Gay Marriage Hub

Federal Judge Cancels Today's Hearing on Challenge to Kansas Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge in Kansas who was set to hear a challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage today has canceled the hearing, the Associated Press reports:

KansasACLU attorney Doug Bonney said U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree is considering whether to reschedule the oral arguments or decide the case based on the parties' written arguments.

Bonney said he told Crabtree during a 30-minute conference Thursday that the ACLU did not have time to review the state's written response to the lawsuit because it had just been filed.

This is separate from the case scheduled to be heard before the Kansas Supreme Court on November 6.

Kansas remains the only state in the Tenth Circuit without marriage equality. 

Update: Plaintiffs in the case have been given until Monday (October 27) to file additional briefs on the preliminary injunction. 

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval Says He Will Fight Efforts to Stop Gay Marriage in the State

SandovalNevada Governor Brian Sandoval has pledged to oppose the anti-gay Coalition for the Protection of Marriage's efforts to get the Ninth Circuit to grant a full re-hearing of the challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban, the AP reports:

The Republican governor provided a quick answer Wednesday to an appeals court call for briefs within three weeks from the state and an advocacy group that won the right to gay marriage on behalf of eight Nevada same-sex couples.

Sandoval, who previously stated he believes marriage is between one man and one woman, has been supportive of the Ninth Circuit's pro-equality ruling, saying it "confirmed my previous position that the State’s arguments against same sex marriage are no longer defensible in court."

Now how about going after those pious wedding chapels in Vegas that continue discriminating against gay couples?

Arkansas Supreme Court Sets November 20 Hearing Date For Challenge to State's Gay Marriage Ban


The Arkansas Supreme Court has set November 20th as the date it will hear arguments concerning a challenge to the state's gay marriage ban, Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner reports:

The scheduling coincides with a separate case challenging Arkansas' gay marriage ban that be heard by a federal judge that day. 

A hearing for summary judgement in Montana's gay marriage battle is also scheduled for November 20th. 

North Carolina Conservatives Resist Accepting Defeat On Marriage Equality

Values coalitionThe North Carolina Values Coalition, a conservative “pro family” organization, is encouraging public officials to uphold the state’s former ban on same sex marriage that was recently declared to be unconstitutional.

In a widely circulated e-mail, the organization suggested that those responsible for the registration and issuing of marriage licenses could object to giving them to same sex couples using the First Amendment as justification. Should a so-called violation of religious rights be thought of as insufficient reason to deny a marriage license, the e-mail alternatively suggests appointing a debutee to conduct the procedure.

“One thing is clear--forcing voters across the state of North Carolina to carry out same-sex weddings when it violates their religious beliefs is wrong,” The NCVC’s executive director Tami Fitzgerald said in a press conference. “And it violates the free exercise of religion that’s guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Despite the NCVC’s insistence on using this potential “loophole,” North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory has publicly stated that, in following with the law, he intends to fully embrace gay marriage throughout the state. Still though, conservatives’ resistance to inevitable change is steadfast.

Gilbert Breedlove, a judge and magistrate in North Carolina’s Swain County, stepped down on Monday after refusing to marry a gay couple. He explained that he felt as if he had no choice.

"I was Christian when I started," he told the Citizen Times. "Then, the law didn't require me to perform something that was against my religious belief. Now that law has changed its requirements."

BergerBreedlove’s resignation spurred South Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger [pictured right] to propose introducing legislation that would legally exempt public officials with religious conflicts from wedding gay couples.

“The court’s expansion of the freedoms of some should not violate the well-recognized constitutional rights of others,” Berger said on Tuesday. “Complying with the new marriage law imposed by the courts should not require our state employees to compromise their core religious beliefs and First Amendment rights in order to protect their livelihoods.”

Kansas Straight Couple Files Insane Brief Arguing Gay Marriage Would Steal Their Marriage Away

KansasIn what might be the craziest argument made against gay marriage this month, concerned heterosexual Kansas couple Phillip and Sandra Unruh have filed a motion to intervene in the case challenging the state's gay marriage ban - insisting that allowing same-sex couples to marry would literally lead to a "taking of their property rights in marriage without due process of law."

The brief states, in part:

The extension of marriage to same sex relationships inflicts profound harm on the Unruhs. For the court to say that from this day forward marriage in Kansas must be extended to a same sex couple is and for ever will be deeply disturbing to the Unruhs and undoubtedly to those that cared enough to pass an amendment to protect it, a departure from the joy and celebration normally associated with the word marriage. Disturbed, not because of bigotry, but out of solemn respect for what marriage is, what it has meant to them and to society in general. Marriage is perhaps the single most valuable institution society has ever had. The standards established by marriage and its exclusive nature enjoyed by the Unruhs can not be ignored or impaired without fundamental civil rights of the Unruhs being disturbed and married people being discriminated against....a ruling extending marriage to same sex relationships would violate the Unruhs' right to equal protection under the law by the Court's failure to protect marriage and support the right of Kansas citizens to codify its implicit meaning.

Other portions of the brief mention Bible verses and "responsible procreation, effective parenting, and the desire to proceed cautiously in this evolving area" as reasons for keeping Kansas' gay marriage ban in place. 

Read the brief yourself and marvel at the absurdity below, via Equality Case Files

[h/t/ jmg]

Alliance Defending Freedom Claims Anti-gay Idaho Wedding Chapel Never Sought Non-Profit Status - VIDEO


Anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has posted a response to a letter from the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho relating to the litigation group's discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a local wedding chapel, reports Joe My God.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp, the owners of Hitching Post, a wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, claim in the lawsuit that the city's ordinance prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians is unconstitutionally forcing them to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriages.

Back in May, the Knapps said that they would rather close their doors than perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The letter sent by the city to ADF on October 20th makes it clear that, although the Knapps registered their business as a religious corporation early this month, “based on the facts and their corporate status at the time [the couple refused to perform a same-sex wedding],” Hitching Post comes under the city’s non-discrimination order.

However, ADF has posted a response on its website backtracking on claims that Hitching Post has in fact been registered as a non-profit religious organization.  ADF has attacked the city’s “disingenuous waffling” and is now arguing that the Coeur d’Alene intends to “prosecute a for-profit business.”

Knapps“The city has said explicitly, repeatedly, and publicly that it would prosecute a for-profit business. That’s what the Hitching Post is, and it has never claimed to be anything other than that.

"While the Knapps do operate a ministry, they charge a fee for the ceremonies in order to be able to make a modest living. Therefore, the city, in its letter and elsewhere, is admitting that it would prosecute these pastors, who are clearly under a present threat of being sent to jail, fined, or both.

"The city has had months to figure out its own ordinance, and our clients have years of incarceration and devastating fines hanging over their heads. The city’s disingenuous waffling is indefensible.”

Earlier this month, the ADF began lobbying Slovakia's constitutional court to allow activists to place a referendum on the country's ballot that would reinforce the current bans on gay marriage, adoption, and domestic partner protections. The ADF's efforts in promoting bigotry abroad were profiled in Human Rights Campaign's "Export of Hate" report last month.

Watch an ABC report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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