Political Radar

Friends of the court

October 25th, 2013

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia filed an amicus brief on Friday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals supporting gay couples who are fighting bans on gay marriage in Hawaii and Nevada.

From the brief:

Civil marriage in the United States is an important and enduring institution. Throughout our nation’s history, marriage has maintained its essential role in society and has been strengthened, not weakened, by removing barriers to access and by creating greater equality between spouses.

Over the past decade, this evolution has continued as same-couples have been permitted to marry. Against that history of greater inclusion and equality, Nevada and Hawaii marriage laws single out same-sex couples and consign them to second-class status.

The exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional. Denying gay men and lesbians the fundamental right to wed the partner of their choosing offends basic principles of due process and equal protection, and fails to advance any legitimate governmental interest.

The appeals court is reviewing the Jackson v. Abercrombie challenge from Hawaii and a similar case from Nevada. Hawaii lawmakers meet in special session starting Monday to consider a gay marriage bill, which, if it is approved and becomes law, will make the legal challenge moot.

The states that signed on to the friend-of-the-court brief are Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington state, and the District of Columbia.

Gay marriage is legal in all of those states except for Illinois, New Mexico and Oregon.

Interest groups have also filed new briefs in support of gay couples, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the American Psychological Association.

11 Responses to “Friends of the court”

  1. Eric Ryan:

    What's the point of this aggressive legalistic Plan B for SSM when the Democrats claim to have the issue all sewn up in the state house, state senate and the hippie guv? Is the vote counting not going well? Or is the legal team being bankrolled by donors whose paranoia is being played on by fundraisers (e.g. "It's too close to call in Hawaii. Donate to our legal team today in case SSM goes down in flames during the special session.") Sure seems like overkill to this observer.

  2. Kolea:

    Recognition we should no longer treat our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as pariahs, second class citizens is sweeping the country, rolling like a tide across the land.

    The struggle to win the hearts of Americans has expressed itself in books, movies, TV shows and poetry. In painting, song and plays. It expresses itself when a teen comes out to their family and friends, when adults come out to their co-workers and neighbors.

    Some people, often those uncomfortable with their own internal urges, respond with inflexible, mean-spirited responses, arising partly from fears, partly from the opportunism of inflaming other people's fears. Churches eager to "Protest too much" after the very public exposure of their own sex scandals, insist they are PURE and VIRTUOUS, unaware their hostility is more an indicator of their guilt than a persuasive argument.

    Phobic reactionaries have no explanation for this widespread outbreak of Tolerance and Equality, except that it is due to a Conspiracy of communists, atheists, secularists and The Gay Agenda. Jesus of Nazareth said his message was simple. The old rituals, restrictions and laws of the Torah were swept aside by this simple admonition: Love your God above all else, and love thy neighbor as thyself. No where did Jesus exclude neighbors of another race, nationality, as shown in his parable against ethnic bias, the tale of the Good Samaritan. Nor did he ask to check first if your neighbor is gay.

    Yet churches who profess to be devoted to Him have become vehicles for promoting hate, just as several decades ago, most of these exact same denominations fought against racial equality in His name.

    Equality is winning in the hearts of most Americans, in more and more states and cities as an ignorant hatred is melting before the logic, the compassion of acceptance, tolerance and love. The movement will win in the courtroom and in the legislative chambers. If there is a setback in one chamber, it will be temporary, as the forward tide of justice, on this issue, will not be held back.

  3. Auto de Fe:

    Dalai Lama: “They want me to condone homosexuality…a relationship between two men is wrong.”


  4. buddhist:

    the Dalai Lama was referring to the same ancient Buddhist text that says a relationship of a man and woman cannot have penis/vagina sex more than five times in their lifetime or any non-penis/vagina sexual act without those acts also being wrong (being sexual misconduct). and what exactly does Gelugpa orthodoxy have to do with this lawsuit?

  5. Gerald de Heer:

    The never-married Dalai Lama has spoken. All hail. Let us idolize him, for all that he says is truth...and the basis to contribute to the RNC. Once again, theocracy trumps democracy.

  6. Especially Incognito:

    The Dalai Lama has won the Nobel Peace Prize
    and so did President Obama.

    I pay for both democrat and republican wages and expect
    to get represented by both parties. one does and the other

  7. Especially Incognito:

    If I donate 10,000 dollars to any politician, I become their friend.

  8. ohiaforest3400:

    Sorry to have facts get in the way (again), but the 9th Circuit case is not "Plan B"; the case has been pending since before SCOTUS decided Windsor and has been on hold pending the outcome of the special session. Just keepin' it real, or at least as real as it ever gets here.

  9. Eric Ryan:

    Duh, anonymous "ohia forest", I understand the timeline of the case. My curiosity concerns "Why now?" would any organization make this case a legal/financial/organizational priority when the law is about to be changed in their favor? Hence my suggestion that some last minute gay fundraising and last minute gay legal fees were changing hands by raising doubts that the legislature would be able handle what the courts have thus far failed to handle. You're hardly setting the facts straight or keeping it real, yo. But you are obtuse, humorless and full of yourself.

  10. Johnson:

    Yo, Eric: "You are obtuse, humorless and full of yourself."

  11. Auto de Fe:

    Martin Luther King Jr Recommends Gay Conversion Therapy

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