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9th Circuit Denies Idaho Governor's Request For 'En Banc' Hearing Of Gay Marriage Ruling: READ

EMBLEMThe U.S. 9th Circuit Court of appeals yesterday denied a request by Idaho Governor C.L. 'Butch' Otter for an ‘en banc’ hearing of its appeal of U.S. District Magistrate Candy Dale’s decision from May of this year which struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban. 

The Idaho Statesman reports:

In an en banc hearing, the case would be heard before all 11 judges on the 9th Circuit instead of just three.

"I think that the governor thought that Idaho would realize a more favorable result before the limited en banc of 11 judges than a randomly drawn three-judge panel, so the denial may mean that Idaho is less likely to win," said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law in Richmond, Va., who has been monitoring gay marriage cases across the country.

Read the court's decision, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "9th Circuit Denies Idaho Governor's Request For 'En Banc' Hearing Of Gay Marriage Ruling: READ" »


Idaho LGBT Activists Praised by Judge, Ordered To Pay Court Costs

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Twenty-three LGBT rights activists who were arrested earlier this year at the Idaho state capitol for blocking entrances to the statehouse have been sentenced, The AP reports:

Each protester was given a chance to offer a brief statement before being ordered to pay court costs based on how many times they were arrested.

At times, the courtroom became emotional after attorneys called two mothers who both had a child commit suicide after facing discrimination to speak…

Testifying for the state, Idaho State Police Major Steve Richardson said group's peaceful demeanor helped the arrests go smoothly, but they still put a burden on the state's limited staff and resources.

The demonstration was meant to persuade legislators to amend Idaho’s Human Rights Act to include protections for LGBT Idahoans. The protesters wore shirts that read, “Add the 4 words Idaho,” referring to the terms “gender identity" and "sexual orientation” they sought to be added to the human rights act.

The protest cost the Idaho State Police approximately $24,000 according to Major Richardson.  

The presiding judge respected the protesters for how they conducted themselves but also called upon them to accept the ‘consequences’ of their protest:

District Judge Michael Oths said he appreciated the group's approach in its multiple protests. He added, however, that America's history of civil disobedience has involved accepting consequences for breaking the law.

"You put your name on the line, and it's not easy to do that," Oths said. "I think people have been responsible in their approach."


Lesbian Veteran Files Lawsuit To Be Buried With Late Wife in Military Cemetery: VIDEO

Taylor

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham filed a lawsuit yesterday on behalf of military veteran Madelynn Lee Taylor to grant her burial rights in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery where her late spouse Jean Mixner’s ashes have already been laid to rest.

Cemetery employees denied Taylor’s request last year because Idaho state law prohibits recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages.

In a statement, Taylor said “Idaho is where some of our best memories together are and it’s where I want to spend eternity with Jean."

The lawsuit argues that the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

On May 13th, U.S. District Magistrate Candy Dale struck down Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage.

However, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has placed a stay on the ruling following an appeal from Idaho Governor Butch Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

Arguments in the case are set for September 8.

Read Taylor's 15-page lawsuit here.

Watch Taylor's story, which we posted last April, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lesbian Veteran Files Lawsuit To Be Buried With Late Wife in Military Cemetery: VIDEO" »


9th Circuit Court of Appeals to Hear 3 Marriage Equality Cases in September

NincriSeptember is shaping up to be a busy month for the fight for marriage equality. Challenges to Nevada, Idaho, and Hawaii’s bans on same-sex marriage are slated to be heard to be heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals back to back to back on the same date.

The court’s official argument calendar now lists Jackson v. Abercrombie, Sevcik v. Sandoval, and Latta v. Otter as being heard on September 8th in the San Francisco court. Percentage wise, the 9th Circuit is comprised of the largest percentage (69%) of sitting judges appointed by Democratic presidents, making it a comparatively liberal circuit. The panel of judges presiding over these cases has not yet been made public, but it is safe to assume that the panel, as a group, will hear all three cases.


Tuesday Speed Read: Mississippi, Idaho, GOProud, Bayer, Mary Bonauto, Carl DeMaio

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

McdanielHOW LOW CAN THEY GO? 

Incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign for his record on LGBT related issues. But in today’s primary, the Family Research Council announced its endorsement over the weekend for Cochran’s challenger, Mississippi State Tea Party Senator Chris McDaniel, citing McDaniel’s strong stance against same-sex couples marrying. Seems zero wasn’t good enough.

ANOTHER REQUEST TO LEAP FROG:

NinthcircuitIdaho filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit May 30, asking to skip over the three-judge panel phase of appeal in defense of its state ban on same-sex couples marrying. Less than two months ago, the Sixth Circuit refused Michigan’s request to do the same. But Idaho says the intra-circuit conflict over the proper level of judicial scrutiny to apply when evaluating laws that affect LGBT people adversely is a question of “exceptional importance.” Even more important, it argues, is the conflict over laws banning same-sex couples from marrying. Americans “understandably want the Marriage Issue resolved now,” states the brief. The Ninth Circuit is one of five circuits with active cases before them concerning statewide bans; only two –the Fourth and Tenth— have heard arguments before a three-judge panel.

GoproudGOPROUD CONSIDERS REORGANIZATION:

The gay conservative group GOProud reacted to rumors Monday that it was “shutting down.” Not so, said Matthew Bechstein, the group’s new executive director, in a press release. Bechstein said the group, which recently saw its founding members abandon ship, is considering reorganization to a “different legal type of organization.” “But if it were to actually happen,” said Bechstein, “it would only be momentary and certainly not the end of our organization.”

BayerGLAD SUES BAYER:

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders announced Monday that it filed suit in federal court last month in Connecticut against the company that produces Bayer aspirin. The lawsuit, Passaro v. Bayer, was brought on behalf of Gerald Passaro, whose husband was a chemist at Bayer until his death in 2009. Bayer initially refused to pay Passaro the survivor benefit, saying that, under the Defense of Marriage Act, it had no obligation to. But after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA last June, the company continued to refuse to pay the benefit, governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

BonautoNOTABLE QUOTE:

GLAD civil rights director Mary Bonauto in USA Today article about the string of federal court victories striking down bans on same-sex couples marrying: “We're at a point where it would be shocking if the Supreme Court said it was permissible to deny marriage licenses to gay couples."

GILL FUNDING PARK SERVICE STUDY:

The Gill Foundation is providing $250,000 to fund the LGBT historic places study announced by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell last Friday. The National Park Service will host a meeting in Washington, D.C., June 10 “to develop a framework and focus for the LGBT theme study with a group of more than a dozen of the nation’s most respected researchers and preservationists who have expertise on LGBT history and culture.”

DemaioDEMAIO’S OFFICE VANDALIZED:

Campaign staff for gay Republican Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio found their San Diego office vandalized last week. A campaign spokesperson told Associated Press that staff believe it is related to DeMaio’s efforts to curb pension costs.

AIDS LISTENING:

The White House Office of National AIDS Policy last Thursday hosted the first of three public “listening sessions” in southern states. The Office’s new director, Douglas Brooks, is leading the sessions, which started in Jackson, Mississippi. The next sessions are slated for Columbia, S.C., today and Atlanta, June 5. RSVP.

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


Idaho Governor Requests 'En Banc' 9th Circuit Hearing of Gay Marriage Ruling

Idaho Governor C.L. 'Butch' Otter has requested that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals take up the appeal of the state's gay marriage case with a full 11-judge panel rather than just three judges.

OtterEquality on Trial reports:

An initial en banc hearing in that case, the filing suggested, would allow the Ninth Circuit to have a circuit-wide, binding decision on the issue of same-sex marriage, as well as the issue of the level of judicial scrutiny that should be applied to laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

The state’s filing notes that the Ninth Circuit has already fast-tracked the Idaho case, as well as a similar challenge from Nevada. The state argues that the appeals court’s resolution of same-sex marriage “will carry profound legal and broader social consequences for all people within the Ninth Circuit,” and that “a decision by an eleven-judge panel stands far higher and stronger than does a decision by a three-judge panel — just as a decision by a three-judge panel stands far higher and stronger than does a decision by a single judge.”

The state also points to the ongoing dispute in SmithKline Beecham v. Abbott Laboratories as a reason for the Ninth Circuit to resolve the scrutiny issue in the Idaho case. In the SmithKline case, a Ninth Circuit judge called for a vote on whether to rehear that case with an en banc panel.

More at Equality on Trial.

View the brief here.


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