Nevada Hub




Nevada Clerks To Begin Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Today: VIDEO

Nevada

Following yesterday's ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada, the clerk for Clark County in Nevada announced that same-sex couples will be able to begin seeking marriage licenses starting today at 2 P.M. local time. Clark County encompasses Las Vegas within its boundaries. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:

Clark County Clerk Diana Alba said the Marriage Bureau will start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 2 p.m. today, according to county spokesman Erik Pappa.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals expedited the date when its decision to void Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban will take effect, he said.

The Marriage Bureau is at 201 E. Clark Ave., on the first floor of the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, the 9th Circuit, which promised to issue its mandate "forthwith", did just that, issuing an order that declared its ruling shall take effect immediately:

The judgment of this Court, entered October 07, 2014, takes effect this date. This constitutes the formal mandate of this Court issued pursuant to Rule 41(a) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

SandovalNevada Governor Brian Sandoval--who previously stated that he believes marriage is between one man and one woman but also said he would respect a decision from the courts that contradicted his personal beliefs--issued a statement of support for the 9th Circuit's decision:

“The ruling today confirmed my previous position that the State’s arguments against same sex marriage are no longer defensible in court. The SmithKline decision in February changed the legal standard which is why we originally withdrew our appeal. I respect the decision of the Court,” said Governor Brian Sandoval.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, urged local clerks to work with the appropriate district attorneys to determine whether to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples:

“We are encouraged by the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, although the Ninth Circuit has filed its decision in the case, it has not yet issued its mandate. The parties have 14 days to seek reconsideration or seek a stay to file an appeal with the United State Supreme Court. County clerks should work with their respective district attorneys on the appropriate course of action."

The court's mandate had not been issued at the time of both Sandoval and Cortez Masto's statements.

Watch a video of equality advocates celebrating yesterday's ruling and read the mandate issued by the 9th Circuit, AFTER THE JUMP...

Nevada2

Continue reading "Nevada Clerks To Begin Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Today: VIDEO" »


9th Circuit Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Bans In Idaho, Nevada: READ

Coming on the heels of yesterday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to take up any of the 7 petitions on same-sex marriage it was considering, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down bans on same-sex marriage in Idaho and Nevada.

The Washington Blade reports:9

In two rulings on Tuesday, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the bans on same-sex marriage in Idaho and Nevada. Writing for the court, U.S. Circuit Judge Reinhardt says judges found the law were unconstitutional by subjecting them to heightened scrutiny.

“We hold that the Idaho and Nevada laws at issue violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because they deny lesbians and gays who wish to marry persons of the same sex a right they afford to individuals who wish to marry persons of the opposite sex, and do not satisfy the heightened scrutiny standard we adopted in SmithKline,” Reinhardt writes.

The Ninth Circuit decision affirms a lower district court ruling against Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, but it also reverses a court rulings affirming the ban on same-sex marriage in Nevada that was handed down in 2012 before the Supreme Court decision against the Defense of Marriage Act.

Read the decision, AFTER THE JUMP...

Back in September, our legal editor Ari Ezra Waldman noted that the judges were highly skeptical of the anti-equality arguments, and predicted this unanimous decision.

Wrote Waldman:

Three progressive judges, though more muted in their questioning than Judge Posner was at the Seventh Circuit, were no less skeptical of the homophobic, ahistorical, misleading, misdirected arguments against allowing gays to marry. The hearing was a testament to how far we have come since the last time marriage equality was before Judge Reinhardt. The 2 to 1 decision in the Prop 8 case was an exercise in caution, an attempt to give the Supreme Court a way to support marriage equality without jumping ahead of too much of country. But at that time, we didn't have Windsor, we didn't have several other appellate courts declare bans unconstitutional, and we didn't have an emerging consensus written down in appellate and district court opinions. At that time, we had only a handful of marriage equality states; today, we have 19 states and the District of Columbia with equal marriage, covering more than 44 percent of the population. Today's hearing will result in an opinion with none of the hedges and narrowings of Perry. It will likely be unanimous and another sign that this debate is nearing its end.

Stay tuned for more updates on this breaking story.

Continue reading "9th Circuit Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Bans In Idaho, Nevada: READ" »


Ninth Circuit Panel Eviscerates What's Left of Anti-Equality Arguments: A Summary and Analysis

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

BerzonA soft-spoken attorney representing Idaho started his state's anti-marriage equality argument by suggesting that allowing gays to marry violates the "bonding right" of children that they will be raised by their biological mothers and fathers. It took Judge Marsha Berzon just 15 seconds to ask her first question: "What is that word you're using before 'right'"? Judge Berzon can hear just fine; it's just that she had never heard anyone make such a ridiculous claim before today. The rest of the hearing followed similarly.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a Carter-appointee and liberal leader of the appellate courts, was joined by Judge Berzon, a sharp-minded progressive appointed by President Clinton, and Judge Robert Gould, another Clinton appointee, in a nearly two-hour long interrogation of attorneys from Idaho and Nevada that may not have been as bombastic as Judge Posner's treatment of attorneys from Wisconsin and Indiana in the Seventh Circuit, a hearing which resulted in a marvelous unanimous victory ("Go figure!"), but was every bit as damaging to the forces opposed to marriage equality.

It also brought marriage equality full circle. Judge Reinhardt was the judge that wrote the first decision from a federal appellate court on marriage equality, affirming District Judge Vaughn Walker's pioneering rejection of California's Prop 8. We all know how that case turned out.

And we know what's happened since: a Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and a long streak of pro-marriage equality decisions from the lower federal courts, including several appellate courts.

Yesterday's hearing reminded us how far we have really come. Some of the arguments and much of the tone were different this time around. The judges' questioning was direct and they expressed a similar, though less visible, frustration with the misdirection and misleading statements from the anti-equality attorneys as Judge Posner. The tone of the hearing suggested that marriage equality supporters are finally out of the closet, following a tidal wave of an emerging consensus of the legitimacy and morality of marriage freedom for all.

A summary and analysis follows AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ninth Circuit Panel Eviscerates What's Left of Anti-Equality Arguments: A Summary and Analysis" »


Watch LIVE: Ninth Circuit Oral Arguments in Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii Gay Marriage Cases

Ninth

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the Hawaii, Idaho and Nevada gay marriage cases today and will be live streaming the arguments from the courtroom in San Francisco.

The feeds will begin shortly before 1pm PT, with Idaho getting 30 minutes per side, Nevada getting 20 minutes, and Hawaii 10. 

Watch the feeds AFTER THE JUMP... 

Last week, we reported on the three judge panel that will hear the gay marriage cases - with Equality on Trial pointing out that the trio are considered "some of the most liberal appeals court judges in the country." 

MSNBC reports that sexual orientation also has "heightened scrutiny" in the Ninth Circuit, which bodes well for a pro-equality victory: 

With heightened scrutiny, defendants (such as state officials arguing on behalf of same-sex marriage bans) would have to show how a law that treats gay and lesbian people differently serves an important or compelling state interest, not just a legitimate one. Heightened scrutiny essentially shifts the burden of proof off of the plaintiffs, and makes laws that discriminate against same-sex couples more difficult to defend.

Continue reading "Watch LIVE: Ninth Circuit Oral Arguments in Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii Gay Marriage Cases" »


9th Circuit Names 3 Judge Panel To Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases

9TH

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has announced the 3 judge panel that will hear challenges to same-sex marriage bans in Idaho, Hawaii and Nevada: Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Ronald M. Gould and Marsha S. Berzon. All three were appointed by Democrats and, as Equality on Trial points out, are considered to be "some of the most liberal appeals court judges in the country":

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, nominated by President Carter, is a highly respected liberal judge, known for writing the opinion in the Prop 8 case when it came before the Ninth Circuit; Judge Reinhardt also wrote the opinion inSmithKline Beecham v. Abbott Labs, which held that a heightened level of judicial scrutiny is required for laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation, and that jurors can’t be discriminated against on that basis.

Judge Marsha Berzon, nominated by President Clinton, once clerked for Justice William Brennan, and is considered to be a solidly liberal judge. She joined Judge Reinhardt’s opinion in SmithKline as well.

The third judge on the panel is Judge Ronald Gould, also nominated by President Clinton. Judge Gould wrote the Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Witt v. Dept. of Air Force, challenging Major Margaret Witt’s discharge from the military on the basis of her sexual orientation under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. That decision held that heightened scrutiny is required under the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas, and it led to an eventual ruling that Witt’s discharge was unconstitutional.

The appeals court’s decisions in SmithKline and Witt had already ensured a more difficult path to victory in the cases for the state officials and groups defending the same-sex marriage bans. This panel makes it even less likely, though not impossible, the bans would be upheld.

The 9th Circuit assigns cases to judges on a random basis.

You'll recall that when the Prop. 8 case came before Judge Reinhardt, he denied a request that he recuse himself from the case because his wife, head of the Southern California chapter of the ACLU, was "an outspoken opponent of Proposition 8 and taken part in legal proceedings to overturn the voter-approved law."

The cases are set to be heard on Setpember 8th.


Nine-Year-Old Transgender Girl in Reno Declares Her Identity: VIDEO

Cee cee ott

Nevada Pride in Reno last Saturday gave nine-year-old transgender girl Cee Cee Ott a chance to express who she really is, reports KOLO TV.

Speaking to KOLO TV, Cee Cee said:

"I wanted to be a girl [when I was around three years old], but I couldn't because at the time I was a boy, so I had to be there and dress up like a boy. It was miserable."

After kindergarten, Cee Cee’s parents home-schooled her until they could decide what they needed to do to make her feel safe.

Nicole Ott, Cee Cee’s parent, says "we want our children to be happy and to be themselves and that's all we care about. We're not trying to make anyone be anything other than allowing them the space to figure out who they are and what they want from the world."

Cee Cee, who starts public school again in the fall, now aspires to be a transgender reassignment surgeon so that she can help other people like her.

Watch a KOLO TV interview with Cee Cee, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Nine-Year-Old Transgender Girl in Reno Declares Her Identity: VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged