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Old 03-21-2014, 05:55 PM   #1
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Default Another marriage equality victory

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...y-marriage-ban

Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan Gay-Marriage Ban

A federal judge has struck down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, making the state the latest to see such a prohibition overturned on constitutional grounds.

The Associated Press reports:

"[U.S. District] Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Friday, two weeks after a trial. Two Detroit-area nurses who've been partners for eight years claimed the ban violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution.
"It was not clear if gay marriages could begin immediately."
Kate Wells, of Michigan Public Radio, reports that Friedman said the ban had violated the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.

Wells reports:

"In his ruling, Friedman says the ban does not advance any legitimate state interest.
"Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette — who argued in favor of the amendment — says he has filed an emergency request for the ruling to be put on hold while the decision is appealed to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals."
In his decision, Friedman writes that the state ban doesn't survive even the "most deferential level of scrutiny" under the Equal Protection Clause.

"Many Michigan residents have religious convictions whose principles govern the conduct of their daily lives and inform their own viewpoints about marriage," the judge acknowledged. "Nonetheless, these views cannot strip other citizens of the guarantees of equal protection under the law. The same Constitution that protects the free exercise of one's faith in deciding whether to solemnize certain marriages rather than others, is the same Constitution that prevents the state from ... mandating adherence to an established religion[.]"

The AP says there was no indication whether the judge had stayed his decision pending appeal, as happened last month in Texas, when a U.S. District Court judge there overturned a similar provision.

The Michigan ban was approved by 60 percent of the voters in a 2004 statewide referendum that recognized marriage as between a man and a woman.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex marriage.

Virgina's same-sex-marriage ban was also overturned in federal court last month, and in January, Oklahoma saw a similar law declared unconstitutional.

A challenge to a ban on same-sex marriage in North Carolina is waiting to be heard. And, in Oregon, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says her office won't defend a state ban approved, like Michigan's, in a 2004 referendum.
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory

link to the order

http://www.scribd.com/doc/213774856/...ecision-032114
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory



one day i'll be able to marry you baby
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory

The Michigan judge was not impressed with the "experts" who testified in support of maintaining the ban on same-sex marriages

The two-week trial, which ended March 7, drew special attention because it was the first in several years to include testimony from social-science researchers on the potential impact of same-sex marriage on families and children. The state, arguing that it would be risky to change the definition of marriage, cited studies concluding that children raised by same-sex couples had worse outcomes in life.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs described the scholars who appeared for the state as religiously motivated and part of a “desperate fringe,” and subjected them to withering cross-examination. Judge Friedman agreed with the criticism, describing the state’s witnesses as “unbelievable” and calling their studies deeply flawed.

He wrote with particular animus about the best-known — and most widely discredited — of the researchers, Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas. Mr. Regnerus was the author of a 2012 report that, he said, raised questions about the prospects for children of same-sex parents.

Judge Friedman, citing evidence that the study had been commissioned and paid for by conservative opponents of same-sex marriage, wrote, “The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged.”

Judge Friedman in turn praised several scholars called by the plaintiffs, who described a virtual consensus in the field that other things like income and stability being equal, children fared just as well with same-sex parents.

The extensive trial record could strengthen Judge Friedman’s ruling in the appeals process, and his assessment of the research record is likely to be cited in other cases.


Another liberal judge appointed by a leftist President - oh wait

Judge Friedman was appointed to the federal seat in the eastern district of Michigan in 1988, by President Ronald Reagan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/22/us...ml?ref=us&_r=0
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory

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The Michigan judge was not impressed with the "experts" who testified in support of maintaining the ban on same-sex marriages

The two-week trial, which ended March 7, drew special attention because it was the first in several years to include testimony from social-science researchers on the potential impact of same-sex marriage on families and children. The state, arguing that it would be risky to change the definition of marriage, cited studies concluding that children raised by same-sex couples had worse outcomes in life.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs described the scholars who appeared for the state as religiously motivated and part of a “desperate fringe,” and subjected them to withering cross-examination. Judge Friedman agreed with the criticism, describing the state’s witnesses as “unbelievable” and calling their studies deeply flawed.

He wrote with particular animus about the best-known — and most widely discredited — of the researchers, Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas. Mr. Regnerus was the author of a 2012 report that, he said, raised questions about the prospects for children of same-sex parents.

Judge Friedman, citing evidence that the study had been commissioned and paid for by conservative opponents of same-sex marriage, wrote, “The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged.”

Judge Friedman in turn praised several scholars called by the plaintiffs, who described a virtual consensus in the field that other things like income and stability being equal, children fared just as well with same-sex parents.

The extensive trial record could strengthen Judge Friedman’s ruling in the appeals process, and his assessment of the research record is likely to be cited in other cases.


Another liberal judge appointed by a leftist President - oh wait

Judge Friedman was appointed to the federal seat in the eastern district of Michigan in 1988, by President Ronald Reagan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/22/us...ml?ref=us&_r=0
Will they be called in the next state? They don't seem to be catching on that the same arguments won't work.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory

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Will they be called in the next state? They don't seem to be catching on that the same arguments won't work.
B-b-b-but God said......
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:12 AM   #7
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Will they be called in the next state? They don't seem to be catching on that the same arguments won't work.
I suppose it depends if the State AG defending the statute is elected in a red state and wants to score political points with the voters

The pending case in North Carolina involves a Dem State AG who personally supports same sex marriage but is defending the NC constitutional amendment that bans same sex marriage

http://wunc.org/post/lawsuit-challen...iting-be-heard

I doubt NC AG Roy Cooper will be calling quacks to testify as witnesses for the State
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory

When is the first case hitting the Ct of Appeals? That's when it gets interesting.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:19 AM   #9
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B-b-b-but God said......
"Look after the planet. Look after the planet, look after the planet"
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: Another marriage equality victory

Western Republicans urge U.S. appeals court to back gay marriage

Republicans from Western states on Tuesday urged a U.S. appeals court to rule state bans on gay marriage unconstitutional, an aide said, citing shifts in the cultural standpoints of some conservatives in a broad national debate.

Former U.S. senators Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas were among some 20 Republicans who signed a legal brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver.

The court is to hear cases from Utah and Oklahoma, where federal courts have ruled state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.

"Marriage is strengthened and its benefits, importance to society, and the social stability of the family unit are promoted" through nuptials between gay and lesbian couples, said a copy of the brief provided to Reuters.

The Republican group cited constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law, proper limits to government's role in citizens' personal lives, and individual freedom, among other reasons.

There is growing momentum for a legalization of gay marriage in the Western region and across the United States, with judges striking down restrictions in several states including New Mexico, Virginia and Texas.

The mood is reflected in polling, too, with support for gay marriage surging in the decade since it first became legal in Massachusetts. Just more than half of Americans now support the idea.

In all, 17 states plus the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage, including eight states where it became legal in 2013.

Utah and Oklahoma would be added to that list if federal court rulings overturning gay marriage bans on constitutional grounds are upheld by the U.S. Appeals Court in Denver. Hearings are slated for April.

Rulings there could render same-sex marriage legal in states within the court's circuit - namely Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, although an opposing decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could bar them.

Sean Gallagher, a Denver lawyer and Republican who helped prepare the so-called friend-of-the-court brief, said it reflects changing attitudes of conservatives, moderates, and libertarians in those states.

"Traditionally, there have been concerns that it will affect the integrity of the family or will affect the ability to raise kids. The reality is there is no objective proof of that," Gallagher told Reuters in an interview.

Gay advocates have notched other wins in the West, with the New Mexico Supreme Court ruling in December to allow same-sex marriage and Nevada dropping its defense of a state ban earlier this month.

Nevada's top lawyer said the state's arguments in support of a voter-approved ban on gay marriage were no longer sustainable amid a shifting U.S. landscape, a move that was backed by Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and current and former state lawmakers and Republican Party officials were among those who signed the brief.

Gallagher, who was chief counsel for former presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign in Colorado, said the changes are in part generational.

"If you talk to people under the age of 30, gay marriage is just not an issue - whether they are Republicans or Democrats," he said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...A240CH20140305
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