Marriage equality went statewide in Illinois this week. One Texas case advanced, and Colorado is having a wedding cake problem.
And Florida’s thrice-divorced attorney general, who travels abroad with a man she’s not married to, thinks same-sex marriage would harm The Sunshine State.
Sunday marked the first day of statewide marriage equality in Illinois.
The Legislature passed a marriage equality law last fall that set June 1 as the start date. A Chicago couple sued for immediate implementation of the law because one partner had a terminal illness. A U.S. district court declared Illinois’ ban unconstitutional so Cook County, which includes Chicago, began issuing licenses in February. Since then, 16 Illinois counties have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. As of this week, couples can marry anywhere in the state.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set July 9 as the day it will hear an appeal in DeLeon v. Perry, a Texas marriage equality case. One of the couples, Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes are from Plano.
In February, a federal judge in San Antonio who heard the case declared the Texas marriage ban unconstitutional.
This will be the first Texas case to reach the 5th Circuit. The Texas divorce case was appealed to the Texas Supreme Court. No ruling has been issued in that case that was heard in November.
Unlike attorneys general in Oregon and Pennsylvania, Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi is defending that state’s marriage ban.
She said recognition of out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples would impose “significant public harm” by interfering with Florida’s current marriage laws.
Bondi, who has been divorced three times, was in Cayman over Memorial Day weekend, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The paper reported she was supposed to marry husband No. 4, but she returned to the U.S. unmarried and said the wedding was postponed a few weeks.
In her brief in the marriage equality suit, Bondi claims “the state’s assertion that the harms to same-sex married couples aren’t significant enough to warrant relief.”
Then why is it important for her to get married — for a fourth time? And why is it OK for her to travel abroad with a man she’s not married to but gays marrying once is bad for Florida?
Those poor wedding photographers and cake bakers.
The latest complaint is against a Colorado cake baker who refused to bake a cake for a civil union.
On Friday, the Civil Rights Commission in Colorado ruled that religious objections do not trump the state’s anti-discrimination statutes.
The cake shop owner, Jack Phillips, said that the decision violates his First Amendment rights to “free speech and exercise of religion.”
The ruling doesn’t interfere with his religious beliefs and only affects his business practices. A store must serve anyone who comes in.
“I will stand by my convictions until somebody shuts me down,” he told reporters after the ruling.
He said he’s been so overwhelmed by supporters buying cookies and brownies, he doesn’t make cakes anymore.
Yes, we know what goes into brownies in Colorado. I’m sure his business is booming.