Archives for 

Marriage Equality

BREAKING: You Can Now Get Gay Married in Virginia


Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va. affirmed a District Court decision in Bostic v. Schaefer that held Virginia’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to strike down their marriage bans as those states are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Reuters reports:

The appeals court ruled that “the fundamental right to marriage includes a right to same-sex marriage and that therefore Virginia’s marriage laws must be reviewed under strict scrutiny.”

USA Today adds:

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond ruled 2-1 that gay men and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry that is paramount to state marriage laws.

“We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable,” the majority said. “However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.”
The circuit court has jurisdiction over Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The panel’s decision can be appealed to the full court or to the Supreme Court.

Like the first appeals court panel to rule on the issue this year in Utah and Oklahoma, the three-judge panel was deeply divided, but the swing judge — in this case Henry Floyd, who was named to the bench by George W. Bush and elevated to the circuit court by President Obama in 2011 — came down on the side of same-sex marriage.

Another marriage ban bites the dust!



Arizona Attorneys Representing Ban on Same-sex Marriage Resort to Droconian Messaging



Just when you thought the right was out of anti-LGBT messaging, they resort right back to the same old messages and the same old disproven studies. Pink News reports that lawyers representing a group defending the state’s now declared-unconstitutional ban on gay marriage is resorting to language that we thought was no longer helpful to their cause:

Arizona attorneys defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court documents by saying it is justified because same-sex couples cannot reproduce without the help of a third person.

The documents, filed Wednesday, say the state regulates private relationships to ensure that children are raised by a biological mother and biological father whenever possible.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports that the documents state: “Only man-woman couples are capable of furthering the state’s interest in linking children to both of their biological parents.”

The case, though against the state, is being defended by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is a self-described “legal ministry” headed by Christian leaders to advocate for religious liberty and opposite-sex marriage.

Ok, then. We will wait and see how this argument goes for them.


NOM Now Calling LGBT Equality Orgs ‘Anti-religious liberty groups’

brain brown

In an article on its blog today, NOM has taken to calling LGBT equality groups ‘anti-religious liberty groups.’ As their message moves from ‘traditional’ marriage to all all-out attack on the LGBT community, it seems that NOM is fighting for relevance every chance they get:



In the article about the Catholic Church’s request to President Obama to include conscience protections in ENDA, the reference to anti-religious liberty groups is a reference to a number of LGBT rights groups who withdrew support of ENDA following the Hobby Lobby decision. Via Washington Post:

Separately, a coalition led by the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights said in a joint statement that they also would be withdrawing support. The bill’s religious exemptions clause is written so broadly that “ENDA’s discriminatory provision, unprecedented in federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, could provide religiously affiliated organizations – including hospitals, nursing homes and universities – a blank check to engage in workplace discrimination against LGBT people,” the group said, adding later that if ENDA were to pass Congress, “the most important federal law for the [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] community in American history would leave too many jobs, and too many LGBT workers, without protection.”

Brian Brown, you are resorting to all new lows.


BREAKING: You Can Now Get Gay Married in Florida


Florida Judge Rules Marriage Ban Unconstitutional |

A county circuit judge in Florida ruled against the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday.

“This court concludes that a citizen’s right to marry is a fundamental right that belongs to the individual,” wrote Judge Luis Garcia of the Monroe County Circuit.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, the decision was stayed until Tuesday, at which point same-sex couples in Monroe County can begin to obtain marriage licenses, unless a stay is requested by the state attorney general and granted by the state court of appeals or Florida Supreme Court. At this point, it is not clear whether the state will appeal the ruling, the Miami Herald reports.

Another ban bites the dust! Although this one only applies to the Florida Keys, more lawsuits are in the pipeline making Florida one step closer to full marriage equality.

Here’s a response from Equality Florida:

Said Nadine Smith, CEO, Equality Florida Institute: “This is a monumental step forward for Florida. Today’s historic ruling affirms what the majority of Florida residents already know to be true: All couples and their families deserve to be treated equally by their government.”

The case was brought by Key West residents Aaron Hunstman and William Lee Jones. They are represented by Bernadette Restivo of the law firm Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Farinas LLC.

On July 7, 2014, Judge Luis Garcia, Monroe County Circuit Court heard oral argument in the case. The couples argued that Florida’s ban on marriage equality cannot stand in light of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2013 that the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

Judge Garcia was appointed by former Governor Jeb Bush, a Republican.

Every court to consider these federal constitutional claims since last summer’s Supreme Court decision has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, including federal and state courts in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Equality Florida Institute, in partnership with several Florida organizations, will hold gatherings throughout the state today. These Decision Day gatherings will give an opportunity for all fair-minded Floridians to voice their support for the freedom to marry. Plaintiff couples, members of the legal community and local leaders plan to be at rallies as their schedules allow.

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: The Pride Center at Equality Park, 2040 North Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors 33305

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church, 13411 Shire Lane, Fort Myers 33912

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: United Church of Gainesville, 1624 NW 5th Ave, Gainesville 32603

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Blue Fish, 3551 St. Johns Ave, Jacksonville 32205

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Aqua Nightclub 711 Duval St, Key West 33040

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM 6 – 8 PM
Where: The courtyard of the LGBT Visitors Center, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach 33139

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Celebration MCC, 3400 Radio Road, Unit 107 Naples 34104

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: The Hammered Lamb, 1235 N Orange Ave, Orlando 32804


When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Marina Jack’s, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota 34236

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: King of Peace 3150 5th Ave N, St Petersburg 33713

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: TBD visit

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Unity Church of Tampa, 3302 W. Horatio St, Tampa 33609

When: Day of Decision, 6 PM
Where: Casa Mar Village by Fresh Press Cafe, Mile Marker 81, Oceanside, Tavernier, FL

When: Day of Decision, 4:30 – 6 PM
Where: Palm Beach County Courthouse 205 North Dixie Highway West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Equality Florida Institute is the state’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

NOM Has Too Much Time On Its Hands

In an email to NOM lemmings today, President Brian Brown asks that members boycott Chase for including a question about LGBT support in an employee survey:

Dear Marriage Supporter,

This is the smoking gun. NOM has obtained new evidence that shows Chase bank not only violated its employees' privacy with invasive and inappropriate questions on an employee survey aimed at pushing an LGBT agenda, but that the company has lied to consumers and its own employees about the now infamous questions.

Today, NOM is launching an international petition and boycott at to send the message that this kind of invasiveness and dishonesty is unacceptable and will not go unchallenged. I urge you to read on to get the facts for yourself, and then head over to to join this important effort.

The news about this survey has already been reported far and wide. But after NOM called on our members to contact Chase and demand answers about the invasive question to employees about whether they were “allies of the LGBT community”—and answers about how this information was to be used—the bank's leadership went on defense.

Several of you forwarded me responses received from Patricia A. Wexler, a Chase spokesperson, who said that, “The news report is not correct. These surveys are anonymous and voluntary.” Another Chase spokesperson, Jaclyn D'Aversa, reiterated to the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal that the survey was “completely voluntary and anonymous.”

That the survey was administered, and contained the offensive question, is simply beyond doubt. This screenshot, published Friday by Breitbart News, has finally laid all such questions to rest—even though, as the Breitbart piece notes, several liberal media elites had been claiming that the survey didn't even exist.

I guess as NOM loses its mission to stomp out marriage equality, it now needs to get nitpicky about corporate surveys. They are treating this employee survey as a “scandal.” And using Breitbart as a primary source is just plain pathetic.

I have worked in corporate America for decades and I can tell you that voluntary employee surveys are that – voluntary. The question in question is also presented as “considered.”

This organization, having lost just about every “fight” in which they have involved themselves, is grasping at straws.

More on NOM's new site Void Chase.


Fox News Shrink: LGBT Rights Will Lead to Three Humans and a Dog Marriage


Following California’s lead on changing language in the marriage definition to accommodate same-sex couples, the whackos at Fox News are in a tizzy. Via The Raw Story:

Dr. Keith Ablow, the resident ‘psychiatrist ‘s Fox News and a member of the network’s Medical A-Team, asserted on Wednesday that legalized same-sex marriage would lead to bestiality.

During a Fox & Friends “Normal or Nuts” segment, host Anna Kooiman asked Ablow if it was “normal” for California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to sign a law replacing the words “husband” and “wife” with the word “spouse” in the state’s marriage definition.

“Get ready for the cards and letters,” Ablow quipped. “Nuts!”

“Here’s the thing, the state needs to get out of the marriage business because here’s what we can expect,” he continued. “There’s no way that the state of California can deny a marriage license to four spouses now, eight spouses.”

“Or, I would say, three human spouses and the canine they absolutely love because if love is the foundation of marriage, they can love their dog, too.”

Leona Helmsley left her fortune to her dogs when she died and I’m sure she would have married them if she had the chance. Let’s start with same-sex marriage and take it from there, Dr. Ablow.

Seriously, as marriage equality becomes law of the land, Fox News and other pundits will have to accept that it isn’t just about “man” and “wife” anymore.




The Latest Marriage Map



With Colorado joining the ranks as a marriage-equality state, here’s the latest status of the big picture. We are definitely getting there.

Peter LaBarbera Is Stalking Michael Sam To Go Ex-Gay


Porno Pete has evidently sent a letter to recently-out NFL player Michael Sam begging him to go through ex-gay therapy or be ‘reviled.’ Via Right Wing Watch:

Michael, do we have to tell you that, especially with your current publicity, you are a role model because of your athletic prowess, but since “coming out” you are also modeling a lifestyle that the cost for those living it, has been unpublicized but appalling—as it has for society. The troubling fact is minorities are suffering most and in growing numbers. The evidence:

• Black youth–your fans among them–ages 13-24 are twice as likely to get HIV/AIDS than those of other ethnic groups.
• 94-95 percent of all HIV cases in 2011 among boys and young men ages 13-24 were linked to homosexual sex, the CDC reports.
• Youth 13-24 incur 26 percent of new HIV/AIDS infections each year.
• An estimated 60 percent of 13-24 year-olds are unaware that they’re infected with HIV; such ignorance can be a death sentence.
• Black men having sex with men (MSM) accounted in 2010 for 39 percent of all HIV/AIDS diagnoses.

Secondary to the toll in pain and death among MSM is the drain on U.S. medical and financial resources; for example, anti-viral drugs, which can prolong MSM life about 20 years, cost over $24,000 per year. They do prolong life but must be taken scrupulously or the MSM becomes infectious. To treat an HIV/AIDS victim costs from $400,000 to $600,000 from infection to death. In total, the HIV/AIDS epidemic costs the country about $5 billion per year, says CDC Director Dr. Tom Freiden.

Believe it or not, no one is born “gay”; molestation, emotional deprivation, parental or peer rejection, or other traumatic factors can foster same-sex attraction–but many men and women have managed it, diminished it, or eliminated it altogether. [See these heartwarming ex-"gay" testimonies.] Many accomplished this through Reparative Therapy and counseling, despite the relentless, unwarranted condemnation of and campaign against both by self-serving “gay” activists.

What we hope for from you, Michael, is that you don’t make your feelings, well-publicized as they have been, your claim to fame. Your achievements on the football field will earn you a legacy you can be proud of; your “coming out” as one celebrating homosexuality as normative can earn you only regret, as well as notoriety among millions of us.

Meanwhile, ex-gay therapy is the new black amongst the religious right, with the American Family Association saying “People Who Couldn’t Pray Away The Gay Weren’t Trying Hard Enough.”

It seems that with state after state declaring marriage equality, ex-gay therapy is part of the right’s next strategy. Oh, yes – and demeaning transgender people.



Breaking: You Can Now Get Gay Married in Colorado


Another domino falls in marriage equality. A federal judge has struck down Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban:

Judge C. Scott Crabtree has just ruled Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban, approved by voters in 2006, is unconstitutional. Judge Crabtree immediately stayed his ruling, as many other judges have done, so no marriages will be performed for now.

The ruling was expected, given the more than one dozen favorable rulings from state and federal judges since the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA a year ago in June. Crabtree is the 16th judge to rule a marriage ban unconstitutional over the past 12 months.

In June of this year, when the state of Colorado argued its case, Crabtree scoffed at the state’s arguments, and, pointing to the plethora of other rulings in favor of marriage equality, asked, “They all got it wrong? What am I supposed to do then when presented with this? Just punt?”

Those darn activist judges. Cue right-wing outrage.

In other news, that Pennsylvanian county clerk got shot down by the Supreme Court in her challenge of marriage equality in that state:


Via The New Civil Rights Movement

PA Clerk Files Petition With SCOTUS To Halt Marriage Equality


Via Towleroad:

Theresa Santai-Gaffney (above), the Schuylkill County clerk, has petitioned the Supreme Court to put a stop to same-sex marriages in Pennsylvania, reports SCOTUS Blog.

In May, U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage. Last month, Jones refused to allow the clerk to intervene so that she could appeal his decision. On Thursday, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals barred Santai-Gaffney from the case and dismissed her appeal.

Santai-Gaffney’s Supreme Court application is based on the argument that the court’s January order putting on hold temporarily a federal judge’s decision striking down the ban on same-sex marriage in Utah “signaled to all lower federal courts” that they must act “to preserve the enforcement of man-woman marriage laws” until the Court rules on the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage.

Santai-Gaffney’s petition can only continue if Justice Samuel A. Alito or a Supreme Court majority allows her to intervene . Alito can also seek a response from challengers of the Pennsylvania ban before acting on the clerk’s application.

She is backed by the Family Research Council (of course):