In France, former President Nicholas Sarkozy, who believes in “traditional” marriage so much he’s been married three times, wants to repeal the marriage equality law. Oklahoma once again proves it’s ahead of Texas in relationship recognition. And, although Justice Sonia Sotomayor has stayed marriage rulings twice, Clarence Thomas refused to.
Last week, a U.S. District Judge refused a state motion to dismiss a marriage equality case.
The court will now move forward in considering the constitutionality of South Dakota’s ban, with the judge ordering the state to respond to the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgement within ten days.
Seven couples filed a lawsuit today (Monday, Nov. 17) challenging Nebraska’s marriage ban.
Justice Clarence Thomas refused to halt marriage equality in Arizona.
Thomas wrote he denied the Arizona request for review because he doesn’t believe that there are enough votes from the Supreme Court to take the case, due to how the full court has recently decided other cases for review. He called it “unfortunate,” and wrote, “at the very least, we owe the people of Arizona the respect of our review before we let stand a decision facially invalidating a state constitutional amendment.
Marriage could begin in South Carolina on Thursday, Nov. 20, making it marriage-equality state No. 34.
When a federal judge struck down South Carolina’s marriage law last week, he stayed his ruling until this Thursday to give the state attorney general time to appeal to the 4th Circuit. The 4th Circuit has already ruled in favor of marriage equality in Virginia and the other states in the circuit — West Virginia and North Carolina — also have become marriage equality states.
On Nov. 12, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that non-biological parents can seek custody of a child based on agreement to parent together.
The case concerned an Oklahoma same-sex couple who entered into a civil union in New Zealand. The court ruled the non-biological mom could seek custody based on the couple’s agreement to parent their child as long as custody was in the best interest of that child.
After Kansas sort of became a marriage equality state last week, the National Organization for Marriage says the U.S. Supreme Court’s order ending its stay on marriage equality in Kansas has “left the decision up to county judges” whether to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The Human Rights Campaign refutes the NOM opinion, saying, “As it turns out, the U.S. Constitution rather clearly spells out the powers vested in the federal judiciary and nowhere does it say state governors can ignore federal court rulings because they don’t like them.”
After the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a state’s right to discriminate, the plaintiffs from the four state affected — Michigan, Ohio, Tennesee and Kentucky — have now filed appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court:
The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed on behalf of four couples in Tennessee.
LCLR wrote, “The court of appeals’ holding not only denies recognition to petitioners’ own marriages and families, but also establishes a ‘checkerboard’ nation in which same-sex couples’ marriages are dissolved and re-established as they travel across the country. That is the antithesis of the stability that marriage is supposed to afford.”
Two cases from Ohio were appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by Lambda Legal and the ACLU.
Susan Sommer, director of constitutional litigation for Lambda Legal, said, “We have reached a tipping point, and the lives of thousands of same-sex spouses and their families hang in the balance.”
James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and HIV Project, said “When you’re married, you’re married, no matter whether you travel or move to another state.”
Private attorneys appealed the Michigan case.
Meanwhile, the governor has declared 300 marriages, which took place before the U.S. District Court’s ruling was stayed, void.
Private attorneys appealed the two consolidated Kentucky cases.