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US District Judge Brian Morris ruled in favor of marriage equality yesterday. The ruling comes after another ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in cases out of Idaho and Nevada. The circuit court holds jurisdiction over Montana, as well as Alaska and Arizona. In yesterday’s decision, Morris overturned Montana’s ban on same-sex marriage, officially making it the 34th state in the US with gay and lesbian marriage. “Montana no longer can deprive Plaintiffs and other same-sex couples of the chance to marry their loves. This Court recognizes that not everyone will celebrate this outcome,” he wrote in the ruling.
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In yet another victory for same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court lifted a stay on issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples making it the 33rd state in the US to grant marriage equality to its citizens. According to WaPo: “The decision indicated that the justices are content to allow the list of states where gay marriages are sanctioned to expand, even as it seems more likely that they eventually will have to answer for the nation whether gays have a constitutional right to marry.”
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US District Judge Richard Mark Gergel ruled that denying marriage for same-sex couples in South Carolina is unconstitutional. The decision also cites a previous ruling from the U.S. Fourth Circuit of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over South Carolina. Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement: “Today’s ruling in South Carolina makes clear that all Americans share the fundamental freedom to marry, and that no state obstruction or discrimination is exempt from the Constitution’s command of equal protection of the laws. The decision adds to the powerful momentum of 50 other victories from a bipartisan cascade of federal and state courts over the past year. But we are one country, with one Constitution, and continuing discrimination in other parts of the country prolongs harms and indignity to families. The U.S. Supreme Court should act now to affirm the freedom to marry for all Americans.”
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While yesterday we took a small step backward in the fight for marriage equality in the United States, today a Missouri judge overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and ordered registrars to immediately begin issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples. In the ruling, Judge Rex Burlison struck down the ban, declaring it unconstitutional and saying officials should give licenses to same-sex couples seeking to get married. “Any same-sex couple that satisfies all the requirements for marriage under Missouri law, other than being of different sexes, is legally entitled to a marriage license,” wrote Burlison, a St. Louis circuit judge. Shortly after the ruling, couples marched to St. Louis City Hall to apply for licenses, CNN affiliate KSDK reported. [Freedom2Marry]
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today reversed the district court rulings of six cases from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky. In each of these states, a federal judge had ruled in favor of marriage for same-sex couples and all six rulings were appealed to the 6th Circuit. Today’s ruling essentially upholds marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky and denies same sex couples the right to marry or have their marriages recognized in these states. “This decision is an outlier that’s incompatible with the 50 other rulings that uphold fairness for all families, as well as with the Supreme Court’s decision to let marriage equality rulings stand in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia,” said Chase Strangio, staff attorney in the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “It is shameful and wrong that John Arthur’s death certificate may have to be revised to list him as single and erase his husband’s name as his surviving spouse.”
This court’s ruling will almost certainly force gay marriage to be heard by the Supreme Court of the US. “We believe it’s wholly unconstitutional to deny same sex couples and their families access to the rights and respect that all other families receive. We will be filing for Supreme Court review right away and hope that through this deeply disappointing ruling we will be able to bring a uniform rule of equality to the entire country,” he added.
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A federal judge has ruled that Kansas’ ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The ruling is stayed until November 11 pending appeal. In the ruling, the judge cited the 14th Amendment. “We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment [to the United States Constitution] 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.”
Full ruling in the case of Marie-v.-Moser can be read here.
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Sean Hayes has always remained mum concerning his private life. The star wasn’t technically out until a 2010 interview—that’s four years after the last episode of Will and Grace. Hayes, though, has revealed to PEOPLE, that he is in fact engaged to LA-based music producer Scott Icenogle. The Sean Saves the World lead, sparked rumors of his engagement after arriving on set of CBS’ The Talk wearing a ring on his left ring finger. “Sean Hayes and Scott Icenogle have been together for eight years. They are not yet married, but they have been engaged for quite some time,” Hayes’s rep said.
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US District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming ruled in favor marriage equality today ruling in favor of a request by four same-sex couples and Wyoming Equality, who had filed a federal lawsuit challenging Wyoming’s marriage ban, for an order requiring the state to allow couples to begin marrying immediately. Citing two decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit striking down Utah’s and Oklahoma’s bans on marriage for same-sex couples, Judge Skavdahl ruled that Wyoming’s refusal to permit same-sex couples to marry is unconstitutional. Judge Skavdahl ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses, but placed that order temporarily on hold to permit Wyoming state officials to appeal his ruling. Marriages will begin in Wyoming at 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 23, or as soon as the state officials defending the challenge inform the court that they do not intend to appeal, whichever is sooner.
Marriages can begin as early as 10 A.M. tomorrow in the Equality State.
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After a week of closed-door meetings about family issues, Catholic bishops released a report that many are calling revolutionary. The released documents reveal an evolving church that has room for both gays and lesbians as well as non-married straight couples. Taking into account the opinions of Pope Francis, who said “Who am I to Judge?” when asked about gay people, as well as the more liberal social climate of modern-day Catholics, the Bishops showed remarkable levels of liberalism in an otherwise staunchly conservative institution. According to the AP: “The bishops said gays had ‘gifts and qualities’ to offer and asked rhetorically if the church was ready to provide them a welcoming place, ‘accepting and valuing their sexual orientation without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony.'”
Next week, we’ll receive the final report from the meetings.
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Today the Supreme Court denied review of five cases seeking marriage equality, leaving standing marriage victories in several federal circuits and opening the door to the freedom to marry in many more states. The Court’s decision not to review the rulings means that soon as many as 60% of American people will live in states with marriage equality, with a majority of the states (30) having the freedom to marry for all. With the Supreme Court’s decision not to review the cases, favorable marriage rulings in the 10th Circuit, the 7th Circuit, and the 4th Circuit will soon go into effect. Marriage bans in every state within those circuits will be invalidated, adding Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, and Wisconsin to the list of states to have same-sex marriage. As a result of the Court’s decision, an additional 51 million Americans will live in a freedom to marry state.