Utah Hub




Kentucky Baptist Church To Perform Same-Sex Marriage Next Year - VIDEO

Highland baptist church kentucky

In a break with most of the church’s denominations, Highland Baptist Church in Kentucky announced it will marry couple David Bannister and Steven Carr next May.

Highland, which will become the third Baptist church in the area to perform same-sex weddings, is considered to be at the more liberal end of the congregation’s spectrum. In 2012, Highland ordained openly gay Minister Maurice Blanchard.

The news comes following a wave of recent pro-equality judicial decisions, including the June 25 decision in Indiana that struck down that state's marriage ban, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in Utah which ruled broadly in favor of marriage equality, and a July 1 decision that found Kentucky has no constitutional right to ban same-sex couples from marrying.

Although U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled in the Kentucky decision that "long-held religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted," he stayed the ruling until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky and three other states, according to The Courier-Journal.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has hired a law firm to handle the appeal after Attorney General Jack Conway declined to appeal the ruling. 

Speaking to The Courier Journal, Pastor Joe Phelps said that the decision to perform the marriage has upset some members of the congregation, who have nonetheless taken the decision to stay with the church.

Sam Marcosson, a law professor at the University of Louisville, said:

"What Highland is really doing is what churches do on important issues. They're taking a stand in order to influence their community and move their community in a certain direction."

Beshear's lawyers will make their arguments to reverse Heyburn's ruling on August 6.

Watch a report on Heyburn's decision to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage in Kentucky, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Kentucky Baptist Church To Perform Same-Sex Marriage Next Year - VIDEO" »


Hate Group World Conference Of Families To Hold 2015 Convention In Salt Lake City

World congress of families

Anti-gay hate group The World Congress Of Families (WCF) intends to bring its annual convention to Salt Lake City in 2015.

The Illinois-based coalition of hate groups, which opposes homosexuality and abortion, claims to affirm and defend “the natural family as the fundamental unit of civilizations, thus renewing a stable and free society.  [The organization] is a practical effort to lead the international pro-family movement and build greater understanding and encourage new networks and initiatives among natural family advocates at the national and international levels.”

Last year, the WCF reserved a meeting room at the Dirksen Senate Office building, until it was shut down by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL). However the meeting, billed as a discussion of “what can our pro-family legislators learn — positively and negatively — by studying our colleagues’ actions abroad," was later rescheduled at a House office building thanks to Speaker John Boehner.

According to The Sacramento Bee, the WCF coalition, which includes Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America, aims to bring together “people of different religions and ethnicities to promote the "natural human family.” The coalition describes the “natural human family” as one man and one woman raising children with love and discipline.

Conservative Utah-based think tank The Sutherland Institute put in the bid and is leading the event planning, according to WCF vice president and managing director Larry Jacobs.

Speaking to The Sacramento Bee, Ty Cobb, director of global engagement for The Human Rights Campaign, said:

"Whatever the World Congress of Families may believe in their head about the values of people of Salt Lake City, they are wrong. The values of the people of Salt Lake City are ones that promote inclusivity."

Utah has been a focal point in the fight for same-sex marriage in recent weeks, following the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.


Six Same-Sex Couples File Lawsuit Challenging Colorado's Gay Marriage Ban - VIDEO

Hillary hall same-sex marriage licenses

Yesterday, six Colorado couples filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The state voted to ban same-sex marriage in 2006.

The lawsuit, which states that Colorado "unlawfully denies the issuance of marriage licenses, and refuses to recognize the marriages of certain couples, based solely on the sex of the persons in the marriage union," comes during an ongoing battle in the state on the issue of gay marriage.

The plaintiffs are Catherine Burns, Sheila Schroeder, Mark Thrun, Geoffrey Bateman, Rachel Catt, Cassie Rubald, Breanna Alexander, Stacy Parrish, Angela Cranmore, Julianne Deloy, Karen Collier, and Denise Lord.

According to ABC 7 News Denver, the lawsuit, which names Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, and two county clerks as defendants, follows the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal's decision to strike down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Following this decision, on June 25, Boulder County clerk Hillary Hall decided to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Speaking to The Denver Post, Catherine Burns said that "most families in Colorado do not want this discriminatory law on the books."

The Court of Appeal ruling states that the Fourteenth Amendment “protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.”

According to Mari Newman, whose firm is representing the six couples:

"From a legal perspective, this case really ought to be a slam dunk and it's not often that lawyers get to say that. But here the 10th Circuit has been absolutely clear."

In June, Judge C. Scott Crabtree presided over two cases which argued that the gay marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution, according to ABC 7 News Denver.  Crabtree has yet to issue a ruling.

Watch the ABC 7 News Denver report on the new lawsuit, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Six Same-Sex Couples File Lawsuit Challenging Colorado's Gay Marriage Ban - VIDEO" »


What Was So Remarkable About the Tenth Circuit's Decision Striking Down Utah's Gay Marriage Ban

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

6a00d8341c730253ef01a511d4c82a970c-800wiTo regular Towleroad readers, Judge Lucero's opinion holding Utah's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional reads like so many other equality rulings in the post-Windsor world. But the June 25th decision is still remarkable and unprecedented. Kitchen v. Herbert did not just say banning gays from marrying is unconstitutional. Rather, it said the law is unconstitutional specifically because of Windsor

The opinion has all the trappings of many of the district court decisions that preceded it. First, the Court addressed the standing of the parties (the Governor and Attorney General of Utah) to appeal. I won't spend any time on that section except to say, they do have standing. Second, the court dispatched the Baker v. Nelson canard. As courts have argued countless times in the last 4 years, a 1971 order by the Supreme Court saying that a gay marriage lawsuit does not raise any federal question is outdated and no longer good law in the post-Romer, post-Lawrence, and post-Windsor universe. 

But the way the Baker argument got resolved was new. Utah, which was represented in Court by my old boss at Winston & Strawn LLP, Gene Schaerr, argued that the very principles of federalism and the separation between the federal government's role and the role of state governments that were reaffirmed in Windsor mandate that the Tenth Circuit hold to the Baker dismissal. In other words, Utah was acknowledging that the world has changed since 1971, a concession that the Prop 8 proponents and those supporting the Virginia gay marriage ban have refused to make. However, despite those cataclysmic changes, Utah argued that Windsor reminds us of the danger of the federal government intruding into the exclusive realms of the state. Therefore, since marriage is traditionally a state issue, the federal judiciary should stay out of a state's decision to discriminate against gays in that exclusive state matter.

The problem with this unique argument is that it is just plain wrong, derived, as it is, from a selective reading of Windsor. Justice Kennedy did indeed pay homage to the federalism concerns raised by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). For the first time ever, Congress had created a federal definition of marriage and no longer just accepted whatever the states had deemed as legitimate marriages. But, as I argued previously, the federalism discussion was merely a tool to show Congressional overreach and a reason for the federal courts to take more than a mere cursory once-over of the law. DOMA's federalism problem inspired Kennedy to be more critical of Congress's antigay motives and actions, which he found in violation of the federal constitution. It did not cause him to deny the federal role entirely.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "What Was So Remarkable About the Tenth Circuit's Decision Striking Down Utah's Gay Marriage Ban" »


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.


Boulder, Colorado Clerk Says She'll Continue Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses Until Forced to Stop

In defiance of Attorney General John Suthers, Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall is continuing to issue same-sex marriage licenses in Colorado as of this morning. This comes after Wednesday's ruling from the 10th Circuit of U.S. Appeals striking down Utah's ban on gay marriages. Despite Suthers claims that the licenses are invalid by default, Hall is undeterred.

Clerk"That's their opinion. We disagree with it," Hall told the Denver Post. "We will be here issuing marriage licenses until a Colorado court or the Supreme Court tells us to desist."

Hall's office made the decision to enforce the Court of Appeals' ruling after they interpreted that issuing the licenses was now legal. Carolyn Tyler, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Suther, countered saying that because the 10th Circuit stayed its decision, the marriage ban is still enforceable, technically speaking.

"Couples across Colorado have been waiting a long time to have their right to marry the person they love recognized," Hall declared in a press release. "I want to act immediately to let them carry out that wish."


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged