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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.


'Little Bitch Otter' Beer Takes Shot at Idaho Governor C.L. 'Butch' Otter, Supports Gay Rights

Littlebitchotter

An Idaho brewery is taking aim at Idaho Governor C.L. 'Butch' Otter with a new India brown ale which it is marketing ass "Little Bitch Otter", Boise Public Radio reports:

OtterThe logo, made by Crooked Fence Brewing co-owner and marketing director Kelly Knopp, features an otter wearing a tie and cowboy hat.

"Anyone that is going to try to take away freedoms or not let someone be equal, Crooked Fence is against," says Knopp.

The beer is launching on Thursday at Pre Funk in downtown Boise. BPR adds:

Brewing co-owner and marketing director Kelly Knopp says a portion of Thursday's sales will go directly to Add the Words Idaho, and the Pride Foundation.

Add the Words Idaho co-chairperson Mistie Tolman says her organization is an all-volunteer group working to add "sexual orientation and gender identity" to the state's human rights act. "We decided to put those proceeds to good use, to further equality in the state," says Tolman. "We’ll keep working hard to try and achieve equality."

Governor Otter is appealing the recent ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban to the Ninth Circuit, which has stayed the ruling and promised to expedite the appeal.


Friday Speed Read: Montana, Gallup on Marriage, Scott Peters, Pocatello, Porterville

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

Ben_ChaseLAWSUIT COMES TO MONTANA:

The ACLU on Thursday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Montana, challenging that state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. That leaves only two states (North and South Dakotas) that don’t have a federal lawsuit pending against their state ban. In the Montana suit, Rolando v. Fox, three of the four plaintiff couples have obtained marriage licenses in other states. Democratic Governor Steve Bullock issued a statement Thursday, saying, “The time has come for our state to recognize and celebrate – not discriminate against – two people who love one another, are committed to each other, and want to spend their lives together.”

SUPPORT FOR MARRIAGE ‘SOLIDIFIED’:

GallupA new Gallup poll, released Wednesday, says that support for allowing same-sex couples to marry has “solidified above the majority level.” The poll of 1,028 adults nationwide between May 8 and 11 found 55 percent believe same-sex marriages should be “recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages.” Forty-two percent said “not valid.” “When Gallup first asked Americans this question about same-sex marriage in 1996, 68% were opposed to recognizing marriage between two men or two women, with slightly more than a quarter supporting it (27%),” noted the polling group. “Since then, support has steadily grown, reaching 42% by 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize it -- a milestone that reached its 10th anniversary this month.”

PetersDRAWING ENDA AS THE LINE IN THE SAND:

A group of LGBT leaders in San Diego issued an open letter Wednesday, supporting a push for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and a vote for U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, the Democratic incumbent representing San Diego (Congressional District 52). Peters supports ENDA, and his openly gay Republican challenger Carl DeMaio has appeared less passionate about it. In November, according to examiner.com, DeMaio told a San Diego State University audience that he supports ENDA but doesn’t think Congress should legislate “social issues.” The May 22 letter, signed by California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria, and others states, “Those seeking to support true equality and represent our community must be leaders, and public support and advocacy for this critical civil rights legislation should be the minimum we expect.”

SMALL TOWN FRIENDLY:

Voters in Pocatello, Idaho, voted down a measure Tuesday that was aimed at ending the town’s policy against discrimination based on sexual orientation. According to the Idaho State Journal, the vote was “razor thin.” Out of 9,623 votes cast, the margin of victory was 147 votes.

SMALL TOWN BULLIES: Hamilton

The Porterville City Council meeting attracted a crowd Monday, as many members of the public showed up to express their anger at Mayor Cam Hamilton’s remark last week that child victims of bullying should just “grow a pair” rather than ask for help from the council. The Porterville Recorder said Hamilton walked during the public comment session, to do an interview with CNN. In the CNN interview, he said he wished his remarks had been a “little less colorful,” but he said a proposal to create “safe zones” in schools doesn’t help victims once they leave the safe zones. He said kids need to learn how to “stand up for themselves,” but conceded society should also stand up to bullies. “If in fact we see somebody who is being harassed or is being bullied, we as a society –be it out in the city or in the school itself – have the ability to stand up for the person who is being bullied and just tell the bully, ‘We’re not going to put up with this.’”

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Ninth Circuit Grants Stay of Idaho Marriage Ruling, Expedites Appeal

NinthcircuitBY LISA KEEN

The Ninth Circuit panel that granted Idaho an emergency stay on Thursday granted a stay on Tuesday to remain in place until it can rule on the merits of the state’s appeal of a district court ruling that the state ban on same-sex couples marrying is unconstitutional. The panel also expedited Idaho’s appeal of Judge Candy Dale’s May 13 ruling in Latta v. Otter. 

Oral argument will take place the week of September 8 in San Francisco.

In issuing the panel’s stay, one judge, Obama appointee Andrew Hurwitz, indicated he believes the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in SmithKline v. Abbott –that laws targeting gays require heightened scrutiny-- will make it difficult for Idaho’s ban to survive. But he also said he believes the Supreme Court’s granting of a stay in the Utah case sent a “clear message” that stays should be granted on district court rulings against state bans on same-sex couples marrying.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Wednesday Speed Read: Pennsylvania, Vietnam, Ted Osius, Primary Results

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

PENNSYLVANIA MARRIAGES: Jones

A federal judge on Tuesday declared a ban on same-sex couples marrying in Pennsylvania to be a violation of the equal protection and due process guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III (an appointee of President George W. Bush) said the plaintiff couples suffer “a multitude of daily harms” from the ban. “We are a better people than what these laws represent,” wrote Jones in Whitewood v. Wolf, “and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.” Republican Governor Tom Corbett’s press office said Tuesday evening the governor had not yet made a decision regarding whether to appeal the ruling. Last November, he vowed to defend the ban.

OsiusAMBASSADOR NUMBER SIX:

President Obama this month nominated an openly gay State Department fellow to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam. Ted Osius has 25 years of experience as a State Department officer in Asia, including years advising the ambassador to India and serving as deputy chief of the U.S. mission in Jakarta. He had a stint as political and management officer at the U.S. Embassy in Vatican City. And he is currently an associate professor at the National War College in Washington, D.C. The State Department website profiled Osius and his spouse, Clayton Bond, last June as part of its Pride Month recognition. Bond is a foreign service officer at the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs. Osius and Bond were married in Canada. Previously, President Obama named openly gay men as ambassadors to five other countries.

AT LEAST SIX OF EIGHT GAYS WIN RACES: Sims

Of eight openly LGBT candidates on primary ballots yesterday, six are confirmed winners, one lost, and for one the results were not yet in at midnight. In Georgia, incumbent State Rep. Simone Bell easily won her Democratic primary with 64 percent of the vote; incumbent Democratic Rep. Karla Drenner was unopposed. In Fulton County, incumbent county commissioner Joan Garner coasted to the Democratic nomination with 70 percent of the vote. But newcomer Kyle Williams fell short in his Democratic primary race for a state senate seat, taking on 34 percent of the vote compared to winner Elena Parent’s 66 percent. In Pennsylvania, Democratic incumbent Brian Sims ran unopposed. The results for newcomer Josh Young for a Pennsylvania House seat were not yet in at deadline. In Idaho, newcomer Democrat John McCrostie beat out two other candidates for the nomination to a House seat, taking 53.5 percent of the vote. And in Oregon, Rob Nosse was the top vote getter in a field of six Democratic candidates for a House seat, earning 48 percent of the vote.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Idaho Chapel Would Rather Shut Down Than Marry Gay Couples

A popular wedding chapel in Idaho says that, should marriage equality arrive in that state, it would rather shut its doors for good than marry gay couples. The Hitching Post, located in Coeur d'Alene, has been in business for close to 100 years. The chapel's owner, Donald Knapp, made the statement just days after a federal judge struck down that state's ban of same-sex marriage. A temporary stay by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, requested by Governor Butch Otter, has put those marriages on hold for now.

Pic4-300x225Knapp explained his bigoted reasoning to KXLY-TV. 

"I think the bible is pretty clear that homosexuality is not his way, and therefore I cannot unite people in a way that I believe would conflict with what the bible teaches," Hitching Post owner Donald Knapp said.

"I don't hate those people. I don't think anybody should ever be abusive or mistreat them or anything like that, but I cannot in clear conscience unite such a couple," Knapp said.

The owners of the Hitching Post say they will honor their commitments through the end of the year, but if the ban is lifted they will walk away. If it comes to that they will look into selling the wedding chapel and, if the new owners are willing to host same-sex marriages, they will respect their decision.

The Spokesman-Review points out that, legally, The Hitching Post would not be able to turn away same-sex couples.

Wedding venues that turn away gay couples may violate local laws, such as Coeur d’Alene’s prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation. The provision adopted by the City Council last year applies to housing, employment and places of public accommodation, including businesses that render public services.

Take a 30-second video tour of The Hitching Post, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Idaho Chapel Would Rather Shut Down Than Marry Gay Couples" »


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