarried.

The named plaintiff, Rae Baskin, explained, "We just want what everyone else has in Indiana – a real, honest and legal marriage. We are a family. Esther loves me unconditionally and I can’t imagine life without her.”

And today comes news that the ACLU has filed ANOTHER, separate lawsuit in Indiana:

The American Civil Liberties Union, The ACLU of Indiana, along with attorney Sean Lemieux of the Lemieux Law Office in Indianapolis, have filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of 15 plaintiffs seeking the freedom marry in Indiana.

The suit seeks to stop the state from enforcing the current discriminatory law, to require the state to recognize marriages that have taken place outside of Indiana and to allow same-sex couples to wed in Indiana.

These lawsuits around the country are proliferating so quickly it is becoming increasingly challenging to keep track of them all. But we'll do our best!


ACLU Files Suit in Florida Seeking Recognition of Out-of-State Gay Marriages

The ACLU has filed suit in Florida on behalf of eight same-sex couples and the LGBT rights organization SAVE seeking recognition of the couples' marriages, which were performed out of state:

GrimsleyOne of the couples — Sloan Grimsley, a firefighter from Palm Beach Gardens, and her wife Joyce Albu, a consultant assisting parents of children living with developmental disorders — are seeking protections for their children, the youngest of whom is two years old. Sloan and Joyce have been together for 9 years and were married in August of 2011 in New York. The couple is concerned that if something were to happen to Sloan in the line of duty, Joyce would not receive the support the State offers to spouses of first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice, and thus, would struggle to provide for their family’s needs.

“I’m proud of the work that I do protecting my community, but the law in Florida doesn’t let me protect my own family,” stated Grimsley. “We just want the peace of mind of knowing that those vows we took to care for one another aren’t dependent on where we are.”

Seven other couples are also being represented:

Lindsay Myers, a radio digital content producer, and her wife Sarah Humlie, the Executive Director of the Pensacola Humane Society; Chuck Hunziger and Bob Collier, both military veterans, who have been together for more than 50 years and live in Fort Lauderdale; Juan Del Hierro, the Director of Ministry Empowerment for Unity on the Bay, and Thomas Gantt, Jr., a teacher, who live in Miami and have a 14 month-old son; Christian Ulvert, a political consultant, and Carlos Andrade, a media director, who married in Washington, DC in 2013 and are interested in raising a family; Richard Milstein, a family law attorney, and Eric Hankin, a Miami public school teacher, who have been together 12 years; Robert Loupo, a Miami-Dade Public Schools counselor, and John Fitzgerald, retired, who have been together 12 years; and Sandra Jean Newson, a vice president at an agency that works to provide housing for formerly-homeless individuals, and Denise Hueso, a clinical care coordinator at the Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, who have a 15-year-old adopted child.

Read the complaint here.


Lambda Legal and ACLU Seek to Intervene in Boies/Olson Virginia Marriage Case

Virginia

Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia filed a motion earlier this week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to intervene on behalf of all Virginia's same-sex couples and their families in Bostic v. Rainey.

BosticAs you may know, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and the ACLU and Lambda Legal have been leading separate cases challenging Virginia's gay marriage ban. AFER's case has already had a hearing and in mid-February, Judge Arenda Wright Allen struck down Virginia's gay marriage ban based on their arguments.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals now has the case.

Lambda and the ACLU want in on this now, and issued a press release announcing the motion:

"We represent a class of all same sex couples in Virginia for whom the denial of marriage inflicts a variety of harms, and they deserve to be heard," said Greg Nevins, Counsel in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta. "The Bostic appeal could decide the fate of not only both couples involved, but also the entire class of over 14,000 same-sex couples in Virginia who we represent."

The Harris case is awaiting decision from the court. Once that decision is issued, it will be appealed to the Fourth Circuit. In the meantime, allowing the Harris class action to intervene in the Bostic case now will allow the two cases to be consolidated on appeal without delaying or disrupting either case.

"From the beginning, both of these cases have proceeded on parallel tracks, and for the good of all couples in the state, we hope it will remain that way," said Joshua Block, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. "This motion just ensures that all affected couples have their day in court."

The Bostic v. Rainey case is very well positioned to be the next marriage case heard before the Supreme Court and any groups who are there will get the benefit of a national spotlight and credit for its ultimate victory.

The Washington Blade notes that plaintiffs in Bostic aren't happy about the motion:

Matthew D. McGill, co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the Bostic case, questioned why the two groups petitioned the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to join the Bostic case.

“The addition of new parties to the case at this late stage risks delaying the proceedings, and there is not a moment to lose when gay and lesbian couples and families across Virginia – and other states in the Fourth Circuit – are experiencing real harm,” said McGill. “We hope the Harris plaintiffs and their lawyers will continue to support our shared goal of marriage equality by filing an amicus brief alongside us.”

A source involved in the legal process who asked to remain anonymous told the Blade there are “grave and serious consequences for an unwarranted ACLU intervention.” These could include the possibility that other groups from West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina that fall under the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ jurisdiction could seek to join the case if allowed.

“If intervention were granted, it could adversely slow down the current appeals process – and time is critical when it comes to attaining marriage equality for all Virginians,” said the source. “There is not a day to lose. Groups like the ACLU can be supportive by simply filing amicus briefs.”

Stay tuned.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged