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Michigan and Kentucky Plaintiffs Ask Supreme Court to Review Sixth Circuit Ruling Upholding Gay Marriage Bans

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Joining plaintiffs in Ohio and Tennessee who have filed similar petitions with the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs at the center of the cases challenging Kentucky and Michigan's gay marriage bans are asking the high court to take up the Sixth Circuit's anti-equality ruling. 

The Associated Press reports:

...Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has declined to defend the state ban and Gov. Steve Beshear has hired private attorneys to represent the state. The Ohio appeal focuses on the state’s refusal to recognize out-of-state gay marriages because of its own ban, while the Tennessee case is narrowly focused on the rights of three same-sex couples.

Detroit Free Press reports on the significance of the April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse's Michigan case:

While it remains uncertain which case -- if any -- the U.S. Supreme Court decides to take, here are some elements that make the Michigan case unique:

* There was an actual trial on the same-sex marriage issue in Michigan, whereas in other states, judges issued decisions after reading written arguments, with no cross examination of any witnesses or experts.

* Two, the Michigan plaintiffs aren't just seeking legal recognition for same-sex couples who were married in other states, but are actually fighting to make gay marriage legal in Michigan by challenging a voter-approved ban on it.

Michigan* Three, the Michigan plaintiffs also have children they are raising together — a key issue in the same-sex marriage debate. Those fighting to legalize gay marriage argue families are being harmed when same-sex parents aren't legally recognized, while traditional marriage advocates argue that children thrive best when raised by moms and dads and that it's too early to tell if same-sex parenting is a good idea or not.

* Four, the state of Michigan is actively seeking to keep same-sex marriage illegal, whereas in other states, officials have opted not to pursue appeals once a federal judge has spoken on the issue. That didn't happen at the conclusion of Michigan's same-sex marriage trial.

DOMA lawyer Mary Bonauto has also joined the Michigan legal team. 

Here are the briefs courtesy of Equality Case Files

[photo via screenshot]


ACLU and Lambda Legal Ask Supreme Court to Review 6th Circuit Ruling Upholding Gay Marriage Bans

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As expected, the ACLU and Lambda Legal have filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the Sixth Circuit's anti-equality ruling that upheld gay marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky. 

Said Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation for Lambda Legal via press release:

We have reached a tipping point, and the lives of thousands of same-sex spouses and their families hang in the balance. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling shines a spotlight on our divided country, where married same-sex couples are either respected or discriminated against, depending on where they live or even where they travel. As we have learned from other historic cases like Loving v. Virginia and Lawrence v. Texas, there comes a time when the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in, and provides the answer,--on the question of marriage for same-sex couples we believe that time has come.

Read the petition below via Equality Case Files:


Same-Sex Couples to Appeal Sixth Circuit Ruling Directly to U.S. Supreme Court

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The plaintiffs in the Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee marriage cases will seek immediate Supreme Court review of yesterday's Sixth Circuit ruling upholding the states' bans on same-sex marriage. 

Speaking to Buzzfeed, Abby Rubenfeld, the lead counsel for the Tennessee plaintiffs, said lawyers from all four state cases were in agreement about sending the issue to the Supreme Court.

“We just had a conference call with the attorneys from all four Sixth Circuit states on the marriage cases. We were all in agreement to apply for certiorari at the supreme court, and not to first seek en banc review in the Sixth Circuit,” she explained. “Given the significance of the issue, the reality that it will end up in the Supreme Court ultimately, and the harms that all of our clients are suffering each day that their marriages are not recognized, we want to get to the Supreme Court sooner rather than later.”

“We hope to file within two weeks, and hopefully sooner, so that we can still be on the docket for this term—which means resolution by june 30, 2015,” she added.


'Black Magic' Kentucky Sunday School Teacher Accused of Molesting Gay Teen In Attempt to 'Cure' Victim

MurphyRex Allen Murphy, a 30-year old Sunday School teacher from Kentucky has come forward and admitted to sexually abusing a teenage male student. According to Eubank Police Chief Colin Hatfield, Murphy is being charged with  sodomy, sexual assault, and use of a minor in a sexual performance.

Over the course of six months, Murphy allegedly coerced the student into compromising, sexual situations, threatening the boy with “black magic” were he to resist or attempt to tell anyone of the abuse.

"What the suspect told the victim is that if he touched his skin or shook his hand, he could tell the victim's sins from the past," Hatfield explained to the Daily News. "If the victim ever told anybody like his parents what was going on between the two, he would notify his parents of his past sins."

Leaders of the Poly Ann Church, where Murphy is said to have molested his victim on more than one occasion, have insisted that Murphy was never an actual youth pastor during his time with the church. The church is also investigating the incidents independently of the police.

Watch a WKYT news report on the developing story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Black Magic' Kentucky Sunday School Teacher Accused of Molesting Gay Teen In Attempt to 'Cure' Victim" »


Bryan Fischer: 'The Mark of The Beast Today Is The Rainbow Flag' - VIDEO

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Right-wing-nut and radio talk show host Bryan Fischer has a lot to say about a recent decision from the Kentucky Human Rights Commission which found that a Lexington-based printing company violated that city's fairness ordinance by refusing to print Pride t-shirts for a gay and lesbian group back in 2012. According to Fischer, this incident, along with others where Christians have been penalized or scrutinized for allowing their personally-held anti-gay views to spill over into their business practices, prove that "the Mark of the Beast today is the rainbow flag." From Right Wing Watch: 

TshirtBusinesses like [the t-shirt printers in Lexington] are now "not allowed to engage in commerce because they would not take the Mark of the Beast on their hands or on their foreheads," Fischer said. "They would not allow the Beast to dictate to them what they did with regard to the homosexual agenda, what they did or what they thought."

Saying that the owners of this company are literally being turned into slaves by not being allowed to discriminate against gay customers, Fischer declared that they have now been forced to "take the Mark of the Beast on their hand, they've got to make the t-shirts that they gay lobby says you have got to make, and they have to take the Mark of the Beast on their foreheads, even the way they think has to be realigned with what is politically correct."

Watch Fischer fume, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bryan Fischer: 'The Mark of The Beast Today Is The Rainbow Flag' - VIDEO" »


Kentucky Human Rights Commission Says Printing Company Cannot Discriminate Against Gay Customers

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A Lexington-based printing company has been found guilty of violating the city's fairness ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in its refusal to print the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization's Pride t-shirts back in 2012.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports:

[Hearing officer Greg Munson] wrote that the application of the Fairness Ordinance did not violate the T-shirt vendor's right to free speech and the free exercise of religion. [...]

Hands onIn the statement, Hands On Originals' co-counsel Bryan Beauman, with the Lexington firm of Sturgill, Turner, Barker and Moloney, said, "No one wants to live in that kind of America — a place where people who identify as homosexual are forced to promote the Westboro Baptists and where printers with sincere religious convictions are forced to promote the message of the GLSO. ... In America, we don't force people to express messages that are contrary to their convictions."

The ruling also stipulates that within the next year, Hands On employees must undergo diversity training to ensure future discrimination does not occur. 

Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian litigation group that defended Hands On Originals, released a video last month speaking out about the case. You can watch the video AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Kentucky Human Rights Commission Says Printing Company Cannot Discriminate Against Gay Customers" »


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