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Supreme Court will Decide Whether to Hear Gay Marriage Case this Month

September 10th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

The Supreme Court indicated that it will consider whether to grant review of appeals in Bostic v. Schaefer, the federal constitutional challenge to Virginia’s discriminatory Marriage Amendment.  The Bostic case, along with four other cases challenging marriage bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Indiana will be considered at the Justices’ private conference scheduled for September 29. “Gay and lesbian couples in Virginia should not have to wait another day to enjoy their right to marry,” said AFER Executive Director, Adam Umhoefer. “The distribution of our case for the Court’s consideration brings us one step closer to our mission of marriage equality for all Americans. Our Constitution’s guarantee of liberty and equality soon will be realized for all loving and committed couples, no matter what state they reside in.”

The Court is expected to release an Orders List on October 6, 2014, that will indicate which – if any – marriage equality case or cases it will consider for its 2014-2015 term. [afer]

 

After 72 Years Together, Well-Traveled Lesbian Couple Marries in Iowa

September 8th, 2014 Comments off
Image via QCTimes.

Thomas Geyer. Image via QCTimes.

It’s a love story 72 years in the making. Two women, who are both in their 90s, finally married at the First Christian Church in Davenport, Iowa. The two, Vivian Boyack and Alice “Nonie” Dubes, exchanged vows after 72 years together surrounded by their family and friends. Rev. Linda Hunsaker, who presided over the ceremonies, said “This is a celebration of something that should have happened a very long time ago.” The two grew up together in Yale, Iowa and moved to Davenport in 1947.

The couple has also traveled quite extensively. According to QC Times, they’ve traveled to all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada, and to England twice! [QCTimes]

 

After 10 Years Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka Marry

September 8th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Twitter.

Image via People.

If you thought all along that longtime couple Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka were already married, you’d be wrong. The couple confirmed that after ten years together they finally tied the knot on Saturday. “We happily confirm that Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka were married in Italy in an intimate ceremony surrounded by their close friends and family,” Harris’s reps told PEOPLE. According to Harris’s Twitter, the two married, kids in tow, in Italy. “Guess what? David Burtka and I got married over the weekend. In Italy. Yup, we put the ‘n’ and ‘d’ in ‘husband,'” he wrote. According to sources, the two wore custom-made Tom Ford tuxes, and the wedding was officiated by Pam Fryman, the director of How I Met Your Mother.  [People]

 

Martina Navratilova Proposes to Girlfriend at US Open, Live!

September 8th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Twitter.

Image via Twitter.

Tennis star Martina Navratilova may have won a champion double match with Jana Novotna, but she also won over the heart of girlfriend Julia Lemigova when she proposed to her earlier in the day. While giving commentary about the men’s matches during the US Open, Navratilova surprised her girlfriend by stopping and proposing to her. The entire episode was broadcast live, even being displayed on the Jumbotron, to a loud cheer. “I was nervousIt came off. She said yes. It was kind of an out-of-body experience. You’ve seen people propose at sporting events before, in movies, in real life. Here it was happening to me. It was like I was watching myself do it,” she told the AP. The star tweeted her appreciation to her fans.

 

Judge Rules Indiana and Wisconsin Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

September 5th, 2014 Comments off
Image via FingerLakes

Image via Passport

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in cases from two states—Indiana and Wisconsin—that state bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional. Baskin v. Bogan of Indiana, which was consolidated with Lee v. Pence and Midori Fujii v. State of Indiana, and Wisconsin’s Walker v. Wolf were argued before a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit late last month.  In the unanimous ruling today, Judge Richard Posne—a Ronald Reagan appointee – wrote, “The challenged laws discriminate against a minority defined by an immutable characteristic, and the only rationale that the states put forth with any conviction—that same-sex couples and their children don’t need marriage because same-sex couples can’t produce children, intended or unintended—is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously.”

 

Coahuila, Mexico’s Congress Says ‘I Do’ to Gay Marriage

September 2nd, 2014 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

The northern Mexican state of Coahuila has become the latest region in Mexico to approve same-sex marriage after a congressional vote changed the civil marriage code to give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. Mexico has seen a number of regions approve same-sex marriage beginning in 2009 when Mexico City became the first to legalize it. While opposition existed to the Coahuila vote, mainly from the Catholic Church, the Congress approved the change in a 19-3 vote.

Marriages may be instituted beginning as early as next week. [BBC]

9th Circuit Court to Hear Gay Marriage Arguments for Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii

August 28th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

On September 8th the 9th Circuit Court will hear oral arguments beginning at the James R Browning US Courthouse, 95 7th Street, San Francisco. The arguments concern laws banning marriage equality in Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii. This announcement comes just days after the 7th Circuit Court agreed to hear cases concerning Indiana and Wisconsin. Since the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Seventh, Sixth, Tenth, and Fourth Circuits have heard oral arguments in marriage equality cases. The Tenth Circuit issued rulings on June 25th and July 17th in cases from Utah and Oklahoma. The Fourth Circuit issued a ruling on July 28th in a case from Virginia. All three decisions held that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry.

For the law school-inclined we have more details about who is representing whom after the jump…

Read more…

Court Hears Oral Arguments Seeking to End Gay Marriage Bans in Indiana and Wisconsin

August 26th, 2014 Comments off
Image via PASSPORT

Image via PASSPORT

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in lawsuits seeking to strike down discriminatory marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin. The three-judge panel included Richard Posner, Ann Claire Williams, and David F. Hamilton. Attorneys from Lambda Legal argued on behalf of five plaintiff couples from Indiana and attorneys from The American Civil Liberties Union argued on behalf of thirteen plaintiff couples from Indiana and Wisconsin. “As public support for marriage equality continues to swell across the nation, we are excited to be here today, making the case for Indiana and Wisconsin couples who simply want the freedom to marry and make that public, lifetime commitment to the ones they love,” said James Esseks, Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “We believe that, every day, we are one step closer to that freedom being extended to all loving couples, and the ACLU will not stop working until we make marriage equality a reality in every state in the country.”

Find out about each of the cases from the ACLU after the jump…

Read more…

US Supreme Court Says No Gay Marriage in Virginia

August 21st, 2014 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

The United States Supreme Court granted an emergency request to stay the mandate of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s decision that found Virginia’s marriage ban unconstitutional, yesterday. Marriages for gay and lesbian couples were set to begin at A.M. today. The Supreme Court’s stay prevents marriages from taking place pending further appeal. The Supreme Court has been asked by the Commonwealth of Virginia to consider the Bostic case in its next term to decide the question of marriage equality. The state filed its petition for writ of certiorari, or request for review on Friday, August 8, 2014. In light of the stay, lawyers for the Bostic plaintiffs intend to file a response in support of the Commonwealth’s petition to urge the Supreme Court to review the Bostic case and resolve the incredibly important question it presents.

“Never before have federal courts across this country so swiftly, convincingly, and unanimously come to the same conclusion on an imperative constitutional question as they have when presented with the issue of marriage equality,” said Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP. “The federal court system agrees, the majority of Americans agree, and the President of the United States agrees that it is time this country treats its same-sex couples and their children just the same as all other loving families. We are confident that when the Supreme Court reviews the Bostic case, it too will agree and end the flagrant injustice of segregating Americans based on sexual orientation.” [AFER]

 

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gets Handed Lawsuit Over Denial of Federal Benefits for Gay Couples

August 20th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Lambda Legal and Morrison and Foerster LLP have filed suit against the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on behalf of the American Military Partner Association (“AMPA”) arguing that the denial of benefits to same-sex spouses of veterans living in states that refuse to recognize their marriages is in violation of the US Supreme Court’s decision striking down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.  “Gay and lesbian veterans have served their country and risked the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill their duty to this nation,” said Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal. “Married veterans and their spouses, wherever they live, need critical veterans benefits, earned through years of often perilous service, to take care of their families. No member of our community should be left behind just because their home state continues to discriminate against their marriage.”