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An important history lesson for you TRUE Steelers fans!

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Old 04-10-2014, 08:31 AM   #41
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory

Same-sex marriage faces biggest test yet in Denver case

A federal appeals court will weigh giving a big victory to gay couples or halting their momentum.


DENVER — The gay rights movement’s winning streak in same-sex marriage lawsuits faces its biggest test yet in Denver where a federal appeals court will weigh whether to give an important victory to gay couples’ right to marry or halt their momentum.

A three-judge panel will hear arguments on Thursday and next week on whether they should uphold separate rulings by two federal judges that threw out same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma.

They do so, however, in a climate far different than 2004, when voters overwhelmingly approved the prohibitions in both states.

After the U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that a law forbidding the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, eight federal judges in all have struck down state bans on gay marriage or on the recognition of same-sex marriages from other states.

CONSERVATIVE JUDGE'S CHALLENGE

As the panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals considers the Utah case Thursday, experts say pressure is on the judges at a time when polls show a majority of Americans backing same-sex unions.

“The challenge for (the) conservative judge would be: Do you want to be the only court of appeals that upholds discrimination that the country is rapidly galloping to renounce?” said William Eskridge, a law professor at Yale University, said. “The handwriting is on the wall.”

Opponents say that shouldn’t factor into the judges’ calculations.

“There are strong political factors that seem to be driving these district court decisions,” said Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., adding that expectations that the Supreme Court will ultimately find that gays have the right to marry may also feed into it.

“It’s not the job of lower courts to predict where the Supreme Court will go,” he said.

Despite the legal momentum, attorneys say it is distinctly possible the 10th Circuit could rule against gay marriage backers and argue the issue is best settled at the ballot box.

“It’s an institutional argument that we’ve seen at the Supreme Court and we’ve seen in state litigation,” Douglas NeJaime, a law professor at the University of California-Irvine, said. “If the court wanted to not say something about the merits, but uphold the ban, they could go that direction.”

The three judges picked randomly to hear the case, and next week’s appeal of the ruling that struck down an Oklahoma gay marriage ban, include two Republicans and one Democrat.

One of the Republicans, Jerome A. Holmes, appointed by President George W. Bush, initially voted against staying the trial court’s ruling, which allowed more than 1,000 gay couples to wed in Utah in December before the Supreme Court stepped in and stayed the initial ruling.

The other two judges are Carlos F. Lucero, appointed by President Bill Clinton, and Paul J. Kelly, Jr., appointed by President George H.W. Bush.

Kenneth Upton, an attorney with the Lambda Legal Defense Fund who watches the 10th Circuit carefully, said the panel is a perfect representation of a court that is generally moderate and centrist.

“If you wanted to pick a panel where you could do a straw poll of the judiciary, this is a pretty good sample,” Upton said.

It will likely be months before the panel issues a ruling, which will become law in the six states in its jurisdiction unless it is stayed. Those states are Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. New Mexico’s Supreme Court has already legalized gay marriage in that state.

Even if the panel upholds the lower court’s decision, the argument will only be settled when it moves one more level up to the Supreme Court. The high court could get a case either from the 10th circuit or one of the at least four other appeals courts scheduled to consider the issue.

Still, both sides say the stakes are high on Thursday.

“Having a victory from the 10th Circuit would be electrifying,” said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is representing the plaintiffs in the Utah case. “It would be extremely encouraging and help continue the incredible momentum.”

DEFINING MARRIAGE

Jim Campbell, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents religious organizations, said: “The stakes are whether the people can continue to define marriage as between a man and a woman.”

Lawyers for Utah and several other organizations that have filed briefs supporting the state’s side argue the ban should stand because the state has a right to promote marriage between a man and a woman, which is optimal for childrearing.

The plaintiffs and gay rights proponents counter there is little data backing up the state’s case on parenting and that the ban improperly deprives gay couples of the right to marriage.

The Supreme Court sounded skeptical of the childrearing argument in its ruling last year, noting that gay couples raise children who are harmed by their parents’ marriages not being recognized.

Underscoring the political pressure in the case, a pro-gay marriage group began airing ads supporting same-sex weddings in Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

The gay marriage movement is moving so quickly that several new lawsuits challenging state same-sex marriage bans are filed each month. The latest came Wednesday in North Carolina.

Andrew Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern University, said that societal change has made the final outcome inevitable.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in this case, but it’s clear that the same-sex marriage movement has won,” Koppelman said. “Federal judges know that. You bring these cases before them, and they don’t want to say ‘No.”’

http://www.pressherald.com/news/nati...l?pagenum=full
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:06 AM   #42
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory

The Gay-Marriage Future Is Determined

The most amazing thing about the same-sex marriage debate is, of course, how quickly it has evolved. There's no cultural norm -- or at least none I can think of -- that has ever changed with such speed.

And that's why it should come as no surprise that the long-anticipated arguments in the Utah gay marriage case seemed so ... tired.

And old.

And worn out.

It wasn't the lawyers' fault. They argued well. And it wasn't the judges' fault. They asked some incisive questions. It's just that the arguments on same-sex marriage are so much yesterday's debate, now being decided, according to the polls, in the court of public opinion, particularly among any citizen judges under the age of 40.

The future is determined. It's the present that's being adjudicated by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

After the hour-long hearing, it wasn't clear how Kitchen vs. Herbert would be decided by the three-judge panel when the announcement comes, maybe sometime in June. It looked as if Judge Carlos Lucero, a Clinton appointee, was in favor of upholding the ruling that same-sex marriage should be legal in Utah, of all places. Bush Sr. appointee Judge Paul Kelly seemed to be in opposition. The third, Judge Jerome Holmes, asked tough questions of both sides -- although, just to spice things up, it turns out that he is a conservative George W. Bush appointee, but one who was also among the panel of judges that rejected an appeal from Utah to delay the same-sex marriage ruling.

It took 17 days before the Supreme Court would issue a stay, and, in that time, more than 1,000 same-sex couples were married in Utah. It wasn't the ruling that was so hard to believe -- not any more -- but that there were 1,000 marriageable gay couples at the ready in red-state Utah.

If the result in this case is truly a tossup -- and we may, in fact, have that all wrong -- it adds to the excitement, but only marginally. Because it doesn't really matter who wins. I mean, it matters. It matters to the plaintiffs, and it matters to same-sex couples who want to marry, say, here in Colorado, and it matters to whose whose marriages could be upended in Utah, and it matters in determining how and when same-sex marriage finally makes its way to the Supreme Court.

But it doesn't matter in the long view. We know how this story ends. A case from Oklahoma will be argued before the same judges here next week. There are cases pending in four other circuits. One ruling after another has affirmed gay marriage since the Supreme Court struck down the federal definition of marriage in U.S. v. Windsor. In his dissent, Antonin Scalia predicted the ruling -- in which the Court studiously avoided determining the constitutionality of same-sex marriage -- had, in effect, decided the issue anyway. He was right.

The courts seemed to be catching up with society, and not the other way around. And yet, it was only six to eight years ago that this was a winning wedge issue for Republicans. It was only a few years ago that liberal Democrats (see: Obama, Barack) were afraid to say they favored gay marriage. It seems like yesterday that gay activists were begging David Boies and Ted Olson not to take on California's Prop 8. It was just last year that passing civil unions in Colorado was hailed as a landmark achievement.

I haven't seen a good explanation for how everything changed so rapidly. Somehow, gay rights suddenly caught up with the other civil rights issues, but in one remarkable Carl Lewis-like leap. On the same day Kitchen was being argued, four presidents were in Texas to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act. We've elected a black president since, but 50 years later, race remains at the center of debate in America.

Much of the Kitchen case was involved with legal technicalities, and with the familiar arguments from Utah about procreation and the "risk" of same-sex parenting. But at the same time, the Utah lawyers had to admit the one study that claimed to show poor results for children in a same-sex marriage had been debunked. Still, attorney Gene Schaerr, arguing for Utah, argued for the need for "parental diversity." Yes, parental diversity. No one seemed to argue the old argument -- about gays and supposed immorality.

Meanwhile, the gay-marriage proponents argued: The only people injured in this debate were same-sex couples who were prevented from being married and, of course, their children who were denied the benefit of married parents.

If the proponents win, you can sum up this debate in a single question asked by Judge Holmes, the supposed swing vote in the case.

“Why does it matter who’s claiming the right?” he asked Schaerr. “It’s a fundamental right, and why does it matter the participants in that enterprise? Why does it matter?”

In his question about fundamental rights, Holmes was referring to Loving vs. Virginia, the famous anti-miscegenation case from 1967. Still, it took 40-some years after Loving before mixed couples could show up in a fast-food commercial without comment.

And today?

Before the arguments began Thursday, Sean Reyes, the Utah attorney general who refused to divulge his personal views on same-sex marriage, approached the plaintiffs and told them that, whatever happened, it wasn't personal.

But, of course, it is personal. And not just to the plaintiffs.

And that's how you know, whatever does happen, who will win in the end.



Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...#ixzz2yldZ5czU
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:52 AM   #43
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory

This story below illustrates why social change happens and the law changes with it - not because the light goes on and judges suddenly realize the 14th Amendment may be violated when States outlaw gay marriages, but because more and more people come to realize they know friends and family who are gay and cannot see why they should be subjected to discrimination based upon their sexual orientation

The conservative lawyer who defended California’s ban on gay marriage at the Supreme Court is at work on another project: planning his daughter’s upcoming same-sex wedding ceremony.

Charles J. Cooper, a former top official in the Reagan Justice Department and onetime “Republican lawyer of the year,” learned of his daughter’s sexual orientation during the legal battle over California’s Proposition 8, according to journalist Jo Becker’s soon-to-be-released book chronicling the movement to legalize same-sex marriage....

“What I will say only is that my views evolve on issues of this kind the same way as other people’s do, and how I view this down the road may not be the way I view it now, or how I viewed it 10 years ago,” Cooper is quoted as saying.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...cf1_story.html
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:40 AM   #44
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin Supports Marriage Equality

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WWE megastar "Stone Cold" Steve Austin made these comments on his podcast months ago, but they're just now making the rounds in wrestling circles, and they're more than worth highlighting. From the man who wrote his own chapter and verse, it's a very forceful and in-character stand in favor of gay marriage.

"I don't give a shit if two guys, two gals, guy-gal, whatever it is, I believe that any human being in America, or any human being in the goddamn world, that wants to be married, and if it's same-sex, more power to 'em."

"What also chaps my ass, some of these churches, have the high horse that they get on and say 'we as a church do not believe in that.' Which one of these motherfuckers talked to God, and God said that same-sex marriage was a no-can-do?"

"OK, so two cats can't get married if they want to get married, but then a guy can go murder 14 people, molest five kids, then go to fucking prison, and accept God and He's going to let him into heaven? After the fact that he did all that shit? See that's all horseshit to me, that don't jive with me."
And that's the bottom line, cause Stone Cold said so!
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:51 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by JonM229 View Post
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin Supports Marriage Equality



And that's the bottom line, cause Stone Cold said so!
I would love to see him interrupt Fox News and Stunner everyone in sight.

The best one is at 3:22.





Here's the audio:

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Old 04-24-2014, 12:40 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Buddha Bus View Post
I would love to see him interrupt Fox News and Stunner everyone in sight.
Can I get a Hell Yeah?!?
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