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Oct 5, 2011

Updated June 26!

“[T]he reasons marriage is fundamental under the Constitution apply with equal force to same-sex couples.”

What's left?
After June we get to bang our heads against the wall over employment, housing, and other rights. ENDA (federal employment non-discrimination act) has been scrapped and activists are working on a broad omnibus bill. Obviously it will be off the table with a GOP Congress.

News Sources

Chris Geidner: By far the best reporter on LGBT legal news.
Equality on Trial: Short news updates and links to stories. Video posts frequently use headlines that overstate the scale and immediacy of events.
Metro Weekly: Geidner's old home. LGBT magazine out of DC.
Equality Case Files: Extensive collection of legal filings and decisions.
SCOTUS Blog: Not marriage-focused, but a useful resource to explain procedure and precedent in Federal court.

US Supreme Court cases in the most readable format

Romer v. Evans (1996): States may not ban local governments from passing non-discrimination ordinances.
Lawrence v. Texas (2003): Sodomy bans are unconstitutional.
United States v. Windsor (2013): DOMA Section III is unconstitutional. Federal government must recognize same sex marriage.
Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013): Prop 8 backers lack standing to defend its constitutionality. District Court ruling to strike Prop 8 must be followed.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at Jun 26, 2015 around 16:55


Oct 5, 2011

Tujague posted:

Once again, New Mexico fails to either make me proud or enrage me. We have a vaguely tea-partyish Republican governor lady and a various-shades-of-blue Democratic majority in the Roundhouse.

This makes me want to ride around the mission in circles firing my pistol in the air.
There's nothing bad about being in the boring middle when 2/3 of the country has reactionary bans that will take years to repair. Nothing bad can happen in New Mexico unless Republicans get control of both houses, and they only netted 2 seats in 2010.

It is weird though. There were enough conservative Democrats to twice kill a domestic partnership bill in committee, but not enough to pass a constitutional ban.

If there's anywhere to be optimistic about marriage on the ballot it's Washington. We won in 2009 with a 112,980 vote 6.3% margin. Marriage is always harder to win than domestic partnerships but it's a presidential election, there's been 3 years of progress, 3 years of kids turning 18, and 3 years of the oldest voters dying off.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at Feb 21, 2012 around 08:06

Oct 5, 2011

Nevvy Z posted:

Has any attempt been made to force states to recognize gay marriage under the Loving v. Virginia test? It seems rather obvious.
There's no case law showing homosexuals are a protected class and SCOTUS could make a terrible ruling and set everything back, so nobody has really tried that. Plus SCOTUS is traditionally slow to act so it is good policy to pass state marriage laws because it will help sway the justices.

The only serious federal lawsuits backed by the LGBT legal orgs have gone after DOMA section 3 with the goal of winning federal benefits for married couples but not winning the right to enter a same sex marriage in states that forbid it.

Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee passed the marriage bill 7-4.

Oct 5, 2011

Progress in the New Jersey lawsuit.


[A] New Jersey Superior Court today reinstated the federal equal protection claim in Lambda Legal’s case seeking marriage equality...
"Having both a state and federal equal protection claim will only make our case stronger."
No ETA on when the hearing will take place.

Prop 8 backers ask for en banc review instead of going directly to a SCOTUS appeal.


If a majority of the 9th Circuit's 25 actively serving judges agree to reconsider the case, it would be assigned to a panel that includes the chief judge and 10 randomly selected judges. Schacter, however, said the 9th Circuit does not often reverse the decisions of member judges
The stay is not being lifted (no new marriages) and I would bet against any significant change in the ruling should the review take place.

Oct 5, 2011

PPP released its first poll of the potential Washington referendum. PDF

Nothing shocking in the crosstabs.

Make sure your friends have their address updated so they can vote by mail in November.
Nagging supportive people into voting is much easier than changing the minds of people who oppose marriage equality.

Oct 5, 2011

There are enough signatures and Maine will have a ballot initiative to legalize same sex marriage in November. Vote YES.

Marriage lost in 2009 with only 47.25%.

Oct 5, 2011

Marriage equality possibly coming to the ballot in Ohio.


The Freedom to Marry Coalition expects to file more than 1,700 signatures of registered Ohio voters; 1,000 valid signatures are required in the first step of placing a constitutional issue before Ohio voters this fall or possibly next year.

The proposal would change the Ohio Constitution — amended in 2004 to block same-sex marriage — to say that the state and political jurisdictions define marriage as “a union of two consenting adults, regardless of gender.” It also would stipulate that “no religious institution shall be required to perform or recognize a marriage.”
Worth a shot, I guess.

Oct 5, 2011

Polo-Rican posted:

I was going to update the map I made until I read that this wouldn't take effect until January of 2013? I guess it takes a state 11 months to "prepare" for gay marriage.
Wikipedia's map considers it as a marriage state. Washington has the same status and is a marriage state in your map. Maybe add an asterisk to both? Or VOTE YES? (Less than 100% sure about MD but I believe you are voting Yes/Approve or No/Reject)
...Also there's going to be a second marriage referendum (1192) in Washington that we need to vote No on because it's easy to abuse the process and confuse voters.

Delaying the bill in Maryland was a compromise that brought in some necessary votes at the cost of losing 1 month of marriage licenses before Election Day.

If you want to bitch about a totally needless delay check out Hawaii.
July 2010: Governor vetoes civil unions bill.
February 2011: New Governor approves civil unions.
July 2011: Three other states have already implemented their 2011 marriage/civil union laws.
January 2012: Civil union law goes into effect.

If anyone lives in Colorado and has a GOP state representative, please harass them over civil unions.
We still need a Repulican sponsor for the House bill to have any hope of getting out of committee.
Anything will help but these votes should be easier to get.


Republican representatives that have publicly endorsed the bill but have yet to attach their name to the legislation include Reps. Kevin Priola, Laura Bradford, and Larry Liston

Rep. B.J. Nikkel, a House Judiciary Committee member who voted against the civil union act last year isn’t seeking re-election.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at Mar 5, 2012 around 04:56

Oct 5, 2011

Those polls are nice but I would be shocked and very unhappy if the legislature tried to pass a referendum. New Jersey does not exist in a bubble and allowing a legislated referendum would make it harder to get "moderate" legislators in other states to vote for marriage/union laws.

Waiting sucks, but a legislated referendum messes with the process well beyond NJ. There are 21 months to override the veto and a very viable lawsuit in superior court.

e: 3/8 New poll in Maryland poll (PPP) has marriage winning 52-44 in a specific question about a referendum.
No details/crosstabs yet.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at Mar 9, 2012 around 03:03

Oct 5, 2011

Yeah they're finally voting in the NH House today. It will pass easily and it will be drat close in the veto override.
If you live in New Hampshire, please contact your legislators.

I'm sure we would win any lawsuit but that will take a long time and waste a ton of money.

@NHFamilies has a good liveblog of the House floor. There's also an audio stream if you are compelled to hear warnings of man on dog and box turtle marriages.

e: Man I was totally wrong about this.
Repeal failed 133-202 (63 abstained!)
Bill was declared inexpedient 211-116 and is completely dead.

We won!

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at Mar 21, 2012 around 21:36

Oct 5, 2011

Corrupt Politician posted:

When Maryland is added to this map, here's how it breaks down by population:
  • 15% of Americans have gay marriage.

  • 37% of Americans have either gay marriage or civil unions.

  • Adding the "limited/enumerated rights" states brings it to 41%.

That's pretty impressive to me considering most these laws were passed in just the last few years. I know that for gay Americans wanting to get married, equality can never come fast enough, but the sweeping pace of progress is pretty undeniable, and in my opinion, cause for optimism.
In 2009 marriage equality became something expected of Democratic majorities.

NH, VT, ME passed marriage.
NV and WA passed something similar
CO and WI passed limited rights.

DC passed marriage.

NY passed marriage.
RI, DE, IL, HI passed something similar.

WA, MD passed marriage.
Vetoed in NJ.

Oct 5, 2011

The Massachusetts-based cases against DOMA Section 3 (federal refusal to recognize same sex marriages) will be argued April 4th in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the California based case (against DOMA, not Prop 8), Dept. of Justice has asked for an 11 judge en banc review from the 9th Circuit. Rather than going the slow route (3 judge judge->11 judge panel->SCOTUS) with arguments relying on High Tech Gays vs. DISCO (the most amazingly named case ever) which is kind of outdated in light of Romer and Lawrence they want the 9th Circuit to "directly consider afresh whether, as the government argues, heightened scrutiny applies to classifications based on sexual orientation".

I don't know if they'll speed the process along but we'll surely win because there's no legitimate state interest in refusing federal recognition.

Oct 5, 2011

breaklaw posted:

Anybody else think Obama might come out for marriage equality if he gets a second term? I think he might. Or at least something like not letting states ban civil unions. There's been rumors and hints and I think he'll do it.
It's possible, but it's not a big deal. His position is some combination of cynical, short-sighted, and cowardly, but I don't think changing it has practical effects. Too much is made of the power of a small endorsement. He's not going to find 60 Senators to repeal DOMA and I seriously doubt his policy shift is enough to sway legislators and voters in states we currently cannot win.

I would prefer a (much less likely) change in action to a change in policy. It would be great if he got serious about opposing anti-gay legislation. No more soulless press releases but instead videos explaining exactly why it is wrong to repeal or ban civil rights.

I think the tipping point on marriage is when Hawaii and probably Illinois legalize it the next 4 years. His position will be completely ridiculous and it's hard to believe there will be any internal polling showing it hurts the party to be the de jur party of marriage equality after 4+ years de facto.

If nobody dies/retires and they don't make a comically narrow decision, SCOTUS is ruling DOMA Section 3 unconstitutional in 2013 and we're getting federal recognition. I don't think an amendment is a good way to repeal Section 2, because it would take 60 Senators and 30+ states while giving federal courts a great excuse to ignore the issue for 10 years.

Oct 5, 2011

^^^ Complaining about the Democrats in federal government is more than fair, but it's ridiculous to deny that Democrats in state government are the most effective force for LGBT rights.

Ialdabaoth posted:

In some states public pressure has compelled them to enact overwhelming popular measures yet they are running behind the times. Look how swimmingly efforts in Illinois have turned out -- the democratic state government follows Obama's lead by rejecting equal marriage. In fact, they've been quashing same-sex marriage bills for over a decade and only passed civil unions to get folks to shut up. It is interesting that you bring up third parties, but I think you fail to develop the point. While there is no realistic alternative, democrats have nothing to lose by taking the politically expedient route of sidelining civil rights until they can no longer afford to ignore the issue.
When Illinois passed civil unions in 2010, no state had ever passed a marriage law without a previously passing a civil unions law, and the year before New York failed to do exactly that. Legislated same sex marriage has only been a thing since 2009 excluding the California bill that everyone knew was symbolic and unconstitutional.

The voters of Illinois did not support marriage equality in 2010.
Survey of Chicago and suburbs
Do you support same sex marriage?
Yes-No-Don't know

Statewide survey
Which recognition of same sex couples would you prefer?
Marriage-Unions-Nothing-Don't know

The legislature has killed marriage bills for decades because there has never been public support until very recently.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2012 around 01:22

Oct 5, 2011

Craptacular! posted:

What's keeping California from simply having some kind of Prop 9 or whatever to repeal Prop 8? Their initiative system is so easily abused that it's the de-facto argument against direct democracy. You can basically change anything you like with an amendment proposition and companies can and do try and buy laws.
Basically everyone ran out of money and the AFER lawsuit is pretty much the only shot for the next 2-4 years. Prop 8 wiped everyone out and it would have taken years of work and money to win in 2012. There are a lot of people upset that nobody really tried.

New PPP poll out of North Carolina is interesting. Amendment 1 is up 53-38. Full results in PDF.

If you're optimistic, only 31% understand what the amendment does and we lead 42-41 when it's explained.

If you're pessimistic, the crosstabs suck, even when it's explained, and we're not winning unless we run up the score among 18-29 year olds.

Oct 5, 2011

breaklaw posted:

I still don't understand why LGBT groups don't push for civil unions as a temporary milestone. I mean, of course I understand it - separate but equal isn't acceptable - but I can never be convinced that doing so wouldn't speed up the realization of full equality.

I mean, it would be like "OK let's just let them have civil unions so they shut the hell up and we can still feel superior", and then five years later "Well, they already have civil unions, it's pretty much the same thing anyway, what the hell".

Not being gay or a gay activist it really isn't my place to judge, but being goal-oriented, really trying to figure out the best way to achieve something - this has to be to considered as a strategy.
People have settled for civil unions everywhere but New York and it's worked out wonderfully. Civil unions consistently lead to full marriage rights.

State-Civil Union Date-Marriage Date

That being said nobody should be happy with civil unions for more than a few years because they are legally inferior, personally insulting, and plainly unconstitutional.

e: Civil unions are near dead at this point anyway.
The only plausible states where they could pass in the near future are Colorado (where marriage is unconstitutional), Minnesota, New Mexico, and Maine (where they will never settle for less than marriage).

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2012 around 22:18

Oct 5, 2011

eSports Chaebol posted:

It probably would be good for people to vocally advocate for such a thing so as to make gay marriage a more appealing conservative alternative, though.
"Say yes to marriage or we'll rewrite and expand thousands of federal and state laws as well as private business policies to make sure our new thing is equivalent to marriage."


Oct 5, 2011

SpiderHyphenMan posted:

I think this is the best place for this:
Appeals Court Hears Arguments on Gay Marriage Law

We might actually get there, guys. It could actually happen.
We're winning unless SCOTUS goes nuts when this is appealed, but this case is only for federal recognition.
44 states still won't recognize it unless SCOTUS is super nice and repeals all of DOMA.

Oct 5, 2011

Can the 3rd party/alternative vote discussion please move to its own thread?

Spatula City posted:

So, wait, does Congress have legal standing to defend DOMA? I thought there was some dispute about whether they could even hire someone to defend it?
They showed up in court on Wednesday and standing wasn't an issue.

They have the right to counsel in cases questioning the power of Congress. It's just not done much. Congressmen will send amicus briefs but generally Justice defends federal laws.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at Apr 7, 2012 around 08:19

Oct 5, 2011

Lightning Knight posted:

Is the Justice Department going to defend DOMA? Dammit, Obama.
No no no.
Congress (BLAG) is defending the law because Justice will not.
Justice was at the hearing to argue for heightened scrutiny.

More detail on the arguments here.

The same guy wrote a piece a year ago about the stated reasons for passing DOMA in 1996. (Spoiler: because they didn't like gay people)

Oct 5, 2011

Lightning Knight posted:

"Heightened scrutiny?" What's that mean, are they gunning for DOMA?
Justice is opposed to DOMA and not defending it. The Republican Congress is defending it with the lawyer who just argued against the healthcare mandate in SCOTUS.

Explanation of heightened scrutiny.

Lambda lawyer posted:

In most cases, the courts only require that there be a ‘rational basis’ for the difference in treatment...

In some cases, however, the courts will apply ‘heightened scrutiny.’ Under this test, the government has the burden of showing that it is necessary to treat one group of people unequally in order to advance an important governmental goal.

The courts apply heightened scrutiny to laws when the group treated unequally (1) has suffered a history of discrimination, (2) is relatively politically powerless, and (3) has distinguishing characteristics that are generally not grounds for unequal treatment.

It means that laws barring marriage equality are much more likely to be struck down as unconstitutional because it is harder for anyone to defend such laws as furthering a legitimate government goal. Further, it means that anti-gay laws should be presumed to be unconstitutional unless proven otherwise.
We're winning regardless of heightened scrutiny so this is a just a fun legal lesson.

Oct 5, 2011

Lightning Knight posted:

Though I've heard before that the only thing stopping national gay marriage in the US is the fundies being really good at keeping the issue away from the SCOTUS.
That's a combination of things being slow and GLAD and the Mass. AG waiting until 2009 to sue the federal government.
Wednesday was the first DOMA challenge heard in federal court.

That being said, the defenders of DOMA will surely appeal for an en banc ruling because it delays the inevitable SCOTUS ruling.

Oct 5, 2011

New Colorado poll (PPP) shows 62% support the civil union bill.
The bill still needs a GOP co-sponsor in the House and only 31% of Republicans support it.

I don't know if this is normal, but the bill has basically been stalled for 2 months. The session ends May 9th so they need to get on that now.

Oct 5, 2011

Nevada couples and Lambda Legal filed a federal suit challenging the state's constitutional amendment against same sex marriage. So the Prop 8 challenge floodgates have opened.

Illinois is not voting on a marriage bill this year. Civil unions have only been in effect for 10 months so it's not surprising.

Oct 5, 2011

SlenderWhore posted:

How about you add Ohio to that list? Please? Pretty please with a buckeye on top?

"Ohio AG Gives Nod to Gay Marriage Ban Repeal Initiative"

Yeah, this has a good chance of failing, but let's not forget the fact that Ohio's "Support Gay Marriage" page is the largest out of any state with 200,000-some likes. At least that's something?
Worth a shot.
We only get a reasonable chance every 4 years.

e: Oh this would happen in 2013.
Yeah that's going to lose horribly.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2012 around 03:11

Oct 5, 2011

If you live in North Carolina please go vote against Amendment One, a constitutional ban on same sex marriage and civil unions.
List of early voting locations.
If you can't get out there between now and May 5th, you can vote the day of the primary on May 8th.

Colorado Senate has more or less passed civil unions. There's another procedural vote later this week.
They are still looking for a GOP co-sponsor to have any chance of getting a floor vote in the House.

Oct 5, 2011

Civil unions passed the CO Senate, 23-12.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at Apr 26, 2012 around 22:10

Oct 5, 2011

Colorado civil unions bill assigned to House judiciary committee.
Hearing on Thursday maybe.

No GOP co-sponsor announced.

Oct 5, 2011

Rhode Island House is holding hearings for a marriage bill today.
Last year they passed a civil union law with a ridiculously broad exemption where religious organizations can not be forced to recognize civil unions as valid.

The governor is completely supportive and there are huge Dem majorties in both houses, but the caucus is surprisingly conservative and Senate Leadership is strongly opposed to marriage equality.

Should be an easy equal protection lawsuit if we can't pass a bill. (Note to any opponents reading this thread: MWAHAHAHA)

e: There are 2 other bills on the agenda. One fixes the civil union law and the other allows access to family courts for same sex couples married in another state.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at May 2, 2012 around 21:48

Oct 5, 2011

God stuff from the hearings:

"There is no such thing as a liberal Catholic, they are called heretics."

Marriage equality is a "Communist plot" and the decrease in population will hurt the economy.

Also somebody mentioned it will lead to people marrying their pets.

There are supporters too but they are boring.

e: Somebody brought and waved around brimstone allegedly from Sodom and Gomorrah!

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at May 3, 2012 around 00:48

Oct 5, 2011

Colorado House judiciary committee votes on civil unions today.

I expect it loses with a party line vote but stranger things have happened.

Oct 5, 2011

Audio stream from the CO hearing.

Highlights from the opponents so far:

"a Trojan horse"

"What about the babies?"

"There are no Adams or two Eves."

"If we keep on feeding the snake it'll become a dragon"

"HIV and AIDS is real"

e: We won 6-5!
Now it goes to the Finance Committee and probably 1 more.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at May 4, 2012 around 03:28

Oct 5, 2011

CO civil union bill goes to finance committee today.
For a bill everyone believes can pass a floor vote this process is incredibly uncertain and secretive.

And no one has addressed the important question of "What about the babies?"

Oct 5, 2011

CO House finance committee passed civil unions.
On to appropriations Monday and a floor vote Tuesday I guess.

...and then the referendum to block the law.
Progress is slow and boring.

Oct 5, 2011

Mr Ice Cream Glove posted:

Dobson and Focus on a Family must be seething that such a thing would happen.
They've known this was coming since 2006.
They could have tried to pass an amendment banning all same sex unions but only went with marriage.

e: That whole lawsuit thing is complete garbage.
Every state that sued over civil unions did so without a constitutional ban on same sex marriage. The federal Prop 8 lawsuit is irrelevant because the federal court did not find a right to same sex marriage, the CA supreme court already found one before the constitutional ban.

ee: I forgot about the suit out of Nevada last month. That's the best comparison to Colorado but there's obviously no ruling yet so no one knows if federal courts are willing to break constitutional bans that weren't passed after the fact like Prop 8.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at May 5, 2012 around 00:10

Oct 5, 2011

The Colorado civil union bill goes to the House appropriations committee some time after 4:30ET today.
Governor "believes today is a historic day" so it should either pass and get a floor vote or he'll call a special session.

Today is also election day in North Carolina. Vote AGAINST Amendment One. Polls close at 7:30 so you still have time if you live there.

Oct 5, 2011

Mr Ice Cream Glove posted:

I hope the latest polls are wrong about the NC vote. I would love for equality to have two big victories in a row.
I'm pretty sure we'll win at least 1 referendum this year. I'd bet on Colorado. Washington, Minnesota, and Maine are toss-ups. I expect we'll lose the rest badly.

Referendums on the ballot:
North Carolina: Amends constitution to ban same sex marriage and any recognition.
Maine: Legalizes same sex marriage.
Minnesota: Amends constitution to ban same sex marriage.

Possibly on the ballot:
Maryland: Legalizes same sex marriage.
Ohio: Amends constitution to legalize same sex marriage.
Colorado: Legalizes civil unions.
Washington: Legalizes same sex marriage.

zoux posted:

Just curious why do the Finance/Appropriations committees have jurisdiction over these bills?
Definitely involves tax law and probably state employee benefits or something budgety. It had to go through 3 committees (those and Judiciary) in the Senate too so this is standard procedure.

It passed the committee but Republicans just added 2 poison pill amendments and we still aren't guaranteed a floor vote.

One is a plainly unconstitutional exemption for therapists, counselors, etc. to refuse to see people in a civil union. There's another amendment I've yet to see the text of.

The amendments need to be removed in a floor vote or we'll need a special session to reconcile the Senate and House bills. One of the Republicans on the committee thinks there are enough votes to do this.

Oct 5, 2011

We lost in North Carolina

House is prepared for floor votes in Colorado so civil unions could happen tonight.

Oct 5, 2011

Riptor posted:

Wait, what if they both pass?
I don't think that will happen, but if it does I'd bet on our side winning in court.


Oct 5, 2011

Campster posted:

As I understand it, this is why a number of people think the amendment will be shot down by the courts. I believe it was also why a number of (fiscal) conservatives were even campaigning against it - it would be a waste of money to put a nonsense amendment to a vote, defend it in court, then lose, especially when gay marriage was already illegal. There's apparently a number of questions about how this impacts things like insurance coverage, child custody rights, etc, for non-married civil unions between men and women.
Virginia and Michigan have similar amendments and Michigan's has held up in state court.
Though universities and other public employers have skirted the issue by changing to "dependent benefits" rather than partner benefits.

If this amendment gets taken down in court it will be over a wider lack of a rational basis and not any specific part of the text.

e: Looks like the GOP is running out the clock and civil unions are dead in Colorado unless the governor calls for a special session.

UltimoDragonQuest fucked around with this message at May 9, 2012 around 03:09

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