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Gay Couples Begin to Marry In St. Louis, Missouri As AG Appeals Pro-Equality Ruling: PHOTOS

STL

Following St. Louis, Missouri Circuit Judge Rex Burlison's ruling today that officials in that city can issue marriage licenses to gay couples, same-sex couples turned up at city hall to say "I do." 

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed reports that Missouri's Attorney General Chris Koster will appeal Burlison's ruling but will not request a stay:

We have appealed the ruling to the Missouri Supreme Court. The constitutional challenge to Missouri's historically recognized right to define marriage must be presented to and resolved by the state's highest court. Following decisions in Idaho and Alaska, the United States Supreme Court has refused to grant stays on identical facts. We will not seek aa stay of this court's order when the United States Supreme Court has ruled none should be granted."

Check out some incredible images of marriage equality arriving in St. Louis, courtesy of CBS reporter Michael Calhoun's incredible Twitter feed, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Couples Begin to Marry In St. Louis, Missouri As AG Appeals Pro-Equality Ruling: PHOTOS" »


Gay Couples Free to Marry in St. Louis, Missouri After Judge Rules Ban is Unconstitutional

Marriages

St. Louis, Missouri Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled today that officials in that city can issue marriage licenses to gay couples, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

Burlison"The Court finds and declares that any same sex couple that satisfies all the requirements for marriage under Missouri law, other than being of different sexes, is legally entitled to a marriage license," Burlison wrote.

He said that the Missouri Constitution violates the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Burlison's ruling comes more than four months after four couples were married at St. Louis City Hall, even though there is a 10-year-old constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

The act of defiance, choreographed with the support of Mayor Francis Slay and then-Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter, led Attorney General Chris Koster to file an injunction preventing more marriage licenses from being issued to same-sex couples.

Freedom to Marry adds:

On-the-ground advocates confirmed that the judge did not place a hold on the decision, meaning that as soon as today, same-sex couples in St. Louis should be free to marry right in theri home city.

The decision is in St. of Missouri v. Jennifer Florida, a state legal case filed by the state of Missouri in the summer of 2014 after then-Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples in Missouri. It comes just over a month after a related ruling in state court in Barrier v. Vasterling, which declared that Missouri must respect the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster did not appeal the Barrier ruling.

Read the ruling below, via Equality Case Files:

1422-CC09027 Order and Judgment by Equality Case Files


Gay Missouri Teachers Fired After Catholic High School Discovers They Got Married in NY: VIDEO

Corjesu
(brian kelly @brpkelly twitter)

Supporters rallied Friday morning for Olivia Reichert and Christina Gambaro, two gay teachers at Cor Jesu, an all-girls Catholic high school in the Affton, Missouri area, who were fired after administrators discovered they had married in New York.

Reichert_gambaroThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Wednesday:

Reichert said she and her partner were asked to resign after the school said in late July it received a copy of a mortgage application with the couple’s names. The school said the couple had violated the moral contract faculty are required to sign as part of employment. The couple had married in New York over the summer.

“We understand that, as a Catholic institution, Cor Jesu has an obligation to ensure that its employees serve as Christian role models. However, because they do not enforce the witness statement in any other way, this is a blatant case of discrimination,” Reichert wrote in a statement to the Post-Dispatch.

Chargers Allies, a support group for LGBT students, alumnae, and supporters, was created in response to the firings .

Gambaro (second image, right, via Facebook) thanked supporters on social media:

 

A rally was held Friday morning, the Post-Dispatch reports, made up of "alumnae; members of the nondenominational Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis; Faith Aloud, an organization concerned with reproductive issues; and the marriage equality group ShowMeNoHate:"

[The Rev. Wes Mullins, senior pastor at Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis] said the point of the rally wasn’t to persuade the school to rehire Reichert and Gambaro but to reach out to current students, as well as ask Cor Jesu to rethink its policies.

“If you’re a student there, do you really feel safe talking to any of the teachers now?” Mullins asked. “Are you going to talk to a principal now? I wouldn’t.”

Matthew J. Franck, director of the Witherspoon Institute’s Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution, a think tank in Princeton, N.J., said while “it’s easy to feel very sympathetic to the teachers, the school, as a Catholic school, has a kind of moral obligation to the church.”

“It simply has to let people go who live openly in this way,” Franck said. “I don’t see how any Catholic administrator with any integrity can do anything but what they did here.”

Some alumnae have vowed to withhold donations to the school until the matter is resolved in the teachers' favor.

Missouri currently has a ban on same-sex marriage. In February 2014 the ACLU and the LGBT rights group PROMO filed a lawsuit challenging the discriminatory law.

Listen to St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jessica Bock discuss the firing with radio host McGraw Milhaven, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Missouri Teachers Fired After Catholic High School Discovers They Got Married in NY: VIDEO" »


St. Louis Cop Retires On Full Pension Following Vile Homophobic Rant - VIDEO

Dan page

Dan Page, a St. Louis police officer who was last month suspended after a homophobic, racist, misogynist and Islamophobic video came to light, has retired on his full pension and benefits, reports New York.

Discussing what he sees as the persecution and prosecution of Christians in the U.S. today, Page said:

“There are three phases that a society goes through. One is persecution. That means your faith is being challenged, everybody mocks you, everybody ridicules you. They stand for nothing. If you stand against sodomy and abortion - you are a terrorist ladies and gentlemen. The next phase is prosecution. There's a couple out there in New Mexico that are being prosecuted and put out of business and were arrested because they refused to take pictures of sodomites. What about my freedom of religion from that? And the military right now - you have open sodomy. People holding hands, swapping spit together. It's sick. It's pitiful.”

Page, who first caught the media’s attention when he pushed CNN anchor Don Lemon during a demonstration in Ferguson, decided to retire in order to avoid an internal review set to begin last week.

However, despite his vile rant, the 35-year veteran is expected to receive his full pension and benefits.

Watch an excerpt of Page's homophobic rant and a video of Page confronting Lemon, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "St. Louis Cop Retires On Full Pension Following Vile Homophobic Rant - VIDEO" »


St. Louis Officer Suspended After Racist, Sexist, Anti-gay Rant Surfaces: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 11.34.25 AM

Dan Page, a St. Louis police officer who's been "helping" the on-the-ground situation in Ferguson, has been suspending after video surfaced of the military veteran giving an hour-long rant stuffed with racist, sexist, and homophobic language.

CNN reports:

In his rambling remarks on the video, he talks about what he describes as a draft replacement for the U.S. Constitution, the "four sodomites on the Supreme Court," and a visit to Kenya "to our undocumented President's home." He refers to Barack Obama as "that illegal alien who claims to be our President." Page frequently references violence, including nine combat tours in the Army, during which he did "my fair share of killing." Speaking about Muslims, he says pointedly: "They will kill you." On domestic disputes, he opines: "You don't like each other that much, just kill each other and get it over with. Problem solved. Get it done." On urban violence, he predicts that "when the inner cities start to ignite, people are going to start killing people they don't like."

And lastly, Page says, "I personally believe the Lord Jesus Christ is my savior, but I'm also a killer. I've killed a lot and, if I need to, I will kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me."

Watch the full rant, AFTER THE JUMP...

One of Page's more inflammatory anti-gay segments in the rant came when he discussed the persecution and prosecution that Christians face in the country today.

There are three phases that a society goes through. One is persecution. That means your faith is being challenged, everybody mocks you, everybody ridicules you. They stand for nothing. If you stand against sodomy and abortion - you are a terrorist ladies and gentlemen. The next phase is prosecution. There's a couple out there in New Mexico that are being prosecuted and put out of business and were arrested because they refused to take pictures of sodomites. What about my freedom of religion from that? And the military right now - you have open sodomy. People holding hands, swapping spit together. It's sick. It's pitiful.

St. Louis police chief Jon Belmar has issued an apology for Page's remarks, which you can also check out AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "St. Louis Officer Suspended After Racist, Sexist, Anti-gay Rant Surfaces: VIDEO" »


Friday Speed Read: Utah, Boulder, St. Louis, Indiana, Recess Appointments, Buffer Zones

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

UTAH HEADING TO SUPREME COURT NEXT: Reyes

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes issued a statement late Wednesday saying his office intends to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the Tenth Circuit panel decision striking down the state’s marriage ban for same-sex couples.

BOULDER KEEPS ROLLING:

Boulder, Colorado, continued issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Thursday, even after the state attorney general said the licenses are invalid.

SPECIAL MESSAGE:

From July 1 through Labor Day, Speed Read will publish on a weekly basis. When a breaking news story is of great importance, we will get it to you as quickly as possible.

MarriagesST. LOUIS BEGINS ISSUING LICENSES:

In a move reminiscent of former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004, officials in St. Louis, Missouri, on Wednesday issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples, in open defiance of the state’s marriage ban for same-sex couples. The ceremony for the first couple was held in Mayor Francis Slay’s office, officiated by Municipal Judge Joseph Murphy. City officials said they would use the marriages to launch a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban, according to the St. Louis Dispatch. Meanwhile, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster launched a counteroffensive, filing a lawsuit Thursday against a St. Louis County official who granted the marriage licenses.

Gay_indianaWITHOUT A STAY, INDIANA MARRIES MORE:

Federal Judge Richard Young has still not responded to Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s motion for an emergency stay of the June 25 ruling striking the state’s marriage ban for same-sex couples. The Indianapolis Star reported another 200 couples married in Indianapolis Thursday, along with more than 100 in other counties. Zoeller on Thursday filed an appeal with the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

RECESS APPOINTMENT CURTAILED: Supremes

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision Thursday that narrows the opportunities for a president to make a recess appointment. Recess appointments have been a means for some presidents to get controversial nominees into office and have them confirmed later. President Clinton used a recess appointment to install gay philanthropist James Hormel as the U.S.’s first openly gay ambassador. President Obama used them twice for gay appointees in 2010 –Chai Feldblum as EEOC Commissioner and Richard Sorian as HHS Assistant Secretary. The high court’s decision, in NLRB v. Noel Canning, limits recess appointments to times when the Senate is in recess for at least 10 days. The decision was unanimous and written by Justice Stephen Breyer.

BUFFER ZONE STRUCK DOWN: J_roberts

The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights submitted a brief in support of a Massachusetts law that attempted to protect women seeking abortions by creating a 35-foot setback or “buffer zone” for anti-abortion protests outside such facilities. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday said such buffer zones violate the First Amendment. Chief Justice John Roberts authored the opinion, McCullen v. Coakley, noting that public sidewalks are the “traditional public fora” for “assembly, communicating thoughts be­tween citizens, and discussing public questions” and “government may not ‘selectively…shield the public from some kinds of speech on the ground that they are more offensive than others.’” Roberts’ decision characterized protesters as seeking to hand out literature and to make offers of help to women entering the clinics. But the brief from GLAD, NGLTF, and NCLR noted the buffer zones are not to stifle expression but to protect the safety of women. “Women should be free to seek comprehensive medical care—including birth control and abortion—without the fear of harassment and violence from protesters,” said NGLTF Executive Director Rea Carey.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


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