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Thursday Speed Read: Tenth Circuit, Utah, Colorado, Indiana, DOMA Anniversary

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

TenthcircuitTENTH CIRCUIT PANEL STRIKES UTAH BAN:

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a 2 to 1 decision Wednesday, upholding a district court decision that Utah’s marriage ban for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The decision in Herbert v. Kitchen is the first from a federal appeals court on a state marriage ban since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor. The ruling puts the Utah case closest to arriving at the U.S. Supreme Court. The majority stayed its decision pending an appeal to the high court.

COUNTY IN COLORADO RESPONDS: Boulder

Although the Tenth Circuit stayed its order finding a marriage ban for same-sex couples unconstitutional, Boulder County, Colorado, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday. The Tenth Circuit includes Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.  Two lesbian couples were able to marry before the clerk’s office closed for the day, according to the Boulder Camera. But Colorado’s Republican Attorney General John Suthers issued a statement saying the marriages are invalid.

SandlerINDIANA BAN STRUCK, TOO:

For the 15th time since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in U.S. v. Windsor, a federal district court judge on Wednesday ruled that a state marriage ban for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Judge Richard Young’s ruling on Indiana’s ban involved three consolidated lawsuits – Baskin v. Bogan, Fujii v. Pence, and Lee v. Pence. Young ruled that Indiana’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees to equal protection and due process. “In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs and refer to it simply as a marriage—not a same-sex marriage,” wrote Young. These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such.”

ZoellerINDIANA AG SEEKS IMMEDIATE STAY:

Indiana’s Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed an emergency motion seeking an immediate stay of Judge Richard Young’s ruling, striking down the state ban on same-sex couples marrying. But Young’s order enforced his decision immediately and, according to the Indianapolis Star, “hundreds” of same-sex couples rushed to courthouses within minutes after the decision was released around noon. The first same-sex couple to be married, said the Star, appears to be Craig Bowen and Jake Miller of Indianapolis. “There was a party atmosphere inside the clerk's office on Wednesday afternoon, where hundreds of people waited in line for a marriage license as [the Marion County clerk] kept the doors open until 8 p.m. to accommodate the crush.” Marion County alone issued 219 marriage licenses and conducted more than 150 marriage ceremonies before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Scotus_edie_windsorFIRST ANNIVERSARY OF WINDSOR:

Today is the one-year anniversary of the landmark U.S. v. Windsor decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, striking down as unconstitutional the key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It is also the tenth anniversary of the landmark Lawrence v. Texas decision, striking down laws prohibiting same-sex adults from having intimate relations. Both decisions have had enormous impact on the LGBT civil rights movement and yet both relied on just one vote.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Boulder County, Colorado Clerk Begins Issuing Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples: VIDEO

Colo

Hillary Hall, the county clerk and recorder in Boulder, Colorado, has announced that Boulder will now provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Hall’s announcement comes on the heels of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling today to uphold a previous decision that struck down the state’s ban on same sex marriage. A news report from local news channel ABC 7 also reported that Hall’s announcement was influenced by another key decision that came down today, that of U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young who found that Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. According to The Denver Post,

Hall said she is moving forward with the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses because the 10th Circuit has upheld "the fundamental right to marriage."

"Couples across Colorado have been waiting a long time to have their right to marry the person they love recognized," she stated in the release. "I want to act immediately to let them carry out that wish.”

One couple (pictured above) has already been married in Boulder. The clerk’s office will begin issuing licenses again tomorrow starting at 8AM at its Boulder office, located at 1750 33rd St. for any of you out there in the Rocky Mountain State. Meanwhile, the clerk’s offices in Lafayette and Longmont will begin licensing marriages to same-sex couples on Friday. 

Hall made no mention in her release of the stay the tenth circuit put on its ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court has a chance to weigh in. Meanwhile, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has already said any licenses issues by Boulder County will not be considered valid by the state:

Carolyn Tyler, spokeswoman for [the Colorado AG] said any same-sex marriage licenses issued in Colorado will be invalid. Because the 10th Circuit decision was stayed, Colorado's ban against gay marriage remains in effect, she said.

"It's not binding on Utah let alone on Colorado," Tyler said. "Boulder has a history of activism on this issue." 

She noted that in 1975, the Boulder County Clerk issued marriage licenses to a few gay couples.

"They are no more valid today than they were in 1975," Tyler said.

According to Denver Post reporters John Aguilar and Kirk Mitchell, Suthers also commented that, “Boulder has a history of activism on this issue."

Watch a news report on the Boulder County Clerk's decision, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Boulder County, Colorado Clerk Begins Issuing Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples: VIDEO" »


Tuesday Speed Read: Obama, James Costos, Colorado, Brunei, Charlie Crist, Phil Bryant

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

Blue_obamaOBAMA PREPS EXECUTIVE ORDER:

The White House indicated Monday that President Obama has “directed his staff” to prepare an executive order to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The White House official could not say how soon President Obama intends to sign the executive order. But the news comes during Pride Month, just two weeks before the White House hosts its annual reception in celebration of Pride Month, and just one day before President Obama is scheduled to be at an LGBT-related fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee in New York.

HIGH MAINTENANCE HOUSE GUESTS:

CostosThe openly gay U.S. ambassador to Spain and his partner hosted President Obama, the First Lady, and eldest daughter Malia at their house in Rancho Mirage, California, over the Father’s Day weekend, according to the Desert Sun. Ambassador James Costos and his partner, White House decorator Michael Smith, have a home in a gated community known as Thunderbird Heights. The President and First Lady headed back to Washington on Monday morning.

SENATE AGREES TO VOTE ON NOMINEES:

GaylesThe U.S. Senate voted 55 to 37 Monday to proceed to a vote on the confirmation of Darrin Gayles to the U.S. district court in Miami and, in a separate but identical vote, to proceed to a vote on the nomination of Staci Yandle to a district court seat in Illinois. If confirmed, Gayles will become the first openly gay African American to be appointed to a federal court bench. Yandle won’t be the first openly lesbian African American appointed to the bench but, if confirmed, she will be the first openly gay federal judge named to the bench in Illinois. The confirmation votes for both are  scheduled for 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

ColoradoCOLORADO JUDGE HEARS TWO CASES:

A state district court judge in Denver on Monday heard two consolidated lawsuits challenging the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. The Denver Post reported that Adams County District Court Judge Scott Crabtree expressed skepticism for the state’s contention that 15 federal and state judges before him erred in finding similar bans unconstitutional.

LETTERS PILE ON AGAINST BRUNEI:

KerryMore than 100 members of the U.S. House signed onto a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry last Thursday, urging that the U.S. halt negotiations with the government of Brunei on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Noting Brunei’s recent adoption of draconian penalties for being gay, the letter argues that such agreements must insist that participating nations “adhere to internationally recognized civil, political, and human rights standards.” All seven openly LGBT members of the House signed on. Four national LGBT groups also sent a similar letter last week to President Obama regarding Brunei’s brutal laws against LGBT people.

CristEQUALITY FLORIDA AND HRC ENDORSE CRIST:

The statewide LGBT group Equality Florida and the Human Rights Campaign both made independent announcements last Thursday that they are endorsing Democratic candidate Charlie Crist for the Florida governor’s race in November. Crist has a primary in August but is expected to win the nomination easily against two little-known candidates.

BryantCENTRAL PARK GREETING:

A small group of protesters followed Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant around Central Park Saturday to express their unhappiness with the state’s new “religious freedom” law, which goes into effect July 1. The protesters, which included members of GetEQUAL Mississippi, staged a mostly silent protest, and some hosted their own “Big Gay Mississippi Welcome” dinner, according to the Hattiesburg American.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Tony Perkins: Gays Will Soon 'Start Rolling Out the Boxcars' for Anti-Christian Holocaust - VIDEO

PerkinsOn his radio program last week, Family Research Counsel president Tony Perkins invited on Nicolle Martin – the attorney for the Colorado bakery that was repeatedly found in court to have discriminated against gay customers.

Never one to pass up on a homophobic opportunity, Perkins expressed his concerns to Martin that discrimination cases like hers are one step further down the road to the inevitable anti-Christian Holocaust.

Mused Perkins:

“I’m beginning to think, are re-education camps next? When are they going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?” 

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via Right Wing Watch)

Continue reading "Tony Perkins: Gays Will Soon 'Start Rolling Out the Boxcars' for Anti-Christian Holocaust - VIDEO" »


Pastor: Forcing a Christian to Bake a Cake for Gays is Like Blacks Having to Serve the KKK - VIDEO

LandLast week the Colorado Civil Rights Commission rejected the appeal of Denver area Masterpiece Cake Shop and affirmed a prior ruling that found its owner, Jack Phillips, in violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. The commission ordered a change of policy, staff training, and quarterly reporting to confirm that the bakery is not turning away customers due to sexual orientation.

Yesterday, on the Family Research Council's radio show, evangelical pastor Richard Land was sitting in for Tony Perkins and said that forcing Phillips to bake a cake for a gay wedding is like forcing a black baker to serve the KKK.

Meanwhile, Phillips sat down with Fox & Friends' Elisabeth Hasselbeck earlier this week and said he'd rather go to jail than have to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

Listen and watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Hasselbeck_phillips

Continue reading "Pastor: Forcing a Christian to Bake a Cake for Gays is Like Blacks Having to Serve the KKK - VIDEO" »


Colorado Civil Rights Commission Finds Bakery Owner Discriminated Against Gay Couple

Jack phillips

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission has rejected a Denver-area bakery’s appeal of an judge’s earlier ruling that bakery owner Jack Phillips “unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake” last July.

The commission affirmed the prior ruling that found Phillips in violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. The commission also ordered a change of policy, staff training, and quarterly reporting to confirm that the bakery is not turning away customers due to sexual orientation.

Said Paula Greisen of King and Griessen LLP, which represents the gay couple as cooperating counsel with the ACLU of Colorado: “Everyone who shops in our stores and conducts business in our state should be treated with equality and dignity. That’s what this ruling was about today.”

Phillips has pledged to close his cake shop if forced to bake a gay wedding cake.


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