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Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens Moves To Dismiss Challenge To Same-Sex Marriage

Sam olens georgia

Georgia attorney general Sam Olens has asked a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports ABC News.

Olens said in a July 21st filing that Lambda Legal’s lawsuit takes away Georgia residents’ right to define marriage.

In 2004, Georgia voters supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Despite a later challenge, the state Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the vote was valid.

While acknowledging moves in other states to legalize same-sex marriage, Olen’s brief states that “judicially imposing such a result now would merely wrest a potentially unifying popular victory from the hands of supporters and replace it instead with the stale conformity of compulsion.”

Olens also argued that recent decisions striking down constitutional bans in other states should not apply to Georgia because the state's marriage laws do not imply a right to marry someone of the same sex.

According to Beth Littrell, a senior attorney for Lambda Legal and co-counsel on the case, "this is a strong indication the attorney general plans on defending the marriage ban regardless of the precedent lining up against him that the federal Constitution provides to all citizens the right to marry the person they love.”

In April, Art Gardner, one of seven Republicans running for retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss's U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, announced his support for Lambda Legal's suit and asked Olens to not fight the suit.


Gay Marriage News Watch: Updates from FL, OK, UT, CO, WI, IN, AR, and GA

Baume

AFER's Matt Baume fills us in on this week's marriage news, which includes a new ruling for equality in Florida, a second victory in Oklahoma, the Supreme Court's stay of recognition of Utah marriages, a stay for some counties in Colorado but not others, the DOJ's announcement that they'll defend marriage equality at SCOTUS, the 7th Circuit's schedule on Wisconsin and Indiana, and last week's brief filings in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Marriage News Watch: Updates from FL, OK, UT, CO, WI, IN, AR, and GA" »


GOP Rep. David Jolly Endorses Marriage Equality Despite Personal Support for 'Traditional' Marriage

David JollyRepresentative David Jolly (R-FL) has come out for marriage equality, saying that while he personally believes in “traditional” marriage, he also supports last week’s court ruling overturning Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.  

The Washington Post reports:

“As a matter of my Christian faith, I believe in traditional marriage," said Jolly in a statement to The Post. "But as a matter of Constitutional principle I believe in a form of limited government that protects personal liberty. To me, that means that the sanctity of one’s marriage should be defined by their faith and by their church, not by their state. Accordingly, I believe it is fully appropriate for a state to recognize both traditional marriage as well as same-sex marriage, and therefore I support the recent decision by a Monroe County Circuit Judge.”

Jolly joins GOP Senators Rob Portman, Mark Kirk, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Richard Hanna, and Charlie Dent in voicing support for marriage equality.  


Motion To Lift Stay On Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban Denied: VIDEO

Aaron huntsman

A motion asking Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia to lift a stay in his ruling that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional has been denied, reports CBS Miami.

The motion was filed by Key West bartenders Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones.

Last week, Garcia ruled that the 2008 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is discriminatory and violates gay people’s right to equal treatment under the law.

However, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who in May asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit seeking recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages, filed a notice of appeal, staying the ruling.

Agreeing with Bondi, Garcia wrote:

“Based on decisions of the United States Supreme Court and other courts to stay proceedings in similar challenges, this court DENIES the Emergency Motion. The automatic stay, currently in place, shall remain in place until completion of appellate proceedings or until further order of the Court.”

Speaking to CBS Miami regarding his concerns about same-sex marriage, Auxiliary Bishop of Miami Peter Baldacchino said "our fear is that the implications of tampering with the language of marriage will have far-reaching implications that can hurt especially the vulnerable."

However, remaining positive, Huntsman said "whether is happens to tomorrow or if it doesn't, it's going to happen."

Watch the CBS Miami report on Garcia's ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Continue reading "Motion To Lift Stay On Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban Denied: VIDEO" »


L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin Marries Partner Sean Arian

Bonin

Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin married his partner Sean Arian in San Pedro, California on Saturday, Bonin's website 11th District reports:

The festive nuptials, held in the neighborhood where Arian was raised, featured works of art and music from several bands from the Venice area, which Bonin represents. The couple insisted on a sustainable and tech savvy event, using a wedding app instead of paper invites, and solar power to fuel the sound system. The reception took on a carnival feel, with a giant Jenja set, interactive art, and bouncy houses for both children and adults.

Bonin and Arian met at City Hall in 2009, when Arian was Director of Economic Development for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. At the time, Bonin was chief of staff to Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and a same sex marriage activist with the Courage Campaign.

The wedding was officiated by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

(image facebook)


Montana Attorney General Asks Court To Uphold State's Gay Marriage Ban

Tim fox montana

On July 17th, Montana attorney general Tim Fox asked a federal court to uphold the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in response to an attempt to overturn the 2004 law, reports Great Falls Trubine

In May, four couples filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the ban denies same-sex couples the protections and benefits of marriage afforded to other residents of the state.

According to Los Angeles TimesFox said that Montanans made their decision in 2004 when they voted for a constitutional provision that “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." 

Democratic Governor Steve Bullock has expressed his support for the plaintiffs.

Speaking to Great Falls Tribune, Jim Taylor, legal director of Montana’s American Civil Liberties Union, said that the case could take up to a year to resolve.

Same-sex marriage is legal in nineteen states and the District of Columbia. Bans that have been overturned in other states continue to make their way through the courts.

In June, Bozeman, the fourth-largest city in Montana, voted 4-0 to pass an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance, becoming the fourth city in the state to do so.


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