Tag Archives: US supreme court

Love Wins | US Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Will Become Permanent Tomorrow

From tomorrow, the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage becomes permanent cross the USA – as the window to overturn it expires.

Last month, America highest court in the US ruled in Obergefell vs Hodges that equal marriage is a constitutional right, and that all 50 states must both recognise and perform same-sex marriages.


Desperate anti-gay activists have called for the ruling to be thrown out and the case to be re-heard, because two liberal justices on the court had already performed gay weddings.

However, from tomorrow even that course of action will be closed to them – as the 25-day window in which a Supreme Court ruling can be challenged expires.

Californians React To Supreme Court Rulings On Prop 8 And DOMA

This means that the ruling is permanent – and there is almost nothing opponents can do to change it, short of radically amending the Constitution.


Judge Rules That Utah Must Recognise Lesbian Couple as Joint Mothers on Birth Certificate

On Wednesday a federal judge ordered the state of Utah to list the names of a lesbian couple on a birth certificate of their new baby. Lawyers say the ruling is the first of its kind since the U.S. Supreme Court legalised gay.


U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said the assisted reproduction case wasn’t hard to decide.

The state has failed to demonstrate any legitimate reason, actually any reason at all, for not treating a female spouse in a same-sex marriage the same as a male spouse in an opposite-sex marriage.”

Angie and Kami Roe of West Jordan said in their lawsuit on the issue that the state should treat wedded lesbian couples the same as heterosexual couples who use sperm donors to have children.

State law automatically recognises a husband who agrees to assisted reproduction as a father, but the Utah attorney general’s office contended that doesn’t extend to same-sex couples because child bearing is legally different from marriage.

State attorneys wrote in court documents

It is a fact that a non-biologically related female spouse can never be the biological father of a child. It is a biological impossibility for a woman who does not give birth to a child to establish paternity of a child through the act of birth.”

Parker Douglas with the Utah attorney general’s office said Wednesday that listing non-biological parents on a birth certificate could throw off state record-keeping and disrupt the ability of authorities to identify public health trends.

The judge, however, pointed out that the same problem could apply when married heterosexual couples use sperm donors.

Douglas declined to comment on whether the state would appeal the ruling.

The Roes sued after hospital staff members refused to take their birth certificate paperwork shortly after Kami Roe gave birth in February. Utah officials told the couple that one mother must adopt the baby as a step-parent, a process the Roes say is costly, invasive and unfair.

The ruling requires Utah to declare married lesbian parents to be legal moms from birth, but it doesn’t apply to male same-sex couples because they typically use a surrogate.

Similar cases have come up in Iowa and Arkansas, said family law expert Douglas NeJamie. He expects to see more, especially in states that had sought to keep laws banning same-sex marriage on the books. Utah spent $1.2 million to defend its ban on same-sex marriage, state officials have said.

Many states have similar laws governing artificial insemination that previously had not applied to same-sex unions because the rules were specific to married couples, said NeJamie, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

This is an easy way to actually try and discriminate against same-sex couples.”

The Utah case could have an effect on other pending cases, though the parental rights of same-sex couples will depend on what state laws are already on the books for heterosexual couples, he said.

Living in Limbo – What it Means to Be a Lesbian Family in America’s Deep South

In 2011, when Carolyn L. Sherer started photographing lesbians and their families in Birmingham, Alabama, many chose not to show their faces. They were scared, they said, of losing their jobs or be discriminated against in other ways. Other people she asked to participate refused to be photographed at all.

However, Sherer, who is a lesbian, was determined to make members of her community be less invisible, in part because she hoped that letting others see them would help them become fully recognised and protected citizens.

My wife and I have been together since 1979 and it’s been very painful to me that my family hasn’t been acknowledged as a family unit. So that’s why I wanted to explore what a family is, what a family looks like. I wanted it to be about relationships and how people relate to each other in front of the camera.

I asked the participants to consider their feelings about words. In sequence, they were, ‘lesbian,’ ‘pride,’ and ‘prejudice.’ I got a range of responses,” she said. “Many of the older women in the beginning cried when I said ‘prejudice,’ or even when I said ‘lesbian.’ They said they’d been afraid to use the word or talk about it. Young people were like, ‘Lesbian?! We’re queer.’ ”

Conditions for gay Alabamans, in some respects, have improved since Sherer began her project. However, in March, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the same-sex marriage ban there, and the state still doesn’t have any laws on the books addressing discrimination or hate crimes against LGBTQ citizens.

It’s important for people to understand what’s going on. People need to know we need to have protections.”

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“Living In Limbo: Lesbian Families In the Deep South” is on display at the Stonewall Museum’s Wilton Manors Gallery in Wilton Manors, Florida until June 28.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Out Smarts Same-Sex Marriage Opponents in Court

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the leader of the Supreme Court has become a liberal champion for her support of gay marriage and and left little doubt where she stands on the upcoming gay marriage case.

The 82-year-old justice had the perfect response to every argument against gay marriage put forward at the Supreme Court on Tuesday (28 April).

First, Ginsburg promptly shut down the argument that the court does not have legal right to change a ‘millennia’ of tradition.

Marriage today is not what it was under the common law tradition, under the civil law tradition. Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female. That ended as a result of this court’s decision in 1982, when Louisiana’s Head and Master Rule was struck down.

Would that be a choice that state [still] should be allowed to have? To cling to marriage the way it once was?’

‘No’ was the reply from John Bursch, the lawyer representing the four states seeking to preserve their bans on gay marriage.

Then Ginsburg destroyed the argument that marriage is for procreation.

Suppose a couple, 70-year-old couple, comes in and they want to get married? You don’t have to ask them any questions. You know they are not going to have any children.”

Next, Ginsburg dismissed the argument that gay marriage ‘impinges on the state’ and takes benefits away from straight couples.

How could that be, because all of the incentives, all of the benefits of marriage affords would still be available.So you’re not taking away anything from heterosexual couples. They would have the very same incentive to marry, all the benefits that come with marriage that they do now.’

Ginsburg, a former civil rights lawyer, has been uncharacteristically outspoken in advance of one of the most significant civil rights decisions in decades. In August, shebecame the first Supreme Court justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding. Since then, she’s highlighted the big shift in public opinion on gay marriage in interviews and public speeches, breaking from her usual reticence when it comes to talking about upcoming cases. In February, Ginsburg told Bloomberg that it “would not take a large adjustment” for Americans to accept nationwide marriage equality, given the “enormous” change in people’s attitudes about same-sex marriage.

Two anti-gay-marriage groups, the National Organization for Marriage and the American Family Association, have since called on Ginsburg to recuse herself, arguing that she can no longer be impartial. They’ve also targeted Justice Elena Kagan for officiating at a same-sex marriage, asking her to step down from the case, too.

Legal experts say the calls for recusal are unwarranted, given the 2012 ruling that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages in states that allow them. The constitutional issue at stake in the current case is whether states can ban same-sex marriage at all. Officiating at a same-sex marriage in a jurisdiction that already allows it does not call into question the justices’ impartiality on that question, according to Columbia Law School professor Jamal Greene.

US Supreme Court to Hear Historic Same-sex Marriage Case Arguments Today

Today, the US Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments in a ground-breaking case concerning marriage bans in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky, in the first large-scale Supreme Court action on the issue since a ruling in favour of equality during 2013’s United States v Windsor.

Oral argument before the Supreme Court will take only a few hours, and hinge on an important question: whether marriage equality for gays and lesbians is a new right, or whether it’s an aspect of the existing right to marry. The couples argue that the Supreme Court has already recognised marriage as a fundamental freedom, and states cannot impose arbitrary restrictions on that freedom.

The four states before the court argue that federal law has only recognised marriage as fundamental for straight couples — a claim that echoes the racist arguments against overturning interracial marriage laws in the 1960s.

The justices will hear the case just a few days after a new survey shows public support for marriage equality rising to new heights. A new Washington Post/ABC survey puts support at 61 percent to 35 percent opposed. That’s close to a complete reversal from just a decade ago.

A ruling is expected by the summer.

Ahead of the case, hundreds of amicus briefs have been filed by concerned parties – with President Obama’s administration urging the court to strike down bans on same-sex marriage, while Republicans in Congress urged the court not to.

However, in a sure-fire sign that Republicans don’t want to be seen on the wrong side of history in the case, just 57 out of the party’s 299 Members of Congress signed the brief, which argues states should be allowed to decide if gays are allowed to marry. In contrast, a brief from the Democrats in favour of equality was signed by 211 of the party’s 232 Members of Congress.

A number of leading employers have also urged the court to strike down the ban, with a number of corporate rivals have put their differences aside to sign a joint legal brief. Bitter rivals – including Microsoft, Apple and Google, Twitter and Facebook, eBay and Amazon – put their differences aside to sign on to the brief. Other iconic businesses to support same-sex marriage include Walt Disney, Coca-Cola, Nike, Visa, American Apparel, Verison, General Mills, Barnes & Noble.

Watch | Alabama Couple Fight Back Against Discrimination

Tori Sisson and her partner, Shanté Wolfe, became the first same-sex couple to get married in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 9.

Same-sex marriage may soon become the law of the land in after the US supreme court hears oral arguments next week, but the fight for equal rights for gay people promises to be long and bitter.

Like many states in the US, Alabama has no legal protections for LGBT people facing discrimination in employment, housing or education. ‘In the south, gay couples don’t really show affection’, Tori says

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