NJ Assembly Republican Leader weighs in
October 21st, 2013
Dropped in at the end of an article (PolitickerNJ)
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) praised Christie’s decision. “This is why he’s so respected,” Bramnick said. “He’s a practical realist.”
Bramnick, it should be remembered, is not an equality supporter, taking the Governor’s “let the people vote” position.
It’s an interesting peek into how Republicans in deep blue states want to get the issue behind them. They know marriage equality is coming and that any protracted battle is not going to benefit them. They just need a way to graciously concede without changing their public stance.
A vote of the populace is ideal. It allows them to hold their “personal view” while upholding “the will of the people”. And it shields them entirely from the debate. Which is, to some extent, why Democratic politicians in New Jersey fought that option.
Absent that, a swift court decision gives them an out. The judges can have “overstepped” and “dictated”, but it gives Christie and the Republicans a way to be “practical realists” and accept the eventuality.
And today’s dropping of the appeal in New Jersey allows that state’s Republicans to put this issue completely behind them. There is zero chance that they will make any effort to “take it to the people” and within the next week or so, some GOP legislator is going to conduct a wedding of a close friend or staff member and then this issue will cease to be trouble for the party at all.
NOM has no love for Christie
October 21st, 2013
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today sharply criticized the courts of New Jersey for orchestrating the redefinition of marriage, and also criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for withdrawing an appeal of the court ruling imposing same-sex marriage and thus abandoning the right of voters to determine the definition of marriage. NOM pledged to continue to fight for the right of New Jerseyans to define marriage, and suggested that Christie’s decision will end any chance of him winning the GOP nomination for president.
“…and thus abandoning the right of voters to determine the definition of marriage.” Huh?
I think NOM has now completely given up any pretense at making sense and is now just throwing up catch words and phrases in the hopes of stimulating emotions.
NJ’s largest synagogue on marriage
October 21st, 2013
In the seven blessings we bestow upon couples under the wedding canopy (Sheva B’rachot), there is one that will resonate particularly for us in the legal marriages we will be blessed to perform as of today, October 21st, 2013: “Praised are you, Adonai our God, for the creation of people.” Indeed, all people. We are so fortunate to now be able to bless those who stand under the wedding canopy without question of their sexual orientation. This is a milestone moment for our state and a milestone moment for us as God’s servants, who feel renewed in our privilege to serve all of God’s people.
NJ Judge: no stay in marriage ruling
October 10th, 2013
When Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that civil unions and marriages no longer are afforded the same rights and benefits (due to the new federal recognition of same-sex marriages) and that the state of New Jersey must allow and recognize marriages between same sex couples, she gave a date for when her ruling would come into effect: October 21, 2013.
When Governor Chris Christie appealed that ruling, he also requested that at stay be placed on the ruling such that it does not come into effect until the Supreme Court had weighed in on her decision. Today Judge Jacobson denied that request. (WaPo)
A judge refused Thursday to delay the start of same-sex marriage in New Jersey until a legal appeal can be settled, denying efforts by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to put off gay weddings.
“Granting a stay would simply allow the state to continue to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest,” Judge Mary Jacobson wrote.
Christie will now appeal the denial of stay to a higher court. And that may be the decision that brings New Jersey into the Equality State column.
If the higher court overrides Jacobson and puts a stay on her ruling pending appeal, then we will all have to wait until the case runs its course. However, if they refuse to place a stay – as I suspect they may do – then it’s pretty much a done deal. Yes the official ruling will be delayed until the process is complete, but once marriage start they are not going to stop.
There is zero chance that the court will allow marriages to proceed without stay, only to later reverse Judge Jacobson’s decision.
Iowa bistro sues to deny access to gay couples
October 8th, 2013
The Görtz Haus Gallery operates a “bistro, art gallery, frame shoppe and floral shoppe” out of what used to be the St. Peter Lutheran Church in Grimes, IA. The bistro is in what was once the sanctuary and is an attractive setting that is occasionally rented out for weddings.
But when Lee Stafford wanted to rent out the bistro for his wedding to his fiance Jared, the owners, Betty and Richard Odgaard refused. And after Stafford filed a claim with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Odgaard’s sued. They are represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. (Quad City Times)
Emily Hardman, spokeswoman for the Becket Fund, said the organization doesn’t want to eliminate “sexual orientation” as a protected class in Iowa and said the Odgaards are opposed to hosting the ceremony because of their Mennonite beliefs.
“The Odgaards have long hired and served gays and lesbians, and are happy to serve all persons regardless of their sexual orientation,” Hardman wrote in an email. “The only remedy they are seeking is not to be forced by the government to host a religious ceremony that would violate their own beliefs. The Iowa Civil Rights Act supports this remedy, as it expressly states that the Act is not intended to force individuals to recognize same-sex marriage.”
I tend to err on the side of individual rights and I am no fan of non-discrimination laws in general. They tend to pit people against each other and the blurry line between my right to get what I want and your right to do what you want with your property, time and body tends to leave all sides feeling imposed upon.
But I’m having a hard time finding sympathy for the Odgaards. Their feelings of entitlement run far beyond the right to refuse service based on religious (or any other) convictions or beliefs. (HuffPo)
In an interview, Betty Odgaard defended her decision to turn away the couple, saying it came from “our faith, our convictions.”
“Can I have my beliefs without being ostracized for that? I think I have my right … to stand firm to my convictions and beliefs,” Odgaard, who said she and her husband have received threatening emails and calls in response to the news, noted.
Well, no, Betty. You can’t have your beliefs without being ostracized; that’s what ostracization is for. When your beliefs result in hurtful behavior to other and attitudes that society finds to be counter-productive, the right and proper response is to ostracize you. Or, perhaps, as a Mennonite you’d prefer the term ‘shunning’.
And then there’s all the quivering hurt about having to ‘host a religious ceremony’.
This isn’t like Elain Photography where Elaine Huguenin would have had to physically participate in the event. Or one of those cake bakers who object to putting same-sex cake toppers atop their confectionary creation. It’s not even one of those bed-and-breakfast people who don’t want to be under the same roof as a couple of guys who are doing… you know… it!
It’s a bistro, a friggen room, Betty, and you don’t have to “host”. You don’t even have to be there. If you absolutely must have someone on the premises to make sure no one stills the artwork, you can turn that task over to one of those many gays and lesbians that you’ve hired.
And about that “religious ceremony”… who said it was religious?
Now maybe Lee and Jared wanted incense, blown shofars, latin incantations, the ubiquitous Whether Thou Goest sung badly by a relative and a sermon carefully distinguishing between Lutheranism and Calvinism, followed by saptapadi. But I’m guessing that if they were wanting a ‘religious ceremony’ then they would have chosen a religious venue. And whatever it is that they wanted, you can bet it wasn’t a Mennonite service, and since anything else is not kosher for her anyway it’s no skin off Betty’s nose.
Now I know that the Becket folk will try for an emotional appeal. Mumble mumble former church. Mumble mumble art gallery free speech. Mumble mumble Mennonites and candles and horse-drawn buggies and religious freedom!!
But when it comes right down to it, this is a bistro that doesn’t want to rent out the dining hall to Lee and Jared because they are gay. Period, end of conversation.
Oh yeah, cuz that’s sooooo much better
October 4th, 2013
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett objected to his own legal team’s court filing in opposition to marriage equality for comparing same-sex marriage to marriage between children. Here he gives us his “better” comparison.
UPDATE: And Corbett has “apologized” for his “better analogy”:
During a recent interview, I was asked to comment on the ruling by Judge Pellegrini that the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts did not have the power to decide the constitutionality of state laws.
My words were not intended to offend anyone. If they did, I apologize.
I explained that current Pennsylvania statute delineates categories of individuals unable to obtain a marriage license. As an example, I cited siblings as one such category, which is clearly defined in state law. My intent was to provide an example of these categories.
The constitutional question is now before a federal court and that is the venue in which same-sex couples wishing to legally marry have standing to intervene and be heard. Same-sex marriage is an important issue and the question of its legal status is one that will be heard and decided upon its merits, with respect and compassion shown to all sides.
It seems Corbett not only has no clue about what offends gay people or anyone who has ever met any, he also hasn’t the faintest idea how to craft an apology.
Montana takes a DADT approach to tax filing status
October 2nd, 2013
The Montana Revenue Director Mike Kadas has said that same sex couples in Montana cannot file joint state income tax returns – even if they do have a valid marriage from another state and their federal filing status is ‘married’. However, he won’t be asking. (Billings Gazette)
He told the committee the department has had few cases in which a taxpayer’s marriage status has been at issue.
“Therefore, we do not believe any compliance initiatives associated with verifying the marital validity of any type of marriage, opposite sex or same sex, is necessary,” he said.
Kadas said if the agency undertook a compliance initiative effort to verify marriages, it would apply to all types of marriages — opposite sex, same sex and common law. That would require the department to ask taxpayers to provide it with information that supports their claim that they have a valid marriage, he said.
Unfortunately, the department has no other means to verify taxpayers’ marital status other than directly asking them, Kadas said. That is something that at least some taxpayers would find to be intrusive, he said.
“We are also confident that if we did undertake a marriage compliance initiative, the cost of such an initiative would far outweigh any financial benefit received from enforcing Montana’s tax laws,” he said.
New Jersey Superior Court: state must offer marriage to same-sex couples (updated)
September 27th, 2013
In 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the state must offer the same rights and obligations to same sex couples that it offered to opposite sex couples. However, they allowed the legislature to create civil unions rather than marriage. However, when the US Supreme Court ruled that DOMA3 was unconstitutional, this changed the situation. Currently, the State of New Jersey offers two forms of couple recognition; heterosexuals get a type recognized by the Federal Government, while gays get a type that does not have federal recognition.
Today Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled – in summary judgment – that New Jersey must offer marriage licenses to same sex couples. (NBC)
“The ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts,” the judge said.
“Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution,” she wrote.
The ruling does not mean that same-sex marriages will begin immediately in New Jersey. The state has until Oct. 21 to either appeal or start the process to allow gay marriages.
Now it will fall upon Governor Chris Christie to decide whether to appeal the decision. While Christie has stated opposition to same-sex marriage (he favors civil unions), the voters in the state overwhelmingly support marriage equality.
At present, Christie’s position hasn’t hurt him and he holds a double-digit lead in polls for reelection. But this could go in several directions. If he appeals, it could serve as a reminder to the voters that he does not share their values. I doubt it would seriously hurt his chances for reelection, but it could hurt him in future contests.
Or, he could see this as an opportunity to do nothing and have a potentially troublesome issue go away. It seems increasingly likely that his marriage veto could be overturned with Republican support and Christie may prefer that his authority not appear to be challenged.
UPDATE: Christie has released a statement (Politico)
In a statement about an hour after the ruling, Christie’s press secretary said “Governor Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day. Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination.”
That sounds to me like he’ll be making an appeal.
GHW Bush signs same-sex wedding certificate
September 25th, 2013
This past weekend President George H. W. Bush attended a same-sex marriage in Maine (WaPo)
Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara served as an official witnesses this past weekend at the Maine wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen, co-owners of a Kennebunk general store.
No big statement from the ex-prez’s office. His rep Jim McGrath confirmed his and wife Barbara’s presence at the wedding: “They were private citizens attending a private ceremony for two friends.”
In an email from their honeymoon in London, Clement told us they’ve known the former first couple first years and were thrilled they accepted the wedding invitation. Thinking about “how monumental this time is in our lives” and “how blessed we are to be in their lives,” they decided to ask them “to really personalize it for us” as witnesses.
While the first President Bush never expressed much animosity towards the gay community, my first response was a bit of surprise. And then I thought that the Bushes are people, and we often say that we welcome the evolution of thought of people on the issue of equality. So I definitely welcome this.
I guess I’m not really all that surprised that Bush Sr. now seems to value and appreciate marriage equality. And, frankly, I won’t be that surprised when Bush Jr. does so.
The Legal Discrimination Against Gay Couples bill
September 19th, 2013
About 60 US Representatives (they claim bi-partisan) have signed onto a new bill they are calling the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, which is being described as a bill to protect churches and religious organizations from being targeted by the IRS for punishment over their pro-traditional marriage position. I’ve yet to locate a copy of the bill, but sponsor Raul Labrador (R-ID) summarizes it this way:
The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act would prohibit government discrimination against individuals and institutions that exercise religious or moral conscience regarding marriage as the union of one man and one woman by ensuring that the federal government will not:
· Deny or revoke an exemption from taxation under Sec. 501 of the IRS Tax Code
· Disallow a deduction for Federal tax purposes of any charitable contribution made to or by a person
· Deny or withhold any federal benefit
· Deny or exclude a person from receiving any federal grant, contract, loan, license, certification, accreditation, employment, or other similar position or status
· Otherwise discriminate against any individual organization
I have no problem with the first two bullet points. I don’t know what is meant by the third and find the fifth vague. But the third bullet point it the heart of this bill, the true purpose, and the means by which these legislators are seeking to engage in egregious and un-American behavior.
“Deny or exclude a person from receiving any federal grant, contract, loan, license, certification, accreditation, employment, or other similar position or status”
What this says is that if a solar panel installer seeks a contract from the federal government, the government must allow that contractor to refuse to provide the federal benefit to a gay homeowner. It says that a military contractor spending millions of taxpayer dollars must be allowed to discriminate in hiring against an applicant because his spouse is male. It says that the filing clerk at the social security administration can refuse to process the paperwork of a gay couple. It says that the IRS auditor can pretend that the married filing jointly return in front of her can pretend that it is filed fraudulently. It says that the customs official at the airport can unilaterally decide that your spouse isn’t really your spouse. It says that you can be turned down for student loans, for a camping permit in a national forest, for a White House visit, for any federally related benefit by any person at any level who decides that their religion requires them to discriminate against you.
There is no way that conservative Christians would EVER apply such a bill to themselves. Which gives me my response to Labrador:
I’ll make you a deal. You can pass a bill making sure that people can refuse service based on sexual orientation and marital status if you ALSO pass a bill making sure that people can refuse service based on religious affiliation.
That way Southern Baptist florists can refuse service to gay couples, and gay florists can refuse service to Southern Baptists. And one county clerk can refuse to issue a marriage licenses to gay couples while another can refuse to issue marriage licenses to Catholics and a third can refuse service to anyone with any faith at all.
That way everyone’s religious beliefs are protected, not just the anti-gay conservative Christian religious beliefs.
New Mexico Supremes to hear case October 23
September 7th, 2013
The New Mexico Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide once and for all whether same-sex marriage should be legal statewide after several counties recently began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, prompting a legal challenge.
Stepping into an intensifying debate over same-sex marriage in a state where such unions are neither expressly recognized nor prohibited by law, the high court set a hearing for Oct. 23 to consider a request from all 33 counties statewide to settle the matter.
New Mexico GOP reps. file lawsuit opposing equality
September 4th, 2013
As Jim told you, it’s now a total of eight equality counties in New Mexico. And cuz I like visuals, here’s the map.
Last Friday, as promised, several GOP legislators joined Sen. Bill Sharer in suing the county clerk of Doña Ana County. Although he had claimed support from two dozen fellow Republican legislators, only 7 were part of the original filing. Yesterday another 8 joined.
On Tuesday, as opponents of gay marriage sought to stall momentum toward allowing gay marriage across the state, eight Republican lawmakers joined in a lawsuit filed on Friday by seven other Republican lawmakers against the Doña Ana clerk.
“It’s really a separation of powers issues,” said Rep. Paul Bandy, who Tuesday joined the case filed in district court. “I don’t think the county clerk has the power to make this decision.”
I find it fascinating how far the dialog has shifted on this issue in just a few short years. Missing (other than on Sen. Sharers site of delusional rants) are the appeals to morality and God. Even tradition seems to have dropped from public discussion, leaving Bandy to try and sell his opposition as separation of powers.
And, as of today, only 15 of the GOP’s 47 New Mexico lawmakers have attached their name. That isn’t to say that more – or maybe all – of them will do so, but it does suggest that Sharer is finding that fewer Republicans than he predicted have rushed to add their name to what is likely to be the wrong side of history.
Meanwhile, all of the state’s county clerks have appealed the decision by Judge Malatt to require Bernalillo County Clerk to offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and requested that it be heard by the Supreme Court. This does not reflect their political views; some support equality, some do not. But they are all joining the appeal so as to have a state-wide uniform ruling that (since they are all appellants) impacts all counties the same way. County clerks like that sort of thing.
Argentine married couple granted custody of kids
September 3rd, 2013
The Google Translate of this article is atrocious, and my Spanish is no where near adequate to make a translation on my own. But the gist of this infobae.com article is that a judge has, for the first time, granted temporary guardianship (a step towards adoption) to a same-sex married couple.
After months of legal proceedings and disputes rough, a gay couple married two years ago thanks to the law of marriage equality achieved temporary guardianship for adoption purposes two missionary brothers 9 and 11 years, after the judge Pablo Fernández Rizzi and decided at today’s hearing.
The marriage, held by Juan Castro and Pablo Silva, natives of Tierra del Fuego, is located in Mission for more than a month, and last week managed Rizzi , deputy of his counterpart in the Civil and Commercial of Puerto Iguazu, Ricardo Gerometa, resolved to grant precautionary manner simply keep the two minors. Now the judge enabled the couple to remain in charge of the children, so that may travel to the province to live with them .
This is a bit confusing, as Argentina has allowed adoption rights to same-sex couples since 2010. Perhaps this is simply the first case in which a judge granted the formal process.
Taos makes six
August 28th, 2013
Taos County on Tuesday became the sixth and latest county in New Mexico to allow marriage between same-sex couples.
State District Judge Jeff McElroy ruled Tuesday that Taos County Clerk Anna Martinez must issue a gay couple a marriage license or present a legal argument why she should not.
But we do finally have some word from the GOP legislators fleshing out their plans. They’ve gone from unspecified vague to specifically vague.
Paul Becht, the Albuquerque lawyer for the GOP legislators, said it’s uncertain when and where their lawsuit will be filed. With more counties starting to issue licenses, Becht said, he’s trying to determine where best to file a lawsuit “so we’re not getting scattered results all over the place.”
History lessons from Sen. Sharer
August 27th, 2013
On the website of Senator William Sharer – New Mexico’s equality opponent in chief – the Farmington Republican shares his views on marriage and history.
Archeology shows the importance of the family unit working together as the first and most basic unit of human cooperation. There is overwhelming evidence that the unit of ‘mom, dad and children’ has been encouraged from the earliest pre-written record. The union between one man and one woman was the first and most lasting definition of marriage.
Alexander the Great’s – View of Marriage
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) married a Bactrian woman – modern day Afghanistan. Alexander may have engaged in homosexual activity, but he married a woman.
He directed his officers to stop “whoring” around and find a local woman to marry.
“It is only through blood relations that hatred and war will end”. In other words, Alexander the Great thought that marriage was about creating and raising the next generation.
This is the reason for Marriage –
The creation and raising of children who have the best chance to grow to be peaceful, responsible citizens.
Well… not exactly. Actually Alexander didn’t “marry a woman”. He married three, Roxana (the Bactrian woman he references), Stateira (daughter of Darius III) and Parysatis (daughter of Artaxerxes III). And though he did father a child, it wasn’t born until after Alexander’s death.
Using Sharer’s example of Alexander, perhaps we can deduce that he really meant to say that “There is overwhelming evidence that the unit of ‘mom, dad, fetus, and dad’s two other wives’ has been encouraged from the earliest pre-written record.”
How do truly stupid people get elected?
San Miguel and Valencia Counties make five
August 27th, 2013
Marriage is breaking out all over New Mexico (kob.com)
Following the actions of three other counties in the state, the Valencia and San Miguel County clerks have decided to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
San Miguel County Clerk Melanie Rivera confirmed she ordered new licenses from the printer, but said she is now issuing “Spouse and Spouse” licenses that have been manually altered starting on Tuesday.
According to Valencia County Clerk Peggy Carabajal, paper stock for the licenses have already been ordered. They plan to change software to print “Spouse and Spouse” instead of “Bride and Groom” as soon as the paper arrives tomorrow morning.
As best I can find, Sen. William Sharer (R – Farmington) has not yet filed his lawsuit to stop the progression of equality in the state. Maybe he’s so busy amending the filing to add new counties that he hasn’t time to get it to court.
But he’d best get his hurry-up boots on if he plans on doing so while he still has a chance; once a movement reaches certain momentum it can be hard to stop.
New Mexico counties grow to three
August 26th, 2013
The number of New Mexico counties offering marriage equality has grown to three. (Star Tribune)
An Albuquerque judge on Monday ordered the clerk of New Mexico’s most populous county to join two other counties in the state in issuing marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples.
State District Judge Alan Malott ruled that New Mexico’s constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
(The ruling covered both Santa Fe County and Bernalillo County, home of Albuquerque. However Santa Fe has been complying with a separate judicial ruling requiring equality since Friday).
Predictably, Sen. Bill Sharer, who is leading a group of GOP lawmakers to fight the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, was furious. (koat)
“It is up the New Mexico State Legislature, with the consent of the Governor of New Mexico, to make laws and for county clerks and district court judges to abide by them. They do not make the laws. It is inexplicable how a district court just today discovered a new definition of marriage in our laws, when our marriage law has not been changed in over a century,” Sharer said in a statement.
But there’s more than a little irony in Sharer’s statement. Despite what he pretends, the New Mexico State Legislature has no law requiring that clerks discriminate against same-sex couples. There is no “new definition”. The marriage law in New Mexico is not defined to require a man and a woman.
It is true that until fairly recently no one in New Mexico fathomed same-sex couples marrying. But what do you do when an unexpected situation seeks to avail itself of civil law?
Sharer seems to hold an opinion about the role of government that flies in the face of his party’s rhetoric. While most Republicans would claim to believe that freedom is held by the people and that if ‘there ain’t no law against it’ then citizens are free to pursue happiness as they wish. Sharer, on the other hand, seems to believe that the government holds all rights and doles out freedoms according to its whim. He seems to be claiming that unless he and his fellow legislators specifically say you can do something, then it’s against the law.
UPDATE: Doña Ana, Sante Fe, and Bernalillo Counties are the states three most populated. Between them, nearly half of the state’s residents live in a county in which equality is being honored.
Political media discovers that John Bolton supports equality
August 24th, 2013
You may recall John Bolton from his stint as ambassador to the United Nations in 2005 and 2006. You might know him from his op-ed pieces in the Wall Street Journal. But you probably best know him as that guy with the mustache.
Bolton is an unquestionable conservative, a national security hawk, a Republican that could never be called a RINO (“Republican in name only”), and a darling of a large faction on the right. He may also be a candidate for nomination of the Republican Party in 2016.
And if you are a regular Turtler, you may recall that we have known for some time that John Bolton supports marriage equality. But many of those who watch him on Fox News – and most of those who would never watch Fox News – probably do not.
They are now discovering this to be so. (Daily Beast)
However, in an interview with Robert Costa of National Review, Bolton let slip a surprising bit of information; he’s for gay marriage. He said “On gay marriage, I support it, at both the state level and the federal level. Gay marriage is something I’ve thought about at length as I’ve looked at my future. I concluded, a couple years ago, that I think it should be permissible and treated the same at both levels.”
This is of value to our community. The more that run of the mill Republicans and conservatives hear of prominent leaders in their community who endorse equality, the easier it will be for them to do so.
And it will be interesting if Bolton runs. Undoubtedly one candidate or another will make marriage part of the campaign, and his views during debates will challenge presumptions in the room.
NM judge orders Santa Fe to issue same sex marriage licenses
August 23rd, 2013
District Judge Sarah Singleton issued the order late Thursday to Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar in a lawsuit filed by two Santa Fe men. It represents the first time a New Mexico judge has ruled that gay and lesbian couples can be married, said state Rep. Brian Egolf, a lawyer representing the couple.
Singleton said Salazar must grant the marriage licenses or appear in court Sept. 26 to tell her why that shouldn’t occur. Salazar didn’t immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press.
Should Salazar comply, Santa Fe County will join Doña Ana County, where the County Clerk yesterday began issuing licenses to same sex couples.
PA’s court considerations
August 22nd, 2013
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has issued the list of issues which it will consider in relation to the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses. (Observer-Reporter)
The court wants lawyers to focus on whether the court has jurisdiction, given that Hanes is a judicial officer.
Other questions are whether issuing marriage licenses are a judicial act and whether the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s marriage law can be raised as a defense in the case.
Also at issue are whether the Department of Health has standing to sue, and if not, the effect of Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s delegation of defense of the law to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s legal staff.